Last Light

For the past fifty-two years, I have lived in Boone, North Carolina, not far from a large, empty frame house near the hospital. I pass it frequently going to and coming from nearby Blowing Rock.

Over the years, I have made several paintings of the neglected house, never able to capture in any one picture the depth of my feeling for the place. I never knew any inhabitants of the home, of course, for they had long since departed before my arrival, but with each visit to the site, I try to imagine the laughter and tears that once accumulated within its walls. It was not the house, per se, that appealed to me, as much as its presence, its enduring and stubborn refusal to simply disappear after being abandoned. 

It was not lost on me as the small, mountain town of Boone grew and developed that one day the property would likely change ownership. Throughout North Carolina, as it is across this great country, the insatiable lust for profit and gain has seen structures like this one -proud reflections of a time gone by – razed to the ground and replaced by a service station or a mall, all in the name of progress.

Earlier this year (2021), when I passed the house, I saw heavy equipment being moved into the yard. The following day, returning to the site, what had once been a house, a nurturing home, was replaced by a monstrous pile of splintered wood and shingles. In a matter of hours, decades of life within that house had been erased. Now, some two months later, all the debris has been removed. Bulldozers have leveled the ground for another hospital building, or a parking lot. 


On the day of March 29, 2021, I painted the picture shown below. I call it, Last Light. I can’t say with any certainty that this will be the last painting I will make of this old house, for it has become an old friend. The physical house may be gone, but not my memories of the place.

As I do with many of my “Diary Pictures,” I penned the following words near the base of the canvas:  “In late afternoon, on the day before the bulldozers came to level the old house, she took a final walk in the yard at last light.”

Last Light, Acrylic on Canvas, 24” x 24”, 2021


If I’ve been asked any one question over the years about my approach to art it is this one: Where did you come up with the idea?

The question seems benign enough, but it is always a difficult one for me to answer, for no two paintings or drawings of mine usually come from the same wellhead. Some pictures come from images I’ve seen that spark visual curiosity. Some pictures come from something I’ve written, others come from feelings or emotions. For me, there is no straight line from idea inception to finished picture. Every picture is a journey of some kind. I’ve always thought of it as the creative process. 

That said, let me share with you, the reader, the evolution of one of my most recently completed paintings, one I titled The Scarlet Jump Rope. But first, a little history.


For as long as I can remember, I’ve kept a box in which I put photographic images that catch my attention. Sometimes it’s as simple as a photograph in a newspaper or magazine. I cut it out and drop it what I call my “Image Box.” One day while in college I was looking through an issue of National Geographic, and saw a photograph of a man on his knees by the engine of a train, oiling one of the metal wheels. For no specific reason, I cut it out and dropped it in the box. In 2002, several decades later, while executing a series of fourteen woodcuts depicting the Stations of the Cross, I was rummaging through my Idea Box and saw the photograph of the oilman. At that particular point in time, I was developing sketches for the 8th Station, Jesus Falls for the Third Time. It was like finding buried treasure; the pose taken by the oilman was the perfect pose I needed for Jesus, minus the oilcan. Serendipity.


In early January, 2021, while rummaging through my idea box, my eyes fell on a magazine photograph of a man walking high above the ground on a tight rope. The most striking feature of the photograph was the absence of shoes on the man. He was barefoot. For no greater reason than my curiosity about the image, I decided to start a painting based on the photograph. Changes were quickly made in the landscape below the man to enhance the illusion of his height above the ground. I was intrigued by the fact the man was barefoot, so I followed suite with my image.  At some early point in this process, I began to be aware of a felt need to enhance the element of risk. I wanted risk, or fear, or something along those lines to be the underlying pulse of the picture. I altered the landscape so it looked frozen, snow-covered. A barefoot man on a frigid day walking across a tight rope; what could be more risky than that?

During the following week, I pondered the theme of risk as I went about my daily activities. Driving to the supermarket, or preparing for bed, I recalled times in my life when I’d experienced risk. Some of those recollections were painful. Slowly at first, and then more frequently, my subjective thoughts about risk became more intense. The question I kept asking myself: How can I best maximize the sensation of risk, so the viewers of this picture will feel it, as well, and not just read the picture in literal terms? Without being overly conscious of specific measures that might increase the reference to risk, every move I made with the composition – the colors, lines, shapes and placement – everything was designed to put RISK in capital letters.

