Monday, January 4, 2010

Botticelli and me

Tondo of a boy
Stage three
6 x 6 inches
(Before I'm finished I'll gild the
outside red part in gold leaf,
then refine the face a bit)
Barbara Muir © 2010

My sweet son, Christopher and his girlfriend Megan
bought me a huge art book on Botticelli, and gave
it to me on our little second Christmas yesterday.
This was especially touching because when I was
in Florence, I realized I would never be able to see
all of the amazing art there is to see there in two weeks.
So when we went to the Uffizi, I knew I had to
see the Botticellis. I have loved his work since
I first studied him in art history as a girl of 13.

Stage two
I apply black around the face,
which will eventually pop out the blue
Barbara Muir © 2010

What I couldn't know without seeing them, is that
they are delicately touched with gold -- everywhere.
Botticelli could create a line of gold leaf thinner than
the thinnest pen line. I was in awe. I love his work,
the expressions on the faces, of his Madonnas,
his Venus, the beautiful women in Prima Vera.
And add to that the fact, that many of the gardens
he depicted are still that way today.

Stage one
a rough drawing from my reference
of a great boy I painted a few years
ago, and red around the edges over
an orange ground.
Barbara Muir © 2010

So tonight I am thinking about tondos -- those lovely
round paintings he did, some of which are still
framed in the original glorious carved, gilded wood.

You know I'm a sucker for gold. I'm just trying to figure
out how to use it in my work too now. But I could
use an expert teacher.

Have a life-is-truly-as-bright-as-gold day.

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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!