I started two watercolour sketches today, when we took a trip up to the reservoir behind the Revelstoke Canyon Dam, one of more than a score of dams in the Kootenay region that supply BC’s electricity. It’s one of four dams that regulate the flow of the mighty Columbia, and we had noticed how at different times of the day the river’s level varies considerably, although it is always fiercely fast flowing. In contrast, behind the dam the river forms a huge lake of clear, rippling water, perfect for swimming (if a little cold). So it’s an ideal playground for young people on the BC Day public holiday.
This was Leo’s first major outing since Blanket Creek. He took great interest in the woodlands that we had to walk through to get to the beach, then slept for most of the day while his parents partied and barbecued with their friends. I couldn’t decide which view I liked best, the lake or the inlet behind me, that was swarming with tiny fish, dragonflies and water boatmen, so I did both. I painted the lake until I got too uncomfortably hot to continue, then I turned my back on the sun and worked on the pond till it was time to go home.
I ended up with two semi finished paintings. Now I have a problem: do I work on them any more, away from the scene, or are they ok as they are? It’s always difficult to know when a sketch is finished. My guess is I need to do a bit more to the water in the first sketch, but perhaps nothing at all to the second one, other than adding a smattering of stronger greens to the right hand side. Comments are welcome, please.
While I was working on the second sketch a bald eagle perched on a treetop a little way off to the right of the picture. It stayed there for about 15 minutes, quite unperturbed by all the humans. Then it slowly flapped its way across the lake.