2021 Apples and a Rose

Apples and A Rose 20×16 Oil Painting on Linen Panel

Happy New Year to all! I’m thinking of last year this time – we had no idea what was coming and we watched the world change and it was disastrous. This year, I’m hoping for positive change on so many levels.

I’m enjoying creating paintings on dark backgrounds as the last two have been. They’re dramatic – especially with the reds. Setting up a still life and attempting to crease a pleasing design is one of the greatest challenges. The actual painting is not as hard as that to do.

In the past I’ve create portraits and digital portrait paintings, often even full bodies, which grew out of a dark background of shadow. I find myself wanting to do the same with still lifes in oil. I’ve created paintings like this before but not for a while. Its a comfortable visual style for me.

I’m also beginning and online painting class. There’s a lot of that going on these days. I love to collect others painters techniques. I like the work and style of painter and instructor Elizabeth Robbins. My interest is not to paint like her, but I love to learn the process and thinking of artist whose painting styles I admire. She paints lots of still life florals with very soft edges and lots of pretty soft colors. Below, I show you an example of her painting and include a link to her instruction site she host with a landscape painter friend, where you can see more of her work – Inspired to Paint.

Elizabeth Robins Oil Painting

We’re even planning to schedule a portfolio review of my work. That should be interesting. I’ll let you know what she says – maybe!! I sincerely wish you a healthy and happy new year. Winifred

Crimson Roses at Christmas

Crimson Roses at Christmas 16×20 Oil on Panel – by Winifred Whitfield

I’m wishing you, your family and friends a wonderful holiday season – even though you may be dealing with loss, illness and separation. At the same time, I understand that in combining this season with Covid 19, or other circumstances can amplify all the emotions, be they joy, sadness or disappointment. That’s just the way it is and always has been. Tomorrow is a new day.

Basically, I’m a non sugar eater. Sweets are just not my thing. I like salty and spicy. But if I take a bite, of a delicious sweet, that will often change things and I will consume it! It’s a carb/brain thing. I’ve been given a few treats the last few days that just blew my warm socks off – so good! I ate them. There was Tiramisu cake, absolutely amazing, and some pecans dipped in dark chocolate and a chili spice – so unbelievable good and dried fruit and nuts covered dark chocolate. I’m not beating myself up about it. I just enjoying. I even received a gift of Cranberry infused Vodka. I’m usually a modest red wine drinker and occasionally champagne but I said “yes” to this offer. I thought it was Vodka mixed cranberry juice – but NO, it’s infused with cranberries. I don’t know exactly what that means but it’s a potent drink. Later today, I’ll mix it with Prosecco and enjoy.

I haven’t posted in a while. It’s not that I didn’t paint – I didn’t like them. My paintings of roses are continuing to grow stronger for the most part. Roses are difficult to paint – more so than peonies, in my opinion. I’m pretty happy with these – though I will make a few changes.

Another unarmed Black man was killed by police. I won’t mention it when it doesn’t happen. Black Lives Matter.

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.

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

Peaches on Cake Pedestal

Peaches on Pedestal Oil Painting 11×14 on Panel by Winifred

Firstly – Happy Mother’s Day!! I hope it is an enjoyable day no matter how you spend it. Finally back to normal sized paintings! I painted a vintage tapestry background for this painting – initially. I loved it. It had been challenging to do but ultimately I didn’t love it any more. Mainly the colors weren’t working and because it was complex, it would not be an easy fix to correct, so I decided to paint a drape instead – it was fun to paint a drape. I’m going to keep comments short today. Have a great day. Hugs to all. Winifred

Small Paintings

Bouquet with Blocks of Color – 4×6 Oil Painting on Cradle Box by Winifred

The photo reference for this painting was taken in my kitchen with the vase sitting on a counter facing the window. The refrigerator and more counters were behind me. When I looked at the photo, I noticed interesting shapes. Honey colored cabinets were upper right and formed a shape – another shape was formed by the area under the cabinets extending down to the back counter. The stainless refrigerator was upper left and formed a shape. Then there is the counter the vase rest on and the lower triangle is the side of the counter which extends to the floor. I could combine some shapes and leave others separate. I knew I could work these shapes into the overall design if the painting. The vase was ceramic with stripes of color. I tried to work with the stripes this but It didn’t work. It’s interesting how simplifying the color of the vase and creating highlights give it the illusion of a gold/bronze colored metal. The design of the flowers and the design on the dark background just showed up in my head. I welcome these creative visions whenever they wish to enter and guide me. Below – roses.




Roses in Sunlight – Oil Painting by Winifred

I’m glad I spent so much time and effort this past year, making roses a friendlier subject to paint. The softness of this painting comes from using a “mop brush” on the painting before it is dry to soften and blur edges. This brush can be used selectively or all over – depending on the look I want to give. I enjoy the feeling of the the heat and sun on these roses.

