Thanksgiving in Mineral King

Posted by on Nov 30, 2012 in Mineral King, Sources of inspiration | 6 Comments

Yup. We had cheese and crackers and apple and dark chocolate for Thanksgiving dinner. This was our view:

Mineral King

Is there snow in Mineral King?

Some in the shade and on the north facing slopes.

P.S. Michael smoked a turkey the next day. We had leftovers of almost all the good stuff except pumpkin pie. Feel free to send some over if you are tired of yours.

First Saturday Three Rivers December 1

Posted by on Nov 29, 2012 in Events, Three Rivers | 2 Comments

First Saturday Three Rivers for December is coming quickly – December 1, to be exact. My studio will be open. Go to Anne Lang’s Emporium for a map. Come see me between 11 and 5. It might be raining. I have a roof and a little heater. It will be fine!

Jana Botkin's studios

You can ask me stuff about my art and buy Christmas gifts. I don’t accept credit cards but I do accept cash and (good) checks. There is an ATM in town at the Bank of the Sierra.

Did I forget anything?? Email me or comment if you want to know more!

2013 Calendars Now Available

Posted by on Nov 28, 2012 in the business of art | 4 Comments

The first 2 orders of 2013 calendars were all spoken for. Now I have the calendars available for order, right here on my bl0g!

The price including tax and shipping is $21. The earlier price was less because that’s just the way things roll. . . sigh. (Worm, anyone?) If you reserved one by email earlier, I will let you know when the calendars arrive and you can mail me a check.


oak grove bridge painting for cover of jana botkin's 2013 calendar

To see the pictures of each month, here is the link to the blog post that showed each  painting.

If you don’t want to click that link right now, here is a summary: Mineral King, Three Rivers, Sequoia, oranges, Yokohl Valley. What else would you expect from a regionalist from Quaintsville, a central California artist?
P.S. The type on this blog post is all in different sizes because sometimes it won’t fix, no matter how many times I try. I give up!

Some Studio Artists Paint from Photos

Posted by on Nov 27, 2012 in Sources of inspiration, Thoughts | No Comments

Did you know that some studio artists paint from photos?

view from Kaweah Lake


I paint from photos. They provide ideas, inspiration, visual guidance and instruction.

photo of 2 pears by jana botkin

I paint from photos that I take. Sometimes I adjust them on my computer. Sometimes I have other people shade my lens, hold branches out of the way or manipulate the scene in other manners. Sometimes I arrange things and rearrange them and move them around to other locations.

pomegranate photo by jana botkin

My friend Jimmy brought me the most beautiful pomegranates he could find. It was at a busy time as I was preparing for 2 different shows. I knew they would shrivel before I could paint them. No problem. I have a camera and am not afraid to use it.

Perhaps this is just the practical side of being a California artist in rural Tulare County.



The Exclusive Perfect Gift Boutique in Review

Posted by on Nov 26, 2012 in Events, Three Rivers | No Comments

The Perfect Gift Boutique happened over the weekend. It has become a tradition for the Kaweah Artisans to hold this exclusive event on the Friday and Saturday after Thanksgiving at the Three Rivers Arts Center.

Three Rivers Arts Center

Exclusive? Well, the Arts Center is small, so we have to exclude any exhibitor who doesn’t say “Yes” soon enough to procure a space.

Three Rivers Arts Center interior

Exclusive? We are all folks who make what no one else makes. That could be more accurately defined as “unique”, but that is such an overused term.

Tina St. John jewelry

Exclusive? We are from Tulare County, primarily foothill towns, primarily Three Rivers. If an artist from another town with a product that no one else was showing and selling asked, we would consider her. We are all California artists.

gourd ornaments

Exclusive? We aren’t a bunch of man-haters. We have included men in the past. Just turns out that we are all women.


wood turned bowl


Artisans? We all make our own products. That includes weaving, soy candles, soaps and lotions and perfumes, jewelry, photography, gourd art including ornaments, wood turned bowls and vases and platters, oil paintings on canvas, ornaments, journals and cards (that would be my work).

Perfect Gift Boutique

Care to join us next year, either as an exhibitor or as a shopper?

Mineral King in Fall, Part 5

Posted by on Nov 23, 2012 in Mineral King | 2 Comments

Being Thankful for Fall in Mineral King

These leaves have been blown or rained or snowed off the trees for several weeks by now but I’m still coasting on the beauty from that weekend in mid October.

Mineral King Road with leaning juniper photo by Jana Botkin

This is the Mineral King Road with its leaning juniper. The yellow is cottonwood leaves.

Sawtooth and aspen trees photo by Jana Botkin

These are aspens with Sawtooth Peak.

many colors up Monarch drainage

This is the Monarch drainage with all its fall colors.

Sawtooth behind the colored trees photo by Jana Botkin

More Sawtooth with aspens.

East Fork of the Kaweah in fall

And the East Fork of the Kaweah River along the Nature Trail in Mineral King in October.

Th-th-th-th-that’s all, folks.


Posted by on Nov 22, 2012 in Sources of inspiration, Thoughts | One Comment

Central California.


Life as an artist.

A good husband.

Perkins, my last cat.






My blog and blog readers.




Dark chocolate.

Good books.




Perfect Gift Boutique

Posted by on Nov 21, 2012 in Events, Three Rivers | 2 Comments

The Perfect Gift Boutique is an annual event put on by The Kaweah Artisans.

Three Rivers California arts center

Can you see the Arts Center? It is over there!!

