Tribute Leonard Cohen painting

Tribute Leonard Cohen by Minaz Jantz

The OLD SCHOOL Opening Art Gallery theme this year is an art tribute to our Canadian musician and songwriter, Leonard Cohen. 

Tribute to Leonard Cohen (watercolor, ink) by Minaz Jantz

Tribute to Leonard Cohen (watercolor, ink)

Tribute Leonard Cohen by Minaz Jantz

I have grown up listening to some of his tunes on the radio and knew he went off the rails to meditate with the divine for several years. I went to the internet and watched many Youtube videos and documentaries and discovered his self-effacing humor! 

Calling upon the spirit of Leonard Cohen to inspire me to create art in his honor, I wanted to create a portrait piece that harkened up to a drawing style with scratch pen nibs, dipped in ink over an underpainting wash of watercolor and incorporate a foam-core frame that is a part of the art itself. 

I painted by his head some fine powder gold dust with a clear gel medium to enhance a glowing halo effect and then added fine lines of purple oil pastel giving the surface sparkle. 

To protect the surface of the painting without glass, I learned recently a method of taking Gamblin cold wax medium and rub into the surface of the paper to protect the artwork from regular dirt damage. The complete art piece does not weigh much and is easy piece to hang on a small nail or hook. 

Drawing quickly Leonard's face I want to keep the lines more sketchy and spontaneous in appearance. I listen to his music in the background. 

He has sharp facial features that are much like his humor and yet there are softness and vulnerability in his character. His mouth area is dramatic and the philtrum which shapes a sharply lined upper lip then joins into the plump pout of the bottom lip.

Leonard's face reflects his style of writing and music very well. You get a sense of mystery, spiritual yet street smart, and a warmth in character that welcomes you to the fire.

Tribute Leonard Cohen by Minaz Jantz

Wanting to use foam-core to display and set off the artwork without using traditional framing, I built up two hidden layers to raise the artwork of the black foam core. I took some conservation brown heavy paper, cut it with ZIGZAG scissors, and stuck it down with two-way tape to finish off the edges. 

Guitar Strings for hanging art.

Foam-core layers of painting's finish.

Close-up view of guitar strings hanger

It came to mind to dig through the studio garbage with hopes to find old guitar strings discarded and it was my lucky day! I found them at the bottom and decided to reuse them in my art piece. Jim, my creative partner in crime had just restrung his guitar with new strings! I  thought it to be the perfect halo above the artwork for Leonard's head. Think he might approve!

Quote of Leonard Cohen

I enjoyed the videos & music of Leonard Cohen and also relished his wisdom that encourages us to be seeking deeper meaning in all that we breathe into life. 

'Poetry is just the evidence of life. If your life is burning well, poetry is just ash.' 
Quote by Leonard Cohen

Tribute Leonard Cohen by Minaz Jantz

Cheers to Leonard Cohen, with thanks for creating a body of written work and music to inspire all of us! 

Time for me to go burn some life and leave some ash!
Minaz Jantz

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