The Fourth of July in Wilsonia

The Fourth of July is a busy day in Wilsonia. It starts with a parade at Grant Grove at 11 a.m. In the afternoon beginning at 1 there is a silent auction of really neat stuff at the clubhouse. At 1:30 is an ice cream social, also at the clubhouse. Then at 6 in the evening, there is a potluck and the silent auction concludes at 8 p.m.

I’ll be there with my neighbor/friend Robin, with boxes of books and the original drawings. (The drawings will be at the cabin where we will be staying in the Masonic Tract).

This drawing will be in the silent auction:

Meadow Cabin

It kind of gives the false impression of a cabin isolated in the woods instead of a cabin surrounded by 213 other cabins in a delightful community known as Wilsonia!

 

Through The Parks

In Tulare County, where I grew up and (except for a few misguided college years) have always lived, “Park” is often said with a capital “P” and means “National Park”. Maybe not for all flatlanders, but definitely for those of us in the foothills, particularly in Three Rivers.

A week or so ago, I made a quick trip to Wilsonia to deliver books to Neal Mixter, who will be selling them in Wilsonia.

My 21-year-old neighbor couldn’t remember ever driving through Sequoia to get to Kings Canyon, so we headed up together.

Like many folks, she wasn’t aware of Wilsonia until I began my book. Not that my book has made people outside of my circle aware – but that folks blow past this community of a collection of wonderful cabins without any inkling that it is there.

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I recently finished this oil painting of The Four Guardsmen, so was really interested to see these giants in person.

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It was morning, and the light was nice. No one was behind us, so I did that stupid tourist thing and stopped right in the middle of the road for a few photos. Obviously in my painting I have done a fair amount of logging and pruning and brightening up. The painting is actually from the other side , heading downhill.

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These three orderly trees are just as you get to the museum. A photographer friend calls them “The Three Graces”; I have no idea if this is an official designation or not.

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There were a few dogwood blossoms still hanging on near the General Grant Tree.

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The old general is still looking strong. (Has anyone else noticed that in all the new signs he is simply referred to as “The Grant Tree”? Who stripped him of his title and why?) In two days, on Saturday, June 20, there will be a dedication of this giant sequoia as “a living shrine”. Sounds ceremonial and symbolic. The bigwigs involved in the dedication ceremony will have lunch at the Wilsonia clubhouse after their formalities. I wonder if I should be there to peddle my book. . . nah. They might ask me why I didn’t include any Park cabins and I would feel like a schmuck telling them the truth – “Because you all don’t maintain them and because they would have taken up too much space and not added sales to the book”. (Why does the truth make a person feel schmucky??)

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Oh WOW! I’ve never seen wild iris in yellow before! It is so interesting to me to find new wildflowers and so interesting to realize that Sequoia and Kings Canyon don’t have all the same flora.

Such a fabulous day of clear views of the spectacular canyons of the Kings Rivers. I couldn’t remember which fork was which, but my neighbor was impressed anyway. We headed down toward Cedar Grove just to where she could see the river. The Kings makes the Kaweah look like a weenie little creek. Then it POURED on us!

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IMG_1097On the way back down, we chose to complete the loop by going down 180 to 245 and then taking Hogback to Dry Creek Road. I remembered seeing Bachelor Buttons along Hogback and wondering about them several years ago. YEA! They were in bloom there again. Weird. These are not natives. Such a great color of blue!IMG_1100

 

Book Availability

The Cabins of Wilsonia books are now available in Wilsonia.

BOOK!

Neal Mixter is kind enough to take on the task of selling them whenever there is an event at the clubhouse. The “Village” – Wilsonia Village Inc. – will be making some money with each sale.

I plan to be there on the Fourth of July for the ice cream social, potluck and silent auction. I will also bring the unsold original drawings, but you’ll have to find me later to buy those.

Meanwhile, the book is available on Amazon and through my other website. It isn’t for sale on this website because putting a shopping cart on my blog is above my pay grade. 😎 (That’s smart-aleck-speak for I don’t know how!)

