About Winifred Whitfield

I'm an oil painter and a digital painter. Portrait painting is my speciality. I love painting still lifes as well. I'm also a professional portrait photographer.

Impasto Still Life

Impasto Sunflowers Oranges Grapes – Oil Painting by Winifred Whitfield

I haven’t done a palette knife impasto painting in quite a long while. You can probably look at this and imagine the fun. I’m sure there’s some rule about not mixing impasto with smooth shiny and realistic elements, as I did by including the painting style of the grapes but I did it anyway. The purple grapes in particular look absolutely edible and I was not going to change that for consistency sake. I’m a proponent for not being consistent anyway. It’s too boring a concept. I’ve noticed over time that when I paint still lifes which include flowers and fruit, my favorite part of the painting is the lower half. I do love painting fruit. I think it’s the variety of shapes colors and textures in close proximity. As well I enjoy painting vases. I painted the vase texture from imagination. No doubt, there will soon be a still life painting with no flowers! Hope you enjoy! Winifred

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.

The Tilt

Tilted Bowl of Fruit 16×12 Oil Painting by Winifred

It started when shopping for fruits and veggies. I saw a bunch of large tangerines in the center of the fruit display. They had large gnarly green leaves attached. I would include them as they would add a special touch to the bowl of fruit I’d create. I tilted the bottom of my support to change the point of view just a little to add additional interest. Primarily, I used a palette knife but not for everything. Always a challenge but I enjoyed creating this colorful energetic painting.

Scattered Grapes and Roses

Scattered Grapes and Roses 11×14 Oil Painting by Winifred Whitfield

I haven’t painted with a palette knife in quite a long time. I loved doing so. Of course the grapes were the most fun. Including grapes just popped into my head and I went with it. I can just hear you now. Don’t worry, I will do more – I love all of this texture!

Roses of Many Colors

Roses of Purple and Gold – Oil Painting 12×16 by Winifred Whitfield

I used a different color set this time. I still can’t claim that painting roses is getting easier. I could chose to paint only two or three at a time – but I don’t really want to remove the challenge – and challenge it is. Have a great weekend! Winifred

Roses Atop Decorative Box

Roses Atop Decorative Box 16×20 Oil Painting on Linen – by Winifred Whitfield

In no way did I expect to show you yet another painting of red roses. I assure you that I attempted a different painting but it just didn’t work out. This still life had been planned as next in line. It was sitting on a table waiting to be placed in my still life lighting area. I knew I would enjoy this subject matter and I did. I’ve had this box for years, having always enjoyed the colors and design. The drape behind the still life set up gave me interesting shadows and direction of light – strong elements I’d not envisioned. I love it when that happens.

It’s been a horrendous and tragic past week – but Trump is all but gone. I hope you have a great week to come as we celebrate Martin Luther King Day. Ironic to put both of those names in the same paragraph. Destruction – Peace!

WELCOME TO JOE BIDEN AND KAMALA HARRIS – our new President and Vice-President! What a mess they inherit!

2021 Apples and a Rose

Apples and A Rose 20×16 Oil Painting on Linen Panel

Happy New Year to all! I’m thinking of last year this time – we had no idea what was coming and we watched the world change and it was disastrous. This year, I’m hoping for positive change on so many levels.

I’m enjoying creating paintings on dark backgrounds as the last two have been. They’re dramatic – especially with the reds. Setting up a still life and attempting to crease a pleasing design is one of the greatest challenges. The actual painting is not as hard as that to do.

In the past I’ve create portraits and digital portrait paintings, often even full bodies, which grew out of a dark background of shadow. I find myself wanting to do the same with still lifes in oil. I’ve created paintings like this before but not for a while. Its a comfortable visual style for me.

I’m also beginning and online painting class. There’s a lot of that going on these days. I love to collect others painters techniques. I like the work and style of painter and instructor Elizabeth Robbins. My interest is not to paint like her, but I love to learn the process and thinking of artist whose painting styles I admire. She paints lots of still life florals with very soft edges and lots of pretty soft colors. Below, I show you an example of her painting and include a link to her instruction site she host with a landscape painter friend, where you can see more of her work – Inspired to Paint.

Elizabeth Robins Oil Painting

We’re even planning to schedule a portfolio review of my work. That should be interesting. I’ll let you know what she says – maybe!! I sincerely wish you a healthy and happy new year. Winifred

Crimson Roses at Christmas

Crimson Roses at Christmas 16×20 Oil on Panel – by Winifred Whitfield

I’m wishing you, your family and friends a wonderful holiday season – even though you may be dealing with loss, illness and separation. At the same time, I understand that in combining this season with Covid 19, or other circumstances can amplify all the emotions, be they joy, sadness or disappointment. That’s just the way it is and always has been. Tomorrow is a new day.

Basically, I’m a non sugar eater. Sweets are just not my thing. I like salty and spicy. But if I take a bite, of a delicious sweet, that will often change things and I will consume it! It’s a carb/brain thing. I’ve been given a few treats the last few days that just blew my warm socks off – so good! I ate them. There was Tiramisu cake, absolutely amazing, and some pecans dipped in dark chocolate and a chili spice – so unbelievable good and dried fruit and nuts covered dark chocolate. I’m not beating myself up about it. I just enjoying. I even received a gift of Cranberry infused Vodka. I’m usually a modest red wine drinker and occasionally champagne but I said “yes” to this offer. I thought it was Vodka mixed cranberry juice – but NO, it’s infused with cranberries. I don’t know exactly what that means but it’s a potent drink. Later today, I’ll mix it with Prosecco and enjoy.

I haven’t posted in a while. It’s not that I didn’t paint – I didn’t like them. My paintings of roses are continuing to grow stronger for the most part. Roses are difficult to paint – more so than peonies, in my opinion. I’m pretty happy with these – though I will make a few changes.

Another unarmed Black man was killed by police. I won’t mention it when it doesn’t happen. Black Lives Matter.

For the Love of Roses

Rose Bouquet Magenta Oil Painting 16×16 Linen Panel by Winifred Whitfield

Painting this was a labor of love. Definitely it was labor but I rather enjoyed the arduous process of painting roses with a different look using looser more feathered strokes and edges. I’ve always wanted to do this but I had to figure out my process and become confident that loosening my control and grip of the brush would give me the results I wanted. I’ve made similar starts in the past on a flower or two, but to be stylistically consistent with more than a dozen flowers is an accomplishment. The fact is, a bit earlier in the process, I actually removed 7 roses (after lamenting the effort which had gone into painting them). The field was too crowded and the design flawed. The painting became stronger when I allowed the eye some room to move about.

Because I had created a rather classic look, I decided to paint a Dollie, which no one uses or paints anymore. I found that my hand and brush is willing to create this type of pattern without struggle – it was almost relaxing, no thinking involved. Painting roses is not. Thank you for the visit! Hope you enjoy. Have a great week. Winifred

Poppies Red and Purple

Purple Poppies Oil Painting 12×12 by Winifred

This is one of those times fortunately when I really enjoy both images equally. They’re different but both make me feel good. I needed a break from my very formal peonies and this was the break I needed.

Red Poppies Oil Painting 12×12 by Winifred

Joyful red poppies, swaying in the wind. I love the colorful background – I never created a background quite like this before – but I will again, in some form.