This summer I re-discovered my joy of being out in nature at my local (Seneca Creek) State Park. It’s only 15 minutes away, with a myriad of trails in and around a small […]
This summer I re-discovered my joy of being out in nature at my local (Seneca Creek) State Park. It’s only 15 minutes away, with a myriad of trails in and around a small lake, plus a boating launch, playground and many picnic areas. Some families come spend the whole day there: around here many of our State Parks can be closed by mid-morning because they fill up to capacity so fast!
Most of the time at Seneca Park, I walk or run the ~5 mile trail that circles the small lake.
Sometimes I put my phone away completely and just wallow in the wonder of nature, enjoying being completely disconnected from the rest of the world.
Other times, I am snapping photos of various scenes that inspire or excite me: everything from skies to snakes is fair game!
On one such visit, my attention was caught by all the different the paths meandering thru the park, as well as the people traveling them, all of which became the raw material for this series of paintings.
When inspired, I often just jump right into painting and figure it out as I go along. But this time I put together the entire concept of this series by preparing everything before even picking up a single paintbrush! This included carefully choosing all my reference photos, determining my canvas sizes (all 8×10), prepping the canvases, and even writing down a few thoughts about each, and even identifying painting names. This all came to me rather quickly, almost like downloading.
I may continue to use this preparation process in the future: it provided me with a clear vision and purpose for the whole series and each individual piece. Very nice to have a coherent roadmap to follow!
So what’s this Seneca Park “Path” series of paintings all about?
These pieces are an artistic expression of common human experiences:
*We are traveling our own path in life, as well as paths that we may travel with others.
*Some paths are sunny and well-lit, others are stormy or in shadow.
*Every path has it’s ups and downs, it’s twists and turns.
*Sometimes we travel the same path both coming and going, other paths we only journey in one direction.
*We all have our favorite paths that we return to again and again, and those paths we’re okay with only traveling once.
In addition, each of the individual pieces includes more specific, personal experiences:
Details the possible drama that may unfold from the skies (will it rain or will we have sun?) as we travel our path, and the excitement of embarking on the adventure even though it looks stormy outside.
Depicts a young black fisherman on his way to the next fishing spot; it’s less common to meet brown and black people out in nature, so this scene seemed to me to be someone walking his own path in a way that felt right to him, regardless of statistics or stereotypes.
Is about that satisfactory sense of returning upon the path one trod that morning at the end of the day’s adventure, soon be wrapped in the comforts of home. The two figures in the middle ground are returning home after spending a long, full day outside together.
Represents the light, bright possibility of striking out on a new adventure, where anything could happen. There is a sense of excitement about where the path may lead (left or right? into the water or staying on land?) and what we may encounter along the way: just the variety of tree types we see here is already stimulating!
Portrays two fishermen heading off the path to their favorite spot. We all have times where the existing and clearly beaten paths may not be where we seek to go, so we must make our own way.
What are your thoughts:
*Which painting do you like most? And why?
*What’s your own favorite local nature place?
Let me know in a blog comment below, or shoot me
an email directly!
Good news for you: all the paintings in this series are currently available for purchase in my online gallery!
Speaking of exclusive: What would YOU like to see me paint next?
Connect with me today to share your idea: we’ll chat about your concept and I’ll create something fresh and new just for you!