Sunday, October 17, 2010

Getting there

I talked to an artist friend today about the phenomenon
of whether or not we think we're "real" artists.  She's
reading a book on art and fear and sees that all the greats
we admire were at least as insecure as we are, and that fame
and/or money don't necessarily change that.  She was
responding to the little video I posted yesterday on staying
true to yourself.
Fresh from the garden
Watercolour on Arches paper
12 x 14 inches
Barbara Muir © 2010
(The temperature is vacillating wildly
but at night it is quite cold.  My garden
flowers can't last much longer, so I'm
bringing them in as often as I
remember to.  This is a small bunch
I gathered today and had to record.)

Her point was that we're real artists when we decide we are
internally.  But I also think it's a lot like writing, in that you
may not decide to be an artist, art may decide it wants you --
and then you are in, hooked and will obsess about art every
day for the rest of your life.

Few people who aren't artists realize how much of an artist's
time is spent thinking about, planning, looking at the world
 and wanting to do more work, new work, different work,
and all of the unfinished work. The urge to create is overwhelming
 like a serious cold, it won't go away.  You look at a teacup,
your lover's face, the cold blue night sky, a car whizzing by, a movie,
 your dog, the book you're reading, the light -- ah the light, the light,
the light everywhere, and want to capture everything,
and even nothing.  You want colour and line, and absence
of colour and escape from line. You feel crazy and happy,
and sad and inspired.  And when this happens to you, you are a "real"
artist, a member of an ever growing club of creatives.  You
don't have all the answers and never will.  And that's okay.
You are getting there.

Have a happy-to-be-caught-in-this-paradigm day.


Sheila Vaughan said...

Barbara, that's an interesting observation. I am always ruminating about what the difference is between being a "painter" and being an "artist" and your suggestion here had not occurred to me. I'm not saying I am going along with it but it's a nice thing to add to the pot!

Gwen Bell said...

Love the delicate colors and lines in this beautiful floral!

What a great post! That drive and desire to create is intensely compelling. It feels necessary. It nourishes the soul just as food nourishes the body. I personally started feeling like an "Artist" when I stopped doing Commercial art and started painting what I wanted to. Good or bad, despite the judgment/opinions of others, it is still something that comes from a personal point of view. That in itself is very fulfilling!

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!