North Valley to the Mountains

 

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painting #1 on Fabriano soft press 300# 11 x 14 inches

I have painted this a few times before Busy with Landscapes and this one I like the best: Glory Be!  I have been going through a general dislike of my paintings but I know that I go through this cycle every month or so and it will pass, thank goodness!

 

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painting #2 on Arches  140# rough 11 x 14 inches

This painting was from a reference photo that I took from my adventure with my brother to go see Bear Valley in Glenn County in the north valley here in Northern California. This place was amazing because of all the rain we received, the land breathed with moisture. I have never seen green as I did on that trip. Most of the roads were dirt or gravel and ranches were everywhere.

 

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Bear Valley in Glenn Co. California

I saw something that I have never seen before and my brother had to point it out to me. Along the fence were two coyotes who had been shot and strung up, apparently this is suppose to be a deterrent to other coyotes. My husband told me that he remembers seeing this as a youngster on the school bus passing a ranch in Nevada County.

 

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Acid green hills!

 

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painting #3 on Arches 140# rough 11 x 14 inches

Last but not least, a view of the North Yuba river in Sierra County. Now onto other paintings and hopefully I’ll get into a better frame of mind with the next paintings.

*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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Semi-abstract Forest and Leaf

 

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painting #1 on Fabriano #300 11 x 14 inches

As I am working on a painting using Jodi’s photo, I decided to see if I could pull something out of a chaotic mess of a forest scene that I started a few weeks ago. I like to work on several paintings while waiting on one to dry, I grab another painting or start one. It seems to work for me because I get my eyes and mind off from the current painting. I almost threw it away but after looking at it, by instinct knew what to do. I am after expression and sometimes that perfectionist in me wants to rule the artist roost, I don’t think so!

The painting above reminds me of some Canadian artists’ work that I admire. I think that what intrigues me about the art that has come out that great country is not only the beauty of nature but how the artist conveys it. Not only the majesty, but an essence that I can’t quite put my finger on. I am a great fan of the Group of Seven, a group of artists that painted the landscape of Canada.

 

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painting #2 on Arches 300# 11 x 14 inches

The above painting was also one that I started on the weekend. I wanted to take a photo that I had shot of a leaf under the water and see what I can do with it. The intention was to semi-abstract the subject. At least it was fun and a good learning process in the meantime. That picky nature of me wants to take the helm and trash it to bits but then I am after feeling and not perfection. So there you go!

*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.

 

 

 

 

Thinking of the North Yuba

 

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on Arches 300# rough 11 x 14 inches

This is a studio painting that I painted several weeks ago. The photo was difficult to marry up to the real painting. The background is more of a greenish blue and the water is more of a yellow gold and there is more of an over all lime green throughout that isn’t showing up in the photo. I am not sure why I couldn’t get the correct depiction but I tried.

I have many more paintings to share and deciding on which ones is difficult. Today I am working on a forest scene of light coming through a grove of redwoods, a photo that I took about 15 years ago.

 

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my scene of the North Yuba at Rocky Rest

*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.

 

 

Glory Be!

 

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Glory Be on Arches rough 300# 10.5 x 13.5 inches

I have been busy with painting every day and loving every moment. I think that for now I am allowing myself to veer in the direction that my creative spirit thrives in. Such as the painting  above. I didn’t want to fiddle around with all the little shrubbery, rocks and gravel so I decided to abstract that jumble of detail.

 

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my reference photo

I might work on this painting more and maybe not! I will let it sit for a while and we’ll see. I like this no pressure approach, it truly works for me. I can’t emphasize how important it is to get out in nature to experience it fully if you plan on painting it. I love painting portraits, you wouldn’t think that I do if you have been following my blog because you never see them!

As a child the landscape has always pulled me, intrigued me to no end. While people tire of looking at landscapes whiz by while on road trips, my spirit soared. It wasn’t until I started plein air painting and hiking out to get to my spot to paint, that this love came to a deep realization.

Know your subject and paint what you love, I can’t emphasize that enough. True, I love portraits but right now I think that I love landscape more. Yes, I am a loner, perhaps that has something to do with it?

Have a wonderful weekend!

*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.

 

 

A Touch of Gold

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Along Shenanigan Flat aka Canyon Creek Trail on Arches 140# 11 x 14 inches

I won’t be able to paint or post for almost a week so I will be missing in action. My husband and I will be celebrating our 31st wedding anniversary on the 11th and will be staying for a few days on the Mendocino coast. Of course we are in the midst of one of the biggest storms that California has experienced in a decade!

