Pugwash Flower People
Acrylic on canvas
24 x 24 inches
Barbara Muir © 2012
I’m an artist – fact of life. As a portrait artist I am used
to meeting the client’s requests – but here was a new one.
About a month ago a friend in Pugwash expressed
an interest in my painting PugwashFlower Man, that
I showed in Studio Vogue Gallery last fall, and in the
Don Valley Art Club Spring Show. I called her up to
confirm that she wanted it, and after saying yes, she asked,
“can you put me in it?” Maxine is my friend Ken Lander’s
fiancée, and a major force in their flower business.
I ran downstairs to my studio holding the phone, stared
hard at the painting, and decided “Yes I can.” Then the
fun began. I’ve never actually done this before. Oh I’ve
changed paintings – usually because I wanted to redo
an area, add more depth. But add a person into a portrait
of one person? Nope. Luckily in many photos of the couple
together, Maxine takes exactly this pose.
Challenges? The trees and flowers that used to be in the
painting where Maxine now is, were painted with a palette knife –
thick and bumpy paint. I took those off with sandpaper, and then
rubbing alcohol to make a spot for Maxine.
The rest was not hard. I would have put Maxine in in the
first place, but I took the reference photos on my way out
of Pugwash last year and she was away.
The happy result for me, is that I like the painting
much better with her in it. I was always fond of the painting,
but now see there was someone missing.
And of course the best part of all was seeing the couple's
faces light up when I delivered the painting today. They
Have a being-willing-to-change day.