Sloan’s Lake in Denver Colorado

Sloan Lake in Denver, CO - watercolor by Jamie Wilke Fine Art

12×16″ Watercolor by Jamie Wilke

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I took this photo on a chilly yet sunny November morning while running around the 2.5-mile dirt trail that circles the lake with a friend. The Canadian geese were enjoying the lake as well!

I painted this landscape to capture this solid, distinguished aspen tree with its bright autumn leaves still intact. I wanted to show the overall striking contrast of the coolness of this winter day and the warmth of the sun on the leaves and the ground. I also liked the dark shadows cast on the ground by this stately tree, who’s gnarly bark trunk was speckled with both the sun’s light and the shadows of its leaves.

Sloan’s Lake (aka “Sloan Lake”) is Denver’s largest body of water, and Sloan’s Lake Park is the city’s second-largest park. This is also the name of the neighborhood in this area, which is on the western edge of the city, just blocks from downtown Denver. The story is that the lake was created when farmer Thomas Sloan dug a well and hit an aquifer, which then flooded 200 acres. Sloan’s Lake became an official park in 1923, and it is adjacent to the suburbs of Lakewood, Edgewater and Wheat Ridge. It used to be home of an amusement park and also a large ferris wheel.

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