One Magic Island is Enough

17 July, 2022 1 comments Leave a comment

Sand Lake - photo by Karen Richardson

My husband and I love to go camping spring, summer, and fall. Most of my inspiration for paintings of northern scenery and pristine lakes comes from these trips.

Earlier this summer, we camped for a week at Sand Lake near Kearney, in the Muskoka region of Ontario. While there, I got to study this magical island just off shore. It's just one wee island, but I know it will inspire a multitude of paintings.

Edgewater Park Lodge, photo by Karen Richardson

We discovered this pretty little lake in March when we stayed at Edgewater Park Lodge to do some snowmobiling, and decided we should return to see it in the summertime. You can read about our winter adventure here.

Sand Lake - photo by Karen Richardson

The Lodge had a half dozen serviced camping sites adjacent to their cabins, so we reserved a spot for a week in June and brought our travel trailer.

Sand Lake, photo by Karen Richardson

This is the view of the little island from the shoreline of Edgewater Park.

The island looks small and unassuming from this angle, but I suspected from seeing it last winter that the island might be more impressive from other viewpoints.

These Canada geese swam by as I was taking photos from the shore.

They might be just the thing a future painting could use in the foreground.

Sand Lake, photo by Karen Richardson

Luckily, we had our kayaks with us, and on the first calm day of our visit, we went for a paddle along the shore and over to the island.

I had my IPhone on board in a waterproof case so I could take pictures.

Sand Lake - photo by Karen Richardson

My husband, paddling in his kayak ahead of me, made for a good model in some of my photos, helping to show the scale of the landscape. The island looks quite wide from this angle.

Sand Lake - photo by Karen Richardson

As we circumnavigated the island, it was amazing to see how its appearance changed when viewed from different directions, and depending on whether the sun was shining or hidden by a cloud.

The lake water changed its appearance also. Sometimes it was a pale blue, sometimes a deeper blue, and other times the water was so clear we could see the sandy bottom.

Sand Lake - photo by Karen Richardson

There were quite a few different types of evergreens on the island and they made ever-changing groupings as we paddled by.

I particularly like the dynamic cloud and tree reflections in this scene. They would be challenging to paint but worth it.  I think a large scale painting would do this scene justice.

Sand Lake - photo by Karen Richardson

Here are more intriguing cloud and tree reflections. The slanting lines of the waves really catch my eye in this photo.

Sand Lake - photo by Karen Richardson

Parts of the shoreline were rock, which is one of my favourite subjects. The warm tones of the stone contrast nicely with the cooler hues of lake, sky, and trees.

Sand Lake - photo by Karen Richardson

Here are some lovely slabs of rock counterbalanced with a few interesting trees and rustic sheds. I am certain these rocky shorelines and their reflections will make their way into some northern lake paintings one day.

These are just a sampling of the many photos I took of this little island. Each of them is a seed with potential to grow into beautiful artwork one day. Nature is all around us, ready to inspire dozens of paintings. But sometimes, one magic island is enough.

Which scene is your favourite? If you have comments you wish to share, please do so using the 'Leave a Comment' button at the top of this post. 

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  1. Namaji August 05, 2022

    So enjoyed the trip to this lovely little island with all the different perspectives. It reminds me very much of the ones on Lake Temagami which we will venture on a houseboat next week. Enjoy the remainder of the summer!