This charming landmark up the North Fork of the Kaweah is probably the most photographed, drawn and painted building in the Three Rivers area! The Post Office began service in 1890, but the building itself is 100 years old this year. On October 23, there will be a 10K run and 5K walk at the bottom of Lake Kaweah, with net profits going to support the Kaweah Post Office. In addition, there will be a celebration at the post office itself, from 10-4. To quote the Kaweah Commonwealth, “It will be a day of food, fun, music, and history. And, best of all, the centennial event will help raise funds for the preservation of the historic post office. A wholesome experience awaits all who attend this Centennial Celebration where past and present meet.”
That would be the workshop where I paint. October may be the busiest month, or perhaps it is November. There are a handful of shows/sales coming up, along with something else big and new. This means it is imperative that I produce as much a possible. Every year I am puzzled as to how I got into this squeeze – it isn’t as if the Fall shows are a surprise! Have a look at all the pieces hanging around in various stages of drying.
There was a small difficulty today – every time I returned to my chair, it was occupied by this creature:
YEA! My blog is working again! Meanwhile, up the hill, this is how things looked October 8 or thereabouts. There isn’t much color because the early leaves that were yellow blew off in the previous week’s storm, which left a light dusting of snow on West Florence Peak. Regardless, (and that IS the word, not “irregardless”) because it is Mineral King, it is beautiful. Have a look:
These last 2 are from a hike to White Chief. If you are asking yourself, “Self, why are there always postings about Mineral King on an art blog?” – the answer is that much of my inspiration comes from Mineral King. It is not my only subject matter, but it is possibly my favorite. And, it is a favorite of many customers, readers and other Very Smart People!
. . . is finished!
Early Timber Gap, painted on board (Hey painting owner, want a touch-up??)
Timber Gap as painted this summer – yes, I know all the little canvas lines show in the photo.
With these 2 Farewell Gap paintings, I can’t decide which was painted earlier. Guess I finally caught up with myself for awhile in terms of painting ability! (But the cropping in photography could use a bit more practice. . . )
According to my records, I have painted about 460 canvases and boards since beginning oil on March 8, 2006. (“About 460″ is because sometimes I mis-number pieces or do something that doesn’t get into the inventory because that bookkeeping kind of thing doesn’t really float my boat.) If you follow my blog, you have probably figured out that honesty is bigger to me than false pride! So, at the risk of embarrassing myself, I am going to show you some comparisons. My digital camera, computer, and iPhoto skills have also improved, so that is probably skewing the contrast a bit too! (If you are the owner of one of the early pieces and would like a touch-up, bring it back and I’ll fix it for you.)
Here is one of the first oranges painted as a single object:
Here it is again painted a few months ago:
These 2 images of the Honeymoon Cabin were painted from different photos. (I know, “duh”.) It seems obvious to me which was done earlier!
Betsy, for keeping me in tomatoes while I worked on the mural. She is a one-woman-campaign aganst artists starving around here!
Jack Elam, who primed the wall for me and never sent me a bill. I don’t even know him, but when I see him, I will give him this picture that I painted for him. Why a flag? Because he describes his painting company as “an American family company”, and that is a clue to me that he would like this little painting titled “Oh Say”!
In addition, I could not have done this mural without the generosity of Bill Sario of Rising Sun, a construction company. He lent that fabulous electric scissor lift and always was available for help and support. Then there was Capella, a Coffee Company. My goodness – they never complained when I hogged a parking spot daily, used their electricity for the lift, their water for cleaning brushes, their building for cooling off, and their place for displaying the model painting of the mural! And Larry Lee Photography was so generous that they gave me a key to their business so I had access to a place anytime the need might arise to go inside. There are more to thank, of course, but these are the standouts in my memory.
It was hot, reallly really hot.
If it hadn’t been my mural, I doubt I would have braved the heat, but these folks were hardier than that!
Mickey gave a thorough history on the Mt. Whitney Power Co. and the dams in Mineral King. I hadn’t settled in yet and was hanging out in the back with my friend from the Three Rivers Post Office, so I had this nice view of the group.
When Mickey passed the mike to me, I asked the crowd if I could photograph them for the blog. I love doing that – it always makes people smile. Besides, who would have the courage to say “NO DON”T DO THAT”?
I told a few things about how the mural idea happened, a few facts about the dam at Franklin Lake, and a few stories about painting the mural. I said a pile of “Thank Yous” to the wonderful folks who helped make this mural happen. We ate some REALLY good food (that tri-tip from Exeter Meats was so tender it was easy to eat with a plastic fork!!). We even square-danced a bit – it was much cooler standing up away from the tables after dark, and Paul Pfeninger is a terrific caller! I got to catch up with lots of friends (including Ron Hughart, famous local author) and made a new friend, Matthew, who is also a painter. Despite the heat, it was a lovely evening!