Wednesday, June 30, 2010

The Trail Is In Bloom

Summertime on the Chehalis Western Trail!

Everything is green and blooming.......

Looks like we will have a GREAT crop of blackberries.

When I lived in Colorado the Fireweed did not bloom until the end of summer, but here in Washington along the trail it is blooming profusely.

Ebony likes to get in the picture

The weed I just love is the Foxglove.

I have done several paintings of this flower as I think the spots (I call freckles) are charming.

My favorite spot to sit for a break......

The view from the bench.....

I am so fortunate to have such a beautiful place to spent time on a daily basis.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Picasso and Lump

Today in an art therapy session, I shared the book entitled Picasso and Lump which I purchased in Switzerland after seeing the photographic exhibit by David Duncan.

Lump, meaning rascal in German, was a dachshund who won the heart of Picasso and immediately became a subject matter for his art.

Lump, at bottom, in a cameo appearance
in a Picasso version of “Las Meninas” by Velázquez.

The book, as well as the exhibit, is a lovely view into the personal life of Picasso. The photographs are fabulous and the story is a fun read.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Gertrude Jekyll

I first met Gertrude Jekyll in 1995 when a friend went overboard buying roses and asked if I would like some of them. Little did I know what was in store for me!

Gertrude Jekyll's pink flowers are dainty and lovely, and the fragrance is incredible. The rose fragrance is so divine it was used as the first rose essence in England for well over 250 years. You can actually smell the fragrance three feet away and when you bring a rose in the house, it will perfume an entire room.

Back to the story of Gertrude...

I moved in 2005 and really thought about uprooting her from the garden. The new owners would not miss one rose, right? But I did not. Shorty after moving, I found a Gertrude Jekyll rose at a garden store in Seattle. I bought it and gave it to my girl friend to grow as I would annually bring her bouquets. Now we would both get to enjoy Gertrude, again. And, maybe she would bring be a bouquet?

I purchased a home a year ago today. I am happy to say....

Gertrude is back!

I wish you could smell her!

Footnote: The Gertrude Jekyll rose is one of the best creations by David Austin English Roses and one of the finest pink rose flowers.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Third in the Series

My friend and artist, Judi Colwell, believes in doing series of art. Not only do they show well when hung together, but when you get into the flow of painting them, magic happens.

I took her advice when I became enthralled by the fabulous Irises in my neighbor's garden. I created three watercolor paintings while in the enchantment.

Here is the third in the series:

Number 3
Joanne Osband

If you missed the other two, I will save you time trying to find them searching the older blogs:

Joanne Osband

Royal Purple
Joanne Osband

Friday, June 25, 2010

Alfredo Arreguin - Art in Ecology

Today was the opening reception for the Art in Ecology exhibit of Alfredo Arriguin's oil paintings at the Washington Department of Ecology in Lacey, Washington.

What a spectacular show of art!

Alfredo was there to talk about his life and work as well as answer questions.

I learned that he is so "in the moment" when painting that he claims to be transported elsewhere. He creates designs and images as they come forth while painting. A painting can take from three months to six months for his triptych hanging in the building but has been purchased by the Smithsonian.

Alfredo loves the light and fabulous wall space of the galleries at Ecology. It is a delight to see several of his paintings hung together.....even for Alfredo!

Many of the elements that inform his paintings and give them a distinct character emanate from the memories of the culture and natural landscape of his ancestral home, Mexico. These elements overlap and blend, in dreamlike fashion, with his most immediate experiences and his interest in the environment and the animals of the Pacific Northwest.

Alfredo Arreguin

I found myself completely enthralled when viewing each painting. There is so much to see and take in. I bet if you returned, you would see even more. Some of his paintings had a tapestry look to them.

If you live in the area, you must see Alfredo's paintings. They are truly extra-ordinary and absolutely stunning.

In order to view this exhibit you must schedule a tour with the Art Committee. Phone numbers: main number; 407-6000 or Jeffree Stewart; 407-6521.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Officially Summer

For those of us who live in the Pacific Northwest, believe it or not, it is officially summer! Funny that we are still wearing jackets and dodging rain drops. Actually it is not so funny!

On or around June 21 each year, the rays of the sun will be perpendicular to the Tropic of Cancer at 23°30' North latitude. This day is the summer solstice in the Northern Hemisphere.

June 20-21 is start of summer in the Northern Hemisphere but simultaneously the start of winter in the Southern Hemisphere. It's also the longest day of sunlight for places in the Northern Hemisphere and the shortest day for cities south of the equator.

However, June 20-21 is not the day when the sun rises earliest in the morning nor when it sets latest at night. The date of earliest sunrise or sunset varies from location to location.

Seattle, Washington, experiences a sunrise at 5:11 a.m. and sunset at 9:10 p.m. The earliest sunrise of 5:10 a.m. lasts from June 13-18. The maximum sunset of 9:10 p.m. lasts from June 20 through July 2.

Happy Summer Solstice!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Quote From Picasso

As I was sharing art with one of my art therapy clients, I came across this quote from Pablo Picasso.

"Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he or she grows up."

Think about it.....

Pablo Picasso
Oil on canvas
The Museum of Modern Arts, New York

According to Wikipedia, Picasso demonstrated uncanny artistic talent in his early years, painting in a realistic manner through his childhood and adolescence; during the first decade of the twentieth century his style changed as he experimented with different theories, techniques, and ideas. His revolutionary artistic accomplishments brought him universal renown and immense fortunes throughout his life, making him one of the best-known figures in twentieth century art.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Art Sale on Blogger

What a great idea to have a sale of art on your blogger site!

Loriann Signori an artist who paints daily. She shares her art and insights on a blog and has decided to have an art sale.

She claims that painting daily is like taking vitamins.......she cannot go without.

Loriann is a fabulous artist.

Check out her blog art sale.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Need A Friend

The other day I posted my newest arrival to my landscaping endeavors, a dinosaur egg created by artist, Joyce Hawkins.

I have chosen an area in my yard for the dinosaur egg. It sits surrounded by weeds at the moment in a rather bare spot, but I like its location.

When I posted these photos I receive a comment from DJ that the dinosaur egg looked lonely and maybe it needed a talk to?

Today as I was transplanting a fig tree, I was thinking about a friend for the dinosaur egg. Being the rock nut I am, I decided to befriend the dinosaur egg with a few rocks.

I do believe the dinosaur egg looks happier thanks to DJ.

Maybe its friends will change over time?

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Peer Review

Today I invited two of my artist friends, Judi Colwell and Ellen Miffit, for lunch and an honest critique of the watercolor paintings I am considering for two shows out of state.

According to Wikipedia, peer review is a generic term that is used to describe a process of self-regulation by a profession or a process of evaluation involving qualified individuals with the related field. Peer review methods are employed to maintain standards, improve performance, and provide credibility.

Needless to say, their feedback is invaluable!

Thank you again, Judi and Ellen :)

I will be submitting these two paintings in the Watercolor West XLII Annual International Exhibition, at the City of Brea Art Gallery in Brea, California.

Mother and Child


This painting I will enter in the Blossom 2 - Art Competition which will have a premier exhibit at the Naples Museum of Art in Naples, Florida.

Royal Purple

I know juried exhibits are very subjective, but I am open to new possibilities.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Dinosaur Egg

A couple of blogs back I shared about the Northwest Horticultural Society's Garden Tour at Joyce Hawkins' home. I also mentioned Joyce's art of cement leaves and dinosaur eggs.

Joyce described her process to me of how she creates dinosaur eggs using patching cement. I now have my very own dinosaur egg in my yard.

I am not sure of its permanent placement or maybe it will move around? At the moment it sits in my front yard in a patch of weeds. I definitely need a more exciting ground cover for it to sit upon. Any suggestions?

Here is the view from my deck.

I decided to add water and a glass float. The sun popped out as I finished this process. Do you like the addition of water and float? Other ideas?

Joyce is working on a website; her business name is Leaf Art Plus

Monday, June 14, 2010


Back to watercolor painting.....

Last time I left off, I was inspired by the Irises blooming in my neighbor's garden. I was transfixed by the delicate details and colors as well as shapes and lines of this variety of Iris.

Today I finished the painting that has been drawing dust on my drafting table and reflected on the idea of "single"; single flower and single as in the status of relationships.

Single leaves time for individual exploration and unfolding.

One can be the "center of attention" and it is okay.

Joanne Osband

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Northwest Horticultural Society

Today my friend Janet insisted that I must see Joyce Hawkin's garden which was on display as part of the Northwest Horticultural Society's garden tour.

For the past five years, Joyce and her family have been creating this fabulous garden. I took several pictures; hopefully you can get an idea of why this was a "must see". Joyce artistically composed colors and shapes which made her garden outstanding. Interspersed within the garden you would find Joyce's colorful sculpted cement leaves and "dinosaur eggs" of which I could not resist. Watch for a follow up blog when this piece of sculpture arrives in my yard.

And the ponds...

Have you ever seen a poppy such as this?

Lovely composition...

Needless to say, the garden was a feast for my eyes and soul.

Thank you Joyce!

If you would like to find out more about the Northwest Horticultural Society, please visit their website.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Arts Crush

If you live in the Pacific Northwest or planning to visit in the month of October, Arts Crush may interest you.

This is a FIRST and still in the planning stages.

Arts Crush, presented by Theatre Puget Sound, is a month-long festival that connects artists and audiences with invigorating new experiences at hundreds of events across the region. More than 200 arts organizations and innumerable artists from all over the Puget Sound will come together as a united arts community to share arts experiences with people of all kinds.

Spotlighting a different creative arts discipline each week, the festival features opportunities to participate in theatre, music, literature, dance, visual art and more. Arts Crush reawakens the senses by engaging people in the arts in unique ways; through hands-on participation, peeking behind the scenes, or experiencing art in unexpected places. In addition, Arts Crush extends an open invitation to sample the abundance of arts and culture in our region by adopting creative pay-what-you will or discounted fee structures for traditional arts experiences.

