Saturday, October 10, 2009

Being Thankful

Flowers for Thanksgiving
acrylic on canvas
8 x 8 inches
Barbara Muir © 2009

I feel sorry for the author Barbara Ehrenreich who was interviewed in
today's Globe and Mail about her views on optimism. She thinks the push
for being positive leads to an unbalanced world. In fact she blames
the positive thinking movement for everything including the stock
market crash. I'm well aware that trying to look on the bright side
can rub people the wrong way. They think you're happy because
you're flaky, or in denial, or don't care about the world's problems.
Nothing could be farther from the truth. Some of the bravest people I know smile
as much as possible, despite terrible hardships -- disease,
loss of work, money worries, breakups. This doesn't mean
they don't cry too, or suffer, or that they pretend to be happy
just to be accepted in the world. They believe, and rightly so, that if
they can try to be happy for a few moments a day in the face of
adversity, they may feel better, and that if they feel better it will help
the people around them who are suffering too.

Canadian Thanksgiving is about gratitude for a plentiful
harvest. I like it because it's about food and sharing, not
a specific religion, so everyone can celebrate it. The day
provides an occasion for reflection on what we have to be
thankful for. I owe all my happiness to the people in my
life who have taught me to sing and dance even when life
is hard, and to hold onto the bright light of friendship
and creativity. I'm over the top grateful for
a simply wonderful year. I've met so many fabulous
artists, and learned things about painting that I couldn't have
imagined a year ago. On top of that I am blessed with kind
friends, a happy home, a loving husband, and great kids.

Working on being more positive is not the opposite of
thought. Being happy, I've realized, takes infinite courage.
Spreading happiness is a perfectly laudable goal from my
point of view, and makes life more enjoyable, and suffering
less painful. I know because my blog friends lift my spirits
every day.

My painting today is of the strangely exotic flowers I bought
from PegAn at the market today. It's getting cold, so
garden flowers are becoming scarce. I have never grown, or
purchased many of the flowers in today's bouquet. But I turned
a spotlight on the flowers and painted them against the
dark backdrop. They look like the expensive crewel work
shawl my friend couldn't afford to buy this week.

Have a great Canadian Thanksgiving


Linny D. Vine said...

Happy Thanksgiving to you too, Barbara. These flowers are "positively" beautiful!

Liza Hirst said...

Happy Thanksgiving, Barbara! We don't have this holiday over here but I am aware that it is a very important day to the Canadians and Americans and am with you in my thoughts. Hope to be able to participate in one of the luscious dinners I have heard about so often! This painting and also the anemones from Thursday are very beautiful! Like the dark background here - makes the flowers even more vibrant. Have a great Sunday, my friend!

LeSan said...

The painting is wonderful. Happy Thanksgiving my friend. Have a wonderful time!

Barbara Muir said...

Hi Linny,

Thanks so much. Yes. They are beautiful in a positive way. Thanks so much. I'm not a "shop locally" freak because I still want fruits we don't grow and even flowers we don't grow in the long winter. But I love buying food and flowers from people I've met face to face.

It is wonderful. And farmers' markets at Thanksgiving are the place to be.

Have a great one.


Barbara Muir said...

Hi Liza,

I know you don't have Thanksgiving there, but you were born here. I would just love to know you were coming tonight to sit at my studio table, a dining table for the night, and eat this delicious meal.

I'm glad you like the painting.


Barbara Muir said...

Hi LeSan,

I need to get caught up with your wonderful blog. Your writing is so good, funny and rich and just fantastic.

Take care,

I'll drink a toast to you and to all my blogger friends.


eldon warren said...

this little piece does have a fabric sort of stitchery kind of feel to it. Nice.

Barbara Muir said...

Hi Eldon,

Thanks so much. I hope you are feeling well.

Take care,


Elizabeth Seaver said...

Bravo for the remarks about smiling despite life's hardships--it is a kind of bravery.

Love the painting, Barbara!

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!