“The Falls”

 

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painting #1 on Arches 300# 11 x 14 inches

Painting more detail (for me) with this painting of the falls located about 3 miles down the road from my house. I have visited here often to paint, it is a favorite swimming hole with the nudists. I used my plein air (photo below) as a reference though about half of it was painting by instinct. I might try this again and far looser and work on giving the focal area the credit due. I think that I got too caught into rendering and lost my focal point. I have been lately trying to exhibit more feeling rather than just show a scene.

 

 

 

 

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plein air of the falls on Arches 140# cp 7 x 9 inches

I think that I liked the main focal rock better in my plein air than the first painting at the top. I liked how I handled my tonal values better in the plein air and especially the dark value of the main rock. Perhaps I will give it a another try and go for a deeper value. It is all practice and exercising my artistic muscles.

colors used in painting #1: Lunar Blue, Raw Sienna, Quin. Gold, Fr. Ultra. Blue, Green Gold

colors used in painting #2 (guessing): Fr. Ultra. Blue, sap green, yellow ochre, Burnt Sienna

*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.

 

 

Looking Back at 2016

My  goodness time sure flies and here we are just at the door of 2017. I have been busy painting but posting only when I feel something is ready. I really like my slow approach. I have been painting a lot behind the scenes but slowing down my posting, it makes sense for me because I want to focus more on the art. Bear with the length of the images, I have been having a difficult time with uploading photos and having my page get stuck many times. This is the easiest way to put together this post. I will do a post in the next few days of my favorite photos of 2016 as I am getting impatient with how long this is taking. It has been a fantastic year and I am looking forward to what 2017 will hold for me and my art endeavors.

Here are my favorite paintings of the year, first the pastels:

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My intuitive painting

 

Now for the watercolors that I liked the best:

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My most favorite watercolor painting

 

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another all time favorite!

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*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.

 

 

Beginning of the Beginning

 

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Shenanigan Flat plein air from August

I thought that I would post a few of my favorite watercolor paintings from the past 5 months. I started this amazing journey delving seriously into learning this wonderful medium and to discover my particular style. I wanted to include the painting above because I feel that it depicts where I want to be in watercolor. Of course this painting only shows a smidge of the style that I envision.

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semi-abstract

A semi-abstract of several madrone trees in my backyard has been an adventure of sorts. Finding my way around abstraction, loosing up and learning not to be so critical of myself in having a “perfect” painting.

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plein air from 2014 on Wallis paper
      My past has been solidly planted in soft pastel for approximately 17 years. The above painting is one that I wasn’t too sure about at completion because of the looseness but now I see it as being perfect because it is loose.
     As you can see, I have come a long ways and have even further to go, I believe that the artist life is very complex and a never-ending journey. If you have been following my blogging here on WordPress, you learned from my last post that I am stepping away during the month of November to give myself a breather. In actuality I found that I was delving deep into an area that I have visited many times before which I feel goes against my creative striving.
     I am aware of this being normal for a creative, but in my case there is a portion that is solidly based upon my childhood and wounds that have occurred. My hope and plan is to focus on how to bounce back quicker with less stress. I also am wanting to put to rest the need for validation and hopefully to leave behind a large portion of my harsh self criticism.
     When I had originally thought of taking a month off, I was questioning if it was something that I should do, when I ran across a post by a fellow blogger that tied right into what I have contemplating about, I knew it was a confirmation.
      I am a very positive person who has great hope for my art and what I can learn from pursuing being creative. I could touch upon a lot in this post but it would be too lengthy and you all be yawning and ready for this post to end. I do believe that when I do come back in December, I plan on blogging more about the creative life (and struggles) in addition to my art adventures.
     While I am on my leave of absence, I will be working more on a painting that is meditative Intuitive Painting-Psalm 65 If you want to snoop into the conversation regarding this planned absence, I suggest that you read the comments in this post  Fall on the North Yuba. Goodness, it is about time I end this and post it. I will be come back and keep an eye on the feed, until then….happy creating!

 

Fall on the North Yuba

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painting #1 Fabriano 300# 7 x 9 inches

At first I did not like this painting which is essentially a warm-up, now I am liking it a tad, no more mind you. I have been thinking lately that I’ll be taking November away from blogging. I haven’t  been feeling good about my paintings for a while now, very few of them I really like. I have decided to explore my reasons for painting, and get more into a meditative, spiritual approach to my painting process. This might extend into December. I’ll do an extensive post about that next week, so be looking for it.

