Pencil Drawing of Wilsonia Cabin

The book The Cabins of Wilsonia is completed, published and for sale.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch (where did that saying come from?), I still draw cabins in pencil. (I oil paint too, but that’s a different subject on a different blog,, a blog that covers all aspects of my art business).

Some folks liked my work in the book, but it only contained a drawing of their chimney. They asked me to draw their entire cabin.

It took us over a year to work out the details of what they wanted, We began with a few sketches, which then needed to be discussed and revised.


There were details they wanted to be sure appeared in the drawing that were just too small to appear in the sketches. When they were convinced that I knew all the little things that mattered to them, I was able to begin.



I work from left to right, top to bottom, to avoid smearing.



And finally, finished!

Wilsonia commission

We were all very pleased with the outcome!

Wilsonia Book For Sale

Sometimes I get emails or phone calls asking where to buy the book, The Cabins of Wilsonia.

The 2 short answers are:

  1. Amazon
  2. From me

Amazon is self-explanatory if one shops online. Here is the link. The Cabins of Wilsonia

“From me” has options:

  1. Mail a check to my P.O. Box and I will mail a book to you. (P.O. Box 311, Three Rivers, CA 93271)
  2. Send money via Paypal to, making sure to include your shipping address, and I will send you a book.
  3. See me at a show/boutique/presentation/festival/arts and crafts fair and buy the book there.
  4. Use the Paypal Add To Cart button on the Book For Sale page.
  5. Call me and I will tell you all the options. (559-561-7606)
  6. Encounter me by accident somewhere, and I will pull a book out of the trunk of my car for you. Checks or cash, but not plastic. (And I drive a stick shift and don’t have a microwave either.)

The book is $81, which includes tax. I will pay the mailing costs, and no, I don’t charge a “handling fee”. (Doesn’t it bug you when a company says “free shipping” and then tacks on a “handling fee”?)

Here is another handy Paypal Add To Cart button so you don’t even have to test out any of those other methods.


True confessions of a confused artist: I can’t figure out if the Add To Cart button includes sales tax or not. If you get charged more than $81 when using this button,  I will reimburse you. Sometimes the very technology that is supposed to simplify our lives confounds and confuses and complicates things. Have you noticed that?

Rougher and Scarier

This a.m. I received this email about the Rough Fire:

Friends and neighbors:

Per the NPS this morning:

At 0600 we are instituting a closure of the the Grant Grove area with a barricade at the Wye.  This will be followed by an Evacuation Order going out to all residents and guests. The IMT will staff the barricade and they will NOT be allowing anyone other than Fire personnel to enter.

Park officials remain confident that the prescribed burns completed over the last 10-15 years which provide a protective “donut” around Wilsonia and Grant Grove will slow or stop the spread of the fire in the event that it approaches the area from the northern or western boundary of the park.

As mentioned in the last update, the fire moved around Hoist Ridge at the Kings River. The fire has since progressed up the Verplank drainage, and is, according to the 9-9 operation map, between 3 to 4 miles NW of the General Grant tree. Existing contingency lines are being reinforced, and new ones are being developed.

The latest reports state:

West of Hoist Ridge the fire will remain active. Air tankers will provide aerial drops of water and retardant to slow the fire’s advance.

In area north of Sequoia Lake, crews will scout and access potential location to extend the fireline between the Chicago Stump area and Highway 180.

Crews will continue to improve the contingency line along McKenzie Ridge north to the Kings River.

Neal Mixter

Thank you, Neal, for your consistent and accurate updates.

Pray, people, pray. 

First Book Talk


Book talk? What means that?

It means that if I want to sell books, I need to take them to groups and talk about them. So, my first event of that nature will be for the Tulare-Kings Genealogical Society, this coming Thursday evening.

My entire point of the book, The Cabins of Wilsonia,  is that Cabin Communities Matter.

There isn’t much to brag on in Tulare County in terms of architecture. There’s my favorite bridge (on the Mineral King Road), the Fox Theater in Visalia is quite handsome, and there are various homes around the county that are respectable. What I think is truly remarkable is our cabin communities, particularly Wilsonia.

You knew that already because I spent 4 years making a book about it.

So, it is time for me to begin promoting my book. Here is the first event of that nature:

Tulare-Kings Genealogical Society

Thursday, September 3, 2015, 6:30 p.m.

Tulare City Public Library, Olympic Room

475 North M Street, Tulare, California


Rough and Scary

The “Rough Fire”  is an appropriate name, although it was named for the Rough Ridge where it started rather than the difficulties it has caused.

