Posted by on May 31, 2016 in coloring book, Sources of inspiration | 2 Comments

The morning light is inspirational.

What does “inspirational” actually mean?

Something that inspires. . . this light, this cat, together they inspire me to take photos.


Wait a minute here! I’m supposed to be inspired to make art.

Does this mess inspire you? It is an honest look at my drawing table while I am working on a coloring book.


The beautiful light and my sweet kitty inspire me to record the moment. The ideas in my head inspire me to draw. (My new friend Dan inspires me to blog when I am tempted to skip a day.)

Hi Perkins. Thank you for 17 years of loyal companionship, you Gopher Fiend.


Beautiful Place in Tulare County

Posted by on May 27, 2016 in Photography, Sources of inspiration | No Comments

Do you live near a beautiful place but don’t go there? I live in Three Rivers, just minutes from Sequoia National Park, and don’t go very often for a variety of reasons. It costs money, the lines are long, I am working. . . not all these things are true all the time, so I have to pay attention to when they are not true.

A few days ago, a friend invited me to join her for almost-full moon viewing, photography and sandwiches from Sierra Subs (the best food in Three Rivers).

She picked me up at 6, and we headed up to Hospital Rock, and then down the road to Buckeye Flat Campground. The yucca are in full fluffy bloom, and she was hoping to be able to photograph them by the light of the moon. (She is very knowledgeable about photography and has great gear.)

I gave my tripod to my nephew because he needed one and it no longer fits my life or cameras. So I decided to just try and hold still for the low light. My camera has lots of controls that don’t make sense to me, so I just experimented. The experiments, combined with some computer adapting, gave me these results.


Looking up the canyon of the Middle Fork of the Kaweah River toward Castle Rocks, early evening

Castle Rocks

Castle Rocks are the 2nd mountain name I learned. The first was Moro Rock, and my dad showed me Castle Rocks while we were on top of Moro Rock. See the rusty trees? They are dead, most likely pines of some variety.


This is a little side falls that my friend had photographed earlier and sent to me. Made me want to see and photograph it myself, so I did.

Yucca and middle fork

Fluffy Yucca in bloom above little side falls on Middle Fork of the Kaweah River.

Moonrise above Castle Rocks

The moon suddenly appeared from behind Castle Rocks.


We didn’t get to see yucca lit by the moon, but by holding very very still, I was able to photograph it in very low light.


I relearned some simple good things.

  1. It is good to visit beautiful places that are close. Makes me feel as if I’ve had a mini-vacation.
  2. It is good to do simple things with friends.
  3. It is good to just spend time in a place, sitting, looking, listening, feeling, (slapping mosquitoes, not so good), eating simple food, visiting. No rush. The more time you spend, the more you notice and appreciate. Just be there. (Danged mosquitoes!)

Instructions to Buy Stuff Without Paypal

Posted by on May 26, 2016 in the business of art | No Comments

I got an email asking how to buy stuff from my website without Paypal. Some people don’t have or want a Paypal account. I understand; I feel that way about Facebook, Twitter, having a “smart” phone, and various other “conveniences” in life. (Don’t even get me started on “Square” . . . bah, humbug.)

I’ll put the instructions in red so you can find them amid all the boring visual examples.

When you put something in the shopping cart on my website, it ALWAYS takes more clicks than seems necessary, but think of it as a way to back out if you are in the midst of impulse buying.

When you are shopping, you’ll be on a page that says Cart. When you are done shopping, use the button that says “Proceed to Checkout”.

After entering all the information in boxes with a red asterisk, this is what shows at the bottom of the page (of course it might be a different product – this is just an example):


proceed to ppClick on the “Proceed to Paypal” button.

This page appears:



Click on the bottom thing that says “Pay with an online bank account. . .”

When you do, you’ll get this window:

other choices

You can click the button that says “I have a different bank” or on the tab that says “Debit or Credit Card”.

I don’t know what happens next, because I didn’t want to buy anything from myself.

