Labor of Love Series

Queen Anne's Lace and Vintage Sunburst Quilt, 24 x 36 Inches

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20160823-019-queen-annes-lace

Queen Anne's Lace and Vintage Sunburst Quilt

For the past two summers I have had Queen Anne’s Lace growing in my garden and have always wanted to paint it. This year I finally came up with the idea of how I wanted to highlight and accent all of the characteristics that so mesmerize and captivate me with regard to this flower.

Queen Anne’s lace is a delicate white flower with carrot-top like leaves, everything about this flower, the stems, the flower heads and the leaves are all lace like and I wanted to make this aspect of the flower read even more so in my painting.

This painting is composed of a vintage sunburst quilt with beautiful golds and blues and reds on a creamy feedsack background. The sun patterns of the quilt repeat the flat dense umbel shape of the flower heads, while the large Provence comfit jars offset the delicate and spindly nature of the flowers. Overall the painting composition is about similarities and opposites with my love of fabric and pattern included into the mix.

...................................................................... Framed Painting Available for Sale, $7000, please email me for details {24" x 36" – oil on linen panel}

Jarrahdale Pumpkin, 20 x 16 inches

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

Jarrahdale Pumpkin

It is my belief that at the start of every work of art there is an idea or feeling in the mind of the artist, and the expression of this through form, tone, and color is the purpose of being an artist.

This autumn I was determined to include this quilt into a painting, but every still-life setup I assembled just felt off. So in a peak of frustration, I folded up the quilt and set it aside. Later, I brought this pumpkin into my studio with several turban squash, needing a place to put the pumpkin down, I set it on this quilt and then went about setting up another still-life setup with the turban squash.

Again, with the turban squash I was not feeling the connection. Disgruntled I turned away from my setup and glanced in the corner and fell in love with what I glimpsed, the jarrahdale pumpkin sitting in the middle of my strip-scrap quilt.

I finally had a composition with the emotive connection I was seeking, and I began to paint.

...................................................................... Framed Painting {20" x 16" – oil on linen} ......................................................................

RELATED POSTS:Labor of Love, a Still-life Painting Series with Quilts

Labor of Love, a Still-life Painting Series with Quilts

– This is the background story to my Labor of Love series and how it all began –

As a child, I was encouraged to explore the world with a craftsmanship mentality, focusing on activities that required attention to detail and time to nurture and develop. This worldview has stayed with me, now as a practicing artist and as a mother of a young daughter.

I have a love of working with my hands and this is the primary feature of all the various interests and hobbies I have pursued through life. When I was a young girl, my grandmother and aunt taught me all about sewing and embroidery, whereas my grandfather and I built furniture together and my mother introduced me to the joys of gardening. These early experiences have fed my love of hand-cultivated arts and have influenced my subject matter for oil paintings.

In 2010, when I was expecting the birth of my daughter, I decided to make a quilt for her. The experience was wonderful, choosing the fabrics, deciding on a pattern and then watching it slowing come together as I worked on it in the evenings. So inspired by the experience of my first completed quilt, I went on to make three more that year, one more for Naomi and one each for newborn nieces.

As the quilt-making experiences unfolded, I realized that making a quilt is more than an industrious hobby, but a physical manifestation of love, sharing your soul with another, hoping to provide comfort and warmth in the years to come.

labor of love 01 {Naomi with the quilt I made in anticipation of her birth}

In 2013, my in-laws moved out of their home of 40 years and my husband and I were given many random items as they downsized. Some of the stuff included a box of fabric scraps that had come from my husband’s great-grandmother and beyond. There was some yardage of civil-war era cotton calico, a completed quilt top of depression-era prints and plaids, and hand-pieced arcs that go into making a double wedding ring quilt pattern. Because I was bitten by the quilting bug three years before, I meticulously went through all the scraps and pieces. It soon became clear I had enough arcs to create a double wedding ring quilt. It took about two years to piece together the arcs and then hand quilt the quilt, and while I stitched, I kept thinking about how this quilt would be a beautiful still-life subject to paint.

In January 2015, I began the first painting of this new still-life series.  My goal is to explore the intersection of traditional hand-cultivated arts and representational oil painting, incorporating quilts and various items that inspire my respect of craftsmanship. The first painting of this series, Created with Love, featured the double wedding ring quilt. I added my favorite wintertime flower, an amaryllis, to the composition in reference to my other passionate interest, gardening. When I finished this initial painting, I continued to paint additional compositions incorporating other quilts, and I intend to continue this series in the future.

Labor of Love Series

(in order of completion)

2015

Created with Love Created with Love, 36 x 24 inches

Ring, Sparrow, Pheonix by Elizabeth Floyd, 24 x 36 inches, oil on linen Ring, Sparrow, Phoenix, 24 x 36 inches

Heirloom Tomatoes by Elizabeth Floyd, 16 x 20 inches, oil on linen Heirloom Tomatoes, 16 x 20 inches

20150924-020_Late-Summer-Tomatoes 36x30 Late Summer Tomatoes, 36 x 30 inches

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

2016

January by Elizabeth Floyd, 36 x 24 inches, oil on linen January, 36 x 24 inches 

20160823-019-queen-annes-lace Queen Anne’s Lace and Vintage Sunburst Quilt, 24 x 36 Inches 

Ring, Sparrow, Phoenix, 24 x 36 inches

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Ring, Sparrow, Pheonix by Elizabeth Floyd, 24 x 36 inches, oil on linen

Ring, Sparrow, Phoenix

This painting is an ode to marriage. Celebrating the fidelity of love, the industriousness required to make a marriage good and the chance for renewal and growth when part of something bigger than oneself.

