Monday, October 18, 2010

Be generous with yourself

I talked to an artist a while back who was
proud because he'd only used one tube of
paint in 20 years. One!  I've noticed that
artist is using more than one colour now, so
I'm assuming that more tubes have been cracked
into, but I was shocked at the austerity of the
idea.  This fabulous artist, one of the best in
town would not allow himself the luxury of having
ample supplies.
 The baby's asleep
(work in progress )
Acrylic on canvas
8 x 8 inches
Barbara Muir © 2010
(This is the second phase of underpainting.
In the first phase I underpaint the
entire canvas and draw my
rough image.  Then I start fleshing in both
colour that may stay, and more underpainting.)

But I also understand.  When I was a watercolor
painter for the most part, a sheet of paper cost
about $15.00, so I deliberated about every sheet
I bought.  In Canada the actual watercolours are
pricey too.  I was shocked when I went to a
workshop in the U.S. and people bought
their watercolour in huge tubes.  Alyson Stanfield's
artbizblog current entry says that you should not start an
art career when you're desperate. I would add
that although people have created art out of every
possible medium and found object, if you can
possibly afford it, (and my friend with the one tube
of paint could) you need to treat yourself to a
quantity of good canvasses, or paper, the best
colours you can afford in your medium, and as
many colours as you want.  If you paint all in
gray fine, but otherwise, get what you need.
You deserve it. Another reason to treat yourself
like you deserve supplies.  If you don't think
you're worth it, who else will?

Have a let's-go-out-and-buy-some-paint day.


Melinda said...

I really like this post a lot, Barbara.

It's so true that we artists can often place arbitrary restrictions and even judgments on ourselves.

Perhaps this is our life's work, slowly to let go of most of them. And, with "every breath take," we can say, yes, we deserve art supplies!

Looking forward to this lovely painting's completion.

cohen labelle said...

Barbara, your theme of generosity and good ingredients is echoed in the lovely painting you're working on! Was that deliberate or your sub conscious at work? - not that it matters.

love, Marcia

Barbara Muir said...

Hey Marcia,

You are too sweet. I'd actually written the post, then started the painting. I think the ideas were separate originally, but fused in the mighty blog world. Great eh? Love the paintings on your post.
Love Barbara

Barbara Muir said...

Hi Melinda,

Sorry I thought I'd responded to you. Accch. Just an indication of how stressed I am. You are so incredibly kind. Yes every breath we take we can take care of ourselves, so we can take care of the rest of the planet. I picked the song, because it's really true of mothers. They are watching every breath you take.

Well the mothers we know are.


Portrait Artist

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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!