Thursday, August 14, 2008

The Big Guy

Me and the Crow
Black and white photograph
8" x 10"
by William Wallace Muir

In every child's life fathers and mothers loom large --
a fact you forget sometimes when you're a parent
yourself. Doing your own work, remembering to
buy the right groceries, thinking of something to make for
dinner, solving small day-to-day problems and doling
out as much love as you can each day tends to make
parenting feel only as important as breathing.

But looking back on the huge impact your own
parents had on you shifts your perspective. My
Dad was among other things, an artist. I didn't
appreciate his paintings when I was a kid
entering art school, although I do now.
He started painting seriously about the time
that I did, but for different reasons.
I'd painted all my life. He was inspired by
a little book about painting by Winston Churchill,
his all-time hero.

After supper jokes
Black and white photgraph
8" x 10"
William Wallace Muir

My dad ended up developing a passion for painting that
stuck with him until he died. But before he was a
painter, he was an excellent photographer. I talk about his
work a lot, so today I'll show you a few of the
images I grabbed from the stacks at my
mother's place -- they're of my brother Andrew
and me as children. The spots and imperfections
have happened through damage to the pieces.
Perhaps they weren't meant to be kept. He
matted most of his favorite shots.

Playing Doctor
Black and White photograph
8" x 10"
William Wallace Muir
Have a kids-loving-parents day.


Anonymous said...

Those are BEAUTIFUL photos Barbara! How lucky you are to have them. What a nice legacy to leave behind too.
I didn't know what a pro photographer he was.
I would like to see the photo he made that inspired the painting of yours of your sister.
Thanks again for sharing this!

Theresa Rankin said...

Wonderful photos Barbara....joyful and full of life...what a treasure you have here. Thank you for your post...and you write wonderfully!

Barbara Muir said...

Thanks Flora,

I do feel lucky. As my brother
points out, these moments (aside
from the Crow) were manufactured
by my father. But that is art
after all.


Barbara Muir said...

Thanks Theresa.

I really appreciate your thoughts.


Anonymous said...

"When in doubt, paint". Indeed.
Sounds, too, as though you are feeling much the same as I am about this rain. Wouldn't it be nice to be able to pick and choose our rainy days? said...

Wow. What an incredible documentation of childhood you have there. The photos are beautiful, and the image of you and the crow is a *painting*!! If you haven't already done it, grab your brushes for that one. Wow.

Barbara Muir said...

Hi Eldon,

Yes I do wish we could choose our
rainy days. It's rained almost every day for the whole summer. Totally unheard of for Toronto. In fact I've been glad about it, because we didn't get the scalding heat and smog that usually sends us speeding towards Nova Scotia and the cool, fresh ocean breezes. But a flooded basement, that's not okay.


Barbara Muir said...

Thanks Belinda,

My brother and I are thinking of
opening a blog for my Dad's work.

This is a rough and tiny sample.
He was really good.


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!