More Sawtooth Paintings Completed

Posted by on Nov 17, 2017 in Mineral King, Oil Paintings | 2 Comments

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.)

This is a 6×6″ painting, donated to Exeter’s Courthouse Gallery for their annual fund raiser art auction.

This is a wedding gift, a 10×10″ oil painting for a former drawing student who shall remain nameless until after the wedding, although I may choose to protect the identity afterward too. It is good to be careful on the World Wide Web.

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 Final Visit to Mineral King

Posted by on Nov 10, 2017 in Mineral King, Photography | 6 Comments

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 Down, Three to Go

Posted by on Nov 7, 2017 in Mineral King, Murals | No Comments

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.

This is very faded.

Green is restored to the 2 main trees and several others, plus a few willows. One tree is wonky looking, perhaps listing a bit to port.

Alrighty, then! I didn’t do a thing to the 2 peaks or distant forests, although their blue might be a bit shocking. I also ignored the buildings, rocks and water. However, I did paint out the bird calling cards in the sky.

Next, the sequoia mural. Maybe.

See the Botmobile? Samson now likes to sleep on the shelf behind the passenger seat. Perhaps he thinks he might get to be a stowaway to Mineral King with us.

Mineral King Paintings Sold

Posted by on Oct 27, 2017 in Mineral King, Oil Paintings | 5 Comments

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

Why 2017 Was Different in Mineral King

Posted by on Oct 20, 2017 in Mineral King | 2 Comments
  1. Lots of water, lots and lots and even more.
  2. Lots of wildflowers – taller, wider variety, new flowers, abundance.

    Wild Blue Flax

    Shooting Star – often more purplish than pinkish, sometimes named “Jeffrey”

    Crimson Columbine

    Sky Pilot

  3. No bear sightings. None.

    See? No bears.

  4. Favorite neighbors The Sawtooth Six did not come as a group. Weird. (Don’t make this a regular practice, you Six!)

    Sawtooth Six and Trail Guy, 2008

  5. I was there for most of July; no workshops, no lessons, no commissions, no shows, no books, no trips, no one dying in my family, no projects. Nice.

    Surround Sound in water!

    Have I ever seen this before? It seems to be everywhere this year. I think it will turn into a berry.

    Samson didn’t think it was such a great summer. Don’t worry, Little Buddy. We’re home now for a long long time.

Oil Painting Accountability

Posted by on Oct 16, 2017 in Mineral King, Oil Paintings | 4 Comments

Oil painting isn’t my favorite thing; pencil drawing architectural subjects is my favorite thing. Given the choice between oil painting and waiting tables or cleaning motel rooms, OF COURSE I’d choose oil painting. However, some days it helps to have a bit of accountability to do the thing that isn’t my favorite.

My nephew didn’t want to go to class (he is in college) and I didn’t want to paint. So I said I would if he would. We both did. Yea, Nephew! Yea, me!

Here are the results of that accountability.This:Became this:And now looks like this:

All that remains is to let it dry so I can flip it onto its top to paint the bottom edge and then sign it!

And another Mineral King Sawtooth oil painting will be finished.

Final Mineral King Weekend

Posted by on Oct 13, 2017 in Mineral King, Personal, Photography | 7 Comments

This will be a long post with lots of photos, and then I might run out of things to post about Mineral King for awhile.It didn’t have to be the final Mineral King weekend, because the Park gates stay unlocked until October 25. But, life down the hill beckons, fall is very full of events for us, and we need to close things up when the weather is still good during a season of unpredictable weather.

We have taken on the responsibility of closing the Honeymoon Cabin for the past several years. This is a little cabin left after Disney destroyed the resort in advance of building their ski resort, which never happened. The cabin is now a mini museum of Mineral King history, open all summer to anyone who wanders in. It is at the beginning of the Eagle/Mosquito/White Chief trail.

This is the interior. It is about 10×10′.

After our chores, we had time for a final walk.

Sorry to disappoint you, but this is a juniper tree, not a redwood. Mineral King is too high for redwoods.

The yellow tunnel isn’t very bright this fall.

This deer reminds me of Samson

Cowboy Bert listens to an animated Trail Guy explain something important.

It was a smoky smoky smoky day. There was a wildfire south of us.

My favorite ranger of all time!

These are cottonwoods.

