Hiking-one of my constant inspirations!

Hiking has always been a big part of my life!.

As a child I often was in the woods with my dad or my uncle and in my teens and 20's my friends and I continued that trend. We have lots of photos of happy, sweaty people enjoying their time together in the outdoors. When I met my wife Laurie, I introduced her to hiking and we spent many a day doing some of the hikes in the book "50 hikes in Connecticut".

After we got married and had kids we continued hiking while our two boys were small and even carried them in backpacks for a bit. As life got busier, we hiked less but still tried to be out in nature when we traveled. Today in retirement, we live in the northwest part of Connecticut where we have unlimited spots to hike very close to home and we try to be out several times a week doing 3-4 mile hikes.

Our favorite spots to walk are along rivers and other bodies of water and along the way we take many photos which I use as references for paintings. In addition, I belong to many social media groups where hikers post their photos and I've used a number of them as references (with permission of course!) The painting above I call "I'd follow her anywhere". It's based on a photo of my wife Laurie I took at Burr Pond State Park in Torrington, CT and that's my usual view as Laurie typically walks faster than me! I think I'm going to do a series with this theme.

Here's another one I recently did of a spot in Alaska based on a photo taken by Joe Bellavance who guides hikes there (he used to live in my hometown!)

And sometimes we just take goofy shots! Yesterday we hiked at the Thomaston Dam recreation area (it's 5 minutes from our house) and I couldn't resist standing in front of these GIANT weeds for a photo!

And one of the things we try and do as much as we can is to get our grandkids out in nature and hiking along! It's great to foster an appreciation of trees and pinecones and snakes and.....well you know!

Here's my grandson Aiden who wanted me to snap a picture of him in front of a "really big tree"

Are you a hiker? Do you have a favorite scene you might think would be a great painting? Send it along!

In the meantime, get out there and enjoy the beauty that is all around us!

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PS I've created an album on the website featuring paintings of hikes. Enjoy!