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Summer Travel Journal

Updated on August 23, 2017
Lake Eaton, NY at Sunset
Lake Eaton, NY at Sunset | Source

Places to Travel for Photographers and Artists

As an artist and photographer I never go anyplace without my camera. My summer travel journal helps keep my reference photos organized for future paintings.

I took this photo at Lake Eaton Campgrounds just north of Long Lake. It is a NYS DEC campground with waterfront tent and trailer sites. It offers canoeing, row boating and kayaking. There are no motor boats allowed.

Lake Eaton is on Route 30 south of Tupper Lake in the Adirondacks.

For more information go to

There are many great places to travel across the United States that are off the beaten path that convert into beautiful paintings. I would like to share some of my favorite photographs with you which have later translated into a painting or are on my to-do list.

All photos and paintings are my work. I only ask that you respect my copyright on all of these.

Higley Flow, Colton, NY
Higley Flow, Colton, NY | Source

Northern Adirondacks of New York

The northern Adirondacks of New York offer some beautiful scenery for the avid artist and photographer.

Here is peaceful lake front on Higley Flow just off State Highway 56 in Colton, New York. Higley Flow State Park is about 2 miles south of where this was taken and offers great camping facilities. You can get more information about Higley Flow State Park here.

Higley Flow, Colton, NY
Higley Flow, Colton, NY | Source

My painting from the reference photo was done in acrylics on a 15 x 30 inch stretched canvas.

The Raquette River, which Higley Flow is a part of, starts at Raquette Lake in the central Adirondacks and flows north through Tupper Lake, Colton and into the St. Lawrence River at Massena, New York..

Stone Mountain Trail, Colton, NY
Stone Mountain Trail, Colton, NY | Source

If you are into trail hiking, there is a wonderful one called the Stone Valley Trail that goes along either side of the Raquette River in the Hamlet of Colton.

As usual, I couldn't resist painting the trail one early summer day.

Each trail is about 3 miles one way.

The trail on the east side, which is the one I painted, is more rugged than the one on the west side. Either way they are very picturesque and well worth the time to see.

Both of these paintings are available on Fine Art America.

Stone Valley Trail, Colton, NY

Stone Valley Trail, Colton, NY:
102 Riverside Drive, Colton, NY 13625, USA

get directions

Kayaking on the Raquette River
Kayaking on the Raquette River | Source

Kayaks on the Raquette River

If you look toward the river when hiking the trail, you may see Kayakers running the rapids of the Raquette River. There are multiple runs scheduled during the summer months including an international competition.

You can find out more about scheduled events at the Town of Colton website.

Composite of three photos
Composite of three photos | Source

Fishing in the Adirondacks

The fun of the northern Adirondacks is that you can explore many back roads and come across interesting settings just waiting to be painted.

Here I came across a young boy fishing in a creek that runs into the Raquette River. I took three different photos and pieced them together to get the composition I wanted for a painting.

Fishing in the Adirondacks
Fishing in the Adirondacks | Source

With traveling, you can't always plan the time of year when you come across something that catches your eye, so having the freedom to alter photographs really helps.

It also helps to always take several pictures of the same scene but at different angle. You never know when you start to think about the composition of the painting what will work.

I actually flipped the photo of the boy horizontally so he would be on the opposite bank.

South Carolina Botanical Gardens

SC Botanical Gardens, Clemson, SC:
South Carolina Botanical Gardens, 150 Discovery Lane, Clemson, SC 29631, USA

get directions

Clemson Botanical Gardens
Clemson Botanical Gardens | Source

South Carolina Botanical Gardens

While visiting my sister near Greenville, South Carolina, I was taken to the SC Botanical Gardens next to Clemson University. It is a few miles from the Clemson exit off I-85.

If you are into florals and colorful landscapes, the botanical gardens are definitely a place to visit. You'll find information about the SC Botanical Gardens here.

Work in Progress
Work in Progress | Source

This was just one of the photographs I took while there which I have been working on painting using Corel Painter. I have a lot of allergies to paints so I have totally switched to digital painting. I use all my traditional techniques with my breathing being affected.

As I've progressed in using digital programs, I hope to do plein air painting using my computer rather than having to carry so many art supplies and water to a painting session.

Mountain Panorama

This panorama was originally a video I took in northwest Tucson, Arizona. I started at the Tortolita Mountains on the left, past the Catalina Mountains and over to the Rincons just to the right of the Catalinas.

Mountain Panorama
Mountain Panorama | Source

I selected the first, middle and last frames of the video and converted them into this panoramic view.

Catalina Sunrise
Catalina Sunrise | Source

In the finished painting I used acrylics on a stretched canvas. I focused on the mountains by bringing them forward, but I had to compress them. Otherwise, the painting would have been 10 feet long. As it is, the original is 4 feet long by 2 feet high.

I felt the sky was just as important as the mountains, so I took advantage of it's magnificence and reflected the colors into water that trickles through the Santa Cruz River behind my house.

This is a place I have always wanted to go, but since my husband passed away, I don't go sightseeing very much any more.

My son and his young family have been doing a great deal of of traveling to new place and he has sent me some great reference photos.

I did this painting from one of those photos. I made a few modifications such as the bridge. It really only has one arch and another smaller opening. I just preferred the two arches. If I hadn't told you, you probably would never have known.

I also took a great deal of liberty with the trees, but that is why I'm a painter rather than a photographer.

Cabrillo National Monument

While visiting San Diego we took a side trip to Cabrillo National Monument.

If you are into hiking, birding, visiting an old lighthouse, exploring a tidal pool, whale watching, photography and many other indoor and outdoor activities, this is a place to go.

