Culled

Hellebore, 7 x 5 inches

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Hellebore by Elizabeth Floyd, 7 x 5 inches, oil on linen panel

Hellebore

This study was completed on a sunny afternoon, stolen time from my other duties and now a permanent reminder of the beauty to be found in winter flowers like Hellebore.

...................................................................... Framed Painting {7" x 5" – oil on linen} ......................................................................

Paperwhites and Bottles, 16 x 12 inches

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Paperwhites with Bottles

Paperwhites and Bottles

This winter I was given some paperwhite bulbs from my sister. It was an appreciated gift that kept on giving through the gray months of January and February.

...................................................................... Framed Painting: $1250 Available for Sale, Principle Gallery, Alexandria, VA {16" x 12″ – oil on linen}

Feather and Pewter Cup, 10 x 8 inches

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Feather and Pewter Cup

Feather and Pewter Cup

This painting is a dramatic example of taking two simple objects, a feather and a new pewter cup, and making them sparkle. By enhancing their characteristics with dramatic lighting and deep, rich colors, I was able to speak more about their potential.

One of the qualities I love about being an artist is that I can sometimes embrace a more dramatic expression, taking a step away from my norm {painting in natural light} and celebrate light, color, and form with the help of an incandescent light bulb.

...................................................................... Framed Painting: SOLD {10" x 8″ – oil on canvas panel}

20140928-055 feather and pewter cup - framed

Still Life with Creamer and Grapes, 10 x 8 inches

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Still Life with Creamer and Grapes

Still Life with Creamer and Grapes

It was a few years ago when I realized what vision of life I try to share when I paint still lifes. At that time, I was trying to find the one unifying feature that defined what I was doing with my art, and use this information to better inform myself so I could improve my process.

What I learned from this mental exercise is that I am drawn to the subtle nuances of beauty, and that I enjoy how when I slow down to admire a simple object, I feel more complete and at peace with my present. So for me when I paint a still life, I am trying to share this same feeling and sense of calm.

And nothing is more rewarding to me than being able to take a common object, such as this earthenware creamer, and make it sparkle in its own distinct way.

......................................................................

Framed Painting: SOLD {10" x 8″ – oil on canvas panel}

20140927-054 creamer and grapes - framed

Sunflowers, 10 x 12 inches

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Sunflowers Sunflowers

This is a painting I completed during the summer. It started out a demonstration during one of the classes I taught, and when the class was over I decided to keep on working on it.

In this painting, I was focused on using color and paint quality to convey the idea of form. In many instances when painting, I will often use a complementary color skimmed on top of the local color of an object, using this complementary color to establish the value change and also to create a visual vibration between the complementary colors, which then makes everything pop.

...................................................................... Framed Painting: SOLD {10″ x 12″ (24.5 x 30.5 cm) – oil on linen} {16″ x 18″ (40.6 x 45.7 cm) with frame} click to purchase

Ode to Fantin Latour, 18 x 14 inches

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Ode to Fantin LatourOde to Fantin Latour

This is the second painting completed for the commission.

With this painting I selected a dark background and was inspired by the floral compositions of Henri Fantin Latour.

My goal was to highlight the blues of the hydrangeas by incorporating flowers and objects that were both complementary colors and analogous colors. So throughout the painting I included other blue, green and purple color notes that were then punctuated with the warm colors of yellow, orange, and red.

When painting this piece, I was in love with all the richness of color, texture, and light. It was such a joy to paint and explore.

...................................................................... Framed Painting: SOLD {18" x 14″ (45.7 x 35.6 cm) – oil on linen} {24" x 20″ (61 x 50.8 cm) with frame} ......................................................................

Here are some progress photos…

20140828-048 WIP1 {end of the first day}

20140828-048 WIP2 {a few days later}

20140828-048 WIP3 {end of the next day}

20140828-048 WIP4 {end of the next day}

20140828-048 WIP5 {almost finished}

20140828-048 WIP6 {finished}

Mid-Summer Hydrangeas, 14 x 18 inches

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Still Life with Cherries and Hydrangeas Mid-Summer Hydrangeas

This painting was the first composition of the commission.

And I wanted to emphasize the blue of the flowers by surrounding it with warm tones and lighter values.

