Colorful Bouquet

Colorful Bouquet Still Life Oil Painting by Winifred

Colorful Bouquet Still Life 11×12 x in Gessoed Panel

I painted this bouquet a few months ago but have never posted it anywhere.  Do you think there is such a thing as too much color!  I did and planed never to share it. Combining both the color and the paint texture, this painting has the appearance of candy. It is super saturated and shiny. It’s a lot to take in.  It would have been perfect to have posted it on Valentine’s Day. But we’re not too far off and we are upon yet another holiday to celebrate. So, whether I love it or not – here it is. Hope you’ve enjoyed both holidays this week – and also this very colorful painting.

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Pears on Ornate Green Marble Table

 Three Pears on Green Marble Table – 11×14 Oil Painting on Linen Panel

Still life of pears on ornate table by Winifred.

I love textures paintings – as you know but they are far more difficult capture photographically than are relatively smooth paintings. 

… and below, one more painting to share, a simple vase on a linen scarf.

Still life oil painting of vase on scarf by Winifred

 

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Man with Dread Locks

Man with Dread Locks – 11×14 Oil on Gessoed Board

Oil Painting Portrait of Man with Dread Locks by Winifred Whitfield

I don’t often paint men’s portraits but I was inspired.   I photographed him years ago in New York. He is a photographer and was working outside on a street corner with a client. He was a bit disoriented when I stopped him and ask if I could take a couple of quick shots of him! What was I thinking!! I certainly don’t normally interrupt a photographer at work to request a photo.  He wanted to say “no” but I ask him very nicely. In the other image, he has a big smile and it is a great smile. I almost painted the other one, and for sure I prefer not to paint smiling portraits. It was fun to paint him and especially his hair.  In painting this portrait, I used my fingers ( first time for that), a palette knife and a brush for fine details.

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Going Forward

Merry Christmas and Happy Chanukah  to all!!

I realize this post should lead with a pretty holiday themed painting – but alas! NO!!  I think such paintings are pretty, but best left to others to paint. I’ve always been that way.  I actually feel a little badly about it. However, I just wait out those guilty feelings and soon the holiday is over and all is well again.

In addition to the linen covered panels, I told you, Ive been making, I’ve now also made my own hand made oil paints. It’s pretty exciting to grind oil and pigment powder to make paint.

Still Life by Winifred Whitfield with First Handmade Oil Paints

This gives me full control over what’s in my paint and it’s consistency. To test my new paints, I did this quick little painting with paints I made. “Two Vases and a Grape”.  It is a little odd looking, isn’t it.The scale of things seem a bit off – but it’s really what I set up. I like the fact that you can’t really tell what’s going on. What is the vase on, and what’s beneath that and why is the other partial vase sitting off to to right – and one grape!  If any of these questions arose when this came into view. – I was successful. I also find the shapes and values interesting.

But that’s not all I’ve been doing!  On my stove – even as we speak – there is a large quantity of oil boiling, which I’m refining to use with my oils when painting and to use when making handmade paints.  I did not know I was this kind of person.  I’ve spent 4 hours today so far, almost literally watching a liter of oil boil in 8 liters of water, sand and salt.  After this cleaning process is complete – which it is not yet, I will oxygenate the oil further for several days with a little aquarium pump. The idea is to produce a thicker, cleaner, less yellowing, faster drying linseed oil for my oil painting – in the style of the “old masters”. Such oil can not be found commercially today in art stores, though some version may soon be introduced.

Even though there is not a card, I wish you and yours a very Merry Christmas, and a  Happy Chanukah!

