Monday, August 30, 2010

Back to basics

August market flowers
(almost finished)
Acrylic on canvas
12 x 12 inches
Barbara Muir © 2010

For about five years when I started doing regular
art, I first drew, then painted flowers. I sold small
coloured pencil drawings of flowers when my oldest,
Christopher, was a baby, and moved on to paint
watercolours of flowers when Sam came along. I'm sure
I've told you before that Toronto, often referred to by
people who don't live here as the big smoke, is in fact
a flower Mecca. You can buy a lot of flowers here,
in fact fill your house, for a very reasonable sum.

Plus you know that Steven and I have to get our
fix of flowers every weekend from the shop we
love on Avenue Road. But last weekend I bought
fresh garden flowers from Pegann, and then my
friend Heather brought me a huge bouquet from
her garden. The result? Our house is paradise,
or at the very least a small floral tribute to that
ultimate Eden.

August market flowers
rough sketch
charcoal on canvas prepared with a peach acrylic ground
Barbara Muir © 2o10
(Before painting I sat staring at the
amazing bouquet sitting at my kitchen table
and drew it. The Victorian jug is huge, and
the bouquet must be 18 inches high, so I
was absolutely mesmerized by its beauty.
Major thanks to Pegann and hey it's true
Zinnias do last much longer with
maple syrup (tip it should be
Canadian) in the water. Nah, it can
be any kind of maple syrup.)

So...what could I do? I feel snow sneaking through
the back chambers of my imagination, and it seems
prudent to record summer's bounty. Now. Today's
offering is an almost finished painting of the market
flowers. A few more touches and she'll be done.

Have a giving-or-getting-or-painting-flowers day.


Kim Rempel said...

Oh - beautiful! You feel snow creeping in? : O Please, don't feel it yet! I'm going to get flowers at the market on Thursday. You're right - they won't be along much longer. Love the handle on your jug.

Linda Popple said...

Absolutely gorgeous! Your flowers are so full of bright color. And your Victorian pitcher is amazing with its colors, too. Your composition says the bouquet is huge. I love it!

eldon said...

What a beauty! Heck, even the drawing is cool.
I too can feel the cold of winter coming if only in my heart. I never look forward to winter so it's not a particularly good feeling. Oh well, what's a person to do. :)

Karen Bruson said...

Beautiful! So summery and colorful.

Melinda said...

Yum, yum. I love this painting!! You really know flowers too.

It's good to get back to basics and you do that so very well.

Just fabulous!

Barbara Muir said...

Hi Kim,

Thank you so much. I'm not a big fan of hot weather. In Toronto we've been having a heat wave and smog. But at the same time I'm entranced by my garden, and the late night walks in the park with crickets chirping, and cicadas singing in the last heat of the day. I know there will be ice and snow, and I'll be frightened to walk with my broken ankle, so I'm actually loving the heat wave. Who knew?

Take care,


Barbara Muir said...

Hi Linda,

Thank you so much. Yes the bouquet is huge. And so lovely. Pegann takes about fifteen minutes carefully choosing each flower. The result is so beautiful, and it's clear that she loves her flowers.

Take care,


Barbara Muir said...

Hi Eldon,

Thanks so much. I'm with you, but your winter paintings are just amazing, and they always sell, so...maybe we shouldn't complain -- just get the cold weather gear we need. I for one am getting icers for the bottom of my boots this year from Lee Valley. That should change my view of things.

Ciao from your
friend in Toronto
(BTW I'm a tiny part Italian
thank goodness!)

Barbara Muir said...

Hi Karen,

Your last painting just dazzled me.
Incredible. I think it's time you teach a workshop. Teach me that pink ground.


Barbara Muir said...

Hi Melinda,

Thanks so much. The last two paintings you posted were a sheer delight -- so completely different and each so perfect. I love your bravery, your style, your artistry.


Always a thrill to open your blog.


Liza Hirst said...

A wonderful burst of life and pure energy! I like how you sort of "squeezed" the flowers into the frame, thus enhancing the abundance.

Barbara Muir said...

Hi Liza,

Thanks so much. Yes I did squeeze them, although they are squeezed in the vase too. I never took the elastic off, and they don't seem to mind. They've lasted a full week. Amazing.


Virginia Floyd said...

How beautiful! It reminds me of Cezanne's paintings.

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!