Amazon link to book

book on my other website, cabinart.net

Neighborhood Bookstore, Forgot My Camera

I was invited to participate in an event at someone’s home with a group of authors. The address was provided, so I asked Mr. Google how to get there.

Mr. Google misdirected me. My phone isn’t smart, but I am, and I found the house. (Was it a plot to keep me away??)

You know that saying about “keeping up with the Joneses”? In this neighborhood, these folks definitely were The Joneses – what a fabulous front yard! There were meandering paths, areas of river rock in different colors, almost unmowably shaped patches of perfect lawn, serpentine curbing dividing the spaces, an area called “the orchard” with a variety of fruit trees, pots of blooming zinnias, a small fountain, a blooming mimosa tree, Chinese pistache trees, and that’s just the part I remember! Oh, colored umbrellas, lots of colored umbrellas, red, yellow, green, blue, and probably others too.

The 10 or 11 other authors had paperback books that sold for $10-25. There I sat with The Cabins of Wilsonia for $80. Ahem. I sold one, sold some notecards, and met some wonderful people.

You never know. . . some of them own cabins in other places, one may need an illustrator for her next book, one was the mom of a former drawing student who reassured me her boy didn’t go bad (he was on the edge when he was in my classes and I was worried), and it WASN’T HOT OUTSIDE!!

All in all, it was a pleasant afternoon. Next time, as I pull out of my driveway and have the camera conversation with myself, I’ll go back and get it.

Local Authors Book Signing Event

Since self-publishing has become relatively easy – maybe if it doesn’t involve 278 drawings and learning to use Adobe InDesign and Photoshop and a scanner and finding a printer and choosing your own paper and designing your own cover and dealing with a company that bids improperly and blames the customer – then perhaps it is easy. . . I wouldn’t know about that sort of self-publishing – but I digress.

Since the boom of self-published books, there are many people with their own book to sell. There are many just in Tulare County alone, which is rather astonishing given the fact that we are the 3rd least educated county in the state of California.

Excuse me. There I go again. . . What I meant to tell you is that I have the privilege of being included in a group book signing event in Visalia at someone’s home. Here is the invitation, because YOU are invited.

The Cabins of Wilsonia is my book. You probably knew that. 😎 It has many drawings, because it is a story of a cabin community told in pictures and quotes from cabin folks.

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Mr. Google, who knows all, can tell you how to get here. I will be asking him myself.

Wilsonia Books Available at Redbud Festival

The Redbud Arts and Crafts Festival is a long time tradition in Three Rivers.

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This is redbud in bloom, which happens in March, not May!

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Booths outside.

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Neat furniture!

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Interesting pottery!IMG_4738

More outside booths!IMG_4739

Inside booths!

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This year I will have my books, The Cabins of Wilsonia for sale, along with the original drawings, some framed and some unframed. And, I’ll bring some oil paintings and some Mineral King tee shirts, along with note card packages.

Let’s have a few specifics:

WHEN: Saturday, May 2, 10 AM – 5 PM and Sunday, May 3, 10 AM – 6 PM

WHERE: Three Rivers Veterans Memorial Building, 43490 Sierra Drive, Three Rivers (about 1 mile upstream from Reimer’s AKA “the candy store” on the right as you head uphill)

WHAT: Art and crafts, shown and sold by those who make their own products (no “buy/sell” items allowed at this show), music, food, raffles

WHY: Because it is fun, spring, special, and Mother’s Day is coming

MORE INFO: Arts Alliance of Three Rivers

P.S. I accept cash and checks but not plastic because my phone is not smart like that.

About that book signing in Three Rivers

Nice afternoon. Nice place. Interesting authors. Low attendance. Good practice.

I didn’t realize there would be a schedule for each of us to do a reading.

Reading?? Ummm, did anyone notice that my book is a picture book?

Think fast, Central California Artist!  I just said that I am an artist, not an author and The Cabins of Wilsonia is a picture book. I showed a few pages, told of the idea behind the book which is to present a realistic look at cabin life today, told about getting people to talk about their current cabin experiences, read my favorite quote in the book, and then I read the conclusion.

The other authors were so kind, and asked interested questions. We had great conversations all afternoon among the 5 of us and the visitors. It was a privilege to hang out with the big boys and girls!

