Mineral King From My Pencils

Posted by on Sep 30, 2016 in drawing, Mineral King | No Comments

Why didn’t I choose to finish one of those other drawings?

I dunno. Sometimes I just don’t wanna. (Why doesn’t my boss fire me??)

This picture grabbed my attention because it is in Mineral King (White Chief, at the very top end of the trail). It also was appealing because of the reeds and grasses in the foreground, and the reflective quality of the water. It fits the theme of Tulare County, although I doubt many people have actually been to this spot. There was no particular spot that called for color.

White Chief, Mineral King

White Chief, Mineral King

Hard Water in Mineral King

Posted by on Sep 29, 2016 in drawing, Mineral King | 11 Comments

This is Tulare County, pencil drawing, from Mineral King. It is Spring Creek. It could be anywhere. If I have this at a show and someone says, “Oh! Is that Yosemite?!”, then my answer will be, “If you would like it to be Yosemite, then it is Yosemite for you”.

Spring Creek, Mineral King

Spring Creek, Mineral King

Let the record reflect that YES, DRAWING WATER IS HARD!! (Tee hee hee, perhaps the title of this piece should be “Hard Water”.)

More From My Pencils

Posted by on Sep 28, 2016 in Color, drawing | 4 Comments

When deciding what to draw next, this particular subject seemed like a good compromise of my theme of Tulare County and what I want to draw because I want to draw it.

Strawberry fields have become a common sight in our area over the past 10 years or so in the springtime. That makes this drawing qualify as Tulare County art, yes?


Using colored pencil for extended time periods hurts my wrist. This little bit of color is possible without injury, and it is very pleasing to see one item in color. Not every picture has a place for color, but this was an easy decision.

What Came Out of My Pencils

Posted by on Sep 27, 2016 in drawing, Going Places | 3 Comments

Sometimes I want to draw because I love to draw. I want to draw what I want to draw, and don’t want to think about what might sell.

I ignored my common sense, ignored my theme of Tulare County, and this is what came out of my pencils. (as if it just showed up on its own, no effort or decision on my part, I was just a tool, a vessel, and a victim!)



This is an arch that is part of the Roman aqueduct system along the Mediterranean at Cesarea Philippi Maritima in Israel. As you may recall, I love architecture, stone work, bridges and archways. We had about 3 minutes to view this and then BAM, back on the bus! It just grabbed me. . . the beauty, the antiquity, the Med Sea . . . I was gobsmacked.

So, I took a few photos, and now here it is as a drawing.

My sister, niece and I were all just thrilled to be at the Mediterranean. We were the first and the only people in our group to run to the water and get it without any discussion or delay. It was one of the highlights of the entire Israel adventure for me.



The sharp eyes of one of my fellow Israel travelers caught my mistake in the location of this drawing. I knew better and have no excuse. Thanks, Cog! 


Posted by on Sep 26, 2016 in coloring book | 2 Comments

Please excuse me for shouting, and for publishing an extra blog post off schedule.

The latest coloring book has arrived, and boy is it a good one, if I do say so myself.

I did say so myself.

This has Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park designs, including Mineral King (of course – did you expect any less?). There are a few repeats from previous coloring books – this means you’ve had practice.

Want one? They are on my website here and will be made available on Amazon when I am able to navigate all their hoops, tunnels, jumps and clicks.

1-c-seq-cover 23-s-lodgepole-bridge 35-kc-panoramic-point 13-s-parker-group

What Should I Draw Next?

Posted by on Sep 26, 2016 in drawing, the business of art | 4 Comments

What Should I Draw Next could be the call letters of a radio station east of the Mississippi – WSIDN. Okay, there are one too many letters, but tell me how KMJ gets away with only three?? I stole this from Anne Bogel, Modern Mrs. Darcy, with her podcast WSIRN – What Should I Read Next – a wonderful resource for readers.

I digress.

I will be participating in an art show of pencil in May and June. Right now I am in between jobs – murals, coloring books, and fall shows coming, but all are waiting for decisions. That makes this a good time to draw ahead for the upcoming show.

A crystal ball would be helpful. There are too many ways to make this decision:

  • Draw what I like. My opinion doesn’t always coincide with the opinion of the art buyers and appreciators.
  • Ask for other people’s opinions. Which people?
  • Draw what I think might sell. Based on what?
  • Finish pieces already in progress. Why didn’t I finish them earlier? Lack of interest on my part, some instinct telling me the subject matter didn’t hold any appeal to my audience (who are they??), or an interruption such as a mural or a coloring book or an art festival/boutique/bazaar.
  • Something local, or something from my travels, but which travels? – China, Israel, the Central Coast, Lake Tahoe, Washington DC, Washington state, Oregon, North Carolina, Alaska, where??

Life is full of decisions, or as my Wise Friend often says, “Choices and Consequences – life is full of choices and consequences.” Oh yes, a crystal ball would help.

