Sierra Buttes 9/20/13

For my first post, I am excited! my first post on my first blog! I wanted to go back and document for you here my one of my memorable plein air trips or actually a day excursion. I live approximately 45 minutes to an hour from this location which is located in Sierra Co. On this particular morning I loaded up my supplies and headed north. I am including a link to the Sierra Buttes area for extra info. Sierra Buttes and Lakes Basin Recreation Area

The photo below shows the Sierra buttes with all that atmospheric blues that made painting those colors quite tricky. You never know how to proceed or what you are grappling with until you roll up your sleeves and get to it!


Now who can resist such a setting? My easel is a full size Julian. My pastels are mostly Rembrandts which are hard pastels that are used in the first stages. I carry a limited number of Unisons and Great American pastels which are softer and as you build your layers you’ll want to use the softer pastels. I always start out with Rembrants and proceed through to the very softest which is Sennelier. I have only one Sennelier and it is a pure white which I use when I need to paint rapids of the river.

548414_10201972473055529_1541307905_nTaking a look at that mountain you wonder how do you ever capture the colors and subtleties, I just know I do a lot of talking under my breath and praying! It takes just getting in there and trying to find your way in until something feels right. Sometimes the painting paints itself but that doesn’t happen too often, at least in my experience it doesn’t.

574614_10201972476215608_1966290881_n As you can see, there is a mountain on that painting, I accomplished an image that is recognizable which is all that I hope for! There is something magical in plein air painting. On this particular day I didn’t see or hear no one which is my kind of painting. Don’t get me wrong I like people but when I am hard at work especially in the midst of nature I like it quiet except for the wind and birds.

1240154_10201974301421237_418898763_n    A word about photos. I always use my own photos except now and then I’ll use a photo from the internet or someone else’s photo. I have either received permission or I give full credit to the photographer (if known). If you find a photo that you would like to copy or use, I request that you ask me for permission and please give me the credit for my own photo. I am free and easy but I appreciate the respect and consideration.  In the photo above, there was no copyright or name mentioned. With that out of the way, this is a photo of the Sierra Buttes clothed in white, isn’t it pretty? The road that goes up the Buttes is closed as soon as Caltrans decide that there is enough snow to warrant the decision to close off the road. It will usually stay closed through the winter until they plow through which can vary from late May to early June.