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.)

Busy Today, Boutique Tomorrow

Posted by on Nov 3, 2017 in Events, the business of art | No Comments

A necessary element of the business of art is showing and selling. Art fairs, craft festivals, backyard boutiques, speaking engagements, demonstrations (not carrying signs of clever rudeness while hoping for teevee cameras – I mean showing people how I paint or draw)–these are all ways of reminding people of my products and services.

Today I am setting up for tomorrow’s Backyard Boutique. (Not officially called that, but I like the name and remember, I am 58 and this is my blog.)

P.S. I think it should read “29 crafters and 1 artist”.

P.S.#2 It might rain. If it does, I’ll have to cut and run.

2018 Calendar Special Offer

Posted by on Oct 25, 2017 in the business of art | No Comments

My 2018 calendar will be printed soon. The price will be $15 unless you order and pay for one BEFORE Nov. 1. This can be done from this page on my website: Calendar What’s the deal? $12.

Is it worth it to save $3? Only you can answer that question!

Kaweah Artisans

Posted by on Sep 28, 2017 in Events, the business of art, Three Rivers | 2 Comments

Kaweah is the name of the river (rivers – it is THREE Rivers) in town. Artisans are people who make specialty stuff; more precisely “workers in a skilled trade who make things by hand”.

For about 18 years I have been part of a group called “Kaweah Artisans”. We do shows, which we prefer to call “boutiques”, 2-3 times a year. We change venues, and our membership fluctuates. 

The rules are one maker per medium, be different from the crowd, be professional, and know how to display well. So, if you make something cool but not cutesy, are professional in your conduct, approach to business and display, and we have no other item maker in your category, we’ll take it to The Committee and decide. If your items meet the criteria and our space is not too crowded, The Committee will probably say yes. (But not if you have a reputation as a jerk; this is a very small town within a small county, and life and business are hard enough without personality complications.)

When I joined, there was a florist, a jeweler, a jam maker, a photographer and a weaver. Only the weaver and I remain of the original group. For our next show, we will be joined by a jeweler, a gourdista*, a cosmetic maker, a photographer, a small sculptor, a potter, and a chocolatier.

We still have our original banner, looking tired and worn out. It was time to update things.

When the banner arrived, I unrolled it outside to see how beautiful it is. Samson helped.

I FORGOT TO ORDER IT WITH GROMMETS!! The local hardware had them.

THE VINYL WAS TOO HARD TO PUNCH THROUGH! Our neighbor lent a hole punch.

And, Trail Guy put them in!

Kaweah Artisans marches on with lots of help from our friends, neighbors, family and pets. Our next boutique will be on the Friday and Saturday after Thanksgiving.

*Do you like the word “gourdista”? I just made it up.

Odd Job Completed

Posted by on Sep 19, 2017 in commissions, the business of art | 2 Comments

The odd job of painting a mailbox took about 4 hours. Maybe 5, but that extra hour was probably due to my own inexperience and lack of confidence. Oh, and another hour working on the colored pencil design. 

Will the customer be happy? As a friend, will she tell me the truth if she isn’t happy? I think she will – honesty is one of the things I appreciate about her. She is kind and professional too.

I have some wonderful friends.

She likes it!!

Now, will I start getting mailbox painting requests??

More will be revealed in the fullness of time. . .

Odd Job

Posted by on Sep 18, 2017 in commissions, the business of art | No Comments

Because I am an artist who has lived in the same area for over 30 years, making art the entire time, when people need something art related, no matter how odd, I often get asked. People ask me to do things that I am supremely unqualified to do, lacking skill and experience.

Sometimes, no, often, I say yes. I try to warn them that I am out of my area of expertise and that the results might not be what they expected. (“Past performance is no guarantee of future results” or some such disclaimer?)

Variety is good. Stretching one’s abilities is good. The trouble is, I have only been asked to paint on a quilt square once, a patio umbrella one time, an antique window once. . . is this because I didn’t do a good job, or because there aren’t enough of those types of jobs? 

This odd job is a mailbox for a property management company. My friend told me her idea and showed me a photo of her mailbox. I did 3 sketches for her, she picked one, I gave her a price range and some instructions on how to prepare the mailbox and then drew it again showing both sides and the top, using colored pencils. Then I warned her that trying to achieve tight detail with acrylic paint and small brushes might not produce my normal quality of work.

She said she liked the design and the price and wants the job done. We had to plan this for a weekend when she could remove the mailbox on Friday and replace it on Monday. No pressure or anything. . .

I Draw Better Now

Posted by on Aug 24, 2017 in commissions, drawing, the business of art | No Comments

In 1995, I drew a Hume Lake cabin from the customer’s photos.

Last week I had the pleasure of staying in that cabin and seeing it for the first time. The customer’s daughter and I grew up together and have recently reconnected.

She brought the drawing to Hume Lake, and I was dismayed to see it had a bug spot on it. It also was missing the flag, and now I put flags in color into my pencil drawings whenever possible. Besides, I draw better now.

Daughter allowed me to remove it from the frame and bring it home with me. The biggest thing was to discover if the drawing had been spray-fixed, which would not allow me to do any erasing. I can’t put color over pencil and have it look like anything good – it needs to have blank paper beneath the color. 

YEA! I can repair, replace, add, and improve it, because it isn’t spray-fixed!! Stay tuned – I hope to have some studio time next week to do the work of making this drawing something to be proud of.

P.S. Tomorrow’s post will be of a funny walk at Hume Lake.

New Mineral King Old Paintings

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.


Sold Mineral King Oil Paintings

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.



Posted by on Aug 9, 2017 in drawing, the business of art | 4 Comments

Some people are early adopters of new technology; I am not one of them. I tried Facebook and it was all I feared it would be – 1/4″ deep, 6 miles wide, and a giant thief of time, energy and brains. My sister and her daughter suggested Instagram. There were techie obstacles, such as not owning a smartphone. (Nope, a borrowed Jitterbug doesn’t take photos).

I signed up for a private account to practice and connect with my family. The privacy settings weren’t private, so now my private family account has 2 extra folks. The “extras” are real life friends, not strangers, so I didn’t panic; I learned. 

Against the advice of my most techie friend, I set up an Instagram account for my business. It was against her advice because she believes Facebook is the most useful for people and businesses, and doesn’t think Instagram will work.

My niece thinks hashtags are key. I know nothing. Hashtags are weird, the word itself is weird (“hashtag”? It’s a number sign or a pound sign, for Pete’s sake!), and people who put that word in front of other words when they speak sound weird.

I am willing to learn and to try. It seems like the right place for someone who deals in pictures. People don’t get mean on Instagram, attack others for opposing political views, or show what they had for dinner, at least not as much as on Facebook; perhaps I am delusional and ignorant. (definitely ignorant)

My business Instagram handle (“Handle”? What do you think this is – a CB radio from the ’70s??) is JanaBotkinArt. The account is public. You are welcome to follow. You are welcome to express your opinion and to offer advice.

I’m just learning here. . .

Ten-four, Good Buddy. Over and out.

Pencil drawing, “Mineral King From The Bridge”, 9×12″, one of the posts on my new Instagram account, complete with hashtags.