  • How do other artists make these decisions? Probably by sticking to a theme.
  • What is my theme? Tulare County.
  • Why Tulare County when it is so poor? Because I live here.
  • Why do I draw? I draw because I LOVE to draw!
  • Why don’t I just draw what I love? Because it has to sell.

Now, what should I draw next?


Photos from Israel that have promise for pencil drawings.

pencil drawing in progress

A drawing of the Central Coast that is languishing (or mulling) in my flat files.

pencil drawing in progress

A pencil drawing of a fascinating scene in Beijing that I stopped drawing for some forgotten reason.

pencil drawing in progress

A local scene – Lake Kaweah when it was full.



One Last Trip to White Chief

Posted by on Sep 23, 2016 in Mineral King | 2 Comments

White Chief is my favorite short hike in Mineral King. Last Friday I showed you a few photos of the last weekend in Mineral King. Today you get the rest.

Three main things were occupying my time this summer: a trip to Israel, designing more coloring books, and training for a walking half-marathon. When I went to Mineral King, I wanted to sit, knit and split (wood).

However, I went to White Chief three times. Here is how it looked on the third trip.

MIneral King

Mineral King Valley

Crabtree cabin ruins

Crabtree cabin ruins

When I told my sister that my daypack is 30 years old, she asked if I had ever washed it. Hmmm, good idea. Now look how bright the red is!

When I told my sister that my daypack is 30 years old, she asked if I had ever washed it. Hmmm, good idea. Now look how bright the red is!

Isn't everything better with friends?

Isn’t everything better with friends?

Trail Guy snuck around a back way to surprise us.

Trail Guy snuck around a back way to surprise us.

How did you get here??

How did you get here?? Where did you come from??

Happiness is being surprised by Trail Guy!

Happiness is being surprised by Trail Guy!

Whoa - what's wrong with this girl??

Whoa – what’s wrong with this girl??

White Chief canyon

White Chief canyon

2 striped rocks - weird

2 striped rocks – weird

Little rock with granite stripe

Little rock with granite stripe

Bigger granite rock with white (marble? limestone?) stripe

Bigger granite rock with white (marble? limestone?) stripe

Final flash of color - look at this patch of penstemmon!

Final flash of color – look at this patch of penstemmon!

Victory dance in the ferns

Victory dance in the ferns

Sawtooth as it appeared on the drive home

Sawtooth as it appeared on the drive home


Popular Fruits

Posted by on Sep 22, 2016 in Oil Paintings | No Comments

Oil paintings of fruits are popular for kitchen and dining rooms. Oranges and pomegranates sell the best for this Central California artist.

Here in Tulare County, we grow olives, walnuts, grapes, every type of citrus, cotton and all sorts of stone fruits, plus we produce more dairy than the entire state of Wisconsin. Some people like those things decorating their walls. If you want those things on your walls, I can paint them for you.

Meanwhile, I will continue to paint the very popular oranges and pomegranates.

1630 Orange #129 1631 Pom #52 1602 Pom #53

These paintings are available here. Or you can find me in my usual places. Or, you can holler at me while I am pounding out miles to prepare for the Lake Tahoe 1/2 Marathon. My walking partner and I are the ones with a neon green shoelace and a neon orange shoelace. That’s our team uniform. Color is popular with us.


One More Mineral King Oil Painting?

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

These Mineral King oil paintings seem to be reproducing while I have my back turned. Maybe I should have left the light on, or maybe I should not have taken that road trip.

Ha. Don’t I wish they just reproduced on their own.

This is the one that was on my easel when I started the series about the most popular scene in Mineral King.

Farewell Gap #24, 11x14, oil on wrapped canvas, $250

Farewell Gap #24, 11×14, oil on wrapped canvas, $250

It is available to buy from this page on my website. Landscape Paintings for Sale.

Or you can email me, call me, stop me at the Three Rivers Post Office, pull me aside at church, drop in while I am giving drawing lessons in Exeter, or even put a check in the mail and let The World’s Best Mailman bring it to me. His name is Kurt and he is truly The World’s Best Mailman.

I’m flexible about sales methods.

Yes, I realize there is a numbering problem. How can this be #24 when I have shown you 32 other versions?

Life’s full of unknowns, unsolved mysteries, and other conundrums.
If the plural of medium is media, shouldn’t the plural of conundrum be “conundra”? English is weird, but I still prefer it to Artspeak.

California Quail

Posted by on Sep 20, 2016 in Oil Paintings | 2 Comments

We have California quail all over our property in Three Rivers. They are notoriously difficult to photograph, but sometimes I sneak photos through the windows.

That’s how I was able to paint this California quail. Studio painters work from photos, not from real life or a photographic memory.

I’m thankful to live in an era of easy, convenient and abundant photography, along with abundant California quail.

1622 Calif quail #2

California Quail #2, 6×6″, oil on wrapped canvas, $60

California Quail #2 is available on this webpage, or all the usual flexible ways that I mentioned in yesterday’s post.