This painting is also a testament to my life since I moved to the mid-Atlantic region. The background is a remnant of the sandy-hued silk taffeta my wedding dress was made up from (yes, I never get rid of fabric, I never know when that scrap or not-so-small piece will come in handy), the tablecloth may have been the first one purchased after I became enthralled with still life, the transferware bowl is a recent purchase, and the hydrangeas came from my garden.

In a way, this painting documents my life in so many little ways, even the Rainer cherries are meaningful to me, as they remind me of my high school and undergraduate years in Washington State, and going out to cherry orchards and picking buckets of Rainer cherries. YUM!

This incorporating of meaningful and beautiful objects into a composition is what makes the still-life genre so special to me. In a painting, I can present a soothing scene that may appeal to many people, while also sharing pieces of my life.

...................................................................... Framed Painting: SOLD {14″ x 18″ (35.6 x 45.7 cm) – oil on linen} {20″ x 24″ (50.8 x 61 cm) with frame} ......................................................................

Here are some work-in-progress photos of this painting.

20140716-045-cherries-and-hydrangeas1 WIP1

{the first pass - maybe at the end of the 2nd day... }

I had to work fast to capture the flowers in their peak.  As a whole I do not work from photograph, so it is important to get the flowers down first and leave the parts that will not age with time to later times.

20140716-045-cherries-and-hydrangeas1 WIP2

{a few days later}

See how the upper hydrangeas had already wilted, losing some of their volume and shape. Time is very important when working with flowers...

20140716-045-cherries-and-hydrangeas1 WIP3

{almost finished}

20140716-045-cherries-and-hydrangeas1 WIP4{finished}

 

Heirloom Tomato #10, 8 x 8 inches

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Heirloom Tomato #10

 Heirloom Tomato #10

This is another view of an heirloom tomato from my garden.

When painting tomatoes I am always drawn in by the geometric shapes of the stems and how the color of the flesh is not a uniform red. To me, painting a dark local value object, like a red tomato, can be a fun experiment in trying to express a three dimensional form convincingly.  I cannot go too light in color or else I will end up with a pink tomato, or if I hold too much to the dark red of the flesh, my red tomato will look particularly flat.

Its a fine line between each value shift, and when painting tomatoes, it is important to really pay attention to those subtle shifts in value. So when painting, I slow down and really try to pay attention to what is in front of me, which in turn really makes me appreciate the moment.

Persimmons - 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}

Heirloom Tomato #9, 8 x 8 inches

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Heirloom Tomato #9

 Heirloom Tomato #9

Every year I anticipate the end of summer and the imagined glut of tomatoes I hope to receive from the garden. Alas, this year did not yield the desired amount to indulge upon. We have been lucky with a few but not the bumper crop like we have experienced in previous summers...

Have you had success this year with your tomatoes? I hope so, as there is nothing more sweet and delicious than eating fresh tomatoes.

Heirloom Tomato #9- 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}

Lilies and Cleome, 10" x 8"

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Lilies and Cleome

Lilies and Cleome

This morning our house was quite chilly, the end of the growing season is fading and I am feeling nostalgic about the summer that has just been. In these reflections, I realized this plein air painting was never shared with you. It was completed at the beginning of the summer, when my flower bed was just beginning to bloom.

...................................................................... Framed Painting: $500 {10" x 8″ – oil on canvas panel} click to purchase

Preparing for the FaceOff Event

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{14 of the 16 completed portrait oil sketches}

Preparing for the FaceOff event was a real stretch for me. I had not focused on portraiture for well over three years, so when I agreed to participate in the event, I immediately hit up friends to sit for me.

I scheduled as many 2-hour portrait sessions as I could. My goal was to cut my time down by half of the three hours allotted during the actual event, only once was I able to complete the sketch in 1-1/2 hours. However setting my practice time limit to 2 hours maximum was helpful in that I forced me to paint quickly and to always strive to be efficient with the time I had.

My first two painting sessions did not go well and were scraped down, but after that I started to fall into a good pattern. I began to remember how to paint a portrait, and when I did not have anyone to sit for me, I would still practice painting facial features and heads. Overall, the more I practiced, the more things began to fall into place.

In preparation for the event, 16 individuals posed for me, for a total of 18 2-hour portrait sessions. With each session, I would try to improve my speed and technique. And a funny thing I experienced was that it was during my 13th portrait session when I made a major breakthrough with my process. Prior to this session, I had been struggling with my desire to draft everything out and paint around my drawing and my desire to lay in the big shapes of color and value that carried the overall foundation of the facial structure. I cannot place my finger on what I specifically changed in my process, I just know that it did change and all of the sudden painting in the detailed areas became easier.

