Friday, January 30, 2009

Into the charcoal

I am not a charcoal artist. I use it to draw on acrylic, mostly
because you can take it off when the paint is dry, and not
see the lines you didn't want to last. I like that. It's more
of a map for me, than an expression. But tonight I had
a great talk via Skype with my friend Flora in Nova Scotia
who is one of the best artists I know.
Currently she's renovating a huge (by Toronto standards)
very old, house in Bear River, and is still painting between
cleaning up and cleaning up after the renovating tasks.

Flora wanted to know what got into me? Why was I running
on yesterday about how people paint? She worried that I was saying
"why aren't you painting?," especially to her, when that was
the complete opposite of what I meant. It was a good lesson
for me. Stay positive. That's what I teach and what I believe
in. Susan Jeffers, who wrote Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway,
and recovered from cancer by being positive, says that airplanes
are off course most of the time, but when they go off they correct.
So like the pilots I try and stay on course --stay positive, and I come
back when I go off.

Flora tonight
Skype image drawing
charcoal on watercolour paper
12 x 9 inches

Here's a little sketch I did from a Capture photo I took while
I was talking to Flora on Skype. I decided to try charcoal
because I didn't have time to paint, or time to draw with
markers. So wham -- here it is. Flora is much prettier than
this, but it was my first charcoal attempt ever -- so forgive me.
At art school we used conté, not charcoal.

Have a loving-your-medium day.


Melinda said...

Thank you so much, Barbara, for the link to Susan Jeffers! I can relate to the "feel the fear and do it anyway" statement. Absolutely spot on.

Yes. You are a charcoal artist...because you are an artist!

The softness of the vine charcoal gives this portrait a satin-ie look that is beautiful.

Diane said...

First time on your blog.... love your sense of color and composition

Barbara Muir said...

Hi Melinda,

Thanks so much. I definitely feel more confident using materials I'm familiar with. I've known about Susan Jeffers for years, and was so happy to see she has a web site. You can download her book of affirmations, and they are powerful paths to happiness. I like how she closes each part of her web site,
"from my heart to yours."


I guess I'll try another charcoal study with your kind encouragement.


Barbara Muir said...

Hi Diane,

Welcome to my blog. I'm delighted that you like my work.

Thanks very much for your kind comment.

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!