Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The need to draw

 Flowers in a copper kettle
8 1/2 x 11 inches
Pen and ink and coloured pencil on
watercolour paper
© Barbara Muir (date unknown)
(Another drawing from my very early
drawing for an income days)

I listened to an interview the other day on Q with Jian
Ghomeshi  with the artist, writer, and wonderful speaker,
Lynda Barry.  She said that all of us have a biological
need to draw, and that we all actually do draw all the
time.  She said that the relaxation we get from doing
something artful is essential to our physiological being.
I don't want Jian Ghomeshi, or the Q people to get
swelled heads, but I was so excited driving my car
to school that day, it's a wonder that I stayed on the road,
and that actually all was and is well.

The part I liked was not only do we all need to
draw, but that we all do, that everybody draws whether
they realize it, or not.  The doodling people
do in meetings, or on the phone is all part of this
desire to create expressing itself.  Wow.  You know
I think we're not alone in that.  You may think I'm
crazy, but I probably won't worry about it.
This summer the sparrow's nest in our eaves
fell down after the babies flew off.  It may well have
been the marauding blue jays that did it, but the
nest stayed on the path beside our house for a few
days, and I wish I'd photographed it.  That nest was
like the most interesting sculptural and textile
art.  It was lined in multiple colours of string, thread,
bits of cloth, paper towels, and the coloured feathers
people use for costumes.  Yep. Dyed feathers.

So maybe not only do all of us draw, but maybe all
creatures create.  A giant leap I know, but one I'm
willing to posit as I had to unplug the keyboard in my
son's room because our cat Fiona had learned how to
