Friday, October 2, 2009

Cats and TV

TV with the cat
acrylic on canvas
8 x 8 inches
Barbara Muir © 2009
The painting tonight is a little study based on my
husband watching TV with the cat sleeping soundly
using him as a pillow. One thing I love about cats
(and I'm a cat aficionado) is their ability to relax,
and their pure delight in relaxed humans.
When you live in a house with cats, you lie down
alone for a nap and wake up with one or more
cats snuggled against you, enjoying both
your warmth and the fact that you are for once
leaving the cares of the world behind -- not working,
not thinking, not talking, not painting, not doing
anything. Cats love that.

I have a minute now before I call it a day. The cold
weather is setting in and although I find it revitalizing
in the day, at night when the winds are blowing
outside, the urge to sleep is powerful.

So... If you're in Toronto head down to the AGO to
see the show of Steichen fashion photography from
the 1930's. The large collection of Steichen prints
in striking high key black and white are just
gorgeous. I told my friend Jan Marriott the other
day that there's a direct line between Steichen and
me. Of course it's not true, but my father was an
excellent photographer who deeply admired and
tried to emulate that high key style. My mother and
father's wedding photos were taken by Yousuf Karsh,
whose black and white photography was all about
lighting. Before the Dance series features women
in formal dress, frequently vintage, and I think some
of my best paintings are of women in 30s dressed that
I bought incidentally from Jan Marriott. After I made the
connection with Jan we laughed, because of course it isn't
a direct line at all, but I added that because she loves and
sells those old and very beautiful dresses, there's a direct
line from Steichen to her too. I guess what I meant to say
is that I really enjoyed his photographs, and especially
the incredibly dramatic style, and sumptuous fabric
his images showcase.

So that's Steichen. Want some examples from me?

Poem by the Don
acrylic on canvas
36 x 48 inches (diptych)
Barbara Muir © 2008

The Poem
acrylic on canvas
24 x 48 inches
Barbara Muir © 2008

Both of these paintings depend on dresses from the 1930's
I purchased from Jan Marriott. Yay Jan. In Toronto you can
see Jan at the Brickworks Organic Farmer's Market Saturday,
and at the St. Lawrence Market on Sunday.

Have an enjoying-your-connections-to-art day.


Liza Hirst said...

That's a nice story, Barbara! Like the way you made the connection and I like the second painting with that pink dress that complements the colours of the woman's face so well. Her expression is just right while reading the poem - interested concentration. You are so good with expressions! In more than one sense actually...

Barbara Muir said...

Hi Liza,

You know I guess it reminds me of driving along a few years ago, saying over and over to myself. I am Monet. I am Monet. I just meant we all connect, whether we are the same or not, or whether the world sees that connection or not. We do. I look at the world with the same passion as Steichen, you and Monet!


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!