June WC #9

Evening is the best time to plein air paint, don’t you all agree? While my husband is busy pulling a security detail on the Pony Fire, I decided why not and go find some party time with my watercolors. I have been wanting to go out and paint along the 8 ball trail which is part of the Bullards Bar trail system. I live within a few minutes of this trail which is one of my favorite places to hike. I painted exactly at the spot that I had a bear walking up towards me not knowing I was there. Fun and exciting memories! I made sure I wasn’t obstructing the trail but no one came by, I had the trail all to myself.

my inspiration- 8 ball trail
painting #1
painting #2


a close-up of the lower left
Painting #3

I caught the wave of juicy evening color but later realized that I was adding too much water and not going dark enough. I was enjoying the fuzziness of the images, maybe too much. I am wondering if I should touch them up but actually I am going to leave them alone. Painting #2 was an experiment in that I washed a failed floral painting off and as you can see, there is a ghost image of red roses on there.

Fun painting but as I said, not dark enough, not vibrant enough and yet there is a quality that I like. I almost skipped putting these up in a post but I thought what the heck, why not? In a way, my artist blog is a painter’s diary. So here we are. I will be going back and painting this spot several times. As I was leaving the light was getting mighty pretty. Now I need a separate series for “Eight Ball Light”.

Learning points:

  • It is alright to go wild and abstract but do have a good plan, in this case control the amount of water vs. the strength of my paint.
  • Don’t allow the excitement of the scene to carry me away to “not thinking and all reaction”.
  • Paint some more evening paintings! Why has it taken me this long to get out there and paint evening light? I have been intimidated but no more!

23 thoughts on “June WC #9

    1. I love that particular spot! sometimes it is hard for the viewer to see all the little nooks and crannies of a painting. I should do this more often. For the life of me, all my paintings went jumbled and I keep fixing the alignment….not enough time this morning to mess with it!

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I have a book on modern Chinese watercolors and your pictures sort of remind me of that style of painting. I think the second one is my favorite. Wonder if the faded roses played a role psychologically/symbolically?

    Glad to hear that there was no bear!

    Not quite in the same league as a bear, but I haven’t seen my humongous spider the last two nights either. Maybe he reads my blog! Maybe the bear reads yours …

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Lol….you crack me up! I have to remind myself to leave the bears alone, I am too observant to the point of allowing a bear to walk up to me. Another story, another time. Glad the spider got the hint! Yes, interesting about that faded rose, I was waiting for just the right painting moment to use it and there you go…..and I decided to flip it with the flowers at the bottom. I love the Chinese and Asian perspective. I do happen to go flat sometimes and go with a gut response, to symbolize rather than trying to depict realistically….interesting…hmm

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I thought of doing that but then I was thinking that next time or two or more…I will be narrowing it down to getting more refined but still have that looseness. At least this is a start of getting into the rhythm of painting evening light. I had you in mind when I painted….I held my painting out away from me and allowed the paint to run and drip. I need to get a board easel made I think.


  2. Love the watercolors all of them. Also I liked seeing the simple caption “my inspiration-8 ball trail” A great reminder for me that in plein air the physical setting is an inspiration and not something you are so closely tied to that the work becomes tight.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. And what inspiration you got – 8 Ball Trail is a real knock out for light, shadows, woods, drama and all kinds of excitement for an artist. I like all the paintings, the first is my favorite because of what you were demonstrating with the light and shadows, and contrast it was working for you. A bear huh? Wow now that is a little scary.

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    1. I see more bear on this trail but that particular instance was a couple of years ago, he didn’t smell or see me and was walking up the slope towards me, I decided instead of watching him walk towards me, I better let him know I was there. What an experience! I am hoping to get more color and contrast in my evening paintings in the future. I have the feeling but not the true essence of what I saw, I hope to get that in my future paintings.

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  4. Pingback: June WC #11-8 Ball Trail #2 – Yuba Gold

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