Sunday, May 31, 2009

Just chilling

Fiona the cat
Teaching a private lesson on
relaxation in the laundry room
Last week when I went to buy lottery tickets, the total the
for the latest draw was 49 million (Canadian -- so if you're
somewhere else it may not seem like a lot). I was buying
tickets for a draw of 4 million, which I would be entirely
pleased with if I won. People in the line started talking
about the 49 million one, and a 20 something fellow
behind me said, "Yeah I won that!" "Really," I asked,
so how are you using the money?" "Just chilling," he
said, and we both laughed.

"Just chilling," is not something city people are good
at all the time. It would probably take about 49 million
dollars to be comfortable enough as a city dweller with
a massive mortgage and kids to put through university,
to be able to "chill."

I asked the man why he was standing in line to buy
another ticket, and he said, "Well I have to help
my friends, don't I!" One of the things I love about
Toronto is the ready sense of humour I encounter
everywhere. In fact you can't paint a stereotype, but
I'd go so far as to say we're a funny culture. It isn't
the best country for the serious and dour. We like
to laugh, and we export our comedians on a regular
basis. Jim Carrey, Mike Myers, Samantha Bee
have all made names for themselves in the US and
there are dozens more.

So until my lottery win arrives I'm planning on
taking a summer course in "just chilling."
Now that would be Canadian. You can't just
"do" something, you have to "study" it. So
I'll sign up for a "chilling immersion" course,
and maybe by the end of the summer,
I'll know more about relaxing, than just,
"make tea, take the tea to your bedroom,
lie down, read your book, drift off to sleep
if you want to."

Have a knowing-exactly-how-to-chill day.


laura said...

Oh how I wish I could chill today, but the deadline on an onerous work project looms ... I'll chill when it's done!
On the ferry to DE a couple of weeks ago a lovely man from Toronto, traveling in the US for business, sat next to me and we talked the whole way--80 minutes!

Elizabeth Seaver said...

That sounds like a good subject for a book. Lots of folks need a step-by-step on that subject!

You made me grin--thanks, Barbara!

Oh, and thanks for weighing in on the commissions debate. Your post was the only one enthusiastically positive, and your point was well-taken. The times I had not had the time or occasion to create a relationship with the "commissioner" were the ones that were the difficult ones. Thanks for helping me with that epiphany!

Barbara Muir said...

Hi Laura,

I know what you mean. I wish I could chill too, but I'm also happy to be busy. I bet if we were ever on a ferry together, we'd have no trouble finding things to talk about. Watercolour for one.

Take care,


Barbara Muir said...

Hi Elizabeth,

Your work is so beautiful, that I can't imagine anyone being unhappy with it. But I think selling art, is like friendship. It requires positive feelings all'round.

You are sweet to say I helped you get an epiphany. I am learning by reading the ArtBiz blog. So I'm glad if I could pass on something useful. Maybe my cat should write a book. I could help her.

Take care,


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!