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Bowl Twig Pecans

8×10 Oil Painting on Custom Oil Primed Linen/Tempered Hardboard

I am increasing becoming involved in what I paint on. During the past several weeks, guided by Ted Spurgeon’s October 2017, 11th edition book “Living Craft”, I’ve been upping the complexity of my painting supports. The painting below, however, is painted on a new surface I made – oil primed linen on tempered board  Previously, it took a few hours to prepare 30 boards fully.  Now the process for preparing a few linen panel can take a week.  I do this because I love this highly textured appearance it gives me. I actually purchased 3 different textures of linen.  I am most excited about the rougher one. One can purchase primed linen, ready to adhere  from art supply stores – but not like mine. In the two paintings below, you see the texture of the linen panel, and the texture of the brush work thereby creating exciting surfaces. Please let me know what you think of this look. It is very different from the polished reflective surfaces I showed you last week. Thank you. Winifred

Still Life of Bowl,Twig and Pecans, by Winifred Whitfield

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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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Clay Vase

Clay Vase – 5×7 Oil on Gessoed Board

Clay Vase Oil Painting by Winifred Whitfield

 

 I want only to paint something simple. I decided I would paint a simple vase.  I put a little backdrop cloth in my shadow box near my easel, I placed the vase and put a spot light on it for drama!

At this point it was no longer simple!! Every shadow and highlight, every curve, ever fold of the fabric, the background – becomes a separate element which must be painted.  I really like the early version. It only has transparent paint on it and It well expresses  the texture for the vase simply because you can see the hard board texture through it. 

 I enjoy the colors, the shapes, the highlights and shadows.   Hope you enjoy. W

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My Mother’s Store

My Mother’s Store – 12×16 Oil on Gessoed Board

Oil Painting by Winifred Whitfield

On this particular day, I took a ferry to Seattle and climbed the hill to 1st Avenue.  As I started walking North, I spotted a little store with some great looking boots in the window. I went in.seated with her mother, I immediately saw this adorable little girl in her very pretty attire holding her teddy.  I ask her mother if I could take a couple of photos and I did.  I love the way little children pose. They just stand there – no posing in fact, no pretense – just “here I am”. 

This is the first time I have attempted a full environmental portrait. I love the idea of it but  and wanted to tell the story in a rather realistic figurative manner, but what work!!   The size of this canvas is  12×16, not really small, but still the face is only about 1 inch wide. It’s very challenging to paint facial likeness at that scale but I did it – but I hope never again.  I will  simply paint on a much larger canvas if I want to paint a room interior.

I did purchase a great pair of leather boots – my absolute favorites.  The store was going to of business – there was a big sale.

This is not a finished finished portrait.  I will make more refinements  as I continue to look at it, but the elements and concept is pretty clear.  Hope you enjoy

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Portrait Oil Painting – Ena

Ena – Oil Portrait Painting – 9×12 Gessoed Board

Oil Painted Portrait of Ena

This is Ena and she loves her portrait.  

 A week ago, I purchased a portrait critique from Portrait Society of America – where I am a member.  I was able to submit 5 paintings online to be reviewed.  It was contacted by one of the Society’s established and highly awarded members who contact me by phone.  Our meeting went very well.  It was both helpful in terms of suggestions and rewarding in terms of very positive feedback.  She particularly liked my color sense and the painterliness of my brush strokes, It was interesting that she ask me if I was very nervous to be critiqued. I found it a surprising question and told her,” being nervous had never occurred to me”.  She found my response surprising and told me I was fearless.  She said she was always very nervous to receive critiques.  I told her I only assumed she would attempt to give feedback which would make me a better painter.  I found this prospect very exciting.

 It’s always interesting how different people are.   She is a very “realistic painter” – highly skilled in that regard. Most of the artist in the Society are realistic painters.  Their paintings very often look like photographs in levels of detail.  I have to take this into consideration when talking to/ or being critiques by a  Society members. I included one painting I did inspired by Cezanne. It was a painting which did not conform to normal body proportions.  She didn’t know how to respond and unfortunately, thought it reflected my drawing skills – or lack their of since I had created  some very strange proportions.  Later I sent her my inspiration image to legitimize my approach to a specific painting she viewed.  I am sure she didn’t care for his painting either. I think most society members want to see, normal, precise and accurate – not particularly fore most in my aspiration.  Still she was helpful.

I will do this again  with another society member next time.  She suggest it is always best to get different artist perspectives. Members provide this kind of feedback to each other, particularly when preparing for competition.  It won’t be long before I will be competing with some of the best oil painters in America, 

 

 

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