Tuesday, November 26, 2019

The rules. Really?

Untitled (work in progress)
Acrylic on canvas
24 x 24 inches
Barbara Muir © 2019
(This is one of the paintings
I'm working on right now.  I think
it's going to make me happy when
it's finished, because I already 
like it a lot.)

We need rules in life, and laws and information.
But in art we need to learn the rules that can
help us know how to create art, and then forget
all about rules.

This year I've been told a lot of rules.  It
helps that I'm a researcher.  It helps that you
are out there teaching me so much every day.
It helps that I've been doing this for a long
time.  It even helps that I'm a teacher
and have to invent, describe, prescribe rules.
That makes me a good kind of skeptical.

But I've been told -- "no one buys portraits."
"Don't paint your own life."  "Don't use
bright colours." "Don't make your portraits
look at the viewer."  Another one I read
recently was, "don't make your landscapes
about specific places."  I think that's a really
great one.  I sold a painting of a nature reserve
in the Netherlands in Toronto, paintings of
Toronto in New York City.  No one rule works
for everybody.

I've noticed that my most "successful"
artist friends follow their own rules, paint their
own heart and soul and story on the canvas.
Invent worlds.  And although they learn from
artists they admire, they follow no one.

Have a following your own heart and mind day.


Steven said...

Love your colours and your own rules. Follow your hand.

Anonymous said...


Barbara Muir said...

Thank you so much Steven. I'm delighted that you like my colours.


Barbara Muir said...

Thank you so much Anonymous. It would be nice to know
who you are.



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: barbara.muir@sympatico.ca
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!