Sierra Buttes #2 watercolor


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Painting #1 on Arches 300# rough 7 x 9 inches


Sierra Buttes-my scene

I wanted to go up and  paint the Sierra Buttes while fall is here and I am hoping that I’ll be able to paint this mountain till the road is shut down for the season. As you can see, there is a dusting of snow from our last storm. Isn’t that an amazing view? I have been up here to paint so many times that I have lost count and I have to say that this is the most beautiful that I have seen the Buttes to date. The last time I was here I spotted a Bald Eagle flying over those peaks and over Sand Pond. I took over 100 photos on this trip and I think that I captured the best photo of the Sierra Buttes in my mind.

It is a popular area for snowmobiles and skiing during the winter. I painted this spot before in pastel    Sierra Buttes 9/20/13  and here, a different view Look at those Buttes! and finally in watercolor Sierra Buttes-Yes! June WC #4 .


painting #2 on Arches 300# rough 7 x 9 inches


Painting #3 on Saunders 200# 11 x 14 inches

I had wanted to include Sand Pond and the whole nine yards but I have a tendency to want to paint close-up it is so difficult for me to do large scale.


Lucky me….I had a picnic table! Look at the view!



painting #4 on Saunders 200# 7 x 9 inches

I stopped on the way back to paint one last time and this was on the North Yuba, of course, imagine that!

My Learning Points:

  • Keep working it, watercolor is a long term relationship, it can only get better with experience and hard work.
  • Dress Warmly especially when you expect cold weather, I did but I had to start peeling off the clothes as it warmed up.

*A word about photos. The photos on my blog are mine, taken by me and copying them would be stealing from me. If you find a photo that you would like to copy or use, I request that you ask me for permission and I expect you to give me full credit for my own photo. Thank you so very much.









32 thoughts on “Sierra Buttes #2 watercolor

      1. dawnmarie

        What made you stop doing pastels or do you still do them? You are very good so just curious. Boredom? Need for change? Just tried something new and loved it? Do tell.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. tell all? lol I still do love pastels but I have always wanted to excel and learn to paint with watercolors even before I got serious about art. To me it is more exciting to paint with watercolor than with pastels. I like to hike in and paint and hauling my pastels takes oomp that sometimes I don’t have. I will be painting with my pastels as soon as it really turns cold, as long as it doesn’t rain or snow on me, I’ll go plein air paint all year round. I am not done with pastels yet, the watercolors have taken precedence because it is so darn fun! Which reminds me, I need to get more pastel paper in my next order. 🙂 Good questions Dawn! I keep telling myself…..okay, I’ll paint in pastel next time and I always opt out for watercolor. Though right now I have my pastel equipment already in my truck, I have been hauling it around for over a week. 😉 any day now.

        Liked by 2 people

  1. Margaret, these are beautiful. It seems to me you are entering a new, confident phase of your creative journey. The images are based on the photos but there is no sense of the photo or even the scene controlling your direction. There is a lot of mystery, heart in these paintings – in my opinion – you have kept your values together in large shapes and the free brush strokes and use of the white paper is very gutsy. Great work.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think compared to my first watercolors of the Sierra Buttes I have noticed that I am more confident and my shapes are more refined. These were plein air and not based on the photos, I always like to show my scene and plus it is so darn pretty I have to show it off, lol. Thank you for your comments and what you sense in them, as you well know it is hard to have fresh eyes. 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

      1. what you managed to do, to Show us with these area photos …. is reveal the scene that lay before you – as your heart and eyes interpreted it. and then, you went on to paint that interpreted vision.
        That, in itself is an amazing skill!
        it can, at first glance look as if, you took the photo first…. then painted.
        however – I know, the artist within and how she creates! lol 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  2. These are beautiful photographs and paintings – particularly the last painting. I can see how trying to paint the large scale scenes is hard; it is difficult enough to capture with a camera.
    Also, what a place to picnic and/or paint! Wonderful in any season I’d imagine. Have a great weekend!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. All so beautiful, Margaret! My favs are #3 & #4!! It’s lovely that you had a picnic table to paint on and I enjoyed seeing a photo of your set-up. Your photo is breathtaking! Love the reflection in the water. 💙🌈

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I love that spot….so beautiful. One year I arrived with a think sheet of ice on Sand Pond and it slowly disappeared as I painted. Aww… it 🙂 Next time I go back will be when there is snow on the Buttes and just before they shut down the road for the season… costs too much to keep it plowed. It will be so fun to paint it with a good amount of snow on them Buttes

      Liked by 1 person

  4. WOW – stunning ‘on site’ paintings Margaret!
    your skill with the mountains is absolutely Gorgeous!
    nailing those spot on SUPER!!! in fact, I wish I’d done them 🙂
    Just checking- query…. re pinning?
    would you like me to ask per every, photo. or was my earlier Request for “Artist owner ie the creator” permission to Pin, ok? you know i have the River board, Pastel, Tree, Mountain, Watercolor boards… hehehe….
    ‘The Laborer is worth his wages’… so, there’s No copying, plagiarizing from me… as you are most likely pretty sure of already!


    1. you can pin whatever you want, you can do that right? is it already set up or should I do that? I think that you were able to before? lol I can’t keep up with it all, I can’t keep up with myself! Now you have to come visit and we can go like the dickens to all these places and go “painting crazy”!!! I am so excited because this winter I will be painting snow scenes, I can’t wait! I have no idea what it will be like to paint with watercolor when it is cold. I tried googling it but I always get info about painting houses when it is cold. lol I guess the only way to find out is do it. Now…..thank you for all your comments, they mean a lot to me, a lot! Oh, I do have a question, do you think that my tree line is too dark, too heavy? I was concerned about that but I am a “put it on thick” kind of gal, I go for it, no tap dancing, it is Tango all the way baby! lol but I am wondering if it is too much.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. thanks! I’d noted your copyright info…. hehehe GOOD for you! I so badly want to come and paint, and splash in that river …. boy oh boy. it calls me. seriously. i will have to look at the tree line…

        Liked by 1 person

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