Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Riverside Cottonwood - pastel, plein air, 12x12

Riverside Cottonwood
12x12 inches - pastel on Strathmore
©2011, Sonya Johnson

So, this is the 5th painting I've done since my last post, but the only one that I've actually finished.   Well, it clearly could use some more work, but I'm calling it done.  It's from a new location along the Animas river that I discovered last week during a walk along the river trail and a really short walk from the Albertson's parking lot, which is nice when I'm lugging the french easel along.  The view faces west, and in the morning, the painting location is in complete shade.  I'll likely return then.

I loved the tree and its interesting branches.  The trunks (there are 4 of them), though...I just couldn't make them work.  Despite this, I really got into a zone while painting, and enjoyed the process of just losing myself in the moment and really losing track of passing time.  

I was sitting about 3' off the heavily used urban trail, so more people than usual stopped to comment.  It's funny to me when people come up and say "wow - that's beautiful!", and I'm thinking:  "eh...not so much."  I thank them anyway, because that is the gracious thing to do.  

A couple of the other paintings hold promise, I think.  Lime creek, Haviland Lake, the Colorado Trail and the Animas river make up each of the other four.  Why don't I just sit down and finish them?  I don't know.  But, I will.  Each has a story to tell with it.


Here is a pano of the sunset from July 13.  The multiple colors fascinate me:

Deck sunset


  1. I think it is rather nice Sonya. I love the way that the branches and foliage turned out. The little rills in the water complement the highlights of the leaves. I be eager to see what the rest of the pastels look like.

  2. Thanks for your kind comments, Ruth. I was pretty happy with the foliage and branches, but the rest of it didn't come together that well. But, 'tis okay - every painting has value just by virtue of the things learned from the outcome and time spent on the craft itself.


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