May Flowers!

Posted by on May 1, 2017 in Oil Paintings, Photography | 13 Comments

Last month my 9th blogiversary slipped past unnoted. However, I am giving us some flowers to mark this milestone. Milestone? That makes it sound as if it has been a slog, a triathalon, an endless amount of work. Nope – I have loved everything about it (except finding someone to fix the blog when things go haywire.)

Belated Happy Blogiversary to us, Beloved Blogreaders!

(These are all in bloom in my yard now, last week, the week before. . . just part of the commute between the house and studio and a big fat distraction from painting.)

Speaking of distractions. . .

This last one is a little oil painting I began as a gift for a friend. We recently reconnected, and I learned that sunflowers have a special meaning for her. She is tough, brave, and is using some horrible circumstances in her life to help others through similar difficulties. Carla, I salute you! (I gave you my card but neglected to get one from you – get in touch with me soon, okay?)

Wildflowers in Three Rivers

The hill behind my house has a wide variety of wildflowers each spring.

The steepness makes it hard to photograph. Or, perhaps it is the lack of skill on the part of the photographer. I miss my manual cameras. Digital cameras have many advantages, but all this automatic baloney is a real hassle. Guess that is life – the more advantages, the more disadvantages too. But I digress. Let’s just enjoy the wildflowers, shall we?

The Rain Stopped and The Sun Came Out

The rain stopped briefly and the sun came out, so I went for a walk here in Three Rivers. This was on February 12, but there were other things to blog about last week.

Look! The buckeye trees, always precocious, are leafing out already. 

Here is an unobstructed view of Alta Peak and Moro Rock.

The Red Maids are in bloom!

This ant hill is definitely a peculiar sight.

The narcissus are in bloom in my yard.

 And what does a Central California artist do for fun when the sun is out?

She mixes a paint color for her neighbor’s kitchen, of course.

Neighbor recently was in Italy and fell in love with a particular color. (Could there possibly be 2 color junkies in the same neighborhood??) The hardware store mixed a too-bright red, so together we figured out the color she wanted. This required adding tan from the gallon container, lightening it with white, and correcting the resulting pinkishness with yellow ochre. Then, we tried it on a kitchen cupboard door and declared it a winner. (It took 3 attempts with minor corrections each time.) Next, I had to match that exact color to convert the rest of the too-bright-red to our newly named “Red Pepper Cream Sauce”. (Last time we invented the color of “Orange Blossom Special” for her kitchen, which looks spectacular with the Red Pepper Cream Sauce.)*

*My own kitchen is blue and white, has been blue and white for 18 years, and probably will probably be blue and white for as long as I live here. Thanks for asking.

Merry Christmas!

Posted by on Dec 23, 2016 in drawing, Oil Paintings, Photography | 12 Comments

img_3754 winter-bridgeFor you, kind blog readers, a variety of photographs, oil paintings and one pencil drawing (this year’s Christmas card to my drawing students) just to enjoy. 


angel IMG_42801432 FG Alpen Glowimg_0636 img_1975 img_5760merry-christmas

Nice Day on the Farm

Posted by on Dec 5, 2016 in Events, Photography, Three Rivers | No Comments

I didn't want to leave home in the morning, but we grownups have to face things.

I didn’t want to leave home in the morning, but we grownups have to face things.

Look how beautiful it is around the barn!

Pretty nice place to work. Don’t these folks have gophers and deer??


This is the same view that I painted from real life and from photos in April 2015.


April 2015


This is all I saw of the baby animals. There were lambs but it took several people running around to catch them and I had to work instead of cavort with lambs.

This is all I saw of the baby animals. There were lambs but it took several people running around to catch them; I was not cavorting with lambs that day.

These folks are heading off to catch a lamb.

These folks are heading off to catch a lamb.

Wow, eh?

Wow, eh?

Oh yeah. I was working. Look at that merchandise with the afternoon sunlight!

Look at that merchandise with the afternoon sunlight!

And look at the light show in the afternoon light!

And look at the light show in the afternoon light!

Thus we conclude the boutiques, bazaars and shows for 2016. 

Isn’t “thus” a stuffy word? I don’t think it gets used much in conversation.



Posted by on Nov 23, 2016 in Photography, Three Rivers | 5 Comments

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Signs of Late Summer in Mineral KIng

Posted by on Aug 19, 2016 in Mineral King, Photography | 2 Comments


Mineral King cabins have the most visitors in August, as evidenced by more cars (No need to keep your hood up – it doesn’t deter the marmots, and they aren’t busy in cars in August.)


The colors are getting more yellow because. . .


. . . the grasses are drying out and there is goldenrod in bloom.


See? Goldenrod, and the flowers and grasses are tall.


This is not a sign of fall, although it could be a place to fall. It is a style of trail building called “rip-rap”. This is looking down at a section of such trail. It is hard to walk up and even harder to walk down. You’ll be pleased to know I didn’t fall – thank you for your concern.


