Here it is, the last day of June already. Summer goes way to fast for my liking because there never seems to be enough time for summer activities like boating, swimming, and camping. This year, as I am in the midst of cancer treatment, I have less opportunity to do those things but I can think back on many fond memories. I so love the outdoors, and being out in nature inspires many of my paintings. Since I have to be less active during this time and am creating fewer new paintings, I thought I'd share stories of some of my paintings while I'm resting. My painting, Beside Still Waters, was inspired during a camping trip my husband Ray and I took in June five years ago.
We had searched through our book about the best tent camping spots in West Virginia and spent that summer checking out many of them. One of our favorites was Audra State Park because of the awesome site along the river that we enjoyed. The park is set up on a first-come-first-serve type of system. The evening we arrived, there were no campsites on the river available so we set up on a nice wooded site and were happy with that.... until early the next morning, as I was walking back from the bathroom and noticed that the people in the best spot on the river were packing up. I rushed back to tell Ray and as soon as they pulled out, we literally picked up our tent without taking it down and walked it across the road to place it in the prime campsite. This picture shows our amazing campsite - this complete view is one site on the river.
While we enjoyed hiking the beautiful trails and swimming in a private swimming hole further down the river during our stay, one of our favorite times on this trip, was sipping our morning coffee out on the rocks at the edge of the peaceful river.
Here is Ray, coffee in hand, and the beautiful morning reflections in the water.
And, of course, me in the morning - loving my coffee and nature with my best friend.
While enjoying the quietness and the setting, my mind could not keep from studying the whole image that my eyes were taking in - the reflections on the water, the light hitting the water, the rocks visible under the water - how to capture that in a painting?
The view looking downstream was captivating, the green of the trees reflected, the angles of their trunks and branches, the rocks beneath the surface, the peacefulness of it all.
However, I thought that the scene I saw upstream might be a more interesting subject for a painting with the variation in the lights and shadows and with the little boy fishing from the distant rock.
I enjoyed painting the scene which took me back to a lovely place. I hope that you will sense the peacefulness as you view my painting and that maybe it will spark a good memory in your mind or inspire you to take a few moments to enjoy a quiet spot in nature.
Enjoy the rest of summer! Don't let it speed by without enjoying time with family, God, and nature.