Who Knew It Would Be This Hard To Paint?

Posted by on May 15, 2014 in Mineral King | No Comments


This painting is called “Mineral King Morning”. I remember the light, the sound of the wind, the feel of the air. I thought this painting said it. It hasn’t sold, and people don’t really notice it.

I paint better now. I hope I paint better now. I hope I paint better every time I’m at the easels.

So, I retouched it, changed some colors a little, added a bit more detail.

I can’t tell any difference on the screen here. Maybe I’ll scan it again.

Who knew it would be this hard to paint?? I probably had an inkling, but usually enjoy a challenge and knew it was a good decision. Maybe. It may be the computer end of things that is the real challenge.

Random Facts About Squirreliness

Posted by on May 14, 2014 in the business of art, Thoughts | No Comments

Sometimes a list helps. I’ve been making lists for years, sometimes as an aid to memory and efficiency, and sometimes for the sense of satisfaction gained from checking off things.

Today’s list is in the first category. I hope this is helpful for you.

  1. The comments on my blog may be working again. Anyone want to try?
  2. I’ve updated my page called “Where To Buy“. Want to look? It is under the Artist tab on my website. There are addresses, phone numbers and website links for most, and hours when I know them.
  3. The contact button works intermittently. This has to do with my ability (inability?) to update pages on my website. When it is disabled, supposedly I am able to add new pictures to the pages. Sometimes I forget to reactivate it. (Maybe a list would help me. . . ?)
  4. I haven’t been able to successfully update the oil paintings and pencil drawings on my site. It seems as if I have added them, but the pictures just appear as little question marks.
  5. My former web designer is working to simplify the design of my website so I am able to update things without getting in line to hear back from her replacement. He must be very very popular. I could give you a list of the steps to update, but you’d be bored silly.
  6. When the design has been simplified, things might be squirrely-looking for awhile.


Questions and Better Questions

Posted by on May 12, 2014 in the business of art, Thoughts | No Comments

As a self-employed artist, I must puzzle out many dilemmas and questions that come my way, out here forging along in the big wide world. Here is a random sampling:

1. Why did a customer not pay me for selling a boatload of paintings for 5 years in spite of numerous attempts to collect and then simply write a check when my husband asked him too?

2. Can a mural be successful on a business with 3 partners, 2 of whom are enthusiastic and 1 who is less than happy about it?

3. Why do people want to buy books of my photos or drawings or paintings when I only have them to be used as a portfolio?

4. By not painting in 2013, my painting inventory feels much more manageable.

5. When paintings haven’t sold in a long time, I do a careful evaluation to determine why not. Sometimes I decide it is because the public is unworthy of such gorgeousness, but other times I decide they are just not good enough. I paint over the top of those. When I feel relief at the disappearance of the old image, I know it was the right decision.

6. Why does Photoshop Elements sometimes show tools and other times not show them?

7. Will I ever learn to Facebook?

8. Where is the Botmobile?


There is a book called The Question Behind The Question by John G. Miller that teaches how to ask better questions. So, let’s try this again:

1. How can I learn to collect immediately from a customer so that a problem doesn’t develop?

2. More will be revealed in the fullness of time. . .

3. Is there a way to have these books printed at a reasonable price instead of the super-high-no-room-for-profit prices of Shutterfly? (Start shopping, Toots!)

4. What’s the question??

5. What’s the question??

6. Where can I find help on Photoshop Elements, helpful help, not the so called “Help” menu that comes with the thing?

7. When will I call the helpful Elsah, so she can walk me through this most irritating thing called Facebook that is supposed to be a MUST for every business that wants to succeed? (Now that I am on it, I definitely think it is 1/4″ deep and 6 miles wide, BUT in learning a little of how it works, I’ve learned a better way to enjoy both Pinterest and LinkedIn!)

8. What is the Botmobile?

(The Question Behind the Question is available on Amazon, of course. )

Another Secret Oil Painting Workshop

Posted by on May 9, 2014 in Lessons | No Comments

There are benefits to taking drawing lessons from me. One of them is that I offer an occasional oil painting workshop to my drawing students.

