Disney and Mineral King

Posted by on Jul 29, 2016 in Mineral King | 6 Comments

All photos in this post are courtesy of Dr. Christopher Tremblay of Western Michigan University. He is a 1994 graduate of the Lee Honors College and has been fascinated by Disney since his parents took him to Disneyworld at age 5. Now he gets to share that love with other honors students at his alma mater.

In the 1960s and 1970s, Walt Disney wanted to build a ski resort in Mineral King. It was under the jurisdiction of the National Forest Service, and they were inviting people to put in bids for the project.

The ski resort didn’t happen. That’s a whole other blog post (or 2 or 12).

At Western Michigan University, there is a special summer class that participates in something called “Walt’s Pilgrimage”. One of their stops was Mineral King last year, and they liked it so much that they returned this year.

News Advisory-Mineral King

From left to right (front row only): Walt Disney, Cathy's Mom, Cathy's grandfather Ray Buckman

From left to right (front row only): Walt Disney, Cathy’s Mom, Cathy’s grandfather Ray Buckman

Cathy in the Honeymoon Cabin, the museum of the Mineral King Preservation Society.

Cathy in the Honeymoon Cabin, the museum of the Mineral King Preservation Society.


disney grp

Participants of the Disney class, all honors students in the Lee Honors College of Western Michigan University. Dr. Christopher Tremblay is kneeling in the front left.

Participants of the Disney class, all honors students in the Lee Honors College of Western Michigan University. Dr. Christopher Tremblay is kneeling in the front left.

Cathy and Michael

Trail Guy and Tall Cathy were a very compatible teaching duo.

More New Mineral King Paintings

Posted by on Jul 28, 2016 in Mineral King, Oil Paintings | No Comments

But wait! There’s More!

Why does that always elicit a smile or a chuckle?

Because it is obnoxiously obnoxious.

Here are the other paintings I finished last week. It was very hot in Three Rivers, so they dried quickly outdoors, and I was able to scan them without getting paint on the scanner.

It is horrible to get paint on a scanner. It’s even more horrible to scratch the glass trying to remove the paint. Best to not ask me how I know this.

Five new little oil paintings of Mineral King, all for sale at the Silver City Resort (unless they already sold!)

1622 FG XX 1623 MK 1624 FG XXI 1625 FG XXII 1626 FG XXIII

This week I had some special visitors to my studio. These are folks I’ve known since the 1980s, plus some extended family members. One of my old friends said, “I think your painting is improving.”

I hope so! I’ve been oil painting for 10 years, and if there has been no improvement, I need to quit.

Nope, not quitting.

New Mineral King Paintings

Posted by on Jul 27, 2016 in Mineral King, Oil Paintings | No Comments

Last week I was a ninja-crazy painting factory, cranking out oil paintings of Mineral King. This is high season in the high country, and it is busy. Gotta get ’em done, visible, and selling.

Sounds a bit like a mercenary, an artist of fortune.

Nah. No fortunes are being made here. Just painting Mineral King.


1627 Sawtooth XVI

Sawtooth XVI, oil on wrapped canvas, 8×8″, $100

1628 Sawtooth XVII

Sawtooth XVII, oil on wrapped canvas, 8×8″, $100

Stick A Fork In It Because It Is DONE!

Posted by on Jul 26, 2016 in coloring book | No Comments

What’s done, you ask?

The design phase and computer prep of the Exeter coloring book.

The name probably will not come as a surprise.

Heart of Exeter

It isn’t yet on my website or actually even ordered from the printer. But it is ready, I am ready, and I hope you are too!

The cover of the next "Heart of" series of local coloring books for grown-ups.

The cover of the next “Heart of” series of local coloring books for grown-ups.

Drying Mineral King

Posted by on Jul 25, 2016 in Mineral King, Oil Paintings | No Comments

“Drying Mineral King” means drying the paintings of Mineral King.

Want to see what that looks like?

IMG_4161 IMG_4163 IMG_4164 IMG_4165

The paintings start on the peg board in the painting workshop. Then I begin scooting them around outside. The 2 of Sawtooth are currently on the tractor-seat stool outside the studio, getting direct sun and a breeze. The goal is to have them dry enough to place face down on the flatbed scanner without smearing oil paint on the glass.

Here in Central California, we have sunshine and heat and breezes in abundance. I wonder what artists do in other places. . .

I Took No Photos But Trail Guy Did

Posted by on Jul 22, 2016 in Mineral King | 4 Comments

Today’s posting about Mineral King will be in list form. This is a trick that frequent bloggers use when their subject matter is a little disorganized or random or willy-nilly.

  1. The annual Picnic in the Park by the Mineral King Preservation Society took place last Saturday. I didn’t take any photos. The highlight was when Trail Guy was called upon to tell about his 3 winters in Mineral King. He spoke like a polished professional, telling his story briefly with no umms and uhhs, relating the events in sequential order without backtracking, and including both emotion and humor. This might make a good book. I’ll keep practicing with other people.
  2. We met some young adults from France who are interning in computer science at UNLV. We took them to Franklin Falls, and then they decided that they really wanted to go to Franklin Lake. It was 2:30 in the afternoon, and they were driving back to Las Vegas that night! Youth. I didn’t take any photos, but they did, and if they email any to me, I’ll show you.
  3. The biting flies were ferocious. I didn’t take any photos. I am scratching like a stray dog.
  4. The flowers were excellent. I didn’t take any photos.
  5. Trail Guy has been taking photos. He has saved this blog post from having no photos. If you’ve made it this far, here is your reward in flowers.


