January 18, 2013
Valentine’s Day is that day when if you’re in love you hope to goodness that you figure out something great to do for your partner, or your partner does something lovely for you. If you are single, the commercials for jewelry, flower deliveries and certain card companies are annoying reminders that you’re not contributing to the economy like everyone else is.
For me this year, I have decided to make Valentine’s Day about exploring layering and the wonderful transparent characteristic that watercolors have. OK, yes, you can get them with acrylics too, but watercolors’ textures, I think, are much more lively. And watercolors came first (so there! I say in my best Edith Ann voice). This was another experiment I did for my workshops, where we took the oh-so recognizable image of the heart, and layered on colors, holding onto the transparency, and enjoying the new colors created as one layer overlapped another. Not to mention the great textures in the blooms!
This along with a few new paintings just in time for Valentines Day can be purchased in my Etsy Store.
January 11, 2013
I started this piece in the fall, as a demonstration piece once again in one of my workshops. This piece actually started me on the intention of loosening up on color ‘rules’ I have consciously and unconsciously obeyed. Since I often use a subject I know when I’m playing around with ideas, and I have been painting Iceland poppies forever, so shape, color and composition are like second nature to me, I find it really easy to go for changes and experimentation with them as my subject.
There is no such thing as a lavender Iceland poppy. Yellow, orange, reds, pink, and white yes, but nothing in the blue spectrum. And I’ve always wanted them. So ‘tada!’ I made them. In the grand scheme of things its really not much of a huge plunge, but then again, baby steps are just fine to start out on new paths. I also broke another covenant I heard early on in my painting education, that paintings with red backgrounds can be difficult to make work, let alone sell. Thank goodness Henri Matisse didn’t believe that! There are essentially four different reds used in the background, but with layers and some mixing, it looks like more. I am really enjoying how this piece turned out. You?
This piece is now available through my Etsy shop.
January 6, 2013
“Red and Orange Poppies” ©Jill Rosoff 2012
I went on a bit of a blog-hiatus last month. Between making my holiday cards, which I’ve done for the past 25 (gasp!) years, and then making Christmas gifts for my family, I was plum tuckered out. Maybe that’s sugar-plum tuckered out? Only the fairies will know for sure. And they’ll dance about it.
I’m back at it now. I have some new paintings that I finished up over the holidays to post here that I’ve had on the drawing board for awhile. This painting actually came out of an idea I had for a new colorway for my scarves, one that was more fall or winter inspired. And to play with new color combinations through a very familiar theme is an interesting process, because it can help to bust open a preconceived idea. Since Iceland poppies are in a naturally spring-y color spectrum, which I really love, I have pretty much painted them that way. But now I think not every poppy needs to be in yellows, oranges, reds and pinks, do they? I mean, there are pink daffodils, for crying out loud. What if I could have a lavender poppy? Ooooh!
My New Year’s resolution? I will not be as literal with color. The reds can be deeper, softer, not so siren-like. The orange can be a faded tomato orange-red. And the green? Instead of a bright spring bud green, how about verdigris? A nice, oxidized, dusty green. This worked for me!
Now all I need to do is remember to write 2013 instead of 2012. I’m thinking I’ll get that done by February, earliest.
October 31, 2012
Its starting to really feel like Fall at last! So it’s perfect to show off some Fall Fruit. I actually did this piece a few years ago, I was playing with the idea of making a pattern for textiles, maybe wrapping paper, or wallpaper. It was an experiment in using different colors than I typically would, especially the wonderful pomegranate red with the greens of the pears, the bay leaves and the tangerine leaves.
Lately I’ve been teaching an introduction to watercolor techniques at the local junior college, which has been great fun, and I’m thrilled that the workshop has been picked up again for February. But between that, preparing for and doing festivals and boutiques with my silk scarves, and my other watercolor workshops, I haven’t had the chance to complete paintings I’ve been working on to show you here. I’ve got a few really fun ones going on though, many were started as demonstrations in the workshops, which I’ve been developing at the painting table later on. So you’ll see those new pieces up here soon.
By the way! For those of you in Southern California, the next festival where I’m showing my hand-painted scarves is on November 11th in Long Beach, at the Patchwork Indie Arts & Crafts Show. I’ll be doing a demonstration on how I paint my designs onto the silk, and also showing some scarf tying and knotting, too. Come find me, I’m in Space #6, just opposite the food trucks! AND I’ll be sharing the space with Susan Haldeman of LadyBIM, with her wonderful hand-embellished sachets, pillows, bamboo baby wear and more. And we’ll be next to our friend Lucky Zelda to boot! Hope we see you there!
