Friday, January 29, 2010

For Africa in a Heartbeat

Reading with Heart
Step one
painting in the orange/brown ground,
sketching in the drawing in charcoal
Barbara Muir © 2010

I've told many of you that I have an exercise I started
doing that I call the "whoop" exercise. When my classes
get to know one another better we do it in class. I learned
it from a Mile Dooley tape, and it's simply about envisioning
wonderful things happening, and acting like you just
got the most amazing good news. If nothing else the
exercise makes your mind think you're having a great time,
and I can tell you that when many over the top superb
events happened in the past year, I whooped exactly as
Mike Dooley had instructed, without any prompting

Reading with Heart
Step two
Making colour decisions
laying in underpainting
Barbara Muir © 2010

But in another exercise we do we say what we would do if
we had no barriers, all the money, all the will, whatever
we needed to accomplish one great thing. I usually tell
my students that I would help solve the problem of AIDS
in Africa, and I talk to them about the time I heard
Stephen Lewis, who was the United Nations AIDS ambassador
to Africa, give a talk at Convocation Hall at the University of

Well a few weeks ago I got a call from a volunteer working
for a special art show Heartbeats for Africa, to raise money
for Stephen Lewis's charitable organization,
The Stephen Lewis Foundation. And tonight I'm
showing you the first couple of steps. I am a huge fan of
Stephen Lewis and the wonderful work he does, so I am
delighted to be able to help with my art.

I started the painting with a brownish orange ground. Then
drew a rough drawing of my image on with charcoal. Next
I began to block in both my underpainting and parts of the
painting. This is how far I'm going tonight. So there will
be more tomorrow. I've painted a smaller version of this
painting, and perhaps someday will paint it in a large
format. The model is a super young woman.

Have a feeling-good-about-contributing day.


Janie B said...

Great idea Barbara. I hope it sells for lots of $$$.

Barbara Muir said...

Thanks Janie,

I hope so too. I have no idea how this works.

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!