Beach Business Trip

Posted by on Jul 6, 2017 in Oil Paintings | One Comment

If I go to the beach and take photos from which to paint, that makes it a business trip. 

I have a friend with a nice gift shop in a beach town; she took several of these paintings on consignment. The only one that sold was to someone from Three Rivers who saw it and got all excited because she knew me.

That didn’t disqualify me from having business trips to the beach.

All of these were painted on 6×6″ canvases; all are now gone. (I didn’t have to go to the beach to sell them.)

Oh Say. . .

Posted by on Jul 4, 2017 in Oil Paintings, Personal | 8 Comments

. . .Can you see that we live in a fabulous country?

Oh Say, oil painting on canvas, 6×6″, sold

Mineral King Trail Art

Posted by on Jun 28, 2017 in drawing, Mineral King, Oil Paintings | 2 Comments

Being on a roll with pencil drawings of Mineral King makes me think very carefully about what I should draw next. 

This is a view I recently painted, and it sold right away. 

Allllrighty, then. Looks and sounds like a logical next pencil drawing. However, all the other drawings are vertical, so this scene will need some cropping, stretching and improvising, all while maintaining its believability.

How’s this? Is it believable?

To contribute to the authenticity, I’ve included the trail sign. In real life, the thing is about 1-1/2 feet off the ground. Weird. Can you spot its goofy little self in this drawing?

Here it is in all its midgetry. (My blog, my word. . . any questions?)

Sawtooth Oil Paintings

Posted by on Jun 13, 2017 in Mineral King, Oil Paintings | No Comments

This is the status on the most recent Sawtooth oil paintings.



Unfinished and unsold. On the left, 8×8″, will be $100. On the right, 6×6″ will be $60. (tax not included, but I will pay the postage.)

Sawtooth is a peak visible from Visalia, the county seat of Tulare County, and it is about 7 miles by foot out of Mineral King. When I was 16, I fell down the thing while climbing it with a group from church camp; we were stupid. (And there are better ways to get helicopter rides.) I went back in my early 20s and hated it. Now I am 57 and I don’t have to climb it if I don’t want to. Instead, I’ll “exploit” it by painting and selling it. (take advantage of it, but not unethically)

Mineral King Oil Paintings, Finished and Drying

Posted by on Jun 5, 2017 in Mineral King, Oil Paintings | One Comment

These photos of six little Mineral King paintings represent a day with 3-4 tiny paintbrushes in motion. 6×6″ paintings are canvases that easily fall off the easel, so I hold them in my hand while painting. The detail is as accurate as I am able to achieve without running each painting into an irretrievable number of hours.

Let’s review.

Top photo, left to right: White Chief; Aspens along the Nature Trail

Trail through Atwell Mill Campground, lower end of the campground

Trail leaving Monarch Lake

Sawtooth as seen from the Nature Trail; Sawtooth as seen from the Nature Trail

Each of these paintings will look better when dry and scanned, and even better in person. Each painting is $60 (plus tax if you live in California. I round the number to $65 because simpler is better.)

One of the Sawtooth from the Nature Trail paintings is spoken for. (SD, which one do you prefer??)

The rest will be sold through the Silver City Store, unless you contact me before I take them up the hill.

Little Mineral King Oil Paintings

Posted by on Jun 1, 2017 in Mineral King, Oil Paintings | 2 Comments

A week or so ago, I showed you the very rough beginnings of 5 new Mineral King oil paintings. In spite of the scribbly appearance, a faithful blog reader claimed one of them. She knows I can paint, although at this stage there isn’t much visual evidence to back up her confidence in my abilities.

This necessitated a new painting. It is a weird mini factory assembly line situation to paint 2 of the same scene at the same time. Efficient, but like deja vu all over again.

Sawtooth is a popular subject in the Silver City Store (4 miles below Mineral King). It is visible from the seat of Tulare County, Visalia, on the days when we aren’t qualifying for the worst air in the nation. The smog funnels through the Altamont Pass and into the Central Valley, a fluke of geography. Sigh.

But I digress. Here are the other little Mineral King paintings in progress. The first one is aspen trees along the Nature Trail, the lower end of the same trail with the view of Sawtooth.

