Perfect Gift Wrap

Posted by on Nov 30, 2015 in Events, Three Rivers | 2 Comments

It’s a wrap. The Perfect Gift Boutique was well attended. There were so many visitors to Three Rivers because of Thanksgiving. There were so many visitors to the Perfect Gift Boutique because they couldn’t get into Sequoia – cars were backed up for a mile or 2, some only to be turned around at the entrance station because they didn’t have tire chains. So, they looked for something to do in Three Rivers and found us.

(All people with websites and email newsletters are supposed to be asking visitors to their booths/shows/studios etc. for email addresses. I asked one man, and it felt invasive and intrusive and weird. Do you have an opinion about being asked for your eddress? I honestly don’t know what to do. I just want to draw and paint, not be some marketer/pushy salesman/obnoxious sellsy eddress gatherer.)

This is a very spacious venue for shows – the Three Rivers Arts Center on North Fork Drive. I spread out on half the stage. It even comes with a throw rug – upscale, indeed.


I tried something new – brought 2 wet paintings on an easel. People were dying to touch them – I watched them battle the temptation. (had a rag on stand-by just in case)



My next door neighbor on the stage was my good friend, the amazing weaver Nikki Crain. We like to do shows together, and have been for about 15 or maybe even 20 years (yeppers, started doing shows at age 10).

I went outside for a brief break to look at the fall color on the Chinese Pistache tree. In front was a redbud tree WITH BLOSSOMS ON IT!!

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So, I went back inside and contemplated the peculiarity while enjoying the colors of my other neighbor, Janene with her lotions, potions and soaps. She makes these things, and her display is full of beautiful blues.



Thus, we wrap up another Perfect Gift Boutique on Thanksgiving weekend in Three Rivers.

It’s a wrap!

Perfect Gift Boutique

Posted by on Nov 27, 2015 in Events, Three Rivers | No Comments

Here is a mellow alternative to the craziness of Black Friday. Drive to Three Rivers, see the snow on the mountains, the green on the hills, the bears all around, and visit a little group of artists selling their wares. 

Perfect Gift - 2015-11-20

P.S. In addition to oil paintings, I will be selling Mineral King tee shirts, The Cabins of Wilsonia books, 2016 calendars called The Cabins of Tulare County, cards and blank journals with art or photos on the cover.


Posted by on Nov 26, 2015 in General, Sources of inspiration, Thoughts | No Comments

Here is a short list of things for which I am thankful today.


Rain that is turning the hillsides to green!


A strong healthy husband who can replace our roof.


A group of women friends who packed 84 Operation Christmas Shoebox boxes to share with children around the world.


Snow on Alta Peak.


A friend to help on the roof, and a new roof!


Fantastic fall color, suddenly and everywhere.

Cat Commission Collage

Posted by on Nov 25, 2015 in commissions, drawing | No Comments

A customer has asked me to draw 2 cats, each one as a kitten and as an adult cat.

Have I ever mentioned that I might maybe perhaps just may have a teensy bit of a Cat Disorder? Ahem. Probably not. But still. . . 

The customer sent me the photographs of his cats, and I worked out some sketches for him to choose from.

Cats sketch

Sketches of cats for pencil drawing commission

He said I was making it hard on him, but eventually decided that C was the best choice.

Of course “C” is the right choice for a Cats Collage Commission.

So, it was with great pleasure that I began this drawing. I will try to get it finished in a timely manner instead of spending endless amounts of time on it, dragging it out because I do love cats.

But I’m fine. No disorders here, nosiree Bob.

Cats 1

Commissioned pencil drawing of cats

Perfect Gift Boutique coming Friday and Saturday

Posted by on Nov 25, 2015 in Events, Three Rivers | No Comments


What are you doing, California Artist? I mean Central California Artist?

I’m pretending to be a sign painter again.


There is a show coming soon for the Kaweah Artisans.


A loosely formed group of craftswomen, men and artists who are sort of based within the Kaweah River area.


“Kah-WEEE-uh” is the name of the river which has 5 branches in the Three Rivers area of central California.

Three or five? I know Tulare Co. is the 3rd least educated county in the state, but can’t you people even count to five?

‘Tis a mystery, indeed. But you are getting off track here. I want to tell you about the upcoming show for the Kaweah Artisans.

Why don’t you do it in big bold letters, maybe in red or something.

Good idea!

the annual Perfect Gift Boutique

Friday, November 27 – 28

Three Rivers Arts Center

Just over the North Fork Bridge, first building on the left

Times to be announced, sign to be painted, better get some hustle in your bustle, Central California Artist!


Cabin Commission Completed

Posted by on Nov 24, 2015 in commissions, drawing, Wilsonia | No Comments

That would be “commissioned pencil drawing of a Wilsonia cabin completed”, but that title was stupid-long.

This drawing is 12×16″, and chock full of details. (What does “chock full” mean??)

It has been a couple of weeks since you saw the progression, so let’s review.

First, the sketches so the customer could choose the angle. Then, some revisions, which don’t appear in these sketches.