The shape of the man inferred marginal stability, but his hands and arms were extended in such a way as to suggest an intentional effort to grab the air, or sky, in order to maintain essential balance but was that enough? And then, from the inner reaches of my memory, I remembered a small woodcut done a year, or so, earlier, an image of an angel jumping rope. As the shape and position of the hands looked tailor-made for the handles of a jump rope, all I had to do was add it. 

The incorporation of the scarlet jump rope suddenly gave the picture the emphasis on risk I’d been seeking. Walking across a tight rope was one thing, jump-roping across it barefoot was something totally different. I titled the painting, The Scarlet Jump Rope, and in the lower part of the picture I wrote in ink: “High above the frozen landscape, the young man with the scarlet jump rope dazzled the uneasy crowd.” I delivered the completed picture to the Art Cellar Gallery in Banner Elk, North Carolina, on January 23rd, satisfied I had resolved the visual riddle.


Around 4:00am on Friday, January 29, 2021, I was awakened by severe pain throughout my upper chest and neck area. Two hours later, my wife Suzie deposited me at the Emergency Room at the hospital. I was there for 5 days. I was given an echocardiogram, heart catherization, and high potency meds to bring my heartbeat down and avoid serious heart injury, or death. Just prior to my discharge on Tuesday, February 2, my doctor came into my room and sat near my bed. We talked for a few minutes about my condition before he said, “Noyes, you may not know it, but for a time before you came here, perhaps a long time before coming here, you faced great risk.”

In thinking back on the days spent with the painting, was my subconscious mind preparing me for the ordeal that followed? Was it trying to tell me that I was about to experience my own tight rope act? Pictures come from all kinds of seeds.       

The Scarlet Jump Rope

Nurturing Our Visual Ideas

One of my earliest artistic beliefs was that ideas for pictures arrive fully developed, ready for immediate implementation. All one had to do – or so I believed – was paint the picture according to mental impressions. It was only later, and after I began to mature as an artist, that I realized ideas for pictures are little more than visual seedlings. Like tender young plants, our emerging ideas for pictures need nurturing to grow and time to develop.

Ten or twelve years ago, I prepared a workshop on mono-printing. As my visual major in college had strong roots in printmaking, I was fond of the sense of immediacy that came from monoprints, and the fact that every monoprint is a unique means of self-expression. Unlike other printmaking processes like etching and lithography which provide for editions, there is only one monoprint. 

At some point after the completion of this workshop, I began exploring the possibilities of combining monoprint with watercolor, the latter process my “go to” technique in the 1970s. One of the pictures that came from this experience in 2009 is the following one; Man of the Cloth / Endangered Moth. The priest’s face was done with monoprint, the image of the moth in fluid watercolor. I relied on color harmonies to tie the two images together. 

Years passed during which I completed two fictional novels. One of these yet-to-be published stories, God’s Acolyte is about a morally corrupt priest. For the cover of my reading copy shown below, I returned to the image of the priest in Man of the Cloth/ Endangered Moth. I asked a friend of mine to sit for a few photographs, and from this session came my painting of the lower portion of his face. Little did I know at the time, that this image of my friend was destined to return one final time.

On September 12, 2020, while looking through a portfolio of my drawings and watercolors, I paused when I came across the monoprint/watercolor image from 2009. Seeing it next to the image of the priest on the cover of God’s Acolyte, I made the decision to make one final variation of the idea.  Over the two-day period of September 12 and 13, I completed the 20” square acrylic on canvas shown below. Like descendants in a family, certain similarities in look and tone may be evident, but colors and other compositional devices changed. Put simply, the initial visual idea underwent a final change.

Man of the Cloth/Endangered Moth

How do we ever know that our first response to a visual idea is the best, or ideal, manifestation of that idea? As I used to tell my students, if one makes five solutions to a given picture idea and place them against the wall, my guess is that one of the five responses will strike you as being the strongest. picture. Like the seedling, we may have to wait for the idea to blossom.


My visual works are exclusively carried by The Art Cellar Gallery in Banner Elk, North Carolina. For information about my works, one may contact the gallery at 828-898-5157, or through their website:

New Release!

Noyes Capehart is pleased to announce the release of his new novel, Dark Trophies. The book is currently available at Amazon, both in Kindle and paperback. The Kindle price is $3.99, plus tax. The paperback available at $17.95, plus tax and shipping/postage. Signed and personalized copies are available from the author at an introductory price of $16.00 (tax included), plus a postage charge of $3.00: Total cost when ordering direct from the author is $ 19.00. Book price for local/area residents who can make arrangements to meet the author at a designated time and place in Boone is a flat $16.00, cash or personal check. 

