Saturday, February 28, 2009

Thanks to my father

Today was my father's birthday. He's been dead for more than
20 years but flickers of memory came in and out of my
consciousness all day, and I realized I was grateful to him
for everything, including my life. If my father were alive
we'd toast him with a glass of sherry before dinner. My
mother would make a fine dinner and all of us would sit
around the big dining room table in my mother's house
letting my father regale us with story after story.

A strict parent to little children, my father grew into the
role, and was much kinder, friendlier and a better father
with older children. I miss him plain and simple.

So what did he give me other than life? I think he had
a fine ironic sense of humour, and all of his children
love to laugh -- almost above all else. He was artistic, and
I think he loved a party -- so I get those abilities from
him. He was a social being although he spent a great
deal of time alone. He liked the casual gathering of
neighbours around his pool, or friends dropping by
for a drink at the end of a hot summer's day -- everyone
pulling up the big lawn chairs and sharing the
spectacular view.

Some of the potted tulips blooming in the
kitchen today. They're at the height
of their glory -- huge and magnificent.

He also loved flowers and taught me to put cut roses in
"the hottest water your hand can stand." He had a lovely
voice, a great laugh, and a warm cashmere covered shoulder
to cry on when times were tough. I miss him.

Christopher at work
black marker on bond paper
8 1/2 x 11 inches

Today I drew a line drawing of my son Christopher at
work. I think he's right that his lips, though generous,
are too big in this sketch. I still like it, because we were
talking on Skype, and he put the sunglasses on to be funny.

Have a loving-your-family day.


Edgar said...

You father sounds like a good person to have known. The ability to learn to be kinder and friendlier, when life's experiences too often make us less so, is a rare trait to possess. I'll raise my glass with you, Barbara.

I like the feeling that the drawing is assembled from short strokes.

You're a wonder, to draw or paint nearly every day, even if it means you're up at all hours posting on your blog.

claud-hop said...

Hey Barbara,

Happy Birthday to your father, he sounds like a real stand-up guy. Also, I like the skype drawing of Christopher, I especially like the detail of the reflection in his sunglasses. Looks awesome!


Barbara Muir said...

Hi Edgar,

He was exceptional towards the end of his life. As little kids we were terrified of him. He was a very strict disciplinarian -- but mellowed unbelievably with age -- like a good wine I guess.

Thanks for the compliments. I know you're out there, and everyone else's blogs are so impressive. I have to try and keep up. That's good for me.

I'm up at all hours anyway -- nighthawk.

Take care,


Barbara Muir said...

Hi Claudia,

Every parent is both good and bad. In the final analysis it's the love that counts. My Dad loved me, and I loved him.

Glad you like the drawing.

Love Barbara

Melinda said...

Hi Barbara,
Isn't it nice to know that your father's love and goodness live on through you? Now, we are touched by his life as we observe your art and goodness.

I love this drawing too! You've got such a nice combination of architectural elements in the background with your boy's great face, rendered with a relaxed gesture.

A tip of my cowgirl hat to you, my dear!

Barbara Muir said...

Hi Melinda,

Thanks so much. I hope the best of
my father lives on through all of his children -- two of us are artistic. The funny thing is my father was an incredibly good photographer -- could easily have been pro, and switched to mainly painting when I started art college. Now my son is a pro photographer -- so the best of my father lives on and on. Nice.

A tip of my Scottish tam to you. (Don't really have one because I look awful in hats -- and you know me. shallow.) Still tip of the metaphorical hat to you too lassie.


Liza Hirst said...

I always enjoy your writing, Barbara (besides your artwork of course!). You put thoughts into words that keep me saying "exactly! exactly!" in my mind. I can relate to them so well and I thank you very much for sharing them with us! I also lost my very beloved father decades ago and still miss him so much! Love the sketch, despite the big lips - I don't find them disturbing.

Barbara Muir said...

Hi Liza,

I'm happy with the sketch too. I'm sorry you lost your father too. Yes.I am surprised at how long you can miss a person, not in a raw aching way, but just in a "wish you were here" way.

I love drawing my sons. I am constantly amazed at how beautiful they are. I'm sure they'd think I was corny and sentimental, but it's true, and when they're away and I see them on Skype, I think "wow sweetheart you have grown into a very good looking man!" But if I say that they say, "you just think that because you're my mom!" Funny.


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!