If this all makes you too nervous, too much info out there on the World Wide Web, too many websites, clicks, pages and options, I accept checks in the mail. Real pen, real handwriting, real paper, real stamps, real dudes in uniforms putting real envelopes in my real P.O. Box. 311, Three Rivers, CA 93271.


Here is an appreciation picture for making it to the end of this boring but necessary instructional blog post.


No reason other than you might like trains and these are colorful.

Why I Am Not Painting the Oak Grove Bridge

Posted by on May 25, 2016 in coloring book, Mineral King | 2 Comments
  1. Because I am painting 5 little paintings of Farewell Gap/Mineral King.
  2. Because I am working on a new coloring book!!

Anyone want to guess the subject?

It is time for me to reorder Heart of the Hillsmy original coloring book, AGAIN.

It is time for me to reorder Heart of Mineral King. WHAT?? I’ve only had it one week!

Hurry, hurry, step right up, order your copy today!

mineral king coloring book

Heart of Mineral King coloring book, $12

Heart of the Hills

Heart of the Hills coloring book, $15

More Painting Mineral King

Posted by on May 24, 2016 in Mineral King, Oil Paintings | No Comments

Feeling like a factory worker or a cog in a wheel, I mixed up some sky color oil paint so I could begin painting Mineral King. Five 6×6″ paintings, on the conveyer belt. (on the stereo, if you must know. Yes, I listen to a stereo that plays CDs. I drive a manual transmission, have a flip phone, and don’t own a microwave either.)


Okay, let’s get some other colors going. This is Farewell Gap, but not the classic scene we discussed on Monday.

(That’s the royal “we”, because as far as I know, it was a monologue rather than a dialogue.)


Oops. Forgot to photograph the in-between stages. These 2 paintings have just the first layer, and they’ll have to dry before I continue.


The morning sun hits that window with good intensity, so I propped them there. Meanwhile, the Oak Grove Bridge languishes in the background.


Painting Mineral King

Posted by on May 23, 2016 in Mineral King, Oil Paintings | No Comments

In the summer, the Silver City Store, 4 miles below Mineral King, sells original oil paintings for me. (For them too, because obviously they have to make money. Duh.)

The subject has to be Mineral King, (more duh, thank you Captain Obvious) and I paint the same scene over and over and over. Sometimes I paint Timber Gap, Sawtooth, or maybe a bridge or a trail. But most people just want this view, what I think of as the classic Mineral King scene:


Farewell Gap XVIII, 8×10, oil on wrapped canvas, $125

1563 FG XX

Farewell Gap XX, 6×6″, oil on wrapped canvas, $60

It sells, I paint more. It sells again, I paint it again. Lucky you, if you bought it recently, because I’ve had lots of practice. This one is #20, but I didn’t always number my paintings, so I feel fairly confident in guessing that I’ve painted it 50 times. It’s on the doors of my painting studio, on the cover of the new coloring book (drawn in ink, not painted), and on the cover of The Cabins of Mineral King (in pencil, not oil paint).



Mineral King Coloring Book Has Arrived!

Posted by on May 20, 2016 in coloring book, Mineral King | No Comments

Yesterday, the Mineral King coloring book arrived. Heart of Mineral King is the title, and it has 12 pages to color, plus some wildflowers on the insides of the covers. (One of the 12 pages is the title page, and 4 of the pictures are from the previous book, Heart of the Hills.)

mineral king coloring book

A friend called me when I gave her a sample page of wildflowers from Heart of the Hills, because she wanted to know what color to make each one of the flowers. This made me laugh, because she had been coloring in another book, decorating owls in purples and pinks.

It also made me think that perhaps people would appreciate a hint. So this inside back cover page has a hint on the wildflowers.

MK 27 inside colored list

Here is a peek at a brand new drawing. This is Empire Mt. (actually it is just the rock outcropping which is very visible but isn’t the peak) with some of the very charming Mineral King cabins.


