Monday, July 13, 2015

Finishing work -- with a friend's help


From the market (work in progress)
Acrylic on canvas
16 x 20 inches
Barbara Muir © 2015
Two weeks ago I started this painting after
buying an amazing bouquet at the Brickworks
Market here in Toronto from my friend Pegann.

I loved the bouquet, but it was unfamiliar in many
ways.  I didn't know any of the flowers, I am not usually
a fan of purple, and I just wanted to be fast and
loose in preparation for a big portrait I am working
on.

I was a flower painter first and foremost which
should have made it easy -- but post trip exhaustion,
then a horrific cold got me off track.

I was talking about all of that to an artist friend
today, who challenged me to do a painting in
purple, green, brown, grey, black and yellow.
Huh!  I thought.  What am I some kid just out
of art school?  Do I need assignments?

 Colour study
Acrylic on birch panel
5 x 7 inches
Barbara Muir © 2015
Well apparently yes.  Because working on that
little painting, with colours I would never choose
first, gave me my resolve, and I went back to
nearly finish the flowers.  Doing what was so
not me, gave me back the me of me.  Thank you
to my friend, the great artist, Franco.

Have a-trying-something-new-day.

10 comments:

Franco The creator said...

Barbara you and Steven are my everything ...I'm so thankful and humbled to the CREATOR for bringing u into my life..the
Airing looks beautiful. I mean that...u see purple ain't so bad after All..

Love Franco the creator
www.artbyfranco.com

Barbara Muir said...

Hi Franco,

Thank you for your super kind words, and for your great advice
yesterday! We're so delighted that we met you in New
York, and that we get to see your amazing work. Wow! I
have used purple before -- of course. It's just not top of
my list. Maybe it's the association with royalty, and much
as I enjoy seeing the royals, I'm so not one of them! ;-)

XOXOXOXOXO Barbara

Belinda Del Pesco said...

What a beautiful painting! There is not a brush stroke of evidence that it was a struggle. Bravo on finishing it, and sharing it with the rest of us, and I hope your cold and travel fatigue are long gone. Paint on!

Barbara Muir said...

Thank you Belinda. That means a lot to me. When I struggle I
usually can't face the studio. I have a lot of tricks to
keep me there, but the alternate painting turned out to
be super helpful!

Love your work!

XOXOXOXOXO Barbara

Marilyn Flanegan said...

Hi Barbara,
You stick with it much better than me as I just finished a painting I started in January of 2014. The stall was the result of a friend's comment at the time, one that wasn't easy to hear. It's take a while, but I've grown to love all comments - some may be more about them than you and are in need of sifting out, while others spark discernment of why we do what we do.
Amazing what I've learned from this last painting!
I didn't know that you began painting flowers - explains why they're so lovely. Now I shall dive deeper into your blog!
: )

Sally Chupick said...

hey Barbara,great to hear the story of your assignment. Nice to have a little help from our friends...seems like the purple assignment was good for you too! I love those canterbury bells, I think that's what they are. They come in pink and white too. I love this flower painting.

Barbara Muir said...

Hi Marilyn,

I started drawing and painting flowers years ago when
my oldest boy was a baby. I needed to make some money
and I'd been to art school, so I thought -- "why not
paint and sell my work?" I drew with a straight nib pen
dipped in ink, and coloured my incredibly detailed drawings
with coloured pencil. Each drawing took at least 24 hours
of work, and I sold them for next to nothing. But I did
make some money, and my career as an artist began.

Love your work. I think friends should only say kind things
about your work, or go and do their own work. The friend who
helped me last night is a super fan of my paintings,
and he can say just about anything and I'll be happy! ;-)

XOXOXOXOXOXO Barbara

Barbara Muir said...

Hi Sally,

Love the Canterbury bells too, if that's what they're called.
And I know purple is my friend. Thank you for your kindness
and support, and I so love your work. We must talk soon.

XOXOXOXOXO Barbara

Wendy Barrett said...

Barbara, The flowers are gorgeous and I love the abstract too. It was very interesting hearing the background behind it all. The loosening up from these two paintings will no doubt serve your portrait well and I look forward to seeing it.
What an exciting life you lead - Paris sounded divine! How wonderful to have shown your work there! You show what sort of life one can have when daring to dream big and following it up with hard work, generosity and optimism!
I hope your knee is improving!

Barbara Muir said...

Hi Wendy,

Thank you so much. I have been staring at the portrait and promise
to work on it with gusto today. This past month or so
has been exciting indeed. Paris was amazing, and I did have
to keep checking that it was really me having that experience.
Yes it was! And now I'd love to go back!

Love your work.

XOXOXOXOXOXO 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!