Bullards Bar Gold


I haven’t been able to paint for weeks because either it is snowing or raining or it is a holiday or I am too busy. I have been waiting for a slot in the weather and when I saw how the lighting was turning out to be and having that certain glow, I grabbed my equipment and headed for Bullards Bar Reservoir which is located within 5 to 10 minutes from my house. I had originally spotted this exact spot while on a hike with my grandson, Rollin and my daughter, Amanda and her dog. I knew I had to paint here as soon as possible.


This is my painting just about finished. I always like to take a picture of both my painting and my scene. Today was no different in my approach though I keep thinking that my new found breakthrough won’t last but I am happy to say, I felt the groove as usual. I had to go back and remember how long I have been painting plein air and I do believe it has been 10-11 years. I didn’t always pursue it with passion so some years I was lucky to get out 5-10 times. I have been picking up steam for the past two years. It is a very difficult and vulnerable pursuit but it is worth the struggle.


I am not sure if this painting is done or not but I’ll take it back to the art room and work it to a finish. I am always reluctant to mess with a painting too much away from the initial painting session because plein air has a magic and look of its own and it is not intended to be “perfect” There is a sensitivity and liveliness that occurs naturally. I have to be careful that I don’t mess with that liveliness.


Now looking at where the shoreline is far below. This is the lowest I had seen the water level at Bullards. The water is very unique here because it has such a rich green color. I remember years ago before the current dam was built, I had gone with my Grandfather and Uncle down to the bottom of this valley which was called Garden Valley at the time to fish.


This is my scene for my second painting. This photo is bringing out that tree to be more blue than it actually is. I decided to make the background dark to highlight the mid and foreground and bring more colors into the subtlety of that tree.


My second painting. I will take it and work on it a bit more, perhaps crisp it up and bring out more depth. That white spot on the other right is from my camera. I am always a bit tired on my second painting and usually it is always on a smaller piece of pastel paper. I struggled a bit with that tree because of the colors were very difficult to match with what I was seeing.


Looking out further while the sun was really bringing more warmth to the area. Simply beautiful! Thank you for joining me. All I can say is that I was so happy that I decided to paint today because I would have missed an opportunity to paint this beautiful scene in my most favorite lighting.

13 thoughts on “Bullards Bar Gold

  1. again, more Stunning colour filled art images to delight the eye and soul! both paintings and photos are superbly delightful.
    Your eye, seems to see the landscape in a very similar way to how I see the Land. In that wonderful blend of color and edges, and abstractions of shapes and tones; with a tangible quality of Ancient layerings. lovely.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: Return to Bullards Resevoir – Yuba Gold

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