Heart of Mineral King is available at the Three Rivers Mercantile and Kaweah River Trading Co. in Three Rivers. It is also available here on my website, and if you see me around, from the trunk of my car. On Memorial weekend it will be available at the Silver City Store, 21 miles up the Mineral King Road.

This one is smaller, so it is $12 rather than $15. Such a deal – a custom coloring book of everyone’s favorite mountain place in Tulare County. (Unless your favorite mountain place is Wilsonia)


How to Order a Coloring Book

Posted by on May 19, 2016 in coloring book, the business of art | No Comments
Heart of the Hills

Ordering a coloring book from my website is a bit of a project. If you have ordered, you know that I email to ask for your address, even though you entered all the info while ordering. My website is a little out of whack, and I don’t know why. Sigh. It just happens. Today I learned that it will cost $300 to update my website to make everything work properly.  Big heavy sigh.


If you want a coloring book and don’t want to go through all the steps, a check in the mail is fine – $15, and I will pay the mailing costs. I appreciate so much when shipping is free that I do the same for my customers/clients/collectors/friends.


Okay, just in case you decide to order from the website, here is the exact order of clicking steps.


  1.  Click on my Website
  2.  Under the For Sale tab – click Heart of the Hills Coloring Book
  3. Click on the coloring book. (If there are 2, click on the one on the right with the price beneath it. If it says there are no products available, hit your refresh button. If this doesn’t work, put down the computer and walk away.) This takes you to a new page (Why is this necessary?? Don’t ask me – I just work here.)
  4. Click on the purple Add to cart button. It takes you to a cart page.
  5. Click on Proceed to checkout. It takes you to a checkout page where it asks for your details. This is where you then go to Paypal, and it accepts your credit card even if you don’t have a Paypal account.

I don’t know what happens next, because I stopped there because I didn’t want to buy a coloring book from myself because I have them already.


Sounds as if I am babbling to myself. This is because I am babbling to myself. Technology often affects me that way. (Ick – that stupid “easy to use” Square at the Redbud almost turned me into a raving lunatic at the Redbud Festival, right there in public.)


I have a wise friend who reminds me from time to time that if you have a problem but you have money to fix it, then what you have is an inconvenience rather than a problem.


THANK YOU, EVERYONE WHO ORDERED COLORING BOOKS! This means I have the money to get the website tuned up.


But when do I have the money to get ahead??


Never mind.


This new coloring book will be available very soon, and I hope you will be able to order it easily from the website.


More Paintings in Place

Posted by on May 17, 2016 in commissions, Oil Paintings, Three Rivers | No Comments

“Painting” singular, in place, is more accurate. Yesterday I showed you paintings hanging in friends’ homes, friends who collect my art specifically, or collect the art of local artists in general. Some buy it because they love my work and then they become friends, some buy it because they love me.

It’s nice to be loved, and it is nice to have my work loved.

Now, the reason for today’s post:


After: IMG_2856

Beautiful room, pretty cool painting!IMG_2858

There was a photo of me standing on the hearth next to the painting, but I looked fat, wrinkled, and slightly overwrought. So, we’ll settle for the painting in place.

This is the commissioned oil painting of a Three Rivers home. It was privilege to be chosen to paint this. It was a little bit too hard for me, but it is good to be challenged and to push through the difficulties. The homeowners were a delight to work with.

Thank you, C & S!!

Paintings in Place

Posted by on May 16, 2016 in Oil Paintings | No Comments

Art marketing gurus tell artists that we need to have photos of our artwork hanging in customers’ homes.

Customers or clients? The marketing gurus say “collectors”. I think “client” sounds pretentious, “collector” sounds presumptuous, and “customer” sounds like good plain English.

However, around here, the word that usually fits is “friends”.

Paintings at LB's house

I think this looks stunning on a red wall!

B's wall

I think these look stunning here! And this friend has more of my paintings than anyone else, but I still don’t think of her as a “collector”. She’s a friend!

framed paintingframed closer

And isn’t this a creative way to emphasize a little painting?


Nope, not going to make a TLDR* blog, so come back tomorrow.


*Too Long, Didn’t Read