More Sawtooth Paintings Completed

Posted by on Nov 17, 2017 in Mineral King, Oil Paintings | 2 Comments

Sawtooth Peak is the third most popular Mineral King subject that I oil paint. (First is the classic view of Farewell Gap with the Crowley cabin and second is the Honeymoon Cabin.)

This is a 6×6″ painting, donated to Exeter’s Courthouse Gallery for their annual fund raiser art auction.

This is a wedding gift, a 10×10″ oil painting for a former drawing student who shall remain nameless until after the wedding, although I may choose to protect the identity afterward too. It is good to be careful on the World Wide Web.

And remember the previous two Sawtooth paintings? This place is just filthy with Sawtooth; no wonder I go a little rogue from time to time and paint chickens.

Poultry Paintings

The poultry paintings are inching along. They might be a little bit too hard for me, so I am taking my time. Productive procrastination is a good way to get through some difficult tasks. I take breaks to rehab frames, blog, touch up old paintings, answer emails, make a new schedule for drawing lessons, sweep, or water plants. All those things need to be done. I’m the boss of me. There is no deadline on the poultry paintings. They aren’t commissions. I have a commission to work on but it is a secret, and the recipient of the project might be a reader of this blog. So, poultry paintings in increments are what you get to see.

Have I convinced myself that it is okay to procrastinate yet?

This is the latest iteration of the rooster named Dinnerbone and the flock, with the appropriate and clever name of “Flock”. (And the rooster painting title is “Dinnerbone”, because I am creative that way.)

Samson discovered my friend’s car, which is named Hot Wheels. She is clever that way. (My car is named Fernando – thank you for being interested in such important personal details.)


Posted by on Nov 15, 2017 in drawing | 2 Comments

There is a colored pencil drawing I have liked well enough to put in my kitchen instead of taking to shows or making any efforts to sell.

Last week I looked at it carefully and realized it was time to fix it up a bit.

First, it wasn’t scanned well. Second, the paper on the back of the frame was torn. Third, there was a goober on the frame from an old price sticker. Fourth, it was in the kitchen, so it had some splatters on the glass.

When I took the torn paper off the back, I decided it might be smart to rescan it. Then I looked very carefully and was just thrilled to realize that I still like it; there was nothing to do over! It only needed a simple rehab of the frame.

Here is the previous scan (probably not even a scan but a photo, taken trying to hold the camera straight and still):

Here is the new scan: the actual color might be somewhere between the two versions, with the white mug brighter like the old scan but the background more accurate in the new scan.

And, now it hangs in my studio. This is how it is framed:

Perhaps I will put it back in the kitchen. Unless, of course, you want to buy it. Mug Shot It is $150, which doesn’t include tax, but the website doesn’t know how to include tax or shipping, so it will be a bargain if you order it from the website, and it will leave a gap on my studio wall but then it will make you happy.

What is she talking about??

Words to Paint By

Posted by on Nov 14, 2017 in Oil Paintings | 6 Comments

“A yard is hard, but an inch is a cinch.”

I heard this recently while listening to an interview on one of my favorite podcasts. This is my approach to oil painting. Just inch along and eventually it will look finished. Then, stop looking at it, let it dry, sign it, scan it, varnish it and move on.

There is also another saying rattling around in my brain as I inch along. This one came from one of my drawing students.

“Good, better, best, Never let it rest, ‘Til your good is better, And your better is the best.”

If I stuck with this, I wouldn’t be able to finish any oil paintings at all! As it is, I jump at any chance to improve, to have a do-over, to repair something I drew or painted awhile ago.

And one more, although I’m not sure it relates to oil painting:

“What someone else thinks of me does not become my assignment.”

What someone else thinks of my painting matters quite a bit. If he likes it, he might buy it. If he likes me, he might buy it. So, perhaps what someone else thinks of my painting does become my assignment.

Good grief, maybe I should listen to music while I paint.

Two + Two + Two On the Easels

Posted by on Nov 13, 2017 in Oil Paintings | 2 Comments

Two + two + two? What is that weird Central California artist talking about this time?

Last Monday, I worked on six oil paintings, two of which ones needed touching up. While at the backyard boutique, I saw some areas in a painting that could stand a bit of improvement. When I got home, I saw another painting that needed a boost.

So I painted some diagonal black stripes in it.

JUST KIDDING! Those are shadows from the window pane dividers. But I did some color and light correction on this painting. (The other one needs to dry before I rescan it.)

Then I finished two oil paintings of Sawtooth, one to give as a gift and the other to give as a donation. Wait. That’s a gift too. But, it is an asked-for gift, so I don’t know if it counts as a gift. Where’s my dictionary? What does “gift” actually mean?

Never mind. Here are the paintings before I finished them. They need to dry before getting scanned.

Then, I gave some thought to whether I’d be able to finish any paintings before the next event, The Perfect Gift Boutique, on Friday and Saturday of Thanksgiving week. I decided to begin two new paintings. My oil paintings start out so messy-looking that I wondered if this was a good decision. I did a sketch to see if these 2 photos could be blended onto a 6×18″ canvas. Still looks terrible.

Okay, I get it now. 

Looking more hopeful in spite of needing more work. In fact, it is looking so hopeful that I began another of the same subject.Even upside down, you can probably tell what this is. 

See? two + two + two = six oil painting projects, three different types. Two fixes, two Sawtooths, two poultry. Fowl. Chickens. Birds.