Next time I’ll take my camera so you can see what a nice place it was. (I might take some knitting too.)

Book Signing in Three Rivers

On Saturday, April 4, 2015, from 3-6 p.m. there will be a book signing at the Three Rivers Historical Museum.

It began as an event with 2 authors (I am an artist, not an author, but you get the idea?) Now there will be 5 of us with our books. They are Louise Jackson (a dear friend, fellow Mineral King cabin owner, historian and accomplished writer), Shirley Ross (don’t know her), Betty Luceigh (a poet), and Bill Clark (nice man, don’t know what he has written.)

Have you ever been to the Three Rivers Historical Museum? It is a very fine location.

I plan to set up outside on the patio by the fountain and pond. This will give me a nice view of the backside of Paul Bunyan.

Hunh??

Guess you’ll have to come!

The Three Rivers Historical Museum is across the street and downstream of Reimer’s, AKA “the candy store”. If you are heading up the hill, it is on your right before you get to the candy store. Paul Bunyan, a giant redwood statue carved by Carroll Barnes stands guard in front.

See you there?

P.S. I will have The Cabins of Wilsonia, along with some of the original drawings (a few in frames). If you buy from me on Saturday, the most deserving Historical Museum gets a %, which I am happy to share with them.

Accepted!

In Visalia, the county seat of Visalia, is an art group called, appropriately, the “Arts Consortium”. I recently became a member, because they are active in promoting the arts and seem to get results.

Upon joining, artist are allowed to make a page in their Artist Directory. The link to my page is here (will open in a new page).

The Arts Consortium is sponsoring a juried show to hang at the Visalia Convention Center for 2 months. “Juried” means that the artists submit a certain number of pieces, and a juror decides which pieces are in the show. The decision is usually based on the available space, the number of artists who submitted pieces, and perhaps a theme of the show.

When entering such a show, there are forms to be filled out, descriptions to be written, lists to be made, questions to answer, computer pages to be deciphered. It’s a hassle. If there is no fee and there are sales, it feels worth it to me. The group sponsoring a show ALWAYS takes a percentage of sales, but that’s fair.

I met all the requirements, entered the allowed 10 pieces, 5 of which were drawings of Wilsonia cabins.

Two paintings and one drawing were accepted.

Flagged Cabin #1

I’ve titled this piece for the show “Flagged Cabin #1″. It is matted and framed to 11×14″ and is priced at $250. I’ll keep you posted as to the details of the show when I actually know some.

Protecting people’s privacy was important to me as I compiled the book, so I will continue with that even in this blog. No names or addresses. Just a simple and beautiful cabin, drawn in pencil. Do you know which lane it is on in Wilsonia? 

To Frame or Not To Frame

 

272 pencil drawings are a lot to frame, so I’ve only been selling them unframed.

Framing is tricky business. People may not like the frame choice, the mat size, the mat color, or even the mat style. Mats can get fancier than the art if one is not careful, and that would overpower the simplicity of pencil very quickly.

However, I have several events coming this spring, two that involve The Cabins of Wilsonia. 

  1. A book signing in Three Rivers at the Historical Museum with my good friend and local historian/author Louise Jackson. Seems to me that a few framed originals will enhance our display.
  2. A show at the Visalia Convention Center. It is a juried show, which means someone decides which pieces are in and which are not. This is a little nerve-wracking, but it is part of the business of art. I will enter 5 of the Wilsonia drawings, the ones that really stand out to me as exceptional (So how do you choose your favorite children??) Ahem. These are drawings that I am proud of and already had frames and mats to fit.

Doesn’t it feel good to tell the truth?

You can see the latest ones added to my website on this page: Original Wilsonia Drawings. If you use the Sort by newness button, you will see the latest ones.

Here is a sneak peek. However, if you have a copy of the book, you will have already seen this. This version is enhanced. If I had printed the book with this sort of enhancement, the price would have tripled! It would have looked mighty fine, but I took price into consideration when making those decisions.

Flagged Cabin #1

Flagged Cabin #1, framed and matted to 11×14, $250