Sisters, completed!

Posted by on Jan 30, 2010 in commissions | 2 Comments


A Random List

Posted by on Jan 29, 2010 in General, Thoughts | One Comment

While away over the weekend, I learned many new things. Here they are as they pop into my head:

  1. Google Maps can be used to see photos of the road and Carol showed me how!
  2. Single plied yarn knits up visibly different from multiple plied yarn (I always thought I was doing something wrong but it was the yarn – thank you Mendocino Yarn Shop!)
  3. Acrylic painting has many additives available to layer and mold and make relief type paintings. (How could I have never known this before? Because I am an OIL painter!)
  4. Seaglass is much more abundant after a storm. I read this; now I know it experientially.
  5. Finished seaglass is rounder and translucent; the differences are subtle but they matter to the collector.
  6. Most hot tubs are set at 104 degrees but 100 is still comfortable.
  7. My cell phone is capable of texting but it isn’t necessary nor convenient in my life.
  8. There is a new kind of dimmer on light switches that is so tiny one can (and did) miss it!
  9. A song I love, Gabriel’s Oboe, is from a movie called The Mission.
  10. The center of California is delineated on Hwy. 99 (already knew this but now know how to find it!)
  11. ALWAYS have a map with you when you are on a road trip because there might be a traffic problem that will negate your Google directions. I knew this but was ever so grateful to have followed this wisdom.
  12. ALWAYS have simple knitting in the car with you, even when you are driving alone, because you never know when the freeway will transform itself into a parking lot.
  13. NEVER drink too much coffee. (see #12) (I sure felt badly for the woman in the white sedan.)
  14. There is a specific (and odd) way of walking to increase one’s speed; Carol and I got a great laugh out of experimenting with this (easier to do when in a place where no one knows you.)
  15. Abstract art causes me to think of yarn. (Many things do this for me.)

More on Mendocino

There is a popular book among artists called The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron. It recommends that artists take field trips to gather new inspiration. So, I took a field trip to Mendocino. I believe that we absorb much more visually that we realize, and although I might not have immediate plans to paint scenes of the North Coast (no outlet for selling them – gotta be practical here!), the beauty, the colors, something I saw in one of the galleries (or the yarn shop), something I saw or thought of while on my 9-1/2 hour drive could be the seed of a new idea. Carol is as obsessed with seaglass as I am with yarn, and since she lives in the Seattle area, we don’t get to spend much time together. I learned of Glass Beach in Ft. Bragg, and we decided to meet there. Although it was a stormy weekend, it was ideal. The best time to find seaglass is after a storm, and we were blessed with a sunny Saturday for our foraging.


The waves were awe inspiring.


This just cracks me up – Seattle girl soaking up Vitamin D on a California beach in January, BAREFOOT in a place called “Glass Beach” and with Starbuck’s coffee in her hand!


We had shoes on for this part.


It was definitely what John Eldredge refers to as a “rainbow day”.



Mendocino, Mineral King and Yarn



This was a gift to a generous person who lent her home in Mendocino to me and my friend Carol over the weekend. Mendocino is So Very Far away, and yet this lady loves Mineral King. So, this is for her! It was especially lovely to have a home instead of a motel room when it rained like the dickens on Sunday. We spent the heart of the day walking around town, poking into art galleries and the Mendocino Yarn Shop (You didn’t expect me to just walk past it, did you?) I learned the strangest thing: every piece of abstract art we saw reminded me of yarn!

California Center

Posted by on Jan 26, 2010 in General, Thoughts | One Comment

I took a road trip over the weekend. On Monday, I drove NINE AND ONE HALF hours to get home. (It was worth it.) I might tell you about the trip in another blog entry, but this entry is to tell you about a curious thing. On Highway 99, north of Fresno but south of Madera, in the median is something that marks the center of California. It is a palm tree on the south side and a pine tree on the north! Someone showed me this a few years ago and then I couldn’t find it again. (My husband thought I just dreamed it.) Yesterday I stopped at a Starbuck’s in Chowchilla (I was dying of boredom by that time) and the server was chatty and helpful and told me about this! She brought it up, not me! Isn’t that cool?? here is the very blurry photo I took while driving (I think the big rig on my six was a little irritated at me – I’m sorry, Mr. Peterbilt)


The pine isn’t very large and is in front of the palm because we are heading north.

