So far I’ve created no paintings from Italy without rain and umbrellas. Umbrellas simply add something a little special – a bit of color often and an interesting shape. Raincoats also tend to be bright and colorful such as the teal blue my friend Betsy is wearing. Place this against the beautiful color and texture of buildings and pavers and it’s enticing to paint.
Category Archives: Traditional Oil Painting
Pandemic Losses – Going Home
I felt compelled to create a painting which reflected some aspect of the pandemic which largely dominates our lives. I chose to focus on the loss of life. The elements of this painting were born in my imagination – scary huh!! I have never painted a story from imagination before. It’s a visual story which you may describe in any way you want. It has to stand on it’s on. I’m discovering more about my mind all the time. I’m pleased. There may be those who are horrified. That’s okay too. I have flowers for you. In the above painting, I am particularly pleased with the movement, design and flow, the color palette and the mood established. Painting this was quite an experience. My objective is not just to do pretty or happy paintings.
I make products to mix with my oil paints to give texture to my paintings, when that’s what I want. For this floral painting, I used a mixture I’ve not used before and I like the results. The vase is so luminous. There will be more.
Well my containers are growing well – lots of strawberries, kale – and for the first time cherry tomatoes, zucchini, cucumber, parsley, mustard greens, and more – easy stuff. Of course there are lots of flowers also. I hope you’re having a good week, it whatever form it takes. Nothing is like it use to be. My biggest news is I returned my worms to the worm farmer I got them from. She was happy to have them back. Vermicomposting was a great experience. I found myself sad the following day – I missed my red wigglers.
This is the first peony I’ve attempted and I worked not to make it realistic – but hopefully suggestive. I’ve actually come to the end of the 12 cradle box project and as it turns out, I’m glad I don’t have anymore of the boxes. Now I can turn my attention to something different.
Below, I like the color and boldness. I think I’ll paint in this vain for a while.
It’s on the early side in the Northwest for planting but I’m doing it and starting seeds as well. Last year it was mid June or later before I got started. I purchased my first tomato plant, and I’ve propagated my first geraniums. They will be fuchsia burgundy and white. They are unusual and beautiful. I have 14 growing!! Have a great week. Winifred
The photo reference for this painting was taken in my kitchen with the vase sitting on a counter facing the window. The refrigerator and more counters were behind me. When I looked at the photo, I noticed interesting shapes. Honey colored cabinets were upper right and formed a shape – another shape was formed by the area under the cabinets extending down to the back counter. The stainless refrigerator was upper left and formed a shape. Then there is the counter the vase rest on and the lower triangle is the side of the counter which extends to the floor. I could combine some shapes and leave others separate. I knew I could work these shapes into the overall design if the painting. The vase was ceramic with stripes of color. I tried to work with the stripes this but It didn’t work. It’s interesting how simplifying the color of the vase and creating highlights give it the illusion of a gold/bronze colored metal. The design of the flowers and the design on the dark background just showed up in my head. I welcome these creative visions whenever they wish to enter and guide me. Below – roses.
I’m glad I spent so much time and effort this past year, making roses a friendlier subject to paint. The softness of this painting comes from using a “mop brush” on the painting before it is dry to soften and blur edges. This brush can be used selectively or all over – depending on the look I want to give. I enjoy the feeling of the the heat and sun on these roses.
Lots of intense color. I love that I can create “gold metallic” where none exist. This painting took way to much time, but it captures a certain space in my home which I see everyday. The orange strip on the right is the edge of a bookcase full of art books.
I love texture but there’s really not this much texture in this painting. This texture only reflects the way the light hit the texture and exaggerated it. I should have rephotographed it – but I didn’t. Just think of it smoother. The vase was a cream color – and it did work but decided I an intense blue would be more interesting. You know what VanGogh said about blue, orange and yellow. It’s true – those colors are beautiful together.
I’ve referred many times to “cradle box” past couple of weeks and I’ve been ask – “what is a cradle box”. Above – you can see what it is. I’ve now begun to paint the edges. There seems to be no more small cradle boxes remaining on the planet!! I’ve looked everywhere I know to look – mine were purchased more than 2 years ago. Sizes now seem to start at 8×8 inches.
Hope you’re enjoying this small painting series with me. Only 2 cradle boxes remain blank, which I will paint this week. I could conceivably repaint a larger painting from any painting in this series because I have worked out the color palette and design. Many artist do this so as not to have to experiment with design and color in a large painting. Certainly this makes a lot of sense. I will take this under consideration. (: Hope you’re staying safe.
4×6 Floral Series
During the last 10 days I painted these six 4×6 paintings – all on cradle boxes I’ve had for more than 2 years. It was an interesting process. I felt I could experiment and take more chances than I otherwise might. I could allow my brush to move and sway and dip into various colors without a care in the world. I could select from thick paint and thin paint. I enjoyed the process and the results. In the beginning, I was more successful with the free flowing process than a subsequent paintings when I began to tighten up – but not too badly.
I had fun with color movement and texture.
