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.

“Still Life in Yellows” ©Jill Rosoff 2012  5 1/2″ x 8 1/2″

Today I set aside just to make art.  And I cooked a little too, which sort of counts, cooking is also about making something.  But primarily I worked on art, with “soundtrack” of the Olympics playing in the background.  No business, no marketing, just all drawing and painting.  

One of the things I did today is that I finished this small painting.  I started it in June as a demonstration in one of my workshops, I wanted to play with the idea of all the objects in the painting being variations of a single color, like a one note melody:  sing “Long Tall Sally” to yourself, see what I mean?   On this one day we had all these yellow objects that people had brought in to the workshop  to use as subjects for their paintings.  The idea literally presented itself, right there in front of me, to make a composition of the different colors of yellow.  So I blocked in the pepper, the lemons and the bananas.  Then I rendered them using glazes and dropping-in color, which is also referred to as ‘charging’ (ok, a vision of the battles in the movie ‘Braveheart’ just came to mind as I wrote that–this is the way my brain works).

I decided to complete it using versions of primary colors–there were the three yellows: rich warm, bright and cool, and a little lighter and muted, plus a warm violet as the blue for all the shadows and the background, and a diluted Winsor Red became a warm pink, which also turned orangy glazed over the yellow.  Oh and a bit of green for the pepper’s stem, and on the bananas.  The fun result is that even with those few colors, it’s a pretty rich palette.  

Its available for purchase on my Etsy shop.  

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.

I was watching Jon Stewart recently when his guest was astrophysicist Neil DeGrasse Tyson, the director of the Hayden Planetarium in New York City.  Its a remarkably cool building on the West Side–if you haven’t seen it, put it on your list.  And it’s not all that far from Zabars….the makings of a fun day in NYC. Tyson is smart, interesting and funny, all great qualities in a person, he’s one of those people I’d love to have a conversation with.  The thing that struck me was when he quoted Albert Einstein about creativity:  “Imagination is more important than knowledge.”  Hmmm.  Still, the more I’ve considered it, the more I’ve come to agree with it, adding only that knowledge increases the potential of the imagination.

Now I’ll admit that from my artist’s vantage point, I think that its in the arts where creativity resides.  There is scholarly work that reports that kids who get to play in areas of the fine arts are more creative thinkers in adulthood (please keep the arts in the schools!).  So while at first the idea that Einstein would be talking about creativity was a little wacky, it actually makes total sense.  Every endeavor to create or define something is a creative process.  His theories of the universe came out of incredibly imaginative thought processes, magical journeys down new paths of thought.

All of this got me thinking of who else might have said interesting things about the subject. So I’m looking for who might have expounded on creativity and the creative process, and I’ll post the ones that I really like here.  If you find one you like, would you please send it to me?  (Use the comment button below, and if you wish I’ll be happy to keep confidentiality, just tell me in your comment, since all comments are manually approved in order to be published).

Getting back to Albert Einstein, though, makes me think of my dad.  Dad was a tremendously bright and curious man, interested in all sorts of things in the world and in the people he met.  He was one of those people who could figure out all sorts of things, from fixing a bike to fearlessly navigating a British camper with right hand drive and marginal visibility only via the side and rear view mirrors through Northern Europe.  His all-time conquest?  I think maybe it was driving that camper at speed up the Champs Elysee and around the Arc d’ Triomphe during rush hour.  Teeth-grittingly exhilirating, one of those times when you’re watching through fingers over your eyes.  He was completely rapt in the moment, concentrating.  When Dad was concentrating on something, as he’d go into his figuring-things-out zone his tongue would appear and curl up, covering his upper lip.  I crack up when I find myself doing the same thing when I’m puzzling something out, or when my sisters, my brother, and my niece and nephews do it.  I especially love seeing the kids doing it while they’re working something out in their heads, Dad lives in them.

When I got old enough that ‘how come’ questions were long past being cute, when I or my sisters or brother would ask Dad a question about how something worked, he’d reply, “When you take physics you’ll understand that”.   Thanks, Dad.  I’ll go Google it.  And so of course there’s Albert Einstein, involved in discussions about creativity.  I wonder if his tongue lapped over his upper lip when he was pondering the universe?

More art next posting.

Good Day Sunshine

August 4, 2008




watercolor on paper, 8 1/2" x 5 1/2", $85.00 

“Sunflowers on Red”, ©2008 by Jill Rosoff, watercolor on paper, 8 1/2″ x 5 1/2″,  SOLD

These were sunflowers I bought at Trader Joe’s.  Many of my paintings are from the cut flowers and plants I have around, and these were particularly alluring.  I’ve also used some of the photos I took in my sister Jenny’s garden.  She grew a small sunflower forest this year–they were 10 feet tall!  Please contact me through Comments for purchases.  Purchase inquiries are kept confidential.  




Brand New Day

July 17, 2008

“Nemesia” ©2007 by Jill Rosoff, 5 1/2″ x 8 1/2″, watercolor on paper,  SOLD



Welcome to my new artwork blog.  I’ll be posting new small works (under 10″) as they’re completed, about one a week to start.  The pieces will eventually be for sale via eBay.  Meantime, please enjoy the work, and contact me when you’re interested in owning a piece.  Thanks!

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