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.

Sawtooth Peak Oil Painting Continued

Posted by on Sep 29, 2017 in General | 7 Comments

The layers continue to build on Sawtooth Peak, an oil painting.

As it was when you last saw it:

Another layer added to the sky:Another layer added to Sawtooth:

Another layer added to the lower ridges:

And more added to the lower ridges:Yo, Professor Layer, may I be finished with the sky and the peak and the lower ridges now? (Can you see Trail Guy’s visor in the background as he adds grommets to the Kaweah Artisans banner?)

When this dries, I’ll put in branches at the bottom edges. I think this wants greenery, or maybe it is fine as it is. . .

What do you think??


You Know You are Middle-aged When. . .

Posted by on Sep 27, 2017 in General, Personal | No Comments

Rapid Change*, pencil drawing, title indicative of life as a middle-aged being

An older and wiser friend reminds me from time to time that life is like a roll of toilet paper–the closer to the end, the faster it goes.

I’ve been thinking lately that you know you are middle-aged when. . .

. . . you prefer hiking uphill to downhill because your knees kill you going downhill.

. . . you choose not to watch a movie because you don’t want to shuffle 3 remote controls and don’t understand why it is even necessary.

. . . your pastor, doctor and the president are all younger than you. (Not so with the current president, in case you were wondering.)

. . . you go to your class reunion and can’t find your friends among all the old people.

. . . you know the words to the orchestrated songs in the grocery store.

. . . you notice young people driving too fast instead of old people driving too slow.

. . . you recognize the word “update” as a euphemism for “complications and trouble ahead”.

Do you have anything to add to this list?

*Rapid Change is available for sale here.


Drawing Mineral King

It is Friday, and the only new thing I have to show you of Mineral King is a drawing. My weekends have been taken with memorial services (one last Saturday and another one tomorrow), drawing workshops, art receptions, business presentations. 

I’m not complaining, just ‘splaining.

The drawing is new. The scene is old, or perhaps “classic” is the right word.

Pencil drawing, “Mineral King From The Bridge”, 9×12″, unframed, unpriced, uncertain.

It has been awhile since I drew anything of Mineral King (except for water). Maybe a series of pencil drawings of Mineral King would sell as reproduction prints. Cards? Too much money to print, too little profit. But I’ll give that some thought too.

Want a laugh? Look at how I drew this scene in 1987.

Growth is good, unless you are a cancer cell. 


How to Get My Blog

Posted by on Jun 22, 2017 in General | 2 Comments

Sometimes when I tell a friend that he can see something on my blog, I hear one of the following replies:

  1. I don’t get your blog.
  2. I’m not on Facebook.
  3. What’s a blog?
  4. I don’t do blogs.

Here are my answers to those replies:

  1. Nothing to “get” – you can visit The Google* and type in and it will take you to my website. Then click or tap the word “Blog” on the menu and it will take you there OR YOU CAN SUBSCRIBE.
  2. See the word “Blog”? I put a red oval around it so you can find it easier in this picture example.
  3. I’m not on Facebook either. My blog is on my website, not on Facebook.
  4. “Blog” is a shortened term from “web log”. It is a journal or log (but not a diary – there are no secrets on the World Wide Web!) that is kept on a website.
  5. Nothing to do on a blog except read and enjoy; commenting is optional.

Look at this picture of my blog page. I’ve circled the part where you can subscribe. If you do so, you will get an email confirmation. You have to follow the link in the email in order to begin getting my blog.

You, yes, little ole you, can join the tens of readers who subscribe to my blog. Then you too will finally get my blog!

Thank you for reading to the bottom. You deserve a gold star. Too bad I only know how to make red stars. Let’s call it a proverbial gold star. 

Sorry. I must be overheated.

*The Google – Sometimes I say “Mr. Google” and a friend says “Uncle Google”. 

The Rest of the Stories

Posted by on May 30, 2017 in commissions, General, Oil Paintings | 2 Comments

Remember Paul Harvey? We had to be quiet during lunch so my parents could listen to him every day at noon when we were home from school. He would tell a story sometimes with a surprise ending, and then he would say, “And now you know. . . (long, very long, very very long extended pause). . . the REST of the story.”

Remember the pencil drawing of the walnut grove? The recipient loved it. 

Remember the very difficult and (for me) very large painting of the Oak Grove bridge?

It is finished. It now hangs in my dining room, because I am really happy with it. If you want to buy it, it can hang in your dining room.

Oak Grove Bridge IXX, 24×30″, oil on wrapped canvas, $1500 (plus tax)

Remember a painting I did of a trail in Mineral King? I improved on it a bit. Without showing you the old version, you might not recognize the improvements. 


Mineral King Trail, 11×14″, oil on canvas, $275

Remember the habañeros? The commissioned oil painting is finished. I still don’t know how to dispose of the peppers themselves. If I bury them in the garden, they might grow new ones. . . can’t be growing toxic waste in my yard that way. . . put them in the green waste bin? But they are red!

Finally, remember the “easy” painting of the bridge? 

Oak Grove Bridge XXII, 11×14″, oil on wrapped canvas, $275 plus tax

And now you know. . . .

(very long pause)


the REST of my stories.


Posted by on May 29, 2017 in General | 4 Comments

After Hours

Posted by on Apr 7, 2017 in General, Personal, Sources of inspiration | 4 Comments

On breaks from the studio, during my “commute” to the studio, after hours, and on weekends, this is a glimpse into what inspires me, fills my time, keeps me interested in marching on.

