Fall on the North Yuba

painting #1 Fabriano 300# 7 x 9 inches

At first I did not like this painting which is essentially a warm-up, now I am liking it a tad, no more mind you. I have been thinking lately that I’ll be taking November away from blogging. I haven’t  been feeling good about my paintings for a while now, very few of them I really like. I have decided to explore my reasons for painting, and get more into a meditative, spiritual approach to my painting process. This might extend into December. I’ll do an extensive post about that next week, so be looking for it.

my scene for painting #1
painting #2 (at Rocky Rest) on Arches 300# rough 7 x 9 inches

I decided to move on down the river to Rocky Rest where I have painted before Beach at Rocky Rest . I wanted to pull some good feeling from this outing because I was not enjoying the painting experience which is unusual for me. I brought out the largest Chinese style brush I have to paint with to shake things up, I kind of liked the experience, always fun to throw something different into the mix.

My scene  at Rocky Rest
painting #3 on Saunders 200# 7 x 9 inches

My camera make those splotches very dark, they are not in actuality, keep that in mind.

painting #4 on Fabriano 300# 7 x 9 inches

I didn’t touch these paintings once I got home, I’ll do that later, if needed. I  want to take my time to assess them properly.

Learning Points:

  • Don’t paint when in a nasty mood!
  • If in a nasty mood while out there, paint until you can leave with a good feeling, I did just that.
  • Art is suppose to be fun!

*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.

45 thoughts on “Fall on the North Yuba

  1. It is very true, that when you don’t feel great it can reflect in a painting…I can’t see that in your work, none the less if you are feeling this way it is important to tackle it before it worsens, as you say, painting should be fun. Sometimes painting in itself can lift a mood, on other occasions it can make one feel less fulfilled. I combat this by changing mediums frequently, and experimenting, well playing…I don’t blog that stuff! It usually ends up as a muddy mess, but I do discover lots in the process. Enjoy your change, and I hope it helps you into finding where you want to be, but I can assure you I adore your work, you have a great eye for colour, and I am still working on loose painting, something you achieve with ease, don’t be hard on yourself, just have a change in direction for as long as you need, don’t set times, just go with the flow you feel ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Aww thank you, I hesitated telling folks that it didn’t start out as a good day but I believe in being open and honest in my blog. I didn’t want it to be a “please pat me on the back” prompt but rather simply expressing how I am feeling and what I am going for. My goal which I will touch upon more in depth in a post next week; is that I want to have more of a creative confidence that I don’t currently have (or maintain). I am very critical of myself and I know that I’ll never really lose that but I want to be able to not look at most of my paintings and feel this odd feeling that it is all crap. I don’t like that feeling and I am wanting to get to the bottom of it. I want to focus on where I am going with my art and to develop a different view of my own art. I like what you said….not to set times but go with the flow, thank you Rebecca 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ummm Margaret I really understand being self critical, I also dislike most of my work on completion, but usually 6 months later this can change, I agree some of this will not change, but rest assured if people did not like your work they just would not comment 😀😀

        Liked by 2 people

  2. dawnmarie

    I hate that feeling. Going through that right now. I decided to switch things up and not try so hard. Got some little baby 3 x 3 mini canvases and few bigger sizes up to 6 x 6 inches and I am just gonna play when I feel like it, paint when I feel like it and don’t paint when I don’t. Lately I have been finding that it is overwhelming in the morning but by the time 2 in the afternoon comes around I want to paint, so I just get me a smaller canvas that I can finish by bedtime. Got a bunch of 11 x 14s for those days. That helps. I also think that as the seasons change for me and there is less sunlight, my moods drop down a few notches which affects whether I see what I do as being pleasing to my eye or not. It is very frustrating. You do what ya need to do and think about what you need to think about. Ignore that little creature telling you your stuff is crap. It is lying to you.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I think you are right, I am too focused on the end product lately and I am then having too critical of an eye on my art and that feeds right into it. I like your plan to paint only when you feel like it and smaller pieces. I think for me to pull a way from blogging and focusing on just art as it flows will help me tremendously. thank you Dawn 🙂 you are a sweetheart

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I think alot of people are reassessing. The time involved with WP….its not just ‘a minute or two. And The Expectations. (it does add up.)
    So taking a break can refresh. I’d love to keep chatting via email/fb though OK? your first painting has a lovely sense of fresh vibrancy and sparkle that soothes. You know, I’m wondering how the hand is actually affecting things too. when it Hurts! its difficult not to grumpy…. just a thought.

