New Mineral King Painting

Posted by on Nov 29, 2013 in Mineral King | 4 Comments

It is Friday, so here is a little piece of Mineral King for you to dream about:

Vandever in Autumn, 8×8″, oil on wrapped canvas, $95


Posted by on Nov 28, 2013 in Photography, Three Rivers | 2 Comments

For more things than I can take the time to list (or you want to read), I am deeply thankful.

Kaweah River in autumn photo by Jana Botkin

Kaweah River in Autumn, Three Rivers


Worst Critic

Posted by on Nov 26, 2013 in drawing, Thoughts | 4 Comments

Has anyone ever said to you, “You are your own worst critic”?

It might be meant as an insult, although it could be interpreted as a compliment, meaning “no one else is as hard on you because there is no reason to be hard on you”.

I think being one’s own worst critic is a helpful skill in art, especially when one works alone. Who else is there to do any criticizing with the intent of helping or critiquing with the intent of improving?

A long time ago, last century, I drew this picture:

It is called “My Front Porch”. It sold recently, and before I packaged it up to ship, I put on some magnifying glasses (aka “cheaters” or “readers”) to look it over.


I spent about 1-1/2 hours improving it, because I draw better now. Yes, it looks like a different color because the method of scanning has changed. But, if you click on each picture and make them bigger on your screen, I think you will see the difference. If you can’t see the difference, that’s okay. I’m my own worst critic, not you! 😎

Growth is good (unless trying to lose weight or are a cancer cell.)

P.S. I just clicked on each picture separately, enlarged them on the screen, and realized that the new one looks all pixelated and icky. Okay, you’ll just have to trust me that the second one is better. The customer may not know of the improvements, but I certainly feel better.

Seeing Triple

Posted by on Nov 25, 2013 in commissions | No Comments

Two of these have been shipped and one has been retrieved in person.

PHEW!!  We did it, Lisa!!

Final Tahoe Posting

Posted by on Nov 22, 2013 in Going Places, Sources of inspiration | No Comments

I know, it is Friday and I’m still talking about Tahoe. It was beautiful and this post is for your enjoyment, not because I have a compulsion to finish topics, although that may be a factor here. This post will be long so that I can finish (not that I have a finishing compulsion or anything).

Before my friend The Other JB moved away, we used to walk and hike together. She told me about a lake near Tahoe called Fallen Leaf. I thought it was a small lake with a dusty campground. I was wrong. It is about the same size as Emerald Bay, 3 miles by 1 mile, and has a fancy-pants community of awesomely beautiful lake houses and a few cabins. Who knew? the Other JB, that’s who!

In spite of it being late October, there was sunshine and fall color remaining.

Then, we visited Taylor Creek where the salmon were spawning. This means swimming upstream out of Lake Tahoe to lay eggs and die. There were zillions of dying and dead fish. It smelled like it, too.

The ducks didn’t seem too bothered by the fish and their smells.

Beaver activity – there is a dam on the creek behind this fallen tree (not to be confused with Fallen Leaf Lake).

See the dam?

See the fall colors? Weird extended summer this year – Please God, send us rain and snow!

We woke to this on the morning that we left.

New Notecards for the Thank You Revolution

Posted by on Nov 21, 2013 in drawing, the business of art | 4 Comments

Have you heard of the Thank You Revolution? This is something begun (or perhaps continued?) by my friend Matt McWilliams on his blog, “Life. Leadership. Love. Learned the Hard Way.” He writes thank you notes every Thursday and encourages his readers to do the same. He is a prolific writer of a great business blog, a wise man who shares information freely with his audience and interacts honestly with his commenters.

Thank you acorn cards, 4 cards and envelopes, $7 plus tax


I’m a big advocate of writing cards and thank you notes any day of the week. My mama taught me this at an early age, and I’ve never stopped.

Matt got me thinking that it is time to update the notecard page of my website. I’ve got many cards that haven’t been visible to the World Wide Web but only to people who visit my studio or see me at the small handful of shows I do.

So, click here to go to the page of cards and see what is new!

Okay, here is another peek for you:

Old Mineral King Store, 4 cards and envelopes, $7 plus tax

2014 Tulare County Calendars Here Now!

Posted by on Nov 19, 2013 in Photography | 6 Comments

12/11/13 – 3 calendars available


12/10/13 – 4 calendars left!

12/9/13 – 8 calendars remaining!

As of 12/6/13, there are only 23 calendars remaining. When they are gone, they are gone. If you only said, “Save me one”, and you still want it, use Paypal NOW. 

The 2014 calendar of Tulare County photographs are here now, available right here, right now.

