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Kings River in Summer | Ozark Pigments in Oils

As you might already know, I’m doing a series of paintings featuring the beautiful Kings river throughout the seasons. This page is for Kings river in summer. The reference photos I’m using for all four paintings are taken at the same location, different seasons and sometimes different times of the day. This one is a mid-summer morning, with the mists lifting over the hills.

The reference and the underpainting


I’ll post pictures here of my progress as I work on this.

See the other seasons

As I get the pages made for each season, I’ll link them here.

Kings River in summer is not so busy

Kings river is every bit as beautiful as the Buffalo National river, but it’s not developed for the public so much. There are no public put-in points until it crosses highway 412 in Marble. During summer, it is often too dry to float. The scenes I’m painting for this series are the view I see as I cross the bridge every time I go to the pavement.

Rural Life

We live six miles off of the nearest paved road. Kings river and Felkins creek are my roadside companions, one or the other of them, for that entire delightful, but SLOW, drive. At my ordinary travel on dirt road speed, it takes me 30 minutes to go from home to pavement. It can actually take much longer than that if I’m not in a hurry because I stop often to snap pictures or talk to the trees along the way.

The rocks I use for my paints are represented in our stretch of the waterway. Kings river in summer is a frequent destination when I am seeking a certain yellow stone. The water is low enough to wade across to the gravel bar I need to visit.


Biodiversity reigns in this watershed. The deep cut hollers where water runs off to tributaries offer deep shade and rich soil for some of my favorite plants. We have beavers and otters, and while the fish are small, my children grew up with ample opportunity to catch a few fish from the deeper pools on our largest local tributary to this river. It’s deep enough for deer to swim in Kings river in summer to help them escape from the deer flies. Check out this video I took while one of my artist friends & workshop participant and I were out doing a bit of pigment foraging:

6 thoughts on “Kings River in Summer | Ozark Pigments in Oils”

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  1. That’s a handsome buck but I laughed because I just gave a glancing look at the title and thought it said “Nick Buck swimming in the river” and I wondered why you were sharing a video of a friend swimming. Too funny!

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