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.

Poultry Paintings

The poultry paintings are inching along. They might be a little bit too hard for me, so I am taking my time. Productive procrastination is a good way to get through some difficult tasks. I take breaks to rehab frames, blog, touch up old paintings, answer emails, make a new schedule for drawing lessons, sweep, or water plants. All those things need to be done. I’m the boss of me. There is no deadline on the poultry paintings. They aren’t commissions. I have a commission to work on but it is a secret, and the recipient of the project might be a reader of this blog. So, poultry paintings in increments are what you get to see.

Have I convinced myself that it is okay to procrastinate yet?

This is the latest iteration of the rooster named Dinnerbone and the flock, with the appropriate and clever name of “Flock”. (And the rooster painting title is “Dinnerbone”, because I am creative that way.)

Samson discovered my friend’s car, which is named Hot Wheels. She is clever that way. (My car is named Fernando – thank you for being interested in such important personal details.)

Words to Paint By

Posted by on Nov 14, 2017 in Oil Paintings | 6 Comments

“A yard is hard, but an inch is a cinch.”

I heard this recently while listening to an interview on one of my favorite podcasts. This is my approach to oil painting. Just inch along and eventually it will look finished. Then, stop looking at it, let it dry, sign it, scan it, varnish it and move on.

There is also another saying rattling around in my brain as I inch along. This one came from one of my drawing students.

“Good, better, best, Never let it rest, ‘Til your good is better, And your better is the best.”

If I stuck with this, I wouldn’t be able to finish any oil paintings at all! As it is, I jump at any chance to improve, to have a do-over, to repair something I drew or painted awhile ago.

And one more, although I’m not sure it relates to oil painting:

“What someone else thinks of me does not become my assignment.”

What someone else thinks of my painting matters quite a bit. If he likes it, he might buy it. If he likes me, he might buy it. So, perhaps what someone else thinks of my painting does become my assignment.

Good grief, maybe I should listen to music while I paint.

Two + Two + Two On the Easels

Posted by on Nov 13, 2017 in Oil Paintings | 2 Comments

Two + two + two? What is that weird Central California artist talking about this time?

Last Monday, I worked on six oil paintings, two of which ones needed touching up. While at the backyard boutique, I saw some areas in a painting that could stand a bit of improvement. When I got home, I saw another painting that needed a boost.

So I painted some diagonal black stripes in it.

JUST KIDDING! Those are shadows from the window pane dividers. But I did some color and light correction on this painting. (The other one needs to dry before I rescan it.)

Then I finished two oil paintings of Sawtooth, one to give as a gift and the other to give as a donation. Wait. That’s a gift too. But, it is an asked-for gift, so I don’t know if it counts as a gift. Where’s my dictionary? What does “gift” actually mean?

Never mind. Here are the paintings before I finished them. They need to dry before getting scanned.

Then, I gave some thought to whether I’d be able to finish any paintings before the next event, The Perfect Gift Boutique, on Friday and Saturday of Thanksgiving week. I decided to begin two new paintings. My oil paintings start out so messy-looking that I wondered if this was a good decision. I did a sketch to see if these 2 photos could be blended onto a 6×18″ canvas. Still looks terrible.

Okay, I get it now. 

Looking more hopeful in spite of needing more work. In fact, it is looking so hopeful that I began another of the same subject.Even upside down, you can probably tell what this is. 

See? two + two + two = six oil painting projects, three different types. Two fixes, two Sawtooths, two poultry. Fowl. Chickens. Birds.

P.S. There are also two unfinished oil paintings just hanging around, collecting spider webs.

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 25ยข 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??

Three Orange Oil Paintings, Completed!

Posted by on Oct 31, 2017 in commissions, Oil Paintings | 2 Comments

Whoa. That was a sprint. Three new orange oil paintings in a week’s time, begun and completed.

This is the original orange painting; it is drying in the window because I had to re-sign it so that the frame wouldn’t cover my name.

Top orange completed. The color and clarity are definitely better after the 2nd coat. Good thing.

It was very helpful to have the original painting right there to match the colors.

Two down, one to go.

Compare the bottom painting in this photo to how it looks in the photo above.

It is a privilege to be thought of when local businesses have Art Emergencies; it is a thrill to be able to handle those situations. I’m very happy to be able to help, and particularly happy to help out in ag and especially in citrus.


Your happy orange painter

Oranging Along

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

It’s my blog, I’m 58 and I can make up words if I want to. Any questions?

Oh. What does “oranging” mean?

It means painting oranges, although I was just painting greens that day. Because this commission job was for 3 oil paintings in 2 weeks, I had to plan the most efficient method of delivering mostly dry paintings. 

Day one: get the first layer down, all the canvas covered, the basic shapes and colors in place and the edges with one coat.

Day two: Perfect the background greens so that on. . .

Day three: sign on the green area after perfecting the orange area. Finally, put a second layer on the edges, which may or may not show. I don’t know what the framer has in mind and won’t get to see the final product. 

This gives the paintings a week to dry. Would have been better to know about this job sooner, both for more time to work and also for summer’s heat, which makes for quicker drying. They might be a little tacky (in the tactile sense of the word, not the quality of the job.) But, a little pressure is sometimes a good catalyst for action.

Working upside down is helpful both for seeing shapes accurately and for a more comfortable hand position. The finished painting is on the bottom, and it is my guide.

The second painting.

And here is #3. Bet you are wondering if there really are 3 plus the original. . .

Yeppers. Three orange oil paintings with the original sitting alongside on Samson’s shelf.

Speaking of Samson, he is pretty tired. He’s been working the night shift lately. 

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

Three Oranges, To Go, Please

Posted by on Oct 24, 2017 in commissions, Oil Paintings | 4 Comments

Two weeks to paint three oranges, but really, only one because of a planned 2 days off and because of drying time.

No problem. . . just get outta my way! They don’t have to be truly identical, because each one will end up in a different home.

That sounded weird. If they were all in the same home, they really wouldn’t have to be identical. Never mind.

They will all be presented at the same time, so they need to be close. That way, no one says, “But I like his better!”

This is how it looked over the course of Day One at the easels.
The last step of Day One was painting layer #1 on the edges. When I return to the project in two days, they will be dry enough to put on the next layer. The second day of painting will be when I perfect all the details. 

Two days isn’t some formula; it is because I teach drawing lessons on the second day and have a prescheduled appointment on the third. On day four I can continue.

They most certainly need more work. . .


Four Oranges, Please

Posted by on Oct 23, 2017 in commissions, Oil Paintings | 2 Comments

A yearly customer emailed me to ask for a painting she saw on my website, but she didn’t just want that painting. She wanted four of that painting.

Well, oops. My paintings don’t get reproduced by machines; my paintings get reproduced by a paintbrush in my hand.

But wait! There’s more! She wanted them in two weeks time.

Ahem. I paint in oils. They take awhile to dry (unless it is July or August). This could be a tricky assignment.

First, I found the original painting and got in touch with the gallery showing it to set it aside for me to retrieve. This meant that I had to paint “only” three. That helps.

Second, did I even have blank canvases the right size? Yeppers, I did. 

I know, you are just dying to see what painting she wants.

Tomorrow, I’ll show you what happens next.