Sunday, September 17, 2017

More on New York plus saved by the garden

Toy boat on the pond in Central Park, New York City
I had an amazing time in New York City.  City of art and light
and entertainment and festivity.  I remember before I showed in
New York the first time that I was warned that New Yorkers are
cold.  I'm sure that cold New Yorker exists.  You may even know
him by name.  But I have never met a cold New Yorker.  What
I've met is warm, lovely people from all over the world, who
make that city their home, and who love to talk.  We had
conversations about art of course, and about music, and
food, and of course worried discussions of climate change
and the horrific hurricanes battering the southern U.S.

A couple shares a quiet picnic in Central Park

Now I am home.  As well as the people I miss glorious Central
Park, which I'm sure is one of the most ideal urban parks on the
planet -- so large, so filled with benches and quiet nooks, precious,
gorgeous trees, animal life, flowers and absolutely welcoming and
rich in beauty.
Dance by Matisse
at the MoMa in NYC
Plus I miss the galleries.  I miss the MoMA and the Met. Especially the
Met this time, which we visited twice.  I stared at Sargent's portrait of
Mrs. Hugh Hammersley for probably the 20th time, and was struck anew by the
strange and magical techniques Sargent had used painting this woman.
 I loved the Portrait of Theodore Duret by James McNeill Whistler,
and Mary Cassatt's Portrait of a Young Girl.

Portrait of Mrs Hugh Hammersley
By John Singer Sargent
The Met, NYC

Portrait of Theodore Duret 
by James McNeill Whistler
Met Museum, NYC
(I love the discussion on the link about
why the woman's evening cape was
needed for contrast.  But looking at the
painting I saw a dutiful mate waiting patiently 
for his wife or girlfriend at the end of 
a gala evening, and that made me smile.)

Portrait of a Young Girl
by Mary Cassatt -- The Met Museum NYC

 I came home feeling terribly sad to have to say goodbye.  I'm
probably an artist who would be happy living in a hotel.  But I'd miss
my cats (the siamese is calling at the moment asking to be held),
and my dog, and this week the garden.  My Japanese Anemones,
taller than I am at 5'4", are a blaze of white blooms against their dark,
green leafy base.  So perfect.  And the Morning Glories are the size
of saucers, maybe even larger in a blue that's impossible to
replicate -- one of the most joyous, soulful colours I've ever
seen.  My gallery director in NYC helped me out with my acute case
of homesickness for her city.  She told me I could not have the life
I have here in Toronto in New York, with a small house and a garden,
and the peace to create the art I make.  She's right.  Few people in downtown
New York have even a small backyard.
Japanese Anemones in our little garden -- a super cheerful sight.
She turned my heart back in the direction of home, and now back with
my family and friends my sadness is gone and I'm happy and content
with my memories.  For now.  But I'm coming back New York.
You can count on it!

Have a loving travelling for art day.


Flora Doehler said...

Thanks for sharing New York. It sounds like you experienced the best of the best.
I've only been to New York a few times and also found people to be warm and friendly. The energy in that city is pretty exciting too. xo

Barbara Muir said...

Thank you Flora. Yes we did. It was wonderful. The energy is hard to beat. Something happening all the time,
art everywhere. Lots of glorious architecture. I wish Toronto would learn not to tear its older
buildings down. Love your work.


Verna Vogel said...

I'm glad you had such a wonderful time in NY, glad you have the opportunity to go there a few times, and also glad you are ok with being home in Toronto. Your anemones are truly beautiful. If I could grow flowers taller than myself, I'd fill the whole yard with them and then stand (or sit) right in the middle them, surrounded by beauty and feeling like a wee elf.


Barbara Muir said...

Hi Verna,

New York seems a long way ago now, but it was magical. And yes I love my Anemones -- over now, but they were amazing for so long. It was a long wet summer, and a long, warm fall. The cold has now hit, and I may go out and rescue the last flowers in the garden before the frost gets them.


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!