Color On The Mountain

color on the mountain, landscape painting, emerald, jade,

The colors sparkle like gems on Indigo Mountain. With cobalt teal blue, emerald, jade, garnet and turquoise shining on the surface of the hillsides – a memory of fossicking for bright gemstones along the the ranges of New England Tablelands, NSW, Australia.

color on the mountain, landscape painting, emerald, jade,
Color On The Mountain


Impressionist Mountain Landscape



A small painting, it began as a watercolor.

Lovely;  the indigo mountains wove their way dreamily through the composition.  Yes ….. it all began very well.

Then it went south.  It can happen.



What do you do?

What do I do!?  Rip it up, frustrated?

Sure, I wanted to!

But,  most of the time with some thinking and some (a lot) of  patience; and time,  I can find ways to reinvent, resolve the image to my satisfaction.

It can become, “Good Enough.”

Oh dear… does that term jar and shock just a little bit?   Perhaps, that term ought to be retired.  Its not the most uplifting of terms, is it? Its never been a term I liked. The judgemental overtones do not seem very conducive for unfettered artistic expansion and freedom of expression.

Normally, I  substitute the words, “does it say what I want it to say?”

It makes me feel so much happier and positive about the outcome.  It makes me excited to continue.


Excitement fosters continuance; Continuance leads to improvement; Improvements beget mastery.




Time waiting for Color on the Mountain

This image waited.  Quite a long period of time actually.

Finally, it beckoned for me to give it a makeover. And ‘told me’  what to do.

I listened.


I don’t mind these days waiting, putting pieces ‘on lay by’  for awhile.

I’ve had good success with many of my resolutions and makeovers.   It’s always a risk,  but rather that than keeping it hiding under the bed or ripping it up!

The first is simply indefinite procrastination, or perhaps hoarding.  The other is blatantly just giving up.  Artists persist.



Fix it Makeover


The makeover process needed acrylics and mixed media to go over the too dark watercolor for some camouflage.

Lifting and highlighting…..

Ladies,  think of foils in the hair. ie  “Color on the Mountain.”

Men, perhaps envision how you might brighten the outside of your house with Christmas lights; so that it shines amongst the other houses.


I’d accidently gotten ‘indigo happy’ and it was everywhere.  Thus, my tonal values went amuck.

However,  I really loved those mountain shapes and color!   And I was not ready to throw the painting in the rubbish.



It is a great idea to always find a positive somewhere in every image you do,  even if you do not pursue a resolution. This builds confidence, week after week, in our artistic self.



What did I do to fix the problems?    


  • First,  I lightened the sky at the horizon where it was too dark


  • Second,  using acrylics ….  buff titanium and white,  scuffed color around the hillsides, in several progressive stages.  This was over 3 days.


  • Third,  I selected my ‘pretty’ colors.  Garnet, emerald, turquoise, cobalt teal,  phalo turquoise, all perfectly tailored colors for the mountain.


  • Daubed a pinch of color onto a bit of plastic wrap,  scuffed the excess off… then scuffed and skimmed it along the hillside in  3 places.  And Stopped.   Stop!     Very easy to get carried away.     I remembered, that is what got me in this predicament in the first place!!


  • Once I’d applied my chosen pretty colors, Judiciously, I was done.  There were some areas where the paint globbed up, and I had to use my finger to smudge and blend it straight away.




Color on the Mountain began as a pure watercolor painting,  went through a long waiting phase and then through a successful makeover.  Not a perfect painting, but it says pretty much what I wished for it to say.

It is wabi sabi in nature.  Beauty is found and seen in the imperfect, impermanent and the unfinished.

And there is much in “Color on The Mountain”  that is left to the viewer, to imagine.





Published by debiriley

The act of creation, in any media is a fascinating and magical process. I simply love to create. Expressing in color, line, tone, texture - as if, they were words upon a page. Creating a uniquely me, interpretation. Enjoy More of my "one-of-a-kind" expressive art at and,

46 thoughts on “Color On The Mountain

    1. fantastic! thank you Laura! this thing hung out in the studio for over 3 years, waiting… I knew, it had something in it; but at the time, had no idea. so it was waiting.
      I am glad that it spoke to you and you really enjoyed the image Laura! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    1. hi Kathy! you know I always Love getting a comment from you!!
      thank you very much, glad that you enjoyed this painting 🙂 happy late, Valentines Debi


  1. I applaud your “resolve” and patience Debi. Every painting is a journey and you have shared yours with us with this great post. It reminds me of my quote from Jackson Pollock yesterday. Cheers 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Debi, this painting took you through an interesting journey, I’m glad you didn’t pitch it at the beginning. Your final results proved to be worth the revision effort. Beautiful! 😍

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I absolutely love this Debi! I follow a very similar path in most of my work. I am constantly reworking and covering over to discover the painting in the process. I love asking “what if?” Awesome post.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Willena! thank you so much! I am glad you really enjoyed the post, that is wonderful. Especially good to know there’s another “what if” person out there, lol Cheers, Debi


  4. and in the end…….. it became…….. SWOOON-worthy!!! Gorgeous, and thanks for sharing what you did and letting us know you have less than happy results at times too. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. smiling at the caps! thank you Jodi! I really do think it is important, for upcoming artists to see and hear the travails of older artists. there is hope 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. It did worked out on the end, what a wonderful painting! Love the impressionistic take on it, it’s perfectly executed! Love that never give up, just put it on the side and fix it later relaxed attitude! I have had that happening as well, and boy what a joy if I manage to pull it back from the darkness into the light, feels good 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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