I’m up near June Lake in the Sierra’s on a plein air painting trip with friends. We are staying at a lovely cabin by Gull Lake.

This morning we woke up early and drove to Tuolumne Meadows in Yosemite National park. The morning air was crisp and at 7:30 in the morning, fairly quiet.

I set-up my paints and got ready to paint.

Since I paint with a palette knife, I’ve actually started using my easel flat…makes it easier to get the paint to the edges. I use Alla Prima Pochade — it’s designed with a magnets, so it’s easy (but surprisingly sturdy!) to move this easel up and down.

Christine Apostolina Beirne

Christine Apostolina Beirne “Tuolumne Meadows” 8x10, oil on board

Here’s my 8x10 sketch…I’m fairly happy with it…need to do a few refinements…but the wind came up the light completely changed. When that happens, we have a choice: either “chase the light” (which never seems to work) or finish it up later.


After we left the area, we drove by Mono Lake — since it was after lunch, the light wasn’t quite right. We’re back in the cabin, I’m looking out the window at the lake beyond. Around 4:30 we’re headed back out to paint Mono Lake at dusk.


Happy Painting!