...................................................................... Framed Painting {24" x 36" – oil on linen} ......................................................................

RELATED POSTS: Creative Process: Ring, Sparrow, Phoenix

Creative Process: Ring, Sparrow, Phoenix, 24 x 36 inches

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Ring, Sparrow, Pheonix by Elizabeth Floyd, 24 x 36 inches, oil on linen

Ring, Sparrow, Phoenix

Last summer this painting was inspired by many ideas I had about marriage that were floating around in my head.

I had just acquired a vintage double wedding ring quilt at an estate sale and fell in love with its faded pastel colors and pattern. When I decided to develop a composition with this quilt, I was motivated to find objects that would support thoughts of love and marriage.

Of the different objects included in the painting, three specific items that symbolize and support my ideas of what makes a marriage strong and long lasting were:

Ring, Sparrow, Pheonix by Elizabeth Floyd, 24 x 36 inches, oil on linen 1. My wedding band 2. The image of a sparrow on the Pennsylvania redware pitcher. Often a sparrow has been a symbol of industriousness, commitment, and hard work. 3. The image of a phoenix on the imari bowl. A phoenix is associated with the cycle of life, living, burning itself out only to rise from the ashes with renewed youth and vigor.

Ring, Sparrow, Pheonix by Elizabeth Floyd, 24 x 36 inches, oil on linen

Other items were included as well, flowers from my early-summer garden, draped fabric, food and drink. I gathered these items, and began to assemble a complex composition with a lot of individual pieces, where a linear rhythm would predominate over my tendency to rely on color-masses to create unity.

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Here are photos of my process:

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And here is a detail of the gaillardia flower bouquet Ring, Sparrow, Pheonix by Elizabeth Floyd, 24 x 36 inches, oil on linen

Late Summer Tomatoes, 36 x 30 inches

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20150924-020_Late-Summer-Tomatoes 36x30
20150924-020_Late-Summer-Tomatoes 36x30

Late Summer Tomatoes

In the exuberance of the growing season, late summer tomatoes harvested and still warm from the sun are one of my favorite reasons to garden.

...................................................................... Framed Painting {36" x 30" – oil on linen} ......................................................................

RELATED POSTS:Creative Process: Late Summer Tomatoes

Creative Process: Late Summer Tomatoes, 36 x 30 inches

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I am VERY wedded to my process of painting from life in natural light when I am working on a still-life painting. Sometimes this dedication to only painting from life can affect the development of a painting. This painting, “Late Summer Tomatoes” started out with sunflowers as the leading star, however a family emergency required me to stop work on the painting after the initial first week of work. This situation took me away from home for two weeks and in that time my sunflowers had bloomed out in my garden, leaving me in search of something else to incorporate into the setup from what my garden was producing when I returned to the studio.

Luckily for me, my tomatoes were especially productive and I decided to paint them again.

Here are some photos showing my painting process.

20150924-020 WIP01This image is taken from my first day of blocking in the composition.  As you can see, originally a basket full of sunflowers was going to be sitting on the green step stool.

20150924-020 WIP02 At the beginning of the second day of blocking in I realized that I needed to shift the stool down some in the painting, so began to work over the previous day's burnt umber block-in with lead white mixtures.

20150924-020 WIP03 Then I left for two weeks, and this was the chaos I returned to, with the sunflowers all bloomed out... My garden always gets overgrown and wild by the end of August.  I am painting so much that I do not have has much opportunity to keep the crazy growth in check, and I hate cutting back at this time because I want to maximize what I can paint from in September and October, and so many birds begin eating from the seed heads of the flowers I just feel guilty about cutting back the chaos until the last moment.  Sigh. How I wish there were more hours in the day during the summer...

And thank goodness my husband is patient with me and that we do not have a HOA, they would be bothering me like crazy around this time of year ;)

20150924-020 WIP04 When I got back home and into the studio, things were so crazy I did not photograph any of the earlier days.  But, you can see that I made a lot of progress on the quilt and stool along with the first block-in of the tomatoes.  To make the change easier after what I had painted in before the two week break, I laid down a middle gray value to simplify everything, it was easier to move forward without any of the previous composition still lingering.

20150924-020 WIP05 Further along with a big push focusing on the tomatoes.  The tomatoes began to ripen quickly in my studio, so I had to give them my whole attention for several days in a row.

20150924-020 WIP06 Getting closer to the finish line.... 20150924-020_Late-Summer-Tomatoes 36x30 The completed painting! Late Summer Tomatoes, 36 x 30 inches, oil on linen.

20150924-020 Late-Summer-Tomatoes detail A closeup of the tomatoes and stems.

Heirloom Tomatoes, 16 x 20 inches

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Heirloom Tomatoes by Elizabeth Floyd, 16 x 20 inches, oil on linen
Heirloom Tomatoes by Elizabeth Floyd, 16 x 20 inches, oil on linen

Heirloom Tomatoes

This summer I relocated my tomato plants and was rewarded with an over-the-top crop. Because I try to paint everything I grow (along with eating them) I choose tomato varieties that have a strong heritage of being in household gardens.

...................................................................... Framed Painting SOLD {16" x 20″ – oil on linen}

Created with Love, 36 x 24 inches

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Created with Love

This painting holds a special spot in my heart. The quilt in the painting is an effort of the heart, the arcs were from my husband's great-grandmother and I finished piecing the quilt and then went on to hand quilt it.

...................................................................... Framed Painting {36" x 24" – oil on linen} ......................................................................

RELATED POSTS: Work in Progress - Created with Love: Phase 1 Work in Progress – Created with Love: Phase 2Work in Progress - Created with Love: Final Phase