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

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.

Sunflowers Tapestry Damask

Oil Painting – Sunflower Tapestry Damask, by Winifred

 

This painting adds a level of detail which I don’t usually include in my paintings.  For that reason I an including a few images which reflect the process.  Please let me know what you think?

Initial drawing with values created with oil paint.

Freehand painted background design and  first color layer.

 

Above, second color layer and beginning of table cloth.Above, third color layer and continuing to conceptualize table cloth. I rather liked the unpainted tapestry area but ultimately painted it. Below final painting after many adjustments to color and values with glazed oil painting techniques.

Oil Painting – Sunflower Tapestry Damask, by Winifred

 

VanGogh Inspired Sunflowers

 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.

 

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