Daily Painting

Posted by on Sep 30, 2011 in General | 6 Comments

Oh yeah, I forgot I was supposed to be painting and showing them to you. Got kind of caught up in the excitement of the bridge project and the wildlife and wild weather. I AM painting, just not showing and telling. The lemon and the pomegranate were grown in Tulare County, California. (I am a California Artist, Mr. Google!)

All of these paintings are available for sale at Colors, an art gallery and studio in Three Rivers. Owner/artist Wendy McKellar and I know many women with red and yellow and gold colors in their kitchens. These women often like their colors to coordinate. I also like my kitchen colors to match – anyone know of bright blue and white fruit??

My Wild Life

Posted by on Sep 29, 2011 in Sources of inspiration, Three Rivers | 4 Comments

Living in a small rural community in a small rural county gets a little exciting at times. It isn’t as though I battle wildfires (please, God, spare us that), and there have been no rattlesnakes this season.

But, sometimes it rains very very hard. This was about 2 weeks ago:

My wipers were on the highest speed, the defroster fan was on the highest speed, and I finally gave up trying to see and pulled over for a bit.

Then, there is the wildlife. This was on the way down the hill to teach drawing lessons:

There are about 2 dozen in this herd. Herd? Flock? Flock! Wild turkeys are funny, unless they are sitting on one’s car inside the garage or flapping at you as you try to walk past. Gobbling sometimes gets them a little worked up. (It’s not something you want to try if there are normal people within earshot.)

And the deer are plentiful. Cute, but not when they eat my geraniums (technically pelargoniums) and I don’t really like them hanging out on my front porch eating catfood either! But, it is very neat-o to see them in the yard. (Yes, I said “neat-o”!)

Mineral King Bridge, Part 5

Here is a peculiar sight. The fan carries away toxins created by the welding of galvanized metal. Who knew?

Isn’t this a nice photo? These 2 men have worked together for years. Kind of just warms your heart, no?

This one is even better! It is my personal favorite. This man would rather be climbing Vandever than contemplating matters of consequence while wearing a uniform beneath it. Gotta commend him on his work ethic – knows the cabin folks are counting on him to be there for them on this project.

And here is one more peculiar sight for you to puzzle over. Hey Sawtooth Six, you paying attention??

Mineral King Bridge, Part 4

Posted by on Sep 27, 2011 in Mineral King, Sources of inspiration | 2 Comments

The next day I counted 10 folks at one time working on this project! (Pay no attention to the truck and trailer on the bridge.)

Most of the guys wear hard hats that resemble marshmallows. These aren’t all that helpful, since there isn’t anything crashing on anyone’s heads except harsh sunlight. Michael is wishing for his signature straw hat at this job site.

It was a fantastic day of clear sunlight and great views.

Supervisor Kirk told me it was just a bunch of overgrown boys playing with oversized tinker toys and legos. Maybe, but the project is very extensive and detailed and planned. This bridge will stand for a very long time.

Looks as if they are all working for Caltrans, but they are waiting for the next load of fill. This abutment has many layers of material.


To be continued tomorrow, same time, same place.

Mineral King Bridge, Part 3

Posted by on Sep 26, 2011 in Mineral King, Sources of inspiration | 2 Comments

The drive up the hill provided one of the best views I’ve ever seen of Sawtooth. This California artist misses no opportunities to record paintable scenes!

I arrived at the end of a work day, which means I met about 6 or 8 giant trucks of Park folks. They were all courteous drivers, and we waved as we passed, each one of us correctly on our own side of the very narrow road.

Michael’s commute is the shortest, so he was still at work sorting things out at the site. (Pay no attention to the giant yellow machine on the opposite of the bridge that used to prohibit 4 tons.)

To be continued in a really long entry with lots of photos tomorrow. . .  stay tuned!

The Daily Pomegranate

Posted by on Sep 23, 2011 in General | No Comments

They’re very good for you. I think they overtook blueberries, but might have now fallen behind green tea or acai berry. Not sure, but they are certainly beautiful, and make great jelly!

Pomegranate 35, oil on wrapped canvas, 6×6″, $40

An afternoon in Sequoia National Park

A pair of friends backpacked from Mineral King to Crescent Meadow. Michael (my husband) brought their van down to Three Rivers, and I drove up to Giant Forest to pick them up 6 days later.

