Lady in Orange

Lady in Orange – Oil Painting 14×20 by Winifred Whitfield

This is my first post of the new year and it was an enjoyable portrait to paint. I selected the photo reference from a collection I photographed a few months ago. I chose this reference because her soft but direct gaze. This painting is on a surface I never used before. It’s on a paper made specifically for oil paints. Paper has long been considered acceptable and durable if on archival surface , though normally it has to be treated/primed to protect if from oil. The paper I used for this painting was purchased “ready to paint”, though I added additional layers of primmer protection. This paper provided a different painting experience both in terms of brush responsiveness and the look of the painting. It also gives a different look to the image as you see it posted. It’s just another option and I’m sure I will use this surface again. This painting can now be mounted to hard board and framed.

View and enjoy – comments are DISABLED. I hope you have a healthy and creative 2022. Winifred

Related Images:

Flutterby Butterfly

Flutterby Butterfly Oil Painting 16×16 by Winifred Whitfield

It’s been years since I photographed this beautiful and dramatic ballerina in my garden. I love the animated and graceful hands, and the tilt of the head. I always saw her as a butterfly and the words I used to title this come to me whenever I see this image. I worked with very limited range of colors in this painting, as opposed to the reference image colors of intense greens in the garden and the red of her attire and garden flowers in the background. These colors are subdued and unusual for me but prevent the distraction of colors too bright and saturated when I wanted to express delicacy.

Below: There is Greek Mythology that speaks to half man/half horse. I know nothing about it actually, but that doesn’t keep me from making an effort toward the artistic concept.

Half Man Oil Painting by Winifred Whitfield

I took a photo of a friend. It was one of those perfect photos in its emotion, lighting, design, impact – everything. I didn’t feel I could improve on it by painting it in a conservative way, so I decided to just play and experiment; I proceeded.

I selected a panel to paint on which already had a painting on it. The colors were intense – turquoise, deep yellows, orange – you get the drift. I sanded it to smooth it a bit. Selecting a panel with a prior painting on it positions that painting to be an underlying paint layer. This allows that color to come through from time to time, creating color variation which otherwise would not occur. This can work well, creating some nice color surprises. I started by painting his eyes. They are distinctive and very emotional eyes – much like puppy dog eyes. Then I started to apply animated and colorful brushstrokes. Even with all the crazy brushwork and color applied, I noticed that the eyes remained dominant. When I finally stopped, I felt uncertain. I sat it aside and looked at it from time to time. It grew on me. It is colorful, energetic and unusual. The figure is recognizable to its owners and they love it. It’s those eyes! The painted image made me think of the Greek Mythology images of half man/half horse, which we’ve all seen – referred to as Centaurs and Chiron.

Well, I thoroughly enjoyed creating both paintings. It’s pretty apparent I enjoy painting in wildly diverse manners. These are pretty much complete opposites.

I wish you and your family a HEALTHY holiday season. I hope you’re vaccinated and wearing a mask. Happy Holidays, Winifred

On ZOOM

Zoom Meeting in New Cool New Glasses – Oil Painting 11×14 by Winifred Whitfield

I admired the new eye glasses while on Zoom and wanted to take a closer look. She sent me a selfie. Every time I saw it in my flies I thought it an interesting reference to paint – and so I did. The painting is so reflective of the times we live in and of course the “readers” are very cute!

Repose

“Repose” Oil Painting 12×12 by Winifred Whitfield

Have you seen her before? The last time you saw this lovely lady she had her hands covering her face. No wonder you don’t recognize her!

With her bone structure and the way light graces her face, I thought I should uncover it for this painting. Throughout the summer at a certain time of the morning, I would often observe light coming through a certain window and think ” I must capture a portrait in this light”. On a certain day, I had that opportunity. One only has to “see” the light and recognize it’s potential. I had no idea what an important role my dramatic portrait photography would play in my portrait paintings. It’s also a good thing I enjoy costume design via paint. She was wearing a little black tee with sunflowers but I decided to create her as more regal.

