Happy trails

Sunday’s Sierra Art Trails had it all: great weather, a Fresno River that actually had water in it, outstanding brownies (thank you, teenage son of Lisa Anderson and Martin Shapiro), friendly patrons, a nice Coarsegold lunch spot (another thank you, Wild Fig Kitchen), and even a substitute landscape photographer (Franka Gabler had to catch a plane to Italy, so a friend held down the fort at her studio).

Plus, of course, welcoming artists at every stop.

I stuck to the southern part of the Trails this year, starting at Yosemite Lakes Park and making it to the outskirts of Oakhurst. I only wish I could have visited even more artists. But there’s always next year! Here’s my pictorial journey.


With Carolyn Hartling in Yosemite Lakes Park. My friend Barbara bought the beautiful painting right above us.


With Cory Ballis in Yosemite Lakes Park. He’s having a grand opening of his Fresno glass studio on Oct. 20.



With Ginny Burdick, who skipped Sierra Art Trails this year but is always a supporter. She has a big national pastel show at her Fresno gallery, A Sense of Place.


At Yosemite Lakes Park with Lori Levine. The Fresno artist loves painting fish and angels.


With Cathy McCrery-Cordle at Yosemite Lakes Park, who specializes in macro photography. She has some great closeups of raindrops.


With Lisa Anderson at Yosemite Lakes Park, who showed with her husband, Martin Shapiro. She works in glass; he does ceramics.


With Karen English at Yosemite Lakes Park, who uses gemstones, sea glass, shells and pearls in her jewelry.


Photographer Franka Gabler couldn’t be at her studio, so I posed with her artist statement.


I stopped by the wonderful little Coarsegold Historical Society for a display of photographs by world traveler Karen Tillison.


Carolie Jensen, who showed at the Coarsegold Historic Village, makes and paints baskets and gourds, among other things. And the most unusual item I saw all day: artistic toilet seat covers!


I can always rely on Kerby Smith and Lura Schwarz Smith to offer cutting-edge quilting and fiber art, often using digital technology. We’re at Coarsegold Family Chiropractic. Plus, Kerby revived his “Yosemite in Winter” photography show.


Oakhurst’s Trowzers Akimbo does both representational art and Cubism. (He’s a lover of Picasso.) I really like his Cubist-style portrait of Fresno’s Chris Sorensen, below. His long career includes working on “The Tonight Show” with Johnny Carson, directing animated TV commercials and developing computer games. Plus: Where else on Sierra Art Trails can you see an actual Emmy, which he won?


Last stop on a busy day: I check in with Oakhurst’s Jeff Grandy, who does some amazing macro photography of the surface of water. The strange colors, patterns and shapes he captures from area creek beds are intense and mesmerizing.

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Covering the arts online in the central San Joaquin Valley and beyond. Lover of theater, classical music, visual arts, the literary arts and all creative endeavors. Former Fresno Bee arts critic and columnist. Graduate of Columbia University and Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. Excited to be exploring the new world of arts journalism.

Comments (1)

  • Stephen

    Trowzers Akimbo? What an interesting name and what STUNNING artwork! He’s easily the most talented artist I’ve ever seen in the Central Valley. Wow.


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