Friday, June 26, 2009

Slow down

Mother and daughter in normal light
almost finished. A bit more work
to do tomorrow
acrylic and gold leaf on canvas
36" x 48"
Barbara Muir © 2009

You know that feeling of looming deadline that ramps
up your adrenalin and makes you move through projects
at astounding speed. Does it? I've been living on the
edge of deadline since mid-March I think. There were
the marking deadlines, followed by astoundingly
brilliant, glorious, unexpected media deadlines, followed
by a hyper active work scene and a seeming tidal wave
of deadlines. I've been an adrenalin junkie -- constantly
on edge, constantly excited and living in the world of
"Wow, wow, wow!"

All this is wonderful -- but artists also need the opposite.
That is the ability to slow down, follow impulses, sort
things through and to think -- about painting -- or radical
as it seems, about nothing at all. Today in the middle of
many deadlines I took three hours off. Okay so it's late
and I'm still working, but those three hours, reading
my novel, reading your blogs, tidying, sitting outside
eating dinner watching the clouds rolling in from the
west and watching a robin dig in my neighbour's yard
for worms, made my day. My husband and I bought
groceries and sang on the way home at top volume.

Mother and daughter
with the flash hitting the gold paint and
gold leaf
acrylic on canvas
36" x 48"
Barbara Muir © 2009

I went back to work renewed. I've almost finished
my big painting, which I'll show you, and in the morning
I'll finish the hands and the background, and it will be
done. I worked on other paintings too and they're
coming along. And I plan to block off some slow down
time, tomorrow and the next day too. An excellent plan.

Have a hey-I-can't-now-I'm-slowing-down day.


L.Holm said...

This is fantastic, Barbara. I love everything about this painting. Also agree wholeheartedly about the need to slow down, look, absorb, and think on occasion. Crucial part of the creative act. (intermixed with working like crazy!) lol.

Barbara Muir said...

Hi Liz,

Thanks so much. I love your recent portrait of the man.

Trying to slow down a bit. It seems like a very good idea.

Take care,


eldon warren said...

It seems sometimes the down time I really don't like is when I'm forced to. That's when I can hardly wait to get back in front of a canvas. I'm ready to do that. And when I've been blasting I get tired and would give anything for a slow down. You're right tho, we need time to think and have new ideas.
I really like this painting. Gold leaf even! Very impressive.

Barbara Muir said...

Hi Eldon,

I know what you mean. I just need thinking time between bouts of intense painting. A little each day is a good idea.

Glad you like it.

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!