Sunday, May 30, 2010

Two busies

Oranges in a glass bowl
8 x 8 inches
acrylic on canvas
Barbara Muir © 2010
(not quite finished. Some decisions still
need to happen. But close.)

Parents of young children know there's a time when
kids start dressing themselves and you have to explain
what works. "Two busies don't work!" you explain, just
like your mother did for you when you wanted to wear
your green plaid pants with your orange and sherbet
striped sweater.

Now of course this is all the rage. And sometimes it's
really effective in painting. But other paintings need
some simplifying. This painting of the oranges in the
antique glass bowl on the vintage tablecloth did not
work. After staring at it for a few days I got out my
paintbrush and decided to begin to tone down -- no
change the tablecloth. I could hear my mother's
voice in my head as I did.

So what do the editors feature in the Globe Fashion magazine?
Guys mixing Glen check (never one of my favorite
suiting materials) with checkered shirts and a
different check patterned tie! Aye my grandmother
is no doubt twisting around in heaven and poking
her best friend telling her to take a look see.

But guess what -- those guys with all those patterns
look great! So much for rules. In this little painting
the rule helped. It's not quite finished, but it's

Have an enjoying-a-doubly-busy-time day.


Anonymous said...

Hi BArbara,
It's looking good! Yes there can be a real exciting visual exchange happening when juxtaposing pattern against pattern; then again simplicity is powerful too.... i think it's finding the balance that makes it work.This is jubilant.

Linda Popple said...

Both versions are wonderful! Each connecting to the viewer differently. I do think it important that the artist make the decision what is best. Well done, Barbara!

eldon said...

You know what? I like them both. It all boils down to what an artist thinks about what he/she has done. After all the artist is first in the approval process. Ya done good!!

Elizabeth Seaver said...

I love the two busies rule! How funny you are. I'm glad you've made your artist self happy about your painting. I've found that if there is something about my work that bothers me, it's hard to be content until I fix it or turn it to the wall!

Barbara Muir said...

Hi Sally,

Thanks for that. I do love pattern against pattern, but sometimes in a small painting like this, there doesn't seem to be room to manoeuvre
in a smaller work.

Love your boat on the water.

Take care,


Barbara Muir said...

Hi Linda,

Thanks so much. I just didn't feel right about the painting with the tablecloth. It didn't seem to read.
Our eyes change don't they. What seems great one day, is entirely different another.

Take care,


Barbara Muir said...

Hi Eldon,

We feel the same way about each other's work. I liked something the other day that you thought was all wrong -- a field of flowers. So you're right. It's up to the artist to do what feels right.

Take care,


Barbara Muir said...

Hi Elizabeth,

I realize that mothers are control freaks. I would probably still be mapping out those rules for my huge guy children, but looking at what they wear, I realize that I am just not in their fashion worlds at all. Plus how can I talk? To avoid the busies I basically wear a uniform -- white shirt, dark sweater, blue jeans. Not busy, and wildly plain. It worked Mom.

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:
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!