Saturday, August 28, 2010

Charcoal, errands and the happy list

Lending her hands
Charcoal on bond paper
8 1/2 x 11 inches
Barbara Muir © 2010

Arghhh! (Sound of brief frustration). Okay I'm over it now.
I'd written my blog, and tried to do one other thing.
Pouf! Blog disappeared. But in true cheerful artist
style, here I go again.

Saturday for this household, as it no doubt is for yours
is a day of running around doing errands. True
I like to drink coffee and read the paper. But
today especially an absolutely perfect summer
day beckoned. 'Get out there!' screamed the blue
sky, puffy little clouds, waving leafy trees.

Check. I made it to the market with six minutes to
spare, and got fabulous peaches, field tomatoes,
baked goods from Alyson, and an breathtaking garden
bouquet from Pegann (pronounced like Megan).
Then I hurried home to have tea with a friend
at 2. After my favorite kind of conversation --
all about travel to Europe, Zoey (the dog) and
I walked my friend home. She'd arrived with
masses of flowers from her garden, and my mood
went sky high. Beautiful day, wonderful friends,
flowers everywhere.

I headed to the art store to get charcoal -- and
that explains tonight's medium. But not the
subject. Searching through my photos I found
an odd shot of my friend, Josephine, then
remembered. Struck by my frustration over
the reference for a painting I was working on, she
volunteered her hands as reference. In fact
she was trying to show me the hands of two
people. Impossible of course, but the photo
of her earnest effort touched me. I am so
blessed both with friends who want to help
me get on with the art, and with clients who
want to buy it. I conclude it's a great day.

The Happy List?

Start with 10 things, and work your way up.
Take today for instance. Always start with
"I'm happy because..." and repeat that
for every point.

1. I'm happy because it was sunny.
2. I'm happy because I bought delicious peaches.
3. I'm happy because I can make fresh
tomato and basil pasta tomorrow (one of my favorites.)
4. I'm happy because I read about a touching
book about friendship in the paper today, and
I plan to buy the book.
5. I'm happy because my friend brought me
hydrangeas and Japanese anemones. Gorgeous.
6. I'm happy because I blocked in a large portrait
yesterday (can't show you yet.)
7. I'm happy because I can hear Sam practicing
drama monologues down the hall.
8. I'm happy because I walked in the park at dusk
with Zoey and we saw the stars come out.
9. I'm happy because Fiona (the cat) is healing.
10. I'm happy because I know all of you, and if
I haven't commented lately, I know I'll catch up.
And I'm so delighted to know you and see the
amazing work you're doing.

Have a knowing-what-makes-you-happy day.


laura said...

I love your charcoal drawing! I haven't done any in a while, but it's nice to go back to b&W--without the seduction of color ... though your range of values here, those soft grays, are pretty sensuous too!
And I love love the Happy List.
I am going to make one right now--thank you for the inspiration you provide!

Karen Bruson said...

Very nice drawing and great job with her hand. They are hard to do. Nice happy list, too.

Laurel Daniel said...

I am happy to see this drawing and happy that I know you!!! XOXOXO

cohen labelle said...

What a totally charming and delightful drawing!!!
Also thank you for the happy list. It's the perfect antidote to my tsuris list which I have just revised!
I just put you on it - the revised list, i.e..
I'm happy that you are my friend and I'm happy that you're a wonderful artist!!!

love Marcia

Liza Hirst said...

I am always impressed by your sheer energy, which you express so well in your paintings and your writing!
Lovely drawing, lovely happy list, lovely Barbara!!!

Barbara Muir said...

Hi Laura,

Thanks so much. I do love the feel of charcoal on paper, but that seduction of colour is a big draw. Beautiful work on your outing with Mike.

Yes the lists help when things get a bit difficult.


Barbara Muir said...

Hi Karen,

I'm not sure if I did a great job, but I loved the photo of her pose. She was very carefully explaining to me how the hands would look. I loved the fact that she didn't think you
needed two people to create the look of two people holding hands. Too funny.

XO Barbara

Barbara Muir said...

Hi Laurel,

Yes. That's on my list for today. I'm happy to know you. I'm so happy to read your kind comments, and to get to see your wonderful work.


Barbara Muir said...

Hi Marcia,

I'm fairly skilled at the tsuris list myself, hence the happy list. (Perfect ending to a university English essay -- "Hence it succeeds.") Funny! Yes it's an antidote, ridiculously simple, and startlingly effective.

I am overjoyed that you are my friend, and it adds to your already overwhelming influence that you are a great artist too.



Barbara Muir said...

Hi Liza,

I started to hear music reading your comment. Lalalalalalalala lovely Liza with lalalalovely flowers in her haaaaair! Who sang that? I am frequently besieged by songs and then forced to share my observations. Just ask my family.

Thank you for your sweet comment.


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!