Camptonville Cemetery-World Watercolor Month #9


My little plein air adventure was to Camptonville Cemetery which is located right in town. Camptonville history this link will give you some interesting details of the history of this little town. I arrived before the sun hit the cemetery itself, so I painted this truck on the edge overlooking the countryside.

My reference photo for my  first painting
painting #1 on Arches 140# cp 7 x 9 inches

Painting this truck has been a dream of mine for years and I think I need to do a studio painting of it and work on it bringing out the textures because en plein air, I was able to do so much. I wanted to keep the surrounding foliage simple. I could feel myself wanting to go abstract but I held myself back.

Painting #2 on Arches 140# cp 7 x 9 inches…. the countryside, backside of the cemetery

Alright wondering why I go to a cemetery and not paint headstones? I arrived too early and I had to wait for the sun to hit the cemetery itself. Finally, I was able to paint a headstone! I planted myself between these two headstones…..interesting…..a Margaret and a Maggie; just like before I painted next to a Margaret just this past week.





Painting #3 on Arches 140# cp 11 x 14 inches

My headstone is a bit off, it didn’t help that I had a meat bee trying to take a bite out of me and I was using my painting to swat at him. I can’t blame it all on the bee, I need to be more careful in cutting out my shapes in the future. My drawing was right on (I think) but the painting part, I lost some good edges. A good learning experience. The top of my headstone is off, it makes me laugh but that was when I was fighting the bee.

It was a ho hum painting experience, it didn’t have me on the edge of my seat, I ended up more focused on depicting detail which is alright. I need to learn to go from one spectrum to the other. I am not exactly crazy in love with any of my paintings. I am trying to find the sweet spot of working within my style which is very loose and yet I ended up painting more realistic than I really wanted to. I am trying to find my way.

I tried out my new color, Cobalt Teal Blue in the 3rd painting….I do believe that it is opaque or semi-transparent and it should be used alone as my fellow blogger Debi has mentioned many times. Debi’s Cobalt Teal Blue Wisdom I had to test it out and she is right! I didn’t really mix it but it needs space and strategic planning. I feel that it does not look right in the spot that I used it.

Learning Points:

  • Practice out of my comfort zone as often as I can.
  • Alternate different approaches, ie:  abstract to tight. It keeps my drawing skills in tune and helps to keep my interest level engaged.
  • I need to learn to depict grasses better.

Peoria Memorial Park-World Watercolor 7

Up and at it early and arriving just before the sun hit the cementery, located about 5 miles from Loma Rica.

The sun just coming over the ridge
beautiful light and color on these cypresses
painting #1 on Arches 140# rough 11 x 14 inches
painting #2  on Fabriano #140 7 x 9 inches
Painting #3 on Arches 140# rough 7 x 9 inches
painting #4 on  Fabriano 140# 7 x 9 inches

I intended to make a rather tight study or detailed paintings but, again….my loose and crazy side came out to play. I actually painted one more but it was not quite clear enough in the shapes and values to include here.

I am trying to find my way into an approach that really works for me, I do tend to want to abstract my paintings lately, so I am not holding back. Perhaps it is my way of finding how far I want to go with looseness. Time will tell if I venture back to more realism, I am not worried about it. I am painting for pure joy and for me at this point.

It was so fun to hear the birds and mooing cattle nearby. I scouted out this cemetery about two weeks ago and I finally was able to come and paint. Now….if you are wondering where are the headstones in my paintings? I think that you can see one that is a shape of a headstone that I intended to paint but was initially forgotten. I think that I was to excited about the trees and the beauty rather than the headstones.

Poor dear Margaret….. but she had a long life!


Love that view! especially of the oaks in the background

Learning Points:

  • Mingle your paints rather than on the palette, so much more exciting!

Short and sweet….sorry I ran out of steam, more next time.