Busy Busy!

painting #1 on Arches 300# rough 11 x 14 inches

I couldn’t resist another valley painting. I am planning a special painting for a special person who encouraged me to use one of her gorgeous photos as a reference. She is curious how I will paint it and so am I!  check out Jodi’s photo here: Jodi’s beautiful photo!. I wanted to spend good quality time on this next project so I decided that I better move these paintings along before I tackle that project.

painting #2 on Winsor Newton 140# 11 x 14 inches

This is taken from a photo that I took while at the Mendocino Coast. I hope to come back to this particular scene and do a “re-do” I am not happy with my fumbled horizon in the center. I loved using Daniel Smiths’ Hematite Genuine for those blackish rocks far below, it mixes so beautifully with other colors and the granulating properties is like none other.


P1160099 (1).JPG
painting #3 on Arches 140# 11 x 14 inches – reference photo was taken by Mary Lee Davey – granted permission to use her photo.

I enjoyed painting this but I am unhappy about the mountain sections, too close in value and I lost that special blue in the far peaks. I plan to give this another try at a later date. I would like to get looser with the trees and work on the drama of the Sierra Buttes.

*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.


36 thoughts on “Busy Busy!

  1. Oh Margaret – I am totally SWOONING over all of these masterpieces! WOWZA! The first one – the SKY! Oh MY! and the mist coming up of the ground! oh so lovely. The second – I LOVE the center that you are not happy with.- the sky and horizon has such depth and life! and oh that hematite! I wish I could see these in person. The last one – WOW – the front trees more defined, the mid section trees a bit blurred and the COLDness of the mountains in the distrance. Oh Margaret – your paintings were always wonderful – but wow – these are getting even more! didn’t know it was possible :). I have not been at it as much as I would love to. Some day! You are certainly living proof of what regularly doing it does! And OH How I cannot wait. CANNOT WAIT – to see how you paint that challenging photo! If you could only hear me squealing with delight and anticipation!!!

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    1. Thank you Jodi, you are a dear 🙂 hard work but also a bull dog determination and a lot of throwing myself into the deep end of the pool and Not freaking out. lol I can almost hear that squealing! hehe…..and it is possible Jodi, believe me. I think about 50% (or more) of the ‘difficulty’ of watercolor is the idea that it is so called difficult. It needs a kind, patient and willing partner, that’s all! one that is willing to let loose and see what happens. I have all of next week and I am going to spend some fun time with your photo and also documenting my process. I am excited!

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  2. These are great Margaret. I like the top two the most – cannot say which one they both have a sense of autumn, flow, warmth, desolation and ambivalence of sorts, but very beautiful. It reminds me of Charles Burchfield – only its YOU.

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    1. ha….thank you for that last statement….I appreciate Charles Burchfield but I don’t ever want to be like another artist and you just put a cap in my hat with those three last words! Much appreciated for all your comments 🙂 looking forward to more of your painting, you always inspire me.

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  3. Your paintings are ALL amazing Margaret!! I love the shadows of the trees in the snow and how you painted your trees!! I’d love to be able to paint trees like you!! 😊 I also liked how you painted the rocks. I had not heard of hemitite watercolor – only stones in jewelry making! 😉 And I love the mistiness of your skies! Wow!

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    1. Thank you Jill….you are so kind. Funny I feel that I don’t quite capture trees like I want. The rocks I alternated the amount of water that I had in my brush and just let the paint do its thing, especially this particular color. It is very “granular” and can get quite dark and also it can go very light as well, Daniel Smith makes it, one of my favorites to work with. Thank you once again, I am determined to do dramatic skies and going to get out there even more in the future. 😉

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      1. Enthusiasm is a wonderful thing and yes can be exhausting at times…I fully understand.:) However, a very necessary ingredient. I don’t believe any of us have time to dilly dally (as we say over here) life really is too short. As I often say time is our most precious commodity. Enjoy the day Janet.

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    1. Thank you Flora….I have been busy looking at your art. I truly love the idea of taking a photo and using it as a kicking off spot. I really feel I want to take a big plunge into being more creative. I usually work en plein air but with all these storms, I am stuck indoors and of course relying on my photos. But with all that plein air experience, it works out that I use my memory and feelings of the location. I especially tap into that with my valley paintings. I really feel honored that you dropped by to take a peek. Thank you so much. 🙂


      1. Thank you again Margaret! I feel your pain too at not being able to get outside when all you want to do is paint from life.
        I have avoided using photos for the fear of getting hung up in replicating the photo, but I see that isn’t a problem for me anymore. 😉 And yet, I admire artists who pull the whole thing out of their heads. I still need reference.
        You mentioned in a post about transitioning to acrylics from watercolours. I love watercolours…that wet-in-wet experience. But the cost of the framing and the weight of them etc caused me to explore acrylic. I mostly use Golden Fluid Acrylics because the consistency felt more familiar than the tube paints and because I could use them like watercolour. Also, the liquitex acrylic inks are AMAZING for that too and also permanent.
        So many materials, so little time! 🙂

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      2. Perhaps I need to come back and talk about this more with you. I know exactly what you mean about the cost and trouble of framing watercolors. That is also the problem with pastels. I have trouble with arthritis and Carpal Tunnel and I found that using the brushes while painting in acrylics aggravated it. So I haven’t painted with them for the past two weeks. I really like the idea of painting with liquid acrylics and ink. With watercolor I can maintain a lighter hold and touch with my brushes, no problem as long as I take breaks. I might look into more of the watercolor handling of acrylics. So true, so many materials and so little time!

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  4. you know Miss M, if you look at this first painting ie feb 2017 and then those you have just finished end of December 2017….. I bet you see a huge leap of difference.
    I do.
    and this is the most important ‘lesson’ any one can have.
    is to look at their own efforts from where they started, to where they are now. And, to find and See, the improvements. cheers, debi

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh wow……I’ll have to go back and take a closer look. I have many goals during this break that I will be taking, a honing in of sorts. I feel like I am wanting to do what Georgia O’Keeffe did back in her early start, locking myself away and delve in, hard core like. cheers!

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