If you’re new to The BIG Road Trip – all the information can be found on this page. Curious how this series came about? Find the ‘why’ in this first announcement post. All BIG Road Trip posts can be found archived here.
If you have state-related art, stories and inspiration to share or if you made art inspired by this blogpost, LINK US UP BY USING THE INLINKZ TOOL AT THE END OF THIS POST. Inspiration for you to use as a jumpstart to get creative is at the end of the post.
I am looking for GUEST BLOGGERS to blog about different States in America (find the list with States and schedule here.) These guest posts do not have to be as extensively written as mine and preferably give more personal and artsy insight and info about the state/region. Info that is interesting for an artist to know, like pointing out local art shops and little galleries et cetera. Also, I will be available to help you with tips, search for images and add extra inspiration if you need me to. Email me at bigroadtrip[at]maritspaperworld[dot]com if you’re interested!
Good times never seemed so good…”
~ Neil Diamond ~
Yep, I’m heading to North Carolina and although Mr. Diamond probably sang about a woman, I do have that song in my mind now. (There’s more ‘state related’ songs at the end of this post to spark your creativity.)
I had no idea what to expect or what to find in this state, so I started with studying the map.
My eye catched the river/lakes/waters on the border of Virginia and North Carolina and I decided to check that part of the region out… so I cross the border walking this time while exploring the John H. Kerr Reservoir.
“Kerr Lake (officially John H. Kerr Reservoir, also known as Bugg’s Island Lake) is a reservoir along the border of the U.S. states of North Carolina and Virginia created by the John H. Kerr Dam.
The dam construction started in 1947 (…)and was finished in 1952 to produce electricity and to provide flood control. It is the largest reservoir in Virginia. (…) It is located in parts of Vance, Granville, and Warren counties in North Carolina, and Mecklenburg, Charlotte, and Halifax counties in Virginia. At its maximum capacity, it’s one of the largest reservoirs in the Southeastern United States. (…)The lake is named for Congressman John H. Kerr of North Carolina, who supported the original creation of the lake.
While walking, I come cross all kinds of odd signs or plaques with names and information on it.
I haven’t seen those before and when I explore this phenomenon, I discover that the signs are put there by the North Carolina Highway Historical Marker Program
“This state program is an effort to standardize the practice of marking sites of statewide historical significance. The silver and black markers have become a familiar part of the state’s landscape since the first one was put in place in Granville County on January 10, 1936. To date over 1,400 state markers have been erected. At least one stands in every county.”
There’s indeed a lot of those markers… I found a map.
I find out that North Carolina is a very good state if you love hiking. They have all kinds of hiking trails so if you love walking in nature, you are in the right place.
You can find all sorts of information about trails, traveling, getting around NC and more on the government North Carolina site – with this blogpost I focus on art and culture so I choose the North Carolina Arts Trail and I am highly surpised to find this:
“Historic Happy Valley ~ Immortalized in the world-famous ballad, “Hang Down Your Head, Tom Dooley,” brought to life in Charles Frazier’s award-winning book, Cold Mountain, and recalled in tales of frontiersman Daniel Boone, Historic Happy Valley is a legendary home to the arts, storytelling and living traditions.”
TOM DOOLEY??… my-oh-my… that was the first (and only 😀 ) song I learned the chords from on my mother’s guitar! Yep, boys and girls, I sang that song a lot when I was approximately twelve years old: “Hang down your head Tom Dooley, hang down your head and cry….” So he came from North Carolina then? Gotta check that out!
“Thomas C. Dula (June 22, 1845 – May 1, 1868) was a former Confederate soldier, who was tried, convicted, and hanged for the murder of his fiancée, Laura Foster. The trial and hanging received national publicity from newspapers such as The New York Times, thus turning Dula’s story into a folk legend. While the murder happened in Wilkes County, North Carolina, the trial, conviction, and execution took place in Statesville.
There was considerable controversy surrounding his conviction and execution. In subsequent years, a folk song was written (entitled “Tom Dooley”, based on the pronunciation in the local dialect), and many oral traditions were passed down, regarding the sensational occurrences surrounding the murder of Foster, and Dula’s subsequent execution. The Kingston Trio recorded a hit version of the murder ballad in 1958.“
Enough of the murders and walking trails… let us now take a look at the culture and arts that North Carolina has to offer. Are there, for example, interesting museums? Since I don’t know any artists living in North Carolina who I can ask, I hop on over to the The Official Travel & Tourism Website for North Carolina. (If YOU are an artist living in NC and you have extra info or know fun adresses or places that are fun for artists to visit, feel free to add the info in a comment or link us up with Mr. Linky)
There’s this ‘promising’ text on the Tourism website, saying “Arts & Entertainment Tucked in every nook and cranny of the state are artful surprises. Filmmakers on the coast, bluegrass in the mountains, pottery in the piedmont and outdoor drama everywhere in between.”