October 22, 2012
continued from Part 2, posted October 17
While I was having such a grand time watching the painters as they were in the process of developing their painting, I was also looking around the painting studio. You start noticing interesting things, given the time to sit and take the environment in: the air ducts, the odd shape of the room, where the windows are, the flourescent lights, and how those two sources of light inform the visuals. And some wonderfully mismatched socks.
I took my first break after posing for about an hour. I wanted to hold the pose for a long time, but was also really looking forward to seeing their paintings in progress. After the placement of my limbs were marked so I’d be in the right position when I resumed the pose, I unfolded my tucked-in leg, stood up and stretched. Then I walked around, talked to each painter, heard about what they did, both for a living and with their art, which sometimes dovetailed. It turned out two of them are art teachers in the community college district. And they allowed me to photograph their works too. The versions I’m showing here were taken toward the end of the session, when the pieces were fairly well developed.
So here are the works of the five artists, at least where they got them to at the end of the session. After three hours, it’s a pretty fun collection. Its an experience to see oneself painted or drawn in so many ways. Each person’s individual view is so distinct, their palettes are so unique. I hadn’t realized that I’d hand-painted silk scarves of pink and orange poppies for the sitting.
Such a diverse result! I especially loved how some incorporated my paintings that were hanging on the wall behind me, melding them into their compositions, or in my scarf, picking up the colors from me to the surroundings, five very distinct renditions. I got very nostalgic for painting in a group, it was some of the most fun part of painting in school, seeing everyone’s version of the model and pose. My great thanks to all the artists for having me come and pose, and for letting me show their works.
August 29, 2012
This painting was hanging around for a good part of the spring and summer unfinished. It actually was hiding from me at home because I had it in my supplies basket that I take with me to my watercolor workshops. I had used it, mid-stream, as an example to my students about contrast.
Imagine it with no background. A field of yellow color on a white background just isn’t very contrast-y. So it’s a delicate balance bringing the yellow up enough to work on that white background. For comparison, look at my blog post from April 30, 2009. However, a composition that is built up over the whole piece of paper, instead of focusing on one part of an image, comes together more readily, more often than not. Usually when one of my students brings a painting to me with the problem that a certain area isn’t working, it’s because they are fussing with that area, and the rest of the pice of paper has, for all intents and purposes, been left alone. When they start to focus on the rest of the painting, the problem either resolves, or changes.
So this painting is not only of daffodils, its about the yellow subject on the magenta patterned background. They are two colors that I’ve enjoyed contrasting to one another in the past few years. Its also fun to use a warm and cool version of a color to bring some contrast between them.
A red background is fun to do, and not often done in a still life. There was this story about a painting Matisse did for a Russian client, that I read about somewhere. The painting was one of his depictions of a room, with a woman sitting in a chair, and the background was a wonderful blue patterned oriental rug. The client took it home with him to Russia, very pleased with his purchase. Then awhile later he got a message from Matisse who said there was something about the painting that bothered him, that he wanted to change, just something to make it work better, that would more complete it. The client sent the painting back, Matisse did the work on it he wanted, and returned it to the client. And when the client opened up the packing crate, Matisse had changed the rug color, and so the whole background color, from blue to red. Sometimes its the little things.
May 14, 2012
“Red Tulips”, ©Jill Rosoff 2012, 15″ x 11″
I’ve had bouquets of daffodils, tulips and sweet peas in the house a lot lately. Its spring! and they’re really affordable now at Trader Joe’s. And REALLY affordable from my sister’s garden–she has a wonderful huge crop of sweet peas along the fence in her yard. The flowers have been my live ‘models’ for both for my paintings and my scarves, and I take them to my workshops for my students to use as subject matter for their paintings. I’ve while I’ve got a couple of paintings of daffodils nearing completion, but here’s my most recent watercolor of red tulips. I love these pieces, just the red of the flowers, on the white background, punctuated by the black stamens in the centers of the blossoms.
Tulips were some of my ‘teachers’ in watercolors. On a trip in Europe toward the end of college, I bought some bulbs in Amsterdam which were sent to me when it was time to plant them. In the spring, voila, I had some lovely tulips in my garden, and sat outside trying to get them down in watercolor. I was painting exclusively with oils at the time, and watercolors are nothing like oils to paint with. So I practiced with the watercolors, trying to figure out how to use them, as often as I could as long as those tulips were blooming in my garden, just about 2 weeks. I tried to get those watercolor paints to behave. Ultimately I learned to surrender to them, which is usually the case, isn’t it? So this painting is my most recent visit to an old friend and teacher.
