“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!

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Calla Lily

August 31, 2011


“Three Lavender Callas” © Jill Rosoff 2007

While reviewing the inventory chosen by curator Lynle Ellis for my upcoming show at her gallery Glimpse in San Diego, I found some pieces I’d not yet shown here, so they’ll be showing up here now and again.  

I try to paint flowers when they come in season, and sometimes the window of time is so short, I get maybe one done and poof!  they’re gone.  So it is with callas.  I found these lavender callas at Trader Joe’s one day.  I couldn’t believe the color.  As much as I love the creamy white ones my neighbor grows and I enjoy as I pass by them, these were pretty smashing, and I love lavender.  The issue became how best to articulate that gorgeous single spiral of the one glorious petal as it opens up and unveil the stamen inside.  When I finished this one I realized how much it felt like an ode to Georgia O’Keefe’s work, looking so monumental in this small format.  

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….

“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.

Daffodils in the winter time

February 24, 2010

Two versions of Daffodils, ©Jill Rosoff 2010  SOLD

I’m a warm-weather girl, no wonder since I was born and raised in Southern California.  I was living in Berkeley working on my art degree when I first truly experienced colder-weather gardens and flowers, very different from what I’d grown up with.  Some of these flowers are close to impossible to grow in SoCal:  wisteria, tulips, daffodils, and sometimes camellias, so I get my fix this time of year buying tulips and daffodils. Thank you Trader Joe’s!  So here’s another homage to and celebration of them.  This time I started the painting, got the flowers and stems established, and then scanned it with the background unpainted, and then scanned it again after filling in color and atmosphere in the background

Would you let me know what you think?  Just click on the Comments dealy-bob at the end of this post.  And I haven’t tried growing wisteria yet–never say never, though!

In process

December 11, 2009

Hydrangea”, painting in process, ©Jill Rosoff 2009

Its a good news/bad news week for a new piece for this blog: with a couple of projects that came due this week there was little time to work on my small paintings.   So for this week’s entry here is a photo of a new, larger piece I have going of a blue hydrangea.

What’s fun with these is that each big bloom is a globe of small four-petalled blossoms.  And each one is in a different stage of its bloom, which means there’s a variety of colors going on.  The younger blossom pops open from its bud, and is paler and greener.  As it matures it gains more and more of its color.  So I work with each petal on each blossom, infusing it with its own color as it blooms.  Then when you step back and look at the flower from a longer view the mature blossom is blue, or lavender or pink.  When you keep an eye on it over the course of a few days you get to watch the young blossom grow and  become bluer and bluer, or pinker and pinker.

Midstream on many pieces

August 8, 2009

plumeria buds4blog

Plumeria buds on my deck

I got a brilliant idea over the winter and put one of my plumeria plants on my deck outside the sliding glass door from my dining room.  My living/dining/kitchen is on the 2nd of my 3 storeys, and my plumerias are all on the back patio.   So this year I have been able to watch one of the plants bloom.  It’s been a lovely and happy process, filled with anticipation, especially once the buds showed.  See above.  Painting coming soon!

I have four paintings going right now on my painting table, three  small works in my coffee cups series, and one (so far) of the plumeria, which also has the very lyrical name of frangipani.  It suits my multi-tasking head to do this, to have so many pieces going at one time, but it lets me work continually.  While a layer of color dries on one piece, I work on the next.

And  I’m about to start a larger one of blue hydrangea, recalling my post in June about blue flowers, which I am constantly drawn to.  I love that up close all the petals can be different colors, from pale green to lavender to periwinkle to purple, and when you back up and look at the plant as a whole, its blue.   I have a couple of my hydrangea paintings on my website –click on the orange tulips over there on the right–in the Blossoms and Gardens section.  The hydrangeas are another boon from Trader Joe’s, my treasure trove of goodies and flowers.  And it’s getting to sunflower season!


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