Monday, November 25, 2013

Colorful Daily Landscape Oil Painting Sand Bar Puget Sound K. Joann Russell

"Dash Point Low Tide"
5 x 7" oil

One day I went for lunch down to the beach near the fishing pier. I was awe struck by how far the sand bar extended into Puget Sound. Today's daily painting, "Dash Point Low Tide", a colorful original landscape oil painting, shows an impressionistic view of the Dash Point Park sand bar.  People seemed so small on the vast expanse of wet sand.  

Lots of surface texture on this small painting makes the evergreen forest of the park seem so real. In the distance the Cascade Mountains seem part of the cloudy sky.

"Dash Point Low Tide" is an oil painting on archivally prepared mat board and ready to place in a standard size frame. The painting is 5 x 7"

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Mountain Marsh Colorful Original Daily Oil Painting Pacific Northwest Landscape

"Mountain Marsh"
5 x 7" oil

Today's daily painting I've entitled "Mountain Marsh". This colorful original landscape oil painting shows an impressionistic view of wetland marsh waters in a mountain meadow. 

Beautiful to look at but not fun hiking through the wet sponge of ground water. Hiking through the Pacific Northwest forests often challenges one to jump across streams, gingerly walk across fallen logs, or take the long way round! 

Lots of surface texture on this small painting makes the scene seem so real. This painting can be your special memory piece of your favorite hike. 

Friday, November 15, 2013

Colorful Original Landscape Oil Painting of Forest Stream by K.Joann Russell

Forest Stream original colorful landscape oil painting by K. Joann Russell
"Forest Stream"
5 x 7" oil painting

"Forest Stream", today's daily painting, reminds us of the sights on a hike through the forests of the Pacific Northwest.  This colorful original landscape oil painting shows an impressionistic view of cascading water between granite boulders of a forest hillside. Hiking through the  forest often challenges one to jump across streams or gingerly walk across the fallen logs.  

Lots of surface texture on this small painting makes the scene seem so real. This painting can be your special memory piece of your favorite hike. Small paintings are so easy to frame in standard size frames. They also make perfect gifts for any occasion. 

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Colorful Original Oil Painting Rural Landscape Summer Ranch Road Daily Art K. Joann Russell

"Road into Ranch Country"
5 x 7" oil painting

Today's small daily painting contrasts warm and cool colors in paint selections. This original oil painting depicts the typical road into rural properties in southern Oregon. The hot summer dries the small pastures, but the evergreen trees keep their green canopy over the dusty roads behind the locked gates. The high mountains form the background of these typical scenes. 

Notice how bright and warm the yellow colors are, especially next to the cool greens and blue greens. Did you see the distant hills and mountains in blues and lavenders? I painted this in an impressionistic painterly style to show the lack of sharp focus definition of edges on really hot hazy days in this region. 

More small paintings in landscapes and seascapes are here

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Artistic Lifestyle of Handmade Business Owners As Etsy Changes

6 x 10" acrylic on paper

In lieu of a new painting today I'm posting a wonderful description of the handmade life of an artist or artisan. The writing of Lynn Taylor, owner of the Etsy shop The Amethyst Dragonfly, refreshed me and many others in the midst of the major upheaval on Etsy about changes to the former handmade focus of the site. Forum comments, press, and hot discussions have been flying in all directions after the announcement by Etsy CEO on October 1.

I work in my purple pokadot pajamas at my desk with not quite enough light. Sometimes I forget to eat lunch and mess things up three or four times before I get it right.
My lightbox is made of cardboard and tissue paper, with the sides blown out because my kitty loves to sleep in there. Someday I will make a new one, but not today.
I work late at night when my brain won't go to sleep and late in the morning when I finally wake. I work through the afternoon, until I forget to eat.

Some of my supplies I order from my favorite sources, some I make myself from metal or polyclay, some I pull out of my bead and bauble stash I've been collecting since I was a teen (hello 1980's).
I spread out all over my desk. Mixing and matching, trying out new things. Only sometimes does a cat jump up and scatter it all away.

I still sell few enough things that every time I get an order I say "Oh! Hey!" or "Wow, neat!" or "Hooray!!!" I print those orders out immediately and sometimes even get right to work, even if it is 2 am and I really should go to bed. I write a little note and tuck it in, just to say thanks for ordering from me. It is my honor that you choose something from my little shop.
I make my own little boxes, I stamp my brown paper wrapping with cute little purple dragonflies. I write with purple ink. I sometimes accidentally glue myself together or unreel way too much tape.

