Yosemite, California

A painting of Yosemite Valley as seen from Tunnel View

Yosemite, California – a valley view

Yosemite, California – a valley view


An original painting in watercolour and acrylic inks. Size 295 mm x 680 mm.

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Yosemite Valley View

I’m not the first to paint Tunnel View, Yosemite, California, and I certainly won’t be the last! But here’s my effort. I used the photos my husband took in September 2018 as reference material to guide me.

Yosemite is a national park in California’s high sierras, which I first visited as a 4 year old. When we returned to California in 2018 it was top of my list of places to revisit.

Yosemite Valley, to me, is always a sunrise, a glitter of green and golden wonder in a vast edifice of stone and space. I know of no sculpture, painting or music that exceeds the compelling spiritual command of the soaring shape of granite cliff and dome, of patina of light on rock and forest, and of the thunder and whispering of the falling, flowing waters. At first the colossal aspect may dominate; then we perceive and respond to the delicate and persuasive complex of nature.

— Ansel Adams, US photographer, 1927

Virtually every view in Yosemite is jaw-droppingly inspirational, but Tunnel View is a classic.

Tunnel View is the first view of the whole of Yosemite valley that you get after exiting the tunnel on the road into the park. Tour buses stop there and it’s virtually obligatory to get a selfie there!

From here in one glorious eyeful, you see the monolith of El Capitan on the left, Half Dome in the centre,  and Cathedral Spires, The Three Graces, and the Bridal Veil Falls on the right.

I have included a steller’s jay (Cyanocitta stelleri) on the far right. These are numerous throughout the park, because my paintings always seem to need to include a bird!

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