Merchandise and Marketing Sense

Christmas is coming, and if I had any marketing sense, I would have been telling you about merchandise that is available all through the month.

I do have sense, and I sense that it would be irritating for me to keep pounding the sales drum. However, if you need a reminder or an easy idea for a gift, and I said nothing, I would have neglected my duty to serve you, my readers.

Choices and consequences. . . here we go. . .

  1. coloring books: there are 5 designs available. Heart of Agriculture, Heart of the Hills, Heart of the Parks and Heart of Exeter are $15; Heart of Mineral King is thinner so it is $12. They are available here: Coloring Books
  2. The Cabins of Wilsonia: the price has been reduced to $50. They are available here: The Cabins of Wilsonia
  3. 2018 calendar: all gone.
  4. pencil drawings: plenty of these available, both originals and reproductions too, some framed, some not. (Did you know I love to draw?) Pencil Drawings
  5. oil paintings: landscapes, still life, lots of sizes, 27 19 paintings available at last count (which could be fewer by the time you are reading this). Oil paintings
  6. notecards: lots of designs available (I still write by hand and use stamps and the U.S.Post Office – do you?) Notecards
  7. commissions: too late for this year, but there are always gift certificates. You may use the contact dealie or email me using cabinart at cabinart dot net (someone smart in computerizing told me to always write it that way in the blog. . . I just work here.)
  8. ornamentsthere is no page to sell these ornaments, but there is a story here. There are 2 that I painted like the one for the White House 10 years ago, as seen in the photo above (the center one is sold). The one on the far left is $150 (plus tax) SOLD, and the one on the right is $75 (plus tax).

P.S. If you live in the area, we can figure out a way to exchange currency for merchandise in person. If you don’t live in the area, I believe in using the U.S. Postal Service, accept checks in the mail, Paypal and can use Square.

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??

Testing a Coloring Book

Posted by on Apr 10, 2017 in coloring book, Publishing and Editing | 4 Comments

Designing coloring books involves drawing, my favorite thing. Coloring the pages is for other people to do.

But, I got curious. So, I gave it a try in the ag coloring book, Heart of Agriculture: Celebrating Tulare County Farm Bureau’s First 100 years.

This is as far as I got on the title page. I filled the letters in with blues, because there is very little blue in agriculture unless you drive a New Holland Tractor. (Cats are yellow, Massey-Ferguson are red, John Deere are green: I don’t know about Kubota or Mahindra or International Harvesters.) Couldn’t decide on the cow – dairy? beef? Reddish? Black Angus?

And this is the beginning of the citrus page, one of my favorite designs in the book. I don’t know why I started at the bottom of the page. Look – more blue! It makes the yellows and oranges look brighter.

This stuff is time-consuming. I think it is probably the most fun for people who don’t draw or paint (or knit). It would be a fun group activity – a bunch of friends sharing conversation, ideas and colored pencils or markers. A bowl of M&Ms would be appropriate too. . . dark chocolate, if I’m there.

You can get the Heart of Ag coloring book at the Three Rivers Mercantile, Rosemary & Thyme or the Mural Gallery in Exeter, or on my website here. And, of course, if you see me around somewhere, I almost always have some in the trunk of my car, along with many of the other books I’ve published. (coloring books and The Cabins of Wilsonia)

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.


Heart of Agriculture

Posted by on Jan 9, 2017 in coloring book | No Comments





Yes, there is a hidden heart in every picture, even this one. I did my best to not have to draw cotton, but the customers (plural – there was a committee) requested it in spite of my explaining that it would be boring to color. So, I drew cotton, lots and lots and even more!

The coloring books are not yet ordered, but when they are, I’ll add them to the website, under the For Sale, then Books, then Coloring Books. There will be 20 colorable pages, and the price will be $15.

Thank you, Tulare County Farm Bureau, for the opportunity to draw the agriculture of this place that feeds the world!!


New Coloring Book in Progress

Posted by on Nov 22, 2016 in coloring book, the business of art | No Comments

A few weeks back I told you that I am working on a new coloring book for grownups. (I use the childish sounding word “grownups” instead of “adult” because of the negative connotations on the internet with the “a” word. We wouldn’t want anyone to jump to conclusions about the appropriateness of my coloring books, would we?)

I am working with a committee on this project. If there are 5 people on a committee, there might be 6 opinions. Here are some coloring book pages that won’t be appearing in the new book.


Pomegranates are not a large crop of Tulare County.


There is a dairyman on the committee who will supply me with photos of his cows.


Someone on the committee said this looks like the midwest. I replied, “The photos came from Strathmore!” Still didn’t fly.


These tractors are too antique for the committee’s taste. That is why they are so cute.

