To live and enjoy every day to its fullest, use my gifts to help others, I travel to wherever passion finds me.

What Will She Paint?

So many friends I met here...!

Tuesday, July 07, 2009


A bridgehead is at the foot of Vernal and Nevada Falls (targeted destinies for hikes to see these water falls and the revered 6 hour hike to Half Dome). Often hikers take a swim after coming back down from the trail.
This is the place where we fished on our vacation, and the squirrels got away with Junior's sippy cup with milk.

It is a perfect summer day at the shore of a wild foamy river. I think it is the Merced river (pronoune: mer-set).
In my first plein air session I didn't get very far, because my family provided for the necessary entertainment. My real work was done in the 2nd session when the the rest of the family had gone home and hubby made his long-desired hike to the falls.

Part of the hike to the first falls (Vernal Falls) has 2 routes. One is longer and easier, and the shorter one has part of the way high steps like stairs. Hubby walked this part with a forty-something man who did this climb for the first time with his prosthesis (artificial leg), starting from the knee.
The "stairs" were almost too hard for him, and he would take the longer route for the way back down. His family was waiting for him at the falls.
I applaud his bravery!

I sat on a real nice shady spot on the rocks by the water, between two tree trunks, sitting on a fishing stool. I had no easel with me, so I could sit on rocks, or a tree trunk or at the edge of the water. The less luggage the better! Since the hiking trail was higher, I had less distractions.

With this painting I wanted to show the ruggedness of the mountains and the wildness of the river. The trees were put in preliminary, because I forgot to bring lemon yellow with me, and burnt sienna!
The village close by is so small that it does not have a Michaels or another art supply store (but it does have 3 painting galleries, LOL).

After putting in the trees, I blocked in the background mountains very quickly. The sun would soon lighten the parts that were now in the shadow. Later on, I adjusted the colors of the mountains.
Behind the background trees on the left, was a huge red rock, but I muted the color, so it would stay in the background! If you click on the first photo, you can see that red rock more clearly.

This was painted both days late morning to early afternoon, with the sun right above our head. The sun intensified the whiteness of the foam, and the shadows of the trees on the shoreline.

Next, I indicated the bridge in the distance, and then the rocks in the water.
The light in the morning casts a brown-ochre on the rocks. Very interestingly, in the afternoon, the rocks look more of a brownish pink. I saved the wild water for last. Strange as it may sound, but that was the easiest part. Still need to clean up some edges, but this is basically "it."

Bridgehead. 11 x 15, Oil, St.Germain

A scene of a sunny summer day, a memory of a bridgehead at Happy Isles, in Yosemite National Park.


Whitemist said...

Ooooo! I like this one a lot! It reminds me of the Colorado scenes I used to do (all sold and no record, that was my heyday).

jeannette stgermain said...

Thank you! Maybe you need to paint some new ones, AND record them! I can imagine that Yosemite looks like parts of Colorado. I hope to paint Pike's Peak once and succeed:)

DUTA said...

Your story of the hiker with the prothesis reminds me in a way of a blind person in my city that is a long distance runner and people applaud him for his sportive achievements.

Charming picture. I like the composition of water, mountains, trees, and the colors used by you.

jeannette stgermain said...

Wow, that would be an achievement. Even faster than his legs, his brains must work, to keep up with everything he hears, while running!
Glad you like the painting!

Silver said...

hey, remember me? As usual..came to check in on an old friend.


jeannette stgermain said...

Of course I remember you! Thanks for coming by:)
I haven't been on your blog for a long time, but you're not the only one, so please don't take it personally.
I've been in a roller coaster of buying and selling a house. And in the middle of tht we went on vacation. The buying is done now, and now we have to take care of the selling.
But I'll visit you soon, dear friend!

The Green Stone Woman said...

Great job, Jeannette, and a difficult one at that, with so many different textures and colors. There's a lot of action in the water and it shows. It must feel very satisfactory to get it down on the paper and feel like it is a job well done. Bravo!

Gaelyn said...

Gorgeous! I love your work. Are you an AIR (Artist in Residence) at Yosemite? If not you should be.

Found you site through Joan's. I'll certainly be back.

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

Hello Jeannette. I am pleased to see Gaelyn has joined us too. :)

You make me totally envious with your description. It sounds like a dreamy kind of place. One where I would lay on the grass, enjoy listening to the birds and the water and just feel all stress and tension melt away.

You really did a wonderful job combining the two photographs and depicting the sense of peacefulmess there.

jeannette stgermain said...

Thank you Irene, you are so kind! This kind of water is easier to paint than transparent water, where you can see the rocks on the bottom. Actually this painting is on canvas. That's my splurge for my vacations, to buy ready-made small canvases. But for the rest we'll do it frugally - home-cooked meals, etc.

jeannette stgermain said...

Thank you for the "follow," Gaelyn! Yes, we have our friend Joan in common. I've grown fond of how she handles things LOL.
No I'm not an AIR at Yosemite - that would be too stressful for my vacation, because people like an artist to go very fast and be done in one sitting. I like to goof off, and doodle and dawdle - a change of pace with my job.
But I'm flattered you think I should be an AIR:)

jeannette stgermain said...

Now you probably understand why we have gone back there year after year! Of course, also, because it's the closest national park from where I live. I REALLY hope to see Yellowstone Park one time, but then we'll have to deal with plane tickets, car-rental, etc. which makes it more expensive.

You're getting along well in your Greek lessons, Joan! If I wouldn't have known you before, that last paragraph sounds like an honest-to -goodness genuine art-critic comment!LOL

crochet lady said...

The outdoors is just full of inspiration. Wonderful representation of nature in your painting.

jeannette stgermain said...

Jen, thank you!This little painting makes me smile - because it's a memory of a perfect painting day:)

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

Thanks for your kind words to Gaelyn about me. You will give me a fat head and make me think I am a 'nice' person one of these days. :)

Art critic? No, not yet but the Greek is definitely improving. LOL!! One of these days I am going to be able to talk about textures stokes etc. LOL!!

jeannette stgermain said...

You are down to earth, so I don't think your head will inflate! (I was going to say blow up, but that may be misunderstood LOL)

It would be nice if I could improve on my own Greek, but you are light years ahead, so I'm not even trying. I think it's kind of nice to be educated by someone else!

neetzy said...

Beautiful painting! I was just there. This was my second visit to Yosemite. It is one of the most beautiful places I have ever visited. My photos of Half Dome are a bit obscured by smoke due to two lightning fires. The falls were beautiful this year. You are so lucky to live nearby.

jeannette stgermain said...

Thank you Neetzy - the artists at Yosemite had a lot to do with me going back into painting (most of them are watercolorists). Did you see the art program? Each week they have another artist come in for most of the year.

Am curious about the lightning fires...when did that take place?
I love it when there's a lot of water here.

The posts below: "flowers of higher altitudes is about the meadows to the N-Gate," and "Vacation pics" I described some humorous things happening to us.

Hope to see your paintings or pics soon:)