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As mentioned on Facebook and Instagram, this past summer and fall, I had the opportunity to enjoy 2 painting retreats on a lake in the Wisconsin Northwoods. I spent the time sketching and painting, inspired by the surface of the lake. Clusters and congregations of little oval lily pads turned color over the seasons – bright chartreuse and deep green evolving to a dull burgundy, with a few random yellow or gold-ish leaves.

 

Among the lily pads were reflections: sky and clouds, overhanging bows of pine trees, shoreline birch trees, ripples and waves, and glints of reflected sunshine. With so much glorious visual material, I was alternately in heaven or overwhelmed! The following are examples of the pencil and oil crayon sketches, as well as a quick painted sketch, from the dock:


 
 
 
 


During my second week, I experienced the joys of rainy days on the lake. Standing under the cover of the deck, I watched curtains of rain blow across the lake. This view from the deck was an iconic Northwoods view, getting a glimpse of a lake through an opening between stately pine trees. In addition to many sketches, this particular view has inspired several other painted and oil crayon sketches, Including these:

 

 
 
 
 
 

Sketches like the ones above function as studies for larger oil paintings like these:





The Northwoods experience would not be complete without its birch trees, growing on the edges of roads and lakes or within gaps of sunlight among the pine and oak. As I took walks along an old converted trestle, I made note of the striking beauty presented by the contrast between the elegant white bark of the birch trees and the dark browns and deep greens of the pine trees. This painting is one of the results inspired by those walks:

 

 

Check out more paintings completed recently here.

 

IT HAS BEEN SAID THAT ART IS A TRYST. FOR IN THE JOY OF IT, MAKER AND BEHOLDER MEET. 

– KOJIRO TOMITA


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