    Liked by 4 people

      1. good. I’d miss not ‘seeing’ you! I guess you’ll probably be on FB now and again as it is way less time consuming. I really felt like I got to know you, (well, in www. land!) lol so i’m glad you want to keep chatting 🙂

        Liked by 2 people

  4. Oh Margaret – Sorry to hear you are feeling this way. I was SO EXCITED to see your painting show up in my feed, and I really love the first one! But I understand if you need to break and are feeling frustrated. We all go through phases. I am lucky in a sense that I do so many different things on my blog – if I grow tired of one – I focus on another – but I do try to keep it mixed – but maybe that is odd too – LOL! I have not found much time for painting myself lately. Work has been busy and I’ve been doing so many other things, but I do want to get back to doing it more. But can’t pressure myself either or it takes the joy out of it. Will miss you if you break, but will surely understand. Do what is best for you sweet Margaret. Who knows what you might come up with next or what might inspire you. Sending good vibes your way for joy and happiness! xo

    Liked by 3 people

    1. aww thank you Jodi, if you think of it this way….I am “rebooting” and I will keep a finger on the WP pulse here. It was a difficult decision because I have so loved the interaction but I feel I need to reassess and realign 🙂 It will be for only a month and who knows what I’ll come up with in the future months. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Nice work Margaret. You wrote “I have decided to explore my reasons for painting, and get more into a meditative, spiritual approach to my painting process”.
    I find I need to do that quite often. I don’t know if you read the book Daily Painting by Carol Marine. She has quite a good discussion about “trusting the tide” or something like that. If you do not have that book, it is mainly about oil painting, but it may be a good read regardless – cheap on Kindle.
    In any event – all the best. Your work looks good – like Dawn wrote above, I found that quite often my mood is the primary determinant in how I perceive my paintings. Good luck to you!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Yes…..I am so aware of that mood affects my view of my own work and I am wanting to offset a habitual focusing on the feedback that I get. I want to start feeling it myself, to see it, even if it is miniscule, I want to be able to have a more mature, true self view of my art, to create it from more of an inner creative approach, if that makes any sense. I will look into that book, thank you!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I can really identify with what you are seeking – it is all part of the process of becoming more sensitive, more aware, not only of what happens outside, but also inside. All the best to you on your onward journey.

        Liked by 2 people

  6. Oh, how good I do understand your feeelings, Margaret! I have been into that so many times – so I think I really understand what you mean. Taking a break from painting did not work for me – my mood got worse. And I decided for myself that I will paint how ever my mood is. I am not satisfied with my painting results most of the time anyway – but painting (what ever the result might look like) became the always 1st choice for me to get out of the hole. Although it was accidential (my computer quit working) I found out that staying away from social media for a while was the better therapy for me. The world did not go down when I did not post anything of my paintings for almost two weeks. The pressure is just in our head and it is nothing real. It is good to concentrate on yourself sometimes and it might be helpful to take a break from the online ´interaction´. Your paintings are wonderful!!! I really love them. I wish you a beautiful and rich November and I am looking forward to everything coming up from you in December or when ever you feel for it.

    Liked by 3 people

  7. I got say something even though it falls under “none of my business.” I wouldn’t put a copyright on the watercolor if I were you. It becomes part of the picture. Copyright right protection is really important in work that is designed to be reproduced — where the value of the work lies in its multiplication into a gazillion reproduced images. If you were selling prints of your watercolors, you could put the copyright somewhere discrete — either on the image or on a margin. But to have it appear in the original work with your signature mars the beauty of the picture itself.

    The work itself has a unique value. It’s one of a kind. If you really think the copyright is essential, put it into the reproduction so that the unique picture can be preserved as it is. A copyright message in a caption under the picture would convey the same legal understanding.

    Granted, I’m especially peevish in this regard because I rarely even sign my paintings — though I’m beginning to do so. But I agonize about how the signature looks. Sometimes I’ve signed things and then painted over the signature because I didn’t like the appearence. Now I’m trying to make a signature using my first name that looks Degas-ish — because he signed everything and his signature is really quite beautiful. But the copyright, in contrast, is so temporal, transient….
    Your name, however, is always your name.

    Do you know what I’m saying …?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I know exactly what you are saying. Actually I used a marker on a piece of plastic and taped it to the painting. It looks awful doing that and truthfully I hate it. It is my attempt at alleviating a fear that somebody will steal my image. Lol at this point I really don’t care but I don’t know how to make a neat and tidy signature with a computer app. I personally will not sign until I frame a painting. I am with you in regards to the signature, it is part of the painting and should be handled with care. Now, you have helped me with that decision because my image is my image with or without my signature! thank you Aletha! If anything, I am more concerned about my photos having some “protection” than the paintings.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. clarification — ” If you were selling prints of your watercolors, you could put the copyright somewhere discrete — either on the image or on a margin. ” I meant that you could superimpose the symbol on the image of the reproduction as part of the printing process — it wouldn’t be on the original ….

