Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Celebrating Sunflower Studio Art

"Sunflower Series #5"
28 x 20" watercolor on paper

Time to celebrate! It has been a long time since 1983 when this watercolor was featured in an article by the art critic at that time, Alan R. Hayakawa of the Portland Oregonian. He wrote of a gallery show of my work and commented on my bright flower paintings. Those were the days when I did gallery shows.

I've used this image as a logo for my website. Today I started a Facebook Page for Sunflower Studio Art using this logo again. Online networking has been keeping me busy learning and having fun in recent weeks. I don't have any paintings to show for all the clicking of computer keys, but I think this image aptly says, "you've come a long way, baby!"

Consider how many changes occurred during this time span. We didn't have websites then. Etsy wasn't a thriving marketplace. Cell phones, ipods, all the technology we consider essential now have changed everything, especially in the art world. However, nothing can replace the uniqueness of a handmade, one of a kind, bona fide original piece of art. We still treasure that human touch of creativity to our "things".

A special thanks to all those who helped me along the way to continue this artistic journey!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Rural Western Landscape Sketch by K Joann Russell

Rural Landscape Sketch
5 x 8 1/2" acrylic on paper

Sunshine in Seattle! It is actually very warm today. Two days in a row! Everyone comes outdoors on days like these, including me. I've switched to oil paints with this warm weather. They take so long to dry in the winter damp.

I've been working on a rural landscape with horses in it, similar to a recent watercolor. The colors are a little muted and I wasn't getting the effect I wanted. I pulled out another unfinished landscape oil painting of bright colors in light and shadow. That's what I would like in all my landscapes.

Yesterday in the gorgeous weather I studied again my color mixes and considered a few new ones. At the end of the day without much time left I grabbed some acrylic paints and worked really fast to get better colors. This is the sketch I did in my artistic journal.

I like the vibrant colors and the spontaneity of the brushwork. The subject is not well defined on purpose, but that's okay. I achieved what I wanted.

A number of my spontaneous sketches of late have resulted in landscapes. I've received so many gracious compliments on my landscapes recently that I'm working my way back into doing more of them. Before an art professor suggested I paint all the flowers in my garden, I painted only landscapes. I assure you my sunflowers and flowers won't go away, but I'll continue improving my rural landscapes. Maybe I'll also do more horses.

Thanks for your patience in waiting for my infrequent postings. Where has the last month gone?


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