I was walking in Greenwich Village, New York a few years ago when I spotted a young man photographing his client.This photographer had, an interesting and creative lock hair style. I wanted to photograph him. He was working but I was hopeful he would allow a brief intrusion – just a couple shots of him. He smiled and permitted me to do so. I attempted this painting once before, in color and in a more conventional style. Ultimately, I didn’t like it and sanded it down to reuse the panel. That was probably 4 years ago. This is a new version. So far, I’m liking it, though as always, I’m always prone to make changes.
I’ve seen so many paintings of potted geraniums. Most often the plant is in a clay pot with a watering can next to it, perhaps in front of an old shed. You’ve seen those. Now I’ve painted my version with a simple background. In addition to the bright red geraniums, I love the accent of the Bacopa with it’s tiny white cluster of petals. Many people don’t know this plant but it is a wonderful, profusely blooming water loving plant that does well in containers, hanging baskets and even as a ground cover. There’s always some growing in my containers and one always finds it in bloom. I skipped using a clay pot, though I do love them. It’s a classic image item. I decided to use a ceramic pot instead. I’ve had this pot for a while but couldn’t plant in it because it didn’t have a drainage hole. Finally I saw a YouTube video that showed how to drill holes in glass, ceramic or clay pots. I immediately purchased diamond drill bits and put holes in all kind of glass containers. Anyway, this allowed me to grow a geranium in my pot. By the way, I propagated 14 new geraniums, last fall and they’re are all currently in bloom. The geranium I propagated is a different kind of geranium from this one with a very different color and petals. You’ll see it at some point.
Have a wonderful week and I hope this brings you cheer. I know – it kind of feels like Christmas. Winifred
I cut these hydrangeas from a large bush last week in a friends yard in Seattle. The flower heads were huge and most were beginning to dry on the bush. Hydrangeas turn many beautiful colors in fall. I didn’t try to capture that color exactly, instead opting for the blues, purples and reds of early summer – mainly because I already had the several gradients of paint colors mixed that I need for blues, purples, greens and reds. I’ll do the other colors some other time.
Believe it or not, I still have more to do on my mom’s portrait. I saw a problem with her nose and I need to correct it. Overtime, something new might reveal itself to me, and I’ll keep making the corrections until I feel it’s all done. Have a wonderful week.
Another black man was killed in May around the same time as the George Floyd killing. The police lied, said death was due to a drug overdose. Now the video and documents reveal a major cover up by the entire police department and I believe the District Attorney as well. He had been suffocated. I want this to end.
I’ll miss Ruth Bader Ginsburg – a great lady – a great Supreme Court Judge.
It was two years ago when I visited Venice with a friend from New York. I have now completed a 6 painting series of “Venice at Night”, primarily in the rain. I most enjoy creating figurative paintings which you can feel and which tell stories. I think I have a few such paintings here. During the process, I got to experience the magic of Venice again.
To complete the series, I include below the first painting I started with – previously posted. The location is Murano, Italy and during the day.
I hope you enjoy these images. Soon I will commence images of the canals and Gondolas.
Slight Smile – Oil Painting 9×12 Traditional Oil on Panel
Did I ever tell you how difficult it is to paint portraits with accuracy of image likeness. Well, it really is difficult. There are so many nuances of tonal values, of color, techniques designed to tell you what moves forward and what’s in back and how the planes of the face turn. Spending 40 to 50 hours on a portrait is the usual. It is intricate and the detail can be tedious – if the portrait is in anyway realistic. At the same time I marvel when one is complete and I know I have done my very best. With each painting there is something I learn and can take into the next painting. No matter how difficult, I always look forward to the next.
Portrait Highlights Patterns – 9×12 Oil Painting on Linen Panel
When I noticed the patterns of highlights on her face, I was inspired to paint this face. I hesitated for a moment wondering if I could capture such an intricate design – but that’s why tiny brushes are made! It was quite unusual for me to set up lighting in my studio this way but I’m so glad I did.
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.
Three Pears on Green Marble Table – 11×14 Oil Painting on Linen Panel
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.
Man with Dread Locks – 11×14 Oil on Gessoed Board
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.
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.
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!