About Winifred Whitfield

I'm a digital painter. Portrait painting is my speciality. I am a professional photographer portrait photographer. I love to paint. I can paint with or without the use of photographs - depending upon client needs. I create both portrait and fine art paintings.

Lady on a Bench in Brooklyn

Masked Woman on Red Bench – Oil Painting 9×12 – by Winifred

I created the photo reference for this painting some years ago when in New York. It was photographed from my 3rd story studio apartment window, across the street from Prospect Park, designed by Frederick Law Olmsted – who also designed Central Park. I was bi-coastal at the time – I lived in Poulsbo, WA as well. On this day, this lady sat on the dark green bench, partly shaded by a big tree. I was intrigued. There she sat, with her hands folded in her lap – at a bus stop, with her luggage next to her. She sat and she waited.

I decided to make this image more current. I now portray her waiting for a bus, during the time of still high number of infections and number of deaths from Corvid 19. She also has a flyer in her hand for a protest in New York. You can see a date on the edge of the bench 5.25.20. This date intersects Covid 19 and the time of massive protest against police brutality in 50 states and many countries in the world. The painting included elements of a great little story, which I almost made up to accompany the painting – but I decided not to. So many questions: Where is she going with her luggage? Is she going or returning? How/what is she feeling? Will she attend the protest? We can create our own answers, our minds enjoy filling these blanks.

I hope you’ve had a good week and weekend. It’s wonderful that finally, we’re building a multi cultural and multi racial coalition to bring the phrase “life and liberty for all” to fruition. It’s a change which must include, structural and economy change. I hope you will participate in expanded consciousness, in words and in deed. I wish you well. Winifred

Rest In Peace George Floyd

Rest In Peace George Floyd

Rest In Peace now George Floyd. Rest In Peace in the Arms of Your Loving Mother. The world heard the cries from your suffering and torture, witnessed your murder and we won’t let them get away with it.  Know now that your death will not be in vain, as through our anger and pain, a new generation has arisen to experience the power of protest against injustice, indignity, exploitation and racism. Rest In Peace George Floyd.  You’ve inspired renewed struggle and resolve. Rest In Peace George Floyd, you may join your Mother – your work is done. You will live in our hearts and memories forever. We mourn. Date of this Police Killing, May 25, 2020. There are so many more!! 

Please NO comment about the painting. You may comment about the state of racism in this country and the world if you so desire. I have known and/or experienced racism, directly and indirectly in this country all my life. I always considered prejudiced or racist people stupid people and I never listened to their attempts to demean or to limit me – but always sought to claim my best life. I have been fortunate in education, finances, family and self esteem. I can honestly say, however, that as a Black person in this country, I have never felt so targeted as unworthy and inferior as under the Trump administration. He must be removed! He is an embarrassment, a liar, immoral and dangerous.

We cannot be silent! To be silent is to be complicit. I don’t plan to turn this into a political forum. I wanted this to be a place to share my painting journey – but, this week – “my cup runneth over”. So many tears – so much sadness and pain. Winifred Whitfield

Pandemic Losses – Going Home

Pandemic Losses Going Home 12×16 Oil Painting – by Winifred

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.

Roses Not Fully Open – 11×14 Oil Painting – By Winifred

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.

Colorful Abstract Floral

I hope this painting brings you a bit of cheer today!

Colorful Abstract Floral 12×12 Impasto Oil Painting by Winifred

My paintings have a life of their own, no matter what I have in mind – but I love the process of getting wherever I’m going. This was fun and I certainly enjoy the color, the shapes and the texture. I can also find fault with this painting. I pointed out to a friend who saw it, that there might be too much difference between the painting style of the flowers and that of the very modern and abstract style of the remainder of the painting. Fortunately, she disagreed. She thinks it’s perfect!! I was considering scraping off the vase and painting a more traditional vase. I reserve the right to do so in the future if it REALLY starts to bother me. You might think, why not just change the style of the flowers? Well, the flowers are far more complex to paint than a vase – that’s why!

I recently made quite a bit of the product I mixed with my paint to get this texture. I have 3 different formulas left to try – though you likely wouldn’t notice the difference in them. So, you’ll likely see lots of impasto in the near future.

I’m planning on painting something very bazaar this week. I’ve done a loose sketch. We’ll see how it goes. Meanwhile have a great week. Winifred

Window Light

Window Light Oil Painting 8×8 on Panel – by Winifred

Recently, I’ve been thinking about painting an abstract background into which I would incorporate my focus subject matter – in this case flowers. Although I had never done this before, I thought it something I could do and would enjoy doing – in addition creating it as impasto. I decided to stop thinking about it and to hop to it! This was done from imagination. I am very pleased with the results and will certainly do more painting in this style in the future. I love this color palette as well. Hope you enjoy. Please let me know. Winifred

Peaches on Cake Pedestal

Peaches on Pedestal Oil Painting 11×14 on Panel by Winifred

Firstly – Happy Mother’s Day!! I hope it is an enjoyable day no matter how you spend it. Finally back to normal sized paintings! I painted a vintage tapestry background for this painting – initially. I loved it. It had been challenging to do but ultimately I didn’t love it any more. Mainly the colors weren’t working and because it was complex, it would not be an easy fix to correct, so I decided to paint a drape instead – it was fun to paint a drape. I’m going to keep comments short today. Have a great day. Hugs to all. Winifred

Peonies

Rose Peony – by Winifred – Oil Painting on Cradle Board 4×6

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.

Peach Rose – by Winifred – Oil Painting on Cradle Board 4×6

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

Small Paintings

Bouquet with Blocks of Color – 4×6 Oil Painting on Cradle Box by 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.




Roses in Sunlight – Oil Painting by Winifred

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.

Roses on Gold Gilded Table – 4×6 Oil Painting on Cradle Box by Winifred

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.

Tulips in Blue Vase – 4×6 Oil Painting on Cradle Box by Winifred

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.

Cradle Box

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

Spring Bouquet Oil Painting 4×6 Cradle Box – by Winifred

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.

Orange and Blue Floral Oil Painting 4×6 Panel Cradle Box – by Winifred

I had fun with color movement and texture.

Simply Red Oil Painting on 4×6 Cradle Box – by Winifred

… 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.

Bouquet with Crochet – 4×6 Oil Painting on Cradle Box – by Winifred

Above I created an old fashioned look, a vase of roses and my first crocheted doily.

Bouquet on Pedestal Oil Painting 4×6 on Panel Cradle Box
– by Winifred

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.

Spring Impression Oil Painting on 4×6 Cradle Box by Winifred

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

Venice Italy Social Distancing – Oil Painting 12×16 by Winifred Whitfield

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.

Nonna – by Winifred

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.

Venice at Night by Winifred

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