Man from Guatemala Reading

Guatemalan Man Reading Oil Painting 16×20 by Winifred Whitfield

In the not to distant future I’ll show you why I’ve been so distracted from my post, but I did manage to finish this painting which I like quite a lot. I forgot to photograph this painting before framing it but that’s okay. This ends or at lease puts a pause in my Guatemalan series of paintings. It was fun. Thanks to Daphne and Art Carlyle for the reference photos. Hope everyone is enjoying their Spring/Summer. I certainly am. Winifred

Figurative and Abstraction

Lady Carrying Load – Guatemala 16×12 Oil Painting by Winifred

There was no abstraction in the photo reference. It was a normal street scene with a building in the background, a door, a window, a street and a curb. Originally I painted this. The photo was interesting, but in the painting those street/building elements were not working design wise as I had painted them. I decided it would be a better choice to eliminate them. I wiped those elements from my panel, leaving some rough drying brush marks and the color changes I’d made to the background. It turned out the removed elements had not been essential to my focus – the woman carrying the load on her head. I added some additional brushstrokes to enhance the abstraction, the painting was was done and I liked it. Quite by accident I’d created an urban street scene abstraction or what might remind me sadly of war torn Gaza as a background. (Photo reference by Daphne and Art Carlyle).

There will be one more painting from a Guatemalan photo reference and I’ll be done with that series. It will be a man.

Guatemalan Woman at Market

Guatemalan Woman at Market Reading with Flowers and Apples 12×16 Oil Painting by Winifred Whitfield

I enjoyed creating this painting – even re imagining various of from the photo. I loved the photo also, however. It was taken in 2014 by Art and Daphne Carlye during their travel. I have used their photos before but I feel that I’m just getting started. The original photo included 3 Guatemalan women at a flower market – no apples – the basket was empty and there was an empty blue bucket as well, and a different arrangement of the flowers. Initially, I thought I might paint all three women in the same painting and some day I might. At this time, that was just more painting than I wanted to do.

Before I did the figurative painting above, I painted the pears below – just to push and pull some paint around in a certain way with my paint brush. Can you see it?

Three Cool Pears Oil Painting 9×12 by Winifred Whitfield

There are so many ways to “make marks” on a canvas and it is important to pay attention to and to master a wide range of possibilities which allows my painting to be versatile.

There are too frequently weeks when I certainly I paint, but emotionally I cannot post because it feels so trivial to talk about painting in the midst of all the acts of hate, violence and racism which we all see constantly. I feel so inundated by it. Some day, I will create art which speaks back and at that time I will feel my art has a meaningful purpose. Right now, I’m just building skills.

BLOG COMMENTS ARE NO LONGER AVAILABLE. I love hearing from you and receiving your encouragement. So, please feel free to contact me by email anytime you like. Unfortunately BLOG COMMENTS were eliminated during a technical restructuring of this blog recently. Have a great week – until next time.

The Beginning of Fall Color

Hydrangeas in Fall Oil Painting 16×20 – by Winifred Whitfield

I cut these hydrangeas from a large bush last week in a friends yard in Seattle. The flower heads were huge and most were beginning to dry on the bush. Hydrangeas turn many beautiful colors in fall. I didn’t try to capture that color exactly, instead opting for the blues, purples and reds of early summer – mainly because I already had the several gradients of paint colors mixed that I need for blues, purples, greens and reds. I’ll do the other colors some other time.

Believe it or not, I still have more to do on my mom’s portrait. I saw a problem with her nose and I need to correct it. Overtime, something new might reveal itself to me, and I’ll keep making the corrections until I feel it’s all done. Have a wonderful week.

Another black man was killed in May around the same time as the George Floyd killing. The police lied, said death was due to a drug overdose. Now the video and documents reveal a major cover up by the entire police department and I believe the District Attorney as well. He had been suffocated. I want this to end.

I’ll miss Ruth Bader Ginsburg – a great lady – a great Supreme Court Judge.

Related Images:

Hydrangeas and More

Hydrangeas in Watering Can. Oil Painting 16×16 on Panel – by Winifred Whitfield

It’s cloudy and the air is harmful to breathe in my town of Poulsbo,WA and in the entire Seattle area. I awoke to a golden cloudy sky – not a good sign. I content myself with painting pretty flowers.

We’re headed out of summer, though summer in art never ends.

Mother’s Portrait

Mother – Oil Painting 16×20 on Linen Panel – by Winifred Whitfield

It was Mother’s Day 2014 when I took this last photo of my mom. She passed some months later. She holds the roses she’d received; she’s wearing the sly smile so familiar and the little diamond necklace, but otherwise the details have been altered. It was difficult to paint this portrait , to be able to look at it and to recognize and to “feel” the person, whom I loved and who loved me all my life.

