Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Sad night at the art club

Art Group Sketch
Acrylic on canvas
20 x 24 inches
Barbara Muir © 2013

A dear friend in art, George Shane, died a week ago.
 He found out he had ALS about a year and
a half ago, and the disease progressed very rapidly.

I was proud of George when he held an art show in
the residence he was living in last August and
received visitors in his wheelchair.  At the time he
could still move the wheelchair with one hand.  His
work was beautiful -- both modern and evoking the
lessons of the masters.  And George was just a
wonderful man, a true gentleman.  He had so much
strength of character sitting with his paintings.

So there were many teary eyes tonight at the club
when we found out he was gone. And we made plans
to have an evening to honour George and
share our stories.

I did this painting of our beautiful model for
the evening, Laura Burns.  Though just a sketch
it feels like it captures the serious and thoughtful
mood of the night.

Have a telling-your-friends-how-much-they-matter day  


Anonymous said...

I'm so sorry to hear this sad news of. I worked with George many years ago in publishing his book It Could Have Happened through Soleil as well as two other French primary school books that featured his cartoons.
With deepest sympathies.

Liza Hirst said...

So sorry to hear about your collegue and friend, Barbara.
Your painting is absolutely beautiful!
Take care,

Nicki said...

Dear Barbara,

I am so sorry to hear of the loss of your friend. ALS is such a cruel disease and it sounds like he handled it with grace. I think an evening of remembrance is a wonderful thing and it will help you all with your sadness.

Big hug to you,

Laurel Daniel said...

I am so very sorry for your loss. I know that since George was in your world, he was well-loved and supported as an artist and friend. You were both blessed. Thinking of you today. XOXOXO

cohen labelle said...

A lovely tribute to George, Barbara.
You often talked about how much you adored him, his company as well as admiring his work - and I'm absolutely sure he felt the same way about you. Obviously his was a life well lived!!

Love, Marcia

Barbara Muir said...

Hi Michelle,

One of the things that surprised me about George was finding out what a great and prolific cartoonist/illustrator he had been. He was, among other things, humble about his talents.

Take care and thank you,


Barbara Muir said...

Hi Liza,

Thank you. George was a wonderful friend. He understood when I arrived late on Tuesday night, that I'd probably been working late, and driven a long way to get to the club. He used to hurry to get me an easel, help me set it up and get me a table. He was incredibly kind and a gentleman.


Barbara Muir said...

Hi Nicki,

ALS is awful. In our club newsletter a friend wrote about how George didn't lose his sense of humour. When I visited him at the residence his face glowed with delight when I was funny. He was an incredibly witty man, and a delight to talk to. I used to love the breaks between poses when we'd get to talk. I have missed him so much since he couldn't come and draw and paint with us anymore. He has left a huge hole in the pleasure of that experience.

XO Barbara

Barbara Muir said...

Hi Laurel,

I think he was well loved by his friends -- which is the sign of a life well lived. I miss his kindness and his unspoken understanding. Plus I miss watching him paint because his work was original, and beautiful.


Barbara Muir said...

Hi Marcia,

I did adore him. You are right. And I'm delighted that my sister took his cat Amigo when he moved into a residence out of his home. Amigo, now Harry is happy, and I think of George every time I see the huge tabby cat. There are people who make a big impact on your life through small actions and example. George was one of those people. Thank you for remembering how much he meant to me.



Kim Rempel said...

So sorry to hear Barbara : (

Unknown said...

So sorry to hear about your friend passing Barbara. It's wonderful to be able to share the loss with friends and collegues who also knew him. Your sensitive sketch does show the mood.

Flora Doehler said...

Oh Barbara, that is too sad.
George was a wonderful man who really fought for the continued existence of the life drawing and painting group. I remember being in an executive meeting of the art club many years ago and George fighting tooth and nail for the artists in the group. I can't remember what the issue was anymore…I DO remember that George challenged the entire Art Club executive and that they 'gave in' to him and the status quo was maintained. He didn't want anyone messing with the group. It was working well, why change it.
I remember too that he always played wonderful classical music and wore a beret. Charming. He will be missed. Hugs to you! xo

Barbara Muir said...

Hi Kim,

Thank You.

XO Barbara

Barbara Muir said...

Hi Sally,

We all decided that the best way to honour George was to work -- so we did. He was instrumental in creating our Tuesday night figure drawing group.

XO Barbara

Barbara Muir said...

Hi Flora,

He fought so elegantly -- like a gentleman, that's what I appreciated. He was all about fairness. When the group was voting on having 20 minute gesture drawings at the start of the night, there was a big division in the group. George was the one who took control and organized a vote, and then asked people to respect it when gesture was voted down. (A pity).

Thanks for your great comment. I'm so glad you remember him too.

XO Barbara

Linny D. Vine said...

Hugs from Linnyland to you, Barbara.
This is a lovely painting from an emotional evening!

Barbara Muir said...

Hi Linny,

Some people really mean a lot even when you don't see them that often George was one of those people. He was always so thoughtful and considerate to me. He is in my heart.
I am so sorry about how he died, but so glad I knew him. He taught me a lot.

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!