Drawing of a man III
marker on watercolour paper
8 x 10
Barbara Muir © 2009
(I admit I did this drawing
for my own amusement, because
I never draw people mid-gesture,
mid facial expression. I wanted to
see how it would look. Not perfect --
as soon as you photograph something
you see what should change, but still
funny. Why am I drawing men? Because
I paint so many women, I wanted you
to know I can also draw men. Okay --
maybe that's just one of the reasons.)
Seriously -- everybody has bad days. But what I
want to learn, is how to stay kind and thoughtful all
the time. I don't mean that I want to be a saint --
I'm firmly stuck in the human form, but I want
to notice as much as possible whether or not I'm
being kind, and to choose kindness in as many
as possible of my interactions. There's the goal.
Sometimes I slip up because of poor communication --
mine, sometimes I'm over the edge in fatigue.
Now how do you stay kind, when someone is being unkind
about someone you love? I posit this challenge to
my own theory to see whether or not I can dance
on the head of a pin. I would automatically
jump to the defense of my friends -- but what
about taking that position with people who are
friends badmouthing people you love? I think
kindness dictates some attempt at understanding,
and then perhaps an "I love you, and I love X
too, so I'm not the person to discuss this with."
Would that method hold up in art circles? I
think so. Here our tastes are so varied, that
we can't go cold because one of us likes realism,
and another prefers the glory of abstraction.
It isn't personal. It's taste. That means I
can love Larry Rivers -- not want to be him --
and you can go for Warhol. We're cool.
I like Lucian Freud, and Mary Cassatt. If I'd
known Mary, would she have liked Lucian -- no
way to tell at this point.
All right. I've answered some of my own
theoretical conundrums. As One of my favorite comedians
would say," Boy I love me." Isn't that kindness
too? Loving me. We teach our students to love
themselves, so they will be able to love others.
So now -- go ahead give yourself a big old artist
Have a giving-yourself-a-big-old-artist-hug day.