As I perused a friends blog reflecting their recent train tour of Italy – and environs, I saw a photo taken in Venice which stopped me in my tracks. There were many beautiful photos from their trip, but if you recall my paintings from my Venice photos, they all featured umbrellas, rain and the night. I immediately selected her daylight photo to paint. I thought it would be interesting to see if I would approach this painting differently. I enjoyed creating the color variation and texture on the walls, though there was texture on my canvas as well. I added plants and simplified many other aspects of her photo. Painting is about eliminating the non essential.
Recently, Venice presented some very exciting news to the world. During the past several years a $7 billion engineering project was developed to save Venice.
It’s fascinating. (The development and engineering of this system was created by a woman – just so you know.) If interested in learning about the project – view this short YouTube video in the link below and perhaps a few more.There is real hope for Venice.There’s just no other place like it in the world. I believe the system first launched a couple years ago. Saving Venice
I actually painted a portrait last week and though “correct” I found it completely boring and hence wouldn’t post it. Have a great weekend. Hope you have some flowers and veggies growing. I have plants, of course, but the primary food I grow is strawberries in containers. This year, I had to divide them and gave tons of plants to friends. YUM! Thank you for viewing my blog. Winifred
I’ve loved this photo for a long time now and it was time for this painting. The photo reference was by photographers Art and Daphne Carlyle who travel and do many projects for Rotary International. They shared many of their photos with me and I appreciate being allowed to use them in paintings from time to time. Gradually, I’m getting some figurative work done. This is a little Guatemalan girl. I adore her seated position – especially her little left arm and hand tucked beneath her. I can just imagine it – such a kid thing to do.
In addition to the painting which takes place in my studio – I have 3 bins of composting worms – “red wigglers”, busy making what gardeners refer to as “black gold” which is worm poop! There is no unpleasant oder, in fact, it has a fresh smell – like the forest. I’m in the process of separating the worms from the castings. I would show you a photo but it would likely gross you out. I have several thousand worms in the 3 tote sized bins – the kind you find at Home Depot. They’re my pets. I’ve gone from camels to worms – and you thought my paintings were diverse!! See you in a few days. Winifred
HAPPY NEW YEAR!! I’ll make new strides in 2019. No playing it safe – such as with my tomatoes. Painting this was not easy for sure. Each color and tonal variation had to be mixed separately. Oil paints don’t easily blend together and you can see the color variations are many. However, though tedious, I purchased 3 tomatoes and had them to look at. Basically, I painted what I saw – realism.
Just imagine, however, you set up a still life, below, but you chose to completely alter the color, textures and even some content – more abstract, more impressionistic. This makes the painting even more complex though giving one the opportunity to stretch the imagination, completely personalizing the style mood, color texture all. I’m will do more if this, attempt to stretch my capability with each and every painting. I hope you will enjoy.
There will be times when I work very seriously, but I also believe in play. Below, you can see play!! Grapes, pear and a shadow. This was fun. Thank you for sharing my painting journey and hope you will continue into the future. Wishing you and your family the best in 2019. Winifred
I have not posted for more than 2 months. My previous weekly postings fell away. I will do better. One reason for my absence is the amount of effort and focus I was directing to the series of commissioned portraits I’ve been working on, as you will begin to see here. I hope to do better and to keep you more up to date with my work. This is quite a colorful group of oil paintings.
Girl with Floral Vines – Oil Paint on Linen Panel, 12×16, by Winifred Whitfield
The styles of my paintings are quite varied. I allow the person, the image to dictate the ultimate outcome. The painting thus evolves intuitively. I am often surprised by the journey and the outcome. I’ve been fortunate that I’ve been given free rein in creating these portraits. No direction was given. This allows me to be at my most creative. The inspiration for the floral vine came from floral elements in the families marble table
Girl with Colorful Sky, 12×16 oil painting by Winifred Whitfield
I enjoy this rich and colorful sky. It was breezy when I photographed this young lady. At times her hair was whipping all about her face. I ask that she just relax and let it happen. There is always the perfect moment and perfect movement, hence the floating wisp of her hair helping to bring this painting to life. There was not a hint of a sunset – in fact, yet it appeared in the painting.
