To Russell

This is Russell. My friend, Annette Wimmer, who is a hairdresser and artist, rescued him as a baby about a year ago when he flew into traffic on the main drag in Laguna Beach (Pacific Coast Highway) and she dashed out after him. Annette brought him home, and nursed him in her backyard garden. She thought he was a baby crow–hence the name, Russell.  

Here’s a photo she took of Russell, who had an injured wing that hung down at his side. She would chop up veggies, fruit and even steak, and bring it to him on a platter. Needless to say, Annette loved Russell.
Russell hung out in this back corner of her wonderful, wild garden,
 which is the source of inspiration for her “magical realism” paintings. 
Annette, who has an easel set up in her salon/gallery in town, called Paul Brian Hair Design, in Gallery Row at 210 N. Coast Highway, paints from memory in between clients. The flowers, plants and many of the creatures literally grew out of her imagination. Her husband, Paul, a surfer, works alongside her at the salon. 
The couple could be considered “Old Laguna” types, with their friendly, progressive sensibility that embraces nature, art and the eclectic people who make the town so unique.
Annette collects rain water in this tub to water her plants.

Paul has collected these ocean rocks from his favorite surf beach, Trails, and balanced them into cairns. 

When you walk around Annette’s garden, you start to see the source of her painting ideas.

All the paintings by Annette featured in this post are oils. 

Annette’s garden is like artwork, with its mix of color and texture.

This summer, for the first time, 
Annette will have a booth with her paintings at the Laguna Beach Sawdust Festival.

Jagdkatze (Huntingcat) by Annette Wimmer Giclee ~ 18 x 18
This is a painting of one of her two cats, Rusty. You can buy giclees (high quality prints) of her paintings
on her Web site.

As far as Russell, Annette said he would climb up on this rock,
 and jump off over and over to try to learn to fly.

Apparently all that practice paid off. One day, Russell, who Annette now believes is a raven instead of a crow, flew off. Annette believes he comes back to visit regularly, when she sees several large ravens swooping around her garden. And of course, she always has a treat to offer them.
Click HERE to learn more about Annette and her web site.

13 thoughts on “To Russell

  1. Now I have to make it to the festival this year. Is that first painting of Russell for sale? Wonderful tour of your friend's art and garden.

  2. Love the juxtaposition between the real garden fantasy and the paintings. And how cute is Russell? Wishing Annette loads of success at the Sawdust Festival!

  3. Wonderful photos as always Janine! Inspired garden and painting. The third photo is a fantastic mix of both arid and lush planting, a dfficult combination but they have exceuted it well.

  4. What a wonderful artist your friend is! Her painting are wonderful and so is her garden. What a treasure!

  5. I need to move to Laguna. I think all my kindred spirits are there. Now, just to win that lottery…Great post!

  6. I can't get over it – all of it – your friend's garden, her amazing paintings, and the fact that she so generously helped this poor bird! Go Russell! I'm a total animal lover and rescuer, so this really warms my heart to hear that his story has a happy ending. (or beginning!).

    Your posts make me want to move to Laguna, in a big bad way. Your friends artwork in her garden is fan-freaking-tastic and that BATHTUB…well…that's almost just too much awesomeness in one package.

    I cannot wait for your next post! Off to check out your friend and her fabulous paintings!

  7. Your friend is amazingly talented. You're blessed to have such inspirational people in your life. She sounds like a special friend.

  8. I'm getting very little done today, feeling a bit blue, it's gray here. I guess I am feeling gray wrestling with the work for money, work for artistic exploration thing. This post, weaving together your friends fab paintings and your lovely photos was the tonic I needed.

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