Sunday, March 29, 2009

Bird study and thinking simply

Bluebird (family Musicapidae) on a coffee cup
Bird Study #1
acrylic on canvas
8 x 8 inches
Sometimes I get all tangled up in the deeper meaning
of life. What is it? But why do that? I have been
thinking about my big painting and wanting to
put birds in it. I don't know how, or why -- but
I think it connects to Earth Hour, and Earth Day
coming up in April. The main thing is -- if I
want to do it, I can. I'm the painter.

I used to drive to art class sometimes saying to
myself over and over "I am Monet. I am Monet,"
or "I am van Gogh," (maybe not) or "I am Mary Cassatt."
What did I mean? I meant that I am every bit
as much an artist as Monet. I wanted myself
to take that in, absorb it, allow it. I don't mean I'm
great, I mean that the painter's life is the painter's
life. Of course I can never be anyone but me, and
that's the point. If I want birds what's stopping me?

What? Well I don't know how to draw or paint
birds. That's the first thing. But before I've
painted it, I don't know how to paint anything!
Hello! Ahhh. Long sigh. I am always taking that
inner naysayer by the hand kindly and leading her
to reference of one sort and another. Today it
was birds. I thought why not try a small study
of a bird I like. Okay. So I like the Bluebird.
So here it is.

By the way. I've partially solved the marking and
painting dilemma. Turns out I can do both, by
keeping the marking close by, and marking every
time I'm waiting for something to dry -- which is
about every five - ten minutes. Perfect. Oh boy.
give me more weekends, more sleep and I'll be
such a problem solver!!!!

Here's a great site if you want to read van Gogh's

Have a let-the-Bluebird-of-happiness-sing-for-you day.


Anonymous said...

That is a gorgeous bird Barbara! I am Monet too! I am Monet too!

Barbara Muir said...

Hi Flora,

You are! And Flora -- who is every bit as fantastic and innovative with paint as Monet was.



julie davis said...

Oh Barbara, I love the bird! I think you have an instant knack for them. I loved your words "I am Van Gogh, Monet..." whoever! I needed to hear them. I am learning to BE a painter--still so new to it, and it's frustrating. I have to remind myself that it's the process I love, but here your result is lovely!

Barbara Muir said...

Hi Julie,

I think we all have the same dilemma.
You are a wonderful painter, and there's no magic formula for that. Your work says it all. Plus if you're
painting -- and let's face it few people in the whole population are as
obsessed with painting as we are, you
are Monet, van Gogh, Cassatt, or whoever you want to be. Best of all--you!

I love your work,


Laurel Daniel said...

Amen to this... you can do whatever you want. By the way, you are Monet, you are Van Gogh, and you are the bluebird of happiness. XOXO

Barbara Muir said...

Hi Laurel,

You are Monet and van Gogh too!
Only different and wonderfully unique.
You're the bluebird of happiness for
me too. Every time I see your work I feel just delighted. It's so magnificent. Works every time.


Anonymous said...

Julie Davis........are you kidding? Your paintings are beautiful!! They have inspired me to try oil paints!
I have a long way to go!
Your recent Paris series is beautiful too.

Barbara, you have such wonderful painting friends!!

Liza Hirst said...

Imagining you in your car saying "I am Monet" made me smile - you are so unique and at the same time I can relate to everything you say! I think I know exactly what you mean - trying to actually feel like a real painter, right?
I have been painting on and off for more than twenty years now but hardly dared to say I was a painter, yet an artist! And I rarely felt like one either. It is only since recently, after two years of doing nothing else but painting every day that I now FEEL like being a painter. Now I know I am just as much a painter as Monet was! By the way, your bird painting is lovely - you don't even seem having to practice, Barbara!

Barbara Muir said...

Hi Flora,

Yes I certainly do. And you are a wonderful painter, and a friend.


Barbara Muir said...

Hi Liza,

I do so have to practice, but you are sweet. I feel like a painter now too. This year meeting artists like you on the blog network has taught me so much, that I feel ideas from other painters helping me when I start painting. It's wonderful. So we're all Monet, van Gogh, Cassatt, Hirst, Muir. I mean articles have been written about you.

Plus you make me laugh, which is huge!


eldon said...

Dear Monet, I absolutely love this little painting. I'm probably way too late in asking but are you offering it for sale? Let me know please.

Barbara Muir said...

Dear Eldon (Corot, Monet)

Yes it is for sale. Most of my paintings are.

Take care,


Portrait Artist

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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!