Monday, November 14, 2011

Fragrant Plumeria

Last spring, I was fortunate to see the work of Joseph Raffael in person.  There was an exhibit at Soka University and it was truly amazing.  His work is beautiful on his website but can't be appreciated fully until you see it in person.  His paintings are HUGE and very intricate.  I could have stayed at the show for days and not tired of looking and finding new things.

I decided to try to paint like him.   I started this right after seeing the show but it then I ignored it until last week.  Most of his paintings have these incredible borders that look like confetti.  The way he paints them (I think) is to put the confetti colors on first and then paint around them.  He had blooms in the background color of the border that I didn't want so I did my background color first, leaving white areas that I could fill in with color and then I used plastic wrap to get more texture.

My intention for the flowers and background was to NOT care about blooms and be very loose and messy.  Well, I started out that way but it was really stressful for me so other than one bloom in the background (which drove me crazy) and the type of border I did, this is nothing like Joseph's work.  I had good intentions.  Maybe if I'd had a glass of wine first it would have turned out differently.  Also, I think the flowers I picked really didn't lend themselves to the broken, textural color that he does so well.

The border on this was fun.  I've always used borders in my silk paintings but rarely in my watercolors although I'm not sure why that is.  I'll probably use borders in the future but I doubt if I'll do the confetti look again.  That just seems to be too much of a signature of Joseph's.

To check out Joseph Raffael's beautiful paintings, click on his name.  He also has videos on his site that are fun to watch.

Inspired by Joseph Raffael
Image size 22" x 30"


  1. I find myself wanting to see more of that gorgeous background! Reminds me of dusk or dawn in a lush garden with some errant light highlighting the flowers in front. I'm not a fan of the border, at least the confetti look. It is very well done, my friend, however. I think it distracts from the gorgeous painting!

  2. Beautiful and unique.! it almost gives you that 3-D effect. I will definitely check out Raffael's work!!

  3. This is really lovely!!! I think you did a great job on all aspects of it...the background came out great and the flower is gorgeous. I didn't know his work so I checked out the link you gave. I like yours better!

  4. Thanks Sherry. I appreciate your honesty about the border. It's really nice to get your honest opinion. I really like borders because of the graphic quality they give but as I look at this again after reading your comment, I agree that the confetti look does make it a bit distracting.

    Thank you Hilda. Let me know what you think of his paintings.

    Joan, you are so sweet. That is such a wonderful compliment. You've made my day!

  5. Okay, Nancy!! I checked out Joseph Raffael's work. He has a lot of beautiful pieces like his Spring Pond full of fish with gorgeous colors...Loved his parrot..again with wonderful background colors. However, your work is just as good....As far as the colorful borders..I think it takes away from the painting...

  6. The borders are a love em or hate em kind of thing. I agree that many times they are distracting but I also find them appealing a lot of times.

  7. Are those Magnolia blooms? They are so beautifully painted. I love the soft shading you do on your flowers, Nancy. Gorgeous!

  8. Thank you Theresa. They are plumeria blossoms but I can see how you would think they are magnolias too.


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