“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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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.


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….

One Tulip

March 28, 2009

tulip-bud-purple1Tulip bud, purple, ©Jill Rosoff 2009  4 1/2″ x 6 “, sold

It’s Spring!  The world is in bloom.  And the tulip plants are so reasonable at the local Trader Joe’s.  This little intimate, postcard-sized study of one tulip blossom and the surrounding leaves shows of just one bloom of the plant.  The shape of the flower is unmistakable, and yet the petals take on very organic, almost lip-like forms.  The stamen and pistils are so fragile, protected by the petals of the flower.

Tiptoe through. . .

August 15, 2008

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

I started painting tulips when I first started painting watercolors and they are a theme I go back to every now and then, as a sort of a touchstone.  I started painting them after going on a 2-month college tour of Europe, visiting almost every Western European country.  It also included Yugoslavia and Czeckoslovakia, so it was before the Iron Curtain came down.   I saw the Berlin Wall, and went through Checkpoint Charlie to East Berlin.  Spooky!  A good story, another time.

Our last stop on the continent was Holland, where I bought a packet of tulip bulbs in mixed colors.  They were shipped to me in Berkeley later on that fall, around planting time.  So, city girl that I am, I prepared the ground and planted the bulbs.  And waited and waited.  At last in March they bloomed, gloriously, so of course I did a painting of them.  Well, I did a few of them.  I recently unearthed that first painting and put it up in the studio for awhile.

So doing this piece was a revisiting of an old friend.  I was trying out a different “take” on these lovely blossoms, a more graphic rather than realistic visual.  I wish bulbs were easier to grow in So. Cal!

Use the pop up windows to view the paintings in a larger format–the colors are truer there!

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