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

Venice – Crescent Moon and Sparkling Lights

I found the dramatic patterns of light so beautiful – from the moon to the rippling reflections in the canal. Set against centuries old buildings with a dark silhouetted skyline – that for me is the whole story.

Crescent Moon and Sparkling Light Oil Painting 16×20 Linen Panel by Winifred Whitfield

Venice Italy – Walking in the Rain

Three Men Three Umbrellas 12×16 Oil on Panel

I enjoyed taking photos of life in Venice – mostly, I loved images of people with their colorful umbrellas walking in the rain. I’ve created many paintings from them which no doubt will continue. The painting above is new. I I liked the varied focus and directions of the walkers, but all with umbrellas which unified the scene. The two paintings below were painted a few months ago but I was not happy with them.

As with relationships, some paintings become stronger over time, while others become weaker. I substantially altered the two paintings below after I looked at them for a while. I often post an image of a painting immediately after I first paint it – not a really good idea. I need to place a painting convenient to glance at it for a week or so before deciding if it’s really finished. It makes a HUGE difference to do this. Some paintings might require only minor adjustments, others major. There are other paintings I scrap completely and sand down the panels for in the future.

Two Ladies – One Red Umbrella 12×16 Oil on Panel by Winifred Whitfield

Often there is no rain actually visible in my reference photo. It is often only the reflections on the pavement and big umbrellas which signal there is rain. In the painting above, I decided to paint more visible indications of rain.

The reference photo for the painting below was very calm with the subject walking past a smooth pink building wall. I wanted to shift to a higher energy. I added the white drips to the big blue umbrella edge, kicked up raindrops in the pavement and added lots of texture and movement throughout. It’s much more colorful and fun.

Blue Umbrella in Murano Italy 12×16 Oil Painting – by Winifred Whitfield

Comments: Some of you make a comment about a painting. I always reply but I’ve recently been told that you can’t see my responses and do not receive notification of my reply. I was also asked how you can access the comment section of the blog. I will inform Jon about this to see how this might be managed. Thank you for your interest. Winifred

Venice Italy – Gondola Under Canal Bridge

Couple in Gondola Under Canal Bridge – 12×16 Oil Painting by Winifred Whitfield

The reference image I took and used for this painting, I found to have a very different look from most Venice canal oil paintings. One reason is that it was taken of a gondola under a bridge – not out in open daylight on the canal. I looked at many other images online, there are thousands and thousands of them but I saw nothing like this one. Another reason I like it is that it has a portrait look to it – as well as looking rather stifly posed. It reminds me of Grant Wood’s portrait of the man and his daughter with the pitch fork – we all know it. My painting is actually not posed. I found the light and warm colors of the wood mooring pretty and loved the glow of outside light hitting the ceiling of the bridge – all of which give it a rather vintage look. These are the first water waves I’ve ever attempted. Not too bad! It’s my first Gondola painting also. I have many other canal images I can choose from for future paintings – many very nice images but nothing else quite like this one.

It’s not an excuse when I tell you that most often the digital files I post just don’t do the actual paintings justice at all – particularly when there are a great deal of texture/hence tiny detail in the panel and painting. The files looks more pixelated. Smooth paintings photograph and present much more accurately and attractively – but I love texture so I struggle with it. I’ve done the best here I can do. This painting represents a finished first draft. I have more work to do. I will wait a week and come back to it. At that time needed changes will just jump off the page. I also think I will give the driver an often seen sunhat and add stripes to his shirt. I’ll let you know if I make significant changes. Thanks for viewing. Winifred