Cabrillo National Monument

Cabrillo National Monument:
1800 Cabrillo Memorial Drive, San Diego, CA 92106, USA

get directions

Double Click Right to Zoom out. Double click Left to Zoom In.

Overlooking the San Diego Bay and Pacific Ocean
Overlooking the San Diego Bay and Pacific Ocean | Source

It is located on the southern portion of the Point Loma peninsula and is surround by the Pacific Ocean on one side, San Diego Bay on the other.

You can find out more about Cabrillo National Monument here.

Old Point Loma  Lighthouse
Old Point Loma Lighthouse | Source

According to the information on their site, the Old Point Loma Lighthouse was one of the first lighthouses on the West Coast and could be seen 39 miles out to sea.

They later build new one because the old one frequently got blocked by fog because of being so high up on the hill.

The old one has been restored and is open to visitors. You can go up to the top using an ornate spiral staircase.

My favorite DSLR Camera


Another Lighthouse

Lighthouse Stormy Sky
Lighthouse Stormy Sky | Source

I don't know about you, but I love lighthouses, especially those along the New England coast.

A friend of mine gave me several photos of lighthouses she saw on her trip along the coast. I had just taken a photo of a stormy sky while in Arizona, and I felt the two photos just belonged together.

This was the resulting painting.

Lighthouse with a Stormy Sky

Where do You Like to Travel?

Some people only like to travel in their own country while others like to visit many countries. I'd love to know which you prefer and some special place you have been that you think other people would really enjoy. If there is someplace you would not recommend, you might also mention that and the reason why.

Which do You Prefer?


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    • Judy Filarecki profile imageAUTHOR

      Judy Filarecki 

      6 years ago from SW Arizona and Northern New York

      @SBPI Inc: Thank you Jonathan. I never get tired of exploring the Adirondacks. I just wish I could have gotten a picture of the wolf I say on my drive to Tupper Lake on time. He was just so majestic standing at the side of the road waiting for me to drive by before he crossed.

    • SBPI Inc profile image

      SBPI Inc 

      6 years ago

      Beautiful lens. I especially enjoyed your mention of Tupper Lakes in the Adirondack. My family did own an old stone mountain home about 18 miles north of Saranac Lake or about 30 miles from Tupper. Have both bicycled and driven from that cabin to Tupper Lake on many occasions and it is truly a beautiful area.

      Thank you for sharing your artwork.


    • Gayle Dowell profile image

      Gayle Dowell 

      6 years ago from Kansas

      Love your travel art! I try to do this as well in my art journal to document my travels. It is a great experience.

    • Gayle Dowell profile image

      Gayle Dowell 

      6 years ago from Kansas

      Love your travel art! I try to do this as well in my art journal to document my travels. It is a great experience.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      You are a very talented artist. I love your work. Nice to get acquainted with you.

    • NibsyNell profile image


      6 years ago

      Stunning photos and paintings! :)

    • Judy Filarecki profile imageAUTHOR

      Judy Filarecki 

      7 years ago from SW Arizona and Northern New York

      @SquidooPower: I did a painting of my friends sailboat, but it was blue and white. A red one sounds interesting.

    • SquidooPower profile image


      7 years ago

      I live on a boat and most places I go I see people coming out to photograph and paint her (because she's a red boat, which is unusual) so I think a lot of artists will be interested in a lens like yours.

    • Elsie Hagley profile image

      Elsie Hagley 

      7 years ago from New Zealand

      Nice lens. Thanks for sharing your beautiful photos and art with us. Really enjoyed it. Blessed.

    • flycatcherrr profile image


      7 years ago

      Lovely to see these places through your artist's eyes!

    • ievajansone20 profile image


      7 years ago

      Great leans and very good photos!

    • microfarmproject profile image


      7 years ago

      Your photos and your artwork are lovely. Thank you for sharing. I had never heard of Painter 12 before reading this lens...very interesting!

    • Judy Filarecki profile imageAUTHOR

      Judy Filarecki 

      7 years ago from SW Arizona and Northern New York

      @IMKZRNU2: Thanks so much. I have many more to share. I just have to get organized to add them.

    • Judy Filarecki profile imageAUTHOR

      Judy Filarecki 

      7 years ago from SW Arizona and Northern New York

      @Diana Wenzel: You should give it a try some time. You might be surprised at the talent youhave.

    • Judy Filarecki profile imageAUTHOR

      Judy Filarecki 

      7 years ago from SW Arizona and Northern New York

      @mbgphoto: Thanks you for the comments and the blessing. They are greatly appreciated

    • ItayaLightbourne profile image

      Itaya Lightbourne 

      7 years ago from Topeka, KS

      Feel free to DELETE as this is a Rocket Squid Critique! Loved this very beautiful article. Have a few tiny suggestions to help tweak it a bit. I would love to see you add more keywords in a Custom Bio (upper right corner) that tie in with this article. This helps increase the likely hood of the article being found on the web. You also might ask an engaging question for the Comments Module that will encourage people to comment and leave their feedback. As always, I enjoyed learning about your artistic process! Blessings! :)

    • IMKZRNU2 profile image


      7 years ago from Pacific Northwest

      Very nice lens! You are very talented.

    • mbgphoto profile image

      Mary Beth Granger 

      7 years ago from O'Fallon, Missouri, USA

      This is a wonderful lens. I love the way you showed your photographs and then the resulting painting. Both mediums were great, you are very talented. I'm looking forward to reading more of your lenses. Blessed by a SquidAngel.

    • Diana Wenzel profile image

      Renaissance Woman 

      7 years ago from Colorado

      I really enjoyed seeing how you translated favorite photographs into paintings. Beautiful! Wish I had that kind of talent.


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