Plain Brown Box (es )

-I used to live on another island. Manhattan. You could buy anything, anytime. Not so, here. Much of my shopping is done via catalogue or the web which means lots of cartons come to my post office box. Our mail has to be picked up at the post office – we’re pretty far from any main road where mail delivery might be an option.

So now there’s an attic full of heavy duty cardboard boxes that I hate to throw out but also hate saving, “just in case”. Just in case what? I have to ship back something whose warrantee expired five years ago or worse, one day after the three year extended warrantee is up? Took them down from the attic ( it always feels good to purge and re-acquaint yourself with your collective accumulations ) and cut them apart to flatten them and thought they’d make good platforms for painting. I like the color of brown cardboard- kinda like the sienna tint of a canvas that was once white.

-There were gobs of assorted colors left in my Sta-Wet palette so I tried a few really quick studies, aiming for free-hand, no drawing, fast blocking in of dark mass. The way the lights jump off the brown background creates a striking contrast without having to paint in those light spots to be whiter than an already white canvas.

-These were two really fast and painless exercises. It’s good practice. I may have to shop more.

– Now I’d like to engage the encyclopedic collective of my friends and art readers to help me identify a painting. This one immediately above, with the painting in the background of the painting, is a version of one of an impressionists’ ( the best attempt to learn from the masters is to copy them ) that I did more decades ago than I’d like to confess to. ( If I had any memory left, I believe my age group would have ended with ” teen “. )

I took it from my Jansons’ History of Art Book, which I no longer have. I thought it was Cezanne and I’ve checked on-line but don’t see this turning up in any of his archives. Does anyone have an a-ha?

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23 Responses to “Plain Brown Box (es )”

  1. Noel Luria Says:

    I can have just about anything delivered anytime, EXCEPT for rainbows and sunsets. Smog eliminates the former and skyscrapers ecilpse the latter……OY.

    The paintings, they are a beautifullllllllll…….see you soon,


  2. Carol King Says:

    if those paintings on cardboard were easy and quick studies, well, um, what can I say, I’M REALLY JEALOUS!!!! Your quick easy studies are great!!!!

  3. magentaraven Says:

    Beautiful works!

  4. judylobo Says:

    I think your painting of a painting is a Renoir. Why? Because a) Renoir painted a lot of flowers b) Renoir painted lots of paintings with paintings in the background and c) HS art students LOVED Renoir and it would seem likely that you did too. Lovely.

  5. bonnieluria Says:

    Judy- you’ve given me a good start – By any chance to you still have that enormous 1000 page + tome from school days?
    I can look when I get there.

  6. bonnieluria Says:

    I found it! It’s Gauguins’ Still Life With Mandolin. I took out the mandolin and replaced it with a piece of fruit.

  7. Nancy Moskovitz Says:

    Whew Bonnie! If nobody came up with the answer by today, I was going to pull out my Jansen. Your replacing a mandolin with a piece of fruit was pretty sneaky….I’m glad you found it, because no doubt it would have slid right past me.
    I agree with Carol. Those studies are really good. You never know when you will paint a masterpiece…….and have it on cardboard!

  8. bonnieluria Says:

    Nancy- it’s good to know we have reference resources everywhere!
    I’ve been using the cardboard as a way of making my approach less agonized over. As in, ” it has to be lovely enough to sell “.

    I think about the healthy egos of chalk painters who create museum quality works and then casually abandon them while the rains wash them away.
    I’m not there yet.
    Probably never will be, but these paper studies are an exercise for me.
    Thanks for visiting again and best of success and fun on your show.

  9. Paz Says:

    That’s great you are able to use the cardboards. What an excuse to do some more shopping to get some more cardboards. 😉 I love all the paintings.


  10. bonnieluria Says:

    Thanks Paz- I’m still at it- have another one I’m getting ready to post. Think I’ll make the leap to canvas again very soon.

  11. Marian Fortunati Says:

    I just stumbled across your blogpage because you commented on Linda Blondheim’s blog.
    WOW!! What a joy to see your beautiful drawings and paintings and read about your musings and adventures! I’ll be back!

  12. bonnieluria Says:

    Thanks Marian- and may I return the compliment! I really love the freshness of your work and your explanatory process of learning- the thing that never ends as a painter or a person.

    Linda Blondheim offers’ some wonderful advice and reflections, no?

  13. Bill Sharp Says:

    Bonnie, These are great studies. I especially like the figure painting. Very fresh and loose. What a terrific way to recycle!

  14. bonnieluria Says:

    Thanks Bill- your comments mean a lot to me. Each time we pick up a brush there’s something new to discover.
    Glad you paid a visit here.

  15. Sue Says:

    Bonnie ~ as always, you are so creative and generous with your inspirations! I admire your paintings on cardboard – first, for the courage and willingness to paint studies ( I know how hard it is for me to let go of the need to paint “masterpieces” each time), second, that you’ve reached a point in your art that you can confidently and beautifully paint these wonderful expressive “studies” ( I still struggle with “taking myself too seriously”) and finally, because you are such a true spirit and talented artist. Can you hear me clapping (I’m applauding you ;>} )?

  16. Sue Says:

    Oh – and obviously, you’ve gotten past “The Wall”!

  17. bonnieluria Says:

    OH Sue! Thanks – you’re making me turn red ( cadmium ).
    I totally understand what you mean about taking each work too seriously and think that’s what happened after my shows. I thought about the ” formula ” instead of the innocence of just painting.
    ( I thought about the sidewalk chalk painters who obviously have very healthy egos and talent that is easily summoned )
    I’m still slaying the dragon who doesn’t go down so easily but this has been a good step for me.

    Compliments from you are high praise.
    Can I hold up the mirror for you to see yourself in?

  18. helenej Says:

    great art work, I feel lots of energy on your paintings!

  19. Sharon Crute Says:

    It’s like paying $30. for a handmade sheet of paper. What trepidation! The creativity suffers so much apprehension, indecisiveness…after that investment, the artwork MUST be masterful.

    But on a piece of plain corrugated cardboard, well, the easy flow of it all is naturally inspired, effortless and perfect as evidenced in your “studies”. Here’s the wellspring of your greatest work…

    I no longer have my Jansen either after many years of loaning it out to financially-challenged art students. Good riddance to it!

  20. rick mobbs Says:

    inspiring work. just what i need to get myself going.

  21. rick mobbs Says:

    p.s. i love the good riddance to the jansen!

  22. bonnieluria Says:

    Rick- thanks for visiting again and if I can inspire YOU then I’m doing better than I realized!

    I really like your image prompt theme-you garner a really diverse group of responders. Wonderful idea.

  23. Noel Luria Says:

    Your ever increasing abilities make me all the more happy……….God works through your finga tips!

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