Lets start with museums… a long list with all museums in NC can be found HERE
There is a museum for everyone: local history, natural history, maritime, military, mining, biographical – to name a few – and of course art museums. I pick one out that seems interesting to me: The African American Atelier in Greensboro. I spend quite some time on that website, I love to view the galleries with different art pieces. So many styles, techniques and themes. I fall in love with the work of self-taught artist Synthia SAINT JAMES
and I also found Sythia’s website for you.
Curious by that phrase on the tourist website about ‘filmmakers in North Carolina’ I google ‘films in North Carolina’ – and you never believe what I found! HA, there must be a wikipedia page for the most bizarre everything!
Now I am not a big film-watcher but I couldn’t help myself and went through the list to count how many of these movies I remember seeing (29 – that I can remember when I read the titles – and mostly on television – YOU??)
I also know for sure now, that they sell fast food in North Carolina, ’cause this documentairy was shot there.
North Carolina is a state that has a lot to do with (making) movies, so it shall be no surprise that there are all kinds of film festivals during the year. Interested in visiting? Here’s a LIST.
Now there is a lot more to say about North Carolina (State Parks, Mount Mitchell, Blue Ridge Parkway) but I call it a day and leave it to you to add extra information if you have some. Feel free to email me, leave a comment or link us up by using the InLinkz tool at the end of the post. (Last week, Pat left a link to her blogpost that she wrote about Virginia with all kinds of extra photos, fun information and a wonderful painting she made.)
Feel like you want to get creative but have a lack of inspiration?
Here’s some that you can use as a jumpstart to create – and if you do create something related or inspired by this post, please let me know or leave your link!
What has North Carolina – and this blogpost – to offer that you can use as jumpstart to get creative?
Here’s some topics followed by, as always, a bunch of inspirational songs/lyrics. Enjoy!
- (North) Carolina – the woman’s name as well as the state
- Walking, Shoes, Hiking
- (Hiking) Trails
- Plaques (for instance, make your own, historical, plaque)
- Tom Dooley (or history, murder balads, hanging…)
- African American (or Sythia Saint James’ ) art (colours, shapes)
- One of the movies from the list
- Fast food 😀
- Songs about Walking
Walk Like an Egyptian – The Bangles (lyrics)
These Boots are Made for Walking – Nancy Sinatra (lyrics)
Walking After Midnight – Patsy Cline (lyrics)
I’m Walking – Fats Domino (lyrics)
Walking on Sunshine – Katrina and the Waves (lyrics)
Just Walking in the Rain – Johnnie Ray (lyrics)
Walk the Line – Johnny Cash (lyrics)
Walk this Way – Aerosmith (lyrics)
- Songs about North Carolina
The Old North State is the official state song of the U.S. state of North Carolina. (lyrics)
Oh My Sweet Carolina – Ryan Adams ft. Neil Finn and Janis Ian (lyrics)
Wagon Wheel – Old Crow Medicine Show (lyrics)
Carolina on My Mind – James Taylor (lyrics)
Chapel Hill – Sonic Youth (lyrics)
Gone to Carolina – Shooter Jennings (lyrics)
Greensboro Woman – Townes Van Zandt (lyrics)
Carolina in the Morning – Al Jolson (lyrics)
Sweet Caroline – Neil Diamond (lyrics)
- and a bonus track
My son pointed out this song and artist from Durham, NC
Call Him Daylight – Hiss Golden Messenger
If you have a State-related blogpost to share, or if you have art to show that is inspired by the State or by this blogpost, feel free to leave a link. Please leave a link to a specific blog post or image on flickr, rather than a general url. To avoid spam, I will view each link before it gets approved. No linking up to travel agents or advertisements please. Thanks!
( Collection closed )
Link tool by Inlinkz
Julie Tucker-Wolek says
I have always wanted to visit there — a lot of authors (Nichols Sparks probably being the most popular) writes stories based there and it just feels beautiful!!!
Here I am… traveling with you in the states, when all I can think about is meeting you and your beloved in your country a year ago yesterday… I just found your earth day post, it got stuck again in the spam filter…grrrrrr Thank you for thinking of me and walking with me in the spirals of the internet! I loved seeing this part of the country, where I have never been. I have been to North Carolina, so I will look forward to seeing if I recognize anything, in the meantime, I’ll be humming Neil Diamond all day… much love to you my dear friend!
~*~Patty Szymkowicz Magpie's Nest says
a town you would LOVE in North Carolina is ASHEVILLE…it is a funky artsy place with a wonderful vibe … I did about five or so blog posts about our visit there last October … here is one with just photos: http://bitze.wordpress.com/2012/10/03/asheville-art-just-a-sampling/
The famous Biltmore estate is there too
Another favorite thing about NC are the Outer Banks Beaches … Ocracoke Island is a wonderful place to twinkle your toes in the sand and forget about everything
I learned alot from reading your NC post dear Marit!