Acrylic and gold leaf on canvas
36 x 24 inches
Barbara Muir © 2004Here's the thing about art -- it defies that overblown
cliché, "it is what it is." It isn't. It can look
like it is what it is, but in fact it is colour, light,
design, harmony, planning and pleasure, hard
work and excitement, bundled up to make
an image, or images, that are something new.
For instance this portrait of Sandra Martin,
the Toronto writer, is not an exact photographic
replica of Sandra, but it captures the mood,
the sparkle in her eyes, her vivid intelligence.
It was painted from life. No her hands aren't that
big, but they impressed me as I painted her,
probably because those are the hands that
capture her wonderful work for her on the computer.
They deserve to be honoured. (By the way, at the
time her hair was blue.)
"It is what it is," is a sentence that drives me
mad. It's a perfect phrase for people giving
up on something. Art is made by people who
don't give up, they keep on going.
I stood laughing in a light snowfall Sunday
with an artist who has so much gusto and
drive it isn't funny. I was visiting
Kim Rempel at the Christmas Handmade
Market at the Honsberger Estate Winery
in Jordan, Ontario. Traffic was manic because
of the snow and the Santa Claus parade in Toronto.
So we arrived just as the event was closing, but on
time to see Kim. She was as usual, kind, buoyant and
happy to see us even at that late hour.
I am working on something, but can't show it to
you today. For those of you living in the snow belt,
try to stay positive, and drive carefully.
If you live in southern (warm) climates. Enjoy.
We are working hard on not being jealous.
Have an enjoying-each-day day.