Thursday, June 30, 2011

Visiting the Ab Ex -- colour excitement

At the art show (work in progress)
Acrylic on canvas
24  x 24 inches
Barbara Muir © 2011
(a few more tweaks and
it will be done.)

I'm almost finished this painting of the mother and daughter.
There are a few small details to finish up, but I am very happy
with how it's coming along.  I started this before I went to
see a superb exhibition at the Art Gallery of Ontario our
major gallery in Toronto.  In fact I was tempted to do the
background in pure blocks of palette knife colour, because the
mother and daughter were at an art show, and that's what's in
the reference photo behind them. I'd actually
been thinking a lot about Róisín O'Farrel's work, because I
like the way she uses a palette knife. Then on Father's Day
a couple of weeks ago I took Steven to lunch at the AGO
and we went to see the Abstract Expressionism exhibit
 on loan from the MoMA in New York.  Of course it's the best of
the best of Abstract Expressionism, but my favorites were the
Clyfford Stills and the Rothkos.  The colour in Rothko's work
dazzled me more than I could have imagined.  There was an
entire room of his glorious large canvasses.

I came home with the paintings flashing across my thoughts,
inhabiting my dreams.  No I can't be an Abstract Expressionist,
but I'm sure I've learned a lot about colour from seeing Rothko's
work.  If you're in Toronto take in the exhibition and if you live in
New York, head to the MoMA after it comes back home.

 I love looking at art, especially yours, on the internet.  But nothing
can rival being in the presence of the real thing.

Have an getting out to an art show day


Linda Popple said...

Your painting is just beautiful and the love between mother and daughter is evident. Well done!

I saw Rothko's work at MoMa last year and, like you, was totally amazed. I sat and stared for several minutes at one (wish I could remember the title) and just got lost in it. It was a reaction I didn't expect. Art is just better in person!

Melinda said...

This portrait is coming along beautifully. Love the colors!

We have a Rothko here in town. I know just what you mean. Makes me want to walk into a canvas of layered grounds.

Gwen Bell said...

Gosh this is gorgeous! You've really captured the joy in their faces.

Linny D. Vine said...

So beautiful, Barbara!!

Anonymous said...

wow! love the painting, and thanks for posting the link to Rosie Ofarrels blog too, i loved her work.the palette knife is so juicy. lucky you to enjoy the ab ex exhibit! so powerful. (things have slowed right down around here in gallery, lazy summer days)

cohen labelle said...

Barbara- what a fantastic painting - beautifully painted! a beautiful feeling of gentleness in the daughter's face - those two know they are blessed! You've done it again!
love, Marcia

Nicki said...

Hi Barbara,

You describe such a wonderful day. So happy for you and Steven to have enjoyed the exhibit at the AGO.

This portrait is a gem!

XO Nicki

Barbara Muir said...

Hi Linda,

Thanks so much. It's true that the work is much more amazing in person, plus an entire huge room of the work is awesome.

XO Barbara

Barbara Muir said...

Hi Melinda,

Thanks so much. I'm very fond of this one. I so agree it's the layered grounds that are so moving. At the edges you can see all of the other colours he was trying, but that don't become prominent in the main painting. It's fascinating.

Take care,Love your recent paintings.


Barbara Muir said...

Hi Gwen,

Thanks so much. I was completely blown away by your last painting.


Barbara Muir said...

Hi Linny,
Thanks so much. Love your work.

XO Barbara

Barbara Muir said...

Hi Sally,

Thanks very much. Yes Róisín's work is wonderful. I'm sure things will pick up soon in the gallery. People will discover that it's there and how magnificent it is.

XO Babara

Barbara Muir said...

Hi Marcia,

Thank you. Yes that's exactly what I'm going for -- that feeling of love that is in the gesture. Hope all is well with you. I loved your last painting and post.

Love Barbara

Barbara Muir said...

Hi Nicki,

Thanks so much. Yes it was a treat to take in such a great show locally. Our gallery is a beautiful one and the show is well done. But seeing the word MoMA made me miss New York, and the MoMA.

XO Barbara

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!