Debra Coleman, Blues Musician, 20" x 16", oil on canvas
I finished this painting today just in time to enter into the Gamblin Torrit Grey Competition (at least, I hope it went through okay!) Instead of dumping leftover materials into the ground, every year Gamblin recycles the pigments gathered in their air filtration system which is used to protect workers from pigment dust. The recycled pigments are used to create a grey paint, which they call Torrit Grey. They offer the tubes for free during the spring and artists are encouraged to create a painting using black, white and Torrit grey oil paints. One of my "step mates" at the YMCA step aerobics class I attend, Jim Mills, is a talented photographer of blues and jazz musicians. He kindly gave me one of his photos of Debra Coleman to interpret in paint. As usual, I mistakenly thought I had a lot of time to work on it and didn't realize until a few days ago that the deadline was today. Working in tones is always a great learning experience and I came to appreciate the warm undertones of this year's Torrit Grey paint. I understand that every year the dominant tones are somewhat different, depending on the makeup of the recycled pigments. I also developed a sort of bond with Debra while working on her portrait and can't wait to hear her play the guitar. It sounds like just the kind of music I'd like.