Thursday, January 29, 2015

Art talks

 Untitled (work in progress)
Acrylic on birch panel
8 x 10 inches
Barbara Muir © 2015
I didn't get too far today --what I like about
painting on wood is that if I just use a wash
and then sand the wood, the surface sucks the paint in
and insists on the wood texture. That's why I spent time
reinforcing my lights, and moving some borders.

A wonderful artist friend, came to tea and we talked
about painting. She's taking a course with an instructor
who says the subject isn't the point, it's the paint. I know
what he means, but the point for me is capturing
what I love looking at. And light is what gets me.

I'm reading a novel on Edgar Degas and Mary
Cassatt I Always Loved You by Robin Oliviera.
In the book Mary Cassatt and her friend are
talking about painting the old way --
classically -- and the new way -- like Degas.
It's fascinating to me how new the Degas way still is
for so many painters a century plus later.  The novel's
a delicious read.

Have a getting-the-light day.


Unknown said...

oh this hotel breakfast one is delish! yes I agree somewhat with your friend that the paint is the point. But I also agree that the passion has to be there to paint, and if you paint what you love it shines in your work.
I have jotted down the title of your book, sounds like a goodie, and that I need a trip to the library soon!

Carol said...

Just bought the book, thanks for the recommendation Barbara!

Sally Dean said...

I love your paintings! And, as always, your sentiments.
I ordered some birch panels from Cheap joes ( and they were cheap!) they sent me a free bottle of clear gesso- it worked great! Just sayin....

Karen Bruson said...

Looking great. Keep going.

Barbara Muir said...

Hi Sally,

I do think the paint is the point in part -- but I hope I don't stop in my tracks and consider whether that's true or not while I'm painting ;-)

I downloaded the book from the library on my iPad. If you do that the library is in your hands full time. Not the same as a paper book I know, but lovely, and no late fees!


Barbara Muir said...

Hi Carol,

I hope you enjoy it. I just started it so I do hope it's good. Miss seeing you.


Barbara Muir said...

Hi Sally Dean,

Thank you so much. I know I could use clear gesso, but it's not what I want. I want the would to bleed through and claim the work. I love what it does. I like the back and forth.


Barbara Muir said...

Hi Karen,

Thanks so much. I was captivated by your last painting. Thank you. I will keep going.


sarah makes pictures said...

"the subject isn't the point, it's the paint." Yes, this is something I have to remind myself constantly - that I'm not just making pictures, I'm making PAINTINGS. Looking at your work I can see how much fun you're having with your materials. Thanks for sharing, and keep it up!

Barbara Muir said...

Hi Sarah,

I love your paintings. Really I think we can talk ourselves into a bleak corner by not following our guts. I know people who have zero texture in their paintings and the work is beautiful. It's not only
individual to each person, but as I can see on your blog, to each painting.

Your work is beautiful.

Take care,


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!