  To order direct from the author, send your check or money order to:   Noyes Capehart Long
166 Glendale Drive
Boone, NC 28607

 e-mail: capehart (at) charter (dot) net

Be sure to provide
(a) your name and a contact phone number or e-mail,
(b) the name to be used for personalization, and
(c) the address to which the book should be mailed. 

A summary of Dark Trophies:

Savannah Cade, wife of college art professor Peregrine Cade, is brutally murdered in Black Mountain, North Carolina. Grief-stricken and consumed by rage, Cade struggles to complete his fall term teaching duties and is placed on administrative leave. At the suggestion of his closest friend, Episcopal Rector Chester Raines, Cade accepts an invitation from Tredegar Prison, a medium-security prison near Sylva, to deliver a course in expressive drawing to its inmates. In this context, Cade makes a discovery that triggers a disturbing series of events at the prison, eventually climaxing with unexpectedly grave consequences. DARK TROPHIES is a classic story of revenge, good versus evil, prejudice and forgiveness, and the indomitable human spirit. DARK TROPHIES is 324 pages in length.


Dark Trophies is Capehart’s third published work of fiction. He released Devil’s Mark in 2013, and its sequel, Chameleon in 2016. (Both are currently available on Amazon Books.) In 2018, Capehart’s Cheap Joe was released, a biography of Boone’s own Joe Miller, owner of Cheap Joe’s Art Stuff. (This book is also available on Amazon) In addition to these published works, Capehart has completed the manuscripts for three other works of fiction: Potato Eaters (a coming of age story about a young man from Tennessee who finds himself stranded in New York City and finds work as a guard at the Metropolitan Museum of Art), Gehenna’s Child (a story about sociopathic fourteen year old boy and his ordeals with school bullies), and God’s Acolyte ( a story about a brilliant but morally corrupt priest). Capehart is currently at work on a collection of short stories, musings, and personal reflections.

Read on!!!

If you are a member of a book club, or a group of artists, and would like Noyes Capehart to come and make a presentation about one, or more, of his books, or to share with you the parallels – similarities and differences –  with his writing and painting, contact him by e-mail at capehart (at) charter (dot) net.

New Book in the Works

Artist and writer Noyes Capehart has a new work of fiction in the works! Tentatively titled, Dark Trophies, it is a story loosely based on the three years (2006-2009) he spent as a volunteer art teacher at Avery-Mitchell Correctional Institution, a moderate security prison in Spruce Pine, North Carolina.

A summary of the story:  On September 26, 2009, Savannah Cade, wife of college art professor Peregrine Cade, is brutally murdered in Black Mountain, North Carolina. Grief-stricken and filled with rage, Cade struggles to complete his fall semester courses but not without major behavioral difficulties. As a consequence of his erratic performance, he is placed on administrative leave for the following spring term. At the suggestion of his closest friend, Episcopal rector Chester Raines, he accepts an invitation from (fictional) Tredegar Prison to deliver an art course to its inmates. After initially dismissing the offer, he reconsiders and begins the assignment in February, 2010. It is in this context that Cade discovers an alarming reason for Tredegar’s disappointing record in the annual state penal art contest. This discovery triggers a larger, more disturbing series of events and situations at Tredegar, eventually climaxing with unexpectedly grave consequences. Dark Trophies is a story of revenge, good versus evil, prejudice and forgiveness, and the indominable human spirit.

Dark Trophies will be Capehart’s third published work of fiction. He released Devil’s Mark in 2013, and its sequel, Chameleon in 2016. (Both are currently available on Amazon Books.) In 2018, Capehart’s Cheap Joe was released, a biography of Boone’s own Joe Miller, owner of Cheap Joe’s Art Stuff. (This book is also available on Amazon) In addition to these published works, Capehart has completed the manuscripts for three other works of fiction: Potato Eaters (a coming of age story about a young man from Tennessee who finds himself stranded in New York City and finds work as a guard at the Metropolitan Museum of Art), Gehenna’s Child (a story about sociopathic fourteen year old boy and his ordeals with school bullies), and God’s Acolyte ( a story about a brilliant but morally corrupt priest).

If you are a member of a book club, or a group or artists, and would like Noyes Capehart to come and make a presentation about one, or more, of his books, or to share with you the parallels – similarities and differences –  with his writing and painting, contact him by e-mail at capehart (at) charter (dot) net.

Read on!!!