This sort of thing is just part of the business of art. Every situation is a new set of challenges. Often I don’t anticipate things, such as my main contact getting overridden by a committee. Who knew to ask such a question? This project is so fun that I dove in fast, rather than thinking through of all the “what ifs”.

I ought to guess these things in advance and bid jobs higher in anticipation of such potholes or speed bumps or detours.

But I don’t consider these pages as a waste – I was practicing my ability to convert photos into coloring book designs, practicing my design abilities, and maybe someday I’ll find a way to turn these into a special coloring book.

Yes, I am stringing you along, not telling you what the project is or who it is for. You may be able to guess. . .

Speaking of Coloring Books

Posted by on Oct 26, 2016 in coloring book | No Comments

Who was speaking of coloring books?

I was. Yesterday. I said that I thought about skipping a calendar this year because I was so busy with coloring books.

I am at work on #5 now. I haven’t cleared it with the customer to reveal their identity (yikes, I just used a plural pronoun. . . never mind, this isn’t supposed to be about my editing skills).

However, I will show you the beginnings stages and one of the new drawings.



Doesn’t this look hard to color? It is supposed to be challenging – these coloring books are for grown-ups.

That’s a little weird. Real grownups need to wear magnifying glasses to see these sections!


Posted by on Sep 26, 2016 in coloring book | 2 Comments

Please excuse me for shouting, and for publishing an extra blog post off schedule.

The latest coloring book has arrived, and boy is it a good one, if I do say so myself.

I did say so myself.

This has Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park designs, including Mineral King (of course – did you expect any less?). There are a few repeats from previous coloring books – this means you’ve had practice.

Want one? They are on my website here and will be made available on Amazon when I am able to navigate all their hoops, tunnels, jumps and clicks.

1-c-seq-cover 23-s-lodgepole-bridge 35-kc-panoramic-point 13-s-parker-group

Gathering Visual Information

Visual information is necessary to an artist. In the olden days, artist did sketches. Cameras came along and made things easier. Digital cameras showed up, and now the visual information is quick, easy and abundant.

I am working on a coloring book for Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks, to be titled Heart of the Park. Those of us with ready access to these places call them “The Park”. It is 2 parks that overlap in several areas and are administered by the largest employer in Three Rivers. (That would be SEKI, AKA The Park, AKA National Park Service.)

My friend and I took a field trip so I could get the final photos needed. These were all in Kings Canyon, so we went through Sequoia to get there. I’ve spent quite a bit of time there, but most of it was in Wilsonia, working on The Cabins of Wilsonia. My photos were inadequate for the task at hand.


Version A of Panoramic Point?


Or Version B? (that is Hume Lake, not in the Park, but in the line of sight to the canyons and peaks beyond).


The Gamlin Cabin is behind the General Grant Tree.


I may have learned about these types of corners in one of Laura Ingalls Wilder’s books.


The view from the back wins because of the Giant Sequoia behind it (not the General) and because of the stone chimney.


I didn’t know there was a Big Stump Trail. It was recommended as a possible source of coloring book pictures.


The trail was fun for this group of visitors from France.


I need to see the stump without all the people, and since it is no longer wasting film to take many photos, I take as many as I want.24,000 may be a bit of a load on my laptop, but I keep reminding myself that I don’t download movies or games, so it will be fine.


This vertical version of the view would work in the coloring book, but I don’t like it. It could be a nice meadow with deer and wildflowers, but I don’t like it. It’s sort of like a graveyard, and I don’t like it.



Documentation of documentation. (Thanks, GEP!)

Heart of Exeter Coloring Book

Posted by on Aug 15, 2016 in coloring book | No Comments

Heart of Exeter, Coloring Book, is here, available through my website and at 3 stores in Exeter, California.

The cover of the next "Heart of" series of local coloring books for grown-ups.

The cover of the latest “Heart of” series of local coloring books for grown-ups.

Took some fiddling around, but I figured out how to put it and Trail of Promises on the website.

Go to the For Sale tab on the top menu; when you hover over it, it drops down into another menu. One of the choices there is “Books”. You can hover over Books, and see “Coloring Books”, and then under that, finally, thought it would never show up, is Heart of Exeter.

Maybe I should have People to do that computer stuff so I can just draw. Maybe those People would be the ones to deliver to stores, fill the online orders, package and run things to the Post Office, reorder supplies, pull weeds and vacuum the studio. Oh, and answer the phone and bring me lunch too. (Don’t forget to wash my brushes!!)

Yep. Just as likely a bluejay will drive a Prius.

Back to reality: here are a couple of the interior pages in the new coloring book.

14E Rocky Hill

4E antique

Heart of Exeter,  Coloring Book, $15, available here