Friday, March 27, 2009

Painter talk

The big one,
Tonight I worked on the hair,
the skin colour, blocking in more
of the background, and her face.
The face is still rough,
and the hands and dress are barely

I was thinking as I worked on my large portrait tonight
about all of the painters whose blogs I read. Like the
teachers I had at art school, and more recent workshops
I've taken, their ideas on what is essential to art differ
greatly. I find myself agreeing with most of them.
Some think that art is a spiritual journey, deeply laden with
meaning, and some say they just want to paint.

I know artists who follow rigid rules when they paint
and like a work defined in scope from the outset, and
others like me who find their way as they
go along. Some aren't happy unless they're painting
outside, some paint strictly from photographs, and
others like to paint from life in a studio setting.

I am as happy to read about someone who thinks
divine inspiration is instilled in her paint tubes,
as I am to read advice from a man who doesn't
even believe in great art, but just loves the process
of painting. Either path can lead to high quality work.

Sharing ideas powers more ideas, and more
art -- and that's what I care about. Thanks for the


Janelle Goodwin said...

Hi Barbara, Enjoyed your post. You summed it up perfectly - how interesting it is to read other artists ideas and attitudes toward creating art. Your portrait is beautiful!

Janelle Goodwin said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
laura said...

This is fabulous--the colors are luscious and work together beautifully--I love the blue highlights in the hair. This painting is just a pleasure to look at!
(PS I was going to pass my Passion for Painting to you, but I see someone beat me to it!)

Edgar said...

Barbara— I've been offline for a few weeks (underwater at a new job, and trying to cope with night classes). So sorry I missed all these posts until now! You are prolific and amazing. Love this big work, and the challenges you are setting for yourself in it.

Thanks for the award... I'll try to live up to it, in coming weeks.

Barbara Muir said...

Hi Janelle,

Thanks so much. I'm glad you like the portrait. Yes I love reading what people say. I can take a bit in here, and a bit in there and learn and think about it.

Take care,


Barbara Muir said...

Hi Laura,

Thanks I'm glad you like the portrait son far. Also thanks for
the Passion for Painting thought.
I am really honoured that you thought of me.

Take care,


Barbara Muir said...

Hi Edgar,

Thanks for your encouragement. I hope the new job is settling in. It seems to me it takes about three months to feel normal in a new job.

I'm sure you'll live up to the award, you already have -- which is why I gave it to you.

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!