Monday, August 25, 2008

After the dance

When an artist friend asked me if I'd stop the dance series,
I thought about it and said no. I love the look of people dressed up.
In fact for a jeansian kind of person, I'm fond of the look of
anything dressed up, (People, houses, -- take Versailles
for instance, cities). Lately I've been dancing around the
Internet looking at so many wonderful paintings, that it's
mind blowing. But what beautiful dressed up, ready for the
big party of life, and of vision paintings I've seen -- landscapes
that are delicious, still life that just sings, portraits that
go way beyond getting the image down. I've seen exciting
use of colour, point of view, technique -- stunning stuff.
So I'm including a little after the dance painting from a
few years ago. These girls look worn out, the way I
feel when I've spent too long whirling around the
dance floor of the art universe on line.

After the Dance
acrylic on canvas
16" x 20"
The painting is pretty loose, so I was amazed that not
only did it sell when I exhibited it, but I had one of
the strangest experiences of my career. A client
asked if I could do a second one. This, ladies and
gentlemen, feels like a trap when you hear the question.

Luckily I did the original painting from a photograph
I took of my models relaxing. My first Before The Dance
painting was 6' x 4' and you can see it in my first blog
in February '08. I spent quite a while on it, and
got to know the girls (daughters of my friends) well.
But the the little painting was just for fun, and I knew I couldn't
make an identical painting. So I agreed to do
another painting of the same image, on the
clear understanding that it wouldn't be the same.

I've since seen many series by reputable artists
clearly done from the same reference, so I don't
know what I was worried about.

Speaking of dancing, today my friend
Suzanne and I decided to play hooky and
we caught an afternoon showing of Mamma
Mia. The movie was panned ferociously by
Toronto critics, but it was so much fun and
the setting -- a little Greek island -- was
absolutely breathtaking. Meryl Streep is
fantastic -- and the colour and humour were
just what an artist, who's been shut in for
7 weeks needs. And the dancing was
incredibly joyous. The whole movie was both funny
and silly, beautiful and over the top. We
loved it.

Have a fun-with-friends day.


Theresa Rankin said...

Barbara..I find your joy for life both contagious and also in sync with my sensibilities!! I am not surprised that the painting sold...Congrats...and keep dancing!

Barbara Muir said...

Thanks Theresa,
I feel exactly the same about your
ideas. I like your extremely positive


Anonymous said...

Barbara, You've done quite a dance across that canvas. But then that's what you do. Really nice piece of work.

Anonymous said...

soooo why did this person want you to make another one? Did you? Did you take a pic of it?

It really portrays the feeling of those girls...whew...

Congratulations on selling such a fine piece.


Barbara Muir said...

Thanks Eldon,

I appreciate your approval. Big time.
Thanks for being so supportive.


Barbara Muir said...

Hi Judi,

Thanks for your comment. You know the big portrait because it's
hanging at Seneca. I had tons of
photo reference of the girls for that picture, and they'd been posing for me a few times a week for a month. I did this painting from photo reference and the next painting differently from similar reference.

If I needed the girls they'd whip up
the pose again, even for ten minutes. But the rest of the painting was completely out of my head, because I wanted it to look like they were at a real dance.


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:
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!