Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Why I started to paint

 New in pink
Acrylic on birch panel
5 x 7 inches 
Barbara Muir © 2014
(One of my favourite paintings.
Small but exactly right.)
As a little girl I hated school.  The reason?  My mother
was way more fun, and a stay-at-home Mom.  She loved
reading books, singing songs, reciting poems, and made
delicious bread and brownies. Plus most of the time she
was kind and nice.  And she made me a big fan of the CBC.

School was different. It felt like we had military police for
kindergarten teachers.  Why I don't know.  My
first teacher Mrs. Jordan was always nervous and shrill.
Except when we were painting -- and I'd never painted
before.  Then she was a strangely spontaneous, happy
being.  At every other massively organized point in
the half day, she seemed to dislike children.

Looking back I think it was sweet of her to write on the
back of our paintings what they were about.  I wish I
still had the one of my mother holding baby me on her knee,
and eating cake at her wedding, and my father
looking on.  That one made my parents laugh
because I was their third child, and they were firmly
married before any of us came into the world.
Fresh from the garden
Watercolour on Arches paper
12 x 14 inches
Barbara Muir © 2010
That military order continued in school. Opportunities for
art were rare, but always worth it, always a great change
from the normal rote.  And in grade 7 and 8 I had the most
amazing art teacher.  We made life size wire and papier maché
sculptures of the characters from Alice in Wonderland.  And we
painted and dressed them!  The best.

That teacher, whose name I forget, got me really entranced
with art.  She was happy, and beautiful, in love with
her subject, and enjoyed her students.  The way teachers should be.
I have to thank art, and my middle school art teacher, for
giving me a fantastic life, and super friends in art.
To Miranda Brouwers in the Netherlands who is teaching art as
I write this.  You are bringing joy into your students' lives.
What could be better?

Have a bringing-joy-into-people's-lives day.

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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!