Camptonville Cemetery-World Watercolor Month #9


My little plein air adventure was to Camptonville Cemetery which is located right in town. Camptonville history this link will give you some interesting details of the history of this little town. I arrived before the sun hit the cemetery itself, so I painted this truck on the edge overlooking the countryside.

My reference photo for my  first painting
painting #1 on Arches 140# cp 7 x 9 inches

Painting this truck has been a dream of mine for years and I think I need to do a studio painting of it and work on it bringing out the textures because en plein air, I was able to do so much. I wanted to keep the surrounding foliage simple. I could feel myself wanting to go abstract but I held myself back.

Painting #2 on Arches 140# cp 7 x 9 inches…. the countryside, backside of the cemetery

Alright wondering why I go to a cemetery and not paint headstones? I arrived too early and I had to wait for the sun to hit the cemetery itself. Finally, I was able to paint a headstone! I planted myself between these two headstones…..interesting…..a Margaret and a Maggie; just like before I painted next to a Margaret just this past week.





Painting #3 on Arches 140# cp 11 x 14 inches

My headstone is a bit off, it didn’t help that I had a meat bee trying to take a bite out of me and I was using my painting to swat at him. I can’t blame it all on the bee, I need to be more careful in cutting out my shapes in the future. My drawing was right on (I think) but the painting part, I lost some good edges. A good learning experience. The top of my headstone is off, it makes me laugh but that was when I was fighting the bee.

It was a ho hum painting experience, it didn’t have me on the edge of my seat, I ended up more focused on depicting detail which is alright. I need to learn to go from one spectrum to the other. I am not exactly crazy in love with any of my paintings. I am trying to find the sweet spot of working within my style which is very loose and yet I ended up painting more realistic than I really wanted to. I am trying to find my way.

I tried out my new color, Cobalt Teal Blue in the 3rd painting….I do believe that it is opaque or semi-transparent and it should be used alone as my fellow blogger Debi has mentioned many times. Debi’s Cobalt Teal Blue Wisdom I had to test it out and she is right! I didn’t really mix it but it needs space and strategic planning. I feel that it does not look right in the spot that I used it.

Learning Points:

  • Practice out of my comfort zone as often as I can.
  • Alternate different approaches, ie:  abstract to tight. It keeps my drawing skills in tune and helps to keep my interest level engaged.
  • I need to learn to depict grasses better.

38 thoughts on “Camptonville Cemetery-World Watercolor Month #9

  1. I especially like your tombstone picture, the colours and light are so dramatic. Grasses, yes, I’ve found them troublesome too, but for me one recently-discovered solution is a flat brush used sparingly on its edge. I find this really helps just to flick out a few grassy suggestions, or to whisk in a bit of jagged dark for negative painting of the grass (but maybe you’ve already tried this and it wasn’t what you were looking for?). 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I did try that but I had an idea in my head and it didn’t fit the “ideal” lol you bet you know how that is 🙂 I think that I was hoping for a softer delineation between the grasses and background but then maybe having some hard edges is good, I would like to get some more practice in with this. I like your suggestion for using a flat brush, I painted this entirely with my squirrel brush which wasn’t too successful with spikey grasses.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Oh yes, the picture in our heads compared to the picture we end up with…hmmm. Very familiar! Being a bit lazy and getting caught up in the moment, I often forget to change brushes and use my round brush for everything, but recently have been having a bit of a revelation with a flat brush. Personally sometimes I think a bit of sharp vs. indistinct contrast can be very appealing. But obviously that’s just my preference (and I reserve the right to change my mind at any time)! 😉

        Liked by 2 people

      2. I do the same! I will usually always use the same brush. I agree, I like sharp vs. indistinct contrasts, though sometimes I forget to work this into my painting or not a good balance. I would like to hear more about your flat brush revelation, do you discuss this in any of your posts?

        Liked by 2 people

      3. I don’t think I’ve talked about it specifically, but I can point you to some of my posts where I did use the flat brush, if you like?

        🙂 If you find out any good tips, please share! I’m always on the lookout… 😉

        Liked by 1 person

  2. dawnmarie

    Yup, just like the last watercolor you did with machinery of sorts. I like your objects and that truck with the tree is just a bonus cuz you get both a landscape and a still life in the same picture! Nice colors. Love the truck. Nice set of paintings.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Great paintings Margaret, I especially like the gravestone. I find it so hard to get luminous darks n watercolor but you did a great job here. I cannot get enough of looking at that warm, olivey yellow signature color of yours. Oh yes, and very brave of you to risk the spatter and abstract foreground in your gravestone painting, it works really well with this painting.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Hi Fritz I am sure that you wanted to post this comment on Margaret Blog I am afraid that you have to post it again for her! I am Carolina participating to the World Watercolor Month but the gravestone isn’t mine 😉 Thanks anyway for stopping by also if you posted the wrong comment! Have a great week 🙂


  3. I love the light on and in your trees, love the truck as well and the headstone painting too! I do think you’re much too hard on yourself, M, but I’m not telling you anything new. Lovely colors and I would love to see another studio painting of the truck. What a terrific subject!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Thoroughly enjoyed reading about your cemetery experiences! My hat off for forging on, bee and all. Your photographs and painting show this to be a lovely spot – and as for the truck? Who wouldn’t want to create a painting, tell a story or take a photograph? Wonderful!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Margaret, your plein-airs look wonderful again. This seems to be another inspiring location and I really love your results. Since I got my plein-air tripod / easel last Saturday I am finally ready for extended plein-air sessions. The only thing missing is this beamer thing from Star-Trek so I could join you painting at these awesome locations.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. that would be cool….wouldn’t it? to travel just like….that! Well, I didn’t like these paintings, truth be told. I felt they were less than stellar but then I was running on empty, tired and fighting a bee! if anything, it was valuable exercise and especially trying to get a better grip on my values which was not happening on this particular day. I am still learning that plein air isn’t to be taken so seriously and I need to loosen up my attitude. Hopefully that will happen tomorrow when I paint at the river. 🙂 thank you for your comments, always appreciated.

      Liked by 1 person

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