Friday, April 16, 2010

Controlling the procrastinating inner child

Water Series Image 1
Stage 6
Acrylic on canvas
30 x 30 inches
Barbara Muir © 2010

My inner child is tired today. She did not want to
do anything but read, talk on the phone and sleep.
How many students have the same problem. It's
handy that I teach them how not to procrastinate.
So I chanced upon a superb handout some of my
students prepared this term. Impressive little
thing -- a stack of 10 different coloured paper
cards, with tips on how to get over procrastinating
in large black print. They are held together at one
corner, so I can fan them out and read them one
by one. Good.

I gave the stack of ideas to my inner child, and
finally after a lot of coaxing and a large cup of tea
got her into the studio.

Now understand we have work to do. And I used
a method not included in the fabulous tips --
setting the timer. I set it for 20 minutes, and then
for a 10 minute break. That seemed to work. I
got a long way on this painting -- and I know I have
a long way to go. As the first 20 minutes ticked off
I felt my inner adult/artist take over. The relief!
I think she's back now, and I'm going to bed.
Tomorrow is another painting day.

Have an understanding-how-to-get-painting day.


Maike Josupeit said...

Nice painting as always. And thank you for your not procastinating tip. I am always afraid to start again if I didn´t paint for a while. Greetings from Berlin, Germany, Maike

Barbara Muir said...

Hi Maike,

Thank you very much. There are days when the timer is my best friend.

Greetings from Toronto. I hope I get to Berlin one day.

Take care,


Melinda said...

Sometimes we just have to trick that inner child into playing along with the schedules and demands of life. I like your idea of using a timer. Excellent suggestion.

This painting is fantastic! You're cookin' for sure and I hope you are walking tall and proud.

I'm so excited for you and your art future. You just know things are going to work out, yes?!!

Now, I do hope you'll treat yourself to a bit of a rest soon...

Barbara Muir said...

Hi Melinda,

I'm glad you understand. As artists in some ways we really can't grow up, and keep our creative eyes. So the demands of daily adult life actually stop many artists (especially women) in their tracks. I say this because you recently wrote about women. One of the saddest books I ever read was by Tillie Olsen called Silences, about why women quit creating art, and writing, and so on.

We have to combat the tendency to give in to housework and family demands, while continuing to do the housework and meet family demands.
Luckily things have changed considerably since she wrote the book in the late 70s. And we seem to be balancing pretty well right now. Eh?


Jala Pfaff said...

Lovely painting.

Barbara Muir said...

Hi Jala,

Thanks so much. I love your work, and your cats and dog.

Take care,


Portrait Artist

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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!