Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Getting out

 A serious woman
(Art group Sketch)
Acrylic on canvas
16 x 20 inches
Barbara Muir © 2012

Making art is a lonely profession.  True if you're a portrait
painter, people do sit for you.  But most of the time when
painters are deep into producing, they are alone -- a solitude
we crave because it's just us and the colour.  I like a bit of
background sound some of the time -- sometimes I run
a movie I've already seen, and just listen, or let TED talks,
or our wonderful CBC national radio shows enlighten me,
and make me laugh, or get sad.  But a week ago when I had
a wonderful girl working for me who does not know me well,
I realized that I also talk to myself!

Well I know we've got to, and I knew that I did encourage
myself, but what I didn't realize is that when I'm pushed to
the max the conversation can be fairly constant between
me, myself and I.  Good that we're so close.

So my point is that it's important for me, and for all artists
to get out. Out of the studio, out of our own heads, out of
 the house, right out. Out, out, out.  Travel is good, but after
 locking ourselves in a room, or working over a canvas,
or drawing for too long, we appreciate the smallest pleasures.
Our own neighbourhoods are a surprising feast of colour, light
 and joy.

 Even a trip to the supermarket three blocks away does the trick.
 In fact office workers, stopping by to get the evening's supper
 rations, at the end of a day in a tower somewhere
filling in forms, and catering to the boss's requests give us an
odd look as we delight in the colour of red peppers, and
ask the fish counter fellow about his school work.

We are odd.  So going to art group is an incredible treat -- because
so is everyone else.  Even though all of the artists come at things
from many different beliefs and styles, we share the same
dilemma, being out of step with those who don't love paint,
and form, light and dark and capturing and creating images.

Today I got out three times.  I visited the women in the
neighbourhood who meet for coffee, and had a lovely time.
I stopped by my incredible local shoemaker Mike, who brought
my favorite boots back to life, as he has three years in a row,
and I went to my art group tonight, and enjoyed everyone's company.
The model was gorgeous, and demanding.  She kept ordering
us back to work -- quite an accomplishment sitting regally as
she was when back in pose, completely naked.  I had a lot of
fun painting her.

Have a letting-yourself-get-out day.


Catherine Jeffrey said...

Barbara, thanks for your comments on my work. It has been difficult getting back into the studio, but I am finally taking the time. You certainly describe the life of an artist very well. I talk to myself (or the dog) quite frequently, and find that a walk into town to the local coffee shop cheers me right up.
Love the colors in this painting.

Anonymous said...

Hi Barbara,
You are right getting out is the ticket! good work.

Anonymous said...

Hi, Love your work.

Linny D. Vine said...

Wonderful, loose and lovely!!

Barbara Muir said...

Hi Catherine,

Glad you are back. Like the moody, rainy Toronto paintings. So good.

XO Barbara

Barbara Muir said...

Hi Sally,

So glad you could comment. Should have done this long ago. Those letters drive me crazy too.

XO Barbara

Barbara Muir said...

Hi Steven,

Thanks so much. You are too kind.


Barbara Muir said...

Hi Linny,

Thanks -- it's hard to be anything but loose in an hour I find. I had
so much fun.

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: barbara.muir@sympatico.ca
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!