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.  

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I heart you

January 18, 2013

Valentine 1“Valentine 1″ ©Jill Rosoff 2013, 6″ x 6”

Valentine’s Day is that day when if you’re in love you hope to goodness that you figure out something great to do for your partner, or your partner does something lovely for you.   If you are single, the commercials for jewelry, flower deliveries and certain card companies are annoying reminders that you’re not contributing to the economy like everyone else is.  

For me this year, I have decided to make Valentine’s Day about exploring layering and the wonderful transparent characteristic that watercolors have.  OK, yes, you can get them with acrylics too, but watercolors’ textures, I think, are much more lively.  And watercolors came first (so there! I say in my best Edith Ann voice).  This was another experiment I did for my workshops, where we took the oh-so recognizable image of the heart, and layered on colors, holding onto the transparency, and enjoying the new colors created as one layer overlapped another.  Not to mention the great textures in the blooms!

This along with a few new paintings just in time for Valentines Day can be purchased in my Etsy Store.

Icelands in dark red and oranges

“Red and Orange Poppies” ©Jill Rosoff 2012

I went on a bit of a blog-hiatus last month.  Between making my holiday cards, which I’ve done for the past 25 (gasp!) years, and then making Christmas gifts for my family, I was plum tuckered out.  Maybe that’s sugar-plum tuckered out?  Only the fairies will know for sure.  And they’ll dance about it.

I’m back at it now.  I have some new paintings that I finished up over the holidays to post here that I’ve had on the drawing board for awhile.  This painting actually came out of an idea I had for a new colorway for my scarves, one that was more fall or winter inspired.  And to play with new color combinations through a very familiar theme is an interesting process, because it can help to bust open a preconceived idea.  Since Iceland poppies are in a naturally spring-y color spectrum, which I really love, I have pretty much painted them that way.  But now I think not every poppy needs to be in yellows, oranges, reds and pinks, do they?  I mean, there are pink daffodils, for crying out loud.  What if I could have a lavender poppy?  Ooooh!

My New Year’s resolution?   I will not be as literal with color.  The reds can be deeper, softer, not so siren-like.  The orange can be a faded tomato orange-red.  And the green?  Instead of a bright spring bud green, how about verdigris?  A nice, oxidized, dusty green.  This worked for me!

Now all I need to do is remember to write 2013 instead of 2012.  I’m thinking I’ll get that done by February, earliest.  

Leaves, wet-in-wet

November 12, 2012

 

“Leaves, wet in wet, purples” ©Jill Rosoff 2012.  12″ h x 6″ w

This painting came out of a demonstration I wanted to do for my watercolor workshops exploring wet-in-wet and dropping in color.  It was also to show the physical properties of water in watercolor, and how it can be used, exploited, but also how it can be a great tool.   I lightly sketched the leaf shapes onto the paper first.  Then one by one, I painted each leaf in clear water, then dropped color into the wet areas with strong watercolors, diluted enough to make the paint liquid but to hold on to the intensity of the color.  As each drop of color spread out when it hit the wet paper, I dropped more color into the tips and the stem to hold on to that intensity of color.  It was lots of fun to do, but what was truly fun was watching my students observe what the paint does as the water dries.  

This piece is now for sale via my shop on Etsy.  If you’re looking for holiday gift ideas, you can now purchase a gift card for my shop on Etsy and let the person your giving the gift to choose what they want!

Continued from Part 1, posted on September 25th

One of the first things that occurred to me after I made the commitment to pose for this painting group was, “geez, if I could only lose a few pounds before this!”   When I shared this with Connie on the phone a few days later, and she replied, “Oh no! Mom wants you for how you look now!”   For a woman of size, that’s some statement, and rarely heard.  But I got it, it was actually really sweet.   And I remembered from my days as an art undergrad that full-figured women were usually great subjects in my figure drawing and painting classes, their shapes are so, well, round and fleshy.  So I put aside my knee-jerk vanity reaction, and got more into the mindset of the Venus of Willendorf.

I was now going to be the figure being drawn or painted, after years of being the artist/observer in a figure drawing class.  These artists were going to be looking at me, concentrating my pose.  Now, I have a pretty good idea of what to do as a model from all my experience in figure painting classes.  And Pat had told me how she wanted me to pose, so there was no guesswork, really.

When I was in those painting classes, working out the my composition, where to place the figure, getting the gesture the model presented onto my canvas or paper, in the back of my mind, I always sort of wondered what the models were doing or thinking about while holding a long pose.  Were they planning that night’s dinner?  Reflecting on a recent conversation, or a book they’d read?  All the while, they’d keep physically still, and hope that their leg or arm didn’t go to sleep.  Being zen enough to be able to empty my mind and meditate is certainly a goal, and would’ve been a great thing to have perfected for this workshop.  I would do my level best.

Composite of photos I took from my view in the pose.  That’s my foot over on the right.

