Monday, October 4, 2010

The power of artist friendships for good

Today I had a long, long talk on the phone with a dear
friend, who is an artist.  We discussed the power of
positive thinking, neuroplasticity and ways to access
it, and strategies for tackling difficult work.  I felt
so energized after I hung up the phone.  Kind artist
friends set you up for success.  Their entire motivation
is to see you break through whatever barriers stop
you from moving forward, and in a good friendship your
motivation is the same -- to listen, love and encourage.
And to laugh.  Perhaps the laughter and also the acknowledgement
of sorrows are the most important fuel for creativity.
They are for me.  Laughter helps me stop taking my minor
worries so seriously, and sometimes with great friends
and family, laughter, sorrow and creativity are intertwined
into something close to the essence of life.

Taking a break from painting
Stages 5-8 (work in process)
Acrylic on canvas
30 x 30 inches
Barbara Muir © 2010

Whatever the reason, I know the magic of joie de vivre
let me get back to a couple of works I'm slowly developing.
This is one of them.  As far as I can see my method of
working with a more sustained work is a back and forwarding,
not a straight progression.  I underpaint, then confidently
move to the next layer, then decide that that too is
underpainting in places, then move on.  Tonight I did about
four layers in places on this one, and can see that for now this
is underpainting in many areas.  But the most important thing
for me was the energy, which stayed constant, and the
good feeling I had as I listened to interesting programs on the
radio and continued to paint.

Have a talking-to-fantastic-artist-friends day.


cohen labelle said...

Barbara, You are one of the funniest people I know and this is a marvelous portrait.
I can tell that you love working on it. But getting back to laughter - it was probably one of the first experiences I had when we first met to enjoy your capacity for humor and fun. If anything that capacity has grown as well as your talent.

Barbara Muir said...

Hi Marcia,

Thanks. Right back at you. You are hysterically funny. I don't remember laughing right away, but it makes sense. I remember your comedic timing was impeccable. As for talent you were, and are extremely talented. I stand in awe (and sit in awe.)

Love Barbara

Melinda said...

What a nice post and beautiful colors in your portrait!

Yes, I'm with you. Artist friendships are powerful.

One of the best things about blogging is that we artists support each other with such commitment and, as you wrote, joie de vivre!

Glad you're having fun and feeling inspired.

Barbara Muir said...

Hi Melinda,

Thank you. It is true that blogging in the way most artists do is a forum for fine supportive friendships. What a treat.

I'm glad you like the portrait. She's coming along. My other work has also been inspired by some delightful conversation. What a boon artist friendships are. I sometimes get tangled up in my internal phone cord, it's nice to step out and find vivacious thought at the other end of the phone.

Here's to artists and their communities.


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!