Sunday, August 22, 2010

On a rainy Sunday

On the phone
Watercolour on bond paper
5.5 x 8.5 inches
Barbara Muir © 2010
(The cat behind me on the
right hand side is Fiona.)

It has been raining all day. Not just a little bit.
Maybe that's why I felt like doing a little watercolour
sketch tonight. Sunday night is family night, and
my husband made a special supper. We drove
through driving rain to a couple of farmers' markets
north of the city to get fresh fruit and veggies
for a stir fry. Sooo good. We got talking to a lady
from Sicily selling the biggest, palest, mauve eggplants
I've ever seen. Her elderly mother and father gave
her intensive advice on every move she made. She
sighed and looked a bit worn out by the day by
the side of the road in the rain. But I said both
thank you and good-bye to her in Italian, and she
liked that. What a beautiful language. I wish I knew
more. Much more.

So I decided to draw a self-portrait tonight, because I know
my own face. Plus I liked the cheerful telephone
picture. So many of my friends, relatives and close
family either live far away, or travel, that I frequently
need to connect by phone. This was a quick study.
I was trying to capture the white of the computer
light as it comes up in photo booth, and the same
light reflecting on my glasses. I drew and painted the
image in a little notebook I picked up in New York.
The paper is beautiful, but not really right for
watercolour. My rules were I had to paint with whatever
was near my desk. I used a coffee cup for water, a half inch
acrylic brush for most of the painting. My watercolours and
the sketchbook were in the room, and I had a 1/8 inch brush
that I used for finer lines. When I was finished, I rinsed out
the mug, cleaned the brushes and put them back in the
container on my desk, put the paints back in the bookshelf,
and hoped my family wouldn't even know I'd been painting
outside my studio. (Not that they'd mind.) With watercolour
I can be discreet, with acrylic never. Acrylic spreads and leaves
a trail. But both are wonderful.

Have a moving-through-the-medium day.


eldon warren said...

They don't make smiley faces like this one. What a nice little painting. Someday I'll try a self portrait. Maybe.

laura said...

Great self-portrait, Barbara--it sings with brightness and happiness. I esp. the way you've painted your hair, and your smile!! Oh, and the inclusion of the cat!

Linny D. Vine said...

Simply gorgeous, dahling!

cohen labelle said...

I know I'm not allowed to say I love your watercolors for fear of being accused of having a hidden agenda to pull you away from your preferred medium, acrylics, which I also love
- but boy I sure do love your watercolors!!! This is a beaut - lighthearted Barbara on a rainy day, past!


Barbara Muir said...

Hi Eldon,

Thanks so much. Yes, you should try a self-portrait. How about today.
remember when I drew your portrait? That photo of you at your opening was so compelling.

Go for it. Meanwhile thanks for the sweet comment on my quick effort.

Take care,


Barbara Muir said...

Hi Laura,

The cat was in the photo reference, because she is almost always near me. I have to barricade both cats out of the studio because they tend to get skittish in there. Not a good thing. Thanks so much.


Barbara Muir said...

Hi Linny,

Thanks so much. It is a bit over the top isn't it? Not my waking up first thing in the morning face, and as usual a little longer than usual because I painted it from a photo on the computer. Ach well. I so love your work.


Barbara Muir said...

Hi Marcia,

I think I can move between media. You've taught me that with your fabulous drawings, wonderful paintings and amazing sculpture. I can move between media. I just love the strength of acrylic. I'd like to watercolour like Skip Lawrence, right out of the tube. Tube on the page. But in Canada the darn stuff costs so much!(Is media the right usage or is it [sic]



Nicki said...

I love the freshness of this watercolour, the immediacy of it. And I love the lovely and lovable Fiona in the background!


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!