Ethan, a boy from Three Rivers, sells beautiful eggs, and there may be some paintings soon.

This type of iris is my favorite. The colors are never quite as good in the photos as real life, but sometimes I have done okay with oil paint in capturing these. (It’s been a few years since I painted any.) See that shadow through the lace? That is a Peeping Sam(son). Making mosaic items –stepping stones, a few table-tops, a bowling ball, drinking fountain and light pole – is a striking change from drawing in pencil. These were done with tiles I found at garage sales and a few left-over pieces from when I was slamming these out by the dozens. The big box stores don’t carry bright colors or pretty designs any more, so I think the era of easy tile buying has ended. We planted tomatoes and stepping stones. Trail Guy built this fortress against deer, gophers and birds. Guess we’ll still have to deal with the bugs. The herb garden is my place of refuge. The various fence pieces are all salvaged. It won’t keep out the deer, but it will slow them down a bit. It looks a little hokey but I get satisfaction from using what we have available (or “upcycling” in the current vernacular). And sometimes I just sit, read, knit, pick the catkins out of my hair from the mulberry branches overhead, and smell the lilacs.

End of the Year Thoughts

Posted by on Dec 30, 2016 in General, Personal, Thoughts | 2 Comments

 Those year end newsletters are good for updates, and they make everyone else’s life seem so sparkly, happy and fun, just like Facebook (Nope, not on, and not going to join). Life is a balance of both good and bad things, but who wants to put the sad, bad and hard stuff in a newsletter?

Here is some of what I remember about 2016, but not all of it. I want my life to look sparkly, happy and fun too, but realistic. The list could be longer, but I want you to stay for the photos at the end.


  1. Lost neighbors on three sides, all for different reasons (We aren’t lawn-parkers, don’t have barking dogs, don’t have loud parties or lights that stay on all night – what’s the deal??)
  2. Lost Perkins, the kindest-hearted cat of 17 years, and gained Samson, the fiercest little feline I’ve ever met
  3. Visited Israel (still in shock – did this really happen??)
  4. Took very long road trip – Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Nevada
  5. Hit 30 years in the marriage department
  6. Walked the Lake Tahoe Marathon


  1. Edited a novel
  2. Edited, designed and published Trail of Promises
  3. Painted 5 murals (2 in someone’s Events Room and 3 in the Three Rivers Museum)
  4. Designed and published 4.9 coloring books (#5 is completed but not printed yet, waiting customer approval)
  5. Did all the other normal work stuff – lessons, oil painting workshops, speaking to groups, oil painting, pencil drawing, blogging, bazaars/festivals/boutiques/shows
  6. Received an award, Women in the Arts, from the DAR (Not sure why, but appreciative all the same!)


Sweet Perkins

strawberry IMG_1733

Trail of Promises


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


Somewhere in Idaho


T and I were cold, excited and ready!

T and I were cold, excited and ready for our 1/2 marathon in Lake Tahoe


A long bridge into Sandpont, Idaho


Bridges, always bridges. . . what is it with the Central California artist and bridges? The answer is that a bridge picture is the perfect combination of scenery and architecture. This one is in Oregon, not in Central California. I don’t know if California has any covered bridges except for one in Wawona near Yosemite.

mineral king coloring book Heart of the Hills

DAR award

IMG_2362 IMG_2484




Mineral King mural in Three Rivers Museum of Empire Mt. mining area.

Mineral King mural in Three Rivers Museum of Empire Mt. mining area.

2 more murals in the Mineral King Room of the Three Rivers Museum

2 more murals in the Mineral King Room of the Three Rivers Museum


Take that, 2016!

Thank you, dear blog readers, for sticking with me through 2016.

Happy New Year!

P.S. Am I always standing by people I love with my arm thrown over their shoulders?? Nope. Couldn’t stand to be touched in Israel because it was always too hot.


Christmas in Visalia

Posted by on Dec 8, 2016 in drawing, General, the business of art | 2 Comments

Holidays, Christmas in particular, are a season for selling. This means it is a season of buying.

I do not want to be commercial, but what if people want my merchandise and can’t figure out how to find it?

Selling is serving. (I heard this somewhere recently.) I live to serve. 

Would you like some Christmas cards? Holiday cards? Whatever sort of greeting cards? 

Christmas in Visalia greeting card

Christmas in Visalia

This is Christmas in *Visalia, a scene made up of real elements, a pencil drawing interpretation by me of Candy Cane Lane in 1994.

Quantities are very limited. . . only 7 packages remain. Each package is 8 cards and envelopes, $15. Price includes tax. Cards are blank inside, size 4-1/2 x 6-1/4″. If you need me to mail them, toss in another $2.00.

First come, first served. Use the contact button above (under About The Artist) to let me know if you’d like them. Or, email me – cabinart at cabinart dot net (written that way so the spambots won’t bother me). Or call me – 559-561-7606.

*Visalia is the county seat of Tulare County. Tulare is not the county seat. These weird names are pronounced “Vy – SAL- ya” and “Too-LAIR-ee”. I am not making this up. I live here, and this is how we say things. However, there are many people around here who think the town “Orosi” is pronounced “Oros-uh”. They are also the ones who say “Missour – uh”. We like those folks, but are quite curious about their pronunciation habits.