Malakoff Diggins-World Watercolor Month #4

Malakoff 7 am bright and early

I haven’t been to this spot for over a couple of years. This particular area is rich with hydraulic gold mining history. Easier for me to refer you to this link about the history and general info  Malakoff State Park.

Painting #1   Fabriano #300 cp 11 x 14 inches
Rich colors in the rocks here, I do believe this is Oxide?

I would ask my husband about this rock and the others but I am in a hurry to upload this and he isn’t home yet. The rocks were amazing and this next painting had a good start but I got lost in the colors and therefore, struggled with my values. (below)

Painting #2  Saunders 200# cp 7 x 9 inches

I decided to go abstract once I got home and tried to rescue it, no worries, I can flip it over and paint on the other side.

Painting #3  Fabriano 140# cp 7 x 9 inches

With this painting, I lost my whites and I decided once I got home, to flip it to a horizontal presentation and painted an abstract feeling of the scene. I felt total freedom and joy in doing this. This is a miracle considering that I have always wanted a perfect painting in years past.

My scene… North Bloomfield

North Bloomfield is the headquarters of Malakoff State Park and many of the buildings have been restored and turned into museum displays.

Painting #4  Arches 140# cp 7 x 9 inches

I spent some time to build up layers and it has been a long time since I have painted buildings en plein air, so I am rusty. I changed out the white picket fence for a wrought iron one. No harm done, I don’t have the knowledge or patience how to handle a white picket fence at this point. I hope to be practicing more on buildings. This turned out too tight for my taste… thrills for me on this one.

The interior of the pharmacy I believe

My Learning Points:

  • I love painting with Daniel Smith’s Lunar Blue….perfect for these rocks
  • If a painting doesn’t turn out, make an abstract out of it or turn it over and paint on the other side.
  • It is perfectly fine to wash off a painting though some strainers will not totally disappear, learn by trial and error.
  • I prefer loose and fancy free. Working tight always dulls my fun.
I love this rock, reminds me of gold in quartz


Beautiful color!

33 thoughts on “Malakoff Diggins-World Watercolor Month #4

    1. Thank you and it has taken a while to get to that train of thinking, it is so freeing when you don’t hold everything painting as precious. Nowadays I am an early bird because I love that morning light….I was hoping to get there by 6 am but I didn’t get a good night’s sleep, so I got a late start.


  1. WOOOOOOOOOWWWWW! You really are the queen of Plein Air Margaret – the first one knocked my socks off – and then it just went on and on – the buildings! WOW! Such amazing talent.

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  2. Beautiful paintings and photos. I really like your landscape paintings – as I pointed out before, there is a combination of grey and olive greenish colour patches in your paintings which are very recognisable as yours and which I really like. I hope you feel good about these – you have a great energy in Painting #1 especially – loose and free but with your color still clean and fresh. That takes some doing! Great work.

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    1. I wasn’t sure if I liked #1 but I love the “attempt” and the energy. #2 I was hoping for a better depiction…and I am iffy on the last two. What I took away from this experience is not to take myself too seriously and keep a painting precious in my mine, flip it over and use it again. I have taken long strides!


    1. It is an inspiring place to paint and I will be going back because there is so much to paint. I forgot to mention in my post that as I was painting at some point, I could hear a coyote yipping it up! I did take a video but it was so scratchy I decided not to include it. I hope to do that at some point.

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  3. Margaret…. there is sheer joy in each, all of these! and that, is a lovely thing to see! very important, to never, lose that. thats more important than technical perfection. imo.
    I lean to #1. it has, imo a bit more clarity of tonal Lights – esp in the upper Left and, while houses GS aren’t my thing…. I love yours!
    you said you didn’t care for the tightness (but, really, it it gets a little tight – round about the door way and below) have a look at eveything Above that….. Its Beautiful. 🙂

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    1. Thank you Debi…..what is GS? silly me, I probably do know but at the moment don’t. I agree, I lost my tonal clarity, I struggled with that but I kept my attitude light and happy 🙂 yep, joy is important. While painting I had a hummingbird fly over and talk to me (I didn’t understand a tweet tweet at all!) and I heard a coyote in the distance, the sun was shining, not a soul in sight. Pure happiness! thank you for your comments, always appreciated and then some!

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      1. Generally Speaking. lol ooops. debi lingo. What a Marvellous Day you had!! that is so … spiritual really. like the animals of creation were ‘with’ you and saying hi. 🙂 imo but, I’m like that!


      2. oh okay… I usually can interpret what you say but that one got me. you are right! especially that hummingbird… cute, I mean she was right there hovering in front of me chattering away….but sad to say I don’t speak Hummingbird, my loss lol

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      3. that is a very odd, and Unique experience Margaret!!!! does make you wonder 🙂
        sometimes when I type, I abbreviate things, esp when my Rheum. Arthritis is flaring. I forget with some people YOU, that I haven’t clued you in to GS yet. or COI (centre of interest) hehehehe


      4. COI….I need a freaking notebook dealing with you! hehehe….I didn’t realize that you have RA…..sorry 😦 I guess we all have our troubles….I shake rattle and roll if that helps but it doesn’t affect my hands or arms…thank goodness 🙂

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  4. I like the picture of the multi colored rock with the close up picture that actually looks like a satellite image of the world with infrared vision. The would be a very interesting painting……Keep up the good work and don’t forget to send me a copy of it if you paint it….LOL…Your Brother Jerry……

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  5. Pingback: Rocks At Malakoff – Yuba Gold

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