Out of the Zone

Published November 3, 2016 by rochellewisoff

I can’t remember a time I didn’t love to draw. So much so, that my mother’s most common laments included those of never being able to find a clean sheet of paper to write on.

I’ve  always enjoyed drawing people; figure studies, hands, feet and faces. When my agent, Jeanie Loiacono, suggested posting character studies to generate interest in my novels I jumped on the idea and added portraits hoping to heighten that interest. 

Shortly after FROM SILT AND ASHES debuted, my publisher asked if I might consider putting these character studies into a coffee table companion book. Would I? After letting out a whoop and breaking into a happy dance at my computer, I calmly answered, “Oh yes!!!”

Framed Arel in Svechka

Arel Gitterman as he appears in PLEASE SAY KADDISH FOR ME © Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

Framed Havah at 16

Havah Cohen as she appears in PLEASE SAY KADDISH FOR ME © Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

While imagining and rendering my character’s faces comes easily, buildings and landscapes do not. I sweated bullets on the painting of the Richelieu Steps that lead from the harbor in Odessa Ukraine. 

FSAA Front Cover

Published by W & B Publishers Represented by Jeanie Loiacono

It occurred to me that A STONE FOR THE JOURNEY, the companion book to Havah’s trilogy needs to include scenes from the novels. Once more I’ve taken a giant leap from my comfort zone.

As with writing, painting is a process. I usually share this process with my friend Jean Hays in New Mexico who is also an artist. As my co-authors offer me suggestions and critique on my writing, Jean does the same with my artwork. Because I was quite nervous with this next piece, I texted her photos each step of the way. 

The subject,  which appears in AS ONE MUST, ONE CAN, is the Hochstrahlbrunnen fountain in Vienna.  The prospect of trying to paint water was a challenge. 


Step One – The Rough Draft


Step Two – Laying in the background










Step Three

Step Three

Step Four

Step Four










Step Five

Step Five

Step Six and Seven

Steps Six and Seven










A full day’s work later, the finished work.  

Original Artwork © Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

Original Artwork © Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

44 comments on “Out of the Zone

    • Dear StepHonie,

      Like writing…or just about anything,..there’s a process involved. Step by step, we move closer. I thought it would be fun to share it. (Unlike some of my earlier manuscripts. 😉 )

      Thank you, my friend.




  • I knew she had an artistic talent as a teen. When we were first dating, one of the evenings involved her drawing in pencil while laying on the floor of her parents house. I watched her and did a very crude rendering of her while she drew. She was good even then, and, of course, I encouraged that.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear J Hardy,

      I didn’t realize you were also an artist. For those of us who are visual it really helps to paint scenes and characters. I suppose, putting ourselves in the moment. Thanks to my agent and publisher it’s going to a new level.

      Thank you.




  • Awesome to be privy to the process Rochelle! Thank you for sharing, you are immensely talented. I can’t draw or paint. But I understand your mother’s state – while we went touring half the time was spent in hunting for a stationery shop as we had run out of drawing paper for my four year old son 🙂


  • I love seeing how you built the picture up.
    The last time I tried to draw something on paper (I was at university at the time) someone asked me (in all sincerity) why I’d kept a picture I’d drawn in infants (=”elementary” I think) school 😦

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Ali,

      To each their own gift. I write about musicians but I’m certainly not one. I admire them immensely. For me to pick up a violin and try to play it might be a travesty. Nor am I an athlete. 😉
      I’m sorry for your experience. At least you can console yourself with the fact that you’re a writer and you do that well. Thank you for taking the time to comment.



      Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Courtney,

      Most of the time I would agree about the relaxing part. This particular painting…not so much. 😉 Still I’m as passionate about drawing and painting as I am about writing. To be able to do both is such a blessing. Thank you.



      Liked by 1 person

  • So much talent Rochelle, you continually amaze me as you raise the bar yet again. I would be hard pushed to draw a straight line. It really is a pleasure to know you ♥


    • Dear Dee.

      Keeping myself on my toes. As I said, this one was a nerve wracking stretch for me. I’m pleased with the outcome though. Thank you for bringing your sweet self by. I’ve been missing you in Friday Fictioneers.



      Liked by 1 person

  • “Of course you can put up a statue to the brave Russian soldiers who liberated us!” said the Viennese, and they showed them where. As soon as the snows and frost had gone, the fountain leapt up, and wiped out the past. And who crosses Schwarzenbergplatz in winter anyway?

    Liked by 1 person

  • Dear LJCJ,

    I think it’s great the way you are branching out. The process is very interesting and may serve as a catalyst for others involved in their own projects. Books are rarely written in a vacuum and your post lets us know this in an uplifting and intimate way. You are shining a light out into the darkness and I know others will see it and be moved in ways you will never imagine. Keep at it, SD.

    Ciao, Bella,



    Liked by 1 person

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