This may be hard to fathom, but while I was working on the mural, I also knocked out a few paintings. They will appear here one or two at a time for the next few days. The plan was to have them for a show and sale in Lodgepole, but we, The Kaweah Artisans, have not received permission from the National Park Service to proceed with the show. Meanwhile, they will appear here one or two at a time for the next few days.
Ever heard of The Cort Gallery? It is at 41881 Sierra Drive (river side of the highway) in Three Rivers. It is a little hard to see because the trees obscure the building, but it is worth the time to find. Gary Cort designed this building with rotating walls that swing open to the outside. He is a talented architect and artist with whimsical ink drawings. He invited me and one of my drawing students, Char Prazak, to show our pencil artwork with him on Saturday – a black, white, and shades of gray kind of event! You may remember Char’s work from a previous blog entry; here it is again:To preview some of the participants in First Saturday September, go here: 1st Saturday in Three Rivers
IT IS FINISHED! That is, it is finished if the Mural Team agrees. What a week – the hottest days and the coolest day of the entire project happened within the 6 consecutive days. Weather is not a cliche or a conversation filler – it matters immensely when working outdoors! Today was marked by the visitation of Bill DeCarteret, who was the packer in Mineral King along with his wife Marilyn for many years. He used to pack the SCE guys up to Franklin Lake to close the dam in the fall, and eventually, SCE just had him do the job himself. His visit gave me a chance to ask him about some old graffiti on the dam. Scratched into the concrete reads “BILL & MARILYN 1949”. The DeCarterets didn’t know each other in 1949; it refers to Bill and Marilyn Reynolds. That Bill worked for either the Forest Service or the Park Service (oops, didn’t retain that vital piece of info!)
Wildflowers were added, as promised, but here are only two:
Golden Beard Penstemmon
Finally, I signed it! (lower right corner)
Today is only in the 90s – almost sweater weather, compared to Wednesday and Thursday! One day left in my mini marathon run of mural painting – oh yeah, I called it because I am an experienced professional! (love saying that after feeling like a poser for so long) Visited with several people (CK returned with a few more stories – but he is not CJK!) Here is what I did today:
- “Planted” 2 trees (photos below)
- Hid 2 more items
- Finished that bottom strip – thank goodness, because it is not very comfortable to sit on asphalt while painting at worm level.
- Detailed and added many rocks
- Added the white border to historical dam “photo” (“How’d you git them pichers on the wall??”)
- Finished the remaining dirt/rock/ground areas.
To the untrained eye (or to someone who hasn’t been reading this blog), the mural may looked finished minus the signature. BUT WAIT! THERE’S MORE! Tomorrow the flowers will bloom in full color and detail!
- Katie and Paul at Mineral King Publishing rescued the crying kitten today! I named it Franklin, but since I am over my quota of stray cats for the year and won’t be taking it home, I have no right to name it.
- It is very very hot (111 in Three Rivers yesterday!) but should be cooler tomorrow
- The Las Vegas Review-Journal is in town because 2 of Nevada’s governors grew up in Exeter – I may have been less than gracious to the photographer who appeared as I was almost ready to go and asked if I was working on a new mural. John, I’m sorry for being cranky and sarcastic.
- A nice man gave me a tee shirt – guess I looked like I needed something better (cleaner) to wear! Thank you, nice man!
- I hid 2 more things today.
- Betsy and I came up with a plan for a mule shoe (thanks, Bert!) and a rock (thanks, Betsy!)
The names of those who helped project (plus a couple of hitch-hikers) have been painted out.
Progress is being made despite the fact that today was unspeakably hot and I bailed early. Today was marked by three things:
- the hottest day yet
- the saddest day – heard a kitten crying off and on the entire time
- the weirdest guy came by and told me Exeter has the most murals per capita of any town in the world. . . I questioned him as to his source and he said “that tv show”. Umm, thanks.
