Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Working with animals

Okay I admit it having a cast on can make me
grumpy from time to time -- especially when the doctor
decides I need a new "tighter" cast. I prayed for the
"artistic" cast person who knew how to make a cast
comfortable to build the new one, but she was at lunch
while the deed was being done.

The fair Fiona and Me with
one of Fiona's toy mice

What's funny is that my cat insists on good behaviour.
When Steven and I had a heated debate on the merits of
various cast technicians after a long day waiting in the hospital,
Fiona -- the superhuman Siamese ran from one to the
other of us, swatting at our faces, and yowling trying to
get us to stop. When I first brought her home I didn't know
I'd adopted the Miss Manners of the feline world.

Graeme and Coco
acrylic on canvas
24" x 36"

This brings me to the subject of tonight's blog -- painting
animals. I love animals -- cats and dogs and birds, especially.
I don't see myself as an animal portrait painter, but
many people love their animals and want them
in the picture. I'm working on such a painting right
now, but it's still under wraps. The ideal set up of
course would be to have the animals come with the
client and pose them in the studio.

The painting I'm including tonight of Graeme Northcote,
required some extra planning. Coco was a three month
old puppy when we started work, and four or five months
old when we finished. She agreed to a very wriggly five
minute sitting once, and I worked from photos. But
people sit differently when they're holding an
animal -- so we used a very large stuffed toy rabbit
as a substitute.

Then Coco came back for another fast photo session
when the picture was almost finished and I had
to paint her again, she had grown so much, and her
facial expression had changed.

Suzanne and David like my painterly style. That
fact alone made the painting a delight to work

Graeme was 12 at the time, and we had great
talks over cookies during the breaks.

Have a loving-your-pets day.

No comments:

Portrait Artist

My photo
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
I paint and draw on commission and for shows. To commission a portrait, or purchase one of my paintings please contact me at: barbara.muir@sympatico.ca
A major highlight in my career? Drawing Oprah Winfrey live via Skype for her show "Where in the Skype are you? Galleries: Studio Vogue Gallery, Toronto, Canada. The Amsterdam Whitney Gallery, New York City. Gallery at the Porch Door, Kingston, Canada. Your positive comments on this blog mean the world to me. I'd love to hear from you!