Wednesday, July 30, 2014

The Skylight Diner -- and the last strawberry

 Breakfast at the Skylight Diner, NYC
Acrylic on canvas
30 x 30 inches
Barbara Muir © 2014
In May this year in New York City I had a
romantic breakfast with my husband at
The Skylight Diner.  We might have spent
an hour in the restaurant, eating this fabulous
meal, drinking cups of coffee planning the day.
Which is where painting captures the real zen
of time.  Because it has taken me the better part
of a month to paint that moment.

I've been thinking about why, and I think it
has to do with love.  I usually paint people,
but when I paint still life or landscapes,
you can bet people made that vision stay
bound in my heart and brain, and determined
to hold it.  And that was a day when I loved
my husband, the meal, New York City, exhibiting
there, and our long taxi ride from the diner to
The Cloisters.

I am sure I've painted strawberries before.
I don't care if you've seen 100 movies
about art and obsession -- you
don't get it, until you sit down in front
of a painting that is maybe an hour away
from done, and you must finish.

Now that's when the creative spirit needs
to call on determination and grit to come
to the studio party.  Can I go for a break?
Yes!  On the clock -- five minutes, maybe
ten and then you get back in here.  That's
willpower talking, and logic. 

These strawberries decided to be center
stage, as they so often are, and that required
focus.  They aren't the whole story, but they
are delicious.  On the spring morning in New
York City when I ate them I was as happy as
can be.  Now hold onto that feeling -- ahhh.
That's it.  Here's your picture -- strawberries
and all.

Have a finishing-the-berries-on-your-plate day.
P.S.  I may change something minor tomorrow,
but I could not go to bed without sharing this
with you.


Unknown said...

It's beautiful Barbara! Good for you with that discipline, it's can be a slippery slope when you go for a break...easy to procrastinate...but determination pays off...that is one deliscious breakfast and a very happy painting.

Barbara Muir said...

Thank you Sally,

And congratulations on your daughter's beautiful wedding and your gorgeous work.


Flora said...

Stunning and delicious. And I really like the story too.
xo Flora

Barbara Muir said...

Hi Flora,

Thank you so much. I'm delighted that you like it, and the story. I remember that day so well. There was a dog tied up outside the restaurant, and everyone who walked by stopped and talked to her -- she looked a bit like our Sally. The delivery man walked out in black pants and a black shirt and jumped on a bicycle holding someone's breakfast, then drove off to deliver it. Pretty cool.


Frank Daley said...

Great! What time is breakfast?

Barbara Muir said...

Hi Frank -- just had a great one in the room at the Delta, in Ottawa . I'll toast you with a coffee.

XO Barbara

suzanneberry said...

This painting is stunning!! It and your words made me so happy. What a wonderful day and meal. beautifully done!

and thank you Barbara for your lovely words on my blog. it is so much easier to believe in what hurts than what makes one feel better. i'm tired of ignoring the obvious signs that are always there that Tim is with me always. And i'm sure your Mom is thrilled you know she put the poppies in the garden. They are always with us. Without a doubt! Take care!

Kim Rempel said...

Fantastic!! Even the french toast looks like it's in love : ) Fabulous painting Barbara. Your table paintings are the best. xo, Kim

Barbara Muir said...

Hi Suzanne,

Thank you so much. I love your work. I was just driving along the parkway in Ottawa telling him about you and your wonderful work and Tim. Keep painting please! The world deserves the beauty you create.


Barbara Muir said...

Hi Kim,

It's so nice when that happens. We're in a hotel today and I asked the room service people to put a table cloth on the table because I'm an artist. She did and set the most beautiful table! When she wheeled in the breakfast I showed her this painting and she was delighted that I sometimes paint breakfasts.

You totally rock, and I love your work!


Nicki said...

Barbara, this looks like the happiest breakfast ever! You have painted the joy you felt that morning. Congratulations on a painting well done, no wonder you were anxious to share it.


Barbara Muir said...

Hi Nicki,

Well it is hard to beat a joyous morning in May in New York City. Got to admit. That day will stay in my mind for some time. Gorgeous breakfast, beautiful ride up the Hudson, The Cloisters museum, and The Met, all in one day. Thrilling.

Dinners were pretty great too at one of the most beautiful Thai restaurants I've ever been in.


cohen labelle said...

Fabulous painting. Speaking of strawberries I'm thinking of Darryl Strawberry who was a star hitter for the Mets - I got that info from D - Well you've just made a home run with this marvellous still life.


Barbara Muir said...

Hi Marcia,

Thank you so much. Despite the fact that I met my sweetheart of lo so many years at a baseball game, I know very little about the sport. I'm afraid our thoughts were so not on the game that a fellow behind us suggested we should look for lodging ;-)

You are sweet.


Portrait Artist

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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!