Being There

In September 1888, while living in Arles, France, Vincent Van Gogh painted The Café Terrace on the Place du Forum. The painting (shown below) depicts the brightly lit outdoor café at night under a starry sky. (The painting was completed approximately nine months before his iconic Starry Night.)

Café Terrace on the Place du Forum, Arles
 Vincent Van Gogh  (1888)
Dallas Art MuseumDallas, Texas

In the mid- 1990’s while teaching At Appalachian State University, I led several study broad trips to Lugano, Switzerland. During the five-week term each summer, my students and I made long weekend trips to Venice and Florence, Italy. One year we made such a trip to Arles.

            One day while we were in Arles, we found ourselves ready for lunch while at the Place du Forum. We took one of a number of tables in the large open area, from which we could see a number of the small businesses and restaurants that flanked the area, most of which catered to tourists, like ourselves. Each restaurant owned a designated number of the tables, so a few moments after we were seated a waiter from one of the restaurants came promptly to take our orders.

            While waiting for our food, one of my students asked me, “Do you think Vincent painted anything in this part of Arles?”

            “I can’t be sure,” I replied, “but Arles is not that big. I think it’s entirely possible he spent some time here.” My reply seemed to satisfy the questioner.

            Across from our table, I saw an apothecary, or a drugstore as we might call it. In front of the establishment were three or four kiosks, each displaying postcards. Thinking that I might follow lunch by picking up a few cards, I announced my intentions. Several of the students said they would like to do likewise.

            When I approached one of the kiosks, I saw it was filled with cards showing reproductions of Vincent’s paintings. I selected a number of cards, including The Café Terrace on the Place du Forum. As I was paying for the cards, I asked the cashier if she knew whether Vincent Van Gogh ever painted in the area. Her English was not perfect but she understood the gist of my question. After processing the person behind me, she came around from behind the counter and took my sleeve. “Come!” she said, as she began pulling me in the direction of the door. When we had exited the store, she took my left hand and placed it as high as she could on the broad doorframe. Gently turning me so I was facing left of her store, she pointed to the postcard in my right hand with Vincent’s painting of the Place du Forum. “Look! See!” she exclaimed. “Vincent Van Gogh!”

            My left hand was still resting on the doorframe, the blue part of the doorway in Vincent’s painting! I was looking at the very part of the Place du Forum Vincent painted in 1888. It wasn’t the same restaurant, of course, but the skyline was exactly the same.

            She then moved me about two steps away from the doorframe and pointed to a small smooth stone set among the cobblestones. On it, the inscription: Vincent Van Gogh stood on this exact spot when he painted the Café Terrace on the Place du Forum in 1888.

            I took a color photograph of the contemporary restaurant, careful to capture the skyline. Over the course of time, I’ve misplaced or lost the color slide. For those few moments, however, I was there in his time, standing where his feet had been. Being there was one of the most exciting travel moments I’ve ever experienced.

The Unpleasant Critic

Like most young artists, I had my visual heroes when I began my professional career in 1958. As a student at Auburn University, I cut my teeth on abstract expressionists like Willem de Kooning and Franz Kline. I reveled in the imaginative world of Rene Magritte, and I admired and inwardly coveted Andrew Wyeth’s ability to transform the most innocuous landscapes into poetic compositions. But most of all, my first steps as an artist were influenced by the sober work of Edward Hopper.

Woman IV
Willem de Kooning (1952-53) 
Nelson Gallery-Atkins Museum  

Kansas City, Missouri
Noyes Capehart (1957)
Private Collection
Early Sunday Morning
Edward Hopper  (1930) 
Whitney Museum of American Art
New York

In August of 1958, following my graduation from Auburn, I traveled to New York City with one of my teachers. His intention was to “patch up things” with a girlfriend in Brooklyn before returning to the university for the fall term. At his suggestion, I checked into the YMCA upon our arrival in the city. My mission during that three to five-day time frame was to visit as many museums as I could before making the return trip south with him. He was to contact me in a couple of days with his return schedule.

A long story made short: My teacher never called. Tragically, he drowned two days after dropping me off at the YMCA. As my meager funds were about gone, I faced two options: (1) call my father for bus money home, or (2) find a job and stay in New York City. I opted for the latter, and found work as a guard at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

At the time of my employment, the Met’s special exhibition galleries were featuring works by ten American artists, among them Georgia O’Keefe, Charles Burchfield, Stuart Davis, and to my great delight, Edward Hopper. As this exhibition was located in the part of the museum to which I had been assigned, I was able to visit the exhibition on a daily basis and study Hopper’s pictures. On those days when I was assigned elevator duty – an assignment loathed by most veteran guards but one which I loved – I was treated to “peeks” of Hopper’s paintings each time the elevator doors opened at the second floor. As the all too familiar saying goes, “I felt like I’d died and gone to heaven,” on elevator days.

