Frosty November Morning


I am excited because I am about 5 or 6 posts away from being current! I have a few spots lined up for the next several weeks, I am hoping that the weather will cooperate with me once I do get out there. Well, now to when and where this particular morning was. In November of last year, obviously and at Fiddle Creek campground which is in Sierra county and of course, guess the river? The North Yuba! I promise you that I’ll be venturing a little further out from the river just to liven things up.

Fiddle Creek campground is not just a location for summer fun but also there are about 3 or 4 mining claims. I often run into miners who are mainly recreational miners and not the true blue old time miners. Our neck of the woods, gold mining is quite common and part of our history. There are several hard rock mines that are still in operation and a few of them my husband has worked in. Another story, another time.

Back to art! I loved how the mist was coming off from the river and how cold it was and frosty! Winter is coming (well then it was). Seems odd talking about the past when it is spring right now.


With the light coming around the bend, I was set and raring to go! This time I wasn’t able to lay in my darks and get all the elements down as fast as I had hoped because I should had been on the site about 30 minutes sooner. Part of the problem was that I used rubbing alcohol to wash down my underpainting and it was slow to dry because it was too cold. I had to wait at least 20 minutes before I could start my painting.


I struggled with this because by the time my underpainting dried, I had more light on the scene than I wanted. I was caught between two different lighting modes and I was conflicted. Odd how just 20-30 minutes can really make or break a painting situation. I think that because I preferred the “light around the bend” over what I ended up with, I was unhappy with what I saw on my easel. I ended up fussing with it to the point of hating it. that whitish spot on the bottom left is the camera and not in the painting.


I learned quite a bit from this experience:

  1. I love frosty, misty mornings with sun just lighting my scene, because I love it!
  2. Plan on giving even more time to arrive, set-up and hit the painting sooner with time to spare because of unseen situations.
  3. Don’t use rubbing alcohol in cold situations.
  4. keep with the lighting that you are currently dealt with and not with lighting that you prefer.
  5. Don’t disallow a painting that speaks for itself, after all regardless, it depicts a moment in time.
  6. Loosen up! It is just art and not a life or death situation.
  7. Have fun and don’t be so critical.

4 thoughts on “Frosty November Morning

  1. Pingback: Early Morning on the North Yuba – Yuba Gold

  2. I agree with your 7 thoughts about the experience, especially 5 and 7. And I admire your ability to paint en plein air. Without my studio to spread out and make a mess, and the time to let a painting sit while go about other things, glancing at it occasionally, I don’t believe I would get much painting done.
    Your interpretation of the bushes is wonderfully loose and abstract. Thanks for letting use see the inspiring photograph.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! it is definitely a scene that I keep going back to re-paint, it intrigues me so much. Painting en plein air is the best way to exercise (in my humble opinion) those artistic muscles. I think that all these years of hard work has paid off and has really made my studio work improve leaps and bounds.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s