Monday, November 24, 2008

Painting happiness

The catch -- if there is one -- to painting happiness,
is that the painting stays happy, perhaps for hundreds
of years after the happy day, event, moment, couple
are just a memory. Not only that, the painting holds
the memory more potently than most photographs,
even though it isn't a photographic record.

Reading together

This painting of some friends of mine,
done back in my watercolour days is testament to
that phenomenon. Sometime after this painting
was made, the couple, who I think were happy when
I did this work, split up. Does that matter now? My
friend, the woman, doesn't understand why I keep,
and even like the painting -- but do you? I love this painting,
not because of the unhappy breakup that happened
a couple of years after this lovely moment, but because
it conveys what I'm always trying to capture --
joy, happiness -- the part of the human condition
that works.

As a watercolour I like its imperfections. As a painting
I absolutely love the mood. I can't begin to compare
myself with songwriters like Paul Simon, but some
of his songs are about relationships that are now
over. The songs can be loving, happy, moving and
stand alone. I hope the painting does too.

I wanted to share it with you, because it makes me
happy. Just that. Nothing more. I'm not a political
painter -- just an image maker.

Have a loving-your-own-work day.


Anonymous said...

hi Barbara,

It takes great courage to pursue joy and happiness in our work. I greatly admire the depth of your passion for and pursuit of joyous gratitude.

Yesterday when thinking about the colors one might choose for ground and your choices. It has given me an entirely different outlook on ground.

I am not there in writing and visual work (perhaps as it is so personal and relatively private), but in music it is joy that is at the root of my work as conductor. Even while staying true to the composer's intent, it is 'joie de vivre' that drives my efforts.

My teaching studio is rich in buttery yellow and something close to medium cadmium yellow. It was an instinctual choice that came from wanting my students to feel safe and comfy.

hmmm... probably writing too much....

take good care,

Barbara Muir said...

Hi Mic,

You probably can't write too much.
I thoroughly enjoy your comments. Yes it does take courage to pursue joy. But at the same time, joy gives us courage.

Take care,


claud-hop said...

Hey Barbara,

I'm glad you still have the painting, it IS a very beautiful one, and I agree that it captures the moment and the emotions of the moment really well.


Barbara Muir said...

Hi Claudia sweetie,
I kind of hoped you wouldn't
check me out on this one. What can
I say, as you know the blog needs
images. And I do love this painting.
But I also don't like upsetting the
people involved.

Thanks for your kind comment,


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!