Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Where was I?

Portrait of Henriette Sonne
Skype sketch
6 x 9 inches
black marker on bond paper
Barbara Muir © 2010

Dear people,

Please forgive me for halting my list mid-stride, but I'll continue now.
So much is happening every day this week, with great doings
on the art front (be patient I'll tell you), and school, and
super conversations with artist friends I met at the Biennale,
that I am behind on this crazy list.

I actually started the list of influence because of Nicki Ault,
who did something similar on her blog, and I thought what
a good idea. But the problem for me is that I could spend
weeks explaining and listing all the people who inspire me,
and I would still have it muddled.

Laura Starett is a watercolour painter whose work just
dazzles me. She frequently posts poetry along with a
gorgeous, watery, fluid, brilliant, light filled painting,
and leaves me absolutely astounded. I think she
is sailing in the Virgin Islands now, and we can expect
magnificent results.

Karen Bruson has not posted any work since the summer,
and I hope this just means that she is busy with other
work. I absolutely love her use of colour, her ability
to capture light, her abstract style. Her work is
wonderful and has definitely inspired me on many

Gwen Bell can paint anything with ease and grace.
She is wonderful with portraits, magical with glass,
and super with animals. She brings spirit and
joy to her subjects. I consider her a fine, kind
blogger friend.

R. Garriott is a wonderful painter. R.'s
paintings of flowers, kitchen arrangements,
still life sing with colour and light. R. is
a master at design, and high almost
ultra realism. R.'s work is superb. From
time to time R. posts highly instructive
pieces on various art issues.

Sheila Vaughan creates landscapes
and townscapes in lush abstraction.
I long to be able to abstract as scene
the way she does. Her colour is
subtle and true to the landscape
in Stalybridge, Cheshire, England
that she loves.

I started noticing Julie Davis's work
in the past year, and have been
blown away by her wonderful
landscapes and still life. She has
a passion for trees that shows every
time she paints them. She has been
an encouraging and inspiring blog
friend, and I'm so glad that she
is out there.

Alyson Stanfield's Art Biz Blog has been
more than helpful to me. I frequently feel
inspired to kick it up a notch after I
read her blog, and always feel that I have
so much to learn. Alyson was one of the
first people I called when I was appearing
on the Oprah Winfrey Show, and believe
me I think her consultation service is
fantastic. Beyond that I consider Alyson
to be a wonderful friend to all blogging
artists, and to me.

Nicki Ault is a relatively new blogger, who
taught me to use phthalo blue and solved a
serious problem I was having with a
commission this year. Nicki's work is
astoundingly beautiful. She can paint
water better than almost anyone I know.
Her paintings of ripples in water are
beyond wonderful, and not too surprisingly
her show featuring these paintings sold
like crazy. I am always touched when Nicki
takes the time to visit my blog.

My friend Marcia Labelle just started a
superb blog on her sculptures and
drawings. She is an absolutely over the
top wonderful artist and writer too. She's
only been blogging for month and already
people are sad if she doesn't visit them for
a couple of days.

If I forgot about you please don't think I
don't care. I guess I'll keep doing this as
the days go on from time to time. It makes
me feel so happy just to think of the people
I've met who have encouraged me, and who I
hope feel encouraged by my comments.

My drawing tonight is of a new friend,
Henriette Sonne, who I met at the Florence
Biennale. We talked on Skype today and I
drew her. I tried to draw her
using as little definition as possible. Her
hair is spectacular and not blonde, but
I did not want to get too carried away in
detail. She is a very beautiful, funny
and excellent artist. She also puts the lie
to the idea that you can "burn out" by
doing too much. Right now she is
juggling raising two infants with
projects in Norway, where she lives,
and shows in New York and London,
England. If she can, we can. Power to
the people!

Have a we-can-do-it-all day.


julie davis said...


You are supremely positive and more than kind, as I'm sure each person on these lists can attest, and a tremendous artist on top of that. Thank YOU for being out there--you are as inspiring for me as all of us are to you. Being "blog absent' for a little while thru the holidays, I hoped (but knew) that when I posted again you'd be there with encouraging words. You were, and thank you.