This calendar is full of what I consider the best of Tulare County. I am a California artist, a studio artist who works from photos, a regional artist who doesn’t get too far from home, a Tulare County artist with 21,600 photos on her computer.

The 2014 Tulare County calendar is full of my favorites, taken by me and by my husband, aka Trail Guy.

2014 Tulare County calendar

Last One Standing

Posted by on Nov 18, 2013 in Events | No Comments

Back in the olden days (last century), there were lots and lots and even more of those craft and art shows. There were so many to pick from locally that I never considered going outside of the area. Besides, my work is so very regional that people down the hill in Visalia were confused about some of my Mineral King art, which is in the same county just 50 miles away.

Now, there are very few shows remaining from which to choose. I used to consider the Senior League Bazaar a show that could easily be skipped. Now it is the last one standing of all the regular shows I used to participate in.

It was a great show this year! The show organizers didn’t have music blaring so conversation was easier. Many people came that I invited, which made me feel warm and fuzzy. I sold items the entire time, for me, for Sophie (author and knitter, among many talents) and for Barbara (The Lavender Lady).

As I stood by my booth, friends would say, “Where is your booth?” They didn’t recognize it because it was chock-full of brightly colored knitted items, among other things.

“But where is your artwork?”

“On the cards right here.”

“But where are your paintings?”

“All my time is being spent drawing for an upcoming book, The Cabins of Wilsoniaso I don’t have time to paint.”

“Then how do you have time to knit?”

“I knit after work, in the house, in the car, when I’m waiting for stuff, in meetings, on airplanes and in airports. “

“Oh! I never thought of that!”

“Maybe you should stop watching so much teevee”.

Nope, I didn’t say that last thing. Just thought it a few times. Such restraint takes it out of me sometimes, but I bravely soldier on. Sometimes I feel like the last one standing myself. Actually, I often am, because I stand for the entire show and I REFUSE to pack up before the thing ends.

That’s me. Last artist standing at the last show standing.

A Bazaar With Knitting, Calendars, Tees, and a Mineral King Box

Posted by on Nov 15, 2013 in Events, Mineral King, Three Rivers | One Comment

That is a bizarre title; please be impressed with the way I incorporated Mineral King into a Friday post. (Tahoe is postponed until next week.)

Would you like to see some of the things I will have at tomorrow’s bazaar?

Great, glad you asked.

The lavender purse is spoken for – please forgive me for taunting you with it. See the bright stripes at the very bottom of the photo? Those are socks,  which are too big for me, dang it. I think a women’s size 7-11 foot would work in them. See those red felted slippers? They are too small for me, dang it. I think a women’s size 5 would work in those.

But what is this box? Yes, I hear you wondering about it.


Trail Guy and I are not above scrounging in places where people have disposed of items. I INSISTED that we rescue this box. He said it was junky. I agreed but asked him to shore it up anyway, because storage boxes are functional and cool and it would be great to paint on. He complied with my request. and then added wheels too. The lid doesn’t quite shut, it isn’t completely smooth or totally square but it is clean, has wheels, and will hold lots of knitting or whatever floats your boat.

A functional all-purpose Mineral King painting on wheels! 

And this is the final selection of calendar photos. We did it!! Thanks to you, Tulare County photo calendars are now available!

See you at the Senior League Bazaar

Saturday, November 16, 9-4

Three Rivers Memorial Building

Drawing and Knitting??

Posted by on Nov 14, 2013 in Events, Three Rivers | 3 Comments

The annual Senior League Bazaar will be on Saturday, November 16, 2013, at the Three Rivers Memorial Building, from 9 – 4.

What does this have to do with drawing and knitting, you ask. (Yes, I can hear your thoughts from time to time – keep them sweet!)

Because this year is dedicated to finishing all the drawings for the upcoming book The Cabins of Wilsonia, the only paintings I’m doing are commissions. This means I don’t have any new paintings to sell at the Senior League Bazaar.

However, I have knitting to sell! Yeppers, knitted wooly cuddly cute handmade colorful useful items.

Why do I have time to knit but not time to paint?

Great question – glad you asked. (Remember, all interviewees respond to questions with either or both of those phrases and I don’t want to be left out of the current culture completely so this is my token way of faking as if I am “normal”.)

I can knit in the car, at home in the evenings, when I am in a meeting, if I am waiting somewhere. Bringing an easel and oil paints is somewhat frowned upon in a doctor’s office or at an airport.

That green purse is spoken for – forgive me for taunting you with it this way.

There will also be calendars! And Mineral King tee shirts! And a very cool wooden box which I will show you tomorrow! And some cards, because I have lots of those.