Some Inspirations This Week

February 12, 2016

Earlier this week I got to see “Red”, the Tony-award winning play about one of my favorite painters, Mark Rothko.  In the first act there’s a terrific back-and-forth between Rothko and the young artist he’s hired to be his studio assistant, of different things colored red.  Its a verbal panoply of all things red, and in my mind’s eye as I visualized each thing they mentioned:  tomatoes, blood, lips, cherries, apple, red pepper, rose, red hair, beets, lobsters (cooked), sunsets, strawberries, pomegranates, poppies, I saw all those different versions of red:  cadmium red, alizarin, vermilion, scarlet, carmine, crimson, garnet and more.  All so different, and all so red.  I use them a lot.  Its a fun exercise, and illustrates so well the differences between warm reds and cool reds to boot.  In my workshop 2 nights later we started doing a similar thing, so they could all start envisioning different variations of just the one color.

 

Its a fun exercise, and illustrates so well the differences between warm reds and cool reds to boot.  In my workshop 2 nights later we started doing a similar thing, so they could all start envisioning different variations of just the one color.

Next:  I was born in the Year of the Monkey, so it’s ‘my’ year according to the Chinese zodiac calendar.  There have been some interesting illustrations for it online on various social media sites, but I wanted to share one with you all especially.  A friend of mine, Kay, who does sumi-e, created a lovely tribute to this year here.

And finally, speaking of reds, have a lovely Valentines!

Valentine 1

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Making for Shows

May 26, 2015

I’ve been doing a few art shows/artwalks recently, so my art-making life has been centered around them.  

purple LoopdeLoudonationcroppedsmLast week I was a vendor in a boutique at a luncheon and fundraiser for the local chapter of the Alzheimers Association,   I’m happy to support the Alzheimers Association, not only because of people I know whose families have been affected by Alzheimers, but also because this luncheon supports the caregivers of those affected by Alzheimers, and honors a caregiver each year.  And I always provide a scarf for the auction they have during the luncheon, which I make just for the occasion in the AA signature purple color.

This event was followed 2 days later by the Balboa Island Art Walk.  I really enjoy both these shows, and they both bring me to my target market clientele.

This was my 8th time in the Balboa Island Art Walk.  Its held every May, on the bayfront walk of Balboa Island in Newport Beach, CA. The bay front walk goes around the perimeter of the island, and is at most an 8′ walkway.  Artists’ displays can be at most 3′ deep.  So people can easily get up close to see the artwork, and not have to make that socially awkward, unintentional commitment of walking into a 10×10 pop-up booth space to look at the work.  I love that! I wish more art shows could figure this out, that the pass-by rate decreases when people don’t have to walk into a pop-up tent!

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Balboa Island Art Walk 2015 booth, pillowcases & scarves on the left, watercolor paintings on the right

And now I’m replenishing my inventory, especially the scarves, for the upcoming Contemporary Crafts Market in Pasadena, CA, on June 5-7.  

Poppies selections jan-14

“Poppies” and “Poppies on Waves”, 2 of our popular scarf design lines

This is one of the best shows of work by fine art and hand craft makers, where the vendors who are showing are the people who actually hand-make their wares.  There is a fee to get into this show, but if you go to CCM’s website, you can download a pass that gets 2 people in free for the whole three days, a $16.00 value!  There’s only so many passes available, so don’t delay!  

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Pillowcases being painted, with permanent dyes

I’ll be primarily featuring my new line of hand-painted pillowcases, as well as my silk scarf line:  Poppies and Poppies on Waves (above), Olive Branches, Flower Fields, Layers, Koi, Watermelon Wedges, Apples, and hopefully some designs I’m working out  now that I might be able to sneak in!  

I heart you

January 18, 2013

Valentine 1“Valentine 1″ ©Jill Rosoff 2013, 6″ x 6”

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.

Lavender poppies on red patterns“Lavender Poppies on red patterns” ©Jill Rosoff 2012, 10″ x 7″

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.

Icelands in dark red and oranges

“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.  

Fall Fruit

October 31, 2012

“Fall Fruit” ©Jill Rosoff 2012, 15″ x 15″

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!

  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. 

Aren’t these fun?  She might just be an artist!  

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.  

Pat’s painting of me in the pose she was so captivated by

 

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.  

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