Paint and a Hike

The overlook at the start of the trail

One of those days that I hastily grabbed the opportunity to paint and a last minute decision to switch the location I originally had planned to paint. Just up the road from me and newly opened this year I believe, Rice’s Crossing Yuba Rim Trail. Here is a website with info:

I woke up to cloudy skies but I was determined to go paint. I walked off from the trail and found a meadow with all kinds of conifers and brush that are now in bloom. At this time of year, Ceanothus integerrimus (deer brush) and Scotch Broom are in ample supply in this part of the country.

My scene


I realized after I had pretty much started, I forgot to show different stages of painting. I’ll have to remember next time, always a next time.

I was feeling the groove this time around. I need to work on a few areas which is pretty standard, rarely do I come away with a finished painting or satisfied. The photo is pretty close to my painting although there are some grasses that have a touch of warm tan that doesn’t show up well in this photo. The blues are a bit “too blue” and more of a greyish blue and lavender.

I decided to go for a hike afterwards and here is a few of the photos from the trail. I have never been on this before and it was quite the adventure.

I love exploring new trails and a large portion was quite shady.


flowers everywhere



The overlook and a peek at the Yuba River in the canyon


I couldn’t resist to share my hike with all of you. I think that plein air painting is more than just taking your studio outdoors; it is experiencing nature and learning to truly see it and to be thankful for such beauty.

I will be trying something different for the month of May and that is to paint entirely in watercolor. This will be a challenge because I always reach for my pastels because they are familiar and safe to me. I love watercolor and I feel that I need to take the plunge and make headway in truly learning and feeling comfortable with the medium.

I challenge all of you to take on something new to you or out of your comfort zone this month or for as long as you see fit, even if it is for a week or a day. I dare you!






26 thoughts on “Paint and a Hike

  1. Margaret, love your painting and photos! Thanks for the experience! I feel I was right there with you. I really admire your goal for May. I would really like to do the same thing, but with acrylics, a new medium for me, still. I will think it over, as I’d need to wake up v early to manage it, but what a wonderful goal to have! You’ll grow so much in WC by the end of May! Can’t wait to watch your progress. I have great faith in you, Margaret!! 💜🌻😎

    Liked by 1 person

      1. If you’re totally not feeling it one day, maybe go for the pastel that day instead? I’m not that disciplined lol. I think a painting a day for a month is great, regardless of medium! Although May is a great time for watercolor. Dying to see what you do!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Sounds like a great plan, Margaret!

        Would you mind if I joined you? I’d like to improve my painting skills, period, so I’d focus on acrylics but may throw in a watercolor as the wind takes me, because that was the one I fell in love with originally. I may not make all 31 days though but I’ve been thinking about doing this for some time. I do taxes for a living, so any month through April was definitely out.

        I’m really excited for you! I love watercolor paintings!

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Sure! I think that will be fun, we can encourage each other along the way. I love acrylics! I should take a month and do them as well. Probably is that they don’t do so well in the heat, dry so darn fast as I am sure you know….lol We’ll see if June here will be too warm or not. I could always work in the studio with acrylics and then back to pastel or watercolor en plein air. Game on! 🙂

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  2. I think you captured the feel of the morning in your pastel. Even if you feel the colors are a bit off, they are absolutely lovely and it is fresh and beautiful. well done! good luck doing watercolor outside. That’s my challenge always, out of comfort zone for sure because of the variables. Yesterday the wind was so strong that wet in wet was practically impossible and I didn’t have a back up plan for a large shape I was painting.


  3. What a lovely place. What a wonderful dare. After hearing something of the fuller story of your day, I feel as though you’ve encapsulated it all into that pastel — the scene, the air and light, the walk that followed afterwards. The pastel is an analog for the whole thing. It had a bit of even the future hidden in it. Bon courage for your watercolor challenge that lies ahead and here’s hoping we shall follow you in bravery, each one finding a challenge with which to dare ourselves.

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  4. Pingback: June WC #7 – Yuba Gold

    1. thank you! I am able to carry all my supplies in my backpack and I keep it to a minimum. Since I usually paint where there is water available, it is even lighter. I am thinking about getting an easel but it has to be lightweight. If course this is for watercolor, pastels is a whole other story! But it can be challenging, I try not to hike in more than 2-3 miles, that way I keep it fun and doable.


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