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My Sort-of Abstract

November at the Dam

Here in West Virginia, a state full of mountains and rivers, there are no natural lakes. To help with flood control, the Army Corp of Engineers has dammed some of the rivers which has resulted in lakes that are enjoyed for summer recreation. We had the privilege of living in Summersville which is home to the largest lake in our state. In the summer months, we’ve enjoyed countless hours of kayaking the shoreline and boating with our friends. In the fall, the water is lowered and we’ve enjoyed many interesting winter hikes discovering foundations of the former towns that are now on the lake bottom. Every ten years, the Corp takes the lake lower than the usual winter low so they can go into the ducts for inspection and maintenance.

Here you can see the same places in the summer and with the low level that winter.

The top two photos are of the same bridge. In the lower right, look closely and you'll notice that I climbed up there to hold up the rock.

A few years ago was one of those times and we had to go exploring on the first nice winter weekend that came along so we wouldn’t miss seeing this rare stage of our lake. It was amazing! It was too muddy to go too close to the water but we were able to get some good pictures.

TL - The main channel, TR - Ray and me, BL - Ray under the old road that is normally far under water, BR - Ray walking along the lake bottom near the marina - I loved this water-washed stump.

The platform that was being used for working and the pump was below us here.

After being down in the depths, we took a drive around to the edge of the dam and walked along the edge to view the pump. When I looked across the dam from that point, I was taken by the boldness of the shapes and contrasting colors of the blue sky, the blue reflected in the water, the orange earth, the dark shadows, and how they all intersected creating a striking design. I have noticed many times that designs in nature, when viewed close-up, can look like abstract art, but this design looked like abstract art from a distance. I decided that the design would be interesting to paint as it was – quite simple – almost like an abstract.

The actual photo that I took that day and used as reference for the painting pictured at the top of this post.

I call my painting November at the Dam and it is the image for February on my 2019 Calendar.


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