Much has changed in Sequoia National Park over the past 10 or 15 years. I followed Clueless Clive from Illinois for the entire trip up. He was clueless about the fact that if someone catches up to you, she is driving faster than you are. He was clueless about the purpose of turnouts to allow the faster follower to pass.

We waited for 15 minutes at this lovely view spot for the light to turn green.

Light? on the road to The Park? Yep, road work is now a regular part of a trip to The Park, and it includes delays, torn up road, single lane stretches, and no view from Amphitheater Point because it is full of construction equipment.

Then, when the downhill traffic has passed, the light turns green and everyone proceeds in a pack for the rest of the drive.

Despite the delays, I arrived early so I thought I’d just drive out to Crescent Meadow to meet the hikers there, instead of in Giant Forest as previously arranged. Nope. The road is closed on weekends unless you are a bus.

Waiting is rarely a problem for me.

There are huge redwood benches where you can wait for a bus or shuttle, breathe exhaust and cigarette smoke, and listen to idling diesel engines and many languages. The many languages part hasn’t changed. I recognized German, Spanish and Chinese. Okay, I figured out those were the languages, but only recognized specific words in Spanish.

“OSO!” Since I had a close encounter with an “oso” last week, I remained on my giant redwood bench while people ran toward him. (When the oso stepped a foot into my cabin last week, I was less than hospitable toward him, and wasn’t interested in meeting his cousin.)

It was 9/11 and there was a flag at half-mast in front of the Sentinel Tree. This is the same place where I met President Bush #43 in May of 2001. Security was looser then. We were all less worried, and younger and more innocent about bad things happening to good people.

Quite a bit of knitting was accomplished before my friends appeared from one of the shuttle buses. I enjoyed the time without demands, phone, computer, or clocks. A good time was had by all.

Isn’t this a precious father-daughter photo?

The Daily Painting Machine Fired Up Again

Posted by on Sep 21, 2011 in General | No Comments

Sort of “daily”. Sort of not. Painting daily, or drawing daily. Not showing daily. Okay, whatever, just enjoy! ­čśÄ

Pomegranate 34, oil on wrapped canvas, 6×6″, $40

Mineral King Bridge, Part 2

Posted by on Sep 20, 2011 in General, Mineral King | 6 Comments

Hmmm, I’ve never heard this parking lot referred to as the Franklin Lakes Trail parking lot. Guess those hikers have to park somewhere too.

The project was begun the day after Labor Day, this year. The first order of business was to build a footbridge, which my husband The Road Guy, aptly accomplished with the help of some Trail Crew guys.

See why a footbridge is necessary? The abutments have to be dug out and replaced, one side at a time.┬áNever mind about the giant yellow machine that had to drive across the bridge in order to accomplish this. Of course it doesn’t weigh more than 4 tons. . . right?

The second order of business was to arrange alternative forms of transportation across that bridge, so that folks can get their stuff to their cabins.

There were lots of willing workers, and it was fun to coordinate loads. There is a great camaraderie among cabin folks. There is also great generosity in the loan of several wheeled items to use for the purpose.

Mineral King Bridge

Posted by on Sep 19, 2011 in General, Mineral King | 5 Comments

Because Mineral King is one of my main sources of inspiration, and many of my readers love Mineral King, there will be several posts about this bridge project. If you only read the blog for the art, stay tuned, because the project won’t last forever and will only have 1 or 2 entries a week until its completion.

At the end of the road in Mineral King, Sequoia National Park, is a bridge. It spans the currently low and slow flowing East Fork of the Kaweah River. On the other side of the creek (“river”) is a parking lot, trailhead, and a handful of cabins.

A few years ago Federal Highways bridge inspectors came to Mineral King and declared the bridge unsafe. A sign was posted to prohibit any vehicle over 4 tons (8000 lbs) from crossing the bridge. It was shored up with some jacks and I-beams, which were inelegantly covered with tires.  Engineers got involved, plans made and a prefabricated bridge has been purchased to replace the existing bridge.

The bridge is a hang-out place.

The view is incomparable, spectacular, the most photographed view in Mineral King, and possibly within all of Sequoia.

This could be a long story, so stay tuned for the next chapter tomorrow, Same Bat-Time, Same Bat-Channel.