Friday, February 27, 2009

Scene stealers

Of course in a house of humans, cats and dogs are scene
stealers. But behind the scenes in the portraits I paint
are young models, frequently young women dressed up
in evening dresses, with their feet comfortably encased
in giant socks or running shoes. One extremely elegant
client came to my house for each session during a hot, hot
summer dressed in a see-through lace, formal, with puffy white
socks and sneakers on her feet. I've always wanted to
do a series of studio paintings. The models' comfortable
feet are the scene stealers I don't put in the scene. The
other day I did a little cartoon-like sketch of a model,
then painted it in watercolour, pastel, and acrylic.

When I think of all the things I was taught as a kid at
art school I know that I am gradually unlearning some
of the rules that towered above us like Gods of art. It
was a lot easier to ditch the writing rules taught in
university English than to break the "one medium at
a time" commandment. The rule of watercolour,
or pastel, or acrylic, or pen and ink was much harder
to defy. I have used pen and ink to draw for acrylic
paintings before, but I admit I have rarely before now
combined as many media.

Studio scene
marker, watercolour, acrylic and pastel
on watercolour paper,
7 x 9 inches

Skip Lawrence taught us in a class I attended years ago
that," it isn't the medium, it's the painting that matters.
Use whatever tools and techniques you need to to make
it work." But I resisted. I was fearful of being found out.
In this little sketch I had fun throwing everything on the tiny page.
The result is almost comical, but it makes me happy.

Have a trying-something-new-and-loving-it day.


julie davis said...

So much fun, Barbara! I love that you "let loose" with various mediums. Just have fun with it--that's what it's all about, isn't it?

Barbara Muir said...

Hi Julie,

Thanks so much. I love your paintings. Finding you was such a joyous discovery. Your paintings just sing with life. Great work.

Take care,


Liza Hirst said...

This is a happy painting! So much light and joy! Your paintings really express your positive attitude towards life - that's fantastic!

Barbara Muir said...

Hi Liza,

People like you help me keep a positive attitude towards life. You make me happy, and so does your art.
I'd have to say that having a model in the studio is a thrilling time for me.


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!