Exciting Times While Painting in Three Rivers

Posted by on Sep 30, 2015 in Oil Paintings, Three Rivers | 2 Comments

Sometimes, while painting in Three Rivers, in Tulare County in Central California (not LA, not San Francisco – NOTHING like the stereotypical California), I am just minding my own business, painting along, staying calm and focused, and then stuff happens.

Smoke? I smell smoke. Hmmm, there are ashes. . . that’s worrisome. I don’t hear sirens, so I keep painting.

Just painting some fruit here. After all, California is the land of fruit and nuts, and Central California is where most of it originates. No big deal – just oil paint on canvas. I’m fine. I’m calm.

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Painted a raven too. I’ll tell you more about that in another post. Just painting along,




Um, Perkins, my Sweet Sixteen year old cat, it would be good for you to lie low on the front porch right now.

Whoa. Good thing I keep my camera with me in the painting workshop building, door open for smelling smoke (no sirens, no worries?) and sighting cannibalistic wild felines.


Allllrighty then, if all is calm, focused and just fine, explain why that raven is upside down.

Shut up.

Drawing a Cabin

Posted by on Sep 29, 2015 in commissions, drawing | 2 Comments

My business is called “Cabinart” because when I began, I lived in a cabin and I drew people’s cabins.

I still live in a cabin part time and I still draw cabins. When someone pays me to draw a specific cabin, that is a commission.

A friend asked me to draw a cabin that he borrows as a gift for the owner. I asked for specifics, and he said, “Do the voodoo that only you do so well”, or something equally unusual. He is an unusual person – no one like him in the world, and I think he is a treasure.

Sorry. Distracted by thoughts of my funny clever friend.

I drew it.

friend's cabin 1

Not enough pizazz. Let’s add some color.

friend's cabin 2

Still not quite good enough.

friend's cabin 3

Nice. Commissioned pencil drawing of a cabin.

Kaweah Postal Disaster!

Posted by on Sep 28, 2015 in Sources of inspiration, Three Rivers | 2 Comments

UPDATE: The auction will go live at 12:02 on September 29 – I think this means just after noon. Thank you for your patience with my inexperience and ignorance!

As a Central California artist representing the good things of Tulare County, I have painted and drawn the little Kaweah Post Office many times.

It is the longest-operating, or perhaps the smallest operating post office in the United States. Really! Right here in Three Rivers! (But the people who live near it say they live in Kaweah, not in Three Rivers. . . )


KPO X 1410

Kaweah Post Office X, 10×10″, oil on wrapped canvas, suggested retail price $150


See that giant oak tree behind the post office? A HUGE branch broke off and crashed through the roof and front porch!

It can be rebuilt, and there is insurance, but there is a HUGE deductible for the building owner to pay.

I want to help.

So, this painting will be auctioned on eBay, and I will give 1/2 the $ to the owner of the oh-so-cute Kaweah Post Office.

I will begin the bidding at the nail-biting, pearl-clutching price of .01. (Yes,that’s one cent.) That ought to get the bidding wars started! The auction will go for the longest amount of time allowed on eBay. 

You can see the painting in person at Anne Lang’s Emporium in Three Rivers, hours Monday through Saturday, 9 AM to 4 PM. (And I recommend her hot grilled turkey sandwich while you are there.)

Any questions? (besides my own about how to set this thing up and get the most publicity possible for the Kaweah Post Office, and no, I am NOT on Facebook, so if you are and want to post a link, until you are better paid, I thank you.)



Fruit Looping

Posted by on Sep 26, 2015 in Oil Paintings | No Comments

Last week we looked at 3 completed fruit paintings that included a squished orange.

I began 3 more fruit oil paintings (I AM a Central California artist, after all!) because I had 3 more of those extra thick canvases.

fruit oil paintings

Then, I looped back to the squished orange and unsquished it.

orange oil painting

Can you see the difference?

1545 Orange #123


orange oil painting


Looping around with my fruits.

Short Hike in Mineral King

Posted by on Sep 25, 2015 in Mineral King | 2 Comments

This wasn’t a big hiking year for me in Mineral King. I went to White Chief two times, and Franklin Creek once, and up toward Farewell Gap once. I noticed that someone moved White Chief farther away and higher up the second time I went. Who would do such a thing??

white chief

This is a bizarre thing – 4 stumps in a row, all of equal height. Avalanche damage. Happened in the olden days when it used to snow in the winter.

white chief

In spite of the drought and the lateness of the season, there was a great patch of Bigelow Sneezeweed. They like to have their feet wet, so there must be a natural spring on this slope.