Blazing Star


Jeffrey Shooting Star


Pride of the Mountains (yellow are unknown to me)


Penstemmon (don’t know the variety)






More Pride of the Mountains


Wish I knew. . .!


Sky Pilot


One of the many yellow flowers that I don’t know.


More Painting Mineral King

Posted by on Jul 21, 2016 in Mineral King, Oil Paintings | 2 Comments

Much of the spring and summer so far has been spent working on coloring books (or in Israel) instead of painting. Suddenly, painting Mineral King in oils has become my main focus.

It takes some teeth-gritting intensity and, word-of-the-year, oh-so-tired-of-it, intentionality to stay focused. There is a book to reproof, a coloring book to finish, and never mind about doing laundry by hand because the washer quit (not complaining – it is 28 years old), waiting for the phone repairman (studio phone is broken – has anyone been trying to call??), a coloring book to begin, and a website to keep current during all these sales. Oh, and an art show to prepare for!

But I am not stressed (she says with a twitch). I am painting, and paintings don’t look good if done under undue stress.


Yes, 2 of these are almost the same. I had a planning mishap. Not worried.


The one on the upper left is almost finished. The others are only just begun. They are 8×8″ and 8×10″ and will take longer than the 6×6″.

Thank you, Captain Obvious.


Just a little reminder to myself that I was in Israel. I’d show you a photo of me on a camel, but I looked fat.

THAT stresses me out!!

Painting Mineral King

Posted by on Jul 20, 2016 in Mineral King, Oil Paintings | No Comments

Yesterday I took a chill-pill to recover from the emotional see-saw of selling, not selling, selling, not selling, sold, not sold, it must only be my friends and relatives who feel sorry for me, OH MY GOODNESS A STRANGER BOUGHT MY ART.

Don’t you just feel exhausted reading that last paragraphical sentence? (Anyone know a good editor??)

4 mineral king paintings

These paintings have been languishing, waiting and curing while I work on coloring books. This week I am returning to my oil paints, because customers await Mineral King paintings at the Silver City Store.


Perilously Emotional See-Saw

For the past several summers, I have sold oil paintings of Mineral King scenes at the Silver City Store.

1563 FG XX

This summer I took up 3 6×6″ and 3 8×10″. Each time I go to Mineral King, I stop by the store (we think of it as “The Store”) to see how the paintings are selling. I missed a weekend, and then stopped by again.

Oak Grove Bridge XVIII


1542 Kaw Hdwtrs

The reason I stopped by was that I met some great folks who wanted to talk about Israel. Then the woman asked my last name (weird, I know, but someone introduced us by first name and mentioned I had been to Israel) and was all excited to meet me.


1527 Saw XV

Turns out she buys a painting by me each year when she comes to her Mineral King cabin.

1528 Saw XIV

It is quite a thrill to meet a stranger who buys my art, because often I wonder if it is just my friends and relatives who feel sorry for me that buy my work.


The business of art is a perilously emotional see-saw.

Please excuse me while I go find a chill-pill and then start painting again.


Posted by on Jul 18, 2016 in General, Thoughts | 2 Comments

Sometimes people think artists are weird.

I think everyone is normal until I get to know them.

I did a mental inventory of all the chairs in my house. (Is this weird? Never mind. Don’t answer that question.) As I moved from room to room, I realized that EVERY SINGLE CHAIR IN MY HOUSE is a salvage, a second-hand, a “sure, I’ll take that”.

A few weeks ago, Trail Guy and I were at a dump. (None of your beeswax, but thanks for your concern.) I saw a chair, and knew it was meant for me.


This is not the dump, in case you were wondering. Again, thank you for your concern.

It was a mess, but a classic shape, sturdy frame, and just what our green room needs. The green room is a little empty, and I’ve been thinking about what might be good in there. This chair is just what I had envisioned.


Empty-ish green room.

I chose fabric that I thought would suit the chair (a vague blurry bit of it is in the foreground of the photo above) and took a few photos of the chair.

When my favorite upholsterers received the photos, this was the response: “This is a 1950 vintage chair. very popular because of the great lines and comfort.  We can repair the back leg or replace. With a new cushion you will have a beautiful chair.”

How beautiful? I almost choked when he named the price.

The senior upholsterer said that when it is finished, it would be worth $1200! I told him I couldn’t afford a chair of that quality or value. Remember, I find my chairs in the dump! (or yard sales,other people’s garages or thrift shops)

I thought about taking the chair back home again, but realized I’d have to unload it. Then I’d think about it for awhile, adjust to the price, make arrangements to load it and take it back to Visalia.



It is a mess, but can’t you see the possibilities here?

Weird? Or resourceful?

It is so satisfying to find something of potential value, to salvage and repair, to find completely unique things, to own items with a story, to enjoy things that are lasting, timeless, and classic.

The upholsterer said it would last 25 years. I thought, “IT HAD BETTER!!”

Uh, does anyone want to buy a coloring book? One hundred coloring books? Or how about an oil painting? A really large oil painting, perhaps?

I’m in a show soon at the Courthouse Gallery in Exeter. Bring your checkbook.