Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Art and life mentors

My portrait of Susan Carlin
quick sketch
charcoal on watercolour paper
12 x 9 inches
(One of my early blog mentors
was the artist Susan Carlin.  The day she
asked me to sit for a Skype portrait
and to do her portrait via Skype long distance to
Texas was a big day. I had already been interviewed by
Howard Wolinsky for a YouTube interview,
and was contacted by my friend Melinda 
Esparza who did a portrait drawing from Howard's first
YouTube interview with me.

Susan taught me a lot about drawing.
She taught me how to draw a curve.  Big lesson.  She
now can't remember that, but you did Susan
on one of your internet drawing classes! You are part of the 
reason I love drawing coffee cups)

Leaving your parents' sheltered and safe home to
go out on your own at 17 can have its downsides.
It is lonely - even if you live with a friend, and
scary, even if its in a safe area of town, and a lot
of work.  But what I was lucky enough to realize
early on -- if you read my earlier story about a family
in my neighbourhood who were kind to me as a seven
year old -- is that the world is full of mentors.

I was transformed from practically a stick figure
drawer at the end of high school, into a decent
life drawing artist in the 8 months of my first
school year at OCAD.

When I switched to English at a different university,
I was taught that contrary to the views expressed
by my family, I was smart!  What?  An A+ student
all of a sudden.  I could write a 40 page undergraduate
thesis on Iconography and Imagery in Edmund Spenser's
The Fairie Queene!

And so the story goes throughout my life.  Brilliant teachers,
wonderful artists, and magnificently inspiring friends and
mentors have given me the delightful life I live -- filled
with loving family, superb friends, exceptional books,
music, film, super walks and above all happiness.

Mentors in recent years other than family,  have been all of
the artists in the blog, Facebook and Instagram world, plus
the artists I show with, and in the art clubs I belong to.  So
ultimately this is a thank you!  Thank you for teaching me so
much on a continuous basis, and for supporting me.  You are
all my mentors and you empower me.

Have a mentoring someone day.


Candy said...

Barbara, this post is perfect. Uplifting! Thank you for sharing this.

Barbara Muir said...

Thank you so much Candy. I so love your work, and you keep me
going with your kind comments.


Susan Carlin said...

Thank you for taking me back! And thank you for being my friend all these years! Someday I’m going to show up at your door... Just you wait!

Barbara Muir said...

Hey Susan Carlin,

If you showed up at my door I'd be so happy. Let me know in advance so I can
tidy a bit. As an America you'd be shocked at how small a Toronto semi-detached
house is, but I'd have fun showing you my art.


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!