The other fun things? I’m getting ready to show this coming Sunday, May 20th at the 18th Annual Balboa Island Art Walk. I really enjoy this show, partly because its on the bayfront of Newport Harbor, which is beautiful, but also because at this show is along a walkway thats about 8′ wide, so our displays are flat along the walkway. You can walk right up to the artwork, there’s no intimidation factor of having to enter into a 10′ tent. Click here for more information about the Artwalk. I’ll be between Coral and Apolena streets, just look for my apple-green umbrellas!
And I’ve got all sorts of new scarves! I’ll have them at the Artwalk, and they are also available through my new Etsy Shop, “Blooming Silks”. Please visit soon!
March 26, 2012
“Cherry Blossoms”, ©Jill Rosoff 2012, 9″ x 11 1/2″
Years ago I got the chance to go to Washington D.C. in the spring. My main reason for going was to see a retrospective of Winslow Homer paintings, as I recall. After immersing myself in Homer’s work, I also went to see shows at the National Gallery of Art (the newer I. M. Pei designed wing), the Corcoran, and the Phillips Collection, all on my list of favorite places in D.C.
Coincidentally it was also a couple of weeks before the cherry blossom trees went into their annual bloom around the Tidal Basin. So of course I went, and saw it just at the beginning of the bloom. And although I was early, and didn’t see the full explosion of flowering, it was pretty fun, especially because the branches could still be seen, they weren’t hidden for all the cherry blossoms. And they make a nice leggy counterpoint to all that pink. I’d all but forgotten about it, in the midst of other things I’ve been concentrating on. Spring is a flower-palooza for me, I’m overwhelmed with ideas for paintings this time of year with all the spring flowers blooming. (There’s three other paintings in production on my painting table.)
A few months ago I got an inquiry as to whether I’d ever done cherry blossoms in watercolors. Up to that moment, I’d never done one at all. I have to say I’d rarely thought about doing a painting of them, partly because there aren’t a whole lot of fruit trees, let alone cherry trees, in bloom nearby. But that phone call got me going, thinking about what a painting of them would be, and remembering seeing them in D.C. So here you go, my first attempt at cherry blossoms, ever.
March 7, 2012
Mostly Lavender Poppies, habotai silk scarf, 8″ x 56″. ©Jill Rosoff 2012
Both last weekend and this coming weekend I’m showing at the Art in the Park portion of Dana Point’s annual Festival of the Whales. This is another one of my new colorways in my new collection of scarves. If you couldn’t make it last weekend, come on down this weekend. The Art in the Park is at the corner of Dana Point Harbor Drive, and Island way. I’m on the grass on the south side, look for my apple-green umbrellas! I also have my original watercolors, notecard sets, and my new reproductions available.
Want to see more of the scarves? You can find them (and buy them too!) in my Etsy store. New ones are going up all the time!
March 2, 2012
Pink poppies on habotai, Flower Fields on crepe de chine, Yellow Poppies on chiffon, Large Orange poppies on habotai, and Blue Poppies on crepe square.
Here’s a selection of the new scarves I’ve been making. The theme is poppies, and I’m playing around with the sizes of the blossom and also the colors. I also have them in red, tangerine, lavender, purple, and combinations of red and orange, yellow and orange, and red and pink. So far, that is. I’m painting these on three different silk fabrics: habotai, crepe de chine, and chiffon. The oblong scarves come in three sizes, and I have 44″ square scarves too. The procion dyes are set so that they bond with the silk fibers, so the color is permanent. If you see a color you like but want a different size or material than what is currently available, contact me to order the scarf you want.
I’ll be showing them this weekend and next at the Art in the Park section of the 41st annual Festival of the Whales, in Dana Point, California. Dates are March 3, 4, 10 and 11, from 9:30 am to 5 pm. Art in the Park will be on the grass areas at the corner of Dana Point Harbor Drive and Island Drive. A shuttle bus that will be running, and Art in the Park is at stop #E12 on the attached map. I’ll have my notecards, reproductions and small, matted watercolors with me too! We’ll be having a whale of a time!
Can’t make it this weekend or next? You can order the scarves through my shop on Etsy: Rosoff Artworks. And of course if you have questions, use the comment button below (all inquiries remain private), or convo me from my Etsy shop.