These are juniper berries

And then we made time for one final pass down the Nature Trail. It goes through so many changes in such a short season. . . in July it was packed with all variety of wildflowers. Now, just look at this:


The Captain

Three weeks ago these were goldenrods.

This was an unusual summer in Mineral King for several reasons. Perhaps I’ll make a list for you next Friday.

Fall in Mineral King

Posted by on Oct 6, 2017 in Mineral King, Personal | 5 Comments

Warm sunny fall days in Mineral King . . . a transitional time, torn between 2 places. I could be gardening at home, but I can still be hiking in Mineral King. I’ve been gone much of the summer, I miss home, but the cabin is still open and it is nice up there. 

Choices and consequences, decisions, saying yes to one thing means saying no to a whole bunch of others.

We were up the hill last weekend and these are some fall sights.

Lots of wood, but not enough is split. We have more fires in the stove in the fall and sugar pine burns up quickly.Fortunately, it splits easily.Alrighty, then, let’s go for a walk. (Not a hike – used too much energy swinging an ax? Nah, just lazy.)

I helped Trail Guy close up a neighbor’s cabin – such solid shutters.

The water in the east fork of the Kaweah seems just as low as it did in the falls of drought years.

Very heavy currant crop this year

A neighboring cabin isn’t quite closed for the season, but has that “almost over” look.

Tall grasses and a more yellowish coloring on things say “Fall”.

The cottonwoods are turning.

I love this tunnel of yellow.

Very low flow of water at Soda Springs, tall grasses, that golden look over all. . .

Pink?? What is this? Dried out something-or-others. Definitely not golden.

Just three months ago it was too scary to cross this stream (Crystal Creek).

A stock party lost a bag of grain along the trail.

A hiker lost his group, and Sierra the Trailhead Ranger is on her way to escort him back while Trail Guy demonstrates the path that we saw the search helicopter take. You can tell it is fall because he is wearing long sleeves.

Cabin Drawing Flag Adjustment

Posted by on Sep 12, 2017 in commissions, drawing, Mineral King | No Comments

A flag seems like an appropriate topic for today.

The customers were sort of happy with their Mineral King cabin drawing, but not overjoyed. “Sort of happy” is not good enough. After a bit of conversation, they said the flag was too bright and drew too much attention.

My dad liked to quote a Latin phrase De gustibus non est disbutandem, which translates “it is useless to argue over matters of taste”.

I completely understand. A drawing is never finished until the customer is completely happy. While they were present in the studio, I redid the flag. Now they are happy!



Because I did the flag in bright colored pencils before discussing it with them, I used Faber Castell’s Polychromos, an oil-based colored pencil that erases. Although I am very comfortable with the colors of Prismacolor and they are sitting very conveniently on my drawing table, they are wax-based colored pencils that don’t erase, so I resisted the urge to use them.



Hiking Mineral King – Empire Again

Posted by on Sep 8, 2017 in Mineral King, Sources of inspiration | 4 Comments

Some friends were visiting and had never been to Empire. We planned to go, woke up to horrible smoky conditions, waffled a bit, and then went anyway.

Smoke from the Pier fire (near Camp Nelson) blew over Farewell Gap during the night.

Even more smoke visible down canyon toward Three Rivers. Are we supposed to be breathing this stuff??

Trail Guy is quite happy that there is still flowing water, even in early September. That green makes me happy.

Like father, like daughter. A pleasure to hike with these 2 friends!

This is semi-sorta the view in the mural I painted for the Mineral King Room of the Three Rivers History museum. It’s also an excuse to show more of the green.

That isn’t Sawtooth – I don’t know its real name but it is often referred to as “Sawtooth’s Shadow”. Mostly I was pleased to see some blue sky.

It was a little hard to tell if we were seeing smoke or a coming storm, but the thunder told us the truth.

Trail Guy to Techie Friend – “Wow, that’s cool.” Techie Friend to Trail Guy – “Does your Jitterbug take photos?”

This old wagon road up on the side of Empire never fails to amaze me. Those old miner guys worked so hard and found no gold.

Father-daughter hiking team

The others headed over to inspect some old mining debris; I headed toward the trees because the rain was coming and I wanted a head start.

City Girl was THRILLED by the rain and hail!

Trail Guy prefers a garbage bag to the heavier alternative of a poncho.

Is that Gandolph down in the bunkhouse ruins??

Rain stopped, so we followed the tram line back down to the trail, past the ruins of an old ore bucket.

The rain cleared up the air, somewhat.