Monday, August 23, 2010

Slowing down to see

Valentine's Day Blue
Acrylic on canvas
12 x 16 inches
Barbara Muir © 2010
(I think this is the final version of
this painting. I changed the doors and
added more pink to the sky. Done.
I think. I just took the photo
again outside. It's still not
completely accurate, but much better!)

When I'm having trouble concentrating when I'm
painting, I like to listen to audio books. We do
the same thing on long drives (like the 14 hour drive
between Pugwash, Nova Scotia and Quebec City).
So today I went to the library to get some audio books
to listen to while I work on my current projects. I
shocked my friend Flora when I told her that 'no I
don't have an iPod. I think I did, but I was never
any good at earphones, especially earbuds.'

I parked about two blocks away, and was just about
to open the heavy library doors when I realized I'd
left my library card in the car. I got it out so I'd be
ready, then didn't put it in my pockets. Yeesh. So I
turned around and suddenly a visual feast popped
out at me on my walk back to the car. A lush spray
of pink roses, a mailbox painted to look like a house,
decorating a house that was exactly like the mailbox,
a woman walking by with a gorgeous sleeping baby
girl, facing forward in a snuggly, her plump legs and
arms hanging slack. A flock of small birds swooped
and flew up again in an impressive flutter of
synchronized flight. And I felt grateful for being
distracted and leaving my card behind.

Slow down the world said, and take a look you artist
you. You know. Open your eyes. So I did. Tonight
I've been working again on finishing the farmhouse.
The door was not quite right. I think that's it for this
winter baby.

Have a slowing-down-and-loving-what-you-see day.


Linda Popple said...

Beautiful painting and good reminder to slow down and see. Agreed!!

eldon said...

I've smelled a lot of roses in the last 9 months or so. I'm feeling like I need to take the opposite approach for a while and see if I can get a little more work done.

But I don't miss too many roses. Thanks for the advice, maybe it'll keep me from getting too crazy about it all.
Breath deep Eldon...Balance Balance
.....that's better. :)

Nicki said...

I love so many aspects of this painting. The way you handled the snow, the light on the short side of the house, and that glorious sky. I still maintain you would love the prairie skies. They certainly cause me to slow down and look.

I'm all caught up now. Sigh. What a wonderful morning I've just had with you!

XO Nicki

Barbara Muir said...

Hi Linda,

Thanks so much. I have to remind myself to pay attention when I'm painting. Not to get caught up in worry, or other thoughts. A big part of an artist's job is to pay attention.

Take care,


Barbara Muir said...

Hi Eldon,

You make me laugh. Can you ever smell too many roses. I don't think it's either one thing, or another. City people tend to rush a bit more than is entirely necessary. I sure notice the change of pace when I go almost anywhere else.

Yes by all means breathe.

You are too funny.

Take care,


Barbara Muir said...

Hi Nicki,

I think I'm just caught up on your blog. What a great summer you've had. That's wonderful. Super painting.


Liza Hirst said...

Oh dear, time flies far too quickly. I have of course visited your blog but every time I did, I didn't have time to comment and now several days have passed already - so sorry!
I LOVE this painting! You have captured the winter light perfectly and your colours are gorgeous!

Barbara Muir said...

Hi Liza,

Thanks so much. I'm so incredibly happy that you like it.

I hope you're having a wonderful trip.


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!