Saturday, October 18, 2008

A sense of wonder

I stayed late at school last night -- the last day before Reading Week
so a student could finish a paper. Luckily another prof doing a
Ph.D. in comparative mysticism visited me, and we had a great
conversation about religion, and belief, and Bill Maher's movie
Religilous. We talked about why people need religion, and I said
that even if people aren't religious, they can feel a sense of wonder
and awe at the magnificence of the natural world.

For an artist I think this sense of awe comes easily, unbidden.
In fact apparently our brains are wired differently -- so we
get into what this fellow was describing as a "trance" state just
by opening our eyes. This is a bit dangerous in traffic, but
it also means we see the whole picture -- a big part of safe

Detail of a portrait of my friend Josephine.
I've painted her many times,
and she's a superb model

The human face makes me feel that sense of spiritual connection
to all things. That's why I'm a portrait artist. Most parents
feel deeply moved looking at their child's newborn face,
and for portrait artists that feeling spreads out to include
most faces at every stage of life.

One beautiful baby

Have a appreciating-your-sense-of-wonder day.


Unknown said...

Yes, I see beauty all the time in simple things others miss. Many times my friends have had to come back to find me while I was just staring at something as simple as a shadow.
That's a beautiful portrait.

Anonymous said...

hello again Barbara,

Indeed, I am most fortunate to live in these beautiful hills.

Your blog and your work is so inspiring and uplifting—in a deep way, not some shallow fashion. Every once in awhile I stumble across a blog that is truly worth reading. Yours falls into that category. As deborah ross stated, "beautiful portrait.

mic harper

jilly ballantyne said...

thanks for dropping by on my blog and for your kind comment! I love the colour palette you use, great portraits too
jilly in france

Liza Hirst said...

Beautiful portrait! She looks sooo nice and warmhearted. I like what you wrote very much, especially this sentence:

"even if people aren't religious, they can feel a sense of wonder
and awe at the magnificence of the natural world."

Barbara Muir said...

Hi Deborah,

Thanks for your comment. I guess that's why
artists need artist friends, because artists
"get" it.


Barbara Muir said...

Hi Mic,

Thanks so much. I'm glad you enjoy
my blog. The hills must be so
gorgeous to see every day.


Barbara Muir said...

Hi Jilly,

Your colour palette is great too. Thanks for
the compliment.


Barbara Muir said...

Hi Liza,

I guess it's pretty clear where I stand. That would
be the pivotal sentence that you picked out. On this
side of the Atlantic there's a lot of brouhaha about
"religion" right now. It seems excessive when all it
takes to be moved is light on a table, fireplace,
couch. Your work for instance is very inspiring.


Theresa Rankin said...

Exceptional work, Barbara!!!

Barbara Muir said...

Thanks Theresa,

Welcome back.


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!