    Liked by 2 people

  9. I read everything backwards so I’m only now learning that you were having rather a bad hair day. I hope things are going better for you. Don’t have to tell you life has ups and downs. Some thoughts — I know that a lot of people see art as recreation; for me it’s work. I don’t expect to like everything I do. Much of it is really hard. Personally I love the hard stuff. When my drawing looks totally awful (I don’t post those!) I know that I’ve ventured into new territory. I also enjoy doing things I’m good at. The pastels I’m doing lately are ones where I feel totally “in the zone.” Painting these images has been a blast and I have one on the easel now that I love. But they are super hard work too. I had to stay up late over successive nights to finish some of them and then my sleep schedule gets out of whack and I get very cranky — don’t recommend that procedure but sometimes in my circumstances I have to pull a late nighter if things are going to happen.

    Art can be about feelings. Obviously for a lot of folks here it is. So I offer this other view just because it’s another view. My art is about the things, the image and additionally it’s about what I learn. Every time I look at a still life (landscape, etc.) to paint it, I learn something. I love that learning. So I seek out difficult subjects. I’ve been painting a long time, and I know there’s things I can readily do — I do those things because I want to produce well made pictures. But I also arrange time to do things that are a struggle — things that confuse me — because I want to keep learning. There’s a balance.

    Managing your feelings doesn’t need to have anything to do with art. I read a lot of “self-help” books (I happen to love them). Some of the best (like Brian Tracy’s) really lift my mood. It’s like what a coach is to a team of athletes. But anyone can feel down sometimes. It hasn’t anything necessarily to do with an artistic process. Like anyone can catch a cold. I don’t get my moods mixed up with my art — EVEN THOUGH I want my art also to convey emotion. Does that make any sense?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. hmm….I truly love that about treating your feelings or mood as a cold rather than allowing it to be mixed up with your art. I don’t think I am there yet (keeping it separate) but I am very aware that my artist self esteem is at its’ lowest at present. It is connected to my general view of who I am, what I am and I am allowing it to seep into my artistic life to the point of going negative. I have struggled with this for years and I am learning how to work through it, use it to propel me forward. With this latest bout of the “same old thing”, I decided to approach it differently. Yes, I am pulling away drastically from the blogging to realign my attitude, and yet at the same time there is a little “brat attack” going on! lol yes, I can be honest. I really do feel that if anything I am trying to turn down the blogging as though I am turning off the radio in my room so that I can focus. 🙂 I am leaning too heavily on listening, well, reading what others think of my paintings while my own beliefs and feelings of my work is being lost in the process. I appreciate the feedback so much, especially since I am mostly negative about my art. It was an eye-opener that perhaps it isn’t as bad as I thought. But at the same time, I relied too heavily on those comments and there lies the crux of the latest struggle. I want to stop focusing so much on what I read or don’t read. I want to start centering myself and start from the basics of where I know so that I can center myself. I have about four books written by Eric Maisel, I love his books and they are very helpful. I will look into Brian Tracey. hehe I am working out the whys and wherefores in my comment section on this post but I plan on touching upon this struggle in a post this week. If anything, I hope to learn something during this blogging break. Thank you Aletha I love hearing about your perspective and about your own artistic path. I also look at art as work and it is not a hobby or a recreational pursuit, far from it. I enjoy those moments when I am in the zone. I think that my self esteem gets entwined in my painting and if it isn’t turning out well, it drags me down. I want to take that to a different level, to disengage that part of the process. Hopefully I can make some progress in that area. Thank you again. 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Blogging in and of itself is very time consuming. There’s huge gaps in my postings. Sometimes I just cannot do it without sacrificing from work or family or simple peace of mind. My dog looks so sad at me — seems to say “you don’t spend enough time with me.” So even the dog sometimes keeps me away from the computer. But that’s a good thing.

        Find a balance and I know we’ll all look forward to hearing what you’ve been up to after your time spent just working, musing, meditating and so on …

        Liked by 2 people

  10. My daughter’s cello teacher said (in reference to some piece we were talking about — we’d been to a concert and heard a performance) that she couldn’t just listen to that particular work anymore. It sounded so sad! But she was very matter of fact that about THAT particular piece, she had played it so often and — evidently it has an especially challenging cello part — that every time she hears a recording she “hears” the technical challenges. She knows what’s involved in playing it and isn’t just hearing the music anymore. She loves the piece. It doesn’t alter her appreciation — indeed, it probably enhances it. But she cannot “just listen” as a kind of blank slate as probably most listeners do. In a similar way, I don’t confuse the emotions I have while working with the emotions INSIDE the picture.

