Bountiful Observations

Early Spring Creamer, 8 x 8 inches

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elizabeth-floyd-blog-bountiful-observations-image Early Spring Creamer

Early Spring Creamer

Expression implies emphasis and selection

I think this statement sums up the fundamental idea that is the creative process. Creating a work of art is all about the decisions made from the choices available to the artist, where to draw inspiration from and how to narrow down and just focus on the most important details.

With this painting, I wanted to capture the spirit of a nascent spring and the delicacy of the petit daffodils and grape hyacinths. This painting was started and wiped down at least eight different times over two days. I kept trying out different viewpoints and compositions, and finally I realized that all the other objects I was including in the composition were taking away from what was capturing my attention.

Finally, I zeroed in on just the flower arrangement in the blue and white porcelain creamer. And it was what I wanted to emphasize and share with you.

Here’s wishing you a warm spring.

Early Spring Creamer

Click here to purchase Framed: SOLD {8″ x 8″ (20.3 x 20.3 cm) – oil on canvas panel} {14″ x 14″ (35.6 x 35.6 cm) with frame}

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White Hyacinth, 8 x 8 inches

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elizabeth-floyd-blog-bountiful-observations-imageWaiting for Spring

Waiting for Spring

This year I feel like so impatient for spring to arrive. Are you feeling the same way?

Because I paint what is in season, I have a built in blooming calendar for the previous years and this year, spring is a good four weeks behind schedule compared to 2012 and at least two weeks behind from last year. So I am hoping that last week's snow storm will be the last for the season and we will have nothing but bright sunny days ahead of us.

This painting is my ode to waiting for warmer days, to spending time digging in the dirt, planting early spring flowers and vegetables...

white hyacinth and bulbs

Click here to purchase Framed: SOLD {8″ x 8″ (20.3 x 20.3 cm) – oil on canvas panel} {14″ x 14″ (35.6 x 35.6 cm) with frame}

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Ranunculus, 8 x 8 inches

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elizabeth-floyd-blog-bountiful-observations-imageOrange Ranunculus

Ranunculus

As an artist, I try to paint seasonally… however in the winter months I find myself indulging in the luxury of purchasing the “seasonal” flowers that are available in the grocery stores :) and lately, Whole Foods has had the most beguiling bunches of ranunculus.

A favorite flower of mine, and to my chagrin, I keep killing them off each growing season…

So this year I am going to try planting them again {keep your fingers crossed for me} but until then, I will indulge in purchasing them and painting them.

Orange Ranunculus

SOLD Framed {8″ x 8″ (20.3 x 20.3 cm) – oil on canvas panel} {14″ x 14″ (35.6 x 35.6 cm) with frame}

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Apple Slices, 8 x 8 inches

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elizabeth-floyd-blog-bountiful-observations-imageApple Slices and Some Blue and White Ware

Apple Slices

This is the first painting of 2014. I stole away into my studio for half the day on New Year's Day... it was a great way to start the year :)

With this painting, I wanted to explore color and pattern, impressionistic and loose brushstrokes, and a bird’s eye view. My main goal for 2014 is to pursue ideas more, to push my boundaries and play with different techniques.

So it only seemed fitting that the first painting of the year would be a physical manifestation of my 2014 resolution.

Apple Slices and Some Blue and White Ware

SOLD

{8″ x 8″ (20.3 x 20.3 cm) – oil on canvas panel} {14″ x 14″ (35.6 x 35.6 cm) with frame}

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Three Turnips, 8 x 8 inches

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elizabeth-floyd-blog-bountiful-observations-image Still Life with Turnips and Linen Dishcloth

Still Life with Turnips and Linen Dishcloth

Sometimes an idea captures my imagination that just will not let go… and in those instances, I am determined to make it work, even if I have to start over several times. With this painting, I scraped down at least five times before I finally settled on the composition of these three turnips.

The goal was to capture the fall of light across the linen dishcloth and how the highlights on the turnips were almost pearlescent.

Naomi and I had purchased these turnips at the Old Town farmer’s market, and I wanted to present an image of rustic harmony and calm.

