Thursday, February 18, 2016

Making magic happen -- takes time.

 Untitled (work in progress)
Acrylic on canvas
24 x 24 inches
Barbara Muir © 2016
(The colour is not quite right.
I'll try and get a better picture tomorrow).

I wrote this post without this first thought attached,
read it and thought what?  For Valentine's Day
I bought my husband a cushion that says,
"Today I will make magic happen."  I got it
to let him know how special he is to me, and
to remind me of how magical it feels to live
with someone you love, and to get to experience
what Elizabeth Gilbert calls "Big Magic" --
the creative experience.  For me that's making art.
And teaching.

Occasionally people who don't make art want
to harness the process.  How does it work?
I would not like to be tracked all day as I paint,
then have a tea, read, then paint again, then sit
wondering about what I'm doing.  A non-painter
might go mad watching me.

But one of the questions artists get frequently is
"so how long does it take you to do a
painting?"  I don't know how this question
applies to our bizarre craft exactly, but one of
my artist friends answers, "50 years -- that's how
long I've been alive and working on becoming the
artist you see now."  That answer makes me laugh,
but in practical time-spent-on-the-work terms,
each painting is different.

Artists have to decide how much to charge for
their work based on something -- my rate sheet
is based essentially on size. But some work takes
what feels like a long, long time to look
like you just got excited and made it in an afternoon,
and other work happens joyfully quickly and looks
like it was painstakingly produced.  See? Hard to
answer.  So here's what I'm working on now --
a work in progress. Not quite done.  But it will be.

And the reason you haven't seen any work here
for awhile?  This painting falls into the first category.  It's
a painting of the schoolyard in my neighbourhood,
just across the street and up the hill.   As tempted
as I am to paint the bridge leading to the Grand
Palais in Paris -- which I dream of every night
since my last visit to that beautiful city in October --
for my upcoming landscape show I'm taking the best
advice to artists of every type, and starting with what I know,
and going from there.

Have a loving-your-own-neighbourhood day!


Wendy Barrett said...

A very enjoyable post Barbara! Love your work-in-progress!

Marilyn Flanegan said...

Barbara, this is striking. Sunbeams raking over the landscape - love this time of day.

cohen labelle said...

Hi Barbara,
It's a beaut!! - I'd like some of your magic to rub off on me, could we arrange for that? And could you throw in some discipline and patience while you're at it, I could use some of that, too.

love, Marcia

Barbara Muir said...

Hi Wendy,

Thank you so much. I'm so happy that you like it.
It teeters on the edge of finished! ;-)


Barbara Muir said...

Hi Marilyn,

I'm delighted that you like it. Yes this kind of day, and time of day makes me love my neighbourhood. Not quite the picture now -- snow and a bit cold.


Barbara Muir said...

Hey Marcia,

Here I am being totally dazzled by your paintings, and you talk
to me about discipline. I pretty much think you've got
it. Whereas I am taking myself away from my book, and
saying ---"paint girl please!" ;-)


Unknown said...

the painting is beautiful Barbara, I think you are on a roll with these lovely joyful skies and civilization happening below them. love the light and shadows.

Barbara Muir said...

Thank you so much Sally. When the mood changes my style changes I think. The landscape I'm working on now is pretty loose.
I sure miss you! Love your work!

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!