Trail Guy’s Latest Mineral King Hiking Photos

Posted by on Aug 29, 2014 in Mineral King, Photography | No Comments

Trail Guy is retired so he hikes every week in Mineral King. I am not retired so I work. He photographs Mineral King so I post it on this blog.

Lucky Trail Guy.

Lucky You.

Lucky me, because I get to do what I love and (sometimes) even get paid for it.

If you let your cursor hover over each photo, it might give you the brief description.

After almost 29 years of marriage, we are starting to resemble one another (No, I am not growing a beard). He says all the time now, “Nice light!”

This is at the head of White Chief Canyon. Yep. We drink untreated water.

This is looking down on Franklin Lake from the trail up the Pass.

Did you know that Mt. Whitney is visible from Franklin Pass? I had forgotten. Now, I can’t remember if it shows in this photo or not.

These rock formations say “Franklin Pass” to me. Can you hear them talking? Must be the altitude. Actually I have not been on Franklin Pass since about 1983 or 1984. Too far for a day hike. Not for Trail Guy!

From left to right – a tarn (that is fancy mountain talk for pond), upper Franklin Lake, and the barest little edge of lower Franklin Lake. Lower is the one I did a mural of about 4 years ago. FOUR?? Must be having fun, because time is flying.

See? Trail Guy is getting all weird about shapes, light, texture, just like his artist wife.

Inspired by Citrus

Posted by on Aug 25, 2014 in Oil Paintings, Sources of inspiration | No Comments

I am the daughter and granddaughter of citrus growers. I thought I might become a citrus grower myself, but I became an artist. Still self-employed, but in a much less risky and less regulated business. Still, I am inspired by citrus.


Usually I paint oranges as a still life, which means an orange or two on a table-top. Now I am painting 4 or 5 oranges on a table top, but it is the easel that is on the table top.

never mind. . . worry does strange things to my writing ability

If the colors look juiced up to you, it is a combination of the fancy-pants lights and the fact that the colors are indeed juiced up a bit.

“Juiced up” is the term I’m using to mean a bit over-bright or exaggerated. I’m finding it fun to do this. Just a phase or a new way of painting?

Dunno. Just looking for some fun.

Don’t worry. Be happy. Happy happy happy.

There! Don’t you feel better? A California artist has got to paint oranges!

Invitation to Wilsonia Blog

Posted by on Aug 25, 2014 in Wilsonia | No Comments

This week you can learn about the current state of the upcoming book The Cabins of Wilsonia at my other blogs, The Cabins of Wilsonia dot com.

On August 25 (today) you can read about a proof copy.

On August 26 I tell about commissioned pencil drawings of some Wilsonia cabins.

On August 27, quilt squares will be the subject. Hunh? yep. Quilt squares.

So, head on over to The Cabins of Wilsonia! And on Friday, this blog will be about Mineral King. (big surprise, eh?)

A Mineral King Day Hike

Trail Guy led a group hike up to the Empire Mines last year. It was fun, informative, and a good time was had by all. So, he was asked to lead it again this year. I only took a few photos this time, because all my photos are looking repetitive. You can see more of them here.

Trail Guy hot-footed it down to the Sawtooth parking lot to see who was joining us.


There was a youth group from a church in Woodlake, all gung-ho and raring to go.

We were blessed by the presence of Interpretive Ranger Josh, who is very dramatic and very entertaining.

Three of our friends from the Sawtooth Six came along. I only photographed one of them, because he was with me and the other two were way out in front.

It was a nice day to be out on the trail.

Nice day to make some new friends too.

We went up to the bunk house, up to one of the mines, back down to the bull wheel, on to the road, into Timber Gap, and back down the trail. This is at the top of Timber Gap.

This is looking over Timber Gap into the Middle Fork drainage of the Kaweah River.

The end.

P.S. Last year’s hike is in 2 posts. I said more then. I have more to say when I’m not bowed up by worry over a book at a printer that does not return phone calls.

More Oil Painting in Progress

Posted by on Aug 20, 2014 in Mineral King, Oil Paintings | No Comments

Two years ago I printed and sold a calendar of oil paintings. Last year there was no time to paint because of work on the upcoming (Please God, may it be upcoming soon) book The Cabins of Wilsonia. This year I decided to do a calendar painting each month so that when it is time to print another calendar, I will have 13 new paintings for it.

Thirteen? I thought there were only 12 months in a year.

Twelve plus a cover!

I fell behind. Now I am trying to catch up.

I wonder if this painting will look weird in natural light. I have halogen lamps on, in addition to this magical ott-light (or whatever it is called). Who cares? It is air-conditioned in the little studio, and all the book drawings are done and sealed up, so if I get paint on stuff, it won’t be a disaster.