Still Life with Turnips and Dishcloth - framed

Available for Sale at the Principle Gallery $550 Framed {8″ x 8″ (20.3 x 20.3 cm) – oil on canvas panel} {14″ x 14″ (35.6 x 35.6 cm) with frame}

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October Rose, 8 x 8 inches

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elizabeth-floyd-blog-bountiful-observations-image October Rose

October Rose

Living a creative life is about finding inspiration in all things and finding joy in gathering them up and incorporating them into the daily routine. At least, this is what I think it is all about…

This painting of random gatherings that were available at the end of October is a physical manifestation of what I mean. Individually all these items, the rose, the crab apples, and the curling leaves, will catch the eye, though when placed together this is when they begin to illustrate the wonder and variety found in the autumn season.

What has your attention this autumn?

Persimmons - framed

Framed: SOLD {8″ x 8″ (20.3 x 20.3 cm) – oil on canvas panel} {14″ x 14″ (35.6 x 35.6 cm) with frame}

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This piece is included in the December Small Works Show at the Principle Gallery here in Old Town Alexandria. Opening Reception is on Saturday, December 7th, from 1-4 pm.

Still Life with Garlic, Tomato, and Redware Pitcher, 8 x 8 inches

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elizabeth-floyd-blog-bountiful-observations-image Still Life with Garlic, Tomato, and Redware Pitcher

Still Life with Garlic, Tomato, and Redware Pitcher

Sometimes I am at a loss for words on how to introduce a painting, and this is one... I have been pondering how to best share how it came into being, however all I can say is that September was a wonderful and inspiring month. My tomatoes continued to produce and then in the middle of the month S., Naomi and I spent the day at Mount Vernon's Fall Market Day with some good friends. While there I came across a pottery booth of traditional American Redware and fell in love with this pitcher. Inspired by the beautiful luster of the glaze I brought the pitcher home and this painting resulted.

Sometimes the creative process is all about flow and expression.

Persimmons - framed

SOLD {8″ x 8″ (20.3 x 20.3 cm) – oil on canvas panel} {14″ x 14″ (35.6 x 35.6 cm) with frame}

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Autumn Marigolds, 8 x 8 inches

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elizabeth-floyd-blog-bountiful-observations-image Autumn Marigolds

Autumn Marigolds

One of the things I now love about living in Northern Virginia is that I get to experience four distinct seasons, and now that we are at the end of summer I get to enjoy all the flowers that are at their best in late summer, early autumn.

Last year I planted several marigolds from seed in a part of my garden. They thrived. And this summer I have been rewarded with five thriving volunteer marigold plants, where three of them have grown to monsterous size. A gift of nature that I love.

Persimmons - framed

{8″ x 8″ (20.3 x 20.3 cm) – oil on canvas panel}

Framed painting: SOLD {14″ x 14″ (35.6 x 35.6 cm) with frame}

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Garden Tomatoes, 8 x 8 inches

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elizabeth-floyd-blog-bountiful-observations-image 20130719-055 Garden-Tomatoes

Garden Tomatoes

To me, one of the biggest rewards of summer is the opportunity to grow your own tomatoes. This year I have had the benefit of a bumper crop. For a few weeks we had fresh tomatoes with every meal, even with sharing the surplus with our neighbors and the avaricious squirrels that have easily pilfered half of my crop.

What do you value most of summer?

Garden Tomatoes - framed {8″ x 8″ (20.3 x 20.3 cm) – oil on canvas panel} SOLD {14″ x 14″ (35.6 x 35.6 cm) with frame}

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Echinacea in Canning Jars, 8 x 8 inches

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Echinacea and Ball Canning Jars Echinacea in Ball Canning Jars

After reworking the previous painting and seeing how it turned out, I was inspired to investigate what I could do to improve this painting.

I had always liked the composition, but a few things needed to be tweaked. So, out came the paint, and a new version was created.

So far, I am very pleased with the results and think I may need to go through other paintings and see what I can do to improve them. This is a new phase for me, going back a reworking a painting, typically I just start 100% over.

