Thursday, July 26, 2012

Nasturtiums Flowers Vegetable Garden in Paintings by K. Joann Russell

Nasturtiums in Vegetable Garden

Nasturtiums have been the subject in many of my paintings. Their colors draw my attention with their bright yellows and oranges. This morning there they were bright and bold peeking out from under a tomato plant!

This year any nasturtiums in my cottage garden of flowers and vegetables are volunteers. I've planted none of their seeds, but they have provided surprise spots of color amid the multitude of greens. In the area where the birds hang out, the nasturtiums are so prolific that the little birds skitter around under the leaves.

Did you notice another telltale leaf besides the nasturtium and tomato?  Click on the photo to enlarge it. Yes, there are new strawberry plants tucked away in spots in the garden getting settled in before production next year. 

Here's one of the paintings I've done of nasturtiums. Do you think it is time I painted another original of these colorful flowers?

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Beautiful Trader Joe Rose for a Colorful Painting

Let me introduce you to my Trader Joe rose garden! This gorgeous rosebud caught my eye this morning when I went to water the garden before today's weather hits 80 degrees! Yeah!

As you can guess, I'm a Trader Joe fan for their specialty foods. At one of their stores several years ago I bought a tiny, about 4 inches in diameter, potted rose to bring some cheer to the proverbial gray days of Seattle. I enjoyed that little rose bush indoors, so on a whim I planted it outdoors among other plants in a large pot and forgot about it. I didn't expect a house plant to survive outdoors.

Come summer there was that rose growing among the other flowers. I kept it and it grew taller and bloomed each year despite being repotted and moved interstate more than once. 

The rose was originally a pink color. It has slowly transitioned to this beautiful apricot color of today. The plant is about 3 feet tall and producing rose after rose. Along side it I have planted a second Trader Joe rose that is a deep red, or at least it was when I purchased it this past winter. There's one bud on it at the present which looks as though it is red. We'll see!

Even though my paintings are known for their bright colors this little treasure is begging to be painted in its delicate colors. Should I paint it in watercolors or opaque paints such as acrylics or oils? View a watercolor I painted in light, delicate colors. 

This rosebush must be a metaphor for survivors, the stuff of poetic words about beauty from ashes. Not being a poet, I'm just delighted to see my Trader Joe rose thriving wherever it is planted. 

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Bright Blue Hydrangea Flowers and Small Space Gardeners

8 x 10" signed print

Sunshine in Seattle today and we "city farmers", aka urban gardeners, revel in our outdoor growing treasures! I started my day by cutting a glass vase full of blue hydrangeas like those in this print of one of my hydrangea paintings. There is nothing like that blue color.

In the Seattle Times newspaper this morning an article on tiny, I mean really, really tiny, gardens caught my eye and intrigued my creative nature. I delighted in reading blog posts on 66 square feet living in NYC miniature apartment with miniscule "deck" for two adults and one cat!

After that my cottage garden looked mammoth only to have a neighbor tell me where he and others garden big time in a rich topsoil community garden to provide for their own dinner tables and the local Food Banks.  That I want to do, too, after sharing this summer the sunshine of my yard with neighbors in total shade so they could grow their own tomatoes along side mine!

Oh, yes, my sunflowers are reaching for the sky, slowly, so I'll have them for source material for sunflower paintings. See my sunflower original paintings and prints at my website. 

Monday, July 23, 2012

Bright Red Gladiola Flowers Watercolor in Print Sale

"Red Gladioli"
8 x 10" signed print in 11 x 14" mat
E-mail about purchasing

This beautiful watercolor painting which I really liked celebrates a transition for me. The last of the matted prints of this original watercolor of bright red gladioli flowers go on sale today! The remaining inventory of prints assembled in mats is down to only four. So many people have enjoyed my summer surprise sale.

By the end of this month signed prints without mats or frame will be available only from my website and a select few online vendors. Unsigned prints, framed or unframed in a variety of sizes on paper or canvas, will continue to be handled through "print on demand" publishers. The link to one of these publishers, Fine Art America, is to the right in the slideshow. 

Outsourcing the assembling and shipping of prints in mats will provide me more time to do what I do best, i.e., PAINT! In addition, publishers can provide more custom services such as framing with their facilities that handle large volumes of prints. This is a win-win. You will have more original paintings to choose from AND a wide range of print and framing options with built in guarantees.

Be sure to sign up for your e-mail subscription to this blog so you can be one of the first to see new paintings as they are posted. I'll continue to do the popular smaller sizes, even an ACEO on occasion, but I've had so many requests lately for larger size paintings that I need to get back to painting them. It has been several years since Art Business News magazine interviewed me and a few other artists about the trend from large to small paintings. 

What's coming? Look for more landscapes in oil paintings. Continue to enjoy my popular sunflowers.  And maybe I'll paint a small watercolor occasionally.
Use the link in the right hand column of this blog to e-mail me about purchasing the remaining matted prints. 

What attracted you to my art? Let's hear your comments. 


Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Colorful Landscape Oil Painting California Valley from Mt. Ashland Oregon

"California Valley"
3 7/8 x 5 7/8" Oil Painting

Today's colorful landscape painting depicts a small valley in northern California from a vantage point on Mt. Ashland in southern Oregon. I painted this small oil painting over an underpainting of a rustic red color to give spots of contrast to the many evergreen colors of the varieties of trees. Click on the photo to see the nuances of colors.

The scene is a memory painting from a trip my brother and I took up the hot August narrow dusty roads of the mountain to move his daughter's furniture from a cabin. A spot on one side of the road gave a bird's eye view into a green valley tucked away in the far reaches of northern California. The specks of red also indicate how hot it was that day, over 100 degrees! 

Another part of that scorching hot day was the challenge of turning a loaded four horse trailer and extended cab truck in a tiny area in front of a garage!

The painting is a small gem, 3 7/8 x 5 7/8 inch on gessoed watercolor paper. It is sealed with UV protective varnish. The painting comes to you unframed.


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