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my scene for painting #1
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painting #2 (at Rocky Rest) on Arches 300# rough 7 x 9 inches

I decided to move on down the river to Rocky Rest where I have painted before Beach at Rocky Rest . I wanted to pull some good feeling from this outing because I was not enjoying the painting experience which is unusual for me. I brought out the largest Chinese style brush I have to paint with to shake things up, I kind of liked the experience, always fun to throw something different into the mix.

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My scene  at Rocky Rest
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painting #3 on Saunders 200# 7 x 9 inches

My camera make those splotches very dark, they are not in actuality, keep that in mind.

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painting #4 on Fabriano 300# 7 x 9 inches

I didn’t touch these paintings once I got home, I’ll do that later, if needed. I  want to take my time to assess them properly.

Learning Points:

  • Don’t paint when in a nasty mood!
  • If in a nasty mood while out there, paint until you can leave with a good feeling, I did just that.
  • Art is suppose to be fun!

*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.

Goose Lake in Sierra County

 

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My scene-Goose Lake

My daughter and I and her dog took a hike up at where I had gone before Bear Lakes Loop- World Watercolor Month #2 but instead of taking the fork that proceeded onto the Bear lakes I wanted to explore the loop that goes to Round Lake. To shorten this story, we ended up hiking up a mountain and went “around” Round Lake. We headed back and I painted at Goose Lake along Lakes Basin Recreational area.

 

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painting #1 on Saunders 200# 7 x 9 inches

My warm-up went better than I thought it  would being it was my first one. I used a flat rather than my usual squirrel mop. I love to abstract my paintings, you can see it in this one especially with the foreground rocks and the trees in the background.

 

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painting #2 on Saunders 200# 7 x 9 inches

I could for the life of me to get my photo to marry up with the correct yellow in my painting. It is not as acid yellow and blotchy as you see here. I struggled at first with this and it wasn’t until later that it grew on me. I don’t know what it is but today I fought with the painting process,  I wanted my painting to go a certain way and when I do this, I get either frustrated or doubtful and I was doing both this time around.

 

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painting #3 on Arches 300# 7 x 9 inches

While trying to edit this photo, I lost the wonderful warmth of the middle part of that headland but know that it is a warm yellow/red color. I initially didn’t like how muddy the water looked in this painting but truthfully that is how dark it looked when the wind wasn’t whipping up the water. In a way this lake and the surrounding area reminded me of the marshlands of Alabama.

 

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On the trail to Round Lake

 

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Fall colors in this alpine area

I might try to hike out to the Bear Lakes in a couple of weeks to try to paint once again, we’ll see if the weather holds out.

Learning Points:

  • Trust the painting process, be willing to let go and not control every aspect of the painting journey.
  • Push the fear and doubt that rises up while painting, it gets in the way of creativity.
  • Don’t judge while painting, the critical kind of judging, that is.

Rain is in the forecast for the next three days which means I won’t be able to get out and plein air paint. Next Wednesday will be clear and I have plans to paint. Get out there and see and experience nature, you will not be disappointed.

 

 

*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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Painting and Chasing Away Fly Fisherman

 

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painting #1 on Arches 300# rough 7 x 9 inches

I had this particular spot in mind for over a week and was very excited to paint here which I haven’t in years, the last time I did I painted it in pastel

 

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Pastel on Wallis paper 9 x 12 inches

So as I was saying I had this spot in mind to paint for a while I come around the corner on Hwy 49  and there is a man and a truck parked, what????? that is MY spot! so I pulled up rather fast, you should have seen the look on his face. I got out of the truck immediately asking “oh are you planning to fish here”? “yes”…..I then say “I plan to paint here”, I didn’t ask him, I told him! then he says….”I will stay out of your way”! Haha! like I was the one who showed up first….anyway…..he lasted only 10 minutes fishing and then moved on up the road. I love it.

 

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My scene! I had to come back and edit it in, I forgot it.

 

 

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painting #2 on Arches 300# rough 7 x 9 inches

I completed this one later in the studio, I lost quite a bit of definition on the right side but that’s alright, it is a warm-up.

 

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painting #3 on Saunders 200# 11 x 14 inches

I really hate that hump of rocks, I am going to work on softening edges and the horizon line.

 

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painting #4 on Fabriano 300# 7 x 9 inches

I am thinking that I will work on now loosing up my water which actually means I need to soften up the edges of the water and rocks. I don’t like the cookie cutter look but I understand why I have been doing that because of the need to keep my lights but I know that I can have the happy marriage of saving my whites and loosen up with my edges. That is my challenge now.

