Official Opening Weekend in Mineral King

Posted by on May 31, 2013 in Mineral King | No Comments

Memorial Day is the traditional opening weekend in Mineral King. Sometimes it snows. It can be downright beautiful, or it can be stinkin’ cold. Some years there has been too much snow to open until June.

Not so in 2013.

Favorite knitting spot in late afternoon

Sawtooth Peak at dusk – that pinky color is called “Alpen Glow”.

Sierra Star Tulip

East Fork of the Kaweah along the Nature Trail with Sawtooth in the distance

Mineral King is so very green during its spring season.

The trail to Farewell Gap and Franklin Lake


It is tee shirt season, and Trail Guy has the Mineral King tees at the cabin. You can order them here or stop by and ask him, IF you see the Botmobile in the driveway and the front door is open.

Now What Is She Reading?

Posted by on May 29, 2013 in Reading | 3 Comments

Salt & Light, or Reading Rabbit, oil on board, 11×14″


Took a day or two off, reading. Knitting too. But not blogging. Did anyone actually notice?

Don’t answer that. Thanks.

My stack of books to read continues to grow. So many interesting books out there, and now it is compounded by my discovery of a site called Good Reads. If you type in a book you like, you get recommendations for other books. You can rate the books you have read, make a list of those you’d like to read, read comments and ratings about books, and sometimes get a first chapter to read to on your computer.

Meanwhile, back at the Adirondack chair, these books are in progress:

1. My Natural History: the evolution of a gardner by Liz Primeau is a memoir by a woman who is probably in her late 70s. She is wise, funny, honest, practical, and interesting. She grew up in Canada, didn’t finish high school, and became a gardening magazine editor and writer and even hosted a television program on gardening. She knows a ton about gardening and describes things so well that I am THERE. I want to live where gardening isn’t a war with deer, gophers, bugs, drought, poor soil and weird diseases. I want to spend every spare minute growing things, designing a garden, and watching Perkins catch gophers.

Dream on, Toots.

(Cousin Maggie, I think you would really enjoy My Natural History)

2. Amish Peace by Suzanne Woods Fisher was recommended to me by my dear friend Natalie. It is filled with short chapters about different qualities of Amish life, and each chapter ends with a set of questions to help you examine your life. I leave this book at the cabin where I can read slowly and think.

Or, I could read slowly if I didn’t have that giant stack of books taunting me.

3. Young For Life by Marilyn Diamond and her husband whom she calls “Dr. Rock” is giving me nutritional whiplash. It goes against almost all I have believed and lived dietarily for the past 30 years. (The exception is my aversion to processed foods.) Cholesterol and saturated fat are GOOD FOR YOU?? Not tied to being fat? Not the cause of heart disease? Eating low and non-fat foods is making us fat?? And sugar is the big enemy, dang it. Although some of the writing hints of conspiracy theories, I think there might be something to this.

Bummer. I really don’t like meat very much. On the other hand, please pass the butter!

P.S. I don’t have a Kindle and most of my books come from the local library. If I buy a book, I usually find it used on Amazon. Just saying.





More New Mineral King Paintings

Posted by on May 24, 2013 in Mineral King | No Comments

Question: How many paintings can one California artist produce about the same area of the world?

Answer: As many as she wants.

Allll-righty- then!

oil painting of sawtooth

Sawtooth X, 6×6, oil on wrapped canvas, $50, available here or at the Silver City Store, aka Silver City Resort

oil painting of mineral king road

Mineral King Road, 6×6, oil on wrapped canvas, $50, available here or at the Silver City Store aka Silver City Resort

oil painting of Timber Gap

Timber Gap IIX, 6×6, oil on wrapped canvas, $50, available here or at Silver City, which opens TODAY.

Opening Duties in Mineral King

Posted by on May 23, 2013 in Mineral King | No Comments

The Mineral King Preservation Society maintains a mini-museum inside the Honeymoon Cabin. Trail Guy and The Captain (frequently referred to in this blog) are both board members of the MKPS. Cowboy Bert and I help, because we are married to these board members.

Honeymoon Cabin, pencil drawing, $300, 11×14 framed, for sale here

What are these guys doing?

We nominated The Captain to be the official Straightener of Pictures.

This is the way a cowboy sharpens pencils.

Mineral King Will Open This Week

Posted by on May 22, 2013 in Mineral King, Sources of inspiration | 3 Comments

NEWS FLASH – just received an email stating the gates are unlocked TODAY!

This week, probably on Friday, but maybe on Thursday (this is the government we are talking about here), the gates to Mineral King will open. A major source of inspiration for this California artist, that’s Mineral King!

Welcome back, people. Did you bring any new car parts for us?

I was there on May 20, and this is how it looked. Not much snow, not much water. Lots of green.

I love this view. It doesn’t seem like a strong enough composition for painting, but I find it very compelling, every single year. I photograph it every single year. Doing the same thing over and over, expecting different results? Nope, just thinking that one day I will say “AHA! If I just move this tree a bit, or that log, or change the contrast or some other who knows what, then this will make a great painting”.

Nevuh, nevuh, nevuh give up.



Lots of Thoughts

Posted by on May 20, 2013 in drawing, Thoughts, Three Rivers | 2 Comments

Or, Loughts of Thoughts? Or Lots of Thoughts?

Clearly, this California Artist has thinking time while drawing all those pencil pictures of The Cabins of Wilsonia, where she is right on schedule.

