Sawtooth is an easy to distinguish peak in Mineral King, visible from Visalia when the wildfire smoke or the pollution from the Bay Area are not obscuring the view. Lots of people like to climb it. I think it is good to look at, but I am scared of climbing it. I am only interested in photographing, drawing and painting it.
My most recent pencil drawing of Sawtooth Peak:
And now I have begun a 24×24″ oil painting. Try not to be scared – it will get better.
Because 6 Mineral King oil paintings sold at the Silver City Mountain Resort (AKA Silver City Store), I painted 4 new ones.
Seems like bad math or poor production to you? Labor Day is a mere 2 weeks away, and this means the season is almost finished. Part of the business of art is making tough decisions like this. That’s why
I earn the Big Bucks have the freedom to spend lengths of time in Mineral King.
I could have painted more to have on hand, but I can paint more when it isn’t so hot in the painting workshop/studio.
The 2 matching paintings in different sizes were begun before summer started. They’ve been waiting their turn. I’d rather be walking on that trail than painting it.
These are the 2 most popular Mineral King subjects that I paint and sell through Silver City. The 3rd is Sawtooth, by quite a distance. The top is the Honeymoon Cabin, which serves as a little museum for the Mineral King Preservation Society The bottom one is a private family cabin with Farewell Gap in the distance, as seen from the bridge at the end of the road.
These need another layer and some wildflowers.
Alrighty then!! The top painting is 6×6″ ($60 + tax unless you live in another state) and the bottom is 8×8″ ($100 – ditto on the taxes). When they are dry enough, they’ll be for sale at Silver City.
These Mineral King oil paintings recently sold. That’s the good news. The less good news is that I have no idea who bought them. This is probably usual when one sells through a store* rather than a gallery.
Tomorrow I’ll show you what I painted to fill the blank spots on the store*’s shelves.
*”The store” is the Silver City Store, AKA Silver City Mountain Resort.
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.)
. . .Can you see that we live in a fabulous country?
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?)
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)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
And now you know. . . .
(very long pause)
the REST of my stories.