Abstract Realism

Strong in Spirit 11×14 Abstract Realism Oil Painting by Winifred Whitfield

I hope to create many more paintings in this style. It feels a bit riskier than painting in a more traditional style but it is exciting to try. I think you can see why this style of painting receives the name Abstract Realism.

Below is an image painted in a traditional style. It’s just “Realism” and it’s primarily the style in which I paint. It was painted a couple weeks prior to the one above. Perhaps the painting surface is a bit too textured, though I like it nonetheless. The reference photo used was created by photographer Jim Lasala, during his trip to Haiti after the 2010 earthquake where there was major devastation left in it’s wake.

Haitian Girl with Red Beads in Her Hair 9×12 Oil Painting by Winifred Whitfield

Below: I thought it would also be fun for you to see the digital painting I created from the same image many years ago as she might have imagined herself in a dream.

Haitian Girl’s Dream, Digital Painting by Winifred Whitfield

Yellow Rose In Her Hair

Yellow Rose in Her Hair 12×12 Oil Painting by Winifred Whitfield

Sometimes paintings just don’t go where you want them to go – don’t emote what you want them to emote. But the fact is, that so long as I’m moving my brushes, making decisions about color harmony, shapes, values and texture – it’s all very worth while. True master painters always say that a painting should never be considered so “precious” that you can’t toss your painting and just start over. I tend to get stuck thinking, it’s only paint – I can correct it. It’s hard for me to discard a painting for that reason. I always think I should determine the problem and correct it. I do love the mixture of the warm and cool colors and the brushwork in this painting. It’s growing on me already. She has a heart shaped face if ever I saw one – though this has nothing to do with my painting it.

The heat and sunshine has been miserable this week – but then I think there are people who enjoy heat and sunshine. For me, I hope we’ll be back to our unseasonably cool temperatures and wetness pretty soon. Have a peaceful weekend. Winifred

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Flowers in her Hair

lowers in Her Hair 12×16 Oil Painting by Winifred Whitfield

It’s been really difficult for me to create post during the past few weeks in the midst of ongoing mass murders – so I didn’t. I had to just stop posting for a while. I painted because that’s soothing but creating post/adjusting images to look like the paintings is a different matter. I enjoyed creating the two versions of this painting. I love the color and elegance of the painting above. I enjoy the texture and energy of the painting below. The fact is I enjoy both very much. This lady is the mom of the little blonde curly head girl with the teddy bear I’ve painted recently a few times prior.

Black Woman Long Braids Textured Surface. Oil Painting – by Winifred Whitfield

I am compelled to say, I am a gun owner but I think we need to ban AR 15’s and similar assault, mass murder, weapons of war – temporarily or otherwise. No one has been able to identify any other purpose for them other than for mass murder.

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My Teddy Three

My Teddy and Me Three 16×16 Oil Painting by Winifred Whitfield

She’s very smart, creative and hopeful for an accomplished and exciting future, but will she be allowed to have one? It’s unfortunate that this innocent child must bear witness to yet another violent act of racism in this country – the slaughter of 10 Black people in Buffalo NY shopping in a grocery store. This act, he said, was encouraged by concept of “the replacement theory”, rhetoric espoused by many Republican leaders and particularly embraced by and fed to the public by media mogul Rupert Murdock’s puppet Tucker Carlson on Fox News. It’s so sad! What is this theory? It offers that Jews and other people of color, “who are more obedient” are seeking to replace white people, the rightful owners of this country, to become the majority population and dominant voting block. The “replacement theory” offers that the “seeking” population needs to be silenced, subjugated and eliminated. According the killer, and his manifesto, it is this concept he was supporting by murdering the 10 Black people. He said he did not want Black people to feel safe anywhere.

I hope this beautiful little girl can have a long and prosperous future.

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Three Faces

Native American Woman Strong Oil Painting 9×12 by Winifred Whitfield

Today, I’m giving you more paintings and fewer words. I think it’s a good trade.

Caucasian Teenager Looking Forward – Oil Painting 9×12 by Winifred Whitfield

Little Girl

Bi-racial Girl with Curls – 12×12 Oil Painting by Winifred Whitfield

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Little Girls

“Girl with Large Starfish” 16×20 Oil Painting by Winifred

This is my 4th attempt to create this painting as one I’m satisfied with. Really, three full repaintings. Hopefully this will be the last version. It was inspired on a tour of a major museum in Mexico. While walking the corridors, I stopped in my tracks when I saw a little Asian girl kneeling in the sand observing a small starfish. I excitedly thought “I have that photo”- not actually “that photo” – but a photo I took about 15 years ago of a different little girl squatting in the sand, observing a LARGE starfish. It was in fact so very large that I made it substantially smaller to create balance in the painting. This painting has gone through quite a few iterations. I hope it comes to rest in this version – though I do see a little something I might change!! Below – a different little girl.

Little Mexican Girl 8×10 Oil Painting by Winifred Whitfield

So, we’ve gone from the museum in Mexico to the little Mexican girl who lives in Washington State. This was one of my first portrait oil paintings, painted about 4 years ago. I love the layers of color and texture and her pretty dark curls. She actually wore a red dress – hence my first layer of color. I remember how terrified she was when ask to stand apart from her parents for the photo. She is looking at them for reassurance.

Hope you enjoy the children – I don’t paint children nearly as often as I paint adults. Have a great weekend! Winifred

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Serene

Serenity Oil Painting Portrait 11×14 by Winifred Whitfield

I love the light and her serene expression. Overall, I enjoy the warm and calm emotion of it. Reference image provided by Tim Ichien. Knowing myself, this painting is not finished but it is the completed part of the first phase of the painting. That’s just the way the painting process goes. It takes time over time.

Portrait Highlights Patterns

Portrait Highlights Patterns – 9×12 Oil Painting on Linen Panel

Portrait Oil Painting by Winifred

When I noticed the patterns of highlights on her face, I was inspired to paint this face.  I hesitated for a moment wondering if I could capture such an intricate design – but that’s why tiny brushes are made! It was  quite unusual for me to set up lighting in my studio this way but I’m so glad I did.

Related Images:

Portrait – Girl in Crimson Dress

Girl in Crimson Dress – 11×14 Linen on Panel

Portrait of Girl in Crimson Dress – Oil Painting by Winifred

A loosely painted textural portrait of a teenage girl. I enjoy experimenting with loose imprecise brushstrokes – though it’s not just random as it might appear.