Thursday, January 28, 2010

Clearing out the past and remembering

A Boy and his dog
watercolour on watercolour paper
12 x 14 inches
Painted in 2003
Barbara Muir © 2010

As part of my "starting the new year off fresh" campaign
I've been work for a few hours a couple of times a week
attempting to throw out things I don't use anymore.
For someone who is hopelessly sentimental, this is a
challenge to put it mildly. In the course of today's
purge, I found this very nice little painting in a rather
horrible frame, and thought I'd share it with you.

I will also get it reframed and keep it, because I like the
style, something I don't do anymore, and the subject matter --
my youngest when he was a boy at the schoolhouse, whiling
away a rainy afternoon, with his faithful companion Zoey
by his side, and his ever present Gameboy.

A more surprising thing happened when I replanned my
phone service and found out I'd lose all my saved voicemail.
This may seem trivial, but there are messages
there about wildly important events in recent years,
and my son's kindergarten class in Korea singing
We Wish You a Merry Christmas. I felt heartbroken at
the thought of not being able to hear some of those
messages (as it turns out I'd saved 10), so Steven
helped me figure out how to record them
forever, something I should have done all along.

I am working very hard at paring down my nostalgic
side to prepare for the new, and to make way for
awesome creativity. The new year seems like a watershed
time, and I've never had more of a desire for order than
I do now.

Have a letting-the-unimportant-go-and-keeping-what-matters day.


julie davis said...

Barbara, this is a dear piece. I can see any of my daughters and our family dog in it--what "typical" moments, but how very special they become once they've passed. Best of luck with your project. Order so often lends renewed energy--never a bad thing!

Melinda said...

This painting has so many endearing and important qualities. I love that you've captured a quiet moment in your son's life, a happy moment, with your sweet Zoey too. Beautiful colors, handsome boy, lovely dog!

Letting go of things is always bittersweet, but you'll be making room for new memories, yes?

Archiving is not my favorite task and organizing...hmmm. Always makes me feel antsy because it takes me away from art. Wishing you an easy time of it!!!

Barbara Muir said...

Hi Julie,

Thanks so much. Yes order does lend renewed energy. We were a bit depleted after Florence, and hit by a big cold. But now I am feeling fantastic and excited by the work you are doing.


Barbara Muir said...

Hi Melinda,

You are so sweet. Maybe it was the shake up of going to Florence, and that was a revelation in so many ways. But I am not having a hard time throwing out old clothes, old books, old you name it. I have suddenly acquired a definite yes/no attitude towards most things. So of course I am still way more on the yes side, but not in agony over letting anything go.


Liza Hirst said...

I did the same thing today and felt so good after I'd cleared a shelf full of old stuff which I had been wanting to do for ages.
Your feeling about your messages reminded me of my son a few years ago when he had his first mobile phone. He had saved all his messages for ages until finally he had to delete them to make space for new ones. He could hardly do it and told me he was nearly trembling when he pressed the delete button. He's very sentimental. But then he also realized that he actually felt liberated afterwards!
Nearly forgot to mention that this is a very beautiful painting - I love it and it reminds me of my sons, too.

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!