On the Easels and On the Needles

Posted by on Feb 21, 2017 in commissions, Oil Paintings, Personal | 3 Comments

This jalapeno is a commissioned oil painting. I’m happy with the colors and will be tightening up the detail next.

The Honeymoon Cabin is a very popular subject. This is from an early evening photo with heightened colors. The size is 8×8″ and will be $100.

Sawtooth is another very popular Mineral King subject. This is 10×10″ and will be $150.

And in case you were wondering if all I do is work, please be reassured that I always find time to knit. A friend is waiting for a new pair of lungs, and there will be a fund raising dinner with silent auction and pick-a-prize items. I made these 2 infinity scarves for the event, and the blue/red/brown one already sold! No worries, I have just finished a brown/teal and have a second one on the needles, which I might be tempted to keep. Kind of tempted to keep the aqua one, but my friend needs to pay for her lung transplant infinitely more than I need another scarf.

Oh wait – you need to see what an infinity scarf looks like, not just all the colors.

Forget it – this one is mine! (Okay, make a large enough contribution to my friend’s lung account and I will send it to you, but it better be a HUGE check – email if you’d like further instructions.)


The Rain Stopped and The Sun Came Out

The rain stopped briefly and the sun came out, so I went for a walk here in Three Rivers. This was on February 12, but there were other things to blog about last week.

Look! The buckeye trees, always precocious, are leafing out already. 

Here is an unobstructed view of Alta Peak and Moro Rock.

The Red Maids are in bloom!

This ant hill is definitely a peculiar sight.

The narcissus are in bloom in my yard.

 And what does a Central California artist do for fun when the sun is out?

She mixes a paint color for her neighbor’s kitchen, of course.

Neighbor recently was in Italy and fell in love with a particular color. (Could there possibly be 2 color junkies in the same neighborhood??) The hardware store mixed a too-bright red, so together we figured out the color she wanted. This required adding tan from the gallon container, lightening it with white, and correcting the resulting pinkishness with yellow ochre. Then, we tried it on a kitchen cupboard door and declared it a winner. (It took 3 attempts with minor corrections each time.) Next, I had to match that exact color to convert the rest of the too-bright-red to our newly named “Red Pepper Cream Sauce”. (Last time we invented the color of “Orange Blossom Special” for her kitchen, which looks spectacular with the Red Pepper Cream Sauce.)*

*My own kitchen is blue and white, has been blue and white for 18 years, and probably will probably be blue and white for as long as I live here. Thanks for asking.

Mineral King Road Messes

Posted by on Feb 17, 2017 in Mineral King | 4 Comments

Last week Trail Guy and Retired Postman headed up the Mineral King Road. This was a couple of days after some very heavy rains.

First stop? My favorite bridge, of course. (The Oak Grove Bridge). Retired Postman is very very tall, so he was able to take a photo above all the messy shrubs. This may be the first time I’ve ever seen the bridge’s shadow in the water beneath. I don’t think this would be a very nice painting – just a bunch of greenish textures with a tiny bit of architectural interest.I wasn’t with them, so I don’t know exactly how many messes there were on the road. I do know that the messes began around Slapjack, that they were able to walk in to Redwood Creek/Redwood Canyon/Aunt Tillie & Uncle Pete – whatever you call the twin Sequoia trees.

This next photo shows the ridge above High Bridge and how it has slid down the drainage. It will be interesting to see if it reached the road. It could be awhile before anyone gets that far up the road. . .

Say hello to Aunt Tillie & Uncle Pete (I am not making this up – some cabin folks told me that is what they call the 2 Sequoias at Redwood Canyon, and no, I can’t tell who is who or which is which.) Or skip them and say hello to Retired Postman.

There were a mess of ladybugs at Redwood Canyon.

And there were multiple messes on the walk in.

Trail Guy reported in to the roads department in Sequoia, and they’ve already done some work. Is the road passable? Maybe. . . 


Did You Miss Samson?

Posted by on Feb 16, 2017 in Oil Paintings, Personal | 4 Comments

Samson is still around and participating fully in everything.

So far he has wrecked 3 pairs of tights and a cable knitting needle.

I began this painting of a jalapeno pepper, and he immediately began batting the pepper around the workshop. I encouraged him to bite it, hoping it might cure him of this nasty habit, but no, he only chased it all around the room.

Finished Oil Paintings

Posted by on Feb 15, 2017 in commissions, Oil Paintings | No Comments

Did you think I had forgotten my promise to show you recently finished oil paintings?


First, the commissioned piece. It isn’t totally finished, but I never show you the sides of the canvas anyway.

It is Oak Grove Bridge XX, which means #20, but is probably the 25th time I’ve painted it because sometimes my record keeping is not so good.

Now, the P Fruits:

6×18″, P Fruits, oil on canvas, wrapped edges, ready to hang, $150 plus the obnoxious 8% California sales tax.

And a Sequoia Gigantea, with the same information as above, except it is a Giant Sequoia tree.

Working Again?

