Sunday, June 21, 2015

Violette's Lock

Violette's Lock
5" x 7" oil on board

I took a personal day last Wednesday, June 17th, even though it was a week before summer break because...well, because I felt like I deserved a day after SOL's, SOL remediation, and SOL retakes.  Plus,  it might have been the last chance I'll have to take the kayak out, or paint, before our baby is born.

This was an ambitious little adventure. I decided I would fish for a few hours after sunrise and then paint once the fishing slowed down. So I packed an oversized dry bag with my travel easel and painting supplies, thinking it would fit in the hold of my kayak. It didn't, so I strapped it to the back of the kayak and paddled off into the dark at Violette's Lock on the Maryland side of the Potomac River, a few miles west of Potomac, MD. Normally, the rapids around Violette's Lock are nothing to fear, but I realized as I put in that the river was up a bit.  The biggest rapid that you have to navigate at Violette's Lock is in the narrow inlet, immediately after you put in. There's a sizable drop located on a sharp bend and in the dark with the water up, it's a little scary. However, I made it through, and I caught some nice smallmouth along the broken down dam that stretches across the river next to the lock. This is an ideal fishing/paddling trip for lone paddlers because it doesn't require a shuttle.  You float down a mile and a half or so, hop over to the C&O Canal and paddle back to the starting point.

Painting was a little more difficult. As I daydreamed about my fishing/painting adventure during my off-periods leading up to my day off, everything was so much easier.  Idyllic scenes abounded, the ground was flat, and my paintings were fresh and beautiful.  As usual, reality did not match my delusions.  In fact, I dropped my painting completely under water twice!  How it arrived home not completely ruined is a miracle. And if you plan to purchase, beware that there may be some specs of Potomac River sediment embedded in the paint. Character...

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