December Oranges

Posted by on Dec 15, 2017 in commissions, Oil Paintings | 8 Comments

Did you know that navel oranges are harvested in December? If you are from Tulare County where the world’s best (and most) navel oranges are grown, you probably knew that.

My grandfather and dad were both orange growers. I am an orange painter.

A friend/neighbor called to say that her sister-in-law wanted an oil painting of oranges just like the one in her dad’s house. I asked for a photo of the painting so I would know how to make another one.  Obviously, these people have impeccable taste in artwork. After receiving this photo, I looked through my 963 photos of oil paintings, arranged by subject, and although I recently finished Orange #134, this old painting didn’t show up in my inventory. 

That’s okay. I have plenty of photos to work from. And if I am going to paint an 8×10 oil of oranges, I might as well do a second painting to have ready for the next orange art emergency.

This is how the orange paintings looked on day one of painting in December. (The 8×10 will probably be mailed while it is still a bit wet.)

At the end of the painting day, I put them in boxes to carry into the house and prop up over the wood stove so they will be ready for the second layer. 

(I painted a second and third layer without photographing the process.)

EPILOGUE: Finished and in the mail, right on schedule!

Incremental Studio Improvements

Posted by on Dec 14, 2017 in the business of art, Three Rivers | 4 Comments

I am a big believer in incremental improvements, little changes adding up over time. If I wasn’t, I wouldn’t be able to draw in pencil, paint in oil, or even be a knitter.

My Three Rivers studio was just a little storage shed on our property until it got gussied up in December 2001. It was thrilling to have a place to work at home!

Over the years little changes have been made. They all add up, and here I am, 16 years later, with a studio that looks like this:

Next will come new siding. 

Fruits of My Labor

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

I had a peach. It didn’t sell. Now it is an orange.

I had some lanterns. I didn’t like painting them and didn’t want to finish. Now they are pomegranates.

Orange #131, 6×6″, oil on wrapped canvas, $65 including tax

Five Poms, 6×18″, oil on wrapped canvas, $160 including tax

Welcome to the land of fruits and nuts, where you can enjoy the fruits of my labor.

Old Bridge, New Angle

Posted by on Dec 12, 2017 in Oil Paintings | 4 Comments

The oil painting, Oak Grove Bridge XXII, sold. This means it is time to paint another view of my favorite bridge. I looked through my photos and found an angle I’ve never tried before.

Is it lunch yet??

Eggs and Potatoes

Posted by on Dec 11, 2017 in Oil Paintings | No Comments

Happy Birthday, Phoebe!! (23? 23!!!)

These eggs sold.

Ethan’s Eggs, 8×8″, oil on wrapped canvas, sold

These eggs haven’t sold. 

Brown Egg, Blue Plate, 6×6″, oil on wrapped canvas, $65 inc. tax

Brown Egg, Blue Plate II, 6×6″, oil on wrapped canvas, $65 including tax

At a recent show, someone asked me about this painting, “Brown Egg, Blue Plate II”. “Is this a potato?”

Ahem. No, it isn’t. Guess it is time to rethink this painting. That blue plate was very difficult. I don’t want to waste it. How about a new egg color??

More Mineral King

Posted by on Dec 8, 2017 in Mineral King | 6 Comments

Trail Guy has made 2 more trips to Mineral King, AFTER I posted  “Final Mineral King”. Before there is snow, when the weather is balmy and the air is clear up the hill, it is possible to still enjoy Mineral King (if one is retired).

On the first visit, he found penstemon in bloom!

He went again on the Saturday of Thanksgiving weekend, when I was at the Arts Center having a boutique. (It’s okay – I love what I do; no need to express any sympathy here.)

Being Trail Guy, he headed up the Timber Gap trail (that’s the same one that takes you to Sawtooth, should you be so inclined.)

He didn’t go the whole distance; the days are short, and he is very faithful to help me break down, load and haul my stuff back home after my shows, so he was back in Three Rivers by 4 p.m.
This may be the second most photographed cabin; it is near Cold Springs campground and gets great sun in the fall and winter. (Probably in the summer too, but we are further up the road, taking pictures of the first most photographed cabin instead.)

