'Boulder Creek' Whiskeytown Lake Northern California 2015.🌿
I remember creating this piece during my first week in California after leaping across the country to an unknown place. We were excited and hadn’t even settled in yet before running off into the woods at every chance. We heard about Whiskeytown Lake almost immediately, so on our first weekend, we made the drive up to explore. Little did we know, Whiskeytown would end up being a place we would frequent in the upcoming years. Somewhere between winter bonfires near Crystal Creek and hot summer days filled with floats, beers and rope swings, Whiskeytown became a dear place to us. It was nearby and a way to get a hike in, connect with nature and cool down on those 120 degree days.🌻
A couple of years later, I applied for an Artist Residency at Whiskeytown Lake and was granted a month's time in a historic house on the preserved land. Each day, I would wake up and see where Mother Nature wanted me to paint, according to the weather. It was February 2017, the wet season, and many of the trails and roads were shut down. I created about 20 paintings on that journey and the focused time shaped me.🌱🌞
No matter the weather, there is plenty to see at this unique lake which use to be the site of Shasta County’s first gold mining settlements. Some of the historic buildings were moved to higher ground, but many remain below the lake today.👀
Several creeks make their way to the basin where in 1960, construction of the Whiskeytown Dam began. Today it is a popular lake and recreation area filled with history. I would love to scuba dive the lake one day and see the old town underneath.🧜🏼♀️
In 2018, the Carr Fire started at Whiskeytown and devastated the surrounding areas taking 1,604 buildings and 8 lives. It is still barren where the fire burnt, but people have moved back on to their properties or have rebuilt elsewhere. Whiskeytown is scared with burn, but is still so beautiful and will always remain a special and interesting piece of Shasta County history.
This piece was the start of painting nature’s scenes in California for me. One of my best friends collected this piece in Michigan, and it is not available for prints at the moment. However, if requested I could make a reproduction for you, or paint something similar.🤩