Tag Archives: apples

Spring Comes Early to the Willamette Valley

painting of apple blossoms

“Apple Blossoms,” mixed media by Kerry McFall, 12 x 12 framed, $200

This is another piece from the Call and Response show, perhaps my favorite this year, painted last spring (2014).  I saw this broken but still beautiful branch on an ancient tree behind the homestead at Finley Wildlife Refuge, hanging on by a thread of bark and a bit of wood.  The blossoms and bee are cutouts, made from watercolor, ink, and gel pen.  The background is a collage of various papers and paints.  The “float” frame makes it possible to position the cutouts into a 3-D setting.

I am amazed at how quickly spring is barreling in to the Willamette Valley right now… the honeybees seem to be having a hard time keeping up.  So many flowers, so few bees.  I noticed this morning that strawberries, blueberries, and pears are blooming in my front garden – WAY early!

"Ouch!" Mixed media copyright Kerry McFall

“Ouch!” Mixed media copyright Kerry McFall

The little Fuji apple tree is a bit behind because some butthead college kid tore off the best fruiting branch one night in the wee hours in January … grrr…   I scrounged around in the garage and found an old can of pruning tar to seal the wound.  (Tip: wet coffee grounds are very useful for scrubbing pruning tar off your hands and arms.  Also nail polish remover.) Apparently they had a go at uprooting it as well, but with a little luck and a few bungee cords… I hope the tree lives.  And, I hope he/they (yep, pretty sure it was males) woke up with MAJOR headaches.


Avalanche of Apples

bag of apples spilling

"A Is For Avalanche", mixed media by Kerry McFall

“Too much cinnamon,” was the verdict when I made applesauce from Wendy’s first bag of apples, so I asked for another bag.   A few days later, after work in the parking lot we transferred a brown paper bag filled with heavy, ripe Gravenstiens (we think that’s what they are) from her car to mine.  My baking Smartcar was infused with the sweet rich scent of warm apples, and suddenly applesauce seemed like too much effort on a lovely August afternoon.  Once home, I hauled them inside and set the bag on the kitchen table…r-r-r-rip…. Avalanche!  Clearly they were begging to be painted.  Sometimes you just need to succumb to the powers of nature!

I used my brush pen a bit to capture the outlines, then layers and layers of pencil and watercolor.  I played with a bit of text, and decided that either I need to lay out the text in pencil first, or just go all scribbly, because the combination doesn’t turn out quite as I had hoped.  Maybe a larger “illuminated” A next time?