I’ve been working on this painting of an alpine lake scene from the Pacific Crest Trail in the high Sierra mountains of California. This one is loosely based on the area south of Mather Pass. We encountered it on the PCT, but it is also part of the John Muir Trail.
I need to make adjustments to the composition of the foreground with the lake, but the basic colors of the painting are coming together. I’m really into starry skies right now and I plan to make a sky similar to this painting. I’ve painted alpine lakes several times and I enjoy the chance to use really intense colors.
This is where my husband and I camped just below Mather Pass, at just over 11,000 feet, our highest campsite on the trail. This was one of my favorite spots on the trail and I’ve always wanted to paint this amazing place, since the photos really don’t do it justice.
My husband and I love backpacking, and we have spent a lot of time camping in the Sierra mountains. This is a painting that I made from photos after one of our week long trips. We camped one night in the Big Five Lakes region of Sequoia National Park:
Still, 24″x 30″ acrylic on canvas, copyright © Kathryn Beals
I took some artistic license with this painting composition, since we didn’t actually camp on this rock (we follow Leave No Trace principles and don’t set up our camp too close to water) but I wanted to have the tent reflected in the lake. Instead, we ate breakfast here to watch the sun rise, and I knew I wanted to paint this scene when we got home. Here we are in our dorky camping clothes standing where the tent is in the painting; you can see the same peak in the distance.
This is one of the new paintings in my night sky series:
Beyond, 24″x 30″ acrylic on canvas, copyright © 2014 Kathryn Beals
I like to have a personal symbol in my landscapes to lend an emotional connection to the scene. This time instead of a tent, I painted a rowboat. This is a lake in British Columbia that I used to visit with my family. One night when we were camping, I went out in the rowboat with my brother at midnight and watched the stars. It actually looked very much like this, and in moments when I need calm, I like to imagine this place.