Yuck. Look at that smoke rising up in the distance.  That fire should have been suppressed the very minute it was spotted. It has caused tremendous damage, expense, and heartbreak.IMG_1606

Water makes for a nice lunch spot. IMG_1607

So does knitting.


Weird Little Contest Entries

Posted by on Sep 24, 2015 in drawing, Events | No Comments

Small sequoias Small pinecone Small cabin







Each of these drawings are 2-1/4″ x 3-1/4″, drawn directly on the entry form called “Blank Canvas” for the magazine “Professional Artist”.

The 2 colored pictures are colored pencil. It hurts my wrist to use colored pencil over an extended period of time, but these went quickly.

And I love to draw in pencil. Pine cones are one of the hardest, most confusing subjects to draw because of all the repeating shapes, both in the dark spaces and the light places.

This was fun. If any of my pieces are chosen, they will be published in the magazine.

These subjects are definitely all part of a Central California artist’s life.

Yes, I know it is a good ploy by the magazine to acquire new subscribers. So?

It was fun!


Weirdly Easy Little Contest

Posted by on Sep 23, 2015 in drawing, Events, General | No Comments

Small sanddollar

Competitions and contests are usually a waste of time for a professional artist. This is just my opinion – there are bound to be those who disagree. One can win awards and not sell a thing. Or, one can sell but not win. I’ve been in both places, and frankly, I’d rather sell than win.

Contests usually have an entry fee, a form or two, a bio to be written, photos to submit, and then involve long drives to deliver the pictures, see the show, and retrieve the pieces. My time is better spent drawing or painting or preparing talks or planning art or teaching drawing lessons or blogging or. . . you get the idea.

HOWEVER, I found an exceptionally easy, fun and FREE contest. It is sponsored by a magazine called “Professional Artist”, and this is how it works.

  1. Go to their website and print out the entry form.
  2. Make art in the little bitty space (2-1/4″ x 3-1/4″) on the form itself.
  3. Fill in the few blanks with contact info.
  4. Put the form in the mail.

That’s all. No fee. No photography. No bio. No delivery.

Why bother? Because it was fun! It was so fun that I did 4 entries. My first entry is the sand dollar above, drawn in pencil.

I’ll show you the other 3 tomorrow.

Cabin Communities Matter

Posted by on Sep 22, 2015 in the business of art | No Comments

“Cabin Communities Matter” is the name of my presentation about, umm, cabin communities (duh) using my drawings and what I learned while making my book, The Cabins of Wilsonia.

It was an hour drive to Tulare, where I gave the talk. I chose to drive through the country, which means orange groves, fields of cotton, vineyards and walnut orchards. Boring? Nah, don’t insult farmers, especially not when you are wearing fiber and eating food.

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The talk was at the Tulare Public Library for the Tulare-Kings Genealogical Society. I wasn’t sure my presentation was relevant, and figured I wouldn’t know anyone with the exception of my drawing student who invited me to speak.

The library is beautiful, five years old, spacious and multi-functional for the city of Tulare. (For my far away readers, that word is pronounced “Too-LAR-ry” – not “Lar” as in Lars, but “Lerr” as in “Larry.” I live in Tulare County, but the county seat is Visalia. Never mind how that one is pronounced for today.)

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In spite of being only 5 years old, there were difficulties with the technology. I went a day in advance to make sure I knew how to run things. Good thing, because of the troubles, we met in the City Council Chambers – very very nice – and my main contact also had to learn how to run things. I made Very Specific Notes.

5 Wilsonia friends came, along with other people I know and a handful I didn’t know. There were lots and lots of questions, which I found very fun to answer at the end. Questions are fun for a speaker because it says the listeners are interested in the topic and it gives me a chance to get to know them a little.

Giving talks is an important part of marketing or “self-promotion”  as it is called in the art world. It’s fun, and I’m willing to do one for your group.

Use the contact button that drops down when you hover your mouse over “About The Artist” and send me an email if you’d like to hear why Cabin Communities Matter to our county.

New Paintings, Squished Orange

Posted by on Sep 21, 2015 in commissions, Oil Paintings | 4 Comments

1543 Lemon #19 1544 Pomegranate #46 1545 Orange #123

My friend/customer LOVED these paintings, including the extra thick canvases. Yea!

However, I studied the orange painting and realized it isn’t symmetrically round like an orange – it is squished on the left side.

Back to the easels. . .

Blogging Break

Posted by on Sep 8, 2015 in General | One Comment

It’s been a rough few weeks. My blog will go quiet for a little while. Please enjoy past posts while I figure out how to recover some blogging mojo*.

I’ll be back. . .

*Is “mojo” short for “motivated joy”?