Jana Botkin | Cabin Art

A California Artist's Show-and-Tell

Nov 25 2014

A List of Art-Business Items

I’ve told you that I love lists. Here is an updated list of art related items, matters of consequence taking place in this business of art called Cabinart.

  1. The printer still cannot tell me when The Cabins of Wilsonia will be shipped to me. This means I cannot tell you when I will ship it to you. All I can do is tell you that when it arrives, I will ship it to you.
  2. I finally found a new web designer! This means that I have hours and hours of work ahead, transferring all my info to a new and improved site, a working site, a site where you can see what is new in my available art and comment on my blog!
  3. The web designer is from outside of Austin, Texas and I found her through Linked In. She is a dream to work with. Wow! One of those social networks actually has benefits besides simply passing time.
  4. There is a show in Three Rivers on Friday and Saturday of this week. “Boutique” is a better word here than show. I’ll send an email to those on my list and also post info on the blog on Friday.
  5. With a new website, there will be a WORKING subscribe button on the blog!
  6. There are still plenty of 2015 calendars available.
  7. IT RAINED!!
  8. I started a new oil painting of my favorite bridge. My plan is to exaggerate the colors.

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Nov 24 2014

2015 Calendar Reminder

The 2015 calendars titled “Beautiful Tulare County” with my current best paintings that fit the format (can you say “run on sentence”??) are available.


$15 each, including tax and mailing If you don’t use Paypal, you can mail a check to Cabinart at P.O. Box 311, Three Rivers, CA 93271. US only, with apologies to my foreign friends.
Everyone uses calendars. They used to be freebies, handed out at drug stores and hardware stores and coming unasked for in the mail. The thought of buying one was bizarre, unless you had a friend who was a nut about horses and you happened to find a horsey calendar.

Then, businesses pulled back from freebies. I refused to pay for calendars except for the custom one I made for Trail Guy each year. There were a few years when the only way I had the month on paper was to go online and print one from the internet!

Now, I print 100 a year, and hope maybe there might be just one left over for us. So far, it hasn’t happened. There was that one year that one of the calendars was upside and backwards. I kept that one. It had the days on top and the picture on the bottom.

No worries. All these calendars are done correctly on good solid cover-weight paper with my best oil paintings of beautiful Tulare County!

Ahem. This was going to be a short post. No more caffeine for you, Young Lady!

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Nov 21 2014

New Mineral King Paintings

Published by under Mineral King,Oil Paintings

It’s Friday, so here is what I have that pertains to Mineral King. These are new oil paintings, some of which are already sold!

Mineral King Flowers, 6×6″, oil on wrapped canvas, sold


Mineral King Big Rock, 6×6″ oil on wrapped canvas, $50



Mineral King Cottonwood Trail, 6×6″, oil on wrapped canvas, $50


Hiking Mineral King, 6×6″ oil on wrapped canvas, $50

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Nov 20 2014

Three Rivers in Fall

Today I want to share photos of Three Rivers in Fall with you because in spite of the drought and the sense of endless summer, there is seasonal beauty here in this fine corner of Tulare County.

Happy Birthday, Shirley Goodness!

(Why do I say “Fall” instead of “Autumn”? Because I witnessed leaves falling from a tree today.)
The best color is in the non-native Liquid Ambar (yep, that’s the way it is spelled for the tree) and the Chinese Pistache (also not a typo!)
Wild Grape?

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Nov 19 2014

Challenging Pencil Commission, Finished!

Published by under Commissions,Pencil Drawing

I made the changes suggested by Cowboy Bert’s wife. She is very aware of what a mule looks like from all angles, and very observant of details. (As a retired law enforcement Captain, she sometimes refers to herself as a “trained observer”.)

Here it is:

The customer requested color, in a hand-tinted old photo sort of manner. This is how it looks:

The customer requested more color. I’m on my way out to the studio to work on that. . . or “back to the drawing board”.

Ahem. Perhaps I underbid this job slightly.

P.S. Did you figure out that this is Mineral King?

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Nov 18 2014

Working Through a Challenging Pencil Commission

Published by under Commissions,Pencil Drawing

There I was, faced with the necessity to draw the north end of a mule headed south, and no reference material!

What’s a Central California artist to do?

Call in Cowboy Bert, of course.

That would be Cowboy Bert, Equine Photographer, who graciously set up one of his mules and positioned him for numerous photos. I was able to print out 3 for reference, but because it took a couple of hours for them to load on my computer, I didn’t save the photos to show you.

Then, I commenced drawing. When I can see what I need to see and know what I am seeing, I can draw very quickly. When I am drawing the north end of a mule headed south and the photos are all just a tad bit different and various pieces of information are obscured behind a tail or in shadow. I take my time. Here are a few of the stages that the drawing went through:

Nope, not drawing anything I can’t see. Waiting for photos. . .

