Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Who are you when you paint?

The serious model
18 x 24 inches
acrylic on canvas
Barbara Muir 2010

I thought of this question this morning getting ready
to go to work, and was both surprised and delighted
that an unusually deep thought had flitted through
my otherwise dependably shallow brain. In Europe
at the Florence Biennale there was a lot of talk about
meaning, and I was at pains to invent some serious
meaning to give myself depth and cred (credibility --
very in word with the younger set).

But I think in spirit I'm much more like P.K. Page,
the poet who died last week. Interviews with her
have been broadcast on our national radio station,
and she said that she couldn't think when she was
painting, only when she was writing. Her paintings
are owned by the top galleries here, and I was relieved
to hear her say that.

But back to the question. If we are all one, then I am
every artist whose work I've ever seen when I paint,
or I am just me. But when I ate my breakfast far too
early for myself this morning, my deep thought was that
I am art. I'm just art doing its job, whatever that may be.
On a good day art is pretty good, on other days
it is present and accounted for. So that's who I am.
A rep rep representative for the art of art. Who are you?

Have a loving-who-you-are day.

P.S. My group at the art club I belong to got the news
tonight that we may lose the right to use the city
building we meet in. This is devastating news to all
of us, and we couldn't stop talking. I have never drawn
a model in my whole life (with many models) who
told the artists to be quiet, or she wouldn't pose. But that
happened tonight. Very strange. So we politely obeyed,
but it was unusual. Maybe some of her imperious
moodiness came out in my painting. I tried to stick
with my original idea, pure, quiet beauty, but... I hope
I represented art well in this one.


Tammy Hext said...

This is a striking portrait. I think quiet beauty comes across and strength as well.
As for who are you when you paint and depth and credibility - wow you did have very deep thoughts today. I try not to dwell too hard on credibility - I find it freezes me with fear and then I don't get any painting done. I am trying to push on with the doing and hope the depth and cred figure themselves out somehow.

Liza Hirst said...

I like what Tammy said - in regard to the portrait as well as in regard to who we are when we paint! What you said about that, Barbara, seems true for me too - I am at the same time the art I have seen and liked, as well as being myself. Actually I think that applies to life in general...

Barbara Muir said...

Hi Tammy,

Thanks so much. Credibility is big when you are showing with artists from all over the world. They want to know why. Here we think the work tells the story, but in Europe many people I talked to wanted the story behind the work. I'm with you on the doing. Of course there always is a story, but the main one, is I went to my studio and did a painting.

Take care,


Barbara Muir said...

Hi Liza,

Life in general. I am thinking about that. Yes, we are everyone we meet, and we are just ourselves living our lives. I like that too. Maya Angelou said something like that on Facebook recently. I'll have to look it up. I love your series.


Zina Chmielowski said...

Hi Barbara,
I am really worried about the future of our club too...
I hope everything will resolve successfully...

Barbara Muir said...

Hi Zina,

I will be really sorry to losen Tuesday night, because I can't go to draw on Monday (I have an early Tuesday class). But I don't think we'll lose our club.

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: 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!