Nine One One, part two

Posted by on Jan 25, 2010 in commissions, drawing | No Comments


Here is a Yokuts shelter. From the diagram that the author provided, I had to ask if these were little Christmas trees made of thatch! She gave me an explanation, so hopefully the drawing will clear up any sort of confusion as to the nature of these little structures.  The book will be titled The Sierra Before History: Ancient Landscapes, Early Peoples. It is by Louise Jackson and will be out this spring. The book will be available locally at The Book Garden in Exeter, or through the publisher,  Mountain Press , and other places that carry local writers.

Art Nine One One

Posted by on Jan 24, 2010 in commissions, drawing, the business of art | One Comment

Ever notice that the initials of Nine One One are NOO? That is the first thing that comes to mind when I hear the words, “I know this is short notice but. . .” Saying “NOO!” would be bad for business. People come to me because I have something they need, and it would cut down on many business opportunities and mess up my hard-won reputation for being a non-flakey artist if I just automatically said “NOO” to these requests. So, I listen to the request, ask for the exact time the piece is required, think about my existing obligations and commitments, ask for specific expectations about the job, and say yes or no based on reality, rather than first instinct. An Art Emergency came to me last week – 2 illustrations for a book on the people of the Sierra. The author was notified by the publisher that the deadline for going to press was moved, and she couldn’t find decent photos of Miwok and Yokuts shelters. She had blurry photos and a diagram, and neither was adequate. She asked me to create drawings – “I know you are busy and this is short notice, but. .  .” Since she is a very dear friend who has helped me in more ways than I can ever count, I truly wanted to help her. Besides, have I mentioned how much I love to draw? So, I did the drawings, and this is the first time I have ever confidently made up something without adequate photos and LIKED the results!


These are Miwok shelters made of bark.

California Winter

Posted by on Jan 23, 2010 in the business of art, Three Rivers | No Comments

This is how it looked outside The Art Co-op on Thursday:


This is California in winter – rainy, cold. and the daffodils are in bloom! Take a look at the raging and muddy river – wow! Want to know the Number One Sin of Retail (according to my somewhat informal retail training)? It is closing early. Thursday at The Art Co-op, I sinned. Why? Water, water, everywhere, and not a drop to drink (or flush, either).


Art Emergencies

Posted by on Jan 21, 2010 in commissions, drawing, the business of art | No Comments

You’ve learned about odd art jobs such as quilt patches and umbrellas (and NO, I DON’T WANT TO PAINT ON AN OLD SAW!) Now, I bring you Art Emergencies. This is where someone comes to you and says “I know this is short notice but. . .” Generally speaking, 30% of the work that comes to me is an emergency. Granted, there are no true emergencies outside of birth and death and “poor planning on your part does not create an emergency on mine”. However, poor planning on the part of a customer often creates nice jobs for me. And, to be fair, sometimes Art Emergencies are not a result of poor planning but the result of  a surprise as in “Joe Bag-of-Doughnuts just announced his retirement and we need a nice personalized gift for him right away!” Here is one from a couple of years ago:



If you are wondering about it, it was for a retiring Visalia City Council member and all the elements of this collage mean something to him. And no, he isn’t Joe Bag-of-Doughnuts; he is more akin to Joe Box-of-Oranges!




Still painting, of course!

Posted by on Jan 20, 2010 in General | No Comments

Lately my blog posts have been about The Art Co-op, hiking, cats, and First Saturdays in Three Rivers. Are you wondering if I still paint? Yep. See? At last count there were 14 paintings in progress, but I forgot about the 10 or so that I’ve been hauling back and forth to The Art Co-op! Have a look (and these photos don’t include the ones drying on my fireplace mantle right now).



There is an event coming in March that will require many poppies and sequoias. This is speculation painting and a crystal ball would be helpful here. Lacking that, I will just paint as if there will be many folks in attendance who like poppies and sequoias.



Haven’t touched the bridge for several weeks, haven’t touched the 2 horizontal bridges for months, am waiting for the edges of Sisters to dry so I can move it back to the bright sunlight and nitpick it to pieces. (By the way, Deanne, I haven’t really touched a thing on the shelves for weeks, so don’t bother trying to discern what is there!)