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.
So, which task is harder: hiking to White Chief, or painting it?
Painting it, for sure!!
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.
This is the classic Mineral King view of Farewell Gap with the Crowley cabin, step by step. The bottom photo isn’t finished yet. What remains are the exacting details, the part that I enjoy the most about oil painting. I am drawing with my brush at that stage, and you may remember that I love to draw.
I don’t know how many hours. It would probably sicken me and horrify you. . . either you’d think, “Poor Schlub hardly earns anything for these paintings”, or you might think, “Dang! Easy money!”
Ignorance is bliss.
Having “successfully” begun a second largish painting, I grabbed another largish canvas (18×24″) to begin a third. This is also a Mineral King scene. Mineral King is what people expect from me.
I drew it on, stepped back, and said, “Nope. Too much sky”.With another color, I drew it again, stepped back, and said, “Yeppers, get the first layer on.” I did not actually vocalize these words, but the attitude was “HUBBA HUBBA! CHOP CHOP!! ANDALE ANDALE!!”My plan is to use the colors and light and water from the photo on the right but the trees from the photo on the left. This plan isn’t evident just yet, particularly in light of the fact that those photos are too reflective for you to see.
So, I threw down my brushes and went outside for a cigarette.
JUST KIDDING!! I’ve never smoked anything in my entire 58 years.
I actually went back to the White Chief painting. Don’t want to get fired and have to go job hunting. . .!
Last Friday, Trail Guy and I went to Mineral King.
Our first idea was to take the trail down to the river behind Lookout Point. It was steep steep steep and slippery too, and then it was completely unmaintained. We spent 30 minutes on it total – 19 down and 11 back up. Nice view from Lookout, the first glimpse of Sawtooth. Mostly we were thrilled by clear air!
The next stop was Trauger’s, a water trough along the road, decorated by sweet peas in early summer. They were planted by Mary Trauger, “the angel of Mineral King” who homesteaded up above the road with her husband Harry during the mining era. The site is up in the cedar trees above the road (not the trees at the top of the ridge).
We have to go up this?? We decided it would be prudent to come back down another way.The home site was farther than we expected along a sort of road that was very overgrown. There wasn’t much to photograph except the cedar trees and the fireplace. Isn’t it weird how that photo looks black and white, or maybe sepia toned?? We toodled on up to Redwood Creek (the 2 redwoods sometimes known as “Aunt Tillie and Uncle Pete”) for a quick lunch; the face flies were annoying because it was in the high 60s and low 70s out. Weird on December 28.Trail Guy suggested that we go on up the hill to the Mineral King where there are no face flies. There is also no snow.
Crystal Creek has ice but is still flowing.Sawtooth looked nice on the way back down the hill. It isn’t that nice – it simply appears to be nice. Wait, I mean it has a nice appearance. (I have a not-nice history with that peak. . . )The upper half of the Mineral King road has potholes. The lower part has potholes, more potholes, crumbling edges and overgrown borders. The public’s frustration is expressed on the sign – look closely, and you will see so much frustration that the writer used a double negative, which contradicts his intent.
Trail Guy has made 2 more trips to Mineral King, AFTER I posted “Final Mineral King”. Before there is snow, when the weather is balmy and the air is clear up the hill, it is possible to still enjoy Mineral King (if one is retired).
On the first visit, he found penstemon in bloom!
He went again on the Saturday of Thanksgiving weekend, when I was at the Arts Center having a boutique. (It’s okay – I love what I do; no need to express any sympathy here.)
Being Trail Guy, he headed up the Timber Gap trail (that’s the same one that takes you to Sawtooth, should you be so inclined.)
He didn’t go the whole distance; the days are short, and he is very faithful to help me break down, load and haul my stuff back home after my shows, so he was back in Three Rivers by 4 p.m.
This may be the second most photographed cabin; it is near Cold Springs campground and gets great sun in the fall and winter. (Probably in the summer too, but we are further up the road, taking pictures of the first most photographed cabin instead.)
These two were below Redwood Creek, above Slapjack. First sighting of the year in late November!
Sawtooth Peak is the third most popular Mineral King subject that I oil paint. (First is the classic view of Farewell Gap with the Crowley cabin and second is the Honeymoon Cabin.)
And remember the previous two Sawtooth paintings? This place is just filthy with Sawtooth; no wonder I go a little rogue from time to time and paint chickens.
One last visit was made by Trail Guy; I was in Visalia at a backyard boutique. He had some final things to finalize, finally.
Here are his best photos from a very clear and sunny morning.
One what? Three what?
Murals at my home, two of which are Mineral King murals. There are actually 6 murals, but two are indoors more than outdoors so they don’t get the sun’s abuse.
I finished the wildflower mural.
It has a ton of wildflowers in a not terribly natural looking manner, but good enough to identify.
It didn’t take very long to finish and the day was too nice to spend indoors, so I tackled the Farewell Gap mural next.
Next, the sequoia mural. Maybe.
These paintings sold through the Silver City Store* over the summer. Most were 6×6″; a few were 8×8″, 8×10″, and 10×10″. (It is probable that I was slightly careless in my record keeping, because all of these are square – where is that 8×10″??)
It is possible I could have sold more, if I had stayed home and painted instead of being out on the trails, chasing down wildflower names.
Choices and consequences.
*4 miles below the Mineral King valley