River Study and Sierra Buttes


Interesting that WP continues to mess with me. Sorry I am not able to size my photos correctly. All I see is the code for the photo and I have to trust they get uploaded once I post this.

This painting was more of a study of values and shapes. I didn’t want to spend a lot of time on detail or rendering. I think that it gives an abstract feel to the painting.


I whacked this one out in a day and didn’t want to spend too much time on it. I rendered it more than I probably liked but I have found that it exercises my patience and observance of a subject. I think that I will take back a value on that section of the mountain on the right, the shadow is too dark.


This is a painting that I have been working on for over a month little by little and I haven’t taken the time to post the finished (I think) painting. I come back to this subject often because it is such a beautiful area of my world. I chose not to bring the trees to a more detailed finish because the Sierra Buttes is the subject of interest. They are simply applauding.

Hey, I did it! I wrote this whole thing within 10 minutes! I can’t do squat with my photos but at least I was able to type without WP freezing up.

21 thoughts on “River Study and Sierra Buttes

  1. Oh Margaret – each one of them has a special magic to them! The dreamy background colors in the first make me sigh with pleasure. I feel the chill of the mountains in the second one and just get lost in the sky. Those amazing mountains in the third with the wind whipping the snow and the depth of colors in the trees and their reflections in the lake are truly swoon-worthy! WOWZA- you are rocking the watercolors margaret! Absolute magic!


    1. thank you Mr. Plaidcamper. So funny as I looked at these two paintings of the Sierra Buttes, I am already plotting more future paintings of this elusive (in my mind) I am hoping to go more ethereal and mystical with it….wish me luck!


  2. Antje

    I love your mountainscapes! The skies are so fluffy and the mountains so craggy with the brushwork being delicate but not flimsy – I’m really impressed. I didn’t know it could be done like this. Also, the suggestive details and not having the trees worked out more in the last one really makes this painting come together so well. A true inspiration, thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you…..I almost thought that I messed up by not being more detailed with the trees but then I am just getting comfortable with suggestion and the mountain definitely wants more attention, a no-brainer I suppose πŸ˜‰ Taking it slow really helps with knowing what to do in each step.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. dawnmarie

    Loving the red in number one and the light, The shape of the mountain in the third one is cool, especially with the snow and the trees, light reflecting in the water and the light look great! I know it is water color, but you still get a feeling of texture and brush strokes in the way you did the snow on the third one. Clouds re very fluffy and defined but not overdone, the illusion of depth of the water…it’s a nice painting Margaret. The colors are great!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. You do such interesting things with the format. Your choices about whether something should be horizontal or vertical add a nuanced sense of how these images are structured. Definitely the vertical format of the last one emphasizes the heights of the mountain and the horizontal format of the middle picture enhances the sense of endless sky and seemingly endless mountains too. Very beautiful. You are Nature’s friend, Margaret, and she tells you her secrets.

    Reading your reply to Mr Plaidcamper, I look forward to your forays into ethereal and mystical.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh thank you so much….yes, though I think that nature is loving me a whole bunch back! I have been reading a book about Chiura Obata and his painting Yosemite. He had a wonderful perspective about capturing nature…not to copy but to “paint the “living moment” the immediate, intuitive understanding of the life movement or spirit harmony of all living things.” Now that is what I strive for! hence going more into the ethereal, mystical and spiritual is my goal. Trying to use photos only as a jumping off point but eventually wanting to paint more and more from my imagination and memory.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, I am wanting to talk more about my process. Sometimes I rush to get my post up without giving the details. I am trying to include my colors, lately I have been leaving that part out. I will get better at it.


  5. the first one I love its background, going warm transitioning to cooler IS so lovely!
    and #3 impressionist magic! love it so much!! πŸ™‚ absolutel no need to add ‘detail’ we see and feel it with those dreamy soft edges! YRF

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your input Debi, I always appreciate it. I can’t wait to do more Sierra Buttes paintings. I am raring to get up there to plein air paint, they are slowly getting the road plowed. There is 6 foot of snow on top of compacted ice to work through…..I am biting at the bit! I don’t mind working from my photos but there is nothing like working from the real thing.

      Liked by 1 person

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