But what is this on the easel?

Why, it is Mineral King, of course! Farewell Gap to be specific. After it is dry and signed, I’ll scan it so you can see the completed piece. Maybe you’ll want to buy it. Maybe you’ll want to buy a calendar too.

Life’s full of choices.

Back at the Easels

Did you think all I do is run away to Mineral King? Close, but I finally had time to paint again.

This time I decided to risk the messy business of oil painting in the air-conditioned studio, instead of the swamp-cooler “cooled” workshop.

They got moved out to the workshop for quicker drying.

Of course I painted Mineral King – isn’t it my main source of inspiration?


Have a closer look. They need more detailing and a signature, but this is a good solid start to good solid subjects.

And what was that picture at the top?

It is the Generals Highway, the road that leads into Sequoia National Park. When it is drier, I’ll add yucca in bloom. It wants more detail and a signature. I almost always think paintings need more detail. I am a pencil artist who is prone to drawing with my paintbrushes. So what? I like love to draw!

Better Living Through Mineral King

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

Run run run run run-away. Book problem not resolved, Mineral King as a prescription to anxiety – works for me! (temporarily, because then I have to come home again, but I’ll just think about that tomorrow!)

Swamp Onion and Corn Lily (AKA “skunk cabbage” because it resembles the plant by that name that grows on the right coast)


Penstemmon, the kind that doesn’t show up in any of my wildflower books

Explorer’s Gentian, my favorite!

Manzanita – both beautiful in color and texture, but ever so slightly grotesque in form

Sierra Gentian, more colorful in person but still not the awesome color of the Explorer’s Gentian

Goldenrod doesn’t usually appear until August, but this year it showed up in June!

A New Art-making Experience in Mineral King

I have a very dear friend who is in college. She is a “Resident Assistant” this year, which is sort of like a camp counselor for a dorm full of freshmen girls. “Freshgirls”? “Freshwomen”? Hmmm. . .

One of her duties is to make some sort of name plates for each dorm room door. When the girls arrive, they will know immediately which room is theirs and feel welcomed when they see their names.

My friend isn’t too inclined toward artistic activities. She told me of her assignment, and I was immediately excited to be able to help her.

We found some scraps of watercolor paper and she bought some watercolor paints. We discussed ideas, I showed her a bit about how watercolor (mis)behaves, and she went to work.

It was so much fun to think about color combinations and make suggestions, then just sit back and see her go to town. (That’s a euphemism for “commence work” – you can see we were nowhere near a town.) We looked for inspiration all over Mineral King.

I think she liked it too. She discovered the splatter technique and really got serious!

Abstract art doesn’t do much for me, but color is so much fun! Here are a few of the 30 or so that she created.

Can you think of a better combination than a dear friend, color and Mineral King? (Okay, throw in a little dark chocolate and maybe some yarn. . . )

Mineral King Photos As An Escape

Posted by on Aug 4, 2014 in Mineral King, Oil Paintings, Photography | No Comments

I hit a bit of a bump in the road with the book The Cabins of Wilsonia and I don’t want to talk about it. So let’s put our hands over our ears, shout LALALALA in a loud monotone and run away to Mineral King. These are not in any particular order – I’m just speed slamming Mineral King photos, sort of like I do M&Ms or chocolate chips in times of desperation.

Monarch Trail


Monarch Trail

Hey! I painted that! Back in the olden days when I had time to paint because I didn’t have a book at a printer with a bump in the road LALALALALALALA!

Monarch Trail oil painting

Farewell Gap Mineral King

Mineral King

Franklin Falls

Franklin Falls

Explorer's Gentian

Mineral King

Maybe tomorrow I will be able to talk about it. If so, it will be on my other blog, Meanwhile, LALALALALALA.


Hiking In Mineral King (Trail Guy, Not the California Artist)

Posted by on Aug 1, 2014 in Mineral King, Photography | No Comments

Trail Guy, AKA The Retiree, does a tremendous amount of hiking in Mineral King while I’m in Three Rivers trapped on the phone with AT&T because my email doesn’t work. But I’m not bitter. I enjoy his photos, and then you get to enjoy them. These will mostly be without comments. All you need to know is that they were all taken along Mineral King trails (and in between, because Trail Guy don’t need no stinkin’ trails!)

Pride of The Mountains

Sky Pilot

Sierra Columbine

Sky Pilot

Steven in Farewell Gap

This is our dear friend Steven who walks 12 miles a day and gets paid for it. These trails were no problem for this guy!


This is a Pika, pronounced “PEE-ka”.


Monarch Lake Trail