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Purple Hat
  • Fresno, CA
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Purple Hat's Friends

  • Andra Christenson
  • Efrén Ruiz-Ortega
  • Donovan Conway
  • Melanie Fountain
  • Ray Arena
  • SIN
  • Art Zocalo
  • Kathy Ritscher
  • Brent Brooks
  • Lea McAndrews  Gallery Lea

Purple Hat's Page

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*When it comes to the mountains, if Purple Hat hasn*t done it all, he*s seen it all!

Fresno, CA based, Purple Hat, who has hiked my rugged 210 mile long trail many times, is the author of 'High Adventure on the JOHN MUIR TRAIL!', and the owner of High Sierra Wilderness Images.

*I like to photograph Nature*s intense color, drama, power, vastness, and struggle. If you can drive a car to it, I don*t want to photograph it!*

Purple Hat spends extended amounts of time in the Sierras, usually alone, which allows him to continue his love affair with Mother Nature, a gal who caught my fancy, too, I*ll admit!

I also admire Purple Hat*s sense of adventure! During his big wall climber phase, he climbed Yosemite Valley*s El Capitan four times, Half Dome, the Leaning Tower, Quarter Dome, and the Lost Arrow! His new high risk sport is high alpine lake swimming, the higher and more remote, the better, which even chills me, literally and figuratively! More mundane, he*s been chased by ghosts, sat in 109 degree hot springs, slept in caves and on high mountain passes, and hiked nude to the top of Mt. Whitney at night during a full moon!

Purple Hat*s sense of ethics mirrors mine, or at least what they would be today!

As much as I love my two daughters, Helen and Wanda, I view Purple Hat as the son I never had. He truly is this era*s John Muir!

I can*t wait to see the book Purple Hat is currently working on, 'Wildflowers of the JOHN MUIR TRAIL!*

-The Ghost of John Muir

Purple Hat's images can be seen at Purple Hat can be reached, when not in the Sierras, at 559.251.1249, or P. O. Box 7629, Fresno, CA 93747-7629, or
Arts Specialty:
Limited edition, very large, panoramic images of the highest and most remote parts of our Sierras.

The above panoramic image, "FIRST SWIM!," and all of the rest below came from my recent 21 day trip in the Sierras during which I was swimming all of California's highest lakes, for my newest book "PURPLE HAT SWIMS CALIFORNIA'S HIGHEST LAKES!" I've written 9 chapters so far, and try to write one or two a day.The book will make you laugh, make you cry, and probably also scare you, as some of the swims were very high (over 13,000') and very cold (51 degrees). Owing in no small to its active glacier on its west side, and its elevation at just below 12,800', Purple Hat Lake #5, as I modestly named it after swimming across it and back, was 51 degrees (in 12" of water; it was actually colder in the deeper areas, but what's a couple of degrees when you're having so much fun!)! The first public showing of all of these and other panos, will be next March during a 1/2 show with Bob Barks in the Spectrum Art Gallery in the Tower. YOU ARE ALL INVITED!
I'll have a huge showing of my panos in September, October, and November, 2009 at the River Parkway. YOU ARE ALL INVITED ALSO! Not only will I show many panos from this year, but 2 that I made last year, "9 SIERRA SHROOMS" and "MARIE LAKE @ SUNSET" both of which are currently viewable at the Planet Java in Clovis at Fowler and Ashlan, but probably some panos from my planed 60 day Sierra trip next summer!


Generally, most of these panos, after custom matting and custom framing will be 8' x 4'!

I've also put new art into my Fulton Mall Window Gallery in the Berkley Building (right behind the baseball field, or just across from the old Gotchalks) which are 9 images of bright and colorful wildflowers from my upcoming book "PURPLE HAT'S WILDFLOWERS OF THE JOHN MUIR TRAIL!"

I'd also like to note that I'm showing my MY CROSS CHRISTIAN ART ( at the following shows this fall:

Saturday, September 13, in the evening, MILLA WINERY-Wild Women on Wine
Saturday, September 20, 10 AM to 3 PM, N. W. CHURCH-9th Annual Art Show
Saturday, September 20, 5 PM to 9 PM, BENTLEY'S-The Pink Show's 3rd Gala Reception
Thursday, October 2, 5 PM to 8 PM, CHRIS SORENSENS-The Pink Show Art Hop
Friday, October 3, in the evening, BENTLEYS Art Night
Friday, October 10, in the evening, BENTLEYS Art Night
Saturday, October 11, 10 AM to 5 PM, INTERMOUNTAIN NURSERY'S (Prather) 16th Annual Harvest Arts & Peace Festival
Sunday, October 12, 10 AM to 4 PM, INTERMOUNTAIN NURSERY'S (Prather) 16th Annual Harvest Arts & Peace Festival
Friday, October 17, 5PM to 9 PM, Ballroom in the old Security Pacific Bank building, Dear Crystal Meth show
Saturday, October 18, 12 PM to 6 PM, MILLA WINERY, Fall Wine Journey
Sunday, October 18, 12 PM to 6 PM, MILLA WINERY, Fall Wine Journey
Friday, October 24, in the evening, BENTLEYS At Night
Saturday, November 1, in the evening, BENTLEYS Art Night
Friday, November 7, in the evening, BENTLEYS Art Night

Peace be with you.
Purple Hat

Purple Hat's Blog

Would you like to spend 30 days up by Mt. Whitney with Purple Hat in July?

