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.

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).


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.



Posted by on Nov 15, 2017 in drawing | 2 Comments

There is a colored pencil drawing I have liked well enough to put in my kitchen instead of taking to shows or making any efforts to sell.

Last week I looked at it carefully and realized it was time to fix it up a bit.

First, it wasn’t scanned well. Second, the paper on the back of the frame was torn. Third, there was a goober on the frame from an old price sticker. Fourth, it was in the kitchen, so it had some splatters on the glass.

When I took the torn paper off the back, I decided it might be smart to rescan it. Then I looked very carefully and was just thrilled to realize that I still like it; there was nothing to do over! It only needed a simple rehab of the frame.

Here is the previous scan (probably not even a scan but a photo, taken trying to hold the camera straight and still):

Here is the new scan: the actual color might be somewhere between the two versions, with the white mug brighter like the old scan but the background more accurate in the new scan.

And, now it hangs in my studio. This is how it is framed:

Perhaps I will put it back in the kitchen. Unless, of course, you want to buy it. Mug Shot It is $150, which doesn’t include tax, but the website doesn’t know how to include tax or shipping, so it will be a bargain if you order it from the website, and it will leave a gap on my studio wall but then it will make you happy.

What is she talking about??

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??

Six Things I Learned in October

Posted by on Nov 1, 2017 in drawing, General, Personal | One Comment

And a few of these things may be hold-overs from September or perhaps even August (slow learner?)

  1. Propane: a. If a tank is full when it is hot out, the propane expands and blows off the pressure relief valve; b. Propane’s bad smell attracts flies
  2. The sharper your knife, the less you cry (when slicing onions). This is the title of a book (minus the part about onions) that I read, a memoir by Kathleen Flinn, about her time a Le Cordon Bleu cooking school in Paris. I don’t cook much, don’t like onions and don’t use them very often, but I will be sure to sharpen my knife next time.
  3. The Pencil Lady was interviewed on my favorite podcast What Should I Read Next. She runs a store in New York City that sells everything pencil related. WOW! It is called CW Pencil Enterprise.
  4. When defrosting the frig at the cabin, it goes fast if I put a warm burner plate off the woodstove inside the freezer (on a piece of foil). Amazing idea – why did it take 31 years to figure this out??
  5. VRBO (Vacation Rental By Owner) charges a whole mess of fees; the next time I rent a place to stay, I will skip this giant greedy conglomerate and find a local rental agency. Ha ha to VRBO.
  6. Drawing lesson for me: drawing a portrait of someone I can’t see and don’t know is just as difficult as drawing a portrait of someone I don’t know from a photo that is blurry. The difference is that when the unknown subject looks similar enough, I get to quit messing with it.

Pencil Drawing Finished?

Posted by on Oct 19, 2017 in commissions, drawing | No Comments

The pencil drawing commission might be finished. I often run things by my drawing students, telling them to be as “mean” to me as I am to them. It gives them an opportunity to practice the skills of looking very critically, and articulating clearly if they see any weak areas of a drawing.

Here it is the first time. It was originally drawn to be printed in The Cabins of Wilsonia.

And here it is in its second iteration:I am more confident that the roof angles are closer to reality this time, and I think it has tighter detail. I’m guessing that the shocking difference in darkness is due to the computer preparations required for printing in the book. It wasn’t that dark in person because my pencils aren’t that dark. It almost looks like ink to me! (Nope, not participating in Inktober.)

Drawing Architecture in Pencil

Posted by on Oct 18, 2017 in commissions, drawing, Wilsonia | 2 Comments

Drawing architecture in pencil is my favorite thing. Since this drawing is gone, I get to redraw it. Second chances, opportunities to improve, do-overs–all good things.

This is how it looks after about three short sessions with my pencils. Cabin closing, oil painting, teaching drawing lessons, taking inventory and planning for shows, editing, book design, blogging, these things all cut into time to do my favorite thing. But, pencil drawings don’t take up a lot of room, there is no palette to secure or brushes to clean. (More reasons why pencil drawing is my favorite thing.)

Would you believe these roofs all belong to the same structure? This cabin in Wilsonia contains some of the most interesting architectural oddities and details of any of the cabins. I hope to see it up close and personal next summer!


Posted by on Oct 11, 2017 in commissions, drawing, Wilsonia | No Comments

I get another chance at a do-over!

A customer asked to buy three of the original pencil drawings from The Cabins of Wilsonia. One of them is gone, so I offered to redraw it for him. He agreed.

The one he wants redrawn isn’t one I felt very proud of. Maybe I got sloppy in the midst of 272 drawings (can’t remember the actual number). Maybe I draw better now. Maybe it didn’t reproduce as well as I had hoped. Maybe I did a poor job prepping it for printing. Maybe my standards have been raised or tastes have changed.

Maybe it is all in my head. 

Here it is:

I can’t wait to redo this! (Have I told you how much I love to draw, especially architectural scenes?)