This is some of the noise in my head:

  1. While at the Post Office, the clerk asked if I wanted cash back. While at the grocery store, the clerk asked if I wanted stamps. I wondered if perhaps I would be offered a head of lettuce at the bank. . .
  2. How can I live in a town of 2600 (so says the population sign) and go months or perhaps even years without seeing people I know?
  3. How can I live in a town of 2600 and attend a party where I meet scores of new people who live in my same town?
  4. Doesn’t it seem to you that if your phone and internet service quit for 2-3 days that the phone company should offer a discount? I think they know that they have a monopoly and won’t lose a customer because there is no other place to go. And just in case you were thinking of calling to ask for a discount for being without service, they make sure there are 47 phone numbers for them, each complete with its own maze of button punching to make you think you are getting somewhere when instead, you are just punching buttons to pass the time.
  5. How is it that saturated fat, eggs, butter, protein and coconut oil used to be Nutrition’s Worst Enemy and now they are all considered fine, in fact, beneficial?? I’m reading Young for Life by Marilyn Diamond and someone else. She has changed her mind. She thinks there is a plot to keep us from learning correct nutrition. We know it is true that in the years since non and low fat products have gotten popular, our population has gotten progressively fatter.

That’s it. I’m having ice cream for lunch. I’m sure sugar will remain the Enemy, but my fingers are in my ears, my eyes are squeezed shut, and I’m shouting, “LALALALALALA!”

Worth It, oil on board, 8×10″, sold, sorry, but not really, Hi Shannon

New Mineral King Paintings

Posted by on May 17, 2013 in Mineral King | 2 Comments

Last summer, the Silver City Store sold a pile of paintings for me. This summer I am preparing in advance, so each time I stop by and see one is gone, I can put another in its place.

I had a stack ready to go, and then 2 of them sold. Nope, I don’t mind at all!

Vandever at sunset

Vandever VI, oil on wrapped canvas, sold, sorry, but not really

oak grove bridge oil painting

Oak Grove Bridge X, oil on wrapped canvas, my favorite bridge, and I’m ready to paint it again soon!

More Refreshment

Posted by on May 14, 2013 in Going Places, Sources of inspiration | 5 Comments

When Sophie and Louise and I went to Sequoia National Park last week, we walked around Crescent Meadow and Tharp’s Log. Want to see?

That isn’t the meadow or the log or a big tree. It is mosses on a rock. I pet them. They didn’t purr, but I did.

This is the corral by Tharp’s Log. I’ve painted this scene several times, but now the tree is busted off. Whoa. When I talk like an idiot, you know I am tired. I meant the tree was broken. 😎 I’m not showing you the paintings because they are all sold and I don’t want you to feel sad.

However, I do accept commissions.

Both Sophie and Louise remember being able to go inside and see Hale Tharp’s stuff inside. I remember being allowed to go in, but no stuff was left. Now the visitors have to stay outside.

I don’t know these people,  but I took their photo so you can get an idea of how big The Big Trees aka redwoods aka sequoia gigantea really are.

 We had lunch at Wuksachi, which is a lodge without lodging but it does have a restaurant. Okay, it has lodging, but not in the same building.

don’t get out much. Hence, I was so thrilled with the food (sweet potato fries are the ONLY fried food I like) that I had to take a photo. BUT WAIT! THERE’S MORE!

Check out this dessert. If that doesn’t thrill your little heart, then maybe you get out too much.

The Pause That Refreshes

Posted by on May 13, 2013 in Sources of inspiration | One Comment

Sometimes I find myself procrastinating, resisting what I know needs to be done, finding other things to do instead, stalling, and in general, wasting precious time.

Why? Tired, I think.

A cure seems to be to take a day off. Not just a day to catch up on chores, but a day to refresh. “The pause that refreshes” was an advertising slogan when I was a child, but it might have been referring to cigarettes. I got a better offer than having a smoke.

Sophie and Louise invited me to accompany them to Sequoia National Park to see the dogwood in bloom. This is one of the advantages of being a California artist in Tulare County, particularly in Three Rivers. Just sayin’ – not trying to rub it in.

They were in bloom at the lower end of the forest, and we mistakenly thought we’d find them at Crescent Meadow. When we drove back down the Generals Highway, it was raining, so no photography took place other than this shot through the windshield. It was beautiful, because the sun was shining in front of us.

It’s okay that I didn’t get any good dogwood photos. I can go back. Besides, I’m drawing this year, drawing my little fingers to the bone, drawing and drawing and drawing The Cabins of Wilsonia.




Hidden Object, Contest, Prizes

Posted by on May 10, 2013 in Events, Murals, Three Rivers | No Comments

Remember this mural?

mural at Sequoia Outdoor Sports in Three Rivers

Now, there will be a hidden object painted in this mural, visible Saturday, May 11, 2013.

No clues. You are on your own to find it.

It does not appear in this photograph. You need to go there in person.

I apologize to those of you who do not live near by. However, you can have a little fun any time you are in Three Rivers, checking the mural to find what is hidden and where it is.

The first three people who find the hidden object and go into Sequoia Outdoor Sports to tell Carolyn what and where it is will receive a prize!

  1. First finder: day pack with water bottle, hat, mug, beverage coolies, frisbee, map handkerchief and notecards featuring the mural
  2. Second finder: water bottle, hat or visor, mural notecards 
  3. Third finder: water bottle, hat or visor, mural notecards

These are good prizes, so we are making you work a little. You have to get yourself to Three Rivers and LOOK and go into the store. 41891 Sierra Drive, 561-1190, open 9-4:30.

Have fun! 😎