I will never be a factory. I will always be just me, working at my desk with not quite enough light, in my purple pokadot pajamas at 2 am when I really should just go to sleep.

I am handmade.

Every artist I know can write a similar lifestyle piece to describe what it is to be a creative person. Other people may not understand us nor be able to quantify us. We may live strange hours, work alone with or without our favorite pet(s), and easily forget to eat when we're "on" with ideas or projects. 

It's who we are! Yes, we can get excited about little things, like an order coming on our computer in the middle of the night or like a spectacular result in our work after so many tries at something new. 

A machine, even one in China, can't duplicate us, try as they may. We are handmade! We are priceless! Our gifts and consequent lifestyle you cannot quantify even though we do participate in the marketplace of the world with price tags on our originals.

No, I don't have polkadot pajamas, but you get the picture! 

Friday, August 30, 2013

Colorful Original Rural Landscape Oil Painting of Harvest Fields, Small Daily Painting by K. Joann Russell


"Harvest Fields"
5 x 7" oil painting

Today's small daily painting is a colorful original rural landscape oil painting, showing an impressionistic view of fields of grain and recently plowed soil after harvest on a bright summer day. Time for the combines to thresh the oats! 

Dark evergreen trees on the hillsides contrast with the light colors of the grain. Distant mountains add a touch of cool color to the scene. 

In planning the composition for this small oil painting I drew from my experiences in quilting, tapestry, and interior design! Really? The common thread for me in those art media was the focus on shapes, colors, and textures. Interior design includes the same elements but in 3D which is the way I intuitively approach that type of design project. I "see" it somewhat as a sculptor does.

 View this oil painting on archivally prepared mat board as a series of interlocking color shapes with the gesso and oil paint providing the texture. Do you see the common thread in different art expressions?


Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Colorful Original Small Seascape Painting, Daily Art, Ocean Surf by Artist K. Joann Russell

Colorful original small oil painting of ocean surf by Artist K. Joann Russell
"Pacific Surf"
5 x 7 " oil painting

This new daily painting, a colorful original small seascape oil painting, celebrates summer at the beach as our mornings in their coolness and dampness say autumn is here already! It is the last week in August; where did summer go?

This small painting reminds me of my visits to the beaches of the Pacific Ocean with the surf rolling in to sandy beaches and crashing against rocky cliffs.

This 5 x 7 inch acrylic painting on archivally prepared mat board shows texture from my brush strokes of gesso and paint. It is varnished and ready to place in a standard size frame. 

 In a classic gold finish frame small colorful paintings are real jewels for finishing touches for decor. This painting easily fits a standard size frame.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Morning Light Rural Landscape Colorful Oil Painting Series by K. Joann Russell

Colorful Rural Landscape Oil Painting by K. Joann Russell
"Swan Lake #8"
16 x 20" oil

Morning light over ranch lands inspired this rural landscape oil painting that I've newly uploaded to my website. This is the eighth painting in the Swan Lake series of this area in southern Oregon. This is also a return for me to larger size colorful paintings.

One morning in the shade of the horse barn I looked down to see the bright light starting to bring another day to this vast ranch land. Follow the road for several miles to come to Swan Lake east of Klamath Falls, Oregon. 

There's something about morning light. Its clarity seems to engender hope at the start of a new day. There's an element of promise in its light for the good the day will bring. Its sharp contrasts of light and dark add a simplicity that comes from clarity. One of my favorite verses in Psalm 30:5 says "...but joy comes with the morning." The first part of that verse gives the sharp contrast for the joy of morning light.

Morning light draws painters, especially en plein air artists, for its composition possibilities of darks and lights in addition to the color nuances of that time of day. There is a quiet peacefulness that helps one focus on the painting tasks at hand. For one thing, time is short as the light changes which forces an economy of brushstrokes. 

View more rural landscape paintings.


Saturday, July 20, 2013

Nasturtiums Colorful Small Oil Painting Original Art by K. Joann Russell

Nasturtiums Colorful Original Oil Painting by K. Joann Russell
5 x 7" oil 

Today's daily painting is the oil painting of nasturtiums I mentioned in an earlier post. The bright orange and yellow nasturtiums from my garden make this small oil painting a real art jewel for its color and versatile size. This original colorful painting is on a 5 x 7" canvas panel. 
You can display the painting in a classic frame to enhance its bright colors. The size is also perfect for table top decor easels. The colors complement modern decorating.