So if you are also facing a particularly challenging area in your paintings, I encourage you to keep at it, practice often, everyday if you can, and just try a bunch of different things each time until something works. Then try it again, see where you can improve upon it, and do so.

What I learned most from the preparation for this event is that practice really makes a difference, but things really began to take off when I was able to schedule several days of portrait sessions in a row. Each session became better, because I would apply what I had learned from the prior session, I would know what to look out for and how to prevent the mistakes from the day before.

I want to thank everyone who helped me during this intense period, for sitting for me, for supporting me, and for overall just being there.

Thank you!

2014 FaceOff Event at the Principle Gallery

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Hello my friends,

I want to share with you one of the art-centered activities that has been keeping me so busy summer…

On Friday, August 8th, I participated in a three-hour live portrait painting demonstration with the talented artists, Mia Bergeron and Cindy Procious. So to say I was excited and REALLY nervous, would be a BIG understatement. I mean these girls are fantastic at their craft!

In anticipation of last Friday night, I prepared like a maniac… practicing alla prima portraits on anybody who would volunteer. (more on the preparation process to come in another blog post or two…) but just know I put in a lot of time to make sure I did not fall flat on my face, and in public :)

Here is a photo at about 1-1/2 to 2 hours into the three-hour pose.

20140808 FaceOff-1 web

We were so lucky to have the dashing Franco Landini to model for us. He was just magnificent to paint, so much color and life to capture.

And here is my completed oil portrait at the end of the night.

20140808 FaceOff-Franco-3 web

At the end of the night, I felt very good about what was accomplished. All the preparation had paid off and I really think I was able to express what I wanted in the amount of time we had to work in (three hours). Again, I feel so honored to have been a part of this event and really love how it pushed me to go back and revisit figurative work.

Here is a time-lapse movie of my portrait.

Backyard Idyll, 8 x 10 inches

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Backyard Idyll

Backyard Idyll

"Living a creative life"

Shortly after Naomi was born, I came up with this phrase as a way to center my life and help me feel more comfortable about all the new responsibilities I had and how they sometimes would take me away from the studio for extended periods of time. This phrase became my mantra, my inspiration to bring creativity into any activity I happened to be focused on.

By trying to incorporate a creative outlook on everything I did, I was also able to begin to see the beauty in the different facets of my life. To find pleasure and to identify the remarkable in the simple things that populate the daily routine.

As it is summer, Naomi and I have been spending copious hours outside and now that she is older and is better able to entertain herself some, it has been a natural evolution for me to bring out my easel and supplies to paint while she is playing.

This painting was completed on a breezy afternoon while Naomi played in a slip-n-slide nearby. The dappled light of our shaded backyard and the fun she was having turned our backyard into an idyllic place.

...................................................................... Framed Painting: $500 {8″ x 10″ – oil on canvas panel} Click here to purchase ......................................................................

PS. My Painting in the Garden Class starts next weekend, if you are in the area, I would love to have you join in :)

Set for Four, 16 x 20 inches

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Set for Four Set for Four

One of my favorite things to do is to plan an alfresco dinner. To me, there is nothing more relaxing and renewing to the soul than eating a meal outside.

Last summer I began to investigate the idea of painting still lifes outdoors, which led to many block-ins but typically by the end of the painting sessions I would wipe them down. That was until I began this painting…

With this painting, it just came together. I was inspired to set the table with my great-grandmother’s chocolate set and imagined that I was recording the prelude to a relaxing afternoon in the shade… set for four.

The technique I employed for this painting is a bit different than what I use for my studio still lifes, and I love it for that reason. I had to paint with speed and react to the changing light and heat of summer. It was also freeing in that I was trying to capture the impression of that day.

...................................................................... SOLD {16" x 20″ (40.6 x 55.9 cm) – oil on linen} {22" x 26″ (55.9 x 66 cm) with frame}

Strawberry Season, 8 x 8 inches

elizabeth-floyd-blog-bountiful-observations-image Strawberry Season

 Strawberry Season

Every year I anticipate strawberry season, especially now that we have an established strawberry patch.

And for the past two seasons I had wanted to paint a still life with strawberry blossoms and strawberries, but the time frame of when the plants have both blossoms and a few ripe berries is only a few short days. And this year, I was finally able to time it perfectly.

