Friday, August 31, 2012

August Afternoon, Woods Lake ... Watercolor by Julie Trail

    There is no place lovelier than Woods Lake on a summer afternoon, the long rays of afternoon sunshine glowing on the sheets and cliffs and mounds and crumbling boulders of granite.  Woods Lake is at 8200 feet in the Sierra, just under Carson Pass.  It's tucked in a wooded hollow under the piles of granite that make up Round Top Peak.  
   I spent last Thursday and Friday up there painting.  This watercolor was done in my studio from photos and two plein air sketches I made on location.  Seeing the Landscape is a passion, and this painting is my effort to translate this beautiful place for you!

Monday, July 30, 2012

"Proud Fella" by Julie Trail

        This proud rooster was strutting in the shadows at the Amador County Fair last Thursday.  His owner owns a poultry business and "Dee-oh-gee" is his pet!   "D-O-G"!!  The painting was done in my studio from a group of photos I took.  I love the way the sunlight dappled the grass surrounding him, and hit some highlights on his pure white feathers.  Chickens are always fun to paint! 

"Morning Light" by Julie Trail


      I met two friends last Friday morning at 7:30 a.m. to paint at the Historical Society in Jackson, CA.  This is one of Jackson's beautiful old brick houses.  The long rays of July sunshine were brilliant at this early hour.  As always, the challenge was to get the value contrasts strong enough to show how bright the light was, to attempt a play of values across the canvas by showing light against dark and dark against light to give rhythm to the shapes.  It is always a struggle, but so wonderful to get a jump on the day and paint on location!

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Painting Silver Lake and Thunder Mountain by Julie Trail

       Friday was a perfect day to paint Silver Lake, elevation 7500 ft. in the Sierra, with several painting buddies.  The subtle gradations of color in the distant forest was a considerable challenge.  As difficult as it was to interpret such a gorgeous mountain setting, the cool breeze, bright sunshine, refreshing water at my feet made such a challenge fun and exciting!

I turned around and was captivated by the afternoon sun glaring off brilliant granite outcroppings.  My friend added bright orange and red kayaks to his painting, but I ran out of time and left it pristine and quiet, a place I will return to again and again.

    Thunder Mountain is a mighty Sierra peak, and always a challenge to paint, as the sunlight moves quickly across the rugged face of this cliff.   How to show the monumental size of a mountain on a small square of canvas?  How to inform the viewer of the myriad colors and values playing across the landscape?  I'll be back again soon in my ongoing effort to show the beauty of Silver Lake.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Changing Light

Clouds were rolling in over Lake Tahoe, the wind was picking up. The day was glorious with sunlight peeking among the clouds. Few tourists, few boats, and a quiet two hours in Zephyr Cove gave me time to make an effort to capture the beauty of this landscape. What joy!

December Sunshine

What a gorgeous winter day it was, just before New Year's, along the Upper Truckee River in South Lake Tahoe. A few splotches of snow in the shadows, some ice along the river, and bright sunshine everywhere else! I've never enjoyed a winter day as much as those this past week! This little painting is my tribute to December sunshine.