Drawing Mineral King

It is Friday, and the only new thing I have to show you of Mineral King is a drawing. My weekends have been taken with memorial services (one last Saturday and another one tomorrow), drawing workshops, art receptions, business presentations. 

I’m not complaining, just ‘splaining.

The drawing is new. The scene is old, or perhaps “classic” is the right word.

Pencil drawing, “Mineral King From The Bridge”, 9×12″, unframed, unpriced, uncertain.

It has been awhile since I drew anything of Mineral King (except for water). Maybe a series of pencil drawings of Mineral King would sell as reproduction prints. Cards? Too much money to print, too little profit. But I’ll give that some thought too.

Want a laugh? Look at how I drew this scene in 1987.

Growth is good, unless you are a cancer cell. 


Gecko or Gekko?

Posted by on Jun 15, 2017 in Murals, the business of art | 3 Comments

I don’t know the correct way to spell gekko/gecko. Both seem to work.

Who cares? (WHAT?? The Typo Psycho actually doesn’t care how something is spelled??) When I spelled it with 2 k’s, I found better images on Google.

A customer has asked me to design a mural of gekkos/geckos, because they are a symbol of welcome. Here are photos of some of the steps so far, using Photoshop Elements (that’s the baby version) to see how things might look.

Better if that board is painted first. . .

Nope, Customer has a stylized gecko/gekko she likes better than the photographic look here. What can I do with this?

She preferred the 3rd arrangement and suggested colors that she likes. I colored them (on copies with colored pencil) and photoshopped them onto the board.

Mind reading isn’t my strong suit, so it takes multiple sketches, colored sketches and photoshopped versions to see if I am able to portray the customer’s vision.

I await her response. . . more will be revealed in the fullness of time. . .

. . . and you thought I just sit around drawing all day? Nope. Sometimes I get to color too.


Redbud Festival (not rosebud)

Posted by on May 12, 2017 in Events, the business of art, Three Rivers | 2 Comments

Redbud is a gorgeous tree or shrub that blooms in March in Three Rivers (and probably many other places.)

For many years, Three Rivers has had an arts and crafts fair called the Redbud Festival. It happens in May, this year on Saturday, May 13 and Sunday, May 14. 


So glad you asked – Three Rivers Veterans Memorial Building


Great question – 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. on Saturday, 10-4 on Sunday

This is how my booth looked last year. Oh dear, there is that 24×30″ unfinished painting of The Oak Grove Bridge. I may bring it again this year, along with FIVE coloring books, ZERO tee-shirts, many cards and lots of new paintings (including a rooster, a pair of hens, and 2 paintings of eggs).

You Draw Better Than You Paint

Posted by on May 9, 2017 in the business of art | No Comments

An acquaintance of mine told me, “I hope you don’t take this the wrong way, but you draw better than you paint.”

What would “the wrong way” be?

I’ve been drawing since I was about umm, oh, maybe 5 or so. I’ve been painting 11 years. It makes complete sense that I draw better than I paint.

But, I continue to work on my painting skills, hoping I am not just reinforcing bad habits.

The bottom line is that paintings sell.

Any questions?

The award winning drawing (First Place, Irrigation, Madera’s Celebrate Ag with the Arts show, year long since forgotten) “Release”. Matted and framed to 20×28″, $495.

Oak Grove Bridge XX, 11×14″, SOLD.

Pencil Show Coming Soon

Posted by on Apr 25, 2017 in drawing, Events, Lessons, the business of art | 7 Comments

A pencil show? Yes, an art show of only pencil drawings by 3 of my advanced drawing students and me!

Some facts:

Title: Gray Matter

Dates: Friday, May 5 and Friday, June 2

Location: Brandon-Mitchell Gallery, 117 So. Locust in Downtown Visalia (between Main and Acequia, west side of the street)

Time: 5-8 p.m.

Participants: Kelvin Farris, Maggie Meling, Wendy Miller, Jana Botkin

We are part of the monthly “Art Walk” in Downtown Visalia. There are many business and art studios that join in this regular event. This is something I’ve never gone to, so I don’t know what to expect. However, you can expect some wonderful pencil drawings, including these.