There will be an Arts Crush gatherings at SAM tonight and in Olympia on Monday. Tonight's conversation is focused more on the visual arts community but all are welcome. So if you have any questions or ideas show up.

Here are two Arts Crush Information Sessions where you will learn what is happening, provide details on the various ways to participate, answer any questions, and have an open discussion to brainstorm on any exciting ideas or collaborations that percolate.

Seattle - Visual Arts Organizations & Artists
Thursday, June 10 at 5:30pm
Seattle Art Museum - Arnold Board Room (1300 First Ave)
Please RSVP to Sam at 206.770.0370 or

Olympia - All Disciplines
Monday, June 14 at 12pm
The Olympia Center - Room 200 (222 Columbia St NW)
Please RSVP to Sam at 206.770.0370 or

More information can be found on the Arts Crush website.

Monday, June 7, 2010


It has been well document in many resources about how when you are up against difficult challenges your meet your "best self."

Challenges make us grow, right?

I wonder if it is true in the plant world? I have certainly killed my fair share of plants. But I have a Clemantis that truly thrives on challenges.

I purchased this Clemantis plant way back in 2006 and kept in in a large pot. I trained it to climb the stair railing where beautiful blooms greeted me as I walked out the door. One spring I was possessed to create a watercolor painting of the emerging flower.

Last June I moved and decided to take the Clemantis with me. Detaching it from the stairs, and packing it in my car to move to our new location was traumatic for the plant. The Clematis suffered incredible summer heat and was whipped around by the spring winds. Regardless of all these challenges, this Clematis at the present time is donning eight fabulous flowers.

Way to go little plant!


Sunday, June 6, 2010

Land Art Continues.....

I received a comment from DJ in regards to yesterday's blog with a great idea for my Land Art creation. Today, I returned to the art and am very pleased with the results.

DJ suggested adding a design which definitely gives it a much more finished look than previously. I used pine cones as a path through the rock gravel. The rocks define the edge. I have not decided which size rocks I like best or to keep both. Comments? It was raining today so some of the gravel is dark gray instead of the light blue-grey when it is dry.

It will change over does life and Land Art.

DJ also suggested Richard Shilling's, a land artist, blog. I like his "Laurel Reflections" and "May Day Colour Totem."


Saturday, June 5, 2010

Land Art

Having been inspired by Andy Goldsworthy, a land artist who I blogged about on May 19th, I decided to create something of my own using materials in my yard.

Many of Andy Goldsworthy's works are temporary pieces of art which change or dissove with the environment. I hope that the land art piece I created today will age with grace.

This is the first rendition:

As much as I liked the texture and color of the arbor chips, I decided it needed more definition. I added gravel and small stones. Which version do you like?

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Katsura Tree

Yesterday I posted a blog relating to the tree selection for my yard.

I mentioned that I consulted with an artist friend, Karen Lohman; Matsushima Landscaping, who helped with the design. I love trees and it was a challenge to limit my selection. Karen insisted that I have a Katsura Tree. I never heard of one, have you? The Katsura Tree definitely appeals to the artist in me.

Katsura Tree is also known as the carmel tree. No, you do not get caramels from it, but some think the wonderful Katsura Tree smells like caramel or cotton candy when it loses it's leaves in the fall. Besides being wonderful to smell in the fall, the Katsura sports a lovely blend of orange, raspberry, and apricot-colored leaves. The Katsura is no slouch in other seasons, either. In the spring Katsura has reddish-purple new growth, in summer it sports heart-shaped blue-green leaves and in winter the gray, slightly exfoliating bark lends interest.

I have watched the heart-shaped leaves of my Katsura Tree turn from purple to red and now some green is emerging.......

The Katsura is native to Japan and eastern Asia and is widely used as a landscape tree in those areas. Katsura blooms in early spring. I read that the flowers are not showy. Maybe that is why I totally missed them? Or are they still coming?

I so look forward to its fall colors! I will definitely let you know if it gives off a carmel smell. But, I certainly do not want to rush summer!

Once again, I am overjoyed with Karen's selection of trees.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Choosing a Dogwood Tree

As I began planning the landscape for my home, I consulted with a friend, Karen Lohman; Matsushima Landscaping, who is very creative and knowledgeable. She helped me to decide what I wanted and drew the blueprint.

I had to narrow down my tree selection, but a dogwood tree was a MUST. Which one? Karen influenced my decision by suggesting an Oriental Dogwood tree, but Judy Manley another artist and landscape specialist, talked highly of a Korean Dogwood. Challenging decision! It took a third woman at Bark and Garden Nursery in Olympia, Washington, to help me pin down the perfect dogwood for me. When she explained the color development of the blossoms, I had to have this one.

First the blossoms are white and green with tinges of pink as you can still see in the background of this photograph.

Some of the blooms have grown larger and are turning pink.

The blossoms have such a lovely grace.

Needless to say, I am very happy with my decision and look forward to many years of watching this Korean Dogwood tree grow and bloom.