Summer had just begun. It was one of those rare days where no one needed me and I was able to escape. Days like those are few, so I savor every moment. I packed my backpack with a sketchbook, chalk pastels, some pencils and an eraser and was on my way.
Where to? Not far. Just down the road from my house is a river flowing into a dam, which I secretly wish was my very own waterfall. Some state trails meander through the state park forests surrounding it, allowing horseback riders and hikers alike to enjoy this natural wonder in harmony. I walk right down one of those trails and immediately my senses are bombarded...
So many shades of green surrounded me. Light cascaded through the canopy and overwhelmed me with a sense of peace and calm. I went through a short trail to the top of the dam- right before it falls below. There it was. The house that took my breathe away.
I sat on a smooth stone and began to sketch. Chalk spread out around me, I quickly captured the colors, starting with the shapes of the green surrounding the house, the house itself blocked in with a bright yellow green. Then moved into the water, that reflection is what struck me the most. It's beauty held still with the most interesting yellow green streaks of color drawing my eye to the home. I caught as much as I could on paper and photographed reference pictures to bring it all home to the easel.
Below are close up images, showing how the texture and colors mingled in the finished work. I hoped to capture the same energy as my sketch, to illustrate the emotional and spiritual feelings I had when I came up to the house in the nature walk. However, I wanted some of the details of the water, the canopy of green, to be captured as accurately as possible without loosing that sense of wonder I felt.
Reflections of a Home, by Lori Vilagos. Acrylic on stretched canvas. 24"x 30" July 2018.