Thursday, June 17, 2010

Go Back

Farmhouse sunset
stages 1 and 2
acrylic on canvas
12 x 16 inches
Barbara Muir 2010
(I started a painting of a winter
scene today that I've been wanting
to paint -- since the winter!
This is the underpainting. So far so good.)

The shocking truth about human beings is that
we're always changing. When a student opens
an explanation with, "that's just the way I am."
I sometimes answer, "How you are is always
changing." This is especially true of young
adults, but it's also true of artists. Biologically
we're renewing our cells at a rapid rate. And
psychologically and creatively the same push
forward into new time, new thinking, new
ideas is always at work.

Do you ever get advised to go back? Go back to
what you used to do? Misguided advice.
Under the message of affection for
what you used to do, is a veiled criticism of
what you're doing now. It's a bit like the
comment, " I liked your hair better longer,"
or shorter, or darker. Or I liked you better
fatter, or thinner, or whatever... My
therapist friends would tell you these
are change back messages. The good news?
They almost always mean you're on the right
track -- your own.

A kind response is, "Really. Thank you but I like
me now." We are all on a journey in this life, and
the direction is forward
not back. I know sometimes it feels like we're
going around in circles, but we're not, we're
always acquiring knowledge, learning, growing.
So hold your present work in your heart where
the fire is. You are on the right track, doing
the right thing.

Think about driving. A driver tries to cut you
off, but you maneuver swiftly away, and down the road.
In 20 minutes you're somewhere else physically, and
creatively you are somewhere else entirely.

Have a being-somewhere-else-entirely day.


Anonymous said...

good advice Barbara. People often tell me they love my watercolours, i haven't done them for so long now. i dont care. i'm loving where i am right now.
That looks like an exciting little landscape, i love it already, cant wait to see the finished product.

Linda Popple said...

This is going to be another fantastic painting, Barbara. I enjoy watching your process as I learn so much from them. I also learn and enjoy your writing. Your positive attitude and willingness to share it is so inspiring and more often than not gives me something to think about during the day. I'm beginning to think of you as a friend who I look forward to meeting for coffee in the morning. :-)

Dale Sherman Blodget said...

Well, I think it's a very cool painting as is. But perhaps you could add a woman in a black evening gown. :) Just joking. found your blog through Edward Gordon's.

Karen Bruson said...

I love this painting just the way it is!

Nicki said...

Hi Barbara,

This post has given me food for thought and ties into some things I have been thinking about lately. As always, I enjoy dropping by for more than just the art!

Have a great weekend!


Barbara Muir said...

Hi Sally,

Thanks so much. I met a lady a few weeks ago who moved easily back and forth between different techniques, and I admire that. But I also think we need permission to be where we are right not. I love your current work.
I'm glad you like the painting so far.

Take care,


Barbara Muir said...

Hi Linda,

Thanks so much. A tip of the coffee cup to you. You probably routinely drink yours earlier than I do, but we meet in the cyber café where all is possible. Isn't that great!

Take care,


Barbara Muir said...

Hi Dale,

As soon as I read this, I could see this woman trudging up the deep snow in the driveway in her long velvet gown. That would be beautiful, but it's a different painting. Glad you found me through the fantastic Edward B.

Take care,


Barbara Muir said...

Hi Karen,

Thanks so much. I hope that whatever I do improves it. You are totally sweet to say that.

Take care,


Barbara Muir said...

Hi Nicki,

We are going to have a great weekend.
It's Father's day, and I am lucky to live with a great father, and to have two loving sons who will celebrate with us on the day. It's a wonderful world. Thanks for being part of it.


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!