The Elixir

– An earlier post ( Oh No, I’ve Hit A Wall ) showed this drawing which led to the progression of studies that ultimately produced the finished painting at the very bottom of this sequence. It’s acrylic in 11X14.

Thought it would be interesting to show how painting or drawing the same thing over and over again makes it familiar. It worked for Van Gogh. How many of HIS self portraits can you look at and never find it repetitive!

-My reference is a vintage photo from Guadaloupe seen here on top of the easel. ( Notice the red-eyed and eager studio assistant in the right hand background ). From the drawing, I moved again to my new favorite- cardboard, to do a value and placement study.

-The Committment- CANVAS! I found myself referring to some of the lessons of my workshop in the use of focal point and making the contrasts of light and dark more bold.

James Gurney in his spectacularly informative blog, Gurney Journey, describes “flagging the face” where you highlight the focal face with a contrasted light color behind to draw the eye in.

I used a glazing medium which allows the paint to be more malleable and layered the colors for subtle color shifts. Finished painting is here to the left.

-The Elixir is taken seriously in the Caribbean and Africa. There are references to ” Bush Tea ” here on St. Croix which includes some or all of : Lemongrass, Basil, Ginger, Mint. The applications of leaves that have been heated in oil and applied directly to afflicted parts of the body are legendary among the elders who have passed this information on.

Eden South, a local company here on St. Croix has a very extensive listing of plants and herbs with illustrations and uses for the endless varieties that grow here.

Let’s all raise a glass of our favorite elixir and toast to creativity, good health, free expression and a change in November!

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12 Responses to “The Elixir”

  1. Paulette Says:

    Hi Bonnie,
    This is great, I love the exaggerated head tilt. Getting that last drop.
    Cute assistant you have there. πŸ™‚
    I like the work you have been doing with the cardboard!

  2. Reggie Says:

    My sister has painted one of her subjects over quiet a few times because of demand. She finds each painting of the same subject more challenging as she goes along.

    See you soon!

  3. Paz Says:

    I enjoyed seeing the progression of The Elixir. Interesting you mention Bush Tea. It is the favorite tea of one of my favorite book characters — Mma. Ramotswe of THE NO. 1 LADIES DETECTIVE AGENCY. Have you read that book or the series. Highly recommended. πŸ˜‰ I raise my glass to you.


  4. bonnieluria Says:

    Reggie- Judys’ site is great and her art is just wonderful. You’re a good brother.

    Hi Paz- I’ve heard about that book series and now have to pick one or two of them up. Glad you read something familiar here.
    Thanks for the visit.

  5. wrjones Says:

    I like these drawings.

  6. Carol King Says:

    Bonnalaaaaaaaaaaaaa, As always, your paintings are beautiful and I find it fascinating how you can paint the same thing over and over. But they all look great and it’s interesting to see the progression of work.

    Can’t wait to see you in the city. xoxo

  7. Nancy Moskovitz Says:

    Gorgeous of course! You don’t lose your freshness with repetition.

    Technical question….If your glazing medium does not worsen the color shift in drying or start out cloudy, would you tell us what it is? Thanks, nancy

  8. bonnieluria Says:

    Thanks Nancy- you know I always take your comments to heart, given how you perform magic with all paints, especially acrylic.
    I’ve been using a glazing medium made by Golden called ” Acrylic Glazing Liquid “- satin finish. Have you ever tried it?
    I hope they still make it.
    It’s good for creating translucent layers and subtle color shifts after layers underneath have already dried. It also retards drying time.

    It looks a bit milky when you pour it but I haven’t noticed it affecting the application.
    The photo of the finished painting is not a good one. I’m thinking about re-shooting it and re-inserting it as it’s really much sharper and more vivid in reality.
    Glad I could give YOU any kind of tech support πŸ™‚

  9. rob ijbema Says:

    love your people portraits,so nice and loose and great coloring!

  10. bonnieluria Says:

    Rob- Thank you – really big thank you. I visited your site and was wowed by the excitement of your car paintings. You know and love your subjects and it shows.

  11. TerryC Says:

    What a great example of how every thing we experience can be viewed and expressed just a little (or a lot) differently each time we recall it! Beautifully done, Bonnie!

    I love how you have little helpers with you when you work, too! Many paws make light work πŸ™‚ !

  12. bonnieluria Says:

    Thanks Terry- I appreciate the nod.
    Usually I also have a kitty on my lap who can only find being there convenient, when I’m trying to paint.

    They are, the paws that refreshes. πŸ™‚

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