Three-Plus Poppies

“Three-plus Poppies”, ©Jill Rosoff 2013, 4″ x  6″

I have these small pads of watercolor paper that I keep around for quick “jots” of ideas like this one.  In watercolors, any whites in a painting are the paper left untouched, since watercolor is a transparent medium, and the transparent version of white is, well, nothing.  Transparent.  It’s a fun conundrum to play around with.  

In this piece, I wanted to leave no blank paper, no white areas, but instead to paint the whole piece of paper, and to let the shapes of the flowers do most of the talking.  Getting the colors this rich and intense is a fun challenge in watercolors.  And there’s still good contrast between the brightness of the yellow centers, and the dark lines where the green paint overlapped the red.  Unintended, and perfect.  

One other thing:   I love rich, vibrant and maintaining a sense of the transparency in the paint.  In watercolors it is possible to use too much paint, which when it dries, looks dry, dusty and opaque, qualities that you just don’t strive for in watercolors.   I like striving for the saturation and the transparency, especially since they are paradoxical.  Fun!

It’s now available on Esty here.  

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.

Watercolor Workshops

January 2, 2013

Happy 2013!

Paperwhite teaser100

Detail from “Paperwhites”, ©Jill Rosoff 2010

For those of you in the Orange County, CA area, my watercolor workshops start up again on Saturday, January 12th.  

These workshops are open to everyone at every level of experience in painting with watercolors.  Each session’s work is focused on what those who are there bring in, whether it be a new project or technique, or working on ongoing paintings, and developing them to completion.  When I find new ideas or ways of creating an effect, I bring those in and we experiment with them.

The workshops are held in Santa Ana at Karen’s Detail Custom Frames, which is on MacArthur Blvd, one block east of Harbor Blvd., across from the Home Depot.   Each session is $25.00, or you can purchase a six-session pass for $125.00 (six sessions for the price of five).  

Sign up here to receive emails about the workshops, or download the 2013 workshops schedule here.

Contact me with any questions using the ‘contact’ link at the end of this or any posting!

Last week I participated with the local Alzheimer’s Association’s annual Visionary Women Luncheon, which honors caregivers.  What a lovely thing to do, to honor these individuals who are caring for people with Alzheimers, or a working to find ways to treat this devastating disease.  One aspect of the event is during the social time before and after the luncheon, where this year they featured eight artists demonstrating ad presenting their work.  I showed my scarf-painting technique, and of course brought my scarves to sell.  It was a really good day, I enjoyed showing the dying process, and sharing my scarves with a new audience. 

While setting up the scarf-painting demonstration, photography by Ting-Ting Lee, of Ting-Ting Lee Studio

I had a lovely time, talking with everyone, showing and  describing how I paint my designs, that each scarf is individually painted, and then signed and numbered.  So each scarf is really a piece of wearable art, which is one of the reasons I wanted to make the scarves in the first place.  

I have envisioned some of my paintings printed on textiles, because for the longest time I thought it would be fun to be able to wear designs from some of my paintings.  I’ve always loved Liberty patterns, and vintage Lanz and Villager, too.   The methods of painting on silk with dye are very different from painting watercolors, but can be done in a way so that many of the same themes and colors that I do in my paintings can be adapted for my scarf designs.  I am constantly working out ways to make the scarves evoke similar imagery to my paintings.  

And some designs come about simply for the scarves.  One of these, my new “Leaves” design, is one of three I’ve recently developed.  Here is the first new design, modeled beautifully by my friend and colleague Susan Haldeman, who helped me with sales at the event while I was demonstrating.  And the great thing about this pattern is that it can be done in any color combination.  As a matter of fact, I’d love to hear what combinations of colors you’d like to see it in!  Use the Comment button below!

“Leaves” scarf design, in grass green and light olive with red dots, @Jill Rosoff 2012

So I got to the event early, unloaded my scarf boards, on which I pin and then paint the raw scarves.  You can also see my scarf display rack, with more of my scarves on it.

Setting up, photography by Ting-Ting Lee, of Ting-Ting Lee Studio

      Talking with people while demonstrating my Dragonfly design, photography by Ting-Ting Lee, of Ting-Ting Lee Studio

Satisfied customer and Alzheimers’ Association supporter in her new Leaves scarf in lavender and turquoise, next to the event Sponsor Board.  Yes, that’s Shirley Jones there on the board, who was the keynote speaker for the event. 

photography by Ting-Ting Lee, of Ting-Ting Lee Studio

All in all it was a terrific day, and I was particularly pleased for the opportunity to work with the Alzheimer’s Association.  Look for my upcoming post featuring more new scarf designs!  And also Part 2 about modeling for the painting class!

