Great morning! Clear, wonderful. Headed up to Pinecrest to paint the late. A bit of a drive (30 miles, and I needed to be back in Sonora for the artist’s lunch), but well worth it. Why? SNOW! At that elevation, yesterday’s rain that produced pain brought today’s gain. I love painting snow…the color of shadows, light. Remember that Sorolla and Sargent both painted white objects quite often, be it a woman’s dress or sheets on a bed. White can be so much fun to paint–it’s the most reflective color, so you’ll see a bit of everything in it.

Here’s the first painting of the day, a small snow bank (melting fast). My fingers were pretty numb by the end, but I’m happy with the result.

Pinecrest Lake Snow Bank

Pinecrest Lake Snow Bank – Oil on Linen – 11×14

Painting at Mountain Springs, Sonora, CAMy second effort was back on Mountain Springs. I joined Mike Bagdonas, Elio Camacho and Reif Erikson. It was great to paint with a group, sharing jokes, painting horror stories, the usual. Elio had more equipment than I’ve ever seen. He was really prepared TO PAINT, but less so for THE BUGS. Look at this close up of his painting. Yikes. He had at least a hundred small flies stuck to his painting. Said he was going to spend tonight getting them off. Can’t wait to see the end result, as the painting was just covered.

Elio Camacho's Flys

Here’s my painting of the day. Of course, I had to be do the opposite, so while everyone painted the pond, I looked back up the hill to the dirt road we drove down on. I love the red-orange dirt of the Sierras. Copper content, perhaps?

Road to Mountain Springs Pond, Sonora, CA

Road to Mountain Springs Pond – Oil on Linen – 8×10

Mike described a great location on the Tuouomne River, with raging white water, Sycamores, etc. Sounds great. ‘Till then.

7 thoughts on “Gold Country Plein-Air: Day 4

  1. hey Michael, you’re of course correct about letting the painting dry first, as the bugs will then flake off, but we’re painting for a show Saturday…so no time. Especially the way Elio “Lord of the Flys” Camacho paints: big, fat, juicy strokes. Beautiful.

  2. Bart Westgeest says:

    “Road to Mountain springs pond” is my favourite so far. The red road, composition, shape of the trees…this one definitely “works” for me!

  3. Thanks, Bart. I’m told that my paintings are looking very dark on PCs…I need to check, I’m blogging from a MacBook, and have found that monitors between Mac and PC are very different. In short, I think the painting is not as dark as you’re probably seeing, but thanks for the praise!

  4. Bart Westgeest says:

    Ok, made it lighter in a photo editor. It didn’t change my opinion ­čÖé
    Glad to see you framed it.
    I hope it will stop raining today, but if it doesn’t.. Try a rain scene again, standing under a bridge or so? (ahh… those deep dark colours when all is wet!)

  5. Thanks, Mike. I’m not sure about the sky color in the last piece. It was overcast and I saw things are quite violet. I probably should have brought more of the sky color down into the land. That’s the best way to integate the two.

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