Thursday, August 22, 2013

Getting it right -- my latest portrait

 Summer Sisters
Acrylic on canvas
24 x 36 inches
Barbara Muir © 2013
Hi Everyone,
As promised here is the whole picture.  Here's the
story behind the painting.  I worked from an
image I took myself.  When I can do this, it's ideal,
because while I'm painting I can picture the moment
 so vividly.

There I was with these three beautiful sisters --
absolutely dazzled by their talents and opinions.
I was talking to them and learning about their lives.
They are all funny, and like most siblings like to
tease one another.  And all of a sudden when I
asked them if I could take their photo now, after
a series of very straight up and down formal poses,
they got so excited about the summer stretching ahead
of them.  (I think it was the last day of school), that they
fell together like this, and I got the perfect reference
for my portrait. Looking at my photos later I thought --
yes -- this one gets it -- this perfect time in their lives.

My thanks to my wonderful client, to the girls big time
for their patience with me (it took two visits to get
exactly the right image, and I used all of my photos
for reference as I worked), to my family, my artist friends,
and my friends for their support and belief in me.  I am
very proud of this painting.  And that is a great way to
be! Oh and thanks to Pam and John Vincett.  The
view from their dock was the inspiration for the background.
I knew my client loved her cottage, and she said this
was almost like the view there, although she had no
idea until she saw the painting that I was including this

Have a being-proud-of-what-you-do day.


Kim Rempel said...

Barbara! This is masterful! Wow. It is so natural and joyful and intimate. I'm so proud of you - what a painting to have made! I'd be jumping up and down with joy for a week. Absolutely perfect.

Mary Lou van Schaik said...

Hi Barbara -- what an absolutely gorgeous painting! You're right to be proud of it: it captures so much feeling and connection between the sisters. I love how the hands are all intertwined. Congratulations.

Unknown said...


Later, when they're each rooted in their individual adult lives, I bet they'll have to rotate this to each of their homes for one year at a time to share the joy.


Barbara Muir said...

Hi Kim,

Thank you so much. Your compliments have made my day. I really have been jumping up and down with joy all week waiting to show you the whole thing. You got me. Let's talk soon!

XOXO Barbara

Barbara Muir said...

Hi Mary Lou,

Thank you. Isn't it great the way their hands all tangled up? It reminds me of my childhood when we used to all sleep in the back seat on the way to the cottage. We were like four puppies. I like their ease with one another.

XOXO Barbara

Barbara Muir said...

Hi Belinda,

Thank you so much. There was talk at first of painting them individually. I would be happy to do that too. But for the family I thought this would be more dynamic. I just love how happy they all are. Their parents are wonderful. I love your work Belinda.

XOXO Barbara

Unknown said...

It's fantastic Barbara!!! Your clients are so lucky to have this beautiful portrait by you. Well done! Love the cottage scene behind them and I agree the pose is beautifully natural. awesome!

Barbara Muir said...

Hi Sally, Thank you. I'm so happy you like it. I felt really good about it, and you know how super that feels. I love your recent work. Amazing.

XOXO Barbara

LINDA B said...

My hubby was in tears over the beauty of this painting! He was bragging to all it was the BEST BIRTHDAY present EVER!!! Hes had all his girls captured with their giggles and hugs and it really reflect their individual personalities!
Thank you so much! It was a joy to work with you and this will be a family treasure for us always. Thank you so much! LINDA

Barbara Muir said...

Hi Linda,

I can't tell you how delighted I am that you both feel that way. I really loved meeting the girls. They are so beautiful, funny and talented. The portrait was a pure pleasure every time I worked on it. Just a treat. Thank you so much, and thank the girls, and thank your hubby for loving it. You've made my day. Again.

Every day on this project was a great one.

XOXO 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!