One afternoon while doing elevator duty, I was called to the basement. When the door opened, three persons entered the chamber: a balding man I recognized as an assistant curator, a tall, stern-looking man, and a petite woman. As the trio entered my elevator, the tall man was railing away about the Hopper selections in the exhibit, angrily telling the curator that he should have chosen stronger works. The first thought that entered my mind as the tall man registered his displeasure was a critical one: Just who do you think you are to speak so ill of Edward Hopper’s paintings?  As the elevator continued its slow journey to the second floor and the exhibition of selected American artists, my irritation at the tall man’s scalding assault and the curator’s lame responses intensified. The woman accompanying the two men had not said a word since entering the elevator.

Wearing my olive-green uniform and facing the instrument panel, I decided that someone needed to counter the tall man’s wrath. His bully-like posture needed to be checked. As I was the only person in the elevator who could step in and silence the unpleasant critic, I did something that was most certainly counter to the duties and responsibilities of a museum guard. I began turning around in order to face the tall man, and as I did so I compressed all of the fingers of my right hand with the exception of the index finger which resembled the barrel of a handgun. Just as I was about half-way though my impromptu pirouette, just when I was about to tell the tall man just what I thought of his unmerited criticism of Hopper’s paintings, just as my balled right hand with the extended index finger was about to point at the tall man’s chest, the small woman said, “Ed, they did the best they could.”

At that precise moment, unable to gracefully cancel my abrupt gesture and retreat to my instrument panel, the thought seared my mind: Ed? Could this man be big Ed? Could this be Edward Hopper?  Before I could stop my body in its less than graceful turn, I was facing the abusive man, my extended index finger now hanging limply at my side. A deathly silence enveloped the moment. I looked up and into the tall man’s eyes, and saw a blend of anger and consternation. Before I could more fully process the scrambled feelings and emotions coursing through my mind, I completed my turn and was once again facing the instrument panel.

When the doors opened at the second floor, all three of my passengers exited in silence, each looking at me with puzzled expressions, as if each believed I had momentarily lost my mind. As I watched them walk away from the elevator towards the special exhibition, I realized I could not let my one and only contact with Edward Hopper end on such a sour note. He was, after all, my very favorite artist!  I pushed the “Hold” button on the instrument panel, and ran out, hoping to catch up with Hopper before he entered the exhibition. When I did so, I instinctively grabbed one of the sleeves of his shirt and gave it a tug.

Hopper turned immediately and looked down on me with a fierce scowl on his face. Before he could say anything, and as the curator and the petite woman looked on in disbelief, I blurted out, “Mr. Hopper, please forgive me. I just…I mean I only wanted you to know how much I admire your work. I just wanted you to know.”

The awkward moment passed quickly, and I returned to my elevator with a heavy heart. I had made a complete fool of myself, and for a fleeting moment worried that the curator might report my  unorthodox behavior. As I was nearing the open door of the elevator, the small woman caught up with me and said, “Please, young man, Ed was touched by your words. It’s just that he doesn’t always know how to respond to such kindness. Thank you for sharing with him your respect for his pictures.”

The blinking light on the instrument panel told me someone on the mezzanine needed a ride. I thanked the small women – Jo Hopper, as I would later learn – and watched the door of the elevator make its silent closure.

My Actors

One of the first major influences on my visual work were the films of the Swedish director Ingmar Bergman (1918-2007). Films like The Seventh Seal (1957) and Wild Strawberries (1957) had a profound effect on my earliest pictorial thinking and priorities. Part of Bergman’s appeal came from his stark black and white movies, but I was also captivated by his thematic emphasis; films that probed symbolic and emotional language, psychological realism, and issues such as memory, old age, and the reality of death and cruelty. Another influence that came from Bergman’s films was the versatility of his stable of actors (Max von Sydow, Liv Ullmann, Gunnar Bjornstand, and Ingrid Thulin, among others) and their capacity to assume different roles with comparable command and conviction. This creative capacity is what draws me to actors like the late Robin Williams, Meryl Streep, or Anthony Hopkins; all have demonstrated the ability to become chameleon-like from one film to the next.  In some ways, that’s what I try to do with many of my visual images. I think of them as reflections, or my own “actors.” 