Barbara Muir said...

Hi Julie,

You didn't take much time off. Your work is so beautiful. Thanks for your kind compliments. I feel exactly the same way about you. I am always excited when I see one of your new posts. I love the variety of subject matter, your skill with abstraction and how seriously you
take your classes. You rock!


Alyson B. Stanfield said...

Barbara: Thank you for including me on this esteemed list. I am honored. It's such a joy working with you! I'm always available to be of help--and glad to know that I can be of help.

Nicki said...

Dear Barbara,

I am truly honoured to be among the artists on this list of yours. Many of them I have come across and I am excited to discover the ones I have not yet found. I have only been blogging for just over 4 months, but was quietly reading art blogs long before I started my own. I felt I knew you just from seeing and reading all of the supportive, kind, generous comments you left on others' blogs. Then one day you visited mine! I might have been shaking with excitement! I hope your students understand the gift they have in you as their teacher. You make all our lives brighter.

"... to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded!" - Emerson

XO Nicki

Barbara Muir said...

Hi Alyson,

I found it a joy to work with you too. I was thinking about you the other day, after reading your how to exceed expectations blog and feeling so behind. But as I also teach this stuff -- how to be organized -- I just made a list and took step one. I felt like I had you on my side, which I know I do. I feel honoured to know you, and constantly inspired and challenged. Apparently that's good for me, because wonderful things keep happening, the more I'm willing to grow and learn.


Barbara Muir said...

Hi Nicki,

My students don't ever have to know I'm a good teacher, they just have to learn how to take care of themselves. I want them to be happy, and if occasionally they feel glad that I was their teacher that is a bonus for me.

When I found your blog I felt that same excitement you describe. I found you through Edward B. Gordon, which looking at your paintings, makes perfect sense.
Many people are frightened even repelled by bold colour, so it's always a treat for me to find someone who loves colour and handles the bright stuff with skill. You and Edward are two of those people. Yes you are in the same camp!

Thanks for visiting my camp from time to time and for inspiring me.


cohen labelle said...

It’s very generous and kind of you, Barbara to include me in this ongoing list. When you look at it you realize how eclectic and pluralistic the world of art blogging is.

In a way it feels as though you’ve set up a little wine and cheese party for us on the internet. It really is a privilege to be assembled among this enterprising and talented group of artists from just about everywhere. I have admired every one of these artists for several months now.

Now I’ve known you for ages and ages and I acknowledge that one of your foremost talents is your gift for humor . You have the incredible knack of taking my melancholic gloom ridden demeanor, turning up the corners of my mouth up to my eyeballs, and dissolving me into fits of laughter with your hilarious mimicry and observations. That’s it in a nutshell – your ability to observe the human condition in a way that is both positive and truthful and uplifting – It informs your work as an artist and it informs our long, enduring friendship

love, xoxoxoxo

Barbara Muir said...

Hi Marcia,

Of course for a "funny" person, being called funny is the ultimate compliment. I started to laugh just reading your comment thinking about some recent conversations we've had that were indeed funny. Thank you. I have so enjoyed every minute of the humour we've shared. I think of you in exactly the same way, which makes me laugh even more seeing you describe me as a kind of
humour saviour of the darkest days.
The favour has been returned many times. You know I love your work, and I have had the advantage of seeing it in the flesh. And your writing is a new surprise -- incredibly good.

Love Barbara xoxoxoxoxox

Gwen Bell said...

I feel so honored to be on this list and to know that I inspire you in any way! I admire your work so much and always look forward to seeing your beautiful paintings and reading your insightful, and often funny, posts! Thanks so much for thinking of me!

Barbara Muir said...

Hi Gwen,

Holy smokes, you belong on this and every list ever. You are such an amazing painter, and great supporter.

You dazzle me.


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: barbara.muir@sympatico.ca
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!