Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Loving the world

Poinsettias for Christmas
graphite, watercolour and watercolour crayon
on bond paper
Barbara Muir © 2009

I am a person who loves the world I live in, with all its
flaws. Tonight in the supermarket, I caught myself spinning
about Florence, comparing the food, and being negative.
A voice in my head (my better self) said, "Try loving
everything you see." Then I did. I noticed the incredible
shine on the big bottles of juice, the sloppy knitted black
toques (or maybe you call them tams) that girls shopping
were wearing. I remembered buying my hat in Florence
at a market stall, but I swiftly came back to where I was
and saw a young couple kissing behind his hat held
over their faces for privacy. This is in the grocery
store! I turned my head and stared at the shoe polish
on a shelf, noticing the gorgeous lettering on the container.

Downstairs the flower lady, Noreen, walked to the other end of
the floor trying to fine me a poinsettia in perfect
condition. We talked about Christmas in a chummy way.
She's not religious and neither am I. But I enjoy the
festivity. And I am 100% behind the return of the light.

My little sketch tonight is of the poinsettias we bought
today for the front hallway. I'm sure I'll paint them
again before the season's out with more punch and verve.

Happy Holidays and Best Wishes for a Happy New Year
to everyone.

Have a loving-everything-you-see day.


laura said...

I am going to try that: it sounds like a tonic, loving everything you see!
Your poinsettias are gorgeous, very lively; I like the dashes of pure blue!

Laurel Daniel said...

Well, it's hard to come down from such a high - but it sounds like you found just the remedy. Gratitude and contentment are choices we make and sometimes we forget that. Thanks for the reminder to look closely and love life. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays dear friend.

PS - LOVED following your trip to Italia... what a gift! XOXOXO

Gwen Bell said...

What a joyous, uplifting post! I can always count on you to turn my frown upside down. This Poinsettia painting is so lovely and happy...just like you.

Big fat hugs!

Zina Chmielowski said...

Hi Barbara,
Welcome back!
Love your sketch.
All the Best for this Holiday Season!
P.S. I hope you got my email with the wishes

Liza Hirst said...

How right you are again, Barbara!! I always try to concentrate on the positive side of life which is not always easy done but definitely helps.
Lovely painting! How do you find the time to squeeze a painting in with all the Christmas preparations? And that in spite of a cold and perhaps a jet lag???? You are incredible!
I wish you a wonderful Christmas with Stephen and whoever else might be with you!

cohen labelle said...

This and the preceding piece have your beautiful line – a ‘primavera’ line

The thing about this time of year is the enormous pressure and expectation to be happy, so it’s almost essential to be happy in spite of that.

As you imply - simply to love life and to delight in the festivities.

Barbara Muir said...

Hi Laura,

Thanks -- I'm glad you like the poinsettias -- they're not nearly as lovely as yours. Yes the blue is watercolour crayon, it did help.

Yes loving everything you see is the artist's (this one's) normal life.

Merry Christmas, and Happy New Year,


Barbara Muir said...

Hi Laurel,

Actually the highs just keep on coming, but you're right -- leaving Florence was pretty sad. And you're right, gratitude, contentment and joy are choices, and they can require work.

I'm so glad you liked our trip. Next time I hope you take part. I think the entire blog network we know should go.


Barbara Muir said...

Hi Gwen,

You are a sweetheart. Big, fat hugs to you too. I did feel really happy to see those things go in my hallway. We are so far behind on Christmas. I don't know if we'll make it on time.


Barbara Muir said...

Hi Zina,

Thanks so much. The best Holiday Wishes to you too.

Take care,


Barbara Muir said...

Dear Liza,

I am fantastically behind on Christmas. As I painted that painting my son was waiting for me to help him put up the tree. I'm glad the tree is smaller (and a bit sadder) than normal, because it goes in my studio and won't interfere with my work when I want to get painting again in earnest.

Merry Christmas to you and yours,


Barbara Muir said...

Hi Marcia,

I tried to draw your mother with the horse last night. What nerve. I just loved the little outfit she had on. So appropriate for giving a horse a hug.

Funny post.


L.Holm said...

Beautiful painting, and beautiful story. Gwen's right--truly uplifting! Merry Christmas and joy and light in 2010! hugs, Liz

Barbara Muir said...

Hi Liz,

Thanks so much. I'm glad you like the painting. I love yours of the dog. I'll be thinking of you and wishing you a happy holiday and a new year filled with love.

Warm hugs to you,


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!