2 other sketches

Next, I began the drawing, working from top to bottom and left to right. That is because I am right-handed, and don’t want to drag my hand across the piece as I’m working it. If I have to revisit an area on the left, I rest my hand on a piece of paper to protect the other parts from smearing.

cabin drawing

The customers wanted their water wheel added, which didn’t show in the sketch. It was tiny, but it is there!

pencil drawing of cabin

I spent a week on this, refining, darkening, figuring out what was in the shadows, sharpening up edges so the cabin would pop out from the background, experimenting with ways to make the forest look better than just scribbles. You’d think I’d have that figured out after drawing the entire book The Cabins of Wilsonia, but it never comes easy.

And at the end of a  week of very concentrated drawing, here is the final result.


The customers were very happy, and that is always my goal, so I am very happy too.

Happy, happy, happy.

November is the Busiest Month

Happy Birthday, Shirley Goodness!

November is the busiest month of the year for my little art business called “Cabinart”.

This is a long post and it might make you tired. Better grab some coffee before settling in.

Here’s a little sampling for you.


Friday a.m. was a meeting with our state assemblyman, Jim Patterson. It was at the Gateway Restaurant, which is just upstream of the Gateway Bridge. That bridge is the bigger brother of my favorite bridge (three arches instead of one), so of course I had to attend the meeting near it. It was sort of a family reunion to visit the Gateway Bridge; wouldn’t you agree?


I got home with a little time to work on these signs. You can see the evidence of a minor paint accident.

IMG_1949 Then it was time to head over to the Remorial Building to set up for the Holiday Bazaar. “Remorial” is how we say “Memorial” at our house. We learned it from our neighbor when she was about 6 years old.

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The show was a booming success on Saturday. You can see it was a gorgeous day in Three Rivers for this annual event.

I got home in time to shove everything into the workshop and studio and head to church for the annual Harvest Festival. Details aren’t relevant to the content of this blog, but suffice it to say that the overlap of dates really kept me running.

While shoving things into the workshop, I was reminded of work that awaits.

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These paintings were drying in the house by the wood stove. They need to be ready for the next boutique in 2 weeks.


Meanwhile, a commissioned pencil drawing is ready to be started.

Cats sketch

(The customer chose C. He already knows I can draw, so no one needs to call a veterinarian for these kitties.)

And, this is first time I have painted olives. These are commissioned oil paintings, as are the oranges. I think the olives are so beautiful that I ordered a 24×24″ canvas and plan to do a large painting of olives when things calm down a bit.


It won’t be this exact arrangement. Instead, after the other 5 paintings are finished, I will figure out the best parts of each and make a new design.

Meanwhile, I might need to go lie down for a bit.

NOPE. This is the harvest season, and during harvest, farmers don’t climb out of their pick-ups and go home for a nap. I am a farmer’s daughter, and I can and will push through. What’s more, I am really enjoying this season.

Is there any other job in the world with this much variety and activity and autonomy and chance for creativity?

P.S. Thanksgiving is coming quickly, I’m planning for an oil painting workshop for my advanced drawing students, have jury duty soon, am looking for a date to schedule private drawing lessons for 2 busy girls, got another commissioned pencil drawing to design and complete in time for the customer to have framed before Christmas, and practice for the church’s Christmas musical is heating up. (No, I don’t sing – I can read music, listen, and push buttons, so I run the sound board.) Also been asked to participate in a skit (I said no), judge an art contest (said yes, but keeping it anonymous) and go shopping for Operation Christmas Shoebox (just took the easy way out and wrote a check.) No nap for this little gray duck. Please pass the chocolate (the darker, the better.)

Little Post for Little Event

Posted by on Nov 19, 2015 in Events, Three Rivers | No Comments

Two miles from home in our little town of Three Rivers, a little art show in a little dining room of a little restaurant and a little space to show a little art on a nice fall day. (A long incomplete sentence!)



This is the view behind the place where the show was. In the trees across the river is the Three Rivers Arts Center, where there will be another show soon.

Bear Activity

Posted by on Nov 18, 2015 in Thoughts | No Comments

My studio is a little wooden shed that the woodpeckers use for stashing acorns. Sometimes when they knock on the building, I knock back. It doesn’t do anything.


It’s kind of sorry looking around the edges . Something happened here – we found a batten on the ground and a pile of acorns beneath it.


Check out the claw marks around the knothole.


The big boy wanted these acorns. I don’t know why he didn’t eat them.


Check out his footprints on the asphalt.


He didn’t step in paint. I don’t know why the footprints are white. I don’t know why he didn’t eat the acorns. I don’t know why there are so many bears this year.

Such is the life of a rural foothill artist in Central California.

Margie’s Sunflower

Posted by on Nov 17, 2015 in drawing, Lessons | No Comments

My drawing students do excellent work. I encourage each one to choose something she loves. because she will be looking at it for a lonnnnng time. (or he – currently I have 2 guy students). They each have subjects that interest them, and it is so fun to help them figure out how to best portray those subjects.

Margie has been with me for perhaps a year, perhaps less. She has drawn and painted in different classes and situations for many years. Hard to believe she thinks she needs lessons, but I’m happy to help her

Sometimes people take drawing lessons because unless they have 1 hour per week set aside for the purposes of drawing, they don’t pick up their pencils. I’m guessing that’s the reason Margie takes lessons.

Do you agree with my assessment?

Margie's sunflower_edited-2