Look at those Buttes! Hwy 49 has another name which is The Golden Chain Hwy and looking down that road you will find Sierra City just a short 3 miles and further on is Downieville and then onto Camptonville. A map for those who are interested: http://www.historichwy49.com/mainmap.html I remembered travelling this road on our way back from Canada in 1969 and somewhere I have that photo. If only I had the patience I could locate it and include it in my post here but another day, another post. I am sure that I’ll be posting more about the Sierra Buttes and as I get more experienced and comfortable and yes, more interesting with blogging, I’ll find that photo!
Isn’t that pretty? The day that I painted here was on March 7th 2012 and just a bit up from the river for a nice overview. By the way this is the North Yuba and it rises or “starts” less than a mile from this spot. I would like to find exactly where this “rising” is and paint on that spot. What does it look like I wonder? Aha! maybe I need to go scout this out and do another snow scene! I am sure that they received over a foot of snow last week from that big storm that blew in and I do believe I need to make an excursion. In fact perhaps tomorrow which would tie in with this post.
Do you see those ice caps on the rocks? I see one in the photo on the right side at the rapids. I have always been a country girl even when I was growing up in LA. We raised a large garden and raised rabbits for meat in our small lot but I never felt at home in the city. Coming up to Northern California to visit with family or camping in the woods I always felt I came home. I am country! Plein air painting fits right in with my demeanor and with what I hold dear to my heart. When I am painting I often spot birds such as the Blue Heron or deer or river otter. I haven’t spotted a bear while painting though I have while hiking on the trails near my house. I just love wildlife and being out in Gods’ nature, there is nothing like it.
Enough talking! This was my painting and I have to admit that I was a bit down on this day and I wasn’t too sure if I would come away with anything to like much less brag about. Obviously the above painting isn’t one of my best or my favorite but it is a moment in time. When I look at that painting I think back to my experience and what made my day none too happy. I was very hard on myself that day in regards to my personal relationships and it carried over into my painting. I felt that it was a total thrashed experience until I took it home and re-evaluated it and hmm I realized that perhaps it wasn’t so bad after all.
There is such a vulnerability in life itself and with painting outdoors, you are even more vulnerable. Either the weather, attitude or mood you bring with you affects your painting experience. I would never give in all those bad or tough days for a perfect day. Within such angst art and creativity comes out, if not in your painting, in your character. Character building and learning is a personal theme of mine that I dwell on. I am learning to embrace all that I encounter and I hope that my being human and how I relate to my environment will be present in my paintings and ultimately turn into true art of the spirit.
Looking towards the Buttes at the river side. Ah, it was a tough day but I value what I felt and have accomplished since. I am working to let go my discouragement over imperfections in myself and difficulties with relationships. Every day is a learning experience and I apply that to plein air painting as well. It does get better and better and is reliant on your determination and perception and a reminder to be willing to readjust your point of view.