Tuesday, March 10, 2009

City in the rain

Tonight's art group sketch
16 x 20 inches
acrylic on canvas
Today was one of those grey, rainy days when you
should be blue -- but I felt so happy it was
like an illness. Isn't that funny? You see this with
little kids -- an irrepressible urge to leap in the air
with glee, run in circles and dance. A curly headed, little girl in
the supermarket, about three years old was blithely
singing "Old MacDonald Had a Farm"to herself in the
mirror, while her father watched the cart she sat in.
He was oblivious to his daughter's charm, acting stressed
waiting for his wife to finish trying on a dress (the Superstore
sells everything). Someone's always telling kids to shush,
or stop it, or quit acting silly -- and eventually they grow up
and do, and sometimes they can't get back to that cheerful
spirit. But in my case I think all the dull teachers of my
public school and high school days gave me way too
much sympathy with the impulse to break out dancing,
or giggling.

My students had spring fever today. They were
joyous and funny. I guess it stuck with me.
I went to paint with my art group tonight, but
got home from school late, so had just over an
hour to make the sketch you see here.
This canvas is like Rome, although nowhere near as beautiful.
There are so many portraits layered over one another that
you could almost do an excavation. I wiped the one before
this one off tonight with rubbing alcohol in a spray bottle.
They sell it like that to spray on cuts. A huge bottle
costs $2.99, and it does a cool Francis Bacon thing to
portraits. If you're going to paint over your rubbed
off work, you need to spray it with water, and wipe off the
excess paint. I may try the strange rub off look as a
technique to show you in a future blog. The more
layers you have on a painting, the more bizarre it looks.

On the way home the gorgeous light bouncing off
the dark, wet street was evocative of Christmas, or a
summer fair at night. There was a feeling of spring
getting the irrepressible urge to giggle.

Have a letting-yourself-laugh-with-friends day.


Laurel Daniel said...

Oh I love a girl who giggles! The color in this portrait is so vibrant (painted by a giggler no doubt.) So happy. XOXO

Barbara Muir said...

Hi Laurel,

Thanks Laurel -- the colour is happy. One of my friends at the art group said some paintings could use just another half hour. I could have used another hour, but we lost it on Sunday.


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: barbara.muir@sympatico.ca
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!