Okay, let’s try this thing.

Hard to see the difference from the previous one. Maybe it is time to get an expert opinion.

At this point, I emailed it to The Captain, who is the prettier partner of Cowboy Bert. She has also taken drawing lessons from me, so I knew she’d observe every detail and prevent me from exposing my ignorance of a mule’s back side.

We laid tissue paper over a printout of the drawing, and the Captain showed me what she saw while explaining it. I repeated it back to her to be sure I understood, and then wrote notes so I could fix things later. (This all happened while setting up for her father’s memorial service – shows you what a thoughtful generous person she is, and possibly what a jerk I am for asking such a thing at such a time.)

Stay tuned for the final drawing. (At the time of this post, it isn’t yet finished.)

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Nov 17 2014

Bazaar in Photos

Published by under Events,Three Rivers

I live within walking distance of the Bazaar. This is what I saw on my way to work Saturday.

When I got there, I was relieved to see that my booth did not look like a garage sale., which is a concern each time I set up in a different location. Even though booth sizes are almost always 10×10′, the lighting, the walls, the traffic patterns and the amount of work I have changes, so I don’t have a standard floor plan.

We had steady traffic all day. As usual, it was mostly people I know with a handful of new folks. It is so interesting to me that there are people in a town as small as Three Rivers that don’t know one another! Often it is because they only live here part time and/or they live far up one of the canyons.

There were regular raffle drawings and a live auction. I actually gave a 2015 calendar to the raffle – me, who does not give away her work! Got caught up in the excitement or succumbed to peer pressure, perhaps. . .

It was nice out on the patio. The doors are open all day long, so if it is cold, it is cold everywhere. Back in the olden days when we had winter, this was a cold cold show. Not so this year.

There’s my amazing friend Nikki, weaving in her booth. I am showing this to you so you can see that the Chinese Pistache trees outside weren’t yet in full color, and that there were vendors outdoors too.

These beautiful wood items turned on a lathe and polished to a remarkably smooth sheen will also be available at the next show, The Perfect Gift Boutique, which will be on the Friday and Saturday of Thanksgiving weekend at the Three Rivers Arts Center.

P.S. I sold a ton of calendars, but there are more remaining. Remember, when they are gone, they are gone. $15 includes tax and mailing if you need that done.

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Nov 15 2014

Three Rivers Senior League Bazaar Today

Published by under Events,Three Rivers

Senior League Bazaar


9 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Three Rivers Memorial Building

43490 Sierra Drive

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Nov 14 2014

Bazaar, Not Bizarre

Published by under Events,Three Rivers

The annual Senior League Holiday Bazaar will take place on Saturday, November 15 at the Three Rivers Memorial Building from 9-4. Maybe. The marquee in front of the Memorial Building says 10-4. This means that if you come at 9, you’ll get first chance at all the best stuff!

This is how it looked on the morning of Tuesday, November 11. Don’t you just want to come to see the Chinese Pistache trees in full color?

There is a jeweler who brings the cutest Christmas earrings I’ve ever seen and she sells them for a peanut butter sandwich! (This is a figure of speech my Dad used when something was seriously underpriced. You don’t have to brown bag it to buy her earrings.)

Some years there is a fabulous selection of homemade jellies and jams for what it would cost you to make them yourself, MINUS your labor!

My 2015 calendars Beautiful Tulare County will be there, $15 including tax. Such a deal – you might want to buy several (but remember, when they are gone, they are gone.)

I still have some Mineral King tee shirts, a few photo books (Mineral King in Photos – $45, Three Rivers in Spring – $30) and new oil paintings. (This year a few knitted items will be sold by my friend Sophie, a weaver, spinner and knitter of extraordinary skill.)

Here are a few photos from previous years.



Nikki Crain at her loom

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Nov 13 2014

A Challenging Pencil Commission

Published by under Commissions,Pencil Drawing

A regular customer wants to republish a book. The original drawing from the cover is missing, and it doesn’t look very good when scanned from a printed book. They asked me to redraw it, and to add color so it has the look of an old hand-tinted black and white photo. All I have to look at is a blurry dark photo and someone else’s drawing. Someone Else (never met her) drew it using the provided photo and other photos of unknown origin. This means there is some vital information missing. It is very difficult to draw from other people’s drawings, particularly when you don’t know the subject very well.

I saw this and thought, “Oh Missy Scarlett, I don’t know nothin’ ’bout birthin’ babies”. I have painted and drawn a few mules, but it was under strict supervision and with good reference photos!

At least it is in a place I recognize and have drawn or painted a couple of times. A couple of dozen times!

Well, oops. Where is the mule? Where is the man leading the mule? Where is the man sitting on the boulder? Where did the previous artist get those images?

Where will I get those images? I can’t accurately and confidently draw things that I cannot see.

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

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