Watercolors by Mary Elizabeth Helvey Mitchell

Following is a partial listing of watercolors by artist Mary Elizabeth Helvey Mitchell.


Jonathan, 1990, watercolor on paper, 10" x 13".

Mary's portrait of her twenty-two-month-old grandson Jonathan Mitchell was done from photographs.

Collection: M2. Photographed by: K1.


David, 1985, watercolor on paper, 8" x 10".

This portrait of Mary's two-year-old grandson David Mitchell was painted using photographs for reference.

Collection: M2. Photographed by: K1.


Sarah, 1986, watercolor on paper, 11" x 14".

Mary painted this image of her granddaughter Sarah Mitchell when Sarah was seven years old. The painting was done from brief sketches and notes, and the use of several photographs.

Collection: M2. Photographed by: K1.

Kate Shomaker

Kate Shomaker, July 5, 1963, watercolor on paper, 14" x 20".

“Aunt Kate” (Kate Gent Shomaker) is shown doing needlework as she sits in an heirloom Shomaker family rocking chair, at her home in Hansonville, Russell County, Virginia. Mrs. Shomaker was the mother of Dorothy Shomaker Helvey, wife of Mary Helvey Mitchell's brother Paul.

Collection: H1. Photographed by: K1.

Winter's Retreat

Winter's Retreat – Bent Mountain, 1960, watercolor and casein on paper, 30" x 24".

Bent Mountain, near Roanoke, Virginia, is shown in this painting of a sunny afternoon and melting snow. This painting was completed in the artist's studio at Spring Garden, Virginia, from sketches done in the Bent Mountain area, about sixty miles to the northwest. Bent Mountain was a short distance south of the Starkey, Virginia home of Mary's first cousin Paul Hash and his wife Flossie, whom Mary and her family frequently visited. Around 1960, Mary participated in art shows sponsored by the Heironimus Department Store in Roanoke; this painting was likely displayed in one of those shows.

This composition shows Bent Mountain from the north. On the far (south) side of the mountain is Adney's Gap, the apparent point of first penetration of English-speaking explorers beyond Virginia's Blue Ridge (Thomas Batts and Robert Fallam in 1671 — see the seventh paragraph of “Pittsylvania to California: A Short Walk?”).

Collection: K1. Photographed by: K1.

Play Ball!

Play Ball!, 1958, watercolor on paper, 14" x 18".

This painting depicts the baseball field at Spring Garden High School, a quarter mile south of Mary's home. The game illustrated is a composite of several church little league games played that summer by teams from Spring Garden Presbyterian Church, Chestnut Level Baptist Church, Shockoe Baptist Church, and Oakland Methodist Church. Beyond third base can be seen the cottage of the Bill Cox family.

Every figure in the painting represents a specific individual. Among them are:

Spring Garden Presbyterian Church's players, with position played (if known) in this composite illustration, were:

Collection: W3. Photographed by: K1.


Tom, 1945, watercolor on paper, 11" x 14".

This watercolor was done on July 27, 1945. Mary's brother Tom served in the U. S. Marine Corps in the Pacific during World War II. This image was captured while Tom was on leave at home shortly before the Japanese surrender.

Collection: P1. Photographed by: K1.

Poached Eggs

Poached Eggs, ca. 1925, watercolor on rough paper, " x ".

This image was painted while Mary was a student at Martha Washington College. It was copied from a magazine or calender illustration which had been cut out and hung in the neighboring Baugess family's kitchen at Emory, Virginia. The subject is a young boy with a hat full of eggs.

Collection: P1. Photographed by: K1.

Collections represented:

Photographed by:

This webpage is sponsored by Mitchells Publications and the Sims-Mitchell House B&B (home of the M2 collection listed above), Chatham, Virginia.