Monday, April 15, 2013

The doctor comes and not everyone loves Lucian Freud

 Under the weather
watercolour and marker on
watercolour paper
9 x 12 inches
Barbara Muir © 2013
You'll have to forgive me.  I'm stuck in bed and reading
a riveting story about a man having his portrait painted
by Lucian Freud, Man with a Blue Scarf by Martin
Gayford.  I know I've been talking about nothing else
for days.   And the obsession is worse because I have
bronchitis, and the doctor arrived tonight, confirming that
 I'm not in the best shape.  I just hear Steven coming in
 the door with the prescription for antibiotics, and am
crossing my fingers that good health will rule again soon.

My brother got quite upset when I wanted to talk
about Lucian Freud today.  He doesn't like his work --
at all.  And I think he's afraid that I'll paint like Freud.
I don't think that's a worry, although I wouldn't mind
selling a painting like he did in his lifetime -- Big
Sue for 33.6 million dollars.

Plus I like Freud's work a lot He was a dedicated
painter, and painted vigorously until weeks before
his death at 88.  I don't want to paint like anyone,
but I do admire Freud's dedication to his art.
 Off to bed now, with the deep hope that tomorrow
will be better.

This self portrait tonight says it all. Apparently
our faces do change all the time.

Have a being-dedicated-to-your-work day.


Flora said...

Oh my this has been a tough year for you and your household with colds etc.
I LOVE your portrait. Such depth and beauty!
I do hope that the warm weather will sweep away all the bugs and restore you completely, although obviously it has not impacted on your painting ability! xo

Linda Popple said...

There was a Freud exhibit here and it was fantastic to see his work in person. I have a copy of The Blue Scarf, too, but I haven't read it yet. It's so interesting to know about his paintings and life.

Hope the antibiotics kick in soon and you are feeling better!!

Liza Hirst said...

Gute Besserung also from me, Barbara!
I hope the antibiotics do the trick - and do it fast.
Your two portraits from yesterday and today are really, really lovely! Very expressive and beautifully painted. The colours, the brushwork, the mood - soo good!
I am not sure I like Freud's work actually. And because I wasn't too keen on it, I kept hesitating to go and see his exhibition last year but now I think I should have gone to be able to make up my mind.
Get better, my friend! xxxLiza

Mary Lou van Schaik said...

Hi Barbara -- Hope that bronchitis exits your system quickly... your self-portrait is remarkable: serious, fluid, meeting life fully. And thanks for introducing me to Lucian Freud: what powerful paintings. Sending you big hugs -- Mary Lou

cohen labelle said...

Barbara you have the heavy lidded feverish look of a person with a significant cold in this self portrait – a brave, defiant soul you are – more active when you’re sick than I could ever be at the peak of health. There is more to following doctor’s orders than taking an antibiotic – you have to rest as well. I suppose in this respect you are like Freud – he painted as though his life depended on it and so do you.
love you both – I actually met him once when I lived in London.
I must get my hands on a copy of that book – Freud is at the top of my list – he belongs to all the centuries now – one of the greats.

love, Marcia

Kim Rempel said...

I enjoy much of his work. Did you see the article Vanity Fair did on him a year or so ago? I just filed it. Very good. Except maybe not as a person. But a wonderful painter. And did I read that correctly - you have a doctor that makes HOUSECALLS? Where do you live? Are you in a special 1950s time-warp subdivision? : ))

Barbara Muir said...

Hi Flora,

It has been the winter, or at least the spring of the cold. I think Steven brings them home, and he thinks my work with young people is the root cause. I don't know how Sam escapes scrutiny, but he does. Thanks for your kindness.

XO Barbara

Barbara Muir said...

Hi Linda,

I saw an exhibit of his etchings -- very large of his dog mostly -- a couple of years ago I think. They were amazing. Apparently he often did an etching of a sitter after he painted the person. I'd love to see the paintings in person.

XO Barbara

Barbara Muir said...

Hi Liza,

I know what you mean -- when I was at art school my teachers would have loved them. There I was a kid and they were always drawing nudes from the most graphic angle with the crotches as the major feature. There is something deliberately raw about his work, but when I think about it --
people -- and particularly some of the people who posed for him can be
raw. He liked honesty and emotion in art, and that idea appeals to me.

Thanks so much for your kind wishes. Come back to Canada!

XO Barbara

Barbara Muir said...

Hi Mary Lou,

It has been a hard spring here. Of course the stress in the year ratchets up in April. Maybe I can just rest up, paint, do commissions and breathe in May. The antibiotic seems to be working slowly.

Thanks for your sweet comment.

XO Barbara

Barbara Muir said...

Hi Marcia,

I'm glad the portrait worked so well. Believe me I am resting. I haven't been out of the house in days. The antibiotics seem to have helped with the coughing so that is good. I like how you casually say you met Freud in London. I bet he loved you -- of course now I want to hear all about it.



Barbara Muir said...

Hi Kim,

I didn't see that article, but I'd love to. Well he did have his flaws. He was a gambler, and all he cared about was painting. He said that that was hard on a dog -- because dogs like routine. No doubt it was hard on women too. And children! There is a service in Toronto called MedVisit that we discovered when our children were young. They send out a doctor if you are really sick. You get a window of time (in our case about 8 hours) and a doctor arrives sometime in that window. We have had great luck with them because frequently we can't get in to see our own doctor for months, and so she'll send us to an after hours clinic. If you're really sick that's the last place you want to be.

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!