Friday, February 25, 2011

Into the studio

In the midnight sun (work in progress)
(Stage Two blocking in the colour)
Acrylic on canvas
14 x 16 inches
Barbara Muir © 2011

This week promises to be a highly charged art week.
The school where I teach part time is on reading week,
and I am planning to paint as much as possible.
So I started working on a small version of the third
painting in my triptych of Henriette painting.  The image
for this third one, which I'll probably flip for the larger
30 x 30 inch painting, is so moving.  It's very late at
night in Norway where Henriette lives, and she is
ardently working painting because the house is quiet and the
children are sleeping.  In one corner of the room there
is a highchair, and outside the midnight sun has set and
the sky is brightening again.  I love the intensity of her
expression, the fact that she was willing to talk to me
on Skype and work painting.  That's something we share,
is that we can paint and talk.  A rare quality as I've
discovered in art classes with scratchy symphonies
playing in the background and total silence except
for the endless worn Vivaldi disk.  The truth is
when I'm working in my studio it is quiet most of the
time, almost too  quiet. 
In the midnight sun(work in progress)
(Stage One --The underpainting -- lively colour)
Acrylic on canvas
14 x 16 inches
Barbara Muir © 2011

In this little study I intend to fool around with colour
as much as I want, and then I'll calm it down a bit.
The colour from the Skype image is both high key and
muted.  I'll show you where this goes from here.
Have a painting-as-much-as-possible day.


cohen labelle said...

Barbara, this is fantastic - it looks almost finished to me!

love, Marcia

Anonymous said...

how nice Barbara to have a whole week spreading before you in which to paint! have fun, this series looks quite exciting. you are so good at portraits. they are so hard.

Kim Rempel said...

Okay - I love it just as it is! Bit I know it will look fabulous when you think you're finished it as well : ) Exciting to look at!

Sheila Vaughan said...

It's looking really interesting Barbara - be good to watch the development of this.

Nicki said...

Barbara... This painting is done in my mind. I LOVE IT! I realize that you are the one to decide if it is finished or not and this is likely not your vision for the end result, but I am so thankful you posted this stage because it perked me up and gave me joy!

XO Nicki

Barbara Muir said...

Hi Marcia,

Yikes. I've just started. The very tip of the iceberg.

Love Barbara

Barbara Muir said...

Hi Sally,

Portraits vary so widely in how hard they are don't they. Sometimes, as with my own children, they are almost like walking, 100% easy, and other portraits take much more thought. In the final analysis, they all turn out the same, just fine. You are very, very good at portraits.


Barbara Muir said...

Hi Kim,

I know it's got a long way to go, but it's nice to know that something this experimental would work too.


Barbara Muir said...

Hi Sheila,
I have been dreaming about your latest mysterious series. What marvellous paintings. I was with my art group tonight. My friends were talking about Picasso, and I talked about you.


Barbara Muir said...

Hi Nicki,

You're so kind. A friend asked me when you know a painting is finished. The answer is either never, or you know. I'm hoping I'll know. It makes it easier when a work actually feels complete. But of course that's when it's finished. When it does.


Liza Hirst said...

I agree with Marcia, this looks great as it is! I am impressed by your courage in regard to the colours, the way you've sort of "slapped them on".
Very inspiring, Barbara - thanks for sharing!

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!