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Adventures,  Painting Series

Let’s Get This Party Started

Summer Mosaic 2018 is now fully under way.  This week included visits to three different waterfall areas and the first four paintings!

If  you were along for the ride for the recap of 2017’s project you know what this means, but if you weren’t you’re probably asking yourself what I’m talking about.  Last year was the first year of Summer Mosaic by 171 Cedar Arts Center. The project was to create 50 pieces of artwork using 6″x6″ wooden panels in a 45 day time period.  Last year’s theme was Around the Finger Lakes.  I used acrylic paint to transform each wood tile into different scenes from the local area (you can catch up here!).  This year’s theme is NY Waterfalls (I’m still working on a more fun title) and we also get a little bit more time – for me it’s 60 days.

This is a quick snapshot of the waterfalls that I saw.  I explored the Montour Falls/Watkins Glen area this time.  I didn’t go to Watkins Glen State Park yet though.  I’ve been putting it off until the construction on the new visitor center is done – which I heard may have happened this week!

I also wanted to pass on a tip that I noticed while I was planning out trips.  Some of the parks charge for parking, BUT there are times when they don’t charge for parking or the fee is reduced.  So, I figured if you’re like me and like to save a little money at times (or just avoid people packed days) I’d share my knowledge!  Now it definitely depends on the park so you’ll want to look it up on the NY Parks website beforehand, but weekdays before mid-June may be the best times to save a little money on parking.  Weekends and holidays definitely seem to be the most expensive times.

Another option if you foresee a lot of fun trips coming up, is the Empire Pass.  Many of the parks accept the Empire Pass for the parks, forests, trails, and beaches run by NYS.  It’s like $80 and lets you have fun all season.  Here’s a link for more information about that.

Anyways, I’m hoping that the weather will be good tomorrow to see a few waterfalls (even if it is a holiday).  The weather says it might rain, but maybe that could make for some interesting shots (and later paintings).

Photo of Eagle Cliff Falls in Havana Glen in Montour Falls by Laura Jaen Smith

Eagle Cliff Falls in Montour Falls, NY

Photo of Deckertown Falls in Montour Falls NY by Laura Jaen Smith

Deckertown Falls in Montour Falls, NY

Photo of Twin Falls Watkins Glen State Park by Laura Jaen Smith

Twin Falls in Watkins Glen, NY

Here are the first four painting for the project!  They all posed their own fun challenges.

Letchworth Middle Falls was the first painting, which also meant that it was the most difficult one to get started.  The fear of the empty canvas and knowing what was ahead.


Ludlowville Falls was the second painting.  I learned how to portray rocks in the creek!  This is definitely something that I will need to repeat a lot during this project.


Shequaga Falls was the third painting I painted.  I decided to do this one based on a photo that I took a few years ago when the falls was completely frozen over.  It was a challenge to portray snow and ice, and make the falls look white without actually using white.


Lower Taughannock Falls was the fourth painting.  For this one I got to play with pinks and blues to make the scene appear like the evening sunset.

I started a fifth last night, but I decided to take today to work on something different so it’s not quite finished yet.

Speaking on working on different things, it was a pretty productive week looking back!  I decided to start a YouTube channel to post some of my waterfall videos that I’ve been taking.  I might add some other things eventually also at some point.  You can find me and check out the first few waterfalls posted here!  I also spent some time refreshing my RedBubble account where I have prints and merchandise available.  I’ll be slowly adding some new artwork to choose from there – let me know if you have anything you’d like to see.  You can browse the fun goodies available here.   I also dropped off a painting at The ARTS Council of the Southern Finger Lakes in Corning for their member show currently going on until July 13th!  If you’d like to see Shequaga Falls (the summer one) in person this will be where it will be for the next month plus!

I hope you’re having a great weekend!  Are you doing anything fun for the long weekend?



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