She was a great lady. She taught first grade for 40 years and loved it. I was a child when she went away to school several summers completing a few courses each year, working toward, then completing a Masters Degree in Education. That prompted me to decide I would get 2 Masters Degrees – though not in education. I didn’t know at the time how fortunate I was. My parents always owned a home and two cars. Her parents always owned a home as well. I always knew I would be well supported and my education would be paid for. I took this security for granted. I thought at the time it normal to complete high school and then college as prerequisite to even thinking about a job. It’s funny, but actually a little sad that my first job was with a State Employment Security Division, Youth Opportunity Center, whose sole purpose was finding jobs for teenagers. I could not understand why the high school grads and drop outs were looking for work; they hadn’t finished college! I learned about lifestyles very different from mine. Within a year or so, I headed to grad school.

My mom provided me with unconditional love and support. Without limitation, I was told I could be anything I wanted to be. Race was not even discussed as a limitation. My self esteem has always been in tact. Without exception, I saw and still see segregationist and racist, as very ignorant people. I was born in the South but it doesn’t matter – racism is and always has been everywhere in this country. To judge by skin color really is pretty stupid. With my mom, I always felt I had a safety net.

I loved my mom. I miss her, but all that she did and all that she gave continues to live on.

More from Venice Italy

Man with Red Umbrella – 16×20 Oil Painting on Panel by Winifred

Not a single floral this time! At some point, and very soon, I will post the entire collection of my paintings from Venice – I have many favorites. The image above has been posted before, I am posting it now because I am sure many have not seen it, and because I don’t have a new painting ready this week. I’ve been working on 2 paintings simultaneously – and neither is complete. I’ve been slow because I wanted each layer to dry before continuing to paint and because it has been a very busy week with other matters. Below, however, you can see what I’ve started. Hopefully, I’ll get them finished next week – not sure, both have a long way to go.

There are many painters who could get to this stage rather quickly, because they paint fast – which I don’t, or they may trace a photo onto a panel, or use a projector to project an image onto a canvas to trace or even print images on canvas with a printer. I only recently learned about this. The most I use as an external aid, is to create a 9 section grid on my photo and then loosely the same grid spacing on my panel, to help me accurately place the content of my reference. Before I create the grid on the photo, I often spend a substantial amount of time creating the actual reference I want to paint. I manipulate the photo substantially to alter or adjust the photo content as I want it to appear. I adjust the location of photo elements, the size, perspective, color. Ultimately my reference photo is not the photo I start with. It is very handy to determine these things before I begin painting rather than blundering along using the original unaltered photo trying to make changes to it “on the fly”.

Below, is the sketch painting phase of my first Gondola and driver with passengers. Hopefully the reason for this choice will become clear when complete.

There are many short cuts artist can use these days in the painting process which speed them alone to galleries or clients, but I tend to stick with the long and time consuming way of doing things. It’s just my way and sometimes it is tedious. I could even add more squares to my grid, to aid in capturing the proper placement of the reference image but I prefer the practice of increasing my ability of doing this from site. You’d be surprised how challenging it is. Some day, I may speed up my processes. Bye for now. Winifred

Venice in the Rain

It was two years ago when I visited Venice with a friend from New York. I have now completed a 6 painting series of “Venice at Night”, primarily in the rain. I most enjoy creating figurative paintings which you can feel and which tell stories. I think I have a few such paintings here. During the process, I got to experience the magic of Venice again.

Venice in the Rain 16×20 Oil Painting Panel – by Winifred
Two Women Walking in the Rain in Venice – 12×16 Oil Painting on Panel by Winifred Whitfield
Lady with Umbrella and Others 16×20 on Linen Panel by Winifred
Window Shopping at Night in Venice – 16×20 Oil Painting on Panel by Winifred Whitfield
Lady in Rain in Venice at night. 12×16 Oil Painting on Panel by Winifred Whitfield

To complete the series, I include below the first painting I started with – previously posted. The location is Murano, Italy and during the day.

Weather in Murano 12×16 Oil Painting by Winifred

I hope you enjoy these images. Soon I will commence images of the canals and Gondolas.

Related Images:

Renoir Inspired – Part One

  Winifred Whitfield discussed her upcoming class beginning May 2nd at Digital Art Academy, Renoir Inspired – Part 1. She reviews the Ultimate Impressionist brush category she has created and is provided to Part 1 of this class. She will demonstrate Auto Painting techniques for creating an impressionist look in backgrounds and overlays. She will demonstrate the use of Fractal Patterns  to create dramatic lighting effects in Painter. Students will create these resources and utilize these techniques to create simple impressionist looking paintings. One  such painting will be that of water lilies.

Register now  for this class at Digital Art Academy

Treasured Subscribers

Dear Subscribers,

In an endeavor to improve my blog, to increase it;s frequency and quality of content,  some upgrades have been made. these upgrades unfortunately will remove you as a  subscriber.  I kindly request that you return to my site to enter your email address to resubscribe.  I apologize for any inconvenience this may cause but I plan to make the changes beneficial to you.  thank you in advance. Winifred