Tuesday, July 5, 2011

On the Rocks

On the Rocks, originally uploaded by Mark Nesmith.
One of the things I love the most about traveling in Texas is the wonderful variety of landscapes. Where else can you go from beaches to pine forests to rolling hills and desert canyons without crossing state lines?  Often a single location offers a multitude of landforms. In the last year I've painted lots of pictures of Lake Mineral Wells. Most have focused on the wooded shores with their rhythmic grasses growing out of the water, but there's much more to see at this state park. One side of the lake is a rock climbers dream. There are caves and cliffs to explore that are an easy to moderate climb. My kids have a wonderful time acting like mountain explorers, and for the skilled climbers there are even permanent anchor spots for ropes at the top of the scenic outlook for repelling. There are many hiking trails that explore this side of the lake, and the shoreline of Lake Mineral Wells is dotted with these wonderful boulder outcrops that make perfect resting places when you're tired or just want to relax and contemplate the view. The inspiration for this painting was an early morning hike when the lake was calm and the sky was just starting to take on a soft glow. At one time I was very into square paintings, and every once in awhile I still enjoy returning to this format. This painting measures 12" x 12" and is an oil painting on canvas. If nothing else, I hope my artwork inspires you to look to the wonderful beauty of Texas and consider exploring some of our state parks for your next vacation.

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