Day Eight on the Mural (snow!)

Posted by on Jun 29, 2010 in Mineral King, Murals | One Comment

Summer has truly arrived. It was hot on the lift at 9 a.m. so after working on the “snapshot” of mules, I put the machine away and stood on the ground where there was a bit of a breeze. It is definitely easier to visit with passers-by when we are both standing on the ground; Michael stopped by and had a small tub of snow in the back of his pick-up. Yup. Snow. It had been in the ice chest until he pulled it out to make room for the groceries. First, I used some on my wrists – it has been said that if you cool your pulse points, you will be cooler. Okay, I could always be cooler. After that, I set my water bottle inside the tub of (melting) snow. Then, my Frankenfoot was hurting a bit, so I took off my sandal and stood with my foot in the snowmelt. After that, I needed a bit more water for washing brushes at the end of my painting session, so the water got transferred to my brush bucket. Snow in Exeter in summer. Weird, but useful.



Peculiar sight

Posted by on Jun 28, 2010 in Mineral King, Peculiar Sights | No Comments

In Mineral King there are some critters called “marmots”. (Every letter is pronounced unlike “merlot”) To the untrained eye, they appear to be cute.


To those in the know, they are a PAIN. In late spring and early summer they have a peculiar habit of chewing on wires and hoses in cars. They like radiator fluid and are impervious to its poison that would kill your pet. By the second week of July, they have stopped doing this stupid annoying thing and then perhaps they can be called cute. There are many methods to try and thwart their destructive ways. A number of years ago, a ranger saw that Michael had the hood up on his truck and decided that must be a way to discourage the   creatures. (In reality, the hood was up so he could see if they were in there chewing on things.) Now, many people leave their hoods up in the parking lots which gives the marmots easier access to their preferred snacks. Other things have been tried, but this one is the most effective:


How to be an (professional) artist in Tulare County

Posted by on Jun 25, 2010 in Events, the business of art, Thoughts | One Comment

That is the title of the talk (“lecture”) that I gave yesterday at the Creative Center in Visalia. The three items are: 1. Love the place; 2. Be flexible and 3. Never quit. The turnout was small, (I think “intimate” is the word used for such things) and I knew all but 3 people. After we introduced, we realized we had known of each other but just hadn’t met yet. The show looks wonderful, thanks to Glen Hill who really placed the pieces artfully. It is surprising how much this matters! Three pieces sold, and the buyers graciously consented to leaving them in place until the show ends.


There was a very bright spotlight in my eyes so I couldn’t see the audience. Now that I see them in this photo, I can see that several who were present aren’t in this scene. They seemed to be enjoying themselves and were all very complimentary. The Creative Center is a great place to show art and to have presentations –  thank you Theresa, Glen and Bailey!

The life of a busy artist

Posted by on Jun 25, 2010 in the business of art | 2 Comments

Look at what I did yesterday:

  1. painted the mural
  2. took paintings to the Mural Gallery
  3. looked at a mural that will need some repair – climbed onto the scaffolding and took reference photos of it
  4. got home and unloaded the mural stuff from the car, carried things out to the studio and other things to the computer. Still others had to be moved into the workshop – stuff, stuff, stuff!
  5. finished 2 little oils of oranges and began 2 more
  6. put hanging hardware on the backs of 10 canvases
  7. posted an entry to my blog
  8. printed out a price list to mail to a customer
  9. updated the inventory lists of paintings
  10. worked on my “lecture” for the Creative Center Reception tonight!

There were a lot of other non-work related tasks squeezed into the day, but I just thought you might enjoy seeing what the life of a busy artist can look like! This is really really fun, by the way. 😎

Day Seven on the Mural

Posted by on Jun 24, 2010 in Mineral King, Murals | No Comments

When I arrived this morning, there was a section of mural that said “DO ME!” (perhaps I am exaggerating or hallucinating at that early hour). So, that section got completed today. Maybe. It may need more detail, but hard to say at this point.


You can see I am adding little patches of this and that in the lower sections. This is the way I use up the paint on my palette at the end of a painting session!


Had to tape off the borders of the additional “snapshot” area. I can see from this photo that it definitely needs more rocks.


Here is the whole wall. Decided to take this photo when I realized that I hadn’t removed the key from the lift, nor had I plugged it in! I’ll blame it on getting up too early in the a.m. instead of my being distracted. And distracted I was – wow, what a slate of distinguished visitors today! Look at this: my 6th grade teacher, my 21 mile walking partner and her husband, my shorthand teacher from Redwood High, a lady who bought a painting from me a few years ago and her friend, the premier rock mason/artist from Three Rivers, and an entire group of wayward youth from a place called Courage to Change! Those are just the visitors I can remember – this is a very social project!

Dancing Feet

Posted by on Jun 22, 2010 in Events | No Comments

Sierra Swinney is 15 years old and has lived in Three Rivers her entire life. Ballet seems like an odd obsession for someone who loves to backpack with her dad in the local mountains, but Sierra has been dancing since she was four and dreams of becoming a professional ballerina. She has been accepted to the American Ballet Theatre’s summer program in Alabama, and this little painting will be for auction on eBay to help pay her way.


it is 6×4″, oil on board and comes with its own little easel. To bid, stay posted!

Day Six on the Mural

Posted by on Jun 19, 2010 in Mineral King, Murals | No Comments


Today there were lots of rocks and green patches to be painted. Most of the rocks look alike, and despite working from an 8×10 photo, they are teenie-tiny. After needing someone to send out Search and Rescue teams, I finally blocked out the area on the photo and on the wall, and taped the photo above.



I was still lost and confused. I drew a simplified “map” of the green patches, taped it below, and (sort of) duplicated the green shapes.



Time will tell if I did the right degree of detail in those areas. They may need to be blurred out, or they may need to be cleaned up.




This is how it looks with the mountain above. I also cleaned out my palette by putting a first coat on other areas that weren’t fiddly like those rocks.



You’re Invited!

Posted by on Jun 17, 2010 in Events | No Comments


Day Five on the Mural

Posted by on Jun 17, 2010 in Mineral King, Murals | No Comments

What a nice day!  The sun hitting me wasn’t a huge problem so I painted until it hit my palette at almost 2:30. Wow, good thing, because today I moved into the fiddly stuff – lots and lots of rocks. See?


There were lots of visitors today and I snuck photos of a few of them.


Monica and Inda found all 12 items in my other mural.


Louise and Katie showed me how folks will appear to be at Franklin Lake when the mural is finished. Hmmm, guess photographers will have to cut folks off at the knees for a realistic effect.


Claudia from Fresno brought Kristianna from Germany!img_3967.jpg

But Wait! There’s More! Looks like the projection difficulty will be turned into another sepia snapshot! More will be revealed. . .

Happy Customer!

Posted by on Jun 16, 2010 in commissions | No Comments


“Please, may I have more leaves?”


“But of course, you are the customer!”