The Jazz Man- New Painting

Skin tones. Not skin colors. That’s what I was going for with this one.

The Jazz Man 8X10 oil on panel

Limited palette: ultramarine, alizarin, raw umber, titanium, black and letting the values of light and dark define the features.

I sketched first with vine charcoal on a tinted canvas.

I went at it with squinting eyes to let the contrasts be prominent and laid in the darks first. Then went back into it with lights and mid tones.

Squinting eliminates detail and lets the brush strokes loose.

I did some softening of the colors and features from this step to arrive at the finished one above. If kept at it, I’d have not known when to stop, short of trying for eyelashes. I wanted to capture some essence and not get hung up on details….

It’s been raining for days and after the dry dust bowl we’ve been through the entire summer, we’re now getting 10 inches of rain in 2 days.

In between curtains of falling water, I took clothes off the line and was met by this guy, who also espoused squinting ……

Our local tree frog. In a planter under the clothesline.

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37 Responses to “The Jazz Man- New Painting”

  1. Noel Luria Says:

    He is, in fact quite “deep.” It is pleasure to watch your talents grow Mom. Well done! Love you.


  2. TerryC Says:

    I agree. The depth of your work is truly remarkable, Bonnie.

    Ah yes, the darned solar clothes dryers are “out of order” for the time being. Our clothes will stay out there until the rain stops. They might start to decay if I brought them in. There’s nothing out there that I need for sitting around reading and blogging…..

  3. w1kkp Says:

    If you do this lovely portrait with eyes half closed, imagine….? A little lame non-painter humor on a rainy day? Dial direct. And, aww…to son’s pride in Mom’s growing. PS. I even loved the names of the color in limited palette. One I had never even heard of: alizarin. It sounds pharmeceutical but I’m going to look it up while squinting. Oh, I’m just silly, frazzled today. You are carrying the artist in all of us today. I hope we are not too heavy.

  4. carolking Says:

    OMG! This is such a beautiful painting. I love this face, so very expressive. I need to go on vacation, come to visit and take painting classes with you on the beach.

  5. bonnieluria Says:

    Terry- I know what you mean. My outdoor laundry basket is now being referred to as ” Mosquito Island”.
    There was a swarm around the towels……

    The economy is tanking, but the cisterns are full full full.

    Keep on the sunny side, always on the sunny side…..

  6. bonnieluria Says:

    Pat- you are never too heavy, never too light but always weigh in at just the right amount.
    You’re the bantamweight philosopher to those who read you regularly.

  7. bonnieluria Says:

    Carol- thanks- coming from you I take that to heart.

    You might prefer to paint where sand can’t get in your water bottle. Come on down.

  8. epicurienne Says:

    Oh Noel, it’s so wonderful to see that you know how wonderful your Mom is! Bonnie – the way you’ve made your painting look out at us in a positive/negative way (ref photography) is quite something.
    Thank you also for your earlier comment. I’m flailing blog-wise at the moment so it brought me a bit of faith. When I started blogging I never thought I would ever be affected so much that I couldn’t write. Blame the stupid Credit Crunch. Thank heavens I can still comment!!! Much love to you, Bonnie, and to Noel. He is a friend of Epicurienne simply because of the wonderful words he used to support you in the above comment. Lots of love and promise to have something interesting to read soon!

  9. Nava Says:

    This is so wonderfully moody! Great color scheme to express the JazzManship (yes, there IS such a word… at least there is one now), and nice touch with the white underneath his jaw line. I bet he’s now going out for a smoke.

  10. bonnieluria Says:

    Epicurienne- what part of you exactly is flailing at writing? Not evidenced here, I can tell you that. Thank you so much for your dear words.

    You’re in a tough spot- at the business end of a business sledgehammer. It sucks the lifeblood out of a person, especially one with compassion.

    Blogging is not the law boards. It’s not a test for citizenship.
    It’s fun, it’s communal, and it’s supportive.
    You’ll get your blogmuse back when it’s ready. In the meantime, have a coffee ( maybe spike it….) and read and comment. We’ll be here.

  11. bonnieluria Says:

    Nava- aha! so I got the hazy moodiness! So glad you saw it come through, right down to the second hand smoke.

    I’ve been experimenting with limited palettes and they force you to look at value of light and dark rather than color matching.

    Thanks for checking here regularly. I really appreciate your comments.

  12. Marian Fortunati Says:

    Oh my!

    I don’t know why this left me so….. wordless…. since I’m always awed by your work, but this…… WOW!

  13. S. Le Says:

    Very nice picture. Oh, and the painting isn’t bad either! (ha! cheap joke)

    Actually the painting is another beautiful example of your talent. I admire your painting skills. I always wanted to be an artist. (and writer)

    Love frogs. We have tree frogs here in our woods. We never see them but their voices are v loud!

  14. nathaliewithanh Says:

    Very beautiful, Bonnie. I like the slight tilt of the head and the light variation. Still crazy about your charcoal sketches!

    I also really enjoy when you post the photograph which inspired you – why no photo this time? I’m always awed by these interpretations of reality.

    Do you ever paint big canvases?

