9×12 Gesso Gessoed Panel
VanGogh said “there is no blue without orange and without yellow”
VanGogh Inspired Sunflowers by Winifred
It’s no secret – I love sunflowers and love to paint them. My fresh bouquet was on it’s last leg. I knew I had to do something immediately – they wouldn’t last through a painting, so I photographed them. I proceeded to paint a perfectly decent painting, looked at it and found it “so boring”. Then I thought of Van Gogh’s sunflowers which were never boring. I knew, I couldn’t use one of his sunflowers paintings even as a general reference because if I did I would paint what I saw. While that is great for practice, it was not my mission – I am eternally searching for my artistic voice!! I did refresh myself on some of his other bouquets, however. Do you know how amazing his paintings are!! Of course you do.
I decided to change my colors from the beige and brown and gold – to the above. I remembered his quote. Each step was scary – the potential to really screw up was big – so, I simply envisioned what I wanted to create and proceeded boldly but cautiously. I’m pretty satisfied with the result. I will change things a bit. I always do, once I sit with a painting for a while – the flaws just jump out so clearly.
Belated Happy Thanksgiving! 9×12 Oil Painting on Canvas Panel
I hope it was a good day for you, however you choose to spend it.
Still lifes are always a great “go to” for me, when I don’t know what else I might enjoy painting. I decided to make this one a bit more complex and to paint this faceted coffee pot I recently acquired. I have 3 pieces from this set and might paint them collectively in one still life someday.
I enjoy the color, light, texture and movement in this painting. I hope you do also. Warmly, Winifred
Clay Vase – 5×7 Oil on Gessoed Board
Clay Vase Oil Painting by Winifred Whitfield
I want only to paint something simple. I decided I would paint a simple vase. I put a little backdrop cloth in my shadow box near my easel, I placed the vase and put a spot light on it for drama!
At this point it was no longer simple!! Every shadow and highlight, every curve, ever fold of the fabric, the background – becomes a separate element which must be painted. I really like the early version. It only has transparent paint on it and It well expresses the texture for the vase simply because you can see the hard board texture through it. I like the final version as well. Image wise, I am not sure which I prefer – though there is only one physical painting and one digital file.
Overall, I enjoy the colors, the shapes, and the lights and darks of both. Hope you enjoy. W
My Mother’s Store – 12×16 Oil on Gessoed Board
Oil Painting by Winifred Whitfield
On this particular day, I took a ferry to Seattle and climbed the hill to 1st Avenue. As I started walking North, I spotted a little store with some great looking boots in the window. I went in.seated with her mother, I immediately saw this adorable little girl in her very pretty attire holding her teddy. I ask her mother if I could take a couple of photos and I did. I love the way little children pose. They just stand there – no posing in fact, no pretense – just “here I am”.
This is the first time I have attempted a full environmental portrait. I love the idea of it but and wanted to tell the story in a rather realistic figurative manner, but what work!! The size of this canvas is 12×16, not really small, but still the face is only about 1 inch wide. It’s very challenging to paint facial likeness at that scale but I did it – but I hope never again. I will simply paint on a much larger canvas if I want to paint a room interior.
I did purchase a great pair of leather boots – my absolute favorites. The store was going to of business – there was a big sale.
This is not a finished finished portrait. I will make more refinements as I continue to look at it, but the elements and concept is pretty clear. Hope you enjoy
Ena – Oil Portrait Painting – 9×12 Gessoed Board
Oil Painted Portrait of Ena
This is Ena and she loves her portrait.
A week ago, I purchased a portrait critique from Portrait Society of America – where I am a member. I was able to submit 5 paintings online to be reviewed. It was contacted by one of the Society’s established and highly awarded members who contact me by phone. Our meeting went very well. It was both helpful in terms of suggestions and rewarding in terms of very positive feedback. She particularly liked my color sense and the painterliness of my brush strokes, It was interesting that she ask me if I was very nervous to be critiqued. I found it a surprising question and told her,” being nervous had never occurred to me”. She found my response surprising and told me I was fearless. She said she was always very nervous to receive critiques. I told her I only assumed she would attempt to give feedback which would make me a better painter. I found this prospect very exciting.
It’s always interesting how different people are. She is a very “realistic painter” – highly skilled in that regard. Most of the artist in the Society are realistic painters. Their paintings very often look like photographs in levels of detail. I have to take this into consideration when talking to/ or being critiques by a Society members. I included one painting I did inspired by Cezanne. It was a painting which did not conform to normal body proportions. She didn’t know how to respond and unfortunately, thought it reflected my drawing skills – or lack their of since I had created some very strange proportions. Later I sent her my inspiration image to legitimize my approach to a specific painting she viewed. I am sure she didn’t care for his painting either. I think most society members want to see, normal, precise and accurate – not particularly fore most in my aspiration. Still she was helpful.
