We have returned from our yearly vacation at our favorite lake. It was, as usual, a wonderful and relaxing time. I know I have shared photographs from this site before, but there is something special about this place that, despite our best intentions not to repeat taking pictures of the same sights, we continue to snap away. Bear with me as I share with you the beauty that keeps us going back every year to refresh and revel in these sublime surroundings.
These are from our first morning when the lake was still calm (if you click on the photo, you can see a larger view and scroll through all photos posted today):
This is a closer look at one of the mountains at the lake. As you can tell, it was taken at the same time in the morning - note the clouds . . .
Later the light shows the details on the mountains, and the wind has raised waves on the surface of the water.
As with the first set of two, this closer look is taken at the same time. I take this kind of series so I have both a wide view giving an overall impression while the close-up gives details that can be included in a painting. Look especially at the cliff face and the water. Understanding what causes the impressions in the first shot by looking at the second helps me make sense of what is indistinct in the first.
Still a closer look at the cliff. Here I can see the shadows as well as the specifics of the rock and overgrowing greenery. And those clouds! Oh my. As I continue to share these scenes, you may want to keep an eye on the clouds - which are quite tricky to paint by themselves. What makes them even more tricky, I think, is that they appear to be going on the diagonal - from lower right to upper left. It's the way the wind blows, I suppose, but in a painting, would it make sense to the viewer?
See in this next picture what I mean about the path the clouds take?
Then just for fun, here is an evening picture of a family of mergansers swimming close enough to the camp where we stay that you can see not only the buoy in the background but also the railing of the deck from which I took this picture. And of course, the lovely violet reflection on the water and the chevron shapes made in the water as the ducks pass. Challenging to paint, don't you think?
At the moment, none of these are calling to me as a painting I need to do, but one never knows. Even though I have hundreds of these views, taken year after year, I never know when a particular one may turn out to be the one that inspires me.