Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Acting like a traveller

View inside the Cathedral in Pisa, Italy

Most of the artists I know are not wealthy, so the
opportunities for travel are rare. For those of
us in the northern part of the country, the many
grey days of winter can become enervating.

Is there an Rx (prescription) for artistic ennui?
I've been thinking it's to act like someone new
to your city or town. What would you be doing
differently if you had never been there before?
Steven and I started talking about this when we
were in Florence -- wondering why you have so
much more fun when you're travelling than you
do sometimes at home. We decided that in part
it was because you are so much more experimental.
You have to be. So you eat at unknown restaurants,
you visit every possible museum. You are a culture
hound, constantly looking for new opportunities.

I know -- now you're saying -- well okay. That's in
Florence, where there is great food every five steps
or so, museums galore, and so much art you can't
not see it. For goodness sakes one night walking home
there was a girl dressed up standing alone in the middle
of a lit piazza singing opera in a gorgeous voice!

Okay but what about where you are? I feel very
lucky to be friends and colleagues with Frank
Daley who teaches a theater course at the college
where I teach. I've seen more theater in the past
few years with Frank and his family and friends,
and students from his theater class than I had
for years before I met him. Tonight Steven and I
went with Frank and his crew to see Jersey Boys.
What a wonderful musical about the Four Seasons
and Frankie Valli. The music, staging and acting was
superb. The show's been in town for a long time, and
I've wanted to see it, but I do lead a fairly busy life.
Frank made it easy to go, and it was like being in a
brand new city, and yet my own, to go out for
dinner to a new restaurant and see a hit show.

So treat yourself like a tourist. What would you
do? What are you missing?

I don't have a painting tonight, and it's an early
start tomorrow.

Have a living-like-a-traveller day.


Anonymous said...

Hi Barbara,

That light in the cathedral is gorgeous.

I love your narrative. Keeping a fresh eye for one's own city can be difficult 'cause we get so busy, but there's tons to do if we just pause long enough to look.

How was the show? I bet it was really great.


Barbara Muir said...

Hi Josephine,

Yes it is great to take a look from time to time. It's so easy to fall into a routine that encompasses all of life. The show was fantastic!!!




Thanks for mentioning the CBC broadcasts in a past blog. I load them on my ipod and listen to them while running errands. Great programs.

Barbara Muir said...

Hi Chris,

I'm glad you're enjoying the CBC. Where are you from? Super idea
to put them on your iPod. I recommend that to my students too.

Take care,



I'm from Easton, Maryland! And we are getting all the snow you aren't! 2 feet predicted for this latest storm.

Melinda said...

So very true, Barbara! I love this photo and your thoughts on being a tourist in your own town. It's an important message.

Barbara Muir said...

Hi Melinda,

We took our own advice last night and
went to see a great show in a local gallery because our friend was in it.

It was a drawing show, which in itself was fascinating, as those are rare.

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!