September 30, 2010
Sketch, orchid cactus, ©Jill Rosoff, 2008, 1o” x 8″
A client of mine grows these amazing orchid cactus plants. When I first saw them growing in scads of pots all over her back garden, I thought there were christmas cacti on steriods. The blossoms are huge explosions of color, ranging from pink to magenta and red, on long, dark green, leaf-like stems. The flowers are the size of large grapefruit or small melons, and come in one or two colors of petals. The color fades in intensity as it reaches the edge of each petal. The petals are actually quite delicate, but from afar they look like little fireworks of color.
This is one of the preparatory sketches I made for the final commissioned piece. When I finished the final painting, which she of course framed and hung in a lovely spot in her home, we also made notecards of the painting which she uses for thank yous, follow-up notes to clients, whatever she wants to use them for. They are a unique way for her to communicate, no one else has the image, and these orchid cactus plants are meaningful to her. And yes,the notecards are sent via the post office. It’s old school, but don’t you still love getting letters and notes in the mail? It’s a treat, a nice, personal touch.
September 23, 2010
I was invited by one of my watercolor student’s over to her home to see these flowers growing in her garden, so of course I was intrigued. I popped over the other day, since she lives just a few blocks from me. These plants are definately in the poppy family, the petals are very similar to Icelands, but there are eight petals, instead of just four, and the blossoms are a little smaller. The leaves and seed pods are like elongated versions of those on the California poppy.
I find yellow challenging to paint with, especially when its the first color element on the paper. Yellow is a light, light color, it contrasts very little to the white of the paper. It strains the old eyeballs. So my challenge is twofold, to find enough contrasting elements in the subject to be able to show the texture of the blossoms petals, and to set it off with a background that activates the dominant yellow color. I like the coral on this one. I hope the seeds propagate! Thanks, Lea!
September 15, 2010
Here it is, the painting of poppies, completed. This painting really came together with the more poppy buds/pods I added. The composition is the contrast of those large, orangey-red blossoms, and the texture of the multiple buds. I didn’t want any background I might have put in at the end point to detract from that focus on those elements. I like that the white paper of the background allows the colors and shapes to pop.
For those of you new to this blog, scroll down to see this painting as it developed.
September 9, 2010
These are the pieces that are currently on my drafting table, the place where I paint. I have been distracted with a bothersome tooth, which cut down on my productivity these past few days. Over for now, thank goodness!
So I’m showing my work in progress, since I don’t have a finished piece to show this time. You can see the one of poppies that I’ve been posting most recently, and four others: one of a Balinese rice paddy landscape, one of sweet peas, some pale pink tulips, and orange Iceland poppies. Its typical for me to have more than one piece going at a time, I work on one while the other pieces dry. It can be a little discombobulating at times, keeping progress on each one simultaneously. It also suits me to work this way, since watching paint dry makes me nuts. You can see where the paper is curled on a couple of them, I will flatten them out before I continue, wetting down the backs of the paintings, then weighing them down with the two round blobs on the left there, my bean bag weights. And my three paint palettes are in the upper right corner.