For comparison, here is 3 days from the same angle:
Each day on this mural my energy fades around 12:30 or 1. Sometimes it even weakens just before noon, but I think that is fear of the noon siren/whistle, which can just flatten a person standing in my alley. I’m always grateful when I happen to be standing on the ground with both hands free to slam over my ears when it goes. (Hard to predict, because today my phone said 12:04 when it went.) Today, I was getting acquainted with a man who has had a remarkable life so far, and he talked me through that low-energy time of day (with a momentary pause while we both stood with our hands over our ears.) If you are reading this, CK, thank you! In order to stay productive for the fullest amount of time, I moved to the east end of the wall and sat on the ground to work on that bottom strip under the mural. It wasn’t cool down there, but it was certainly cooler than the higher places or the west end. Good technique – if I were my boss, I’d give me a bonus for such ingenuity! Oh. I am my boss. I’ll have to look into that!
Would you believe that the last quarter of the dam inset took the bulk of the day?? I was disgusted with myself for an inability to paint little men correctly. Never mind that they look like miniature blobs in the photo – I am a professional! However, my business is called cabinart, not “Little Man Painter”. You should have seen my astonishing speed and accuracy in rendering the little Mt. Whitney Power Company cabin – perhaps another bonus is in order.
This is the week I will finish, even if I have to get up at 5 a.m. for 6 days in a row. Momentum, momentum, momentum. Stay outta the way, I have a job to do!! That is not to say that you can’t stop by and say hello or ask a few questions. It just means I probably won’t stop painting while I visit with you, and please don’t take offense. The weather guessers are saying 108 degrees by Wednesday, but they also said 106 last week and it didn’t happen. If I stay in the shade and have cold water, I can do this. (I think I can I think I can I thank I can. . .) This is how the wall looked around 6:35 a.m. today:
Tomorrow I will finish this old dam photo inset. The weird blurry little people have been enlarged (the better to see them!), and I’m hoping the original photo will still be taped to the wall when I arrive tomorrow. Oops. . . it might be on the ground nearby by then, but it is in a plastic holder so I’m not (very) worried.
Here is what remains:
- old dam photo inset
- little cabin inset
- dam (as it appears today)
- growies, ground and rocks below dam
- entire strip of wall beneath mural to the ground. This is the way to make it appear as if a visitor is at Franklin Lake instead of at a mural of Franklin Lake (as long as one stays to the left). I can’t figure out a graceful way to end that lower strip, so it has to go the distance. Maybe. More will be revealed.
- Flowers by the trail. My plan is to do this in oil paint so they will be pertinear perfect!
- Hidden objects! (there is one already, but I’m not telling yet unless you visit me)
I may have mentioned that there was a teensy bit of trouble while projecting the mural. (My design didn’t fit exactly as planned.) Since I have found myself with a bit more time than planned, it seemed wise to revisit the dam at Franklin Lake for a few more photos to fill in the extra space. (“Research” is the big word that people like to use these days, sort of like using “client” when one means plain ole’ customer.) We approached it from a different direction, and this photo is mostly useless for “research” but it sure is interesting! (see the little upper lake?)
Here is one that will certainly be helpful in finishing the mural (hope hope hope):
Finally, here are two photos just because it was all so very beautiful:
Only bummer is that I can’t figure out how to write off 13 miles of walking!
On the wall, off the wall. Today I painted on the mural but won’t be painting again until the Mural Team says to. This is sort of hard, but I am trying to see the bright side: time to paint in the workshop, draw in the studio, catch up on the computer and maybe even squeeze in a bit of time in Mineral King. The fact that I had planned to have the mural finished by the end of July shouldn’t be a deterrent to finishing other projects – it is the opposite! So, I am happy, so happy. . . today’s theme is Rock On!
Now you can see that the trail reaches the ground. I visited Franklin Lake last week and made a few changes in the rocks on the mural as a result. The visit made me realize that I have taken a few liberties with the trail in relation to the dam. Guess you’ll have to visit the place yourself to verify that! (It’s only 5-1/2 miles – you can do it!)