Friday, August 28, 2009

The myth of upside down

Summer day
acrylic on canvas
8 x 8 inches
Barbara Muir © 2009
You know the idea. You can't figure out the angle,
the details, the way things work together? Turn the
painting upside down. One problem. It has to work
right side up again, if that's what you want. I was
painting this small portrait, and I love the mood,
colour and the small reference face I'm using, but
the final image has some problems.

But hey it's Friday night, and I've been working solid on
commissions. If I fix it after I show it to you, I promise
to show you what I did. Meanwhile I like the quirky
not-quite-rightness of the face.

Have an enjoying-distorted-reality day



ah, my favorite kind of day. I love your painting and the clever title.

Barbara Muir said...

Hi Chris,

I'm glad you like my painting. Do you have a blog? I'd like to see your work too.

It turns out that every rule we were ever told is just someone trying to figure out how to do it. It works for them. We need to discover what works for us.

Take care,

Barbara said...

An interesting color combination. I like the colors.

Barbara Muir said...

Hi onpainting. Thanks. I'm so glad you like the colours.

Take care,


Gwen Bell said...

Wonderful color and emotion in this, Barbara! Love the asymmetry of her face. Gives her lots and lots of character.I know symmetry is supposed to be the ideal, but I find asymmetry to be much more interesting and appealing.

I do that upside down thing too. Isn't it funny how "what's wrong" just jumps out?

eldon warren said...

There was some artist, I don't remember his name, a sculptor I think said the beauty in a piece of art lies in the distortion. Hmmmm, don't know why that stuck but it did. I believe it to be true.

Barbara Muir said...

Hi Gwen,

Of course turning the work upside down is from Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain. But I only find it
partially helpful. Sometimes it looks great upside down, and still wrong right side up. I like the painting too, for no particular reason. Thanks for being a kind artist friend.


Barbara Muir said...

Hi Eldon,

I was thinking about some idea for a future blog about it can't just be a good painting, it has to be your painting -- meaning it has to have your eye (the artist), your mark, or there's no point in making it. Maybe that's how I can like this painting. I don't feel entirely responsible for it, but it does feel like it's mine. Thanks for your kind thoughts.

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!