It feels empowering and in some ways loving, in that I am not neglecting these paintings I have created, but instead I am working to make them shine…

Echinacea and Ball Canning Jars - Framed SOLD {8″ x 8″ (20.3 x 20.3 cm) – oil on canvas panel} {14″ x 14″ (35.6 x 35.6 cm) with frame}

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Roses and Wild Blackberries, 8 x 8 inches

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Roses and Wild Blackberries Roses with Wild Blackberries

The more I work as an artist, the more I learn that creating art is an iterative process than something that springs into being complete and whole… or at least, this is my growing experience…

This is definitely the case with this painting, I thought I had completed it last summer. However there were times when viewing it that I had a nagging feeling that something was missing, and I could never put my finger on it.

Then last week while taking Naomi on a walk, I passed by the wild patch of land where I had originally gathered the wild blackberries last summer and I noticed that more blackberries were ripening again. Inspired, I picked a few of the sprigs and brought them home. Once home, I realized that more blackberries were wanted in this painting… so I removed it from its frame and got to work.

I spent the better part of the morning re-working the composition to include what I had gathered that morning.

What do you think?

Roses and Wild Blackberries {8″ x 8″ (20.3 x 20.3 cm) – oil on canvas panel} Click to purchase Framed painting: $550.00 + S&H {14″ x 14″ (35.6 x 35.6 cm) with frame}

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Oh Jolly Summer!, 8 x 8 inches

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Oh Jolly Summer! {Nasturtiums and Lavender} Oh Jolly Summer! {Nasturtiums and Lavender}

With summer now in full swing and the garden full of flowers, I cannot help but feel jolly. To me, there is so much to be relished when the sun is hot and the bees are buzzing from one colorful bloom to another. I just want to bask in this time of year and hold onto all the feelings of joy and exploration.

As a child, this was my favorite time of year, when I would spend hours outside.  I would go exploring, sometimes on long solitary walks, feeling the warmth of the sun on my skin after the cold of the air conditioned inside.  And if I was lucky, picking what wild flowers I could find.

Even now, summer is my favorite season, and with this painting I wanted to share all these feelings in the riot of warm colors found in these nasturtiums.

I purposely tried to stay loose, exploring expression through paint thickness and brushstrokes, focusing on the vibrancy of color and the light reflecting on the glass jar.

These were the things that drew me in and urged me to create.

Oh Jolly Summer! {Nasturtiums and Lavender} {8″ x 8″ (20.3 x 20.3 cm) – oil on canvas panel} {14″ x 14″ (35.6 x 35.6 cm) with frame} SOLD Framed painting

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My Beautiful Amaryllis

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I have a beautiful amaryllis that continues to surprise me with blooms...20130508-amaryllis-blooming

...this most recent beauty opened on Monday.

To have the bulb flower again was a surprise, because it bloomed three times last year, and I thought the bulb was pretty depleted and would need another growing season before it was recharged enough to grace our home with another beautiful flower.

Amaryllis Amaryllis

I painted one of its flowers last year, and this weekend when deciding which paintings to include in my new exhibition, I knew this one had to be part of the show. I just love this painting, for its brightness and free brushstrokes. The reds and greens are so lush in real life and it is a constant reminder of how bountiful nature is when sharing its beauty.

The painting was also framed in a new silver frame, and I really like how it has brightened the whole painting up more, before it had been in a dark frame with a gold lip, very respectful, but now there is a lightness to the way it hangs that I am really digging...

20120127-08 Amaryllis-silver-fram

{8" x 8" (20.3 x 20.3 cm) – oil on canvas panel}
Framed painting

{14" x 14" (35.6 x 35.6 cm) with frame}

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This is a painting from my Bountiful Observations series, with 25% of the net proceeds of each sale being donated to the American Horticultural Society.

RELATED POSTS:

Amaryllis, 8 x 8 inches

Morning Coffee with Lilacs, 8 x 8 inches

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Morning Coffee and Lilacs Morning Coffee with Lilacs

Good Morning,

Are you familiar with the blog, Marley and Lockyer? It’s run by a lovely Aussie who creates beautiful ceramic pieces and also shares some of the most inspiring photos of living the good life. In fact, this painting was inspired by her blog post from April 27th.

The photo of morning coffee with a French press got me thinking about how would I capture this morning ritual… with it being springtime, I imagined having my morning cuppa with a bouquet of fragrant lilacs and enjoying a peaceful moment before the day gets going.

So my friends, on this bright Monday morning, I hope your week has started off well with a zen moment and a bit of the season brought indoors.