These two were below Redwood Creek, above Slapjack. First sighting of the year in late November!

Interesting Place in Three Rivers

The Perfect Gift Boutique is an annual event held by the Kaweah Artisans at the Arts Center in Three Rivers. This is an old building, vaguely Craftsman in style, somewhat shabby, and in its third life – it has been a home, the Womans Club (Yes, that is the way a national club for women spells its name) and now an arts center with many uses. 

Nikki the weaver and I usually set up on the stage. The back wall is actually made of sliding panels that open onto the back yard, so that the viewers of a play can sit in the back, outside.

The rock work is extensive, resourceful (using river rock) and interesting. I’ve heard that it is a little scary upstairs, but I love those double-hung windows and shingle siding. This is at the very top of the triangular back yard.

The balcony overlooks the back yard; I wonder if it was ever used in plays there.

This is looking up from the stage into the back yard audience area. 

The interior is where we, the Kaweah Artisans, spend our time. It is an open space where about 5-6 folks can set up their wares. This is the view that Nikki and I have of the room from our perch on the stage.

Could you people hold it down? I had a rough night and need my sleep.

List of Activity

Posted by on Dec 6, 2017 in commissions, drawing, Oil Paintings | 4 Comments

What a boring title – “List of Activity” – I’m sure that got people tripping over the Google to find this post. 


But it has been active around my studio and art business lately with sales of oil paintings and pencil drawing commissions.

Finished and sent to happy customer:


Sketch approved and drawing begun:

Further Pencilization

Posted by on Dec 5, 2017 in commissions, drawing | 2 Comments

What is this “pencilization” that you’ve been saying lately?

Just another made up word by your Central California artist, who specializes in pencil art, turning photos and ideas into pencil drawings.

The print arrived from Shutterfly, so I was able to continue with the commissioned pencil drawing. An email arrived also, giving me the freedom to do what needs to be done in order to make the scene mostly accurate and pleasing at the same time.

Hurray! Freedom! (Sometimes customers ask me to do things that will make their drawings look stupid; this customer is not like that at all.)

Once the print arrived, I was off like a rocket, pencils flying. There’s something to be said for being able to see the details clearly! It is now in the happy customer’s hands (or perhaps at a frame shop).

Good Painting Day

Posted by on Dec 4, 2017 in Oil Paintings | 7 Comments

You regular Blog Readers (thank you for reading and caring!) know that my favorite thing to do is drawing, not oil painting. So, when I have a good painting day, it needs to be marked, remarked, remembered, noticed and celebrated.

An oil painting has been hanging around for awhile. Both Trail Guy and I wonder why it hasn’t sold yet. . . I’ve named it, of course, but it hasn’t really become a pet. A few years ago I reworked it, knowing I could do a better job.

On my good painting day, I reworked it again. In this photo, it is the one on the bottom. I had planned to work on the painting on the top, but on impulse (WHAT?? I am not a very impulsive person – what happened??) I pulled it out of the studio and moved it into the painting workshop.

Then, I redid the background, which meant that some of the middle ground needed to be retouched. 

Do you see 2 photographs in the photo below? I used the upper one the first time and  the bottom one in the do-over. Maybe it hasn’t sold because the colors were overly brilliant and/or because it looked more like a telephoto-type photo instead of a realistic painting.

Since I live in Realville, it was time to bring the painting along. This was a good decision, because it attracted attention and good comments at the recent Perfect Gift Boutique when in the past it was just ignored (poor old thing. . .) Even being as non-objective about it as I am, I can see that it is better than before.

Long Way There, 12×16″, oil on wrapped canvas, $300 including sales tax in California (This is the Mineral King Road, just above Lookout Point.)

But what about the painting I had initially planned to work on? Got the sky and the back mountain ridges done (maybe) and the top of White Chief Peak begun. Looking good on a good painting day, and looking forward to moving forward in the painting!

Now that was some poor writing (used the words “looking”, “good”, “painting”, and “forward” twice each in the same sentence). Does this mean that a good painting day makes for a bad writing day?

Life is full of unanswered questions.This thing looks okay but it smells funny.