Appalachian Trail Series Painting #3: Fontana Dam Overlook (plein air & studio)

"Fontana Lake Overlook" 16 x 20" Acrylic
“Fontana Lake Overlook” 16 x 20″ Acrylic

This is just up the road from painting #2 at Fontana Lake near the Dam.  We took another “zero (hiking) day” to rest up and run into town (Thanks Tiffany!) to eat at Bojangles and drink more chocolate milk, the essentials. You can read the daily journal on the trail here.  While we waited for the ride into town, I had a chance to do another color sketch at the lake, this time from an overlook.

Color sketch done at Fontana Lake
Color sketch done at Fontana Lake

I only had an ultramarine blue (red-blue) in my kit, but what captured me in the scene was the serene feel looking out over the cerulean blue waters with the blue haze of the distant mountains. It felt good to finally paint the colors I saw.  As I painted looking at the scene, Berg and I saw a boat was heading toward the dam behind the closest hill.  It added a perspective of just how small we are compared to the Smokey Mountains.  Our entire life is just a blink of the eye compared to them, yet somehow we are intimately connected to it.  That’s incredibly comforting. It was our home for the next week.

Here’s a note attach to every post of the Appalachian Trail Painting Series:

The Appalachian Trial Painting Series:

I recently went on a trip to the Appalachian Trail section hiking from the Georgia/North Carolina border up to Hot Springs, NC and shared the adventure in my other blog: The Appalachian Trail, In the Footsteps of an Artist.  I wanted to share what it’s like to be on the trail for 200+ miles, many times with out any contact, deep in nature.   Each day, I jotted down notes in the spare moments and even on the trail as it happened. You’ll read about thoughts (often discoveries), pain, joy, solitude and companionship. You’ll see short video clips, pictures, color sketches and read about all the unexpected events.  Out there, life happens to you so much it’s enough just to adapt and hang on. Mostly, words captured the moments of the day, but in those moment when there are no words, I sought to capture those with painting.  So, please enjoy the adventure of the Appalachian Trail blog first and you’ll feel a much richer sense of the joy behind the moment these painting are about.  Thanks!


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