    My painting can be bright and effusive, and maybe I’ve got a headache when I’m working. Or maybe I’m a grouch that day. Etc. I suppose that’s where “technique” comes in — when you are making practical decisions about things and they will communicate emotion — to others — but are not a reflection of the artist’s own emotions. Matisse painted all kinds of beautiful, delicate, lyrical works and World War II was raging practically right next door. While he was painting some of those things, his daughter was a prison of war. You don’t detect any of that in the paintings themselves. With some of his most colorful, playful works he was himself suffering a life-threatening gastro-intestinal illness and recovering from surgery. Sometimes the painting and the artist are in very different places.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I appreciate this comment, Aletha…..I might have to come back to read these comments now and then as a reminder. I love your perspective, I wasn’t aware of the struggles that Matisse was having. Very insightful indeed. 😉 As opposed to Kathe Kollwitz who brought the terror, angst and misery of the war into her paintings. I read some about her just last night, how losing her son Peter in WW1 shaped the rest of her life. Interesting how knowing the background of the artists we admire gives more insight into their paintings.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Ironically you are taking a sabbatical from your blog & I’m writing all these comments. But I am giving away the 2 cents today.

    Kathe Kollwitz’s drawings are so moving. I find them difficult to look at sometimes because they are so sad, but she was a great artist of incredible skill. Not a landscape painter though …

    So the 2 cents is — because you and I see art as work — look at landscape artists. Learn things that have a direct application to the kind of imagery that you paint. Based on what you already do, I’d say look at some or all of these and really study them carefully — Van Gogh, Winslow Homer, Albrecht Durer (watercolors), the Limbourg brothers (Tres Belles Heures, Tres Riches Heures), Meindert Hobbema, Jacob Ruisdael, Turner, Constable, Delacroix — especially Delacroix who made beautiful landscapes in both watercolor and pastel — studies, but the most beautiful things ever. Camille Corot (the king of beautiful, romantic emotional landscape) and John Singer Sargent who surprisingly made a ton of landscape watercolors and oil paintings. Aert van der Neer, 17th century Dutch landscape artist of moonlight scenes. Wolf Kahn among moderns and Richard Diebenkorn.

    There’s so much technical information to be gained from looking at these artists to say nothing of just how beautiful their pictures are and so rewarding to see. Everything’s online nowadays.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. No worries, technically I will be taking that break starting on November 1st. I will have to figure out how to scroll through the feed without getting bogged down. I won’t go entirely missing 🙂 you suggest exactly what my plans are….going back to studying the masters….and thank you for that list. I will write them down and do the research. Thank you. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  12. I like the first painting – there’s some good contrast there. On the second, for my money, I reckon you could get more darks in the water and more detail in the reflections.
    Best of luck with your ruminations. Perhaps pick on a painter you like and see if their books/videos can give you some insights and don’t get pulled in too may directions.

    Liked by 3 people

  13. Pingback: Beginning of the Beginning – Yuba Gold

  14. Your work is always clean and beautiful, just like you, my BS/PW friend. What you resist persists, so my .02 re your self-criticism is to embrace it wholeheartedly and see what happens. If you meet your critic with understanding, he may fizzle on his own. This is probably much too simplistic but it’s my knee-jerk reaction. I think your break is a wonderful idea and will be a great thing. Good for you! I’ve been reading “Loving What Is” by Byron Katie. It may seem a little out there, but after the election, I really needed to come to a better place and so I picked it up as a reread after my sister encouraged me. Her premise is that any negative thought or one that’s causing unease will let go of you once you understand it and she explains that process. You can also go to http://www.thework.org and get lots of free info there, if you’re interested. I’m always amazed by the people who are so critical, they are often making the most amazing stuff. And as you say, the more relaxed you are approaching the work, the better it will be. But it will work something out of you for your good,whether you like it now or a month from now. The process is often the thing. I hope this is making any sense or helping at all. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours! ((((((((M)))))))))

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh aren’t you a darling! ❤ everything that you said makes perfect sense and believe it or not, it is a confirmation! I have been just lately learning to embrace it and not focus on it and the less focus and attention I give it, that self criticism is taking a back seat. It is far easier than I realized. I will look up that book and the link. I have been dealing with it so much better, it comes and goes but I push past it. Thank you for all your comments, you are a doll and a half!

      Liked by 1 person

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