Dance of the Sunflowers

Dance of the Sunflowers 16×20 Oil Painting by Winifred Whitfield

I wonder if it’s apparent why I chose this name for the painting. If it’s not apparent, it doesn’t really matter. If it is apparent, it just adds a little delight. I don’t think I told you that I didn’t plant sunflowers this summer. I thought I’d skip a year given the massive plantings the two summers previously. Plus, it’s best for the soil. But wouldn’t you know it – in the container closest to the street, a volunteer appeared. It grew and grew. Then it began to bud. Not just one flower appeared but 20 at least, up and down the stem.

I’ve had sunflowers stalks with multiple flowers on the stem before, but nothing like this. It seemed to make up for the absence of all the others. It’s abundant show is over now and just a couple days ago, I removed its tall strong stem. This painting is my memory. It had grown in a pot containing strawberries which are featured in the painting as well. The apple played no part of my growing season, I just thought it was a nice element of design. I enjoyed the sunflower showing up like that – quite a surprise. It was the unplanned child! Hope you enjoy! Winifred

Purple Cone Flowers

Purple Cone Flower 1 Oil Painting – 9×12 by Winifred Whitfield

I started the seeds for these flowers last spring. They are called Purple Cone Flowers, and more formally, ECHINACEA. I bet you’ve heard of this flower. They are in the daisy family – wouldn’t you know! I was surprised when I looked on the back of the seed package and it said “time to bloom – 2 years”. That’s the moment I realized these were perennials and it was going to take awhile before I could enjoy them. So I cared for the small plants looking forward to the joy they would bring in the subsequent year. I planted some in several containers and they are blooming beautifully this summer. The painting above is the more “tight” and dramatic of the two paintings. I enjoy the shapes and the pattern of the light. I love them equally. They have different characteristics. I would not want to have to choose. Below is the painting with greater personality, in my opinion. It’s more flirty and free.

Purple Cone Flower 2 Oil Painting – 9×12 by Winifred Whitfield

This last one was more fun to paint. It was the second of the paintings and I took the pressure off myself. I’m definitely finding value in painting and image more than once. I endeavor to play with some new product or technique, experimenting as I go and I loosen up. I think I’ll paint one more Ecninacea in a garden scene kind of way – without the vase. I’ve not created my reference photo for that yet.

Have a great day. Winifred Whitfield

Last Daisies of Summer

I decided to create one more daisy painting before I moved on and I’m glad I did. I was able to create an entirely different daisy painting style, one that gave me more color, more depth and softer more fluffy feeling flowers. It ‘s actually less realistic than actual daisies and my previous daisies (just scroll back one post to see). These are a bit more loose and artful. This doesn’t mean I like the others any less. I want to have a wide variety of tools and techniques at my disposal. Of course, the painting didn’t start out this way. I thought I had finished before I got to this stage. Below you see what I considered my initial finished painting – silly me!

I liked the fact that these daisies were so loose and fluffy. That was an accomplishment within itself. The values were good – (lights and darks) I was done with painting – so I thought. Fortunately, I had a problem loading the images to my site – in fact my site wasn’t working at all. I contacted Jon Munson, intae@jntae.com who maintains my site – whom I would highly recommend if you have any problem with a website – really. It’s been 10 years and he has never failed me once! Well, he took care of the problem. In the interim, I had time to keep looking at the initial painting and my irritation grew. That’s how it happens with me. I can move from satisfaction to irritation in a fairly short time. I thought I would only work to add warm and cool colors in the highlight and shadow areas. I very much liked the texture of the flowers. Without explaining in detail, you can see the result. A lot happened. It’s been a few days now and I remain ok with it. It’s a good sign when I don’t want to go back and “fix” something. In one of my last post, I returned to the painting and removed the strawberries!

I’m very close to finishing my mom’s portrait. Only the dress color remains unresolved. Sometimes I like it other times not. I hope to share it with you soon.

The police continue to shoot Black men. Seven bullets in the back!!!

Painting Daisies in Oil

Daisies in Vase on Table cloth – Oil Painting 9×12 – by Winifred Whitfield

I think daisies are taken for granted. You plant them and they grow. They might even show up voluntarily and still grow and thrive. They grow along the side of the road. I’ve always liked them. They feel like a “smile” when I see them. I picked some from my garden, selected a few different vases and photographed them. I decided to give them some overdue attention – from a painting perspective. In the above painting, it also gave me the opportunity to show off a recently acquired vase from my tenant, the Poulsbo Antique Shop, which specializes in antique glassware primarily.

Daisies with Strawberries and Fallen Flower – Oil Painting – 9×12 by Winifred Whitfield

My primary objective in creating these paintings was to show depth in the flowers and overall depth in the bouquet. Ultimately I think I was successful and I like the above painting as much as I do the very top painting. Daisies have virtually no foliage along the upper flower stem, hence, if I want to embedded them in green, I would have to find foliage to place with the flowers – or create it from imagination.

Practice 2 – Daisy painting. Practice 1 I deleted!!

I took the imagination route, which also provided an opportunity for more foliage variation and lively brushstrokes. It’s a bit scary doing this because it is random and you aren’t sure exactly what you’re going to get, though relieved if it works well. I didn’t want to stick to realism. To be effective however, I would have to be comfortable with varying colors, light and shadow consistent with creating the depth and dimension I wanted to achieve. It was actually fun and challenging to take garden white daisies and give them so much color and variation in this process.

The process has been interesting. I learned a lot. I tried different processes and techniques in each. Now I want to create painting which incorporates what I learned overall.

Since Last time I posted, my garden has become beautiful – my neighbors all tell me so – though primarily constructed with containers. In the middle of my garden I placed a new BLACK LIVES MATTER sign. Actually. I have one on the front balcony as well. I’m the only African American in the homeowners association where I live, but another women has a sign in her front yard as well. She was told by an HOA board member she should take it down, people might think she is against the president. I told her I am completely against the president but that has nothing to do with my sign. I indicated to her that I’m pretty sure no one is going to request that I remove my sign and I wouldn’t anyway – she didn’t either.

During my absence, the past month and ahalf, I’ve also attempted to complete an oil portrait of my mom, who is no longer with us. It’s a 3/4 portrait which includes hands and a dozen roses, chair arms and more. The reference is from a photo taken on mothers day perhaps 6 years ago. I have’ve not yet succeeded in capturing the expression I remembered and felt. I needed to take a break from the portrait but I will soon continue. I’m happy with most of it – even with her hands – but not yet wit her face and sly smile – which I had to force out of her!

Bye for now, wear a mask and distance when possible. This country under the current leadership and policy direction is still “growing infections” in the population. Far less developed countries are doing SOOOOO much better. So sad.

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

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

Melting Flowers

Melting Flowers Oil Painting 12×16 on Panel – by Winifred Whitfield

Melting: It happened without thought. I wanted to soften the edges a bit. It started on the red flower side. When I got to the bottom I dragged the brush down just a little further and I liked it. I dragged it longer – even better. I was entering new territory. I decided to just go for it – wherever it would take me – it didn’t matter what would happen – and this was the result. Pretty fun.

I corrected several paintings this week. That felt good – they’ve been accumulating in my studio. It’s unsettling for me after I “see” more clearly to just leave a painting in this state. For one painting it was a 3rd iteration of correction but it is truly better now and it is a paining that I value, hence worth the effort.

In a couple days, I will post a new VENICE painting – perhaps 2. Hope you’re staying safe and finding a way to enjoy your increased “at home time”. 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.

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.