Things I Learned in November

Posted by on Nov 30, 2017 in Thoughts | 6 Comments

  1. The fall time change is so much easier than the spring one, but it still makes me tired to have my internal chronometer jerked around.
  2. There are more ways to measure the success of a show than by the $ I earn. Reconnecting with old friends, meeting other artisans, talking to people who might become drawing students–all very rewarding. (I already knew this but it was reinforced in November.)
  3. I found a new podcast that really holds my attention. Its tagline is “for the curious mind with a short attention span”. It is by Mike Rowe, the “Dirty Jobs” guy with a fabulous voice. My favorite episode so far is “It is good to be the king”, which he published in July of 2017.
  4. In reading The Pencil Perfect by Caroline Weaver of C. W. Pencil Enterprise, I am learning all sorts of history about pencils. Did you know that Henry David Thoreau’s family had a pencil manufacturing business? 
  5. Did you know it takes 7 yards of upholstery fabric to cover an armchair? I learned this; next I hope to learn how to choose and buy fabric without actually going to town.
  6. By being an organ donor, one life can save eight lives. Remember, souls go to heaven; organs don’t. (My friend is waiting for a pair of new lungs.)
  7. Almost no one gets married in churches anymore. Almost every wedding, reunion, and public event has an audio system and a DJ that is deafening. I keep earplugs with me, but when I forget, it is stunning to me that no one else seems to mind the noise level. Are people not supposed to converse? Is this because so many people just communicate by texting that it doesn’t matter? 


Posted by on Nov 29, 2017 in commissions, drawing | 4 Comments

A friend sent me a photograph and asked if I thought it would make a better oil painting or a pencil drawing.

Nothing to see here, folks; just move on. . .

What I mean is that there is very little color to see, so I recommended a pencil drawing. I ordered a good print from Shutterfly, but decided I couldn’t wait for it to arrive to begin drawing, because drawing is my favorite thing. Besides, this might be a lot harder than it looks, and there is a deadline.

There may or may not be a teensy structure that is very important to the friend/customer on the far right. We know it is there, but it isn’t visible. 

I can visualize where the structure belongs, but not the shape of the roof, or how much of the roof might even show. Good pencilization requires this information. This scene is a short 1/2 mile walk from home so I can meander over with a camera and see if the structure shows.

Meanwhile, keep drawing. . . one day my prince prints will come.


Realville, Not Maybeland

Posted by on Nov 28, 2017 in Oil Paintings, the business of art | No Comments

I have referred to myself as “A Realist from Quaintsville”, but most of the time I am more of a realist from Realville, because Tulare County isn’t really all that quaint. Really.

This definition means not living in a dreamworld, a place of what-if, maybe and perhaps. This sounds like “What if I put more time into it, maybe I can fix this oil painting, perhaps it will sell. . . “

The bald truth about this lantern oil painting is that I don’t like any of these things: working on it, trying to see detail that is ambiguous, and attempting to make paintbrushes behave like pencils. More time probably won’t fix anything, make me like it, or cause it to sell, because it has been in a time-out for 7 months, and none of these things have changed.

I’m 58 and I don’t have to finish this if I don’t want. So there.

Sometimes it is good to just act on a decision instead of waiting to be sure. I’m sure I don’t want to paint this, because I’ve been waiting to work on it for 7 months, hoping I might be able to turn it into an appealing painting.

Reality is that I like painting pomegranates, can actually see the detail, know how to paint them, and know they will sell.

The business of art requires frequent reality checks, and remembering to live in Realville rather than Maybeland.

I’d really enjoy drawing the lanterns, but am not convinced that this would be a good use of my time. Pencil drawings are my strongest artwork, but the reality is that oil paintings sell better.

Realville is where I live.

Better Than Before?

Posted by on Nov 27, 2017 in Oil Paintings | 8 Comments

Happy Birthday Jenny and Debbie!

First there was this version:

Why didn’t I like this? Other people did, but they chose other sequoia oil paintings instead of this one, so maybe they were just being polite.

I thought it over while at a show, with time in between visitors to evaluate things.

My main conclusion was that it needed something, but I wasn’t sure what. So, I took it home and started messing with it.

Sunny Sequoias XXVIII, oil on wrapped canvas 8×10, $135 including tax

Does it look any more appealing now? I added more sky, dulled the distant trees a tad, and brightened the small foreground trees a teensy bit. The whole thing is much brighter in real life than on my screen here. And at the recent Perfect Gift Boutique, it attracted more comments than it did before renovation. However, it is still in my studio so it didn’t stir anyone to part with any money. Yet.

There is no way to be fully objective about one’s own work. 

Perfect Gift Boutique Today

Posted by on Nov 24, 2017 in Events, Three Rivers | No Comments

Perfect Gift Boutique is today, in Three Rivers at the Arts Center, from 10 AM – 4 PM. Tomorrow too. Eight of us will showing and selling our wares.

 The Perfect Gift Boutique

Friday and Saturday after Thanksgiving,

November 24-25, 2017

10 AM – 4 PM

Three Rivers Arts Center, 41673 North Fork Dr, Three Rivers, California (first building on the left after crossing the Kaweah River on the North Fork Bridge)



Posted by on Nov 23, 2017 in General, Personal | 7 Comments

Umpteenth Annual Perfect Gift Boutique

Posted by on Nov 22, 2017 in Events, Three Rivers | No Comments

The Kaweah Artisans’ Perfect Gift Boutique will be Friday, November 24 and Saturday, November 25, 2017, at the Three Rivers Arts Center. The times? Oh no, I can’t remember!! 9-4? 10-4? Stay tuned. . . here are some leaf photos for you to enjoy while I look for the times.

It is a little bit hard to leave home on a sunny fall morning.

10 AM to 4 PM!

Three Rivers Arts Center, 41673 North Fork Dr, Three Rivers, California (first building on the left after crossing the Kaweah River on the North Fork Bridge)

Fall Fun

Posted by on Nov 21, 2017 in Personal, Photography | No Comments

Say what? “Fall fun”. . . don’t you have work to do?

Yes. I do. There is another show coming this weekend. I’ll tell you about it tomorrow.

In and Out

Posted by on Nov 20, 2017 in Oil Paintings | 2 Comments

Happy Birthday, Shirley, Connie and Hailey!!

What do I mean by “in and out”?

These paintingsare now IN my inventory.

“Flock”, 6×18″, oil on wrapped canvas, $150 + tax

“Dinnerbone”, 8×10″, oil on wrapped canvas, $125 plus tax.

This painting is now OUT of my inventory. (Does that make it outventory?)

WHAT?? Are you telling me I have to paint my favorite bridge again??

It will be Oak Grove Bridge XXIII. That means #23, although I have painted it more times than that – I didn’t begin numbering them right away, and then I lost track for awhile and may have used a number twice, so who really knows?

Square? Vertical? Horizontal? Small or medium? I have the large one hanging in my dining room, but am willing to sell it. Maybe.

More will be revealed in the fullness of time.

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.