Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Yes we're changing!

Portrait Head for Water series
Stage three
acrylic on canvas
30 x 30 inches
Barbara Muir © 2010

Portrait head for Water series
Stage two
acrylic on canvas
30 x 30 inches
Barbara Muir © 2010

All of the cells in our bodies renew in a period of
seven years. So of course whether we want to or
not we're changing. I am really saying this to
comfort myself. When I feel like a chicken (no
aspersions cast on our feathered friends) I feel
stuck. You know that voice in your head, that
reaffirms the negative. We are all constantly
working against it. That voice is the one that
says, "There you go again. You're doing it again.
You see you can't change, you tried something
new and it isn't working."

In lucky people like me (maybe I'm manic/depressive,
but I don't think so, but I do always tell my
students I am ADHD -- perhaps not clinically
accurate, but certainly I trend that way, just look at
this sentence) the saving grace is wild, giddy
feelings of untrammeled hope, pure joy, ecstasy
in the face of my own, and others' triumphs large
ans small. Whew! That was a long and awkward
sentence. But look where we are now. We're out
of gloom and into joy, and that's the dance I work
on over and over. Okay the beginning might be
rough -- fear, worry, agonizing, but as the music
gets louder and the steps more energetic --
some kind of universal happiness leaks in and then
fills the room.

Such has been the process with the first three steps
of this painting. I cannot tell you where I'm going
with it, but I can tell you that at this stage, which
I'll affectionately call stage three (3) I am happy.
That's good enough for me.

If you think you can't change remember how long
it took you to fall in love with your first born,
your niece, or nephew, your kitten, or dog, or
your beloved. In my case my affection was
overpowering and instant in every example
above. And you know that each time your
heart made that giant leap toward affection,
your entire world changed. So yes you can
change, and you already have while you were
reading this. So have a soothing drink of milk,
or tea, or hot chocolate, or wine if you need it,
and take yourself back to the canvas, or your
writing, or to bed for a little nap before you
start again. It's all going to work out just fine.

The time to paint is upon us.

Have a what-do-you-know-I've-changed day.


Melinda said...

Exquisite painting, Barbara! Beautiful, clean, happy and serious work.

Aren't all artists a bit ADHD?! Feels like it most days, to me. Yes, my attention span is...look! Oh. Another shiny reflection...

I really like your suggestion to lie down for a little nap. I'll remember it. I'm still working on meditation too.

Be brave. You are brave. Be resolved. You are resolved. You paint regularly. That says it all.

Virtual hugs!

laura said...

I love stage three too. I think you must infuse your subjects with your happiness ... then they infuse us viewers. The expression on her face is so sweet, so joyous!

Liza Hirst said...

Yes, that's it - you infuse your paintings with your happiness, Barbara! And that always shows, like in this one.
It is beautiful and glowing.
I like what you wrote here, too. (I always do, actually...)
So reassuring at the end of an afternoon's struggle with paint.
Thank you!

Anonymous said...

That portrait is strong and such happiness shining through! You are the magician.
Love your words too.
flora xoox

cohen labelle said...

Hi Barbara

She’s lovely! Your water nymph - the flesh tones are beautiful!!

xoxoxoxoxo Marcia

Barbara Muir said...

Hi Melinda,

Thanks so much. I wrote about the great advice I've received here and in conversations with artists this week today. I now do feel brave. And resolved.

Thank you.


Barbara Muir said...

Hi Laura,

I think the infusion works every way.I've known this girl since she was six, and she always makes me happy when I paint her. I've painted her so many times that I don't even remember all the paintings she's in.

So yes I make her happy, but she makes me equally happy, and as you make me happy too, I'm glad we're all feeling that joy.

Take care,


Barbara Muir said...

Hi Liza,

Your description of yourself "struggling with paint" made me smile, because I'm sure those struggles are entirely internal. On the canvas every brushstroke you take is perfect, loose, intelligent, gorgeous.

Thanks for your kind friendship.


Barbara Muir said...

Hi Flora,

Your blog is magical. I loved the description of your "ordinary day".
I may respond to that sometime, but it made me so happy. I loved the picture of the bread rising, because I could smell that bread! I'm not eating bread right now, and I love to be with people who are. (addict).


Barbara Muir said...

Hi Marcia,

Thank you so much. I'm glad you like her. So far I am happy with my slow progress.


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!