Thursday, November 13, 2008

Living in a world of kindness

Some days I am lucky to be conscious of what a kind world I
inhabit. Today was one of those days. It started with and ended
with the kind gestures of everyone I met. My friends on the
blog lifted me up with their comments on the painting I'm working
on. I talked to my son in Korea on Skype and we laughed as
I drank my morning coffee. He was going to bed, as I was trying
to get into my day. If you haven't tried Skype yet, it's a miracle
if you have a camera and microphone on your computer.
You can call the people you love who are far away for free and
see them. It has meant the world to me this year with Christopher
and Megan teaching English half way across the planet.

My sweet model came and we worked on and off for three
hours. You may have trouble seeing what I was working on,
but I was blocking in more of the painting, especially the skirt.
We were both tired today, but we stayed cheery, and the
session was very good.

The Promise
36 x 48 inches
I start by filling in more of the blue
satin throw behind the model,
and define the pillows a bit more

I visited my cousin and she gave me a beautiful little table,
which just fits in the corner of my studio. So that was a treat.
She also showed me wonderful pictures of my paternal
grandparents when they were young that I had never seem before.

Because I started with an orangey
red ground, I now want to cover
most of it.
I start laying in more of the blue/mauve
underpainting that will highlight the bright
white on the skirt. For my friends who are opposed
to white, it is actually titanium white,
with cadmium yellow medium and portrait pink,
even some cadmium orange. I add touches
of light to the bodice of the dress
and the pillows.

Then after supper my friend Josephine came over to help
me with a couple of projects around the house. We took
chips of colour off the bottom of the walls in the family
room and the office to give to the best paint colour
man I know, Todd, at Maple Paints here in town.
We need to match the existing colour, because the walls
will be repainted next week, and they are red in the family
room, and yellow in the office.

Where we left off today. I am
now pushing and pulling the
darks and lights. So much
of the work is just playing
around until it feels right.
Tomorrow I'll start by checking for variety in
the width, texture, colour etc.
of the skirt folds, make some
more decisions about the background and
start on the face.

Well actually I'll do that over the next two days, because I only have
an hour with my model tomorrow. When she's here, it's all about
capturing the light. Her presence gives the work depth and
excitement that's harder to capture from a photo.

Have a loving-your-work day.


Anonymous said...

Barbara, I am so thoroughly enjoying your step-by-step progress of your beautiful painting.
I used to enjoy watching you develop your paintings in our class in Toronto and I have learned a lot by watching. It is wonderful that I can still learn from you at this distance.
And yes, thank the Internet Gods for Skype,,,,,what a wonderful tool it is to stay so in touch with our far-flung kids (and their far-flung parents).
Let's you and me Skype soon!!!
Flora xo

Theresa Rankin said...

This is really coming along and very exciting to see the different stages. I completely understand the pulling and pushing and playing around until it feels right!! I really must look into Skype it sounds ingenious...but I have no microphone!

Barbara Muir said...

Thanks so much Flora,

It's so great working with the model.
Yep. I've skyped you several times,
but our schedules seem a bit off.
I'm more of a night person, because
I'm out in the day -- and then there's
the time difference. Let's make a date!

xoxo Barbara

Barbara Muir said...

Hi Theresa,

You can buy an add on microphone, and camera. Oprah featured a cool little
one in one issue of her magazine last
year. They cost about $100 and you'd
soon make it up in free long distance.
Golly -- you and I could talk for free!! That would be something -- and
see one another!!!

Take care,

xoxo Barbara

Anonymous said...

Barbara, your step by step is way cool. Your approach is much different than mine and it's a load of fun seeing something go on a canvas in a different way. Love it.

Barbara Muir said...

Hi Eldon,

I am trying to show a step by step,
but in your case what you did made so
much sense.

I loved seeing what you did.

Take care,


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!