Friday, May 10, 2013

Sewing backwards and forward -- it's like painting


Mary at the ocean
Work in progress (stages 3, 4, 5, 6)
Acrylic on canvas
12 x 12 inches
Barbara Muir © 2013
For the past couple of days I've spent part of
the day working on a cover for my dog Zoey's
crate.  The old cover was a navy blue tablecloth
from Winners.  It had had its day.  I hauled out
my ancient sewing machine and used yards
of canvas I had to make a kind of rudimentary
box that covers the crate.

Sewing so that something won't fall apart
involves sewing backwards and forwards over
the same seam at both ends to strengthen it.
And this made me think of painting. It ws
liberating to learn that the artist Lucian Freud,
the painter had stacks of unfinished work
leaning against the walls of his studios,
and would often pull a painting out at random
to finish.

I saw this girl today and thought yes! She  is
an orphan girl in Tanzania who my friend Gill
taught when she was there in 2011. I started
this portrait a couple of summers ago, and felt
like working on it today.  There is a lot more to
do, but it's on its way.  I painted her friend  Jesca and
she and Mary were living at a school and orphanage called Peace
Matunda.  My other painting  is larger.

 
Mary at the ocean
Work in progress (Stages one and two)
Acrylic on canvas
12 x 12 inches
Barbara Muir © 2013
That's why I am going backwards and then forwards
just like in sewing, and I hope it makes for a
strong portrait.  It does make for a happy art
experience.  More to come.

The crate cover is admired by Zoey's fan club -- Fiona.
Zoey is inside ready for bed. By the way if
you don't have a dog, the crate is a refuge,
a private room.  Our dog loves hers, and
goes there whenever she needs to get away,
or in thunder storms.

How it looks with the front piece down

Have a going backwards and forwards for strength day.

4 comments:

Sally Chupick said...

this portrait is coming along nicely, and good job on the crate cover. Our dog we used to have used to love her crate too. happy painting

Barbara Muir said...

Hi Sally,

Thank you. The cats have already been rolling, and rolling on the top of it, and I will probably have to wash it three times a week, but it is still a vast improvement. People who don't have dogs can't imagine a dog actually loving to go into a cage. Of course Zoey has two or three folded up comforters piled in there and it is cozy and comfortable.

XO Barbara

Melinda said...

Yay! Thank you for sharing the cover and your dearies. I would love to see more photos of Zoey too.

Beautiful sewing, just like your painting. And, you, too!

Warm hugs--

Barbara Muir said...

Hi Melinda,

Thank you. I will take more photos of Zoey. She's a bit camera shy unless she's sleeping. I should have done a before and after of the crate. But hey! You are so sweet.

Hugs back at you,

XOXOXO 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!