Trees and Light Oh My


Painting #1 Evening Light at Bullards

I have been working on multiple paintings lately and nothing to show right now so I thought I would post a few from January (and from two years ago) that never made it to my blog. The above painting was one that I enjoyed working on. I decided to go back to fix the tree on the left, the edges were too sharp and it didn’t look right. I straightened the tree and I eliminated that yellow foliage. I will be working more and more on forest scenes in the next several months to learn more of a soft, impressionistic look. Soft and hard edges in watercolor can be difficult to master and I am going to master it, by golly!


Painting #2

Again, hard edges where there should be soft here and there. I lost the definition of the path but over all I really like the light and feeling.


My reference photo – North Yuba Trail


Painting #3 – my second attempt

I really like the light in the far back trees but failed  on several aspects, sharp edges on trees, the closest tree and path needs tons of work (or not), my color choices for the rocks was undecided. The sky is too white, not enough definition. These paintings are steps to getting more experience under my belt.

I might go back and have another go at this scene but try for more impressionistic rather than trying to follow the photo exactly. Lately I have been venturing down this direction but yesterday I decided to follow the photo.


painting #4


The above painting was from about two years ago. I like the overall softness, light and especially the handling of the trees.


painting #5 – Plein air 2014


painting #6 – from 2014

The above painting is how impressionistic I am aiming towards. Perhaps more simplistic than what I have in mind. At first I wasn’t sure if I liked it but my daughter snatched it up before I really started to appreciate it. Now I want it back!



I have been having a hankering to get back into portraits and figures but in watercolor. I am going to have a busy year without a doubt! Happy Painting folks!


*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.





47 thoughts on “Trees and Light Oh My

  1. Ooooos and aaaaahhhs and swoons! Such beauty you create. And so hard on yourself. I’d be dancing a jig if I created any of these!!!! Can’t wait to see some of your portrait work. Yippee!!! Exciting!

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  3. I really like the first one, Margaret – the light through the trees is lovely! It was fun to see all of these past works of yours, they all have merit, even if you didn’t find them especially satisfying at the time because, as you know, the learning is the important part. Can’t wait to see your portraits and figures!

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  4. my dearest Miss M, you have DONE what is the most difficult thing to do.
    Each and every one, has a presence, a wonderful …. Feeling.
    the spirit of the place is there! How many others can do this?!! it is so hard to do. hmm, so there are some, minor tweaks wanted/ needed…. no worries.

    but at all costs, keep that loose sense of freedom in your work.
    If, perimeters need softened later. easy. If, tree bottoms need softened later, ok. if, yellow golds need a cool glaze later – you can do that too. If some darks need to be lifted and varied later, that is do able too. assess these things… later. and always ask yourself Do I Feel IT?!! you know what the IT is, lol and if yes, that right there is 90% of a good painting!!
    I, f e l t the essence of the forest in each. well done 🙂 YRF

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    1. Debi…..Oh thank you for your comments and yes, I see the blaring “misdeeds” and yet I do know that the feeling is there and that is what drives me on. I put these up even though they aren’t “perfect” and that took courage from me. I have to fling aside my fear of what others think and try to convey my hope for what I am trying to convey here. You just encouraged me today! 🙂

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      1. little trivialities, petty little things! you mastered the Big thing. I loved looking In To each of these paintings… into each forest and wandering. strolling. it was lovely. 🙂

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  5. Snehal Kank

    Margaret your landscape painting is simply incredible. Every time I see your work, there is something new to learn. Your light study is amazing! 💜

    Liked by 1 person

      1. dawnmarie

        Lol. Yup! Would it be too foreword to say your browns are very inviting and your blues as the night sky. The greens are as pools of uh…mossy ponds? I’m not very poetic.

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  6. Wonderful! Awesome! Missing words… they are all so beautiful. Painting #1 Evening Light at Bullards is my personal favorit, although it is hard to pick one. I really love your impressionistic painting from 2014, too. I think you should follow this way, too.

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  7. Really great paintings Margaret! These are in my opinion all very challenging scenes to depict, and you pulled it off so well. My favorite though is #5, I just like its color harmony and I think it also has a good abstract design. I hope you are enjoying the creation of these and that the angst is kept in check! 🙂

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    1. thank you! I feel flattered that you love it. Let’s see, I brushed in the base colors as you see for the first layer, yellow for the glow, the blues where I felt were needed, the red for the ground area. I brush on ultramarine blue and cobalt blue for the trees. I didn’t fuss with the trees, made sure that there were soft edges and snippets of trees here and there. I think that I laid in a yellow on top of the blue for the lead-in to the back sun-lit trees. I flicked colors that I used in the entire painting in the foreground and as you see leading the eye back. I hope that I told you all that I had done. I think that I painted this in the zone and on the spur of the moment, that is important….to get into that zone. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you Margaret! I wondered when you flicked the paint during your process because it adds a bit of mystery that draws my eyes into your painting. I really like all the layers too. Thanks for explaining it to me. I think getting into the zone can be magical, I agree! 🎨👍

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