Posts Tagged ‘Caribbean plant remedies’

The Elixir

May 29, 2008

– 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!