I couldn't resist adding the blue colors in the background to help the flowers "pop" off the surface of the canvas. Blues and oranges are complementary colors on the color wheel. Likewise, the touches of red in the orange colors are complements of green colors. Traditional Christmas colors of red and green are another example of these complements.  

The painting comes to you unframed. It is varnished and ready to place in a standard size frame. 

Purchase here for complimentary shipping in the USA.  View more small paintings ready for you.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Nasturtiums Abstract Colorful Painting in Daily Art Journal of K. Joann Russell

5 1/2 x 9" acrylic on paper

Nasturtiums in orange and yellow colors are growing at present in my garden voluntarily from seeds fallen from last year's flowers. The bright colors greet me every day. Small birds dart around underneath the large green leaves next to the leaves of the red Oriental poppies now finished with their blooming. 

I started a small 5 x 7" daily painting of a few blossoms of the nasturtiums only to have interruptions start at me coming left and right. Consequently the painting still waits for a few more brush strokes of paint.

My daily artist journal entry takes only a quick 5 - 10 minutes, so I expressed my joy in the colors of nasturtiums in this sketch. All that I used for colors were the "leftover" tube colors now in film canisters, a bright yellow, a yellow-orange, and a dark green. Sorry, no brand nor specific color names for this collection of canisters.

Click on the image of the sketch above to see the interesting details in the paint application.
View a few of my previously sold nasturtium paintings in my flower paintings archives

Friday, July 5, 2013

K. Joann Russell Abstract Floral Painting Colorful Original Pink Flowers Floral Art

  "Flowerage #12"
9 x 12" acrylic

 New painting for today is a continuation of my flowerage series of abstract floral paintings. The many pink colors suggesting peony flowers in bloom present less challenge to me than uploading correctly sized photo files! Trust me, I'd rather paint than work on the computer.

Things on line change faster than the color nuances in my abstract colorful paintings! That also indicates that I've not been as regular in posting to my blog to stay current with the little details of blogger. Notably, the file I uploaded for July 4th turned into a too large image and one that didn't allow for seeing details of the painting's texture. I'm meeting the challenge head on today by trying to provide you a better size image.

 I'm quite pleased with the colors in this painting. These abstract paintings with limited palettes are gambles, "do or die" explorations. They can turn out oh so wonderful or oh so awful! This one is a jewel, I think. 

If you like the art style, view more in my new Etsy shop, Playing With Colors Art. See some samples in the column to the right. 

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Daily Painting Abstract Red White and Blue for America's July 4th

"The Red, White, and Blue"
6 x 10" acrylic on paper 

Today's abstract daily painting celebrates Independence Day here in America. My color association with this holiday is my favorite clear blue color, cobalt blue. My second color obviously had to be red, in this case, a cadmium red light, one of the tube colors I'm needing to use up for its "old" condition! White, the third color, is a staple addition.

As I freely mix the paints on the paper I focus on colors and shapes in abstract design without a subject in mind. Often words, phrases or quotes interrupt my focus for later addition in ink lines. "From sea to shining sea" won out today and fit with the blue colors that resulted in "water" shapes. Other images of places I've visited, ocean beaches, mountain streams and falls, came to mind to complement the water theme developing.

When the paints are dry I let my black ink pen "doodle" with the color shapes. This is like a fun Rorschach ink blot test! Later I may add text here and there among the shapes. Subconsciously I'm considering at the same time design principles. Fun freedom!

Be sure to click on the image above to see all the details.

This short daily experience is so freeing for an artist, especially one originally  trained in realism. All my life I've "thought with my pencil or pen" naturally. Someone asks me a question or poses a problem and without thinking I grab paper and pen and draw pictures, schematics, words, flowcharts. You have no idea how many times I've been "corrected" for doing that! 

In recent years I met a wonderful woman scientist, Caroline Leaf, PhD.,  who focuses on communication skills and brain structure. She explained a "thinking" style that described me to a "T". I no longer apologize for my "doodling" habit.

Happy Birthday, America!    Be free!


Monday, July 1, 2013

Daily Abstract Painting Playing With Red and Blue Colors for Fourth of July

"Playing With Red and Blue"
Acrylic on paper, Artist Journal

With my garden full of red flowers in different nuances of color contrasting with periwinkle blues to purples in pansies my daily abstract painting in my art journal was destined to include these colors. This week of the Fourth of July seemed perfect. The results were a bit surprising.