Liz

Morning Coffee with Lilacs - Framed

{8" x 8" (20.3 x 20.3 cm) – oil on canvas panel}
{14" x 14" (35.6 x 35.6 cm) with frame}
Framed painting: $550.00 + S&H
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This is a painting from my Bountiful Observations series, and in my desire to preserve this series, I realize I need to slow down from creating a completed painting every week, so going forward, I will post one new painting on the first Monday of each month. And as with all paintings from this series, 25% of the net proceeds of each sale is donated to the American Horticultural Society.

Purple Chrysanthemums

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Purple Mums Purple Chrysanthemums in a Spice Jar

Hello,

I have been thinking about the creative process a lot lately. What inspires me to create, what informs my decisions, and how exploration is essential to making it all work out.

Do you ever feel like you know something, but if you were asked to explain it, you would be at a loss for words? This is how I am in regard to finding the words to express all I think about when I am in the middle of the creative process.

This is a big question, so I will keep noodling on it. If you have any thoughts please share them with me, as they will probably help.

With this painting, I think the creative process informed almost every decision because it was painted on a dark and gray day, so I had to consciously make several decisions to amplify color and value contrast in order to create the play of light and pattern as I wanted. A lot of the time when painting from life, this may not be the case because the quality of light is so nice… instead with this painting, I had an idea and I had to keep it in mind all the time so I would not lose it.

Purple Mums - framed

{8" x 8" (20.3 x 20.3 cm) – oil on linen panel}
{14" x 14" (35.6 x 35.6 cm) with frame}
SOLD
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This is a painting from my Bountiful Observations series, with 25% of the net proceeds of each sale being donated to the American Horticultural Society.

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P.S. The giveaway continues, so please keep commenting on any post you like… they will all be entered… subscribe to the blog and subscribe to my monthly newsletter… and share and tweet as much as you want… I will announce the winners this Friday {2/8/2013}. If you would like to include or update your blog roll with my new URL it is http://www.elizabethfloyd.com

Three Yellow Roses, 8 x 8 inches

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Three Yellow Roses

Hello,

Have you ever been inspired about something, and despite other obligations you jumped in and went for it?

This was such a painting. I had a ton of tasks waiting for my attention, but the pull of these three roses just won. And I am so happy they did because now this painting preserves the special quality of light that only shines into my studio when there is snow on the ground.

The light was so bright and vibrant, and these roses were just asking to be recorded before their time was over.

three yellow roses still-life painting Here is an in progress photo I shared via Instagram {efloydstudio}  Sometimes I get so excited about a painting that I cannot wait to share it...

{8" x 8" (20.3 x 20.3 cm) – oil on canvas panel}
{14" x 14" (35.6 x 35.6 cm) with frame}
Framed painting: $400.00 + S&H
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This is a painting from my Bountiful Observations series, with 25% of the net proceeds of each sale being donated to the American Horticultural Society.

Still Life with Tangerines and Crock, 8 x 8 inches

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Still Life with Tangerines and Crock

Every time I get behind a blank canvas, I get so excited about the coming opportunity to create something that shares my vision of beauty through my eyes. Then, when posting the resulting painting on my blog, I get excited about the opportunity to share it with you and the world at large.

Sharing and hopefully expanding on the idea that beauty if found all around us, even in the ordinary scenes that are our daily lives. Each painting is another addition to the open conversation we are having about art and beauty.

As we begin the new year and I further develop this series of chronicling seasonal changes through still-life paintings, thank you for being a part of my life. I feel fortunate that you are open to my work, how you leave a comment or send an email expressing your thoughts, and that we meet in this world, sharing a similar appreciation of life and all that makes it beautiful.

{8" x 8" (20.3 x 20.3 cm) – oil on canvas panel}
Framed painting: SOLD

{14" x 14" (35.6 x 35.6 cm) with frame}

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This is a painting from my Bountiful Observations series, with 25% of the net proceeds of each sale being donated to the American Horticultural Society.

Bountiful Observations {2012 in Review}

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This series began with the idea of recording the passing of the seasons each week. A painting to celebrate what was in bloom, details that had captured my notice, and impressions of the day.

This series began as a way to commit to painting while also learning how to juggle my new life role - mothering my daughter.