Blueberries on a vine

October 4, 2011

“Blueberries on Vine”, ©Jill Rosoff 2011, 9″ x 12″

This piece will be included in my show coming up in San Diego.  The opening is on October 15th, so come if you can!  The gallery is called Glimpse and is in the fun, up-and-coming North Park neighborhood.  The owner/curator, Lynle Ellis, ASID, has selected over 50 pieces for this show.  Please come, and tell your friends who live in and around San Diego about it!  The show is open to the public.

GoSee at Glimpse, 3813 Ray St.   San Diego, CA  92104
Artist Talk, 4:30 to 5:30 pm,  Reception, 6 to 9 pm

This reduced image of this painting doesn’t quite do it justice, especially what I’ve got going on in the background.  You can double-click on the image and a larger version will open up, and you can see the detail.

I think about blueberries when Fall starts and Thanksgiving is coming, because that’s when my grandmother would make her “blubry” pie.  She’d say it in her Boston accent, it was always a two-syllable word with her.  But I’ve since learned that blueberries are perrenials, they grow year round.  So much for a blueberry ‘season’!  

Delicate Fuschias

August 16, 2011

“First Fuschias” ©Jill Rosoff 2011,  5 1/2″ x 8 1/2″,  $75.00

On a recent sojourn to San Diego I stopped at a couple of nurseries to take a look at what is being grown lately.  Northern San Diego County is large flower growing region, with nurseries that specialize in various flowers: hibiscus farms, begonia farms, orchid greenhouses and more.  Its all very tempting, and of course very inspiring for me.  Oh how I wish I had a larger garden!  On this trip I stopped in at a begonia nursery where I also found some amazing fuschia plants.  They always look like little ballerinas on pointe to me.  So I’ve been painting fuschias, again.  I haven’t painted them in years!  

This is the first painting of this series, a simple study of them without any specific environment. It was specifically a study to learn about them, how I want to paint them.  I am working on more now!


December 17, 2009


Wishing everyone a Sweet Holiday Season and a Merry New Year!

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!

Daffodils galore

May 11, 2009

Daffodil buds on lavendar-lores“Daffodils buds on lavender”  © Jill Rosoff 2009, 5 1/2″ x 8 1/2 “, $75.00

I like it when the season come around each year, and we get to enjoy the natural flowering of everyone’s gardens.  My Cecile Bruner roses are in full bud, and their little pale pink blossoms will open soon and their magnificent, intense fragrance will burst in my nose.  My the neighbor’s jacarandas fill the view out my back windows  with that incredible rich blue/purple color.

This small work is another tribute to Trader Joe’s and their spring fling with daffodils, with their delicately ribbed petals and wonderful crowns.  This little painting features a pale version of the color of the jacaranda, a perfect compliment to the daffodils, in the background.

I’m showing this coming weekend at the Balboa Island Artwalk again this year!  It’s on May 17th, along the bayfront walk of Balboa Island.  You can find me between Apolena and Coral Streets, just down from Marine Avenue.  for parking and location.     See you there!


Java jive

December 10, 2008


“The Green Demitasses” ©Jill Rosoff 2008, 5 1/2″ x 8 1/2″  SOLD

The marvelous cup of coffee.  My relationship with coffee started in college.  At first it was dining commons dreck that I doctored up to help keep me awake to study.  Then I discovered the latte.  Heavy sigh.  My friend Mary and I would take a break from our painting studio and go to Cafe Roma near the art studios on campus at Berkeley, and treat each other to a latte or mocha, and there was no turning back.  Then there was Peet’s Coffee and Tea, just a handful of stores in Berkeley, where I learned what good coffee really tasted like, and I started to buy my own beans and grind my coffee at home, first in a drip coffee maker.  Later I got myself a little espresso maker, just a stainless stovetop model. The home-sized machines weren’t around much then, this was the only way to make espresso at home.  And that’s still my morning coffee in one of my lovely Italian mugs to start the day.  Happiness.  

The idea for this series of paintings has been brewing for awhile.  Then recently my mom showed me a drawing of 2 coffee cups I’d done for her almost 20 years ago. So this is, I think, a supposed-to-be series.  

Now for the icing on the coffee cake.  I have the first paintings of this series on display at Peet’s Coffee and Tea in Corona del Mar for the month of December.  The paintings went up December 7th, they’ll be there until January 4th.  There’s a reception Saturday, December 13th from 2 to 5 pm.  Come on over and view a cup!

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