Saturday, April 18, 2009

The closer the better

I was just looking at an artist (Angie Renfro's) site and I love her paintings of
birds. But her birds are seen the way we do see them
-- strung across streets on telephone wires, and at a distance.

What's your perspective on life? I can never get close
enough. Many of my figures have their heads cut off
because no matter how large the canvas is, I can't seem
to fit the whole person on. Some of my favorite portraits
of the past year are just heads on large canvasses.

But today we followed the grey highway for five hours
down to Windsor, Ontario right across from Detroit, Michigan,
to pick up our son from university. The sun came out
and it was very warm.

I love the vast vistas of flat farmland as you get
close to Windsor. The land stretches way off to the
horizon and bright green bands of new crops colour
the scenery. Trees wear a new spring green, and the
sky was a soft blue, with wispy clouds.

Drawing on a Starbuck's napkin

I did my drawing today on a napkin -- the only
thing I could find to draw on for a minute in
the car, while an extremely patient father in the
vehicle in front of us tried to pack all of his daughter's
accumulated possessions of the school year into
one small van. Eventually he succeeded.

Then we spent five hours driving back with our
happy son in tow. A delicious detour to a super
restaurant in Port Stanley topped off the day.

I can't wait to paint tomorrow.

Have an enjoying-both-the-close-up-and-the-distant-view day


Edgar said...

I've also always had tendency to draw things up close and larger than life... it's a real challenge to make myself do landscapes, which always come off as puny, next to the real thing.

Congrats on bringing the rugger home.

Karen Bruson said...

Barbara, What a great sketch!

Barbara Muir said...

Hi Edgar,

I suppose for a portrait artist the goal is to capture the person's essence. Without the face you really know nothing. With landscape to get the same feeling distance helps -- plus it relieves the soul to see wide vistas. You're lucky to live near some great ones.

Take care,


Barbara Muir said...

Hi Karen,

Thanks -- I wish I'd had more time, but we were packing our own kid up and then we were off.


Laurel Daniel said...

So great your son is home!! Enjoy that! XOXO

Barbara Muir said...

Hi Laurel,

Thanks so much. It is just super to have him home.


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!