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Dawn By The Lake

Recently, I participated in an arts and crafts show in an area north of Toronto called Muskoka, and for that show I painted this Mini of a lakeside chair at dawn. This region has dozens of lakes, campgrounds, cottages and resorts and is affectionately also called Cottage Country. We’ve rented cottages and visited resorts in this area for years, and I selected this photo to paint because it captures one of my favourite things to do when here.

Getting up before everyone else and sitting on the dock, often with cup of coffee in hand, as the sun rises and the mist burns off the lake in pastel oranges and pinks is a transcendent activity. The sounds of waking birds, maybe the odd motor from a boat off to go fishing, and chipmunks scrambling around collecting their breakfast. This is a form of meditation!

And sitting in this particular chair (depending where you are it’s called a Muskoka, Adirondack or Laurentian chair) helps with the meditative state – your back and seat are in a semi-reclined position, and your head can rest on the chair’s iconic fan. This posture and the peacefulness invites me to often close my eyes, almost like a post-sleep transition to wakefulness. This chair is key to the experience! I remember as a child wanting to sit in this chair, but adults or bigger kids usually shoo’ed me out of it, and no wonder – it has a kind of bodily magic!

Eventually though, someone else wakes up, flushes a toilet or yells from the cottage “Good Morning”, and the magical spell is broken – the lively part of the day has begun. But happily, there’s always another dawn on the lake tomorrow!

#84 – Dawn By The Lake – sold

In studio, 2.5″ x 3.5″ ink and watercolour

(Original sold but others are available at my Etsy Shop, ArtWeWonderful)

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