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My reference photo

I had more fun painting this. I have been finding that using a rigger brush helps with keeping things exciting and loose and especially with those trees. I didn’t want excessive detail and brought out only what I thought would help the painting. I plan on buying a larger liner though because the one that I do have is kind of small. I got the idea of using a rigger brush from watching Sandra Lynn Strohschein paint in her videos.

*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.

Making Do During a Snowstorm

 

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wip of the Sierra Buttes
The top painting is one that I started a week ago and am taking a slow process completing it. I have yet decided to call it finished.
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My reference photo for the painting above
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on Fabriano 300# 7 x 9 inches

 

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wip on Arches 140# rough 7 x 9 inches
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wip on Fabriano 300# 7 x 9 inches
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wip on Arches 140# rough
The above paintings were painted while I was stuck indoors without power during a big snowstorm.  I decided to haul my watercolor equipment down into the living room next to the north window and the woodstove. I used several plein air pastel paintings to use for my reference.
I would like to know if anyone else has trouble with their WP account. I have the most difficult time putting my post together. I can’t hardly change anything here or even copy and paste. I am so close to letting it go because it is so frustrating. Any ideas?

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One of my pastel plein air that I used for a reference.

*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.

 

 

Snowy North Yuba River

 

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View of the Sierra Buttes from Hwy 49

I wanted to get out to paint en plein air before the next coming storm. When people think of California they think of beaches and the lack of snow. Ha! well, I live in an area that snow is readily available if it isn’t snowing at my house, it is snowing somewhere close by. This location is about 35 miles from my house and the road leading up to the Sierra Buttes is routinely shut down for the winter and opened to snowmobilers and snow sports enthusiasts. It is a personal pet peeve of mine that people have this conception that California is always sunny and short sleeved weather even in winter. With that complaint off from my shoulders, let’s proceed to my painting.

 

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My scene along the river

After this painting experience I am convinced that I don’t like trudging through deep snow with my heavy pastel equipment. Either I have to make it lighter and more compact, or find a scene to paint from the road. I didn’t even bother with setting up my easel and painted holding my board. Not the best decision for me especially when I have trouble with my hands.

 

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My painting – soft pastel on PastelMat

I had completed my painting to about 75% and finished it up in the studio.

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Along the North Yuba Trail

I decided to take a hike on one of my favorite trails and reflect on painting and my experience today. I felt very much dissatisfied that I came away with only one painting but I decided to shake it off because I was able to paint regardless of how many or the quality. I also came away with over 300 photos to work from. All in all, it was a good day in Northern California.

*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

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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.

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My scene for the above painting

 

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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.

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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!

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My scene of that very cool rock
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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.

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My scene
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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.

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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.

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I love the Yuba River, can you tell?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Shenanigans at Shenanigan Flat

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Isn’t that pretty? Sometimes I don’t think that my fellow bloggers realize how I access these beautiful scenes that I paint at. At this particular spot, I have been go down a steep trail often grabbing trees for stability. I pick my way down very carefully and often I worry that I might go sliding down the hill! So, I had this great idea that I could have my industrious son-in-law, Luis install a rope system for me. He is a tree climber and knows life saving knots and rope systems. Who else to call upon to help me?

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Luis working hard being “knotty”

I love this area and I am hoping that now I can safely access my favorite location in order to paint during the winter as well. See you all down at the river!

Humbug Creek Love and the One That Got Away

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Fabriano #300 11 x 14 inches

I love this area and I think if I could easily paint every week for a year and still have something to explore and paint at this location. I started out painting perched on a rock in a middle of a spot that is called “Maytag” because of the force of the river and the arrangement of the rocks. I had to keep alert. If you are wondering why the title ‘The One That Got Away’, well, I lost a painting of Maytag. I think it was a good one but after changing my spot to paint three times, I inadvertently lost it, this morning it dawned on me that I had lost a painting! Yes, I know, how can that happen?

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Humbug Creek, my scene for the painting above
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Maytag, the scene of the missing painting
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on Saunders #200 11 x 14

I wasn’t very happy with this painting, the only area that I like is the rocks on the bottom right. I had difficulty with the rocks all along both banks and the river itself. I need to practice rapids because it was so difficult depicting them. That blue in the background is too chalky looking and not correct. Here is a better depiction of this same scene last week that I like better North Yuba river and Humbug Creek Confluence. I suppose that each session is different, all experience under my belt.

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Leaf tranquility

I took over 460 photos on this plein air trip, can you imagine? Love this spot, so beautiful. If any of you are in my neck of the woods and can physically manage it, look me up and we can go paint together. I will always venture out year round as long as it doesn’t rain or snow on me.

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Rocks at Humbug Creek

Learning Points:

  • Safely tuck paintings away when dry.
  • Practice rapids or falls, study the masters of this unique feature.
  • Don’t become so enthralled with the painting process that I forget composition or value elements.