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.

The Vintage Tray

Roses on Vintage Tray 12×16 Oil on Panel

Roses are beautiful but complex to paint. It’s been a few months now, that I focused on painting roses. I started by painting single roses which I enjoy, but I also wanted to paint rose bouquets and to paint roses abstractly without a visual reference. This required that I understand the flower structure and be able to visualize the petals/flowers and lighting as the flower is turned.


I love the vintage tray the vase is sitting on.  I purchase most of my still life elements at Goodwill or at Poulsbo Antiques. On this one occasion, I walked into Goodwill and immediately spotted this tray – actually a removable table top.  You can’t see much of the tray in this painting, but it really is beautiful.  It was $175.00.  I had no place to use it as a table and it was far too expensive to use as an occasional still life prop – so I walked away – reluctantly.  The next time I was there it was $75.00. “WOW”, I thought, but I still walked away.  The next time, I was there it was $15.00!!!  This item had been in the floor so long that the cashier further reduced it to $11.00. We all love a good deal!!
Hope you enjoy this painting.  Next week I will post a very different style of painting – for me, and painted completely from imagination – no roses involved.

Taking Chances

Impressionistic Peach Roses with Fruit 12×16 Oil Painting on Panel by Winifred

 I place a high value on taking chances.  In fact, I don’t really believe taking chances is a risk, I believe the risk occurs if you don’t. If I choose a safe path, one I believe will keep me from “messing up my painting, for sure this will inhibit my growth.  I’m thinking now about  thoughts which went through my mind with these two paintings – both of which presented me with opportunities to “mess up” – but I took a chance anyway.

I don’t find it particularly difficult “to paint what I see” from a reference photo or from a still life I set up.  For the most part, however, my interest is not realistic paintings  – except portraits.  I’m interested in “interpreting” or abstracting away from realistic visual references. This is much more interesting and exciting for me.

I find this more challenging because it means, I have to “make up things that aren’t there”.  I have to eliminate part of the content which is there. I have to create elements, colors, textures which are not present.  I have to make up brushstrokes which alter the surface of my reference.  I might “mess up” – I often think as I commence some of my more abstracted or elaborate processes!  This thought regularly enters my mind and I have to pause to “talk” to my mind about it.  “You can’t mess up” –  I tell my mind. In fact, I tell my mind that imagining/abstracting new content – new ways to express the elements being observed “ is its only job” – and the only way to build new skills, confidence and creativity – no matter the outcome!  

 I want to have ideas – receive ideas but to try not to tightly control the process expression.  By doing this with each painting – even in small steps, I know my creativity and confidence grows.  I believe both of the above paintings are examples of being a bit “out of control”. It doesn’t even matter whether they’re good paintings or not. The only thing that really matters to me is that I tried something new which caused some discomfort and I did it anyway. I hope to continue this practice throughout this new year.  

I think the saying is – “feel the fear and do it anyway! 2020!!

Feel the Sun

16×16 Oil Painting “Apple and Orange” by Winifred

I enjoy the boldness of this painting emitting such strong shapes, color and contrast. In so many ways it is abstract in form, but otherwise NOT! It’s a real POW to the senses.

It’s almost New Years and I wish you and all those in your life a very Happy New Year. Somehow we will get to the other side of what purports to be a challenging political year.

This Time of the Year

‘Stopping for a Margarita” 16×20 Oil Painting on Panel by Winifred Whitfield

I admit, this is not an image reflective of the Holidays. I thought I would have time to paint a holiday image – but I didn’t.

My painting reference is a photo I took in a Mexican restaurant in Ajijic, Mexico. I was struck by the foliage, that large leaf lit by a streak of sunlight. The chairs and tables were actually very colorful. There was a beautiful mural on the wall. Other than the mural, however, the walls were off white.

I wish you the merry and healthy holiday season, and get some rest, 2020 promises to challenge our PEACE! Winifred

Abundance

Winifred Paints Roses in Vase with Fruit Still Life 16×20

With my large format printer removed from my very long table, I have a new place I can set up to shoot still lifes with ease. The wall is a rich burgundy and I have a source of both natural and artificial light available to create reference photos from which I can paint. Often I don’t have a great deal of fruit in the house, but at the time I created this reference photo, I had abundance of fruit in the house – as well as artificial flowers. I used an electric coffee maker as my vase. My arrangements always take a while to create but ultimately, everything came together nicely.

Abundance – Initial color sketch 16×20 – by Winifred

Above, I liked the rough color/value sketch. It’s a loose painting style, some of which I hoped I would maintain in my final painting – but I failed to do so. In fact, I will soon create a painting where this painting style is the style for the painting. I like the fact that I can now, so quickly create shapes recognizable as a roses – which are complex to paint.

Below is a painting from my initial still life set up in the new location. I will soon purchase new silk roses with new colors and rose types.

6 Roses in Turquoise Vase – 11×14 panel.

I do love the turquoise and vivid magenta hues together. Thank you for observing my progress. Winifred

Bouquets of Roses

Roses are hard to paint – I think I said that before. I wanted to become more comfortable painting them – hence, I continue. I’ll change subjects pretty soon.