I'm going back up to Mt. Whitney in July to take another crack at swimming its 60 lakes.  I'm leaving, as I see it now, subject of course to more storms, more snow, and the melt off, on July 3, hitting the trail on July 4.  There will be at least one resupply. 


I'm actually going to do more than take another crack at it:  I'm not coming back empty handed!


Its my trip, but you can come along with no guiding fee; all you have to do is pay for…


Posted on March 21, 2012 at 6:31pm

Then . . .

Then I made another business, making easels, and named it Downtown Easels.  Then I finally got going on my friend Sin's idea of making huge canvasses, and named it West Coast Canvasses.  So then I moved in my CHRISTian art business, My Cross CHRISTian Art.  Somewhere in here also is my thrill swimming business, High Sierra Wilderness Thrill Swimer, along with my fitness business High Sierra Wilderness Fitness.  I've also got my publishing business, White Bark Pines Publishing, for my books… Continue

Posted on May 3, 2011 at 8:33am — 1 Comment

I'm in need of your help!

I'm interested in assembling a group of members of the writer's group, except for Sin, to discuss an issue about my latest book, Purple Hat Swims California's Highest Lakes! If you are interested, please contact me at I would want you to read a brief email from me, and then two 1 page samples of my writing, and tell me which of the two samples you like the best, and why. This should take no more than 15 minutes. Thanks alot! Purple Hat

Posted on June 19, 2009 at 9:05pm — 1 Comment

Purple Hat plans full moon lake swim!

"It's outrageous!" said FresMaybe based adventurer/author/limited edition photographic artist & inventor in describing his plans for July's full moon. "I get to combine my two greatest fears, the dark, and swimming, into one activity! Just because I want to make sure that my friends don't complain that I whimped out because this all is occuring during a full moon, I'm adding in one more variable, and fear: heights! Yes, I'm swimming out to an island during that night, and climbing to its… Continue

Posted on June 1, 2009 at 11:45am — 4 Comments

Purple Hat is done with his latest adventure book

I've finished my latest new book, Purple Hat* Swims California Highest Lakes, and I'm very pleased with it. The text runs 115 pages, and there is 37 pages of photographs. It is about my adventures last August in an attempt to swim all 18 of California's lakes located 12,500' or higher! The book has many hilarious moments, several scary moments, and a few profound moments. It is for sale for $50 + tx, but for members of Fresno Arts, it is $40 + tx. For more on it, either call me at 797.5925 or… Continue

Posted on April 19, 2009 at 6:22am

Comment Wall (13 comments)

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At 8:12am on May 8, 2011, Craig Mendez said…
Great stuff as always Purple glad to see you on  fresnoarts.
At 5:14pm on November 6, 2009, Rosemary Lakovich said…
We would have loved to come to your reception at the River House, you have such inspiring photos but have trouble with mobility. I read details of event and am happy to see that your work will be up till the Nov 30. I will get down before then and check them out. I love the River House. I have a herb garden by the side/back steps that I planted a few years ago. You a quite a explorer, thanks for documenting it.
At 6:26pm on April 19, 2009, Andra Christenson said…
What wonderful adventures you are involved in. I'll check out the Mycross address. I'd love to talk to you some day about the kid's environment book. I've worked in environmental education for years. I'm off to a Children's Writer's Bootcamp weekend in May to improve my writing. I have about 6 stories in process. I need to focus on one at a time and start submitting them or decide to self publish. I have an amazing illustrator who is also an environmental educator. Have a restful evening. Andra
At 9:39am on April 19, 2009, Andra Christenson said…
Hey Purple Hat. Who are you? I saw some of your photographs. AMAZING! I've made all kinds of hats and puppets. The hat that was the most fun was a hamburger complete with onions, lettuce, and a sign that said "well done'. I am an artist, writer, weaver, and puppeteer.
My day job has been as an elementary school teacher and Charter School developer. I get a sick feeling inside when I think of having to go back to the insanity in the public schools. I would rather make a living in a more creative way. However, the house payment and bills may dictate otherwise for while until I wean myself from them.
Tell me more about yourself.
At 2:39pm on March 23, 2009, AUDREY RAWLINGS ARENA said…
Hi Purple Hat, I didn't have time to check again, but I think I was asking, where on your site is the link for other artists (besides yourself) to set up a display with thembnails pricing etc. I think you said you would take 10% of the sales price. My email is if you can send me a link to where I i might upload some of my work.
At 7:10pm on March 21, 2009, Merrily McCarthy said…
At 8:01am on September 11, 2008, AUDREY RAWLINGS ARENA said…
Sounds good, your site is very insprational. Let me know when you have a section up for other artist's work, I couldn't find it. Do you have a paypal button, or send invoices? Audrey
At 8:50am on September 10, 2008, AUDREY RAWLINGS ARENA said…
Hi Purple Hat, nice to see your beautiful work here. Will you be needing any "Angels" for the spring art exhibit at your church? I have enough for a large "cross". Audrey
At 10:42am on September 6, 2008, Kathy Ritscher said…
I am showing at Milla Vineyard on the 13th. See you there!
At 2:23pm on September 4, 2008, Art Zocalo said…
Cool picture, you look like a mountain man or a prospector!

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