Because this weekend’s weather was so gloriously hot (finally), I had the chance to enjoy the outdoors at Lake Spangenberg in Jefferson Township, Pennsylvania. The days cool off more quickly near the water, so just relaxing outside was a pleasant break from the heat. I honestly was not thinking much in terms of what I could do to turn this into a trip for my “creative enrichment,” but the location is so picturesque it is hard not to find a little inspiration without even trying.
While standing on the dock looking out over the lake, I started paying attention to the huge variety of textures of just about every surface I could see. The combination of the slow lapping movement of the water and the sunlight created the most beautiful ripples on the surface, that I wanted to solidify and handle as if they were sheets of glass. Peering closer at the edge of the water, I was mesmerized by the same undulating texture echoed in the lake bed as the sand and silt settled into place. Without realizing, I was completely wrapped up in contemplating how to recreate those fluid movements in a solid form. Sometimes ideas enter your mind like this and you eventually forget the source; I took a quick picture then later made a rough sketch just to remind myself of exactly what shapes I found interesting.
Even though it seems like a natural reaction, I am always surprised at how easily I slip into “artist mode.” One second I’m observing, the next second I’m relating that information to pieces I’ve made or pieces I want to make. I don’t even realize how many everyday, obscure details are incorporated into every form I create, and there’s absolutely no way to trace back each single movement or texture back to its origin point. Pictures help, but nothing compares to first-hand experience and then feeling the exact same way when you recreate that experience, whether it is through the colors on a canvas or the smoothness of a cast object. Even as I look at the picture of the water now, the memory of the motion is getting a little hazy. Guess that means I’ll have to make another trip.
Featured Image: by Jill Sibio, 2018