Being an artist that strives to only paint from life, I have come to terms that sometimes I miss the season of when a flower is in best bloom. All I can do, is remember and plan to take advantage of it in the next year.

Persimmons - framed

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

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Spring Bouquet: Pink and Yellow, 20 x 16 inches

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Spring Bouquet: Pink and Yellow

Spring Bouquet: Pink and Yellow

Sometimes inspiration strikes just by the pairing of colors. The love of an idea, a hint of interest, such as enjoying the play of color and tone.

This desire to pair some pink flowers with the small, but bright yellow tete-e-tete daffodils is how this painting came into being. I purposely made the composition starkly, simple and centered, because I wanted the attention to be on the flowers.

...................................................................... {20″ x 16″ (55.9 x 40.6 cm) – oil on linen} {26″ x 22″ (66 x 55.9 cm) with frame} For inquiries please email me

September Dahlias, 24 x 18 inches

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September Dahlias

September Dahlias

Painting is my outlet for expressing my joy in living and seeing. Following creative inspiration is my way of responding to nature and the beauty I find in it.

The day I began this panting (mid-September 2013) I remember how I had been gathering flowers for a totally different composition I had in mind. I was using canning jars to gather flowers from my garden, in a sorta willy-nilly fashion, when I looked down at the arrangement of pink and purple dahlias that had naturally morphed into being.

I was struck by the simple beauty of it, with its lush flowers, and the random leaves and flower buds, so I brought the arrangement inside and began this painting. The painting just flew out of me, in a matter of days.

It was the last week of September, and I had a ton of deadlines to work towards. I should have been painting a bunch of smaller paintings for an upcoming event, however I didn’t paint the smaller paintings, which would have been the pragmatic and practical thing to do, instead… I followed my inspiration.  The one rule I always try to follow is...

... to always follow what has captured my heart.

And so far, this rule has not failed me. Because to me, being an artist is about finding expression in what stirs me, and this means following the muse, wherever she may wander and lead…

...................................................................... Framed Painting: SOLD {24″ x 18″ (61 x 45.7 cm) – oil on linen} {30″ x 24″ (76.2 x 61 cm) with frame} ......................................................................

Here are some work-in-progress photos of this painting.

I really covered a lot of territory on this painting in just a few days.  I only worked from life and in natural light. Luckily the days were still relatively long so I was able to put in some really long days... I love it when the weather gives me several days of great light, making it easy to keep my concentration and complete a painting quickly.

20131001-093 september-dahlias-WIP-1 {day 1}

20131001-093 september-dahlias-WIP-2 {day 2}

20131001-093 september-dahlias-WIP-3 {day 3}

20131001-093 september-dahlias-WIP-4 {day 4}

20131001-093 september-dahlias-WIP-5 {day 5}

20131001-093 september-dahlias-WIP-6 {day 6}

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}

elizabeth-floyd-blog-bountiful-observations-image

Bittersweet & Bottles, 6 x 4 inches

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Bittersweet & Bottles

Bittersweet and Bottles

This painting is all about the reflections and shadows cast. The cobalt blue bottle is one I purchased in England this past summer, and I just love how it reflects light... The surface is not perfect smooth like glass bottles of today, instead there are puckers and imperfections that just make the reflections more enchanting.

One day I will do a whole series on the beautiful objects I purchased on our trip to England. hmm... maybe I will start that soon...

…………………………… unframed painting: SOLD 4″ x 6″ (10.2 x 15.2 cm)

Peonies, 12 x 16 inches

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Peonies

Peonies

This painting was completed on a warm afternoon... the opposite of the snow covered afternoon we are enjoying today in Northern Virginia...

I am hoping for a fantastic spring, full of sunny days and lots of flowers. Peonies are some of my favorite flowers to paint, especially these Mrs. Euclids.

When the blossoms first unfurl, they are a soft pink, however the longer the petals are in the sun, the more the pink shifts to a creamier shade. I just love how a bouquet of peonies with blossoms all from the same plant will have a variety of color and value because of the different times the flowers opened.

Nature has the best way of creating interest in similarity. Don't you think?

...................................................................... Framed Painting: SOLD {12″ x 16″ (30.5 x 40.6 cm) – oil on linen} {18″ x 22″ (45.7 x 55.9 cm) with frame}