12×16 Oil Painting on Panel, ” Little Boy with Hand in His Hair” by Winifred Whitfield
This is the most colorful oil portrait I’ve ever painted. The family loves intense vivid color. I thought it would please them and it did. Freehand painting a patterned background was a bit scary but I love patterns and felt confident I could do it. I am pleased. It’s pretty amazing that with all the color and pattern in the background, your eyes still go right to his eyes.
On this particular day, I took a ferry to Seattle and climbed the hill to 1st Avenue. As I started walking North, I spotted a little store with some great looking boots in the window. I went in.seated with her mother, I immediately saw this adorable little girl in her very pretty attire holding her teddy. I ask her mother if I could take a couple of photos and I did. I love the way little children pose. They just stand there – no posing in fact, no pretense – just “here I am”.
This is the first time I have attempted a full environmental portrait. I love the idea of it but and wanted to tell the story in a rather realistic figurative manner, but what work!! The size of this canvas is 12×16, not really small, but still the face is only about 1 inch wide. It’s very challenging to paint facial likeness at that scale but I did it – but I hope never again. I will simply paint on a much larger canvas if I want to paint a room interior.
I did purchase a great pair of leather boots – my absolute favorites. The store was going to of business – there was a big sale.
This is not a finished finished portrait. I will make more refinements as I continue to look at it, but the elements and concept is pretty clear. Hope you enjoy
“Shallot, Grapes, Small Onion” Three 4×6 oil painting (triptych) on board
Oil Painting Triptych by Winifred
I have a frame – not this frame, but a real frame which required three 4×6 paintings. I had never painted that small before. I started with 8×10’s and went larger. I wouldn’t have been able to take myself seriously in the beginning if I created such small paintings. Now I feel free to do whatever I need to do. I created these because of the frame I have and I like them. The small onion was painted first, the shallot next and finally more grapes – this time with a stem. Simple little paintings, each of which can stand on it’s on but are strong together.
I had to make an emergency food run the other night when I realized I was out of almonds!! No matter how much food is in the refrigerator, if I have no almonds, I am out of food!! I had already painted the small onion and wanted some other more interesting fruit or veggie with a stem or leaf on it.
I began to browse the fruit and veggie area and saw shallot (top). It had so much delicate flaking skin and stem. I thought it would make an interesting painting. I knew I would have to be very careful to get it home intact. I enjoyed painting the shallot, attempting to capture it’s unusual coloring and delicate outer skins.
I took home grapes as well. I love to paint grapes. This time the painting is from real grapes. There is a certain way to paint grapes if they are to be accurate. Painting grapes is similar to painting the iris of the eye. There is a highlight, but also a reflection opposite the highlight, as with the eye, because most grapes are translucent. I am able to use artificial grapes if necessary because I understand how they reflect light, and can simply paint it correctly. It was very nice, however, to have real grapes in order to actually see the light at work and experience and better paint the grapes translucency – particularly the grapes closest to the light.
When dry, I will frame the 3 together. I have considered replacing the lone onion with something a bit more complex but together I think they are fine. Should I leave it or replace it? Not sure yet. Please enjoy. Winifred
Leading the Way – 9×12 Oil on Gessoed Canvas Board
“Leading the Way” 9×12 Oil Painting by Winifred Whitfield
I don’t often paint street scenes, but I thoroughly enjoyed painting this one. I enjoy the interaction of the two. I love the expressions, the vintage car, the old bus and virtually empty street on this bright sunny day. I hope to paint more.
I had a different painting in mind when I started – the sketch below makes that pretty clear. The change was even more radical than is apparent. I set up a vase of flowers which had two yellow, three red and three deep purple flowers in it!
After I completed my sketch, I ruffed in the shadows, and began extending the energetic brushstrokes to the edges. I decided it looked like foliage and kept it.
I added highlights and shadows using dancing brushstrokes to the lower background and foreground. It started to come together. Some how, I didn’t want all the colors in the vase. I decided on yellow flowers only. I added my yellow flower along with a bit of hue changes in the same brushstroke style I’d been using throughout. I then began to focus these strokes to giving abstract definition of flower structure.
I liked the painting at this point and could have left it but I wanted a greater sense of dimension which I would only get by affecting the hues and tones of shadows and highlights. Below, I have added purple, and muted dark blue glazes to various areas along with impasto to pop the highlights and a twining vine. With that, I could call it good. I will know after I look at it over time. I can always make some changes if necessary. Hope you enjoy! Winifred