January 27, 2013
“Three-plus Poppies”, ©Jill Rosoff 2013, 4″ x 6″
I have these small pads of watercolor paper that I keep around for quick “jots” of ideas like this one. In watercolors, any whites in a painting are the paper left untouched, since watercolor is a transparent medium, and the transparent version of white is, well, nothing. Transparent. It’s a fun conundrum to play around with.
In this piece, I wanted to leave no blank paper, no white areas, but instead to paint the whole piece of paper, and to let the shapes of the flowers do most of the talking. Getting the colors this rich and intense is a fun challenge in watercolors. And there’s still good contrast between the brightness of the yellow centers, and the dark lines where the green paint overlapped the red. Unintended, and perfect.
One other thing: I love rich, vibrant and maintaining a sense of the transparency in the paint. In watercolors it is possible to use too much paint, which when it dries, looks dry, dusty and opaque, qualities that you just don’t strive for in watercolors. I like striving for the saturation and the transparency, especially since they are paradoxical. Fun!
It’s now available on Esty here.
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.
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.
September 11, 2012
“Leaf Study 1″ ©Jill Rosoff 2012, 6″ x 6″, watercolor on paper
I’ve been playing around with some of my typical palette and color combinations lately. Its stemming from my designing with seasonally-related color combinations in my new designs on my silk scarves. The palette of colors I regularly use lean more to the spring and summer spectrums. Fall colors, the ones I grew up with, looked frankly dull and drab to me. Now, of course the typical fall color palette is influenced by the colors of the leaves changing, truly, and the mums plants that were for sale back then were in yellow, gold, orange, rust, and the most incongruous color of a flower to me, brown. Brown mums were just not at all attractive to me. Rust-colored mums were a close second.
Since the scarves are more fashion than art related, I needed to bring fall color combinations into the scarves palettes, so I googled “‘fall colors 2012″ and got listings for the official color predictions from all sorts of resources, but especially Pantone. Here are 2012′s fall season palette of 10 colors:
This selection looks downright spring-like to me! These are the colors of a tropical vacation, no? It doesn’t scream “We Gather Together”, thats for sure! The orange up there, top row, 2nd from the right, officially called Tangerine Tango, is the ‘color of the year’ for 2012. Perfect for me, because I could call it Iceland Poppy Orange. I’m dying to see what the official color will be for 2013. Please oh please make it a good color for my flowers, oh Pantone color wizards! I have to say, wouldn’t it be great to be a member of this board of people who get to decide colors for each season of each year? That is a job I could really get into! Imagine selecting color combinations for the use of the fashion and interiors industries! No more beige!
Until that job offer comer through, I’ve decided to try and use this palette of colors in a painting or two. And of course the scarves. Its been a great exercise so far, it’s helped me step out of the comfort zone of my well-ingrained, go-to palette of colors.
And so the painting up top is the first piece I came up with in what I hope is a long line of paintings and scarves using this new scheme of colors. I hope you like it. As a matter of fact, would you let me know please? Use the “Leave a comment” link below! Thanks!
The Leaf painting is now available for sale on my Etsy shop: Rosoff Artworks. Want to compare it to other paintings of mine, palette wise? Scroll down and look at other paintings on this blog, or go to my website and compare them to my larger-format paintings.
September 7, 2012
“Flower Fields” pattern, silk scarf ©Jill Rosoff 2011
Each year, the Visionary Women Circle of the Alzheimer’s Association honors Orange County caregivers who display extraordinary compassion in caring for those touched by Alzheimer’s disease and related forms of dementia. At this year’s event, eight artists of different mediums will produce a piece of work on site during the Festival Shopping and Social hour, from 10:00am–11:00am preceding the luncheon. Last month I got an invitation from the Alzheimer’s Association to be a part of this event.
I am extremely pleased that I will be one of the eight artists, where I will demonstrate my silk painting process. Each artisan will also give back to the organization by donating a piece for an opportunity drawing, as well as 20% of any sales. So I will have a full selection of my original scarves available for sale, and will be happy to take orders as well.
Tickets are still available for the luncheon, where actress Shirley Jones will be the guest speaker. To purchase a ticket, buy a table, or sponsor the event, visit the Alzheimer’s Association Visionary Women website.
You can also see more of my scarves in my Etsy Shop BloomingSilks. Thank you!
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.