The one on the upper left is the Monarch/Sawtooth trail, heading back down to Mineral King. Upper right is White Chief (the greenish color in the sky is the result of dropping my palette on it, and it will be repaired in the next layer of paint); bottom painting is the trail leading out of Atwell Mill through the redwood trees.

Atwell Mill is the campground below Silver City in a mostly logged grove of sequoia (AKA redwood) trees. The trail below leads to the East Fork of the Kaweah, one of the best trails in the Mineral King area. 

P.S. In case you think these paintings look as if I can’t paint, please be reassured that each one needs at least one more layer. That layering method is called “glazing” in Artspeak. It is what allows this pencil artist to paint without coming unglued at the inability to erase.

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 habaƱeros? 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.

Easy Bridge?

Posted by on May 25, 2017 in Oil Paintings | 2 Comments

I thought this view of the Oak Grove bridge would be easy.

Fall down laughing. . .

I am enjoying the very tight detail, working from a greatly enlarged photo on my laptop screen. I am “drawing with my paintbrush”, a big no-no in the Art World. Ask me if I care. . .

I am looking for a certain result, and this is the only method I know to achieve it. Layer after layer, brushes getting smaller and smaller. I wonder if I will ever even want to try that thick all-in-one (alla prima) palette knife painting. 

Prolly not.

The bridge itself looks empty, missing posts and rails. Some of the arches are a little catty-wompus. Just a little. . . but enough to cause me to take note and find a smaller brush. Here I have added more details, like the oak tree on the left which covers that side of the railing a little. (If something doesn’t show well enough to paint, just plant a tree.) Also worked on the stuff above the three arches on the left.  Is there any difference here? Hope so. These photos were taken about an hour apart, so there’d better be improvements! If not, I might have to fire myself.

The next time I show you this, it will be completed and scanned.



Mineral King Trail Paintings

Posted by on May 24, 2017 in Mineral King, Oil Paintings | 3 Comments

Does “Mineral King Trail Paintings” sound as if I am painting along the trail?

Sorry to disappoint – there is too much snow to be hiking there now. Instead, I am oil painting in the studio, working from photos taken while hiking in the past. Or just walking. . . remember, it is a hike if you carry lunch and/or water; if you go without provisions, it is simply a walk.

Have a look at these beginning messes oil paintings. Sometimes it is easier to get a thin first layer down and then move on to the next painting. Other times it seems to work better to get it done in just one thick pass over the canvas. I don’t know why my working styles vary – subject matter? colors? temperature in the studio? Amount of sleep I did or didn’t get? Other pressing business? Mosquitoes?

Top to bottom, left to right:

  1. Mineral King Aspens – these are along the Nature Trail that connects Cold Springs Campground to the Mineral King Valley.
  2. The Nature Trail with Sawtooth in the background. I’ll add wildflowers (and a lot more detail and paint – fear not.)
  3. Atwell Mill – this is a campground below Mineral King and Silver City in a grove of Sequoia trees. It has a great trail that leads through the big trees down to the East Fork of the Kaweah (and on to Hockett Meadow if you are so inclined.)
  4. Monarch Trail – this is heading back down the hill from the lake. Makes my feet hurt to think about it.
  5. White Chief – short and steep, makes my heart sing and my lungs beg for mercy.

When finished, these paintings will be for sale at the Silver City Store. They are each 6×6″ and will be $65, including tax.

Or, you can email me and request one before I cart it up the hill.

Alternatively, you can ask for it after it is there, I can fetch it when I head up IF it is still available, or I can paint you a new one.

So many choices.

Red Hot Chile Peppers

Posted by on May 23, 2017 in commissions, Oil Paintings | No Comments

These habaƱero red hot chile peppers are fun to paint. Check out the progress.

I chose this view because, without slipping into boring Artspeak, it fills the space well, and I like it.

The first pass provides an underpainting and also gives me a chance to decide if the arrangement is pleasing.

Instead of printing a photo to use, I just kept the photo up on the laptop. I have the peppers to check the coloring, but I’m afraid to touch them.

There is something fun about mixing all the reds and oranges. It might simply be the contrast against all the greens, grays and browns of my usual landscape paintings.

One more pass over the canvas to perfect some tiny areas and to put in the stems ought to do it for these red hot chile peppers. Samson will be on standby to keep me company. He seems to be enjoying The Great Course called “Understanding the Fundamentals of Music”, which I’m listening to while painting these days.