Squint and look across the stream. Fireweed is in bloom, and it usually appears in August. The stream is low, although not sluggish.


The aspens are still green, and the grasses beneath them are still green. Not fall, just August, late summer.




This is how August looks along the Nature Trail, from Cold Springs Campground up to the actual Mineral King valley.

Mineral King has a quick summer. Gotta go, gotta experience, gotta enjoy, don’t blink, because boom, it is over. (The temperature in the early morning of the day I took these photos was 38 degrees.)

My Commute

Posted by on Aug 17, 2016 in Photography | No Comments

I commute a few yards to work. It’s an easy route, so sometimes I take the long route. This is what I saw on the way to work one morning in early August.IMG_1726 IMG_1727 IMG_1730

Gathering Visual Information

Visual information is necessary to an artist. In the olden days, artist did sketches. Cameras came along and made things easier. Digital cameras showed up, and now the visual information is quick, easy and abundant.

I am working on a coloring book for Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks, to be titled Heart of the Park. Those of us with ready access to these places call them “The Park”. It is 2 parks that overlap in several areas and are administered by the largest employer in Three Rivers. (That would be SEKI, AKA The Park, AKA National Park Service.)

My friend and I took a field trip so I could get the final photos needed. These were all in Kings Canyon, so we went through Sequoia to get there. I’ve spent quite a bit of time there, but most of it was in Wilsonia, working on The Cabins of Wilsonia. My photos were inadequate for the task at hand.


Version A of Panoramic Point?


Or Version B? (that is Hume Lake, not in the Park, but in the line of sight to the canyons and peaks beyond).


The Gamlin Cabin is behind the General Grant Tree.


I may have learned about these types of corners in one of Laura Ingalls Wilder’s books.


The view from the back wins because of the Giant Sequoia behind it (not the General) and because of the stone chimney.


I didn’t know there was a Big Stump Trail. It was recommended as a possible source of coloring book pictures.


The trail was fun for this group of visitors from France.


I need to see the stump without all the people, and since it is no longer wasting film to take many photos, I take as many as I want.24,000 may be a bit of a load on my laptop, but I keep reminding myself that I don’t download movies or games, so it will be fine.


This vertical version of the view would work in the coloring book, but I don’t like it. It could be a nice meadow with deer and wildflowers, but I don’t like it. It’s sort of like a graveyard, and I don’t like it.



Documentation of documentation. (Thanks, GEP!)

Wherein I Join Trail Guy on a Mineral King Hike

Posted by on Jun 24, 2016 in coloring book, Mineral King, Photography | No Comments

White Chief as it appears in the coloring book "Hear t of Mineral King"

White Chief as it appears in the coloring book “Heart of Mineral King”

Coloring books will be available again on July 1, 2016. You may order, but it will involve a wait. Thank you for your patience.

Mineral King

Languid Ladies in the foreground; Chihuahua Creek in the distance. I don’t think this has flowed for the past 4 summers, and Trail Guy thinks it will last through the whole month of June this year.

Mineral King Trail

Steps on a trail look friendly and helpful to me. Trail crew builders accuse step-builders of “making monuments to themselves”. Thank you, Monument Makers.

Mineral King

Looking back toward Timber Gap, with patches of snow still on Empire to the right of Timber.


This is sort of a boring photo of Indian Paintbrush, (red), Western Wallflower (yellow), and a bit of Larkspur (sort of bluish). I just got a little excited to see the 3 primary colors all together.


We saw 2 of these mylar helium balloons. Partiers down in the valley (not Mineral King, but the San Joaquin Valley) don’t realize that when they let go of the strings of their balloons, they are littering.


Oops. Tree failure.


This tree is not a failure. It is a juniper, and it is Trail Guy’s favorite tree. It is a sign that the steepest part of the trail to White Chief is over. It is still steep, just not the steepest part.


Here is an example of Phlox in all the variations of its whitish-purplish-pinkish glory.

White Chief

Hello White Chief! The peak is square topped and this is where you first see a glimpse of the canyon, which our 2 new trail friends called “enchanting”. (Hi Dean and Dave!)

White Chief

Enchanting canyon, to be sure, but where is the sunshine now?

White Chief

I tried to find the exact scene that I used in the coloring book drawing, but someone moved the logs or something. Some years they tilt the trail steeper than others, but this year they just messed with the logs. Who is this “they” and where is the sunshine??

White Chief

White Chief has many natural caves and several sinkholes.

White Chief

Love the dramatic lighting, but I think we might get wet.


Not Trail Guy. He’s not getting wet with his high-tech poncho. He sort of looked like Moses, if he had pulled his arms out of the garbage bag and held his walking stick like a staff.

White Chief

Look at all this water! I’m outta here.

White Chief

See you later, White Chief.