(There are a lot of links in this post. So many things reminded me of past posts. If you click on any of them, they will open in a new window, so you won’t lose this post before you finished reading it.)

What? If someone takes lessons, they are offered the opportunity to take more lessons?

Yep. You got it in one.

Shereen is just as careful in her painting as she is in her pencil drawing. This painting will need more layers, but has a very good start. You can see Shereen’s pencil drawing of boots here.

A began this painting in December when I gave 2 other secret oil painting workshops. She thought this wasn’t looking too good, but I betcha when she lets it quietly mull in a corner and then returns to it in a week, she will be as impressed with it as you and I are.

J painted with me in the first workshop and had such great success that she ventured out into new territory for both of us. The lighthouse will happen when the water is dry. Hmmm, what is dry water? Never mind. But did you know that blue is God’s favorite color? I decided this when I was on a ship to Alaska last summer.

L is prolific and dedicated and usually gets things right the first time. I may have been a little too busy at the other table when she began this painting, but when it dries, she’ll be able to deepen the colors.  Aren’t you impressed that she can paint this just using the primary colors? (Pay no attention to the tube of brown or the tube of black – just an optical illusion or something. . .)

She almost finished this pumpkin and has plans for the Sequoia.

And Mary? She snuck out before the camera appeared! She’s painting a beautiful orange.


Posted by on May 8, 2014 in General | No Comments

The Redbud Festival was really good this year. It wasn’t hot, it combined with First Saturday in Three Rivers, it was at the Memorial Building and I had an indoor space. Look at some of the paintings that sold:

This isn’t actually the painting that sold. This one sold a few years ago, and my friend saw it in a book of my oil paintings that I use for display. So, I will paint it for her. Happily, because I think I paint better now!

And More Redbud Festival

Posted by on May 7, 2014 in Events, Three Rivers | No Comments

It got busy at the Redbud Festival in Three Rivers at the Memorial Building this year. As usual, I saw a ton of people I knew, but I also got to meet new people. The standout to me was meeting Earl from BLOWING ROCK NORTH CAROLINA!! Really! I am that excited! That is where my G’ma grew up, and I visited there in 2010 and just fell in love with the place. And Earl is going to be a friend, I just know it. He came back on Sunday and told me about some books he has written. When I am finished with this series of blog posts, I will be searching for them on Amazon. He is also an oil painter and a retired pastor.

The Writer’s Corner was a busy place. I really enjoyed listening to them and learning about how the different writers chose to publish. All were self-published, some using assisted self-publishing companies like CreateSpace, and others just going at it pioneer style, as I am doing with The Cabins of Wilsonia. (Guess I am a little like my distant relative from North Caroline, Daniel Boone.)

I bought a book about old people who downhill ski, written by Mr. Fischer, who taught at Redwood High School when I was there in the ’70s. I don’t remember him. That’s okay. He doesn’t remember me either.

And isn’t this weird? The Memorial Building has a drinking fountain! Remember in the olden days before we were all raving environmentalists carrying around plastic water bottles, people just got a drink of water whenever they wanted one? No fuss, no muss. Probably no chlorine or special filtering either.

But I digress again.

There were quite a few musical performers who kept any radio dead air away. Sometimes I would say to a passerby, “Want to come into my booth so we can shout at one another over the music?” Most weren’t loud. The belly dancer’s music was really loud. I couldn’t watch her because I was too embarrassed. Guess I’m about as old fashioned as a drinking fountain.

Redbud Festival Continued

Posted by on May 6, 2014 in Events, Three Rivers | No Comments

Yesterday I left you contemplating the word “dumb”.

Today we will continue our Redbud Festival Tour.

Check out the primary colors. The sign being carried by the man says “Slow! Event Ahead”. So glad it used punctuation, because I’d hate to participate in a Slow Event.

I think this pottery comes to the Redbud Festival every year. Sure looked pretty in the morning sun.

