Another One to Add to the Valley Series


on Bockingford 140# cp 11 x 14 inches   

After receiving a new shipment of paper, I wanted to try out Bockingford tinted paper, eggshell to be precise. I ordered only one sheet and I thought I would give this paper a try. At first I was taken back by the blueish appearance of the paper but realized that against the warmth of my washes it really seem to contrast quite nicely. I love the paper! I am not sure if my room was too warm but it seems to me that Bockingford dries faster, I will have to keep an eye on that in the future. No problem because I would keep that in mind and react accordingly. I do believe that I will order it in the future, I am convinced that it will work for me.

The colors used in this painting are: Cerulean Blue, Quin. Red, Cobalt Blue (sky and land) then I used primarily Quin. Gold, Moonstone, Hematite Genuine and Indigo. Daniel Smith watercolors, of course.

*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.


Jodi’s Morning Mist

I have to admit I was a bit nervous at first onset of planning this painting. Translating a beautiful and atmospheric photo as this one Jodi’s photo was daunting to say the least. I had the confidence at the start of the idea until I knuckled down to paint. But then again, quite normal right? Too much confidence isn’t good in the long run.

It has been a long while since I have put myself on a task like this and I actually really liked having the pressure (not much, Jodi!). It  pushed me to put on my best courage and my positive attitude that always seems to carry me through. This has not always been the case. In the past I have been very tough on myself. My inner critic had pushed me out of doing art for seven long years, I will never allow that to ever to happen again. My enthusiasm for art is etched out of a long history of self abasement over my art and my worth. Never again! Alright, that was not intended to be a part of this post, but I am leaving it.

There is something about fog and mist that I love and when I saw Jodi’s photo, the conversation about my translating it to a painting prompted me to give it a try.

I wished that I took more photos of my process but when I am ‘knee deep’ in painting, I am too enthralled with it to give any thought to taking photos.


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My art desk where I plan and plot my next paintings



The whole idea was to outline my process but I will have to do that without any extra photos.


On Saunders 300# 11 x 14 inches


I actually painted three paintings using the reference photo because I wanted to see if I could get better results but ultimately I feel the first painting was the best version.

I first masked off little grass blades throughout the marshy area. I always allow the mask to dry naturally and never rush it with using a blow dryer.

I thoroughly wet down the sky and the foggy area where you see the little snippet of water. I used the following colors (Daniel Smith) for the sky: Cerulean Blue, Cobalt Blue, Quinacridone red and Hansa Yellow Light. I always try to use transparent, non staining colors as much as possible, especially for the sky. Cerulean is a semi-transparent, though it is a non-staining color. I was able to manipulate the colors and to etch out my sun. Makes it easier when your color are non-staining. Skies for me is always the hardest at this point. I don’t have enough experience yet with them but I do know this, get in and get out. Make your marks quickly and don’t fiddle or fuss with them. I have a difficult time making my colors rich and dark enough, especially for dramatic skies. I need more practice with skies.

Once the sky and foggy area was bone dry, I used Cerulean Blue and Cobalt Blue and a touch of Quin. Red, I started the first layer of trees. I used my sprayer and alternately sprayed and painted the trees. I also used a rigger brush to scrape and scoot the water and color lightly across to soften the edges. I went by instinct on how much water and color to give. I allowed that layer to dry. I think that I did about three layers, getting darker with each layer. Looking back I would have liked to have given the trees more bulk, they look rather twiggy. Always something to work on!

I sprayed at random the marshy area and dropped in the following colors (Daniel Smith):   Quinacridone Gold, Lunar Blue, Burnt tiger’s Eye and Moonstone. I worked out the marshy instinct. I didn’t want to overd0 my detail. I am after feeling and gist rather than photo perfection. On hindsight I probably would have forego the masking. I usually don’t use it but I think my nervousness took over when I decided on using it. If anything, the flicks of white (though I did knock it down with raw sienna) does give it some interest.

The marshy area was the hardest part because either you do too much or not enough. To make an interesting marshy area is hard! Initially this is why I had another two tries of the same scene.

Lastly I painting in a few bushes and then the cattail heads.

I truly loved painting this and yet I am always quite aware of my desire to get better and better. I could pull this painting apart but I think that I know what I need to work on in the future. I do believe that I caught a feeling and essence of the motive of the photo. I have been following an artist by the name of Russell Black who is part of a group of artists such as Frank Webb, Tony Van Hasselt who believes that art should be an expression of self rather than trying to copy or follow a photo. Look these artists up to better understand the concept. Granted, I did take Jodi’s photo and tried to “copy” the design but at least I interpreted it with giving it my own personal flair.

So sorry for the length of this post but I am hoping that if it benefits one person, it is worth it. Thank you for your patience!

*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.






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.


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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.


Yuba Love at Shenanigan Flat

on Saunders 200#

My son-in-law had set up a rope system to enable me to safely access this part of the river about two weeks ago Shenanigans at Shenanigan Flat and I can say that it worked well and in fact there is evidence that it is being used by other people besides myself.

There is change in the weather and I love it here at the river. I was able to paint till 12 noon I am amazed because usually by 9 or 10 am, the light is not that beautiful and it is over and done.

My scene for the above painting


One of my warm-up paintings on Arches 140# rough

I was having a difficult time with this painting but decided to include it just to show you a warm-up that was rough going.

on Arches 140# rough 7 x 9 inches

This stack of rocks is quite unusual because it looks like an Italian dessert. My artist eyes were starting to come in, finally!

My scene of that very cool rock
on Arches 140# rough 7 x 9 inches

this painting has its’ problems such as that little rapid showing at the middle, too sharp and not very well done. I couldn’t get the photo to show the light violet in those back rocks. The photo doesn’t do the painting justice but oh well, the task of marrying up the photo to the painting is often difficult.

My scene
on Saunders 200# 11 x 14 inches

I wasn’t going to include this painting but decided why not? I consider it a fail because I had such a difficult time with the water and depicting the white water. I enjoyed the painting of it though I just couldn’t get the water to come together as cohesive.

My scene

I have discovered that I didn’t bring by Burnt Sienna so I relied on my Daniel Smith Burnt Tiger’s Eye and I must say, I am in love! I think when it is mixed with Lunar Blue it is exquisite! Yummy color. I plan on coming back and knocking this scene out of the ball park one of these days. Here I tried painting this scene the first time: North Yuba River-Shenanigan Flat I am not sure which one session won. Looking forward to more times on the Yuba river.

I love the Yuba River, can you tell?













Daniel Smith Cobalt Teal Blue and Co.

CTB and Hematite

I did a little experimentation with Daniel Smith’s Cobalt Teal Blue with a few colors and I hope these swatches does the job. I must be in a very picky mood because I was trying for the perfect angle and color swatch, oh my goodness!

CBT and Hematite

Debi Riley was interested in what I discovered and wished that I got a better representation of Lunar Blue and CBT together, I tried but I am not sure if it really shows off the beautiful combination.

CTB and Lunar Blue

I laid down the heavier granulating colors which are Lunar Blue and Hematite and then the CTB, I think that they float together quite well. I have to admit that I am more partial to Hematite mixture the most. I do need to get more of that color, one of my favorites. Then I tried DS Quin. Red and it was beautiful! I couldn’t get a good photo but I must say….wow! Take my word for it.

That’s all folks! I hope to get back into the swing of things soon. I have a sudden picky mood come on, not the depressing kind, more of a quiet contemplative kind. Whatever that means, no clue. Just a few days break is in order.