Monday, December 28, 2009

Draw Everything

Dreaming of Florence charcoal on bond 18 x 24 inches Barbara Muir © 2009
I'm writing this on my husband's old laptop in the studio, which is almost the same as being in the computer store in Florence on Borgo La Croce street. I'll have to figure out how to move the computer and its chords over to my table, but for now... I've been thinking about the first "real" young artist I ever knew -- a boy I dated for one summer in university. I was, I thought, deeply in love with that boy. He was tall, dark and handsome, which turned out to be my type. In retrospect I think I was really in love with his productivity but didn't recognize my affliction at the time. That boy was an obsessive sketcher. He drew everything, drew every day, drew all day, when he wasn't painting. At the time, I'd abandoned art college, and had dreams of being a writer. I took art courses in university only because I thought I could get my degree faster because I would get credits from the art college I attended before university. Plus I was an art snob at university. I'm embarrassed to think of it now, and I understand how frustrating it must have been to teach a little idiot like me, but I felt that art schools had a much better programs than my university, so I refused to do the projects the way the professor wanted them done. I hated painting abstracts. Back then I knew I was a portrait painter. It took me a good decade in painting to rediscover my original direction. But the boy --he certainly had it together. He barely had time to have a girlfriend at all, because he was so busy drawing and painting. Visiting his parents' house I saw that his bedroom cupboard was filled with sketchbooks from floor to ceiling. I'd forgotten all about that painter until Edward B. Gordon took a couple of days off. I realized that part of my present day motivation and drive comes from seeing the work of other painters in the blog world. There are a lot of artists out there doing what my summer boyfriend was doing back when I was in university -- putting something on canvas, or paper every day and doing so with skill and grace. And one of the reigning leaders of this level of diligence for me in the past year has been Edward B. Gordon. He's painted and posted a painting for more than 1,000 days in a row. Just posting every day as I have done now for almost 700 days straight, is a huge task. But painting something every day for that post I find intensely admirable. I know exactly how intrusive the rest of life is, and I am so impressed by people who successfully juggle their commission work, gallery show preparation plus creating a daily piece of art for the blog, seven days a week. And Edward's work like many of the artists I enjoy, has been 100% magnificent. So when he stopped -- I noticed. I'm happy to see that he's back today. You should know that whenever I have time I am paying attention to your work. If there is a down side to the blog, and I don't believe there really is, it might be that the people who do enjoy your work, miss it when it doesn't appear. In my case I feel that way about everyone whose work I comment on. I want to see that work. Lately what with Italy, and Christmas I know I haven't kept up, but I can see a little window opening up, so please, all of you -- keep on painting. And as much as possible, I intend to draw everything. Have a drawing-what-you-see day.


Laurel Daniel said...

Great reminder - never stop!!! We need each other for encouragement to do just that! And BTW, you are so in that category of constant creativity!!! XOXO

Barbara Muir said...

Hi Laurel,

And you are big time in the category of constant creativity. And excellence. My husband says he's purposely not commenting on my religious frescoes. Meaning today's entry. Which is not religious, I just don't know how to do the lettering I want to put in the halo. It would say. "Prom".

XOXOXO Barbara

Mitzi Easley said...

Well, I was going to comment that I share your feelings about Jeb Bartlett and all things West Wing but that was before I read this post. I'm going to get my brushes right this minute. You could have been an excellent writer, Barbara. Instead, you're an excellent painter. How lucky you are to be so talented and how fortunate we are to be watching. Thanks!! and Happy New Year! "Next."

Portrait Artist

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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!