I have been fortunate to continue painting as it is cooling down. Soon I might have to switch back to pastel work when my washes refuse to corporate in drying.

I stopped in Downieville to look at a new gallery in town Yuba Gallery and I ran into an old artist friend, Katie O’Hara Kelly who also taught art at the elementary school that my daughters had gone to. Her art is in the gallery and she is encouraging me to bring some artwork in to exhibit. The gallery is seasonal because the tourist trade drops during the winter, I am looking forward to next year to bring some of my paintings of the river and 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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sierra Buttes #2 watercolor

 

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Painting #1 on Arches 300# rough 7 x 9 inches

 

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Sierra Buttes-my scene

I wanted to go up and  paint the Sierra Buttes while fall is here and I am hoping that I’ll be able to paint this mountain till the road is shut down for the season. As you can see, there is a dusting of snow from our last storm. Isn’t that an amazing view? I have been up here to paint so many times that I have lost count and I have to say that this is the most beautiful that I have seen the Buttes to date. The last time I was here I spotted a Bald Eagle flying over those peaks and over Sand Pond. I took over 100 photos on this trip and I think that I captured the best photo of the Sierra Buttes in my mind.

It is a popular area for snowmobiles and skiing during the winter. I painted this spot before in pastel    Sierra Buttes 9/20/13  and here, a different view Look at those Buttes! and finally in watercolor Sierra Buttes-Yes! June WC #4 .

 

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painting #2 on Arches 300# rough 7 x 9 inches

 

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Painting #3 on Saunders 200# 11 x 14 inches

I had wanted to include Sand Pond and the whole nine yards but I have a tendency to want to paint close-up it is so difficult for me to do large scale.

 

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Lucky me….I had a picnic table! Look at the view!

 

 

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painting #4 on Saunders 200# 7 x 9 inches

I stopped on the way back to paint one last time and this was on the North Yuba, of course, imagine that!

My Learning Points:

  • Keep working it, watercolor is a long term relationship, it can only get better with experience and hard work.
  • Dress Warmly especially when you expect cold weather, I did but I had to start peeling off the clothes as it warmed up.

*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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Revisit to A Yuba River Scene

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painting #1 on Fabriano 200# 7 x 9 inches

I decided to revisit a scene on the river that I have painted at least 20 times.  I had recently discovered some old paintings from my watercolor past A Look Back and felt that it would be fun to go back and see how I would approach an old haunt of mine. Painting #1 was difficult to marry up the photo to the painting, bear that in mind. That rock on the left is not so blue and all the blotches are not as sharp as in this photo. I think that I might go back and soften up that darkest rock. It was that dark in reality but it doesn’t coincide with the rest of the landscape in this painting.

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My scene

The photo above is my scene when there was more brilliant light, I had the hardest time taking a photo without the sun rays interfering. I must say that this spot at this particular time with fall lighting was so beautiful that I was almost constantly saying “OH MY GOODNESS!” I was also bursting out in song and I am not a singer!

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painting #2 on Saunders 200# 7 x 9 inches

I totally loved painting this one, it seemed to be a no-brainer in how to paint it. The rocks to the left look almost too overwhelming in the photo but in reality, it is just right. I might take up a bit of the dark color but I’ll wait and see.

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painting #3 on Saunders 200# 7 x 9 inches

Oh My Goodness! This one was so fun painting that I almost wanted to jump for joy, I couldn’t because I was too darn busy painting and I was perched on a rock…..jump for joy fun! I let loose with this one and didn’t worry that it didn’t follow the rock formation that I was looking at. I was going for feeling.

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My “Jump For Joy” scene

Beautiful, isn’t it? Now I had painted a 4th painting but my water went muddy on me and I do believe that I introduced a 4th color to get what I wanted and I knew it was happening while I dabbed away at my palette. For shame! I am always a two or perhaps three color painter (as we all should be). I think that I didn’t plan out my color combo in the beginning and got insecure and there you go. I also have a rock in that painting that I have struggled with all the times that I have painted there. I plan to knock that component down with a future painting. Until next time!

Learning Points:

  • Duh! I keep forgetting to sign my name and do a copyright on my paintings! Debi Riley has been urging me, maybe pleading with me and what do I do? I ignore her once again! I need to learn how to put a copyright on my photos and my paintings but I am so slow at these kind of things.
  • Mix on the paper and alternate your edges, makes things fun and exciting.
  • Have fun, doggoneit!