Posted by on Feb 14, 2017 in the business of art | 2 Comments

Please excuse the extra blog post at an unexpected time. Almost everything is almost working again on my site.

You can subscribe to the blog using your email address and the Subscribe button (although, if you are reading this, you have probably already done so.)

You can subscribe to my occasional emailed newsletter on the right hand side, with your email, name, and Sign Up button.

The For Sale pages and Shopping Cart work in some browsers and not for others:  Safari and Google Chrome, yes; but not for Firefox.

If you are having trouble with the Shopping Cart, you can try using the Refresh Button (a semi-circle with an arrow on the end up in the navigation bar) or you can clear your cache, which in some browsers is called “Clear History”. I sound as if I know what I am talking about, but I am simply parroting what my Web Guru has told me. I also don’t know if any of this applies to non-Mac, to iPads or to smart phones.

Short of spending a zillion dollars, there isn’t a solution. Right now I don’t have a zillion dollars, and if I did, it would be spent on a trip to Ireland. (I really really like my ’96 Accord with 215,000 miles, but thank you for your concern about the best way for me to spend a zillion dollars, should it ever enter my life.)

Here is a pencil drawing of water to take the edge off of this boring post.

Heart of Agriculture

Posted by on Feb 14, 2017 in coloring book | No Comments

That is an apt title for today – a nod to both Valentine’s Day and the World Ag Expo’s opening day in the title of my latest coloring book.

This coloring book was published in partnership with the Tulare County Farm Bureau, a delightful group of people to work with (in spite of their rejection of pomegranates).

There is a tiny heart hidden in every picture, even this one:

This is my favorite:


And this might be the most fun to color:

The coloring book for grownups has 20 colorable pages and is $15 including sales tax. (If the Paypal button charges you tax, I will send you a refund.) If you prefer to pay with a check, I accept those in the mail to Cabinart, PO Box 311, Three Rivers, CA 93271. If you like to cheat a little, you might be able to print these pages from the blog, but I don’t know how and am not going to instruct you in this.

The For Sale pages work now, unless you are using Firefox for your browser. (I think that is the only one that doesn’t work with my site.) Here is a link to the Heart of Agriculture page. Tap or click here, depending on your device.


Little Victories

Posted by on Feb 13, 2017 in drawing, the business of art | No Comments

Life is hard, full of obstacles, difficulties, problems to solve, and hassles. But, sometimes there are victories along the way that lighten our loads and lift our spirits. Last week I experienced a few of those little victories in my business of art.

  1. The scanner now works with the new laptop!!
  2. The pencil drawing that was full of mistakes is now corrected because contrary to my memory, I did NOT use Fixatif on it!
  3. I finished 3 oil paintings!
  4. The latest coloring book arrived!

These all require exclamation points because I am exclaiming over the thrill of victory.

The mistakes were all little things, negligence and carelessness as a result of haste. My readers and students had fun figuring out what was wrong. I don’t dislike this picture any more.

Tomorrow I’ll show you the new coloring book, and the next day 3 new oil paintings. New? Finished since you last viewed them.

Repainting Mineral King and Prudence

Posted by on Feb 10, 2017 in Mineral King, Murals, Oil Paintings | 2 Comments

Happy Birthday, Gordon!!

The big Mineral King mural in Exeter has faded.

Yellow fades the quickest, so gray becomes purple, tan becomes gray which then fades to lavender, and green becomes blue.

The mural colors were like this when I finished it after 52 days of painting in 2009.

Now the colors look this way:

It is time to refresh the greens and grays, and when it stops raining, I will do that. The sky and the insets are fine, as are the farthest snow-covered peaks. (Maybe – ever heard of “purple mountain majesty”?)

Meanwhile, I am preparing to repaint Mineral King by painting Mineral King in oil. Painting a mural is very attention-getting, and the process will bring attention to Mineral King. It is prudent to have paintings ready for eager customers; if I had been born in the 1600s, perhaps my name would have been Prudence.

It was prudence that caused me to photograph these through the window rather than going into the painting workshop, which doubles as the Bengal-beast’s safe place. I didn’t want to awaken the sleeping Samson by going into his territory.

Trading Water for Walnuts

Posted by on Feb 9, 2017 in commissions, drawing, the business of art | No Comments

This week I’ve set aside my current obsession of drawing water and begun a commissioned piece of a walnut grove.

This has involved several sketches, beginning with the page of the walnut grove as it appears in the coloring book, Heart of Ag for the Tulare County Farm Bureau (NOW AVAILABLE – WILL POST TO FOR SALE PAGE WHEN IT IS REPAIRED!)

This was a starting place. More ideas were requested and delivered. This is part of the business of art, the sorting out of details for commissioned work.

The response was, “This looks like a generic walnut grove, not like ours.” Hmmm, is there anything unique about your walnut grove? A barn? A creek? A canal, a ditch, a view? 


I made a trip to the grove and found a teensy distinction between the customer’s grove and any other Joe Farmer’s grove. I can’t tell you what it is, because this is going to be a surprise for someone.

I can show you the beginning stages of the drawing.