Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Loving loving animals

Most of the people who I love, love animals. If
they don't actually live with any (and I don't know
many who don't) they certainly tolerate the fact
that the rest of us are besotted.

My friend Mary with her poodle, Maggie

Art can be a lonely profession. When I'm painting
portraits, the subjects are the entertainment. I
do love talking to people, which makes the
business I'm in (painting them) ideal. You have
to get to know people to paint them with spirit.

But there are many days when I paint alone.
My three animals are my main companions then.
They bring me their toys, rub against me, beg
for food and games, demand and get my attention.
For anyone following a career in any of the arts
I recommend getting a pet. Cats and dogs are
probably the best because they are easy for your
clients to accept, and clearly affectionate.

One of my cats, Timbah wants to be in
every portrait. As soon as I turn on the
bright spots to light my subjects, he's up on the
armchair, lying behind their heads. I've painted
people who were wildly allergic, and then
the house is vacuumed excessively, and the
cats and dogs are banished to the basement.

Fiona hanging out in the laundry room
window today

But most of the time our animals entertain
my clients too. I love animals, and the
people who love them. I feel sorry for my
friends who weren't brought up to be
comfortable around pets, or are too allergic
to own any.

Tonight we watched our cat Fiona pounce through
a neon pink and orange Ikea cat tunnel at our big
dog Zoey. Zoey seemed to be in on the game, moving
from one end of the tunnel to the other so she could be
pounced on from both directions. Hey --
when you have a broken ankle, cast
and crutches, you take your fun where you
can get it. Our animals make every day
a pleasure.

Have a warm and fuzzy day.


Mary Sheehan Winn said...

I really enjoyed reading your blog and this post touches me the most because of the word, besotted, which I regularly use to describe the effect of our cat Wendell, upon us. We have two, but Wendell is 'the man'.
You said it well, here.

Barbara Muir said...

Hi Mary,

Thanks for your kind thoughts.
I'm glad you like the word
"besotted." I read one of your
blogs about Wendell, and it's clear
in the photo that he's a special


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!