Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Check lists

Pears Progress
Here's what's happened to Sandra's Pears
acrylic on canvas
8 x 8 inches
Barbara Muir © 2009
(I have a feeling that this painting, which
is evolving, will get more work before I decide
I can't do one more thing with it. But I
am happier than I was. If I use
David Lobenberg's mathematical
approach -- it's 90.1% finished. He
makes me laugh. School all day tomorrow.
I'm going to bed.)

This photo is of my garden six
years ago. The grass needs cutting,
but I can't believe how much the apple tree
has grown since its first summer,
and the shrubs!

If you knew me you'd know I'm the farthest thing from
organized. I get addled easily, and I am unconscionably
easily distracted by a phone call, piece of music, or a sudden
change in light, or a flower. In short I need check

Today is the first day of school, and I have been making
check lists for a couple of days. As I teach kids how to
get organized so they can survive first semester at
college, which usually dovetails nicely with their
19th birthday (the official age when teenagers can
drink alcohol easily), the check list may save their

Mine is about clothes -- what to wear -- all
clean and ready. Me -- the same. Lunch, prepared
and packed. Books -- ditto. Car - gas. dinner the
night before -- what to eat to be calm and energized.
Plus all of the other myriad details that go into arriving
at school on time, ready and raring to go. Did I remember
keys for the car, and my office, and now my USB stick to
put the notes up on the giant monitor because we're not
allowed to print them anymore!!!

Done. All ready. Whew. Now about painting. Same
deal. Check list. Canvasses are ready. Paints are in their
clear egg carton palette. Brushes are clean and dry and ready.
All systems -- fire away.

See? That was easy. I even have an Easy button from
Staples that I'll take to school and they can all hit it and
hear it say "That was Easy!" and feel a little less worried
about the year. Plus we'll all smile at one another. Put
that on the check list.

Have a happily-checking-things-off-the-list day


Liza Hirst said...

Barbara, I wish you a really good start of the new term with only nice pupils and lots of moments of smiling at eachother! (Actually, as far as I know you by now, I have no doubts about that!)

Barbara Muir said...

Hi Liza,
Thanks. It's always so nice to see the other teachers, and the students who greet you as you return. I had fun.

Take care,


Laurel Daniel said...

Hey You, I can never believe how much you accomplish in between my visits to your blog! You are a true inspiration in every way!!! (BTW - I particularly loved the image from one post where you ordered two teenagers to help an old lady. You are so GREAT! oh, and I love the plein air paintings of your neighborhood.) Okay, I am off for a week of workshopping, so I wanted to say adios and have a great week. Can't wait to see what you have done. XOXOX

Barbara Muir said...

Hi Laurel,

These fog paintings, grey studies are
amazing. I'm amazed at what you accomplish, and paint too.

Have a wonderful week. I'm glad you like my work. I am crazy about your work!


Mitzi Easley said...

Barbara - these pears are just wonderful. one of my all-time favorites of yours! I'm a list person too and love knowing that about another person... what do you teach?

Barbara Muir said...

Hi Mitzi,

I'm glad you like the pears. I teach a motivational psych course and English. I also teach art in private lessons from time to time.

Yes I live my life by the list, the endless, never finished list.

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: barbara.muir@sympatico.ca
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!