This series defined the year that was, making 2012 one of my most exciting and rewarding ones ever.

And this series is going to continue into 2013, adapted to include new sizes for new compositions. Still with the goal of celebrating the present, the simple details that make up the day and make life so interesting. I hope you will join me as I continue on.

Wishing you the best and brightest in 2013.

Liz

45 paintings were completed and presented.

The Bountiful Observations Series {end of year review}

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As we are near the end of the year, I thought it would be fun to highlight some of my favorite paintings from this series.

In a Private Collection

This composition embraces my personal philosophy on art and beauty, in that even ordinary things have the potential of being remarkable. Here are common dandelions, weeds to many people, however as flowers taken away from someone’s perfect lawn, I think they are just beautiful.

The flower was the third bloom an amaryllis bulb gave me last winter, and I viewed it as a special gift. Like an unexpected gift from a good friend. Just because.

On the day that I completed this painting it was a bright and beautiful day, sunny and clear after a week of heavy overcast. Everything came together, and I just remember feeling the energy and excitement of it and how a sense of the promise that spring was not that far off was in the air...

In a Private Collection

This was the first painting completed after two very stressful weeks as a mother caring for my daughter, Naomi. We came out of this time fine, better informed and able to adapt for her needs. When I returned to the easel, I was feeling at such peace with the world that this painting just seemed to flow out of me.

Like a symphony flows over you, with all the senses energized, but at the same time you are quiet, listening, and have a heightened sense of awareness.

In a Private Collection

The quality of light was going through the seasonal change from summer to autumn when this painting was completed, as were the plants in the garden. It was my goal with this composition to highlight these seasonal changes. I was captivated by the fleeting golden reflections on the glass, the ripening of the crab apples from green to red, and a hydrangea deepening in color due to the temperatures dropping during the nights.

I find it so amazing that there are so many subtle details that begin to announce the changing of the seasons. Often overlooked in the busy-ness of the day, however when a moment is taken to just notice, I always feel so much more refreshed and full of life.

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This series was my attempt to document the year, gathering flowers, plants, and observed impressions of the seasons and distilling these thoughts into the creative process of art making. I was inspired to embark on a project that would improve my sense of observation while also keeping me accountable to paint on a weekly basis while adjusting to the new demands of being a mother.

It was such a rewarding process, that I have decided to continue working on this series into the next year. Adapting the format some to account for another layer of exploration. So where this year every painting of the series was 8 x 8 inches square, in 2013 I am going to allow a bit more freedom of size. I am thinking to work within the sizes: 8" x 8", 8” x 10”, 10” x 12”, and 12” x 12”, varying the format depending on what type of composition I am inspired to capture.

Having another year to explore the impressions of how bountiful the seasons are will hopefully enable the opportunities to incorporate some of the blooms and details that went out of season before I had a chance to paint them this year.  I am particularly looking forward to the spring time!

As this series continues, please signup to receive email updates so you do not miss a new painting.

Thanks for visiting and reading,

Liz

December's Bounty

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December’s Bounty

{8" x 8" (20.3 x 20.3 cm) – oil on canvas panel}
SOLD

Sometimes a painting just comes together.

Last week I focused on another painting for this series, but my heart was not in it, and it did not express the feelings I have for this festive month. I wanted to create a painting that did, so I thought a bit about it, what I wanted to include that would distinguish and celebrate all that is available during the month of December.

When I found a potted hellebore at Whole Foods, I brought it home knowing it had to become part of the painting I wanted to create. Hellebore also goes by the name, Christmas rose, so it seemed perfect to include in the painting I had been building in my mind. I am drawn to the delicate structure of these flowers, and wanted to emphasize how luminous the petals are, even on a gray, low-light day in December. Thus the painting is darker in key than usual to emphasize the white petals.

Everything else just fell into place, the holly had been gathered earlier in the week and during the winter months I always have pomegranates around.  So after several days of thinking of a painting, one just seemed to come together.

I hope you have a wonderful Monday and enjoy this festive season.

Liz

{14" x 14" (35.6 x 35.6 cm) with frame}
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This is a painting from my Bountiful Observations series, with 25% of the net proceeds of each sale being donated to the American Horticultural Society.