Roses on Gold Gilded Table – 4×6 Oil Painting on Cradle Box by Winifred

Lots of intense color. I love that I can create “gold metallic” where none exist. This painting took way to much time, but it captures a certain space in my home which I see everyday. The orange strip on the right is the edge of a bookcase full of art books.

Tulips in Blue Vase – 4×6 Oil Painting on Cradle Box by Winifred

I love texture but there’s really not this much texture in this painting. This texture only reflects the way the light hit the texture and exaggerated it. I should have rephotographed it – but I didn’t. Just think of it smoother. The vase was a cream color – and it did work but decided I an intense blue would be more interesting. You know what VanGogh said about blue, orange and yellow. It’s true – those colors are beautiful together.

Cradle Box

I’ve referred many times to “cradle box” past couple of weeks and I’ve been ask – “what is a cradle box”. Above – you can see what it is. I’ve now begun to paint the edges. There seems to be no more small cradle boxes remaining on the planet!! I’ve looked everywhere I know to look – mine were purchased more than 2 years ago. Sizes now seem to start at 8×8 inches.

Hope you’re enjoying this small painting series with me. Only 2 cradle boxes remain blank, which I will paint this week. I could conceivably repaint a larger painting from any painting in this series because I have worked out the color palette and design. Many artist do this so as not to have to experiment with design and color in a large painting. Certainly this makes a lot of sense. I will take this under consideration. (: Hope you’re staying safe.

A Bit of Cheer

A Bit of Cheer Oil Painting 9×12 Panel – by Winifred Whitfield

I decided it is a perfect time to post a cheerful floral. It’s such a strange time in out lives. This is a bit different style of painting for me, loose and simple. I think I’ll do more. One interesting side about this painting is that whereas in the painting, the vase is actually turquoise green – looking like the beautiful turquoise of the ocean in Hawaii for instance, it is not blue as shown here. I couldn’t capture the actual color with my camera where the color space is more limited – same with my computer monitor. The other colors are pretty accurate – just not the turquoise. I’m sure no one cares about this but me. SIGH! Have a great week and please stay safe. Winifred

Taking Chances

Impressionistic Peach Roses with Fruit 12×16 Oil Painting on Panel by Winifred

 I place a high value on taking chances.  In fact, I don’t really believe taking chances is a risk, I believe the risk occurs if you don’t. If I choose a safe path, one I believe will keep me from “messing up my painting, for sure this will inhibit my growth.  I’m thinking now about  thoughts which went through my mind with these two paintings – both of which presented me with opportunities to “mess up” – but I took a chance anyway.

I don’t find it particularly difficult “to paint what I see” from a reference photo or from a still life I set up.  For the most part, however, my interest is not realistic paintings  – except portraits.  I’m interested in “interpreting” or abstracting away from realistic visual references. This is much more interesting and exciting for me.

I find this more challenging because it means, I have to “make up things that aren’t there”.  I have to eliminate part of the content which is there. I have to create elements, colors, textures which are not present.  I have to make up brushstrokes which alter the surface of my reference.  I might “mess up” – I often think as I commence some of my more abstracted or elaborate processes!  This thought regularly enters my mind and I have to pause to “talk” to my mind about it.  “You can’t mess up” –  I tell my mind. In fact, I tell my mind that imagining/abstracting new content – new ways to express the elements being observed “ is its only job” – and the only way to build new skills, confidence and creativity – no matter the outcome!  

 I want to have ideas – receive ideas but to try not to tightly control the process expression.  By doing this with each painting – even in small steps, I know my creativity and confidence grows.  I believe both of the above paintings are examples of being a bit “out of control”. It doesn’t even matter whether they’re good paintings or not. The only thing that really matters to me is that I tried something new which caused some discomfort and I did it anyway. I hope to continue this practice throughout this new year.  

I think the saying is – “feel the fear and do it anyway! 2020!!

Abundance

Winifred Paints Roses in Vase with Fruit Still Life 16×20

With my large format printer removed from my very long table, I have a new place I can set up to shoot still lifes with ease. The wall is a rich burgundy and I have a source of both natural and artificial light available to create reference photos from which I can paint. Often I don’t have a great deal of fruit in the house, but at the time I created this reference photo, I had abundance of fruit in the house – as well as artificial flowers. I used an electric coffee maker as my vase. My arrangements always take a while to create but ultimately, everything came together nicely.

Abundance – Initial color sketch 16×20 – by Winifred

Above, I liked the rough color/value sketch. It’s a loose painting style, some of which I hoped I would maintain in my final painting – but I failed to do so. In fact, I will soon create a painting where this painting style is the style for the painting. I like the fact that I can now, so quickly create shapes recognizable as a roses – which are complex to paint.

Below is a painting from my initial still life set up in the new location. I will soon purchase new silk roses with new colors and rose types.

6 Roses in Turquoise Vase – 11×14 panel.

I do love the turquoise and vivid magenta hues together. Thank you for observing my progress. Winifred