P.S. There are also two unfinished oil paintings just hanging around, collecting spider webs.

One Final Visit to Mineral King

Posted by on Nov 10, 2017 in Mineral King, Photography | 6 Comments

One last visit was made by Trail Guy; I was in Visalia at a backyard boutique. He had some final things to finalize, finally.

Here are his best photos from a very clear and sunny morning.

Walnuts in My Art

Do you like walnuts? When I was a kid, I thought gleaning was punishment, in spite of being paid a king’s ransom of 25¢ a bucket. There were always stinging nettles on the ground, and it was boring. Then, I would say to my poor mama, “WHY do you have to put walnuts in EVERYTHING??”

I grew up. 

Look at the walnuts in my art. These are only the ones that I saved photos of; I did two other pencil commissions with walnuts before I had a digital camera, a computer and a blog.

This won a prize in the Madera ag art show AND, this is bigger to me, it sold. The title: “With, Please”.

A friend commissioned me to paint seven 2×2″ oils of important crops in California. Left to right, top to bottom (in case you can’t figure these out): fig, apricot, navel orange, lemon, valencia orange, walnut, almonds. (Hi, Craig!)

This pencil drawing was commissioned earlier this year as a gift for the retiring farm manager. (Hi John! Were you surprised?)

This page is inside my coloring book, “Heart of Agriculture”.

Heart of Agriculture is available here.

Oh Mom, do I HAVE to put walnuts in EVERYTHING??

List of Unrelated Items

Posted by on Nov 8, 2017 in Personal | 2 Comments

A generous friend’s orchard where Trail Guy and I gleaned walnuts.

Unrelated except the items relate to my life and work. I hope you can relate.

When did “relate” become such a common word? Reminds me of the way the word “issue” is so overworked. But, this topic is not on today’s list.

  1. The Visalia Electric Railroad: Stories of the Early Years by Louise A. Jackson is headed to the printer. We have been working on this together since last October, and began the rewriting, editing, photo editing, book design and formatting in June. What? You thought someone just wrote a book and BOOM! there it is? Nope. Three of my pencil drawings will be in the book, ones I completed in the past for other purposes but fit the book to a tee!
  2. I’ve started several new paintings, one just because, one to donate, and one for a gift.
  3. We hung an old screen door in the herb garden as the next step to discouraging deer. One of them bit the top off a new broccoli plant, so this is our response. Trail Guy is quite handy, and unlike me, he likes to keep lots of stuff on hand for projects like this.
  4. First Saturday Three Rivers has changed its formula for 2018. They will feature an artist each month, along with having a theme. I get to be the featured artist in April and the theme is wildflowers! That’s why I repainted the mural on the studio door.
  5. A sure sign that I am middle-aged is that I think it is a privilege and a pleasure to glean walnuts. It felt like punishment when I was a kid, even though I was paid 25¢ a bucket.

The top one was begun almost a year ago; the 6×6″ will be donated to Exeter’s Courthouse Gallery; the 10×10″ is a gift for a friend who is getting married soon. Two more layers should do the trick on the Sawtooth paintings; a minimum of 8 more hours will be needed on the lanterns.

I drew this in 1992. Who knew it would be just right for a book published 25 years later??

Whoa, this is in the ugly stage. I am painting it Just Because.

To keep the deer out completely is beyond my ability. This door is on hinges and actually swings open. Does it look silly or cool? Don’t answer that, because my vote for cool has been cast.


One Down, Three to Go

Posted by on Nov 7, 2017 in Mineral King, Murals | No Comments

One what? Three what?

Murals at my home, two of which are Mineral King murals. There are actually 6 murals, but two are indoors more than outdoors so they don’t get the sun’s abuse.

I finished the wildflower mural.

It has a ton of wildflowers in a not terribly natural looking manner, but good enough to identify.

It didn’t take very long to finish and the day was too nice to spend indoors, so I tackled the Farewell Gap mural next.

This is very faded.

Green is restored to the 2 main trees and several others, plus a few willows. One tree is wonky looking, perhaps listing a bit to port.

Alrighty, then! I didn’t do a thing to the 2 peaks or distant forests, although their blue might be a bit shocking. I also ignored the buildings, rocks and water. However, I did paint out the bird calling cards in the sky.

Next, the sequoia mural. Maybe.

See the Botmobile? Samson now likes to sleep on the shelf behind the passenger seat. Perhaps he thinks he might get to be a stowaway to Mineral King with us.

Backyard Boutique Roundup

Posted by on Nov 6, 2017 in Events | 2 Comments

That backyard boutique day was an early early morning for this little gray duck.

First, the bad news: the most gracious and lovely hostess of the event announced that this is the last year she will be putting this on. Bummer.

Now the good news: All these paintings now have good homes (not that my studio was a bad home, but it was just a waiting room.)

At first, my space was inside the garage, since rain was predicted.

The rain didn’t come, so I dragged everything forward to the opening onto the back yard. Looks a little messier this way, but then people HAD to see me as they came into the yard. I met some wonderful people, reunited with some old friends, found a few new future drawing students (there’s a waiting list), and shared some resources with artists who needed a bit of help.

A good time was had by all, especially after the sun came out. Such a huge yard and this is only half!

Then, I got to go home. That’s always the best part. I can paint some of these leaves, or maybe just lie down with my feet up and my tongue hanging out like a tired dog.