New Year’s Day Walk

Posted by on Jan 19, 2018 in Sources of inspiration, Three Rivers | 4 Comments

The New Year’s Day walk could have been a hike, had we taken food and more than one measly little water bottle. Alas, we did not. We went to the Salt Creek/Case Mt. BLM recreational area and walked from the Salt Creek road (rather than Skyline Drive) up, up and up. It was a smoggy hazy day, and the land wanted rain. We encountered about 8 different walking and biking parties; 4 were folks we know. Three Rivers is small. (A friend recently said to me that the good thing about Three Rivers is that it is small; the bad thing about Three Rivers is that it is small.) Going places, even those close to home, getting outside, looking around–these are all sources of inspiration, a requirement to this Central California artist.

We started here by the loading chute.

The road isn’t too steep here. It goes past 2 ponds full of slime.

Up and up and up; that is the first waterfall across the canyon.

The first waterfall.

The sycamores sure held their color this winter.

The second waterfall is barely visible in the shadows; guess you had to be there.


I am so thankful for the rain we have received since New Year’s Day, but we still need more. Alas, those folks in Montecito. . . yikes.

Painting Outside

Posted by on Jan 18, 2018 in Oil Paintings | 2 Comments

By “painting outside”, I don’t mean painting plein air. I do mean that it was overcast and hard to see in the painting workshop, so I moved my stuff outside. It wasn’t cold, rainy or windy, so this was an easy solution. And White Chief needed a bit more drying time.

First, had to flip White Chief upside down to paint the bottom edge.

Next, I worked on Farewell Gap.

That’s sort of funny – photos, an oil painting and a mural, all of the same scene.

I haven’t done any singing over this one yet. Just not sure. . .

Flower Fix

Posted by on Jan 17, 2018 in Oil Paintings | No Comments

A little poppy painting has been hanging around longer than any other. Why?


So, I fixed it.

A Mineral King scene of Farewell Gap in morning sunlight has been hanging around for too long. Why?BECAUSE IT DIDN’T HAVE ANY FLOWERS!

So, I added some.

See? Flowers fix stuff, and I think fixed flowers sell. More will be revealed in the fullness of time. . .

Redwoods and Reality

Posted by on Jan 16, 2018 in Oil Paintings | No Comments

I had an extra peach painting that was going to become an orange, and then after a reality check, it got turned into redwood trees. This is Three Rivers, gateway to Sequoia National Park, and I need to have paintings of sequoia trees.

Sequoia Gigantea = redwood = Big Tree. I went to Redwood High School so “redwood” is the name that comes most automatically.

Here are the paintings drying on the pegboard/chalkboard. I had to photoshop out a bunch of phone numbers from the background before I accidentally publicized my personal phone directory. This is how we do things when we don’t have cell phones. And no, it didn’t say “For a good time call. . .”

Why don’t I just photoshop the redwood trees onto the canvas??

Forget it. I’m an oil painting Central California artist, not a computer chick.

Thank You

Posted by on Jan 15, 2018 in Personal | 10 Comments

Thank you to all who expressed sympathy about Samson. Our neighbor found his body, and we buried him on the hillside above the house. He died from a freak accident, and you really do not want to know the details. Neither do we, but too bad, now we do.

I called the woman who owns the ranch where we got Perkins and Samson – excellent line of cats, good hunters and survivors. When the next litter of cats happens, if she can catch them (they are semi-feral), we will take an entire litter. No more singletons: litter mates teach one another rules of civility, when we are away they can keep each other company, and all our attention will not be focused on one bossy little prince.

Meanwhile, please do not show up with a box of kittens at my doorstep; I am weak and vulnerable and liable to say yes. Only Trail Guy’s sensibilities keep my Cat Disorder from flaring to maximum capacity. So thank you.

Art and Reality

Posted by on Jan 15, 2018 in Oil Paintings, the business of art | No Comments

Art and Reality is referring to the fact that I earn my living with art and have to be realistic about things.

The economy has definitely picked up. People are buying larger paintings and more of them. Paintings sold very well for me in December (perhaps I’ll do a blog post showing all the ones that are GONE, after I hear definite totals from the galleries.) 

This means it is time to paint new things and be realistic about old ones that haven’t sold. 

I think I have saturated the market for little fruit paintings, with the exception of pomegranates and of course, oranges! Sequoia trees, Mineral King scenery and oranges are my mainstay. Time for a do-over on paintings which I am the only one who likes. Hard truth, but still better than job hunting. . .

It hurts a little to go from looking good to the stage shown below, but it is temporary.

It’s all part of the business called art.


Posted by on Jan 13, 2018 in Personal | 7 Comments

Bengal. Biter. Liked water. Fierce, ferocious and fearless. Too fearless. Short life.

Gone a week now. Hope diminished.

Is it better to let a cat be a cat and know he will be in danger and probably have a short life or is it better to have a cat declawed and kept prisoner, safe inside your house?

We chose option #1.

Never mind. I can’t do this any more. Bye-bye, little buddy.

White Chief Finished

Posted by on Jan 12, 2018 in Mineral King, Oil Paintings | 6 Comments

The White Chief oil painting might have been a teensy bit too hard for me, but I got-‘er-dun. Here is how it looked last time I showed you.

Now there is more detail on the bank above the pond and more detail on the lower left corner. The pond has some new color too. 

New day, new work on the painting: first thing in the morning is intense sunlight (and shadow from the window pane divider).I’ll work on the middle left. Here’s a close-up of the before:And here’s a close up of the after. The lighting has changed so it isn’t a completely fair comparison.

Now I am sort of going all over the lower half of the canvas, improving anything that I can see how to improve. The pond, lower right, and middle right all got some new layers of detail.

Just the lower right corner needed attention.

One more session, and the Fat Lady got to sing.

White Chief, oil on wrapped canvas, 18×24″, $650 (includes tax)

So, which task is harder: hiking to White Chief, or painting it?

Painting it, for sure!!

Sawtooth, Continued

Posted by on Jan 11, 2018 in Mineral King, Oil Paintings | No Comments

The oil painting of Sawtooth was looking a bit rough when we last saw it.

It is only slightly less rough, because I chose to work on Farewell Gap more. It is tricky to fit in painting time around holidays, visitors from out of town, short daylight hours, colder temperatures, and year-end business to wrap up. But, I’ll keep layering, tightening up the detail, improving the color and accuracy.

Happy Birthday, Trail Guy!

Posted by on Jan 10, 2018 in Personal | 3 Comments

He’s very busy, as you can see. And don’t you wonder if all retired guys wear shorts year around??