Saturday, February 20, 2010

The travelling girls are home!

Saturday Tulips
black marker on bond
9 x 11 inches
Barbara Muir © 2010

Back in November three of my paintings were
crated by a company that builds wooden crates
and packs artwork, then shipped overseas via
Milan, to get to the Florence Biennale on time
for the show to open.

When I arrived there they were miraculously
hung on the wall in exactly the right place. While
other artists struggled to restretch and hang their
work (by far a less expensive option) I stood
around and offered help and sympathy.

The show ended mid-December and my three
paintings of young women in party finery
stayed in Florence when I headed home. As
I'm new to International exhibits, and shipping
large work, I thought my paintings would be
back by early January. But I was wrong. They
got back in town last week, and then had to go
through customs clearance.

So it was a pretty big deal when Pete the shipping
guy carried the big wooden crate up and stuck it
on my back porch next to the large (and messy)
collection of tulips waiting to go in the garden as
soon as it is warm enough to plant them there.

Steven takes the screws out of the crate
so we can open it. Crates
for international shows must be
reusable. Now I'll save this one.

Today Steven, my dear husband, brought the
big crate into the kitchen, and out came the three
girls in perfect condition. I scuttled around the
studio taking down small paintings, and rearranging
everything so that they could come back. I was
absolutely thrilled to see them. The Florence Biennale
is not a sale show, and only a few artists made quiet
deals to sell their work. I've been asked before if I'm
sad when I sell my paintings. The answer is a
resounding no. But I have to admit I really, really like
the three who crossed the ocean. They feel more human now.
Will I sell them? Yes of course. But do I love
them. I do.

Opening the crate. The moment of truth.
All was well and the girls are back on
the walls safe and sound. What I don't
get is why they suddenly want
The tulips I drew a couple of days ago are now
almost over. They have grown up beyond their
big green leaves. Sadly one of our cats thinks
that tulip leaves are delicious and he's somewhat
mangled the greenery, but the remaining leaves
and blooms are too beautiful to ignore, so I
drew this drawing for you.

Have a loving-your-own-work day.

P.S. To all the artists I gave the Sunshine Award
to. Please don't feel you have to do anything at all
about it. It's the gesture that counts. You are
my friends, and my people. Stay happy.


Nicki said...

Welcome home ladies!

cohen labelle said...

My gosh, Barbara, these tulips veritably pulse and quiver with excitement. I guess it must be that ridiculously radiant line of yours!
I bet those girls have a secret or two since they’ve been away. That’s how it is with young flirtatious women but I’m absolutely positive they're glad to be back home - for the time being.

xoxoxoxo Marcia

Barbara Muir said...

Yes Nicki,

You should come next time - 2012. Imagine that! Fun - oh you want to believe it.

XO Barbara

Barbara Muir said...

Hi Marcia,

You know I think you're right. The sulky one looks sulkier, or is it more sultry, and the sunny one looks positively radiant. And the happy one is much happier. Glad you like the tulips. Imagine a big bunch coming to your door.


eldon warren said...

There are a few pieces I've parted with that I wish I hadn't. Lately I've found the best way to keep a piece that I like is to not let anyone know it exists. Then it's just my secret.

Janie B said...

I'm glad the "girls" are safe at home.

Terri Buchholz said...

I'm a new follower of your lovely blog and haven't met the ladies. Are they posted on an earlier entry?

Barbara Muir said...

Hi Eldon,

I am usually really glad to let me
work go. I know where it is, and can see it whenever I want. But I know what you mean. There is the odd thing that has to stay with me.

Take care,


Barbara Muir said...

Hi Janie,

Yes so am I. It takes great faith in the universe, to send things off and hope they'll come back.

Take care,


Barbara Muir said...

Hi Terri,

The link to the girls on the wall in Florence is in the second paragraph of this post, and then they are on my Flickr slide show -- the bottom one.

Take care,


Melinda said...

Whah-hoooo! I'm feeling some of the relief you must feel. That's one of the most beautiful crates I've ever seen and Steven, such a dear, looks equally pleased.

Yes, they are world travelers now and are even more special. Virtual kisses to each of them!

And, that crate will now be imbued with the magic of future art travels and success.

Do I see fabulous clouds from an airplane window in your future?!

Barbara Muir said...

Oh Melinda,

Fabulous clouds! Isn't that one of the best things about airplane travel.
I'd have to say that and the Alps, and the Rockies, or whatever you have down there in the southwest. Absolute blow out beautiful from an airplane. Just think the massive low lying grey cloud I was trying to describe to you, would be white in the day once you were above it, and the sky would always be blue.

Good thought. Loved your boy's movie. Such talent running through that family. Scary.


Liza Hirst said...

I am happy for you, Barbara, that your ladies finally arrived back home sound and safe! Love the red tulips in your house and the tulips in your lovely drawing!

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!