(Work in progress)
Acrylic on canvas
Barbara Muir © 2010
(This is a little painting of
the garden under our apple tree
this summer. I'm calling it
Sean's garden because it was
lush and flourishing because of
Sean Gallagher's incredible work.)
Do you ever worry that you're not blogging enough?
Not producing enough? Not showing enough work
to the blog world. You know you do. It's the current
mania for artists to produce paintings as quickly as
cars and toasters are produced in a slick manufacturing
plant. But some artists don't work that way.
One of Canada's biggest national newspapers
The Globe and Mail is featuring an article on
Alex Colville today. Colville is one of the greats in current
Canadian art who is celebrating his 90th birthday.
His work is both straightforward and deep.
Some of it is cold and frightening, and some chronicles
the warm relationship he has with his wife. In fact it's
impossible to pigeon hole him as any one thing, and
But he turns out three paintings a year. He spends endless
time in preparation, doing sketches and planning. Isn't this
a good thing? I was talking to an artist last week, caught
in the conflict of doing the work she needs to do for money,
and dreaming of the work she wants to do, that needs time.
Apparently a full-time artist in Canada earns on average
$11,000.00 per year, and I know many full time artists who
would be happy to get that much. So artists do need other work
just to support their passion, until they are famous like Alex
Colville. But this article gives us permission to take our time,
to work slowly and thoughtfully in the way he does.
Okay, it's back to the studio -- but could you just relax for a
moment, and realize -- no you're not crazy. Art takes time.
One caveat. That is that art can take time, and it can take no
time. There is no magic formula, and the art produced in hours,
is no better or worse than that produced in months. So time
is no measure of success. What I'm saying is that if it does take
time, and some of my work takes a long, long time -- that's okay.
It takes our artistic heroes time too.
Another Maritime artist who I'm sure works in a slow and careful
manner is Mary Pratt, and I love her high realism too. I'm adding her
in because some of the artists in the south western United States
have requested that I mention more women. Balance. All is balance.
Have a taking-it-slow-and-easy day.