Monday, August 18, 2008

Charming children

Celine before the dance
36" x 24"
acrylic on canvas

This painting of Céline is another example of a
painting that whipped along. At 12 Céline was an
accomplished artist herself. She was a sweet,
utterly confident little girl, and knew that we
were rushing to deadline. It had taken me
three months to paint her brother, and we
had at the most one month to finish her portrait
-- which meant with her busy schedule, after
school classes, her own drawing and painting,
homework, and family obligations -- I'd be lucky to
see her for six sessions, when I normally
need between 10 and 12, two hour sessions.

Her mother and Céline chose the dress
before we started, her brother's finished
portrait established the background, so we began.
On our second session she brought a
thick sketchbook of drawings she was
going to hand in for art. She was
so talented I was afraid she'd be
hard to please.

As it turned out she loved the painting.
We were working to the deadline of a show
opening. The idea was to surprise her father
on his birthday with these two portraits.
The paintings were his birthday gift
from his wife. I didn't meet the Dad
until the opening, although his
children had been coming to see me
all winter. All through the process --
which was arduous, his mother kept the secret
of this gift.

Rémi before the dance
36" x 24"
acrylic on canvas

Rémi broke his leg in the
middle of our time together, but gamely
put the broken leg over the chair arm as
we had posed him that way originally.

When the Dad walked up the stairs into
the gallery and saw his children's
portraits on the wall he was clearly
overwhelmed. His wife beamed at him,
and it was one of the happiest moments in
my career. As their grandparents looked on
the children and their parents hugged laughing.

Have a making-people-happy day.


Theresa Rankin said...

Wonderful painting Barbara and thank you so much for your inspiring words...I enjoy reading your uplifting page...and thank you fir the tip!! Great!!

Barbara Muir said...

Thanks Theresa. I really need to
concentrate on the positive.
Downside -- workmen are tearing out
the baseboards in our basement because it was flooded in a bad storm
Friday. Upside, I think I get my
cast off for good today.

Whatever happens, I'll keep painting.
So far stuff from the basement hasn't
invaded my studio!!!

So it's all good. Thanks for your
kind thoughts.


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!