August 17, 2012
“Plumeria”, ©Jill Rosoff 2012, 6″ x 17 1/2″
“Hi, my name is Jill and I’m an art supplies-aholic.” Someday, somewhere I’m going to be someplace where I’ll introduce myself like this.
Yes, I love art supply stores. LOVE them. Kid in a candy shop love them. They are a world of possibilities, tools and supplies that look so fun, so interesting that usually my imagination goes on overload after awhile. These days its a really like a treat to go to a good art supply store, there are good suppliers online and I usually know what I need to get. It’s wonderfully easy to order and have the supplies arrive at my door, or get specialty items I need directly from companies that specialize in products, say, for painting silk scarves. But a really good brick-and-mortar art supply store is hard to find anymore. There used to be three great stores I would go to, and now there’s just one left. >heavy sigh!<
So the other day I went to the art supply store, and as I walked inside I was immediately sideswiped by the huge table-full of watercolor brushes on sale for ONE DOLLAR EACH. I kid you not. Right there, right as I walked in. Now, I’ve spent my fair share on lovely sable brushes for watercolor painting. But these were right there, tempting me. And it was a one-day !Surprise! sale to boot. What did I do? I surrendered, just a little. Actually I got them for students who needed to fill out their brush selection. So I felt a certain sense of justification, even care-giving for them, so they could take advantage of a good deal even though they wouldn’t actually be there.
I went primarily to make a list of specific supplies for students signing up for a new watercolor workshop I’ll be giving at Orange Coast College in October in the community education division. I spent almost 2 hours there, sorting through to recommend the supplies they’d need: watercolor papers, paint colors, brushes, palettes, so I could make recommendations on the supplies list I made up for the workshop. When I finished with those, I looked for whatever new things I could use for painting and printing new designs on silk scarves for the fall and the holidays. Dangerously fun. And coming soon.
About this painting: I started this piece after returning from my vacation/music workshop in Maui in June. I have always loved Hawaiian slack key guitar, its soul soothing, and found this workshop where some of my slack key favorites were going to be the teachers. So off I went, lugging my guitar, my small traveling paint kit, and a camera just in case (!) something caught my eye. The great little place we stayed had plumeria trees growing right outside the door of the rooms, so we would sit on our little patio in the mornings with our coffee, with the trees framing our view of the ocean. A visually and aurally delightful few days. It didn’t suck at all!
April 26, 2012
My scarf line has its own new name!
These are three of the new scarves I’ve been painting, of butterflies and dragonflies, for the upcoming Spring Faire and Butterfly House Opening at the Environmental Nature Center in Newport Beach, CA. On Saturday, May 5th, come celebrate the annual opening of their Butterfly House and see the butterflies that have come out of hibernation and/or a chrysalis! Lots of great art, and lots of great things for the kids, too.
May 5, 2012, 1o am to 3 pm.
1601 16th St. * Newport Beach, CA 92660
Look for more scarves soon too on my new Etsy shop: BloomingSilks on Etsy
April 11, 2012
I’m showing my scarves at an event at the Environmental Nature Center in Newport Beach next month, its their Spring Faire celebrating the annual opening of their Butterfly House. Of course the scarves that feature flower designs are wonderfully Spring-y, just right for the show. Then I started thinking about making some scarves to celebrate the reason for the event, and started trying out some designs. These are shots of some of these new pieces as they’re drying.
Pink butterflies, silk scarf design, ©Jill Rosoff 2012
Now, I like butterflies as much as anyone. I really have a proclivity to dragonflies and damselflies, those lovely double winged, long-bodied, brightly-colored mosquito eaters, which were always around in the spring and summer, flying around our pool while we swam the days away. Even my doorbell plate is an Arts and Crafts-style dragonfly design.
Dragonflies in orange, purple and red, silk scarf design ©Jill Rosoff 2012
And here’s some orange butterfies too (taken with a flash, so these look yellower than they really are).
Orange butterflies silk scarf design, ©Jill Rosoff 2012
So if you’re near Newport Beach, CA on May 5th, come on by the Environmental Nature Center from 10 am to 3 pm and try on my scarves, along with all the other artisans work that will be showing that day, and visit the butterflies too!
The ENC is located at 1601 • 16th St. in Newport Beach, just off Dover Dr., next to the sports fields of Newport Harbor High School.
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.