I will do this again with another society member next time. She suggest it is always best to get different artist perspectives. Members provide this kind of feedback to each other, particularly when preparing for competition. It won’t be long before I will be competing with some of the best oil painters in America,
Golden Sunflowers – 9×12 Oil Painting on Gessoed Board
Golden Sunflowers, Oil Painting by Winifred
I will never get enough of painting sunflowers and painting them is such a great way to test new product performance – in this case texture. I have begun to experiment with oil paint mediums – making my own. I add these products to oil paint to change the physical characteristics and the feel of the paint on the canvas or board. I created the rich thick translucent impasto product, to my paint to create the impasto sunflowers. Impasto can be created with paint only but these mediums extend the paint and vary it in other ways which I prefer. There are many minerals and mix in so many potential combinations to create different results. I can put my products into an empty tube, label it and have it available whenever I want to use it. I try to both paint, study and experiment everyday. Loving it!
try to both paint, study and experiment everyday.
“Shallot, Grapes, Small Onion” Three 4×6 oil painting (triptych) on board
Oil Painting Triptych by Winifred
I have a frame – not this frame, but a real frame which required three 4×6 paintings. I had never painted that small before. I started with 8×10’s and went larger. I wouldn’t have been able to take myself seriously in the beginning if I created such small paintings. Now I feel free to do whatever I need to do. I created these because of the frame I have and I like them. The small onion was painted first, the shallot next and finally more grapes – this time with a stem. Simple little paintings, each of which can stand on it’s on but are strong together.
I had to make an emergency food run the other night when I realized I was out of almonds!! No matter how much food is in the refrigerator, if I have no almonds, I am out of food!! I had already painted the small onion and wanted some other more interesting fruit or veggie with a stem or leaf on it.
I began to browse the fruit and veggie area and saw shallot (top). It had so much delicate flaking skin and stem. I thought it would make an interesting painting. I knew I would have to be very careful to get it home intact. I enjoyed painting the shallot, attempting to capture it’s unusual coloring and delicate outer skins.
I took home grapes as well. I love to paint grapes. This time the painting is from real grapes. There is a certain way to paint grapes if they are to be accurate. Painting grapes is similar to painting the iris of the eye. There is a highlight, but also a reflection opposite the highlight, as with the eye, because most grapes are translucent. I am able to use artificial grapes if necessary because I understand how they reflect light, and can simply paint it correctly. It was very nice, however, to have real grapes in order to actually see the light at work and experience and better paint the grapes translucency – particularly the grapes closest to the light.
When dry, I will frame the 3 together. I have considered replacing the lone onion with something a bit more complex but together I think they are fine. Should I leave it or replace it? Not sure yet. Please enjoy. Winifred
“Cat on Ladder” 9×12 Oil on Gessoed Board
Cat on Ladder Oil Painting by Winifred
I see so many beautiful and often funny photos of cats on FaceBook. Sometimes at play, other times posed elegantly and formally. Never had I seen one like my reference before. I was delighted when I saw the Karen Margulis photo of her cat on a ladder. Immediately I knew I wanted to paint it. I contacted Karen and ask her permission. She said “YES”, she just wanted to see it. This painting represents my interpretation.
Reference photo by Karen Margulis
Below is the initial sketch and design.
Adding initial color and texture, which is ultimately adjusted.
Initial Color Added – draft stage by Winifred
Final – Cat on Ladder Painting by Winifred
Leading the Way – 9×12 Oil on Gessoed Canvas Board
“Leading the Way” 9×12 Oil Painting by Winifred Whitfield
I don’t often paint street scenes, but I thoroughly enjoyed painting this one. I enjoy the interaction of the two. I love the expressions, the vintage car, the old bus and virtually empty street on this bright sunny day. I hope to paint more.
Yellow Flowers – 9×12 Oil on Gessoed Board
Yellow Flowers with Vine Oil Painting by Winifred
I had a different painting in mind when I started – the sketch below makes that pretty clear. The change was even more radical than is apparent. I set up a vase of flowers which had two yellow, three red and three deep purple flowers in it!
After I completed my sketch, I ruffed in the shadows, and began extending the energetic brushstrokes to the edges. I decided it looked like foliage and kept it.
I added highlights and shadows using dancing brushstrokes to the lower background and foreground. It started to come together. Some how, I didn’t want all the colors in the vase. I decided on yellow flowers only. I added my yellow flower along with a bit of hue changes in the same brushstroke style I’d been using throughout. I then began to focus these strokes to giving abstract definition of flower structure.
I liked the painting at this point and could have left it but I wanted a greater sense of dimension which I would only get by affecting the hues and tones of shadows and highlights. Below, I have added purple, and muted dark blue glazes to various areas along with impasto to pop the highlights and a twining vine. With that, I could call it good. I will know after I look at it over time. I can always make some changes if necessary. Hope you enjoy! Winifred
Yellow Flowers Oil Painting by Winifred