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Nevada City & The Yuba River

Katie Strange


The air is calm in Nevada City. It is calmer than the bay. or maybe that’s who I am when I come here. I do know, the Yuba is something magic. It has a life and a purpose that is powerful and calming. 

I often come in the winter. When its cold and the landscape is more monotone. I like the colors of nature contrasted to the browns and greys of winter. The subtle brightness comes out. The pop of a mushroom. The neon of the moss and lichen. The turquoise icey water of the river. 

Far away but close to so much.

Its a quaint city. A small victorian gold rush town on a hill. Full of tourists, locals, and an earth-loving, vegan-eating, homegrown, kinda vibe. It is in Northern California- not Nevada, ironically - along the western foothills of the Sierras. Established in 1849, downtown Nevada City is bustling with victorian salons, hotels, galleries, tasting rooms, theaters, and fine dining.

Ten minutes out of town you come to the South Yuba River, which you can explore via the Immigrant Trail, the Jones Bar Loop, or at one of the many bridges and river crossings (Hoyt Crossing, Edwards Crossing). 

My trips up to Nevada City are often brief but filled with many adventures. Usually I’ll spend one day adventuring the river and the other day lounging downtown. Here’s a sure-bet for a good time downtown Nevada City:  

A Day in Nevada City

After a lazy morning, make your way to town.  Stop by Kitkitdizzie, a nature-inspired artisan shop, on your way up Broad Street for lunch at Ike's Quarte Cafe or Three Forks Bakery & Brewery. Afterward, take a walk to Hirshman Pond if you’re up for an easy-grade hike within walking distance of town. Or you can check out some of the shops around town, including a bookstore, a children’s game store (so many nature and science based games and puzzles!), clothing stores, and galleries.

Check out one of the many tasting rooms: Nevada City Winery, Szabo. Dinner at New Moon Cafe, Bistro 221, or Matteo’s Public will fix you up with some nice comfort food. And if you want to keep the party going, head to the Mine Shaft Saloon for a classic dive bar. 

And if you're headed up there in late January the Wild & Scenic Film Festival is a must! Jan. 12-16, 2017. 

Have fun! And Check out some Yuba River inspired paintings.

The Painting Process: painting over, starting over.

Katie Strange

Painting over and starting over is hard. Its really fucking hard.

I’m not talking about scratching a project and moving, with no trace of what came before. I’m talking about significantly changing a project midway through. Facing the fact that there was a vision and that vision changed.

Well then. Now I have a mess. Half of my painting is in total chaos.

Its a pretty scary feeling. There's a lot of trust involved. Trust and faith that you made the right decision. And in the end, if you made the wrong decision, here you are... with half your painting all fucked up. You hope its worth it, cause right now failure feels inevitable.

I have no idea what I’m doing. This was a terrible mistake. 

But then you push through. You do the work. You show up. And its hard, painful, and often pretty ugly. But then you find your way. A new vision comes into formation and there is light at the end of the tunnel. Its not over yet, but you’re much closer than when you started. 

And this is what I ended up with....