So did these bracelets. There were a lot of jewelry vendors there. There are always a lot of jewelry vendors at these types of shows. I wonder how they can all make a living. I think the products go in cycles, and we are currently in a heavy jewelry phase of the art and craft fair world. I’m glad there aren’t many oil painters around right now. Of course, maybe they don’t do little podunk shows. I like little podunk shows that are walking distance from home. What does podunk mean, anyway?

Look! I got to be by the window with natural light, and my paintings popped out to folks as they entered from the lobby.

This is inside the Memorial Building, a funny shaped place that was probably built in the 1960s. I went to a play there when I was a little girl with my Great-Aunt Mary. The witch got shoved into the oven. Must have been Hansel and Gretel. . .  but I digress.

Those drapes were a heavy hassle. Michael tied them together to let more light in, and I clothes-pinned tee shirts onto them. (Lemons? Lemonade!)

It looked pretty good, if I do say so myself. Why do people say that? I did say so myself.

Redbud Festival 2014 in Photos

Posted by on May 5, 2014 in Events, Three Rivers | No Comments

Redbud Festival in Three Rivers was on a new weekend and in a new location. It was walking distance from home for me!

Bye-bye, studio, I have to work somewhere else today.

Does your commute look like this? It is WONDERFUL to walk to work.

Most exhibitors parked at the Presbyterian Church. Me? I took this shortcut across the field. It was a trail, but got turned into a bit of a road when the neighborhood got a new water system.

It brings me to the backside of the Memorial Building, where there is a dude on the roof, and the cars match the fire hydrants.

Vendors were setting up their pop-up canopies in the parking lot. I was very thankful to have an indoor space, because it got hot out there on the asphalt later in the day.

See? lots of hot pavement.

BJ is from Tulare and he has BEE-YOO-TI-FUL rustic furniture and very cool yard ornaments. I was briefly tempted to get some quail, and then decided it is dumb to put metal quail in a yard full of live quail. I try to not be dumb whenever possible. It’s dumb to be dumb. Don’t be dumb. Dumb dumb dumb.

There. Have I wrecked the word “dumb”?

Perhaps it would be good to continue this tomorrow.

Redbud Festival Returns

Posted by on May 2, 2014 in Events, Three Rivers | No Comments

I wanted to say “Redbud Returns” for alliteration, but didn’t want to confuse you any more than already.

What? You confused?

Maybe not you specifically. The general population has confusion about the Redbud Festival in Three Rivers. Let’s tackle this as a FAQ session.

1. Will the redbud be in bloom? Nope. It blooms in March.

2. Why is it called the Redbud Festival? Because that’s the way it is. It was established in the 1970s, and maybe they held it in March. I don’t remember.

3. Why isn’t it at Ardfarkle’s anymore? Because Ardfarkle’s doesn’t exist anymore.

4. But I liked Ardfarkle’s better. Do you have a question for me?

5. Why is it at the Memorial Building this year? Because that’s the way it is. The Memorial Building is a lovely location, a non-dusty place with both indoor and outdoor booth spaces.

6. Did you say the Rosebud Festival? Nope. It’s the Redbud Festival.

7. When is it this year? So glad you asked. Here is the official poster, beautifully created for you by the talented Karen Kimball.

Preparing for The Redbud Festival

Posted by on May 1, 2014 in Events, Three Rivers | No Comments

The Redbud Festival is an annual (except when it isn’t) event in Three Rivers, held in May. It will be on Saturday and Sunday next. I’ll give you the specifics in tomorrow’s blog post.

Meanwhile, back at the workshop:

Oops. I’m sorry. I went for a walk. Here, look at the paintings in progress:

I already showed you this, right? But I just noticed that I transposed 2 numbers in a friend’s phone number on my chalkboard!

Cool fence, eh? The yellow stuff is some sort of fungus. It matches the fiddleneck. Oh wait, I’m distracted again.

You’ve already seen this too?

Okay, let’s go for a walk.

Wait, I keep showing you photos of this scene. Sorry. Guess I’m just really distracted today. Lots of work to do to prepare for Redbud Festival.