I realized early on that when one finishes a picture one has revealed but one solution to a given picture idea. Instead of jumping to a totally different picture idea – from a landscape to still life, for example- I often make a second, or third version of the same image. Monet did this with his waterlilies. He stayed with the same subject material from canvas to canvas, yet each painting yielded a different solution. In “squeezing” given subject material like this, I’ve found that two things usually happen: (1) the image will invariably undergo a change in appearance, or emphasis, and (2) after finishing x-number of variations, one picture will often emerge as the strongest of the lot. 

Green Boy (2009), Monoprint

These two works are offered as examples of my love of “reflections:” At the left is Crucible of Deceit, a watercolor with colored pencil from 2009. At the right is Forgiveness, an acrylic painting from 2019.  Both present faces with similar hybrid parts, but each addresses a different theme. From my way of thinking, Deceit is a softer treatment of the face than Forgiveness in which I tried to convey a darker, uglier countenance. Both works are the visual descendants of a small monoprint (Green Boy) from 2009, a work done just prior to Crucible of Deceit. 

There are several other works included in this exhibition that reveal this propensity of mine, including Winter Plums (2019). It followed Plums (1993) and Defiant Warrior (2004). 

Winter Plums (2019)   Acrylic on Canvas

Plums, 1993, Acrylic on canvas (22” x 26”), Private collection
Defiant Warrior(2004)                   


A Marriage of Images and Words

For persons unfamiliar with my work, the first question likely to be asked concerns the writing on my pictures; what does it mean?

I have been painting and exhibiting professionally since 1958, and have been writing (short stories at first, and later novels) since 1962. In 1973, words first appeared on one of my pictures as part of the composition, a mixed media work entitled Evil Conversations (image 1). In the upper right-hand corner, I wrote: “Everything was said with extreme caution…and then complete silence.” I cannot tell you exactly why I felt the need to incorporate the statement – or what it necessarily means – but at the time I felt compelled to make these words part of the picture. Since 1973, many of my paintings reflect what I’m calling a marriage of images and words.

Evil Conversations, 1973,  Mixed Media  26”x 29”

A partial explanation for this penchant of mine is that my earliest goal as an artist – and my reason for studying art at Auburn University in the mid to late 1950s – was a desire to work as a magazine illustrator. At that time, I wanted to make pictures that conveyed the essence of someone else’s story. I suppose it’s fair to say that by 1973, I started illustrating my own stories. Perhaps it’s also accurate to say I think of myself less as a painter and more as a visual story-teller.

I want my pictures and stories to provoke a viewer to engage with my creative vision and, in turn – through the process of empathy – draw their own meaning, or conclusion. I want my viewer to establish this personal “connection” with a work of mine through his or her own experiences and sensibilities. Some of my middle-school grandkids ask from time to time what certain of my pictures mean, and I always try to turn the question around. “Why don’t you study the picture for a few minutes and make up a story to go with it?” They never fail to do so! I challenge you to try this. If you’ll just trust your instincts and inclinations, I have the feeling you can establish that kind of personal connection. Remember, you don’t need any artist telling you what you are supposed to think or feel about a given picture. Trust your gut. 

Noyes Capehart will be showing a collection of recent works at the Art Cellar Gallery in Banner Elk, North Carolina from August 20 – September 7, 2019. The reception scheduled for 4-6pm on August 24 is open to the public.  


In the 1470s (or 1480s according to some courses) the Italian artist Sandro Botticelli painted his Primavera (below), likely as a wedding gift for the Medici family. The painting today is prominently displayed in the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, Italy, alongside Botticelli’s most celebrated masterpiece, The Birth of Venus.

I saw Botticelli’s Primavera for the first time in 1973, and have made a point of seeing it on each of my subsequent trips to Florence. On one such trip in 1994 – while leading a study abroad trip for Appalachian State University – I wrote a short story on the train from Florence to Lugano, Switzerland. The story was based on a dream I had while in Florence, a dream in which I was magically pulled into Botticelli’s painting and became part of the spectacle. Upon my return to the States and while completing my Primavera, I incorporated the entire draft of the story as part of the composition. Since the completion of my work in 1994, the story has been edited and re-written several times. However, no corrections or changes were ever made on the canvas once it was written in 1994.

Primavera, Noyes Capehart, Mixed Media Collage, 1994, 45” x 52”

Primavera  is currently at the Art Cellar Gallery in Banner Elk, NC. A signed and personalized copy of my literary Primavera will accompany the sale of this painting.