Saturday, December 27, 2008

Garden Frog Dances in Seattle Snow Storms

New Garden Flag Flying over Garden Frog

It all started so simply. It's not unusual to have a sizeable dusting of snow in the Seattle area in November or December, even before the official winter day of Dec. 21st. So, I put out the new garden flag, an early Christmas present from a young artist grandson named Sean in California who created the design. You know, the Bay Area that doesn't get this white stuff? I wanted to send him a picture to say "thank you" and show him the snowy flower bed. To read about Sean at his creative mom's blog click here.

New Garden Flag over Dancing Frog

The weather forecasters warned us! Multiple storms bringing more and more snow. In the Puget Sound area of Washington State the weather varies considerably from place to place because of wind flows, mountains, water, etc. and where all those intersect. Locally, it is the oft heard Convergence Zone. That means that the folks north of Seattle may get more because of the Canadian cold air. But, those of us on the south end can get more snow because of the amount of moisture from the Pacific Ocean skirting around the southern end of the Olympic Mountains. This time it didn't matter in which part of this area you lived. Everyone got snowed on, including our beaches.

New Garden Flag, but Where is the Garden Frog?

Another day, another snow wouldn't stop. It wasn't over yet. The last day of snowfall left the frog with only his higher raised hand peeking out of the snow. I had to resort to my Canon AEl camera rather than my Sony digital camera to show that hand above the snow, so I don't have the final photo to share with you. My internet connection went out in the middle of all this mess! We are rather short on snowplows and salt for our hilly terrain so I didn't get to the fix-it shop for a few days.

A very, very white Christmas we had! The storms forced all of us to Plan B for groceries, gifts, holiday celebrations, and on and on. Now the rain has started at the rate of an inch a day, so say the forecasters, to wash away the snow pile after pile. It's great to be back almost to business as usual.

What was I painting these last two weeks of "weather"? Various projects and lots of end of the year organizational actitivies, bookkeeping and filing, for example. I've also been intrigued with visual journalling. This has given me a creative boost as I use a variety of media to express the dailiness of life without prose writing.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

White Irises Daily Painting, Colorful Painting by Artist K. Joann Russell

"White Irises Study"
5.75 x 4" Acrylic on Watercolor Paper

How time flies... when you're having fun! Right? It's been awhile since I posted to this blog. Lots of painting going on but no tiny paintings to add to this blog. Sorry, folks!

I finally did a small one as I prepare for a painting of white irises. The trick is painting whites using subtle shadows. It's kind of like the negative painting I like to do in watercolors.

An interesting part of this study was my "testing" of the effects of titanium white and "soft white" (acrylic label). The first is a white with a touch of "coolness", a tiny blue tinge. The second has a touch of yellow which "warms" the white. Have you ever dealt with this when painting white walls in your house? There's white and then there's white! Check out the white color chips at the paint store to see what I'm talking about.

I started this study leaving the white of the paper for the lightest parts of the flowers as I used a wash of ultramarine blue to indicate the shadow areas. Later I added titanium white to the light areas because the paper wasn't white enough to suit me. When I added mixtures of dark blues for the background areas the whole painting started to feel "cold" even though I added touches of orange. So, my last paint applications were of "soft white". That achieved the temperature I wanted and the contrasts to render the painting interesting.


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