Yuba Love at Shenanigan Flat

on Saunders 200#

My son-in-law had set up a rope system to enable me to safely access this part of the river about two weeks ago Shenanigans at Shenanigan Flat and I can say that it worked well and in fact there is evidence that it is being used by other people besides myself.

There is change in the weather and I love it here at the river. I was able to paint till 12 noon I am amazed because usually by 9 or 10 am, the light is not that beautiful and it is over and done.

My scene for the above painting


One of my warm-up paintings on Arches 140# rough

I was having a difficult time with this painting but decided to include it just to show you a warm-up that was rough going.

on Arches 140# rough 7 x 9 inches

This stack of rocks is quite unusual because it looks like an Italian dessert. My artist eyes were starting to come in, finally!

My scene of that very cool rock
on Arches 140# rough 7 x 9 inches

this painting has its’ problems such as that little rapid showing at the middle, too sharp and not very well done. I couldn’t get the photo to show the light violet in those back rocks. The photo doesn’t do the painting justice but oh well, the task of marrying up the photo to the painting is often difficult.

My scene
on Saunders 200# 11 x 14 inches

I wasn’t going to include this painting but decided why not? I consider it a fail because I had such a difficult time with the water and depicting the white water. I enjoyed the painting of it though I just couldn’t get the water to come together as cohesive.

My scene

I have discovered that I didn’t bring by Burnt Sienna so I relied on my Daniel Smith Burnt Tiger’s Eye and I must say, I am in love! I think when it is mixed with Lunar Blue it is exquisite! Yummy color. I plan on coming back and knocking this scene out of the ball park one of these days. Here I tried painting this scene the first time: North Yuba River-Shenanigan Flat I am not sure which one session won. Looking forward to more times on the Yuba river.

I love the Yuba River, can you tell?













56 thoughts on “Yuba Love at Shenanigan Flat

  1. Pingback: Yuba Love at Shenanigan Flat — Yuba Gold | Magikal Journeys Art Studio

  2. Some really beautiful work here….I love number one and number four..I can imagine how peaceful it must be painting in that setting. I will be ordering Burnt Tiger’s Eye tomorrow:) I love Daniel Smith watercolours….so intense. Thank you, Margaret….continued happy painting…Janet:)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh I love Burnt Tiger’s Eye, at first I wasn’t so sure (in the studio) but using them out plein air painting and combining it turned from not so sure about the color to absolutely loving it! It is peaceful…..I call it “land of a hundred paintings”, you can pick and choose past noon and then wait three hours or so and you can go till the sun is off the river. Thank you for your comments. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Well I have to say, who wouldn’t fall in love, stunning as ever. You get some amazing colours in the water, the photos just about pick them up, so it has given me a hint of the idea, I can totally see why the colours are better with real eyes viewing, and this shows in your paintings 😀

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    1. So good to hear, sometimes I lose sight of things when my nose is in the scene, then comparing the paintings….always trying for a sense of the scene, capturing the essence, you never know because your nose and feelings are up to glass so to speak. 🙂 are you going to go plein air painting? so worth it

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      1. Hehe do we as artists ever achieve what we want? sigh…..ever ending painting and painting! true, life painting from animals is hard! I remember using horses as a model, fine as long as they don’t move! I did have one snoozed while I drew him, rare treat, indeed….

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  4. Oh Margaret – I SO want to paint scenes like this. I struggle with naturescapes! I get them too overworked. What is the secret? I adore the first one especialllllllly!!!! Swooning over it in fact! Such a great spot and eye you have!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. aww! so good to hear that you want to try it out. I truly love you calling it “naturescapes”! that term makes plein air more approachable. I am not sure if there is a secret…. I can tell you what has helped me….for instance that first one was really my second painting. I was just warming up with it and I think what is very important first off is that you love what you are painting or drawing and ultimately what captures your attention and interest, you naturally convey that to your viewer. I think that having a good composition is integral. I think on that first painting I had the perfect comp. and I knew it from the start so I was pulled into painting it with interest and joy. Make sure your scene has enough value range because like for instance my second painting, the value range wasn’t enough. The rocks were interesting and the colors were wonderful but again, because of not having a value range to help make it pop, I was struggling against myself.

      Now to not overwork, it is easier than you think. I think we overwork a scene or painting because you are trying so darn hard to make it look like something, that it is easy to take it too far, I still struggle with this. The human brain and eyes can make all kinds of images out of nothing, it is the cool thing about the brain, it wants to fill in and make out what is barely there. So with that in mind, you can do a few scribbles and people get (most of the time) what you are trying to paint. I think going out and reminding yourself to stay loose and try to capture that “more” with as little as you can. It takes practice and doing it often. I truly am hoping that I can get looser and looser and more abstract. Sorry, I wrote an essay but I wanted to write just the right way to encourage you. Oh by the way, there is nothing like painting or drawing from life, it will give breath and life and integrity into your art, believe me…..there is nothing like it. 🙂 Oh and thank you for your “swooning comments”…..I love it, I must admit. lol

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      1. Oh Margaret – I adore your “essays.” You are so kind and giving and sharing and encouraging! Thanks for all the great information! Have you ever considered doing an instruction video of yourself painting?! 🙂

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      1. Nah, not difficult. Use MDF wood and keep your tools very sharp. That’s so important, very sharp. Don’t expect the first couple of prints to be good because the wood soaks the ink up. A lot of people do a couple of prints then give up but if they did a couple more, the woodblock would be ‘seasoned’ and the prints good. Check out Kollwitz and Kirchner for really fab examples of woodcuts.

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  5. Beautiful paintings Margaret. Your #1 and #3 caught my eye and I love them. The passion for the craft and discipline shows. You flick and swish your brushes like magic! Something that is very very difficult for me to do. 🙂

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  6. Wow Margaret! Each of these is beautiful. You must get bored by my saying this each time, but you really have a knack for subjugating detail and pulling a good abstract painting out of it. To me, your color is distinct and very harmonious, all colors working together to create a very Margaret-ty tone which is your own. The patterns and lines that run through your painting is great – moves the eye along on the journey through the color and texture. Great work.

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    1. I love hearing what you have to say and what you see, I think the abstractness of them are a bit jarring at times, I hope for more subtleness and softness but then I was going with the flow…..you are telling me that I am going somewhere, lol not sure what is down that river but at least I am trying and keeping at it. 🙂

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      1. dawnmarie

        I bet it wiped you out. That is a lot of work. Im glad though. And you like it…so that is always a plus. I really like your progression with this river. All the tweaking and practice is gonna make you an expert. You will be known as the “Painter of Yuba”. I’m also glad to see other people are finding use for the ropes too. Makes their hike safer.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. janina (jmnowak via my fone)

    Your interpretation of the first scene has me thinking there is a fire in those trees and the smoke is being reflected in the rocks and river. Love that! ☺
    I’m also liking the abstraction of the “Italian dessert” rocks. Gelato?
    Would love to see your view as a paonting of the “I love the Yuba, can you tell” photo; my kinda scene I must admit — natural abstracts.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I love the Yuba too and have no idea quite where Shenanigan Flat is but gorgeous! Canyon-country! I think the Yuba is a well-kept secret. I also love that you are showing us your warm-ups. Even at their scrawliest, I think artist’s warm-ups show where their heart is, and what drew their eyes, and I love that. An artist’s tell-all! Thank you…

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