Why I can't paint Yosemite

Question for you artists out there:  What imagery are you drawn towards?  For me, I tend to love the landscape... but usually specific elements of the landscape really get me going.  The light at midday or big grand vistas don't usually do it for me.  Late afternoon is my favorite, when the colors deepen, shadows get long and the play of lights and darks offers plenty of contrast.  I have a soft spot for trees, particularly singular trees, in the landscape.  I am drawn to water, fog and where sea and sky meet.  To me, these moments are full of drama, but I tend to think of them as more intimate moments. 

Don't get me wrong...  big dramatic places like Big Sur are really beautiful, but I'm not as compelled to paint them.  I think perhaps if I found a little cove and if the light was just right... well, I'd paint that.  
I found myself thinking about this over Thanksgiving weekend when my family and I took a trip to Yosemite National Park.  I really enjoyed it all and took lots of photos. The Sierras are gorgeous and we visited Yosemite Valley, taking in the towering waterfalls and immense granite cliffs.  We also visited Mariposa Grove to see the ancient Sequoia trees.  All in all, breathtaking. 

What I will most likely end up doing a painting of is this one tree that I spotted on our road trip.  We came across a large reservoir in the Central Valley where we stopped to stretch our legs.  The light was gorgeous and I found myself drawn to this one wonderful tree down in the water.  

The closer I got to this beauty, the better it got:

Don't be surprised if you see this image come back in the form of a painting in the near future.

My husband snapped a photo of me at work, doing research for paintings.  You can see it on his blog here:

House on Bear Mountain 

This is me in Yosemite, at Tunnel View.