  15. bonnieluria Says:

    Marian- I hit the WOW factor?
    WOW right back. Thank you so much. This was really the first up close portrait I’ve done and it really requires a long series of observations.
    I seem to be drawn to people and faces.

  16. bonnieluria Says:

    S. Le- you already ARE a writer. You author a blog.
    Now all you have to do is grab a pencil and paper, and you’re an artist.
    I love your ever changing headings on your blog.
    That’s the art part.

  17. bonnieluria Says:

    Nathalie, Thank you, thank you.
    I didn’t post the photo-after I finished him, I noticed differences in the distance between eyes and nose, and angles of the face.
    So I thought I’d let him represent himself, rather than his photo.

    The biggest I’ve done is 20X24. I seem to like the more manageable sizes like this and smaller. I can paint more canvases this way and get my painting muscles toned.

  18. planetross Says:

    Another great painting!
    Just curious, but what will be the fate of this painting: hung-up, sold, leaned up against a wall, or ??? ? I always wonder where paintings go.

  19. bonnieluria Says:

    planetross ( you know, I always want to call you Plane Tross but that’s not a name, is it?), the paintings stay in my house/studio while I amass a decent size body of work.
    Since our season doesn’t really occur until after the New Year, any venue for showing them wouldn’t be available until then.

    So I get to view them in my house, until I arrange a gallery showing.

    Take a look at an older post where I sold one from this very blog!

    Thanks for leaving a comment.
    I’m getting the vicarious Japan tour via Nathalies’ visit- what fun.

  20. Theresa Rankin Says:

    Hi Bonnie! I saw your comment and thought I must come visit! I am so glad I did….I love your style and subject matter…this painting with its limited palette is glorious! After looking at many of your paintings I have concluded….this gal can paint! I will be back for more of your artistic thoughts.

  21. bonnieluria Says:

    Wow Theresa- you honor me with the above comments- truly.
    Funny how our individual styles spew out without trying to be what they are.
    I learn much from seeing other peoples’ work that sings to me and may pick up a process or idea that I hadn’t thought of. Another reason for the endless benefits of blogging.

    Thank you – you’ve really kick started my day. Now I’m off to buy some Ultramarine Blue- running low.

    I’d like to add your site to my roll- it’s a visual and verbal joy.

  22. Sylvia Jenstad Says:

    Had to stop…Wow!! what an amazing painting…

  23. epicurienne Says:

    Bonnie, thanks. Working on it. Hopefully I’ll have a normal post out tomorrow.

  24. Paz Says:

    Very cool painting! Cool squinting creature, too, but I wouldn’t want to meet him when I remove my clothes off the clothingline. 🙂


  25. bonnieluria Says:

    Sylvia- thanks- and welcome .Glad it did something for you.

    Epicurienne- we like what’s NOT normal. Just do whatever makes you feel good. Thanks for checking in here.

    Paz- LOL- he’s a really harmless, albeit, noisy critter at night, after the rain.
    I loved those orange eyes.

  26. wrjones Says:

    This is the piece I meant to say I liked. This comment business is so confusing. It would be helpful if you didn’t have so many. Tell those other people to write to their mommies and leave you alone.

  27. bonnieluria Says:

    Bill- it worked! My ploy to get you to leave TWO comments.
    Up my numbers.

    I’m trying to keep up with YOU!
    Glad you liked this one too……

  28. Frank Gardner Says:

    Hi Bonnie. How did you come about that palette? just a grab bag thing? You did a great job with it.
    I really like this one.
    Too bad about all of that rain. Kind of need the stuff though.

  29. bonnieluria Says:

    Thank you for the compliment Frank.

    I was trying for a cool, smoky effect and since the canvas was toned in a warm burnt sienna, I thought all the cool colors would be ok.
    A lot of the canvas pokes through on this one and I resisted the urge to ” fill in the spaces”. So it balances it somewhat.

    Really glad you like it.

  30. Theresa Rankin Says:

    Thank you for putting me on your roll and I have added you to my bloglist Bonnie!

  31. Sharon Crute Says:

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again…amazing brushwork! Life injecting, energetic brushwork that speaks of things unspoken. If your portrait could talk, oh the stories he’d tell!


  32. bonnieluria Says:

    Theresa- I really appreciate being added to your stellar group, and I thank you.

    Sharon- you always find the most descriptive phrasings to make my day and encourage me to get back to the easel.
    Compliments from you are heartfelt.
    Thank you.

  33. wrjones Says:

    Time to get up on tiptoes of that lovely foot; reach up to that top shelf and drag down the paints for another work.

  34. Nava Says:

    I see Bill’s doing the rounds again, reprimanding all us slackers.

  35. bonnieluria Says:

    Right away Herr Bill.

    Nava- is it working?

  36. razzbuffnik Says:

    Nice to see that you’ve done a face for a change. Your last lot of paintings seemed to have the faces turned away.

  37. bonnieluria Says:

    Razzbuffnik- you’re both right and observant. I had done so many faces and portraits in the last two years. Something about the face turned away that let anyone looking at it decide for themselves what might be going on.

    But it seems I can’t stay away from them for long.
    Probably one of the reasons I’m not so drawn to landscapes. It’s people that call to me.

    I appreciate your comments.

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