I've been talking to my son who's at university tonight about
his courses. I know from the students I teach that
changing how well you are doing is greatly affected
by belief. It's very hard for young people to make
the connection between being positive, and
getting results. So I did what mothers do -- gave him
a pre-exam pep talk. My mother used to send
care packages filled with vitamin B rich foods. I
should do that too.
At the beginning of the evening I was looking at a
pile of exams that seemed to me to be about a mile
high. I kept marking, and marking and marking,
and the pile stayed exactly the same size. Of
course that was an optical illusion -- but if I kept
saying to myself that I'd never get through it -- I
wouldn't be writing to you now with every exam
marked in that pile, every word read and considered.
watercolour class with an excellent teacher. Right
away I can see what would bother him about the
painting -- the grasses -- and right away I see all
kinds of qualities I like, despite the grasses. At
the time I was trying to paint like my teacher,
Americo del Col, and like Skip Lawrence who was
my ultimate painting hero.
When I had mastered being like both of them,
I took a course with Skip and he had done the
unforgivable -- changed. White space? What
white space -- he painted with watercolour
direct from the tube onto the paper. Everything
was covered, much of the paper was painted
in opaque colour. He broke every watercolour
rule and turned out magnificent work.
Today I don't paint like either of them -- I
am actually developing a style and look of my
own. I don't think anything has changed except
absolutely everything about me. I've learned
(not completely I have lots of bad, hard times)
to enjoy my work, and trust creating what I
like -- and I've learned to believe in me, and
in my own taste most of the time. I work
on being positive, and have been lucky to
succeed more often than not.
Now I'm not a watercolour painter anymore,
but I have infinite appreciation for people
who are, like my friend Gill Cameron who
works magic with those tiny tubes.
Have a why-not-be-happy? day.
Friday, December 12, 2008
- Barbara Muir
- 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: firstname.lastname@example.org
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!