I used cadmium red light, light blue violet, and vivid lime green acrylic colors. The blue violet is one of those tubes I readily grab for skies and water which saves me time mixing paint. I figured I was "safe" with it because it is a mix of ultramarine blue with a touch of red in it and white.  I was thinking of a really light blue, but this was too dark. 

The vivid lime green color, a tube color which I've been trying to finish using somewhat saved the day by providing a lighter note to the blue.  The final touches were my "doodles" in black ink.

To see all the details of the colors and lines click on the photo above.

My daily color explorations start with a limited palette of only 2-3 colors from my drawers of acrylic paint tubes categorized by hue. I drop a few piles of paint on a blank page of my journal and start mixing paints randomly to see what results. Some are duds which I "rescue" on occasion, but most of them are wonderful color combinations for later abstract paintings which you'll find in my new Etsy shop Playing With Colors Art

I enjoyed my daily fun that gets me energized for my larger more "serious" paintings I'm working on. Today it was violet colors but I haven't done the ink lines yet. Tomorrow, what colors do you think I should play with?

Friday, May 31, 2013

Red Poppies to Paint in My Own Garden

Bright Red Poppies Garden
I like the color red! My cottage style garden is bursting with red at the moment. The best are the red orange Oriental poppies. I've always wanted them in my yard and now they are here for the second year.
Today I didn't get to paint these gorgeous flowers, but the sun came out and my native Minnesotan neighbor came to relish the sun and the red "products". Can you imagine lush red strawberries, deep red and fragrant Mr. Lincoln roses, a large mound of bright red carnations bursting their buds, and this red poppy garden? Oh, I nearly forgot the red cora bells the humingbirds come to feast on. And hanging baskets of deep, deep red geraniums, a color I've never found before this year.  Did I say I like red?
The photo of the poppies has an interesting composition of curving lines from the flowers to the portion of the bird bath to the wire fencing to discourage cats who previously used my yard as their personal litter box. 

Enjoy a bright spot of red and be energized by the color for what you do best. I'll definitely do some plein air painting of these red poppies.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Perseverence, Today's Word for Artists and Everyone's Life

Ryder's Perseverence Award at School Assembly
 Photographer Liz Sawyer

Having been alerted of a surprise award, I showed up for my grandson's grade school assembly this morning and joined others in celebrating his trait of perseverence. 

When Ryder comes to Grammy's house he knows where his supplies are in my studio and has his mind teeming with ideas to illustrate in unique colors with his own drawing skills. When he starts he doesn't give up until his ideas are expressed. It may take a series of drawing sheets, but he doesn't give up until he has painted what he wanted to say. And he can explain his work well with words, too. 

Ryder is a very bright kindergartener, but it struck me today that perseverence may trump intellectual ability or other individual talents. I'm saluting him for "keeping on keeping on" at his young age because that trait may be invaluable in life. My mother used to say to us three siblings, especially in our adult years, "keep on keeping on".

As an artist that trait of perseverence has kept me moving forward despite obstacles. My artist friends tell their stories of what it has taken for them to "keep on keeping on". I have my own, too, but in this post I will stick with generalities that fit all of us. 

We all "keep on keeping on"
     1) improving our skills (because artists never reach their ultimate "best") 
     2) trying again when a project doesn't work out (why artists work in series sometimes)
     3) dealing with working alone (no one to blame as "rogue low lifes in another office")
     4) focusing our easily distracted energies on what is most important (we're accountable to someone somewhere in the art food chain, aren't we?)
     5) best of all, always getting excited with a new technique, paint color, tool, inspiration (artists are age-less because they're never "bored")


