Friday, March 26, 2010

A true international art society

Portrait head for Water series stage four
acrylic on canvas
30 x 30 inches
Barbara Muir © 2010
(Stage four is the background starting to come
in. With an abstract background I can
link a series of portraits together through
the background. This has made me
very happy today. Now I will finish
the background with another small
stripe of water indicating a tide pool.
Then I'll refine the face and hair.
Most of what has happened today
about this series is not on the canvas,
but that is what painting is about --
thinking, planning, preparing (working with
the next model), then doing the painting.

I know I've read today's title over, and it sounds much more
pretentious than it is. What I'm thinking tonight is
that I've talked to artists from a few countries this week,
and they've helped me immensely. I'm at stage four
of my painting of the girl's face.

Today one of the two other models for the series
came over to my studio to pose for the next one I'm
painting. But I was stalled in my mind on where to go
with this one. My problem was not a lack of imagination,
it was imagination gone wild. Every time I thought about
the painting I saw a different resolution, a different direction
I could not get my feet on the ground.

For the past two nights I could hardly sleep -- waking
myself up with a jolt as yet another idea flashed through
my head. Meanwhile I was in discussion with my artist
friends here in town and in cities in other parts of
the planet. Their kind discussions and encouragement
finally helped me decide today what to do. The consensus
was to stay simple, cheerful and true to myself. So I
have. Today a friend in France suggested that my
slightly abstract ocean pictures from last summer
would be cool as backgrounds, and my mind clicked
into gear. I realized exactly how to treat these "water"
portraits, and when my model went to her next
appointment, I started the background on this one.

The background isn't quite finished because I wanted
to give the impression of the ocean and a tide pool
behind the girl's head, but I'll do that tomorrow.

Once the background seems right, I'll get back to
working on the face and hair. Not a whole lot more,
but a whole lot more directed because now I know
exactly where I'm going with the series, and I've
made my essential decision. Thank you to everyone
who helped me figure this out this week. You
are a true international art society.

Have a getting-down-to-the-basics day.


eldon warren said...

The world gets smaller and smaller. A few years ago it wouldn't have happened. Cool.

Linny D. Vine said...

This is fantastic, Barbara! Your inspiration shows!

Anonymous said...

Barbara, I am totally inspired by you blogging about the development of a painting that I must do that as well with my blog.
Thanks for your daily servings of art!

Barbara Muir said...

Hi Eldon,

Thanks so much! It is incredibly cool. A few years ago I would not have known you and been able to have this friendship. Ultra cool.

Take care,


Barbara Muir said...

Hi Linny,

Thanks so much. Still in a bit of a gestation stage, so we'll see what happens.

Take care, and thanks so much.


Barbara Muir said...

Hi Flora,

Thanks for your daily servings of art, bread, vistas, humour. I love your work and your blogs.


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!