Friday, March 5, 2010

Up to my ears

Mother and Child
Stage Four
acrylic on canvas
30 x 30 inches
Barbara Muir © 2010

At this point I am up to my ears in paint. I have
dreams, ambitions, high lofty ideals, but it's
like the beating stage of baking a cake. You
put the ingredients in a bowl, and you're pretty
sure it will be delicious, but you have no idea
how it will look. That's the stage I'm at with my
mother and child. I haven't had a great deal
of time to work on it today, so I concentrated on
the mother's face. I am not there by any means,
but I have started.

My son sent me a very lovely video today of
his girlfriend and her sister making a spectacular
cake. If I get permission to show it to you I'll
put the link in.

When I'm working on a little painting, it feels
like the painting flows into me, and I do it.
On a larger work I feel like I am 100% in the
painting. I've lost my gloves, a cheque, pens,
you name it today, because the rest of the world
is a blur. Whether I'm painting or not, the
painting is on my mind.

(Yes, I am lucky and I found everything... But
believe me on days like these I need the lists
I mentioned the other day.) It was a glorious
day, and I cannot say it often enough, I am
so grateful to everyone here in my home town,
out in the wider world, and in the blog world
for helping me stay on track. Thank you.

Have a wow-this-is-going-so-well-and-it's-almost -spring-day.
P.S. I never show a client a portrait while it's
a work in progress. I am fairly certain most
people would be shocked at the backwards,
forwards, this colour -- no that colour nature of
painting, so I turn the painting to the wall and
we go and eat cookies and drinks either juice,
pop, coffee, tea or champagne depending on the
day and the age of the sitter. But we're all friends
here right? I thought so.


cohen labelle said...

Oh Barbara - I like that mother!
I want to be that mother holding that gorgeous little baby in her arms. I want to be that gorgeous little baby being held by that gorgeous mother in her arms.
Do you get my drift? It makes me head over heels nostalgic.
xoxoxoxoxo Marcia

Tammy Hext said...

I am loving the seeing the step by step of this one. What a gorgeous Mom and baby - the pose is so interesting as well.

Barbara Muir said...

Hi Marcia,

Thanks so much. I'm glad the painting makes you nostalgic. I hope it makes the mother happy. The baby, as babies do, will seem much more grown up when I've finished the painting.


Barbara Muir said...

Hi Tammy,

Thanks so much. I'm so glad you like the steps. I don't usually post them, but from time to time I like to.

Take care,


Janet said...

It's so nice to see the painting evolve and grow. I agree it might not always be appropriate to show a client a work in progress, but it's fascinating to watch paintings come to life.

It's great, I can't wait to see what's next.

Liza Hirst said...

I LOVE the painting! Looks great to me already and I am sure it will be fantastic! The colors of the background are also lovely, especially the blue on the left as a contrast. Can't help it, but I see a lot of sudden progress in your portraits! Hope you don't mind me saying's meant as a compliment of course.

eldon warren said...

You've painted such life into this ladies face. And she's beautiful to boot. Must be the happiness you have depicted so well. Love it!!

Barbara Muir said...

Hi Janet,

Sometimes when you're working on a piece it takes a dramatic turn into non-being, in effect it goes wrong. The next day you go back into the studio and haul it back from the brink. Over time you get to know that this will happen, it's not the end of the world, and all will be well. But the client, most often not a painter, doesn't know that, hasn't had the experience and doesn't deserve to suffer because I need to change something. The sitter gets to see the harmonious happy results that a confident artist has created. That's what I believe a client deserves.

Take care,


Barbara Muir said...

Hi Liza,

You are certainly not upsetting me by saying I'm improving. Thank you so much. It's probably because I am looking at your work all the time, loving it, and learning from it.


Barbara Muir said...

Hi Eldon,

This lady is a happy, superb mother.
So it's no challenge at all to get that into her face. Now getting the face to be exactly her face, that's another matter! Thank you as always for being a huge supporter of my work. You have made my day. Again.

Take care,


Linny D. Vine said...

I'm loving it, Barbara, and I'm certain the mom will, too!

Laurel Daniel said...

I love seeing the progress on this and it looks SO GOOD! You have really captured the mother and child joy. XOXO

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!