5×7″, oil on Ampersand Gessoboard
North South Lake is one of my favorite places to paint under adverse conditions. Big cloud formations over the lake, areas of breaking light reflecting in the water, and places one can get quick shelter from the elements, are among the reasons why I like it here so much. In this case, a pavilion overlooking North Lake provided shelter while painting this scene of storm clouds coming and going. The beach area quickly emptied, and I watched the distant mountaintop glow with light as the rain moved away and sunlight broke through the cloud cover. It was Catskill drama at its very best!
North South Lake is one of the sites along the Hudson River School Art Trail. It was frequently painted by Thomas Cole, Frederic Church, Jasper Cropsy, and other artists of the time. The Catskill Mountain House was situated just east of the lake, and became a favorite destination for vacationers from New York City, who would journey up the Hudson River by steamboat to get here and enjoy the cool mountain breezes, long vistas, and recreational activities.