It has made life in Wilsonia and the surrounding areas very uncomfortable – unhealthy air, road and area and services closures, worries about safety in many places, and worry about the cabin community.

Neal Mixter has been wonderfully on-the-spot and up-to-the-minute with his fire reports. His latest says this:

The planned reopening of Wilsonia and Grant Grove to the public was postponed at least until tomorrow (Tuesday) due to increased smoke and worsened air quality in the area. The Rough Fire has grown, but so has the containment percentage, currently at 17%. The areas of concern for Hume Lake, Grant Grove and Wilsonia are very near containment. Wilsonians reported heavy smoke in the village this morning and noticeable presence of firefighting aircraft throughout the day. 

In the next day or two, we will announce the status of the Wilsonia events scheduled for this weekend.

Cabin owner and friend Jean Faszholz shared several photos with me. I didn’t ask her permission to share this with you, but I’ll live dangerously and show her photo:

wilsonia smoke from faszholzWe in MIneral King are also experiencing dense smoke. Mineral King is probably 30-50 crow-flying miles to the south of Wilsonia. Not complaining, because we aren’t living with the scariness of the fire being close. It’s smoky in Three Rivers too, so it feels as if there is no place to go to breathe clear air.

Welcome to Central California in a drought year during fire season. It’s rough, folks. Scary too.


I Can Draw Your Cabin


Do you have a cabin in Wilsonia? Big Bear? Montana? Hume Lake? Hartland? Camp Nelson? Alaska?


I can draw it for you in pencil. I am Cabinart, and have been since 1987.

If your cabin is already in the Wilsonia book, The Cabins of Wilsonia, the drawing might available.


If it is in The Cabins of Wilsonia, but you prefer a different view, I can do that.



I price by size.  9×12 – $200, 11×14 – $275, 12×16 – $275, and on up.

sertich gray

There is sales tax. Welcome to California.

Incompetence and Awkwardness Corrected

I kept emailing the Wilsonia cabin owner to inquire if the Post Office had forwarded my incorrectly addressed card.


Finally, I asked if she’d like me to copy the sketch and email it to her. Being a gracious and understanding customer, she was agreeable.

Well, oops.

I drew the wrong side of the cabin. She wanted the front, I drew the back. I didn’t look at the photos she sent me, only looked at the ones I had taken. Knowing that more living happens on the back side than the front, I just wasn’t really paying attention.

Holy cow.

What a gracious and forgiving customer, who kindly let me know that wasn’t the view she had asked for.

That’s the reason I do sketches! Let’s get it all figured out at the small scribbly stage before I pour hours into the precision and detail that make up my pencil commissions.

Quickly, I did 2 more sketches for her. Fast. Immediately. Scanned. Emailed. Red-faced. Git-er-dun. Giddy-up. Hubba, hubba, hubba.

cabin sketches

She preferred the extra width showing in version B, and you can believe I got on it, immediately without delay!

commissioned pencil drawing IMG_1462

Incompetence and Awkwardness

Last winter, a Wilsonia cabin owner contacted me about drawing her cabin. It was to be a gift for her sweet mama. Getting photos wasn’t going to be easy, in spite of the lack of snow. Cabins are closed in the winter, which means there are shutters on the windows which makes them look quite uninviting.

No hurry, said she.

No worry, summer’s coming, said me.

Suddenly, Sweet Mama’s birthday was almost here. Customer said, “Oops”, maybe you can do a quick sketch or something and send it to Sweet Mama in time for her birthday and here is the down payment on the drawing and here are a few photos.

quick sketch

No problem. I did the sketch, turned it into a birthday card, and sent it off.


Yes, they had moved and I didn’t make note of which address was correct – from the check or from the envelope.


What is an incompetent artist to do in this awkward situation?

Tune in on Monday, August 17 to see what happened next.


Why I Still Go To Wilsonia

The full title is too long – Why I Still Go To Wilsonia Even Though The Book Is Finished.

  1.  I like it there.
  2. I have friends there.
  3. Some people want me to draw their cabins. (Really?? After 272 drawings in the book? Yeppers. They want their cabin drawn their way. It’s okay. I love to draw.)
  4. It is fun there, especially over the 4th of July with the parade, ice cream social, silent auction, and potluck.
  5. Ahem. I have books to sell! The Cabins of Wilsonia  is for sale. Want one? This is the link.