Thursday, October 15, 2009

The source of inspiration

acrylic on canvas
8 x 8 inches
Barbara Muir © 2009

Yesterday's couch drawing and my subsequent discovery
of Greg Nordoff's fine couch painting (see the link in
yesterday's blog to his current work), hinted at a a subconscious
wish that I fulfilled today. Sometimes the workload both
in painting and teaching can be overwhelming. I'm not
superwoman. The engine that powers me is pretty simple.
Pleasure. When I feel too rushed, or too stretched, I retreat.

So I spent the day allowing myself to relax between my
chores. I read for awhile, answered calls, wrote emails,
and read the paper. Only when I was feeling completely
refreshed did I get down to painting and planning my
workload for the next few days. Then as a stroke of
genius I decided to ask Steven to go to an early movie
with me, and we saw The Informant with Matt Damon,
a delightful film.

The little painting today is of a lovely young woman, my
friend's daughter. She is dramatic, funny, beautiful and
one of the liveliest girls I've ever met. I took to her
instantly and one day hope to do a full portrait when
she has a day or two of free time.

Japanese Anemones in the garden

I also took a quick photo of my gorgeous Japanese anemones
in the garden because the temperature is hovering around
zero Celsius, and even these brave beauties will not be able
to survive the colder temperatures we're experiencing
for long. I will be incredibly sad to see them go.

Have a taking-time-out-to-let-yourself-breathe day.


laura said...

The young woman's exuberance shows in your painting!
I like the idea of finding the "engine that drives me"! I'm going to think about that!!

Nicki said...

Hi Barbara,

This is a wonderful portrait... and she does look like she enjoys life. I like how you handle her hair and the twinkle in her eye. I also love the drawing of your couch and found that story amusing.

It is always a treat to read your blog and see your work. You have such a genuine spirit of kindness and joy that comes through in both.

Hope you are well,

Gwen Bell said...

Such a delightful portrait, no doubt, of a delightful girl!

Didn't you love "The Informant"? You know it had to be true because no one could make that stuff up. Hilarious!

Hope you have a relaxing weekend!

Melinda said...

Oh, I'm so glad you had a restful day. Sounds wonderful!

I really like the way you've rendered this young lady's eyes and expression. You have such a confident way of allowing the paint to speak exactly what you and the sitter are feeling. Very well done!

Those are brilliant flowers, too. Wow, what cold you're getting. It's weird because our region will be getting hot tomorrow--about 100 degrees (37.77 Celsius)!! The heat can be just as rough as too much cold, don't you think?

Barbara Muir said...

Hi Laura,

I'm glad you can see it. Just looking at her picture made me happy. I've done a couple of paintings of her from one day of posing. Yes "that little engine".
Well I'm not kidding. I guess I'm shallow, but I just want to have fun.
I'll work like a maniac if it's fun.

Take care,


Barbara Muir said...

Hi Nicki,

I think I told you that I dreamt about your water paintings last night. I want to ask you what you do. We'll have to write. In my dream I saw a progression, like a series of snapshots. It was awesome. I just love your work.

Take care,


Barbara Muir said...

Hi Gwen,

The girl is a girl who commands a room, not intentionally, but because she is so striking, intelligent and funny. I think she's fabulous.

I did love the movie. My head is still buzzing with it.


Barbara Muir said...

Hi Melinda,

I was thinking about you today driving to school past trees in every colour of orange, red and yellow against the purest blue sky, with green grass all around, and I wondered if you'd ever seen fall. For Canadians in this part of the country it's a poignant beauty because winter follows so swiftly on its heels, but wow fall if something I wouldn't want to miss,
even when it's cold.


julie davis said...

You've captured her strength and exuberance well. I feel so much the same about what drives me--pure pleasure and the challenge of finding and conveying it.

We think we're having wonderfully cool weather in Austin, and it's 59 F right now...I suppose that's warm to you all!

Liza Hirst said...

Wow, Barbara, you really are a master in capturing people's expressions! Everything you've said about her is visible in this great portrait!! Glad you found some time to rest!

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!