Wednesday, May 30, 2018

In Memoriam -- portrait artists feel the loss

These are two separate portraits -- Bruce Northcote, and Judge Ann Northcote, his wife.
The paintings are acrylic on canvas,
24 x 36 inches each, and 
are by me -- Barbara Muir © 2011
I enjoyed painting them and was sad 
when the paintings were finished.
To read more click here.

These days I am mostly painting landscapes -- usually with
high clouds, and a background of oceans or lakes. But I've
spent a lot of my career as an artist painting people, which
lead to portrait commissions like the ones I want to honour

I was commissioned to paint Judge Ann Northcote, a citizenship
judge and her husband Bruce ten and a half years ago.  Ann
was a lovely person, passionate about Canada, proud of her
job and her Order of Canada pin.  And Bruce, her husband,
was a retired accountant, passionate gardener and traveller.

One of the most touching things about the couple was how much
they clearly loved one another.  I think that comes out in the paintings.

Ann died in 2011, and Bruce died this month.  I was commissioned
to do the portraits by one of their sons, a friend of ours.  When you
 have subjects coming to pose for you, you are very much in the
present moment -- wanting to capture their expressions and personalities.
You don't think that one day these images will speak to coming generations
about who they are.  I hope I've done them proud.

Bruce had a quiet sense of humour, and he was observant.  He
showed up in my studio smartly dressed with the smart red tie in
the painting.  And he quickly noticed that I complimented him a lot
on the tie, and so he added the pocket handkerchief.

I had so much fun getting to know this couple, and I am so
sorry for the family's loss in Bruce's death.  Rest in Peace
Bruce Northcote, may you be with Ann again.


Verna Vogel said...

Oh Barbara, these are very fine portraits. Based on your brief descriptions, I think you have done Ann and Bruce proud.

A friend of ours recently died, awfully abruptly, and I had made several portraits of him over the years. What a feeling, to look at them now. There were many facets to his personality, some of which I think I caught in the portraits. I also hope I did him proud, and hope he is at peace now.


Verna Vogel said...

These portraits are really lovely, Barbara. In them I can see that Bruce and Ann would have been wonderful people to know. Even though I didn't know them, I think you have done them proud - I can see kindness and humour and confidence in them, in their faces and also in their overall physical demeanour.


Barbara Muir said...

Hi Verna,

Thank you so much. I love your portraits, and it is a part of portrait painting
that you don't consider when you're working on a painting. You are
concentrating so hard on trying to get it right, have the look the person
really conveys. I just saw your comments for the first time today. So
glad you like these paintings. I do. I wish these two were still alive, and
planning to swim in the pool they insisted I include in the background.


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!