Saturday, January 31, 2009

Musical brains, and Flora's face

Tonight Steven and I watched a wonderful special,
The Musical Brain that revealed how the brain uses and
processes music. Research scientists studied the brain
of musicians, babies, and people listening to music to
draw exciting conclusions about how music influences all of us.

Neurologists did an MRI scan of Sting's brain, and discovered that
he moves easily between his left and right hemispheres,
a sign that he's a gifted musician. I have always been
crazy about Sting's music, and I really like him -- so I
enjoyed watching how willing he was to work with the
Montreal researchers. He was somewhat unnerved at
seeing the scans of his brain. He just wants to play his music,
but at the end of the show he and the neurologist jammed together.

Flora thinking,
willow charcoal on watercolour paper
12 x 9 inches

It was a good day. We played cards tonight with friends
and I came home to draw this picture of Flora's face
based on last night's Skype picture. I may have gone
too far because I was listening to Martin Scorsese's
movie Shine a Light on Mick Jagger and the Stones while I drew it.
I always tell my friends that I give out the energy
of Jagger in one of his concerts when I'm teaching,
which is why I'm tired afterwards. Then I add that
I even look like him. But after seeing bits of his
performance while I drew, I realized that I have a
way to go to command that kind of energy.

Flora has a perfect face, just lovely features, and
there's a sweetness about her that's indefinable --
a wonderful laugh, and fierce compassion for
others. She's a delight to draw.

Have a toe tapping, foot snapping, knee slapping day.


Anonymous said...

Barbara! Wow! What a gorgeous drawing! You've taken at least a decade off me. Thank you! You are just the perfect painter...
Well, in my interior view I am at lest a decade younger and am always shocked by the reality when I see a photo of myself. I'm guessing this is a universal circumstance,
So actually, you have captured my idealized self. Thank you!
Now I'm off outside to strap on the snowshoes and to walk to the edge of the field were my empty container of ashes was hurled in a windstorm last week. I save the ashes from our furnace and sprinkle them on our icey driveway......a loosing battle really with a 400 ft driveway! I thank the gods for icers now!!

Anonymous said...


ha ha

Barbara Muir said...

Hi Flora,

I don't think you have any idea how
gorgeous you are. I did my best, and
the sound of the Rolling Stones helped me late on Saturday night and early Saturday morning.

Love Barbara

SYLVIANE said...

I love very much your drawings and your paintings, too.
And I notice your models are so glad!J'ai lu que vous connaissiez le Français, I wish you to gon on in 2009! said...

This is a lovely sketch.

Barbara Muir said...

Hi Sylvanie,

Thanks very much. I am fond of happiness. One of the men I paint with in my painting group jokes that I should work for Hallmark. Oh well.
I think joy is catching, and I'd like
everyone to catch it.

Take care,


Barbara Muir said...

Hi On Painting,

I'm glad you like the sketch. Maybe when you really like the person, it
shows in the work. That's my theory.

So there's the portrait challenge.

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!