So there I was, watching artists paint.  I started feeling a little envious, actually, I hadn’t painted the figure in ages, and here I was, in a painting studio, with a model.  I suddenly realized I knew exactly what these artists were doing and what they were going through in their minds as they started working out their compositions.  They were looking at their subject, then back to their canvases or pieces of paper, then back at the model and gradually forming their composition.  Where will I put her on the canvas?  How will I incorporate those  paintings she did that are up behind her on the wall?   Will I keep the scarf she’s wearing on her?  I was watching them looking at me, at my pose, and at the whole setting as all this was going on in their minds.  I started to really enjoy watching them paint me.  

One artist contemplating his painting, stepping back to get a longer view of it…

Another artist concentrating on her drawing.  See how she holds herself while she draws.

Balancing on toes (in fun socks)

I realized that I have this sense memory of the postures I saw each artist in.  They are suddenly posing for me, in a way.  And each pose telegraphs to me ways I’ve felt in their places.  I’m sure I’ve sat or stood those ways countless times.  I identify with them:  the step back to get some perspective on the work in progress, with maybe something to lean back on which temporarily counters the muscle tension of the normal lean-in toward the artwork while working on it.  Or the hunch forward in concentration, elbows on the table holding the rest of the body still, toes pointing in.  And when working so delicately, that ones body moves into delicate positions, even almost on tip toes.  I would sometimes get to the end of a 3 hour session and find that my neck ached, or some part of my body was incredibly tense because I’d been holding myself oddly as I was getting something onto the painting just so.  So even though I’m not painting on this day, I’m having a glorious time with these painters.  And hopefully they did with me.

Part three coming very soon!

Working with Fall Colors

September 11, 2012

“Leaf Study 1″ ©Jill Rosoff 2012, 6″ x 6”, watercolor on paper

I’ve been playing around with some of my typical palette and color combinations lately.  Its stemming from my designing with seasonally-related color combinations in my new designs on my silk scarves.  The palette of colors I regularly use lean more to the spring and summer spectrums.  Fall colors, the ones I grew up with, looked frankly dull and drab to me.  Now, of course the typical fall color palette is influenced by the colors of the leaves changing, truly, and the mums plants that were for sale back then were in yellow, gold, orange, rust, and the most incongruous color of a flower to me, brown.  Brown mums were just not at all attractive to me.  Rust-colored mums were a close second.

Since the scarves are more fashion than art related, I needed to bring fall color combinations into the scarves palettes, so I googled “‘fall colors 2012” and got listings for the official color predictions from all sorts of resources, but especially Pantone.  Here are 2012’s fall season palette of 10 colors:


This selection looks downright spring-like to me!  These are the colors of a tropical vacation, no?  It doesn’t scream “We Gather Together”, thats for sure!   The orange up there, top row, 2nd from the right, officially called Tangerine Tango, is the ‘color of the year’ for 2012.  Perfect for me, because I could call it Iceland Poppy Orange.  I’m dying to see what the official color will be for 2013.  Please oh please make it a good color for my flowers, oh Pantone color wizards!  I have to say, wouldn’t it be great to be a member of this board of people who get to decide colors for each season of each year?  That is a job I could really get into!  Imagine selecting color combinations for the use of the fashion and interiors industries!  No more beige!

Until that job offer comer through, I’ve decided to try and use this palette of colors in a painting or two.  And of course the scarves.  Its been a great exercise so far, it’s helped me step out of the comfort zone of my well-ingrained, go-to palette of colors.  

And so the painting up top is the first piece I came up with in what I hope is a long line of paintings and scarves using this new scheme of colors.  I hope you like it.  As a matter of fact, would you let me know please?  Use the “Leave a comment” link below!  Thanks!

The Leaf painting is now available for sale on my Etsy shop:  Rosoff Artworks.  Want to compare it to other paintings of mine, palette wise?  Scroll down and look at other paintings on this blog, or go to my  website and compare them to my larger-format paintings.

“Flower Fields” pattern, silk scarf ©Jill Rosoff 2011

Each year, the Visionary Women Circle of the Alzheimer’s Association honors Orange County caregivers who display extraordinary compassion in caring for those touched by Alzheimer’s disease and related forms of dementia.  At this year’s event, eight artists of different mediums will produce a piece of work on site during the Festival Shopping and Social hour, from 10:00am–11:00am preceding the luncheon.  Last month I got an invitation from the Alzheimer’s Association to be a part of this event.  

I am extremely pleased that I will be one of the eight artists, where I will demonstrate my silk painting process.  Each artisan will also give back to the organization by donating a piece for an opportunity drawing, as well as 20% of any sales.   So I will have a full selection of my original scarves available for sale, and will be happy to take orders as well.  

Tickets are still available for the luncheon, where actress Shirley Jones will be the guest speaker. To purchase a ticket, buy a table, or sponsor the event, visit the Alzheimer’s Association Visionary Women website.

You can also see more of my scarves in my Etsy Shop BloomingSilks.  Thank you!

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