Lake Utica

Sharpee pen and watercolor in Arches Travel Book

Just back from a three day paddle/sketch/camping weekend in the Sierras.  I hesitate to say where we were because it’s one of those spots that you don’t want too many people to know about. . .it’s in heaven’s back yard.  I mean, when I close my eyes now I still see that shimmering water that was constantly changing colors with the dramatic changes in weather.  We paddled out to a granite peninsula with all our gear, set up our tents, jumped into the water, then lay ourselves out like herring to dry (like in Norway!)  And I couldn’t think of a single thing calling to me to be done.  Now that’s what I call heaven.

Next day, after lots more sitting in delicious being-ness, this little sketch was accomplished with very little ambition to become more than a mere whisper of reminder of that solid rock presence, reassuring in its apparent stability.  That rock presence was there in the desire to just sit and stare.

On Saturday it grew quite cold and blustery and threatened to rain.  Isabelle and I discovered that we could play recorder duets and clipped her music to a pine branch, playing madly until a new gust came along and whipped the music up, stopping our concert cold.  The lake water was actually so warm in comparison to the air that Bettina and I ventured in quite briefly and emerged totally invigorated.  Some of us huddled around our sketchbooks, painting with frozen fingers, and in the evening the sky cleared and we sat around a roaring camp fire, under a dense blanket of stars, not caring that the temperature was approaching freezing.



  1. Oh, I can just FEEL the wind juxtaposed the warmer water! I am ever jealous but know I would never withstand the extreme weather. I so happy for you that you can!


  2. Hey Sue, Love these pages so. If you have the time would you have some information on how you lay out your pages. This is one of the hard things for me what size book ect.
    Its a lovlt fall like day here wind and a tad of chill.
    Hope your days well for you,


    1. THanks Linda. As for how I lay out my pages, I usually just start sketching whatever intrigues me the most and work my way out to the edge of the page, adding whatever else interests me! The Arches Travel Book is 6 X 10″ CP watercolor paper.


  3. Susan, I especially like the wind-blown sky and curving tree, with the journal on the page. In the top sketch, the stratified rocks, trees and water become quite poetic. You’ve captured the spirit of the day! Take care, Beth.


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