drawing/painting of pine trees by emily weil

daily painting | plumas pines

Trees. I love them. I hug them. I thank them and revere them. And I don’t enjoy drawing or painting them. Not sure why — just not drawn to them, unlike flowers which I can paint every day. So it’s a good exercise to use them as subject matter. It stretches me. In this cute cabin in Plumas County, where I am taking a few days off, I’m surrounded by trees and I’m too tired to venture out much (napping takes priority) so I grab my folding chair and go just outside the sweet kitchen dutch doors and make myself intentionally uncomfortable. The painting on the right was fun as there was this twisty branch spiraling off the pine tree that was interesting, and I wanted to focus on it and draw with sticks and ink and water-soluble graphite. It’s not a fabulous success but it evokes the feeling of the forest just out the window. The watercolor on the left is OK too. I wanted to capture the weight and solidity of these glorious creations.

And I’m writing this inside as when I was done painting, rain was starting up. As the dark clouds roamed through, a lightning strike stabbed the meadow in front of my spot, about 100 yards away. Very exciting — startled the hell outta me. Makes me glad for all the adventures in life (yesterday after a squall the electricity went out so the kind neighbor and proprietor of this Air BnB spot brought over a Coleman camp stove so I could finish cooking dinner; was pretty fun and it worked!). Oop! More rumbles. I’ll get this uploaded in case the wifi goes out.

ink, watercolor, pencil, water-soluble graphite on paper




abstract painting by emily weil

daily painting | art camp abstract

Aahhh… art camp! This 12” x 12” acrylic abstract was a demo for the acrylics day of class at Feather River Art Camp (I worked on it after class, too). It was a turbulent week! And we all did it, and did it well. There was the hailstorm on Tuesday while I was teaching — the canopies overhead couldn’t quite hold back the marble-sized icy pellets, which cascaded onto our tables. We just kept moving to the side, finding ever-shrinking shelter, while the steadfast artists continued. Crazy, exciting, thrilling, amazing (one person’s windshield cracked though). Then there were the “buffalo gnats”. Fiendish bloodsuckers that left painful, itchy welts the size of Ritz crackers. One woman had to be sent to the hospital. Misery all-around (somehow I was spared; one person suggested vitamin B pills make us foul-tasting to the tiny monsters so maybe my multi-vitamins helped; who knows). Some said it was the rains before camp that helped spawn the horrid beasties. And we were lucky to have camp at all — only days before, the bridge was flooded and camp was inaccessible.

And today I’m writing this on my laptop from a charming Air BnB cabin outside of Quincy where naps are in order; taking a few soothing days off. Thunderstorms come and go, though today is sunny and lovely. I painted outside for a bit today, following my own instructions to students to find a tree or other object to draw and paint. And sit with it. Draw it with your eyes, I suggested. I hate painting trees. So I did my own exercise today, making myself do something uncomfortable. Maybe it will be postable tomorrow. Maybe not.

OK time to call my bro. Because I am up in Plumas County I wasn’t there to take him down to the Dipsea race starting line to observe the festivities and visit with his Dipsea pals. Can’t wait to hear all about it; a very kind Dipsea person organized getting him there. Big kudos to Bill Rus.

12″ x 12″ acrylic, oil pastel, pencil on claybord = $185





watercolor, ink painting of clematis by emily weil

daily painting | clematis

I have a spiritual practice. It holds me up. I am challenged these days to nurture a sense of wonder. Like a child delights in daily things that spark her curiosity. I take notes on these bright spots and go back and read them when I’m wearing iron boots and can’t move. 

These are my twinkly moments from yesterday: 

• The stunning red-tailed hawk I saw on the light post, hoping for a prairie-dog lunch. 

• The pleasant afternoon I enjoyed with my brother, as we visited the Homestead Valley Community Center in Mill Valley, where my dear friend Sandy is showing her beautiful watercolors. Sandy met us there and brought the sweetest, fattest grapes I’ve ever tasted. Kids were outside doing an exercise class to Beatles’ tunes; the school next door used to be Homestead School where I went to kindergarten.

• Email correspondence with Jordon the roofer, who had just approved of my idea of creating an arrangement of large paintings of Briones for his office wall in exchange for part of my roofing bill.

• The crescent moon setting in the western sky.

• The happy anticipation of teaching art for a week in June at a camp in Plumas County.

• Laughing as the “poker boys” crack wise on Zoom as I got my brother set up for the Tuesday night online poker game.

Tuesday’s wonders. My heart is happy.

[This is a painting done from a photo sent to me by my friend Diane who is an amazing gardener; I’m doing well if I don’t kill my jade plant.]

7″ x 7″ ink, watercolor, pastel, acrylic on paper = $65