Monday, September 14, 2009

First Sunflower Painting from New Studio

"One Bright Sunflower"
12 x 9" watercolor on watercolor paper

Here's the first completed painting from my new location in Grants Pass, Oregon. I so enjoy the bright blue skies and I haven't tired of viewing the evergreen covered mountains surrounding this valley. I think the bright light influenced how I painted this watercolor.

After finishing the painting today, what a comedy to find and set up the camera tripod in a new lighting area. The funniest part was the hunt for my inventory sheets so that I could correctly number and label this watercolor. I had put them in a secure place during the packing prior to the move. Yes, I finally found them tucked in with the other precious files of decor prints.

Click here to purchase this colorful painting.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

K. Joann Russell Joins Grants Pass, Oregon Art Scene

The sun still shines in this mountain valley along the Rogue River with blue skies rather than a background of gray. I can't get over the warmth even after a brief rain shower. More temperatures in the 90's forecast for the rest of this week.

Each day I'm meeting new people in this lovely area where a notable artists' community impacts the cultural scene. Today I visited a few galleries and the art museum. I'm getting tempted to display in galleries again. And I joined the local social networking site, The Grants Pass Art Scene. It's fun getting connected locally after being on the web almost exclusively for the last several years.

Yes, I've been painting amid the endless details of relocation. A sunflower watercolor that has "bugged" me for some time is actually evolving to a nice finish.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Can a Rock Garden Grow Sunflowers?

Today I started to meet the challenge of a yard with a field of rocks. I've been digging in special areas of all those rocks to find the soil underneath. Yesterday it was a lot of hardpan clay. Today I found a few spots where the soil looks much more promising, so I've started to think of a design for my new garden that includes rocks, lots of them.

The sole sunflower plant I nurtured yesterday is still alive and well. So are the chrysanthemums and purple salvia. No, I didn't plant them directly in clay. However, I estimate that a lot of soil enrichment will have to be in my budget if I'm going to achieve any fall or spring planting.

I haven't chosen the spot for my sunflowers yet, but I will once I figure out the soil enrichment. I definitely will have lots and lots of nasturtiums because they do so well in poor soil. They'll make a colorful contrast with the dark gray rocks.

The best harbinger to encourage me this morning with this challenge was a dove that visited my new plantings. Several house finches surveyed my yard from the top of the fence. And the Blue Jays found the suet feeder in a small tree.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

One Sunflower Garden is a Start

In my new garden in Grants Pass, OR I've planted one sunflower plant courtesy of the garden section of BiMart! That's a start. It's too late in the season to plant seeds, so one is better than none.

At the end of a week of moving, I was able to attend a Donna Downey workshop with both of my daughters over the weekend. I had assumed I wouldn't be free for the intensive multi-media workshop. That turned out to be the "ah-ha" time of the whole week.

In the photo below are Liz of Tacoma, WA, Donna Downey, MaryAnn of San Ramon, CA, and myself. The workshop energized all of us even though we were all travel-weary. Donna came from South Carolina to Grants Pass, Oregon!


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