Rose Bouquet with Apples – 16×20 Oil Painting on Panel by Winifred

Above, the challenge was to paint a variety of different roses but to maintain a consistent painting style. For me, that required a great deal of discipline. I often like to paint in the “style of the moment”. By working to create a consistent style, some of the spontaneity was removed from the process – a type of “freeness” in hand movement I value. Even the fact that it is a 16×20 – not a small painting, increased the challenge.

Red Roses with Shadows on Stairs – 12×16 Oil on Canvas Panel

Above: I planned to take this vase of silk roses upstairs but set them on the landing temporarily. When I did, I immediately noticed the very interesting pattern of light on the roses but particularly the shadows reflected onto the landing. One rarely paints a still life using overhead light but this was special. I snapped several photos, one of which I would certainly later use as a painting references.

Below: Painting sketch from imagination. My challenge to myself – could I convey in only only a few quick brushstrokes the kind of flower I intended. This was fun! No laboring for hours or days to create this. It was quick, colorful and fun. I hope you recognize the flower!!!

Rose Bouquet 6×8 Sketch – by Winifred

Rose Variety

The rose paintings continue. For awhile now, I haven’t had to wonder what I was going to paint! For the past several weeks, it’s just been roses.

Lilac Rose Oil Painting – by Winifred

Above, abundant energy and foliage, and for me, unusual colors in this painting.

Rose in Blue Pearlized Vase – by Winifred

Above: It’s playful and energetic, So long as I’m moving my hands, I’m growing in skill and confidence in my brushstrokes.

White Rose Oil Painting – by Winifred

Above: I love the feeling of the thick paint and texture in this painting which give it so much dimension. It jumps off the background.

Geometric Rose Oil Painting – 9×9 by Winifred

I think you can see my issue. My painting styles are quite diverse. It would be hard to recognize them as coming from the same person. I would have to say that the painting style immediately above comes with the greatest ease and most likely would be found to be the least desirable! That’s the way it goes. I will not abandon this hand I’ve been given.

Roses Again

Magenta Rose. 9×9 Oil Painting by Winifred

I’m always – well, not always, but from time to time, I go into intense rose practice sessions. Roses are complex and as with any flower, there are many ways to paint them. Above is a more traditional look.

Strawberries and Roses 11×14 Oil on Linen Panel by Winifred

These are abstracted roses. It started with a small aqua vase in a table next to me filed with white artificial roses with a pink trim. I immediately stepped outside of the box in my approach to painting them. My hands didn’t want to be traditional that day though I was completely open to it. Rarely do I know what direction I’m going to take when I start a painting. For me, it’s a good thing and I just enjoy the journey of unexplored roads. If I get completely lost – I toss it, but most often it leads me to a very interesting place I may never have chosen to go. Such was the case here. It does remind me a little of Cezanne’s color palette of golds. greens and blues and the use of black outlines.

Red Rose Leaves Buds, 9×12 Oil Painting by Winifred

This was a fast rose painting rather than one I labor over for hours – or days. I need to do more if this kind of painting. It gets one out of thinking so much. It gets one out of so much detail. Well, I’m interested to see what will happen next. I have absolutely no idea!!

I made so many typos last post, it was truly embarrassing. I hope never to do that again.

Thank you for looking. Winifred

Progression

Hi There! Since in my last post, I presented what would better have been described as a succession of paintings, rather than a progression. This week, I’ll show you a real painting progression.

Because many of my paintings are from imagination, it can take me a while to sort out exactly what I want it to be. This sequence shows the evolution of this painting. In my last post, I thought I was finished – maybe, but this painting has now been sitting for a while and I feel no need or desire to change it. Be sure to read to the very bottom – there’s a surprise!!

Grapes and Swirled Foliage 12×12 Oil Painting by Winifred

Below – the very the beginning. When I started I was thinking hydrangeas.

Below – just a little more development.

Below – Abstract hydrangeas. It’s apparent I was thinking flowers in the beginning. I thought grapes! Interesting, but I kept painting!

Below, the evolution into grapes – but not grapes I loved…

Previous post – but I felt even at that time, it wasn’t finished

– so, I kept painting! The colors are luscious, the movement is good but as I kept looking at it – it just wasn’t quite there.

Grapes and Swirled Foliage 12×12 Oil Painting by Winifred

Finally, I FINISHED!! This is the final version – same as the top image. I repeat this image so as to have the progression in order. There’s a pretty big change, from beginning to end. I enjoy painting grapes – the colors and the way light moves through them. I try not to like paintings like this – even my on – I’m not sure why but I guess I do like it – if I create it. HA!

My other news – I have a WORM BIN! I’m excited! I’ve had it for 3 weeks now. I love the little Red Wigglers – all 1500 of them! Why? – I hear you ask – because I want worm castings for my summer containers. Worm castings are pretty amazing for enhancing the growth of food and flowers. They’re in my studio. I won’t say more now. I’ll create a different post soon and tell you all about them. We have names we’ll need to pick out! Just kidding! Bye for now and thank you for following me.