Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Prepping with gusto

In the spotlight
Prep sketch for a big painting
black marker and watercolour on Arches Hot Press paper
8 1/2 x 11
Barbara Muir © 2009
(Sketching this young woman is
helping me study her features.
Her mouth is a bit too big here, but
on the second try the rest is becoming
more accurate.)

Part of an artist's life is prepping, whether it's prepping
for an interview with a prospective client,
prepping the studio so people can enjoy the experience
of sitting in it, prepping the kitchen stocks so you
can offer clients a cookie, and excellent coffee,
or prepping for a project by practicing drawings
of the subjects -- it all falls under the same
"getting ready" category.

Yes -- it's been that kind of day. In some ways
it's been that kind of spring and summer. A
happy thought. Always getting ready for
something new. I remember the president
on the TV show, West Wing used to say after a big event,
or a major problem was resolved "What's Next?".
At the time I loved Martin Sheen as president
almost as much as I love the real president,
Barack Obama now. And I'm with the
TV President Jed Bartlet on how we artists live our
lives -- What's Next?!

Have a prepping-for-happiness day.


Liza Hirst said...

Love the colours in this one, Barbara! And am looking forward to seeing the actual painting - this woman is beautiful. But then, you manage to paint everyone looking beautiful and yet very individual!

Barbara Muir said...

Hi Liza,

This is a woman I'm painting for a portrait of a couple. They will be standing and her face will be in the opposite direction, but her face is movie star lovely, so I wanted to get a feeling for the features first.
Thanks for your sweet encouragement.


Melinda said...

You are so wonderfully talented in any medium, Barbara, and I love this watercolor! You're really cookin'.

Excellent post, too. I get me knickers in a twist when I have to prep too much, or clean up after disaster, but I do find that I learn something new and discover things in the process.

While I love that we have President Obama to help retrieve our country from the precipice, I do miss that Jed!

That was an important lesson (ask "What's next") that successful people have learned, isn't it? We shouldn't linger too long because there is so much yet to do.

laura said...

Very glamorous! She looks like a 50s movie star ...
I find I enjoy details if I can calm myself before beginning; if I delve in with a panicked mind, it's very unhappy-making.
I try to think of my chef brothers, who look to see what has to be done, in what order, and then begin doing, calmly producing meals for hundreds!

Barbara Muir said...

Hi Melinda,

I miss that Jed too. He was well written (although so is Obama, and apparently writes a lot of his own material), handsome (check so is Obama), and had an engaging and brilliant staff (check Obama but I don't get to watch the behind-the-scenes stuff once a week!)

Yes the "What's next?" approach is useful. I think I'll try it right now, before my heart starts racing through the list. You are talented in every medium too. Which is a well known fact.


Barbara Muir said...

Hi Laura,

I guess clearing the mind and figuring out what to focus on is the first step. Sometimes when I cook I think about the chefs with that nice, neat set of ingredients at the ready, and it is easier. That is true of painting too. But the main ingredient is the desire to paint -- isn't it.

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: 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!