Friday, June 19, 2009


Line drawing of my dog Zoey
black marker on sketchbook paper
8 1/2 x 11 inches
Barbara Muir © 2009

(note in this case the drawing has nothing to do with
the topic -- except perhaps that Zoey is a dog
with great charisma)

How important is charisma to an artist? Or to people in
general? Last night I watched a clip of Stephen Colbert
on Facebook working with Barack Obama, on what was
both a comedy sketch and a message to the troops.
Barack Obama has charisma -- grace, charm, humour,
dignity. He is such a wonderful person.

And Stephen Colbert, who was asking the president to work
with his script, seemed completely at home in the white house.
Dressed in his suit, saying his part, he was also charming,
kind, funny, respectful and dignified working on a comedy
routine with one of the most powerful men in the world.

Perhaps it all comes down to the confidence Alyson Stanfield's
book says we must all have. Confidence makes us comfortable
and kind. Being at home in your own personality is part
of what makes people charismatic. And all the rest is
learning. I think if we take a genuine interest in other people,
have a passion for what we do, work hard at our skills
in every area, get good at reading and responding to other
people's concerns about our work, we'll end up gaining
a quality that will stand us in good stead in our work,
and our lives at large -- charisma.

Have an enjoying-your-own-charisma day.


Melinda said...

We just watched the same Colbert show and thoroughly loved it! Yes, he and President Obama have great charisma.

Why do some have charisma and some do not? Some artists seem to have none, until you spend time with them up close. Others exude high energy and compelling charisma just by showing up. What of those who have charisma, but are not psychologically sound? Certainly they are confident without justification! This is a fascinating subject!

Of course, dogs have natural charisma. Your lovely drawing documents Zoey's special, good kind!

Barbara Muir said...

HI Melinda,

Sorry for taking so long to respond. I've been away in Ottawa researching places on the Gatineau River for friends who really might think of leaving the southern climates to find total tranquillity so free from stress and violence it's hard to believe it. I do think that many wonderful artists have charisma, like you and Bob Burridge, and Skip Lawrence.

It does help. Yes Zoey has charisma, a wonderful unconscious kind.

Take care


Melinda said...

Oh, you are so fun. It is quite touching to read that you are doing such research for your friends. They must be grateful. And, they must feel that there are many more good people and places in the world than just one!

Sometimes we can uncover charisma with when we take time to really listen to artists (others, too).

You have a vitality and charisma that crosses continents!

Portrait Artist

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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!