Category Archives: Uncategorized

Jarrahdale Pumpkin, 20 x 16 inches

Hubbard Pumpkin by Elizabeth Floyd, oil on linen, 20 x 16 inches

Jarrahdale Pumpkin

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Framed Painting – part of my Labor of Love Series
{20″ x 16″ – oil on linen panel}

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Pewter Reflections Painting in Root to Bloom Juried Exhibition

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Tonight, November 11th, 2016, is the opening of the juried exhibition “Root to Bloom – The Places Artists Call Home” at the Principle Gallery here in Alexandria, VA.

I am excited to have my painting Pewter Reflections hanging along side some extraordinary artwork. If you are local, please stop by and check out the exhibition.

Pewter Reflections and Sunflowers by Elizabeth Floyd, 18x24 inches, oil on linen

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Framed Painting
{18″ x 24″ – oil on linen}

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Painting Flowers from Life, a 2-day Workshop

This past weekend, I taught a semi-private workshop that focused on the joys and challenges of painting flowers from life. I was motivated to come up with this specific workshop because when I first began to use flowers in my still-life setups I often had my flowers fade and wilt before I had finished the painting.  And after years of trying out different techniques, I am now able to keep my flowers fresh for the duration of completing most paintings.

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{at the beginning of a demonstration}

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{further along in the demonstration}

Since I first began painting with oils it has always been my goal to paint from life when possible. I just love the immediacy, the sense of excitement and the connection that is built from sharing the same space with my painting subjects. Over the years I have been experimenting and improving upon the ways to extend the life of cut flowers so I would have more time to paint them.

I have read many gardening and flower arranging books, taken classes on flower arranging and even occasionally attended horticultural focused lectures and seminars, all in the goal to learn more and find ways to  include the plants and flowers I love into my artwork.

Over the years, I have picked up enough knowledge and tips that I can typically keep an arrangement looking good long enough to paint from the arrangement for a full five days, sometimes even more. And as I have yet to see any of this information available for artists who are also interested in painting flowers from life, I have put together a workshop that focuses on doing just this, painting seasonal flowers from life.

It was a pleasure to have three students participate in my inaugural workshop this past weekend.

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The Human Figure by John H. Vanderpoel

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The Human Figure by John H. Vanderpoel

When I was still an architect, the majority of my focus in art was the figurative genre. This is because most of the classes I took then were figurative, and to me there is nothing more challenging or rewarding than drawing the human form and capturing a modicum of likeness and accuracy.

And being the diver that I am, when I was on my own I would take time to practice drawing the human form by copying out of books, and one of my favorite books to copy from was Vanderpoel’s The Human Figure.

So this summer when I needed to bone up on facial features again, I returned to copying from this book. But instead of using charcoal or graphite, I used oil paint. I switched my practice to oil paint because when you are painting, you are using masses to create form, where when you are drawing, you typically rely on contour and line to create form, and I wanted to practice my paint handling at the same time as I was practicing the human form.

Here are some photos of how I used this book to practice.

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Using a limited palette of titanium white, burnt sienna and ultramarine blue, I would copy out each small drawing that graces the margins of this book. These were all fast studies, I would set a timer for thirty minutes and try to complete each page of images in that time frame. The goal was to quickly discern the important shapes and try to capture it with speed and accuracy.

Nothing too precious, in fact I would take a photo of each session with my iphone and then wipe the studies down and start over.

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The text is extremely helpful in reinforcing what you learn from the act of copying out. So I encourage you to read each chapter at the same time you are copying the images.

The Human Figure

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Nature and its Symbols by Lucia Impelluso

Friday Inspiration

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Nature and Its Symbols by Lucia Impelluso

This book was given to me by some very dear friends, who knew that I would totally eat up a book dedicated to symbolism…

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What I love about this book is that it covers seven different categories, from plants to aquatic animals. Though my favorite section is the one on flowers…

Each section starts with a few pages dedicated to just that topic, and with a write up about how and why the subject matter symbolizes certain ideas and then a few paintings are analyzed, showing how the artist used the symbolism to support the meaning of his painting.

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After the general review of the category, specific examples are then further explained. In the flowers section alone, Lily of the Valley, Cyclemen, Jasmine, Tulips, and many others are covered. And this is how each section is organized.

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This is a great reference book to have around. If I am noodling on a still-life composition idea and I want to make it a more meaningful piece, I will sometimes read through this book in the evening to make sure my ideas are correctly based.

Nature and Its Symbols (A Guide to Imagery)

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Here is an interesting dictionary of symbolism for free found via Google Books

A Dictionary of Symbols by Juan Eduardo Cirlot

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