Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Exploring--Croatia's Plitvice Lakes National Park, Part III and a Painting

This is my third and final post recalling our awe-inspiring day hike in Plitvice Lakes National Park in Croatia about a year ago. The photo on the right is one of my favorite views of one of the lakes. The breathtaking color is absolutely true to life; other than cropping, I never adjust the photos I show you or tinker with their colors. The actual tones and shades of the water in the park vary, but this clear aqua color is common there due to minerals dissolved from the limestone prevalent in the surrounding mountains and this beautiful valley. You can read further details about Croatia's magical national park in the previous two posts.
The painting at the top is a small (5" X 7") study created by simplifying the foreground in one photo (leaving out some tree trunks and the rushing water) and adapting a distant waterfall from another. Given the countless, varied waterfalls and rich virgin forest throughout the park, we saw other scenes like that portrayed in the painting, so my adjustments were not unrealistic. Mixing a color that worked for the water in the lake was difficult because I did not want a garish, swimming pool hue and yet wanted to be true to the startling reality. It seemed to work best to go greener because an exact duplication of the water color in the photo looked unreal when viewing the painting on its own.
For some reason, I have been slow to paint a larger landscape using this little study. I think that perhaps working on the study was enough for the sake of my memories. Beyond that, once we returned from that wonderful trip, North Florida's unique beauty recaptured my creative spirit with gratitude and joy for Home.
Question of the day: Isn't it a joy when travel stretches us and deepens our appreciation for other places and yet renews our love for our own nation and home?


  1. You did a beautiful job Mary!! The work you did on the water is terrific!

  2. What a gorgeous place. I love to travel but have had no experience in Eastern Europe. That has to change. :)

  3. your paintings are full of life! awe-inspiring!

  4. An unequivocal "yes!!" to your question, Mary. These photos and your painting are just so very beautiful! I love the gnarliness to your tree trunk on the left side, and that little twiggy evergreeny bush right by the water is lovely! Just such a great job that I am awed!

  5. Thank you for your encouragement, Manon; it means a lot coming from a fine painter.

    It's great to hear from you, troutbirder! I had long dreamed of (and saved for!) this trip, and it was even more than I had hoped for.

    Cher, what a lovely comment--you have made my day!

    Autumn, I so much appreciate your enthusiasm for life and as reflected in your comments! It is delightful to hear your thoughts about some of the details in the painting.

  6. Hi Mary, I loved seeing your Croatia pictures. Wow--what a gorgeous place. My hubby and I 'collect' waterfalls --and have seen over 350 different ones since 2001. SO--you can imagine how much I enjoyed seeing your waterfalls at Croatia. WOW!!!!


  7. Betsy, you and your husband have the best collection idea ever! Thank you for your visit and comment--Croatia has an amazing variety of natural beauty in a relatively small nation.