Old and New Paintings


Painting #1 on Saunders #200 quarter sheet

I painted this one about a month ago and was undecided if I liked it or not. I do! I have been reading about the watercolor techniques of Edgar Whitney and I have been actively working on painting minimally. Whitney says that we are artists have a story to tell, don’t religiously copy a reference photo, take the artistic plunge and be creative!


painting #2 on Arches 140# quarter sheet

This is the same scene but painted even more simplistic, especially those trees on the left embankment. I wasn’t too concerned about making them “real”, almost a calligraphic approach.


painting #3 on Arches 300# quarter sheet

I painted this one yesterday and was striving for drama, so I worked the values to the hilt. I am not too sure if I like that rock shape in front but then at least it isn’t boring! Early part of the week I had gone out to plein air paint on the South Yuba river and I based this painting on one of my photos of that trip.

colors used: Cobalt Blue, Cerulean Blue, Aureolin, Prussian Blue, Quin. Gold, Burnt Sienna, Ultramarine Blue


painting #4 on Saunders 200# quarter sheet

This one I painted today. This is a scene on the river that is my ultimate favorite. If I could, I would paint this at least 20 times, there is something about it that reminds me of our trip to Canada when I was a child.

Colors used: Cobalt Blue, Cerulean Blue, Quin. Gold, Aureolin, Prussian Blue, Mayan Blue, Moonglow

Learning Points:

  • Standing up for me while painting is something that I have been doing for months. It gives me a better perspective and I am able to step away, tilt my head which for some reason really helps me to see what I need to do.
  • Taking the time to do a value and design sketch is so important. I am a very impatient person but this is one thing I plan on doing from now on. Again, something that I read that Edgar Whitney felt was important in the endeavor of picture making.
  • Let loose and see what happens, I take to this approach like a duck to water but I realize that it can be difficult for some people.
  • I lie! when I first started painting in watercolor, I was timid and it hasn’t been until last year that I started to become very bold with the medium.
  • Don’t be afraid of the dark, adjust those values if needed.
  • I use large brushes in most of all my painting, it helps to be bold and not to treat your painting as precious.
  • Paint what you love and know. Why would I paint Venice? I haven’t been there and I am not interested in painting scenes that don’t mean anything to me.
  • I am not going to paint scenes that accomplished watercolorists paint just because they do it or because it is a popular scene. I have my own story to tell by golly!

*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.





19 thoughts on “Old and New Paintings

  1. Oh Margaret! I am swooning and ooooing and aaawwing. So much beauty for my eyes and mind and heart. I love the first one but then I love the second even more! Isn’t it amazing what drama minimalism can create! It’s a true art!!!! And that last one takes my Breathe away too!! You are so very talented!!!! So enjoy your paintings and Discussions about them. Must look into the artist you mention.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Jodi! those first two paintings I almost threw away! Because I thought they didn’t have enough….enough, what I don’t know but I held onto them. Goes to show that sometimes first impressions aren’t correct. 😉 I will do a post one of these days about Edgar Whitney. Apparently a lot of his students went on to become well known successful artists….such as Tony van Hasselt, Frank Webb, Tony Couch to name a few. One of my all time students of his is Cheng-Khee Chee, his art is fantastic. He has a video out there about his saturated wet on wet technique and it is an hour long.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I LOVED this post. each of your paintings, reveals threads of the communication between you and the land. the place.
    it is a very wise thing, to hold on, to paintings for awhile. let the initial feelings disperse…. allowing yourself to see it, for what it truly is. not what you Wanted It To Be.
    again. ❤ loved this post. all of it. YRF debi

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Another excellent post. and learning points. I definitely agree with Edgar Whitney with regards to using photographs simply as a jumping off point…not to be copied verbatim.

    Happy painting, and continue to let go and let loose…..Janet 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. dawnmarie

    This set reminds me of a phot series. I really love the blues and greens in your mostly tree scene. I think that was painting number two. I liked the rocks in number three and the light in the tree in number four and the reds in number one. So confusing to keep them all straight but after all your paintings of the Yuba, I find myself jealous of your environment. It is so beautiful.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s