Saturday, May 25, 2013

Honoring Wounded Warriors on Memorial Day Weekend

Puget Sound Washington State
This morning I headed down to the beach near my home with my treat of a Starbucks latte. A quiet Saturday morning on Memorial Day weekend turned into a unique celebration of our military and their sacrifices for us. Soggy leaden skies added a picture of America this weekend with the current threats to our republic's freedom that the Wounded Warriors fought to maintain.
A friendly, up-beat guy pulls into the parking slot next to mine. He's a big fellow with an buzz cut. A few friends, a guy and couple of gals, join him. He helps them with advice about gear for diving. He's a photographer of sea life. The group of four get ready with layers of special clothing, tanks of oxygen, other items for their deep dives to check out the octopuses residing in Puget Sound near Seattle.
I'm enjoying the sights and sounds of morning fishermen on the dock way out in the water, fishing power boats coming and going, the divers chatting and hurrying around near our cars until my whole perspective got a jolt of reality. The diver/photographer is an amputee!!!!
My jaw may have dropped, but I became in awe of how the Wounded Warrior negotiated physical challenges the rest of us may have avoided. With a two "foot" landing he hopped off the sea wall into the sand, made his way through the soft sand to the muddy muck of low tide and out to the deep waters. 
After seeing his power light brightly showing before his dive,  I pulled out of the parking lot to head home. On the license holder of his car's front bumper was the plate "Washington Search And Rescue". Would he have been on alert Thursday when the interstate freeway went in the water?
Thank you to all of you who serve and have served in the military of our country. Thank you for the courage and just plain grit you show the rest of us as you pick up the pieces of your lives and keep on giving to others. God bless you and God bless America!

Monday, April 1, 2013

Abstract Colorful Original Paintings from Playing with Colors in New Art Shop of K. Joann Russell

Celebrate! This blog which began in order to share my adventures in color explorations for paintings has a new Etsy shop, PlayingWithColorsArt!  

 Artistic Journal Entry 3/29/2013 to Celebrate New Shop
5 x 9" acrylic/ink

For a few years I've shared my color explorations from playing with colors in my artistic journal. I was surprised by the response to my postings.

To share my small colorful abstract paintings posted on this blog, I developed one-of-a-kind greeting cards with an original painting (not a print) suitable for framing. Again I was humbled by the response to the unique cards and how collectors were using them, including giving them to cancer patients as encouragement through chemo treatments.

Finally the time came to open a shop exclusively for my abstract colorful paintings and original greeting cards. My other shop, Sunflower Studio Art, continues for my colorful original paintings and signed prints of rural landscapes, sunflowers, and more in an impressionistic painterly style.

I'll save for another day the back story for the shop name  PlayingWithColorsArt

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

River Landscape Colorful Daily Painting by K. Joann Russell

"Flowing River"
5 x 7" original painting

Today's painting is one of my latest daily paintings of colorful landscapes of remote areas.

"Flowing River", a colorful original landscape painting, shows impressionistic views of a river flowing into another river in the mountains of southern Oregon. I painted this small colorful painting from memories of my visits to the Rogue Valley area of southern Oregon.

Evergreen trees dominate the landscape colors and contrast with the softer colors of the high mountains. Trout rest in the cold waters along the steep banks of rocks. Fishermen appreciate these remote streams for the wonderful fish they find there.

"Flowing River" is an acrylic painting on archivally prepared mat board. It is 5 x 7" and ready to place in a standard size frame.

The underpainting was a red, the complement of green, which peaks through in the evergreen trees adding to vibrant colors.

Find more colorful small paintings to view.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Red Poppies Abstract Painting Daily Sketch by K. Joann Russell

Red poppies abstract painting sketch by K. Joann Russell
"Red Poppies Abstract Painting Sketch"
5 x 9" Acrylic on paper
More Abstract Paintings Available

Looking out my studio to the garden spot for red poppies on a rainy gray day seemed to inspire my daily painting sketch today. It's nearly February and I'm wishing for sunshine and flowers growing in my garden.

Click on the image above to see the lovely textures and many, many variations of colors from only three colors. As you can see, I used a yellow, red, and green to play with colors. I have film cartridges in which I've stored the remains from tubes of paints that were punctured and/or drying too fast. I don't label them so I can only guess that these are a cadmium yellow light, a scarlet red, and a sap green.

My abstract art celebrates limited palettes and playing with color combinations. Have you seen the original greeting cards I paint which are ready for standard size frames? Perfect gifts for special friends and outstanding events. The cards and other colorful abstract paintings in larger sizes are available in my Etsy shop. Please take a look at the beautiful colors.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Colorful Original Landscape Painting Mountain Vista by K. Joann Russell

Original Colorful Landscape Painting by K. Joann Russell
"Mountain Vista"
5 x 7" original painting

While experimenting with a different palette of warm and cool colors of yellow, red, and blue I painted this small colorful painting thinking of the wide open spaces I so enjoy. This turned out an impressionistic style as I responded to memories and color relationships. 

"Mountain Vista" is painted with acrylics on gessoed 5 x 7" mat board. It is ready for a standard size frame with or without a mat.

Although I've been working on the larger sunflower painting mentioned in the last post, this painting is the official first completed painting of 2013. It's a great feeling to be back at work!


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