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

“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!

Paint, Counterpaint

June 29, 2011

Two Textured Tulips”,©Jill Rosoff 2011, 8 1/2″ x 5 1/2″,  $95.00

Thanks to everyone who responded to my last blog posting.  The majority of the feedback to my question about the Poppy Pods was in favor of leaving the painting as is.  As you wish!  (to quote Wesley in The Princess Bride).  And thank you for all your great comments!  Read them by clicking on Comments under the posting.  

This week’s piece, it turns out, is the diametric opposite, it’s almost all about the patterning.  I’ve had this painting on my drawing board since about March, around the time I was doing the small postcard ‘portraits’ of tulips.  I had a couple of pieces of watercolor paper a little larger than the postcard-szed ones lying on the table, aching to be painted on.  So I did the coral tulips, and used the patterning to echo the delicate structure of the tulips petals.  And then it sat there while I paid attention to other paintings, and put on a show, and went on my oh-so-great trip to Europe last month.  And so I finished it this week, still using the line detail, but not quite the same way as on the tulip petals.  And here it is.

I’m starting some pieces from my trip, they’ll be arriving here soon.  Mostly in the architectural vein–I love the architecture of the Spanish, French and Italian Riviera.  Plus there’s a few that I started before the trip that are almost finished, that are quite fun.

Have a great Fourth of July!  And a safe one!

The interior of a tulip

April 7, 2011

“Another Red Tulip” ©Jill Rosoff 2011, 4″ x 6″, $40.00

When you think of the image of a tulip, the shape that comes to mind is the shape of the whole flower atop that lovely long stem.  When the blossom opens up wide like this, which they’ll do when it’s warm, it shows off these wonderful inner glories.  How coy of them to have all this great-looking stuff hidden inside!  They almost look like poppies when they’re like this.  The fun thing is that when it cools off, the buds close up again.

This piece is painted on the last sheet of paper from the pack of watercolor postcard blanks I bought so many years ago.  I mentioned that pad two posts ago, on “Single Orange Tulip”.  Imagine what all of these tulip portraits would look like arranged together on the wall!  the orange , the pink, the two red ones, and there’s a purple one posted back on March 28, 2009.


New Crop of Tulips

March 25, 2011

“Single Orange Tulip”  ©Jill Rosoff 2011, 4″ x 6″  $40.00

I like the idea of a “portrait” of a flower.  This series came about because of a couple of influences: one, I love tulips, if you hadn’t gotten that yet, and they’re in season. The other is that years ago I bought this little pad of watercolor paper that’s postcard sized.    I thought at one point how fun it would be to paint a quick sketch of something while on vacation, and mail it off as a postcard.  I’ve done a few little pieces over the years, but never mailed them. There are actually markings on the back of each piece of paper for where to put the stamp.  That pad has been in my supply rack for years, so I decided to use the pad up, by painting one flower bud on each one.  The pink tulip last month was the first.  There are two more to come, then the pad is kaput.  Got to break out some new paper, my freesias are blooming.

More Tiptoeing

February 22, 2011

“Single Pink Tulip”  ©Jill Rosoff 2011, 4″ x 6″, $40.00

Once again tulips are in season.  Happy sigh.  I’ve been reorganizing my paintings, working out a show I’m planning to do, and some of them really show well in groupings.  I posted a painting of single purple tulip here in March 2009, it was only the one, and I really like it, and so I’m making more.  And I just learned that tulips originally come from Turkey, not Holland, not the far east.  Who’d’ve thunk?   Thank goodness for Trader Joe’s, once again!  Next one will be red, I think.

There was also one of a single daffodil, posted in April of 2009.  Hmmmm….

“Seven Pale Pink Tulips” ©Jill Rosoff 2010, 17 1/2″ x 6″  $145.00

It’s bulb-planting season, and its certainly been cold enough lately here, almost as cold as it’s supposed to be according to the Dutch.  I planted bulbs years ago when I lived in Berkeley, and I’m glad that I tried it, went through the whole process, and thoroughly enjoyed keeping vigil until  the plants popped out of the ground, and then watching as they bloomed  into those long, lovely, statuesque flowers.  I marvel at those who plant and nurture their bulbs every year in SoCal.

I did a painting similar to this one earlier this year, but the one just wasn’t enough.  I felt the need to explore more the shapes of the flowers and the leaves, the colors, and how those elements work in the long, narrow format of the paper.

%d bloggers like this: