Muir Mountains Watercolor Calligraphy Quote

I finally realized that all the shreds of artwork piled weren’t going to use themselves. Sounds simple, they got lost under new ideas and projects. I keep them in a box so I can flip through them and use them up before starting with a new page.

A watercolor painting of the sun rising over a forest with a John Muir quote written in calligraphy on the skyline.
“Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature’s peace will flow into you as sunshine into trees.” — John Muir

That’s where this watercolor calligraphy quote came from. My radiant mother-in-law’s birthday was coming up and I wanted to give her something that reflected her warm and adventurous spirit. What started as just trees at the bottom of the page turned into a misty sunrise with mountains. I made sure to contrast the cool, sleepy tones of the mountains with the gentle rays of the sunshine. To do this in watercolor while keeping the existing trees intact was a little tricky, but it worked out.


I chose this text by John Muir because it’s a grounding reminder of the qualities that nature imparts to us when we make the time to experience it. We’ve never talked about it, but I suspect that this sentiment resonates with my mother-in-law.

This watercolor calligraphy quote measures 6″x4″. I presented it to her in the 7″x5″ gold floating frame you see pictured above. Incorporating older and abstract work into my calligraphy practice helps me get away from thinking about a project. Not starting with a blank page helps me to complete artwork. This means that my ideas get made into real things instead of staying in my mind or on my desk. I love the feeling of movement that comes with that.

Here’s a 5 minute vlog I recorded about a different watercolor calligraphy quote I did using a similar process:


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