… and more color. I don’t think I’ve ever used a solid color background before – always thinking it better to include some painterly patterns or texture. I now think a simply solid background can be just perfect.
Above I created an old fashioned look, a vase of roses and my first crocheted doily.
I enjoy playing with light as well as color. I have not used the above still life location before but I certainly will again. I placed a 3 foot garden pedestal on my stairway under a skylight. I could envision that this would create interesting light effects and it did.
This was actually the first 4×6 I painted. It reminds me of a spring breeze.
During the next week, I will paint the edges of the 3/4 cradle boxes these are painted on. I will then apply gold foil to the edges. Right now, it’s just natural wood. This will allow them to look very pretty when you hang them on the wall. A small nail is all you will need or those stick-on strips. I have 4 more cradle boxes and I’ll paint them as well. I’m interested to see what I will create. It’s always a surprise – even for me. Thank you for your interest. Stay safe and have a good week. Winifred
Venice – Physical Distancing
Another colorful umbrella, reflections and lots of texture to paint – a journey unto itself. Initially there was a group of ten people at the end of the stone path. I didn’t find that very interesting and chose not to include them, instead deciding on one person I would create from imagination. There he was standing alone and suddenly became a strong focal point – surrounded by the light and wearing dark clothing. He needed some “stuff” to diffuse the focus. I decided on a bicycle and a backpack – something so often seen in Italy. That alone with shadows for him, and a few smudges allow it to work for me – attention, but not too much – after all, the man with the red umbrella is the “star”. Painting from my Italy photo references gives me the opportunity to paint environments with people, texture, and dramatic lighting formed in a very different way from painting portraits and still lifes – I like that. The fact is, I love it all. Below are a couple of additional previous paintings created nearly 3 years ago – you may not have seen. Hope you enjoy.
Above: This is such a tender painting. I love it still – so does a friend who owns it and tells me often this is the first thing she sees when she wakes every morning. She loves her grandmother and this is a reminder of the relationship they share.
Don’t let this one scare you. I have an “undetermined” assessment with the above painting. It was one of my very early paintings and my first impasto painting. What I do like is the energetic brushstrokes – with a bit of an impressionist look to it – though the impressionist were all about painting outdoors in light. t does hold my attention and suggest that I explore it in detail. This painting has had a new home for quite sometimes and he thinks it’s great – whereas I’m still not quite sure about it. I think I’m less bold now and that is NOT good. Actually, the more I look at it – the more I like it. I must try to create a new painting in this style. That would be fun.
In my next post, I hope to enchant you with a series of miniature floral paintings. Miniature for me is 4×6 inch paintings. I’ve completed a couple of them and they are pretty fun to do. It’s different from painting a larger painting. Stay safe. Winifred
Venice – Crescent Moon and Sparkling Lights
I found the dramatic patterns of light so beautiful – from the moon to the rippling reflections in the canal. Set against centuries old buildings with a dark silhouetted skyline – that for me is the whole story.
Melting: It happened without thought. I wanted to soften the edges a bit. It started on the red flower side. When I got to the bottom I dragged the brush down just a little further and I liked it. I dragged it longer – even better. I was entering new territory. I decided to just go for it – wherever it would take me – it didn’t matter what would happen – and this was the result. Pretty fun.
I corrected several paintings this week. That felt good – they’ve been accumulating in my studio. It’s unsettling for me after I “see” more clearly to just leave a painting in this state. For one painting it was a 3rd iteration of correction but it is truly better now and it is a paining that I value, hence worth the effort.
In a couple days, I will post a new VENICE painting – perhaps 2. Hope you’re staying safe and finding a way to enjoy your increased “at home time”. Winifred
A Bit of Cheer
I decided it is a perfect time to post a cheerful floral. It’s such a strange time in out lives. This is a bit different style of painting for me, loose and simple. I think I’ll do more. One interesting side about this painting is that whereas in the painting, the vase is actually turquoise green – looking like the beautiful turquoise of the ocean in Hawaii for instance, it is not blue as shown here. I couldn’t capture the actual color with my camera where the color space is more limited – same with my computer monitor. The other colors are pretty accurate – just not the turquoise. I’m sure no one cares about this but me. SIGH! Have a great week and please stay safe. Winifred
It’s been nearly 2 years since I created both the paintings I’m sharing today. I found this painting a bit odd and it probably is, hence I hesitated to share it. But for me it has stood the test of time and I have no desire to toss it and I toss paintings pretty easily if I cannot enjoy them. In the above painting, I enjoyed the process of creating the vine foliage form, dimension, texture, color and movement. I find it interesting to view. Still, It’s a bit unusual but I think it has merit. Below, I primarily painted foliage again:
For some reason I think I wrongly consider foliage insufficient as painting content – though in fact there are many other elements included in this still life. It’s just the mind attempting to undermine my efforts, as it does sometimes, but I held onto this painting because in fact, I know better.
I’ve been working on a new painting from a Venice reference. It’s 16×20 which takes more effort to paint and to resolve it’s issues. Perhaps I can share it next week. Please stay safe as we navigate through this Coronavirus event.