It is low-key. There are 7 of us showing and selling our work in an old converted house across the river from the main part of Three Rivers on North Fork Drive. I put all my Mannheim Steamroller Christmas music on, and we just hang out and wait for people to come. We talk to the guests, help them choose gifts or just catch up with them and enjoy one another’s company.

The participants this year are: Tina St. John – jewelry, Anne Birkholz – wood turning, Sam McKinney – gourd art/ornaments, Ginny Wilson – Blue Ridge Photography, Nikki Crain – handweaving/soy candles, Janene Laswell – Ja Nene Natural Body Products. and me.

Friday, November 23 and Saturday, November 24. Three Rivers Arts Center, North Fork Drive (just across the bridge, first building on the left), 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.


Learning and Growing

Posted by on Nov 20, 2012 in Lessons, Thoughts | No Comments

My drawing students really impress me. They sign up for lessons, come for an hour a week, and produce wonderful pencil drawings. Most of them begin knowing nothing. They persist, they do the work, and they learn to draw.

I show them the way, but they do the work and grow in their knowledge and skills. Some of them go to other workshops on the side, like watercolor painting or oil painting, or knitting. They come from a variety of backgrounds, and most have much more formal education and are far more travelled than I am.

Got me to thinking – do I make an effort to grow? Am I working on self-improvement, personal growth, being a life-long-learner?

I don’t take any classes and in fact, I’ve quit many of the classes I’ve tried.

That admission makes me look like a sluggish quitter.

But wait! There’s more!

Currently I am forcing myself through something called the hundred pushup challenge. Really! Weenie-armed,  never-done-a-pull-up or a boy push-up, girlie wussy me. Even if I don’t succeed in the 6 week time frame, I will certainly be able to do more than I could before I started!

My great friend in the Seattle area gave me a 6 month subscription to a site called Lumosity. This is a brain training site that claims to be able to improve your abilities in the mental areas of memory, attention, speed, flexibility and problem solving. Over the past several weeks, I have grown mentally in all areas. Or not – perhaps I’m just better at playing the games. Whatever the truth is here, I’m having a great time!

While I paint or draw, I listen to podcasts by Michael Hyatt, Chris LoCurto, and Artists Helping Artists. Okay, sometimes I just listen to music, talk radio, sermons, or talk on the phone, or savor the silence, but often I take the chance to cram more knowledge and wisdom into my brain.

7 years ago I learned to knit.

oil painting of yarn by Jana Botkin

Knitting has changed my life!

6 years ago I began learning to oil paint, and a few weeks ago I took a portrait painting workshop.

I’ve learned how to train for long power walks and done a 5K, a 9-miler, 2 1/2 marathons, and a 21-miler. I’ve also learned about Plantar Fasciitis, dang it, and all the various treatments for it, dang it, including acupuncture, which is finally bringing some relief.

I have learned to blog, update my own website, to comment on blogs, to use LinkedIn, Adobe InDesign, Paypal, Pinterest, and Daily Paintworks, all in the past several years. (no smart phone, Twitter or Facebook – gotta draw the line somewhere!)

I LOVE to learn new things, especially things to do. (These are just the ones I remember, because according to Lumosity, my memory is the weakest part of my mind.)

What are you learning? How are you learning it?

Bazaar, not Bizarre

Posted by on Nov 19, 2012 in Events, Three Rivers | 2 Comments

The annual Three Rivers Senior League Holiday Bazaar happened on a rainy day. This might be the third year in a row, which isn’t really bizarre. I am not complaining – the rain is always welcomed in this part of the world. Central California feeds the world, and it requires irrigation to grow all that food, which requires snow in the mountains.

three rivers memorial building in the morning rain

This is what I saw when I pulled up in the morning. I never did make it outside to see what was under those tents. Hardy folks, those artists!

oil paintings on display in art fair booth

Since I set up the night before, I was greeted by this sight. Well spaced, missing a banner that says “cabinart” because the pole was sort of falling apart. Lots of space for people to enter and not get trapped by a hungry pushy saleswoman/artist. That wouldn’t be me. I am not hungry, pushy, or a saleswoman. Sigh. Perhaps I should learn how to be. Never mind. I’d rather paint. (I was a little hungry – forgot to eat breakfast that morning!)

outside the 3 Rivers Mem. Bldg.

Because I was set up, it gave me time to admire the view out the windows.

Creekside Yarns booth at the holiday bazaar

I was so pleased to have Creekside Yarns as my booth neighbor. They were pleased also, because I offered them the backside of my screens, hooks for hanging, and help hanging their merchandise. If I wasn’t such a disciplined artist, I would spend most of my daylight hours at Creekside Yarns. That is my favorite form of procrastination. They are my favorite shop. Knitting is my favorite thing to do outside of work. Happy sigh.

Nikki Crain at her loom

This is my friend and former drawing student, Nikki Crain. She is a weaver of awesome ability, an artisan extraordinaire, a first-class fiberist. (I just made that word up because I was on an alliterative role, sort of) Look at those trees!! She has the best booth space.

Three Rivers Holiday Bazaar

There was steady traffic, but the booths were seldom crowded. This gave lots of opportunities to really converse with the folks who stopped by. The Three Rivers Holiday Bazaar is one of the easiest shows that I do – close to home, set up the night before, one day only, not very expensive, well attended by people sincerely interested in Christmas shopping who are friendly and intelligent. This seems like it should be a common thing, but the more shows I do, the more I appreciate this little event, here in Central California in the rainy autumn foothills. Happy sigh.

p.s. All the calendars sold. I ordered 8 more, and they are now all spoken for. (Yes, Jon and Ralph, you are on that list!)