Below, is the previous portrait I posted – her hands covering her face. I really like the painting but wanted to show her face as well. Hope you enjoy both. Winifred

The Weight of the World – Figurative Oil Painting 11×14 by Winifred Whitfield

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.

Phone Conversation

Guatemalan Woman Having a Phone Conversation 16×20 Oil Painting by Winifred Whitfield

Another enjoyable painting. I particularly enjoyed interpreting the reference photo I used. It’s fun to work out new patterns and colors or lack thereof. That’s the challenge and creativity for me – not painting what I see – looking at a photo and painting something different. Most often, I don’t share the reference but on this occasion – for no particular reason, I will. Initially I painted the large bag with stripes. That was good but I kept seeing RED – so I painted out the stripes and gave her a large red bag. I’m not sure a Guatemalan woman would ever use a solid colored cloth. I have never seen such in a photo.

One of the things I most like about the reference image is the shape of her body and the bag within the space. It’s pretty much a diamond shape with the point of her hat and the point of her feet. I also found the window bars interesting. I kept them but chose to soften their impact overall and enhance the impact of the little phone since that’s the story.

Starting with photography, then digital art, portraits are my foundation. 6 months into oil painting I was creating client portraits. Those are seriously hard work. Currently, I’m working to be more casual and loose in style and loving that. It’s particularly fun when I don’t have to create a likeness.

Well, we’re beginning to peel off the mask. YEAH! Have a great weekend. Don’t forget, comments are off but all emails and messages are welcome. Winifred

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.

Lady on a Bench in Brooklyn

Masked Woman on Red Bench – Oil Painting 9×12 – by Winifred

I created the photo reference for this painting some years ago when in New York. It was photographed from my 3rd story studio apartment window, across the street from Prospect Park, designed by Frederick Law Olmsted – who also designed Central Park. I was bi-coastal at the time – I lived in Poulsbo, WA as well. On this day, this lady sat on the dark green bench, partly shaded by a big tree. I was intrigued. There she sat, with her hands folded in her lap – at a bus stop, with her luggage next to her. She sat and she waited.

I decided to make this image more current. I now portray her waiting for a bus, during the time of still high number of infections and number of deaths from Corvid 19. She also has a flyer in her hand for a protest in New York. You can see a date on the edge of the bench 5.25.20. This date intersects Covid 19 and the time of massive protest against police brutality in 50 states and many countries in the world. The painting included elements of a great little story, which I almost made up to accompany the painting – but I decided not to. So many questions: Where is she going with her luggage? Is she going or returning? How/what is she feeling? Will she attend the protest? We can create our own answers, our minds enjoy filling these blanks.

I hope you’ve had a good week and weekend. It’s wonderful that finally, we’re building a multi cultural and multi racial coalition to bring the phrase “life and liberty for all” to fruition. It’s a change which must include, structural and economy change. I hope you will participate in expanded consciousness, in words and in deed. I wish you well. Winifred

Daydreaming

“Daydreaming” Oil Painting 9×12 Oil on Linen – by Winifred Whitfield

I’ve loved this photo for a long time now and it was time for this painting. The photo reference was by photographers Art and Daphne Carlyle who travel and do many projects for Rotary International. They shared many of their photos with me and I appreciate being allowed to use them in paintings from time to time. Gradually, I’m getting some figurative work done. This is a little Guatemalan girl. I adore her seated position – especially her little left arm and hand tucked beneath her. I can just imagine it – such a kid thing to do.

In addition to the painting which takes place in my studio – I have 3 bins of composting worms – “red wigglers”, busy making what gardeners refer to as “black gold” which is worm poop! There is no unpleasant oder, in fact, it has a fresh smell – like the forest. I’m in the process of separating the worms from the castings. I would show you a photo but it would likely gross you out. I have several thousand worms in the 3 tote sized bins – the kind you find at Home Depot. They’re my pets. I’ve gone from camels to worms – and you thought my paintings were diverse!! See you in a few days. Winifred