Friday, September 26, 2008

Funding the arts? Not a bad idea

It's incredible that in a time of such global anxiety
about the economy some members of the arts community in
Canada actually made funding the arts an election
issue this week. That's because the average full time artist in
Canada earns somewhere around $11,000 per year,
Enough said. But my point is that I'm really proud
of Canada for even raising the topic, and even more
so for making it a news item for a couple of days.

It doesn't matter whether people think the arts should
be supported (in my view artists have as much right
to government hand outs as banks do), it matters
that it was actually a topic worthy of note in an
election. The Conservatives just cut arts funding by
45 million, and the Liberals plan to increase arts
funding if they win the election. But all of the
parties were discussing the significance of the
arts in this very arty week. (Arty for all of us
artists!!!) I was interested to find out that the arts
and culture sector, added 46 billion dollars to
Canada's GDP in 2007.

Just something to mull over as you paint. Canada's
artists, and apparently there are a huge number of us,
have put art front and center in the debate while both
Wall Street and Bay Street are crumbling.

It's front and center in our house all right. I think I've
got 50 paintings to label in the morning for the show --
and that doesn't count the room upstairs almost full of paintings
I don't want to show this time.

I guess it's vain, but it made me feel really happy to see
all of my work up. I have you to thank for the increase in
my productivity. Without your input, encouragement and
belief in me, your wonderful paintings and everything I'm learning
from your work, my life as an artist would be
very different.

As it was my friends in Toronto really helped me make
the show happen. My friend Gill designed the cards I'll sell
tomorrow, and my friend Josephine bundled them into
packs of four. They are really pretty, so thank you so
much you wonderful women.

Josephine came over tonight and helped us spring into
action. She tied bundles of cards, washed dishes, helped
decide what should hang where, and was just marvelous.
Luigi kept Steven busy watching the American Presidential
Candidates' debate, while he wired all of my new work.

A woman and her cats (detail)
More in a couple of days

I promised you a peak at the finished commission. But
I didn't get the hand finished in all the busyness today.
In the middle of running around I went up to school to
teach (one and a half hours away). So I hope I finish this
painting in the morning before the folks arrive. But here
is the finished face, and I have minor adjustments on the cat.

Time to sleep so I can enjoy the day tomorrow. And I know
I will.

Have a believing-in-artists day!


Anonymous said...

Congrats on your show Barbara! I sure wish I could be there. I think you should show the cards online and the prices too...maybe some of your fans would like to buy a package. hint! hint!
What I find so shocking about the proposed arts cuts from the conservatives is that they don't acknowledge that the arts are the glue that create and reinforce identity. Long before there were factories producing shiny gadgets there were people sitting around the fire telling stories and celebrating life and sharing wisdom with each other and developing community together.
Good for you and good for all people who contribute to the arts!

Barbara Muir said...

Hi Flora,

Now you know I'm all for the shiny
gadgets (I have to get a new car),
but... I agree, clearly artists do matter.

But I like how Canadians (not to separate us from the rest of the world, but we are odd) can get hyped up about arts funding and bring it to the fore at one of the worst financial moments in
the past century. Apparently as
one of my visitors today, a designer
who created the orginal plans for
Toronto's LRT (light rapid transit)
agrees, we are as big a sector as
mining, farming, fishing -- we're big.

Here's to art and artists everywhere! And here's to blogging
for sales!!!!!


Anonymous said...

Hi Barb
I think her face is lovely...another lovely painting. I hope you had a great showing. It sounds like you had the showing at your home?
Yes I wonder whether you can show prices on blogger and have people contact you if they are interested in a piece. I know that some bloggers do do that.

Thank you for stopping at my blog. The doggie isn't mine but belongs to a good friend and her hubby in the states by Marc's. She's a labradoodle. Part poodle and part labrador retriever? must be. Her name is Katy. She is a young doggie and such a good girl.

Barbara Muir said...

Hi Judi,

It was a great show, and yes it
was in my house.

It went really well and I was delighted.

I liked the information about dogs,
because I love my dog. Another blogger said that an artist should have a studio dog, and I am blessed with a studio dog and two studio cats. I don't find that they're always helpful -- like when a cat keeps trying to lie on a portrait subject who doesn't want a cat in the picture, but I am always glad they're here.

You can show prices in blogger,
I'm going to set up a page for that sometime in the next few months.


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!