Venice – The Path

Venice – The Path 11×17 Oil Painting by Winifred

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

Toll Both Attendant – New York

Tool Both Attendant New York by Winifred Whitfield Oil Painting 9×12.

While paused at the toll both in New York, not sure which bridge, I ask the attendant, wearing her orange uniform top, if I could take a snap. She had such a warm and friendly face. you can see she said yes. It wasn’t to be a glamorous shot, just a normal person at work. For a long time, I haven’t known how to approach a painting from the photo reference. This is what I decided on. I wish I could find her to allow her to see herself through my eyes. I think she might like it.

Lady with Oil Lamp

Lady with Oil Lamp 14×19 Oil Painting by Winifred Whitfield

I remember vividly her portrait session. She wanted pretty and sexy photos to send to her husband away in the military. I always requested additional poses for my photo collection. I’ve been looking at this reference photo for a while now. In addition to the complexity of the face, It also featured both hands and the lamp. I decided I was ready to give it a try and I’m glad I did. I even very purposely left texture in the brush strokes of her skin. I didn’t want it to look like a photograph. When paintings are viewed at a distance, even 5 or 6 feet, a modest amount of brush texture mostly becomes invisible.

Blue Bow

Blue Bow in Her Hair 9×12 Oil Painting by Winifred Whitfield

I promised you another “bold” stroke painting this week and I thought that would be the case, but as we’ve seen before, I had little control over my hands. The reference image for this painting was taken in my studio 10 years ago or more. She was a lovely model and fancily dressed. I added the bow to her hair and altered the detail trim of her dress to mimic the hair bow style – just to loosen things up a bit. She was from Eastern Europe and came with beautiful long dresses for her photo shoot. Below:

Roses at Christmas – 2021 – 16×20 Still Life Oil Painting by Winifred Whitfield

I don’t have Poinsettias but decided a painting of red roses is an appropriate image for almost any holiday occasion. I wish everyone a very MERRY CHRISTMAS and a loving holiday season. Thank you so much for being part of my painting journey. You inspire me. Winifred

Bold Strokes

Lady with Bowed Head 5×7 Oil Painting on Canvas – By Winifred Whitfield

I’m “busting loose” with these 3 paintings. I remember watching painters on YouTube as they confidently placed individual brush strokes to create form color and texture. Really, they place one brushstroke then step back 6 to 10 feet to observe, then walk back to the easel to place another. They didn’t smooth, or “lick the paint” it is called, when dabbing at the paint un-assuredly, to try achieve a form. I so wanted to be able to do achieve that. Well, I must say I’m getting closer. These paintings were really fun. The idea is that at a point in time, decide your objective – perhaps to add a shadow under the chin – then put down a stroke and leave it alone. Then place another discrete stroke. Don’t keep dabbing at it trying to fix it or make it “pretty”. Don’t blend the color – allow the paint to be paint. Show the brushstrokes. I love the juicy paint texture. Well, that’s what I did with these paintings anyway. I find them exciting and energetic. I didn’t step back 6 feet after a single brushstroke but I may try that. I also found that by the time I got to the third painting I found myself trying to refine too much, I was being drawn back into concern to create a likeness, when that was not my original objective. It has actually been a longer learning journey to paint in this fashion than to paint in a super realistic fashion. After all, If I want the likeness of a person in a photograph, I have most of the information right in front of me. These paintings require an abstracted interpretation of the photo, and a level of confidence in each abstract brushstroke. I’ll be trying more in the future – and larger – after I finish a more traditional portrait which I’ve almost finished.

Whatever you chose to celebrate, HAPPY HOLIDAYS TO ALL. Winifred

Lady with Long Braids 5×7 Oil Painting by Winifred Whitfield
Lady with Black Scarf 5×7 Oil Painting by Winifred Whitfield

Related Images:

My Red Purse

Strolling With My Red Purse – Oil Painting by Winifred Whitfield

I painted her face from imagination which was not easy – I even turned her head to look in a different direction from the reference – challenging! Overall my painting gives the little girl a different look from what you’d expect in our modern culture. The coat/dress and shoes in this painting were inspired by attire I saw in a film clip.The little girl in the film clip was Eastern European with traditional clothing and headdress from her country. Though inspired, I wanted to make sure my painting deviated significantly from my reference. I altered her coat/dress, face of course and gave her a little red purse and ribbon.

Unfortunately, photos of my paintings which are painted on highly textured surfaces – such as this linen, don’t photograph very well and they are further degraded by the internet compression process. It looks a bit rough. I regret this but there is little that I can do about it – I’m not going to blur it or add filters. I love the look of this linen surface in real life.

Have a super weekend. Winifred

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My Red Ruffles

Young Mexican Girl in Red Ruffled Dress 12×16 Oil Painting by Winifred Whitfield

I painted this little girl using my painting knives. I ask myself recently why I had searched for and purchased my large assortment of “painting knives” if I was not going to use them. A few years ago, I had an online instructor who mentioned that her primary tool is a painting knife, which she purchased long ago, but which is no longer available. (I always hate it when someone says that.) She further commented that she could not paint in her specific style without this tool. It has a very soft and flexible metal blade which provides a great deal of control in creating large and very fine details with great maneuverability. I was immediately challenged to find such tool for myself.

Art stores now only sell palette knives made of a substantially harder and less flexible metal.Their purpose is primarily to mix paint on a palette, though some do paint with them and make other creative marks. Art stores today, however, don’t sell painting knives I wanted a painting knife like my instructor – I like tools. INDEED I FOUND SEVERAL! My search words included – painting knives, vintage, used, well worn, … words most people are not looking to describe products they want to purchase, but I focused on these words. I now have 17 assorted painting knives – different shapes and sizes. I purchased all I could find because in addition to their rarity and fragility, I might damage one in a drop to the floor and trust me I drop things ALL OF THE TIME. One set of these knives was used but excellent, another set was completely unused – still in the box with only a little discoloration on the blades. I feel so lucky to have found these very serviceable, no longer commercially produced tools, on Ebay – and for a song! They are amazing. They look much like a palette knife but they are made of thinner and far more flexible metal. With them, I can make expressive marks different from a brush and move the paint around in an easily maneuverable manner.

Recently, I posted a painting of this same little girls head only, painted several years ago – a normal portrait. At that time, I looked at those ruffles and thought “I don’t think so – but maybe someday”. And so the day came and I thought I’d put those painting knives to the test. It was right tool, the right time and the right skill level to create this painting. I enjoy the color, the depth and dimension as well as her red ruffles and pretty little face. I really like it – It was fun and I hope you enjoy it also. My next canvas is prepared and ready for me to get to work. It will be a very unusual kind of portrait – not the human kind!

The heatwave broke here and it’s now very comfortable. Wherever you are, I hope you are comfortable also. YEAH KANSAS!

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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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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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