Blue Vase and Oranges

Blue Vase and Oranges Oil Painting 16×12 by Winifred Whitfield

My thoughts are with the freezing and miserable people throughout the south. I hope utility services are resumed for them very quickly.

I can choose to paint a still life from an actual setup in my studio or from a photo on my iPad. For the past several months I’ve worked exclusively from the actual setup – even if I have a photo back up – in case a flower droops or looses petals. I find that my eyes want to go to the live props. That’s been interesting. My still life is now located so that I only have to make a slight movement of my eyes to view it – no turning of my head. This was not always the case but it’s definitely a workflow improvement. Now my quest is to be able to raise or lower the set up as a way to alter my point of view. You might think this easy but not yet. I will only need to purchase the right kind of stand to give myself that flexibility. I have many things to address this issue but none work as I would like. I’m always trying to make my workflow more efficient.

I also try to challenge myself in someway with each new painting. With this painting, I wanted to make glass look like glass while maintaining a painterly quality of the painting. The last thing I want is for someone to say the painting looks like a photograph. Been there, done that – for real! I really love painting but I assure you, it’s exhausting because of the level of concentration and often deliberation with each brushstroke required – the constant and ongoing decisions and judgements that have to be made. I often have some elements of the still life in place and evident but not others. In this painting, the choice of a background was changed mid stream. My original background had reds and oranges in it. It was pretty and colorful but competed with the still life elements of the foreground. I needed the background to move back – so I had to originate a new one on the fly. The more subdued colors work much better. I wanted the background to be interesting but not too interesting. I think it works. I’ll keep looking at it.

I’m taking a break for a day. My break is to sand down failed paintings and create a renewed painting surface on them to allow for their reuse. Have a great weekend and stay warm.

4 thoughts on “Blue Vase and Oranges

  1. Your colors are once again exquisite and the lighting equally so. The blues are stunning. Your textures are at once subtle and distinct. I love the texture of the glass set against the silk draping. Clearly distinct in texture, and yet the blues melt into one another with such brilliance. You are remarkably talented. I know I speak for many people who feel so lucky to have found your site and are able to view your paintings.

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