Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Praise be to the internet gods

I almost (that's a proviso) understand the primitive urge to pacify
the gods with foods, and wine and whatever it took to bring the sun
back and let the crops grow. Tonight the Internet is shaky here, so
if you've written to me today, I'll respond tomorrow to everything
when the system is not so blocked. It would wake the neighbours
up to chant and carry on. We did light candles at dinner, but I
don't think I could bluff the Internet into thinking that that was
more than our dinner time ritual -- more connected to warmth
light and beauty, than to getting the electronic world on our side.

On the terrace before the dance

24 x 36 inches

acrylic on canvas

I am not addicted to blogging, because my other rich life carries
on. For instance in two minutes it's time to go and watch Jon
Stewart. But I do love reading my friends' blogs, learning about
what and how they are painting, seeing what matters in their
lives. This means the world to me. Okay you're making me
nervous. I couldn't sacrifice anything except maybe my breakfast
cereal after I've had a bowl. Does that require special costume,
over and above a flannel nightie and thick socks? I've never been
too good at this. I wasn't even a girl scout. All that saluting and
formality made me nervous, and the uniforms were the wrong

Enough said, come back baby, come back. Forgive me Internet.
My modern mind suggests that it may be my American friends
Googling about the election (let's face it all of my Canadian friends
are enthralled and on edge about the American elections too).
Plus it snowed today, so weather may be spoiling my fun.
All I'm saying is I want the problem over with.

It was a superb day at school today, after negotiating the ice
in the parking lot with my healing but terrified ankle, I
loved every minute in the place. The teachers in my area
were in a highly jovial mood, the students were working hard
writing, and putting on excellent presentations. I felt lucky
to be alive and doing what I do.

The image tonight is one I posted earlier, but the photograph
was so poor that you couldn't really see what it looked like.
The model was Tia Reid, a former neighbour, who is off
at university now doing great things. She is a brilliant
girl, had frighteningly high marks all through high school,
and was an exceptional model. I'd like to get her back
sometime when she's in town. This painting is in a
weird way a homage to Richard Diebenkorn, even though it
looks nothing like his work. It reminded me of the
Californian light.

Have a keeping-the-blogging-gods-happy day.


Melinda said...


This is a wonderful portrait of a very intelligent looking woman. You really have beautifully captured your admiration of her. I can see a suggestion to Diebenkorn. Is it the cerulean blue sky?

Yes, I think the internet is clogged a bit as we are addicted to the upcoming election results. Goodness. I'm so ready for it all to be over. Yet, am afraid it might not turn out as most of us would like. I hand carried my ballot downtown to the recorder's office just to be safe.

You made me laugh at the mention of girl scouting. I was in, those were ugly uniforms. But, I know how to set up a campsite (dig a latrine, bake in a smoldering fire, etc.), work a little on cars and can fashion a water collection tarp if stranded in the desert (not that a glass of water in a 24 hour period would save anyone, but it would be something to fill the time until the inevitable)!

Hope we Americans aren't the problem. If so, hang on, we'll be exhausted and sleepy soon, like candy addled children the day after Halloween.

Barbara Muir said...

Hi Melinda,

Nothing wrong with being a girl scout. I just couldn't do it. When I was a kid I didn't want more rules and regulations. I just wanted to read a book in my room. I haven't changed much. But if I'm ever in the desert, I know who I want with me.

All of the conversation here is about the American election. There's a big feeling that the outcome could change the world,
for the better, or the opposite.

Let's hope the first is true.

Love your comment, and your blog,


Edgar said...

Tempt not the internet gods, for they are small (really tiny), petty, cheeto-eating, flop-eared tooth-gnashers, and they are jealous of the candlelit dinner gods.

If you seek their dispensation, they demand greater and more frequent sacrifices... maybe a PAINTING A DAY would satisfy them (but only if accompanied with a suitably ennobling quotation from a long-dead mystic philosopher about the nature of beauty or the emergence of the creative Self [discovered only after many tedious hours of cross-referencing to try to verify the source, because who really believes Wiki?] plus a pithy original comment on the Declining State of All Things, or at least the Wonders of Fuel Vapor Reclamation, because the internet gods still prefer text to images, as a result of their incestual relationship with the search engine quasi-dieties).

Come to think of it, that sounds deplorably like a self-flagellation cult, and pretty much what I find everywhere I go on the intertubes.

Better to take the time to do a good, vibrant portrait like this one, and resist the urge to be Disciplined by lesser beings.

(From this side of the line, I can tell you, living in McCain's home state is just plain spooky.)

P.S.: "I'm not an addict"... Good one!

Barbara Muir said...

Hi Edgar,

Do I fit the description of"self
flagellant"? How dramatic. There's
a lot of that in early Canadian
literature, which I was forced to read (for example Leonard Cohen's Beautiful Losers). Catherine Tekakwitha, a Christian
Mohawk/Algonquin, regularly indulged in the three "f"s -- flagellation, fasting and fire. A poor combo for a long life it turns out. She died at 24, so she wasn't think an attractive role model.

I love your blog, but feel I might need my doctorate to reply with sufficient erudition. And it's supper time again,and my turn to make -- something. So anon.

I guess it takes an addict to know one.

Have a good weekend. Don't stress
too much. McCain? Up hear McCain is
synonymous with oven ready frozen
fries. I'm not kidding.



Barbara Muir said...

Hi Edgar,

Lately I've been rushing and making mistakes. That should read "she wasn't and attractive role model."

Just saw "W". I'd be interested in
your thoughts on that one.


Barbara Muir said...

Hi Edgar,

Maybe I need my glasses checked. I
mean, "she wasn't an attractive role model."



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!