Abby the Calf, pencil drawing by Kelvin Farris

Farmersville Corner, pencil drawing by Wendy Miller

Pensive Pose, pencil drawing by Maggie Meling

Artists’ Words

Once of the most dreaded tasks of an artist is having to write a biography. However, this is a piece of cake compared to an “Artist’s Statement”. I have no idea what this actually is, in spite of having read about them numerous times and having tried to wade through such things as written by other artists.

Look at the type of Artspeak that fills up Artists’ Statements.

I’m constructing a framework which functions as a kind of syntactical grid of shifting equivalences.

Or try to digest this one:

Imagine the possibility that painting might take root and find a place to press forward into fertile new terrain.

In reading a blog by artist Lori Woodward recently, I came across this sentence with which I agree completely. I have had this thought this many times:

Representational works need no explanation – they either resonate with the viewer’s life experience, or they don’t.

Here is a piece of art that I hope just speaks for itself:

Sunny Sequoias IXXX, 8×10, oil on wrapped canvas, $125

And here is the link to Lori’s post: Lori Woodward



Posted by on Mar 1, 2017 in Oil Paintings, the business of art | No Comments

I went back to work in the painting workshop. The main distraction disappeared out the door, so I was able to concentrate for brief periods of time. 

There is a sense of urgency to get some things finished so I can get to Exeter and repair the faded mural.

All of these can be considered finished, except for drying and getting varnished.

But, when the sun comes out, I forget what I am supposed to be doing. Everything else is more interesting than oil painting or the business of art.

Working Again?

Posted by on Feb 14, 2017 in the business of art | 2 Comments

Please excuse the extra blog post at an unexpected time. Almost everything is almost working again on my site.

You can subscribe to the blog using your email address and the Subscribe button (although, if you are reading this, you have probably already done so.)

You can subscribe to my occasional emailed newsletter on the right hand side, with your email, name, and Sign Up button.

The For Sale pages and Shopping Cart work in some browsers and not for others:  Safari and Google Chrome, yes; but not for Firefox.

If you are having trouble with the Shopping Cart, you can try using the Refresh Button (a semi-circle with an arrow on the end up in the navigation bar) or you can clear your cache, which in some browsers is called “Clear History”. I sound as if I know what I am talking about, but I am simply parroting what my Web Guru has told me. I also don’t know if any of this applies to non-Mac, to iPads or to smart phones.

Short of spending a zillion dollars, there isn’t a solution. Right now I don’t have a zillion dollars, and if I did, it would be spent on a trip to Ireland. (I really really like my ’96 Accord with 215,000 miles, but thank you for your concern about the best way for me to spend a zillion dollars, should it ever enter my life.)

Here is a pencil drawing of water to take the edge off of this boring post.

Little Victories

Posted by on Feb 13, 2017 in drawing, the business of art | No Comments

Life is hard, full of obstacles, difficulties, problems to solve, and hassles. But, sometimes there are victories along the way that lighten our loads and lift our spirits. Last week I experienced a few of those little victories in my business of art.

  1. The scanner now works with the new laptop!!
  2. The pencil drawing that was full of mistakes is now corrected because contrary to my memory, I did NOT use Fixatif on it!
  3. I finished 3 oil paintings!
  4. The latest coloring book arrived!

These all require exclamation points because I am exclaiming over the thrill of victory.

The mistakes were all little things, negligence and carelessness as a result of haste. My readers and students had fun figuring out what was wrong. I don’t dislike this picture any more.

Tomorrow I’ll show you the new coloring book, and the next day 3 new oil paintings. New? Finished since you last viewed them.

Trading Water for Walnuts

Posted by on Feb 9, 2017 in commissions, drawing, the business of art | No Comments

This week I’ve set aside my current obsession of drawing water and begun a commissioned piece of a walnut grove.

This has involved several sketches, beginning with the page of the walnut grove as it appears in the coloring book, Heart of Ag for the Tulare County Farm Bureau (NOW AVAILABLE – WILL POST TO FOR SALE PAGE WHEN IT IS REPAIRED!)

This was a starting place. More ideas were requested and delivered. This is part of the business of art, the sorting out of details for commissioned work.

The response was, “This looks like a generic walnut grove, not like ours.” Hmmm, is there anything unique about your walnut grove? A barn? A creek? A canal, a ditch, a view? 


I made a trip to the grove and found a teensy distinction between the customer’s grove and any other Joe Farmer’s grove. I can’t tell you what it is, because this is going to be a surprise for someone.

I can show you the beginning stages of the drawing.