Besides the beautiful views from Oak Grove Plantation Bed & Breakfast, visitors this year will have an added visual attraction: Art work created by a nationally recognized local water colorist.
It’s the perfect match for two women who grew up together in Halifax County: Artist Karen Shelton and innkeeper Pickett Craddock.
“At an inn that specializes in buying local, it seems fitting to have a local artist’s work’s adorning our walls,” says Craddock. Each of Shelton’s works is for sale to both tourists and townspeople who may want to come and visit.
Shelton’s art is in museum and private collections in most of the 50 states and several other countries. For the past 30 years, she has received over 50 “Best in Show” honors and many rave reviews.
Shelton was born in Winston Salem, N.C., but moved to South Boston at the age of 7 with her family. Her father was in the tobacco industry, and her mother worked at Lantor’s, the popular women’s fashion store. It was at a fashion show where Karen met Weldon Shelton, whom she married and who was her muse up to his death in 2012.
Describing her work, Shelton says: ”I am driven to paint, fascinated by light and shadow and living, vibrant, growing things that capture the eye and fill the soul with beauty.” Her current work is, for the most part, realistic still life. “I do enjoy creating mixed media pieces with watercolor, acrylic, colleage and even gold leaf.”
Craddock thinks the local paintings will add to the atmosphere of the 200-year-old house, built by ancestor Thomas Easley, a Virginia legislator. The former tobacco plantation has 400 acres of pines and trails, popular for nature walks. The three miles of trails are teeming with wildlife…crickets, birds, frogs, box turtle and an occasional fox.