“Daffodils on Hot Magenta” ©Jill Rosoff 2012  12″ x 9″

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.

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“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!

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.

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….

Daffodil with bud

January 28, 2011

“Daffodil with Bud on indigo” ©Jill Rosoff 2010, $65.00

I do like these long stems that daffodils, and all in the narcissus family have, and this long, narrow paper size so wonderfully shows them off.  This is a quieter color combination than I normally use, but I love the indigo, its not quite grey, and not quite midnight blue.  Its got a wonderful atmospheric quality to it.

By the way, I opened up a shop on Etsy this week.  I am starting primarily to sell my notecards, and will also be adding some of these small works there as well.  Please go take a look and let me know what you think!

http://www.etsy.com/shop/RosoffArtworks

“Daffodils on Coral” ©Jill Rosoff 2010, 10″ x 6″, SOLD 

Its coming up on daffodil season.  There were cut bunches in Trader Joe’s this week.  Spring is just 2 months away!

Using flowers as they grow through each season, so daffodils and tulips round about now, has in some ways become an exploration of new color schemes.  It works in a kind of nifty way, the subject matter changes month to month.  Daffodils start to bloom in mid-winter, when its dull and often gloomy as the earth lies fallow as it reinvigorates itself.  In that bleakness, suddenly bright spots of yellows spring up, the long, finger-like leaves first emerge from of the bulb, break through the ground, and then the bud comes, and then the bloom.   And wow, there’s that yellow.

Do you recall that amazing visual in Dr. Zhivago where you knew the freezing winter was ending because the daffodils had sprung up?  That ‘s the feeling.


“Poppy Field”, detail, ©Jill Rosoff 2009, full size is 6″ x 17 1/2″, $225.00

I’m just about ready!  I’ve spent this week getting ready for the Balboa Island Art Walk this Sunday, May 16th.  I’ll be showing a lot of new work that you haven’t seen here on my blog, as well as pieces from my Piccolo Paintings series that typically are posted here.

You can find my display on the South Bayfront Promenade between Coral and Apolena Streets, at the same location I’ve been at in years past.  Just look for my apple-green umbrellas!  The Art Walk is goes from 9 am until 5 pm.

For more info on the Art Walk go to:  http://www.balboaislandartwalk.info/Artwalk/Maps_%26_Parking.html

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