Tuesday, April 9, 2013

When life gets thick, paint it thick and thin

Patient with you
Art Group Painting
Acrylic on canvas
14 x 18
Barbara Muir © 2013
My life is insanely busy at this time of year. 
I can easily panic, and freeze up artistically if
I don't keep going.  Finding the time for art is
more of a challenge than ever, and yet art is my
work, my joy, my bottom line.  That's why I went
to paint with my art group tonight. And it was
lovely to see my friends, and watch them paint.

Studies show that even though we think a
hectically busy life is bad for us, it really isn't.
Our brains like the activity.  Good.  One of
the things I love is sliding great gobs of colour
across a canvas.  I did that in this painting
to rough in the lights and darks, with a fairly big
brush. Initially I thought I'd paint the model in a
black outline and stay very abstract.  But the model
was beautiful -- her face demanded a different

Try it yourself.  Take a few minutes from this
busy day, and put some colour down.  Tomorrow I
hope to slice some colour across a canvas
with a palette knife.  That really feels amazing.
Try it.  There.  Don't you feel great!

Have a loving-the-paint day.


Catherine Jeffrey said...

Great advice Barbara...I think I need to do that. Sometimes the hectic pace of life makes me freeze up and I don't know which direction to go in. There is nothing better than the spontaneous movement of paint around a surface.
This piece is lovely. I like the abstract shapes of the background.

cohen labelle said...

You're one hundred per cent right, Barbara, painting is your life line which you do so vigorously with so much relish.
I agree with CJ - it is great advice and this is a lovely piece.

Love, Marcia

Pam Holnback said...

Love the colors. I see a little bit of a Matisse influence here. We are lucky that our lives are full!

Melinda said...

Well, I did put some colour down...I'm hand painting the house this spring! Next, I'll get back to canvas, I hope.

Oh, but this painting is simply fantastic. I love it! You've got it going on, girl!

Thank you for the great advice.
Warm hugs from the desert.

Barbara Muir said...

Hi Catherine,

Thank you so much. The abstract shapes come from painting over a painting, which I frequently do when I paint with my group, because I don't think of those paintings as permanent. A friend once told me that you don't know how you will feel about a piece until a year has passed. I think he's right. I do like this one at the moment.

XO Barbara

Barbara Muir said...

Hi Marcia,

Thank you Marcia. I plan to take my own advice today. April is a dense month -- so much arbitrary paper work. One of my least loved activities. So the look and feel of paint feels like a rush, like getting out into the open air after being cramped up inside for days.

Love, Barbara

Barbara Muir said...

Hi Pam,

We are indeed lucky that our lives are full, and our eyes are full of that life. I think this started out quite differently than it ended up. One of the people in the class tried to say it was like a Francis Bacon, and it might have been at that point, but I softened the harsh blue on the left side of her face. She was a spectacular model.

XO Barbara

Barbara Muir said...

Hi Melinda,

I think painting the house is as exciting in a way as painting on canvas. You are making it gorgeous. I can use the warm hugs from the desert today because it is cold, so windy our Canadian flag fell down, and a cold rain is falling. (The flag at the front of the house is in poor shape -- torn and pierced by the rose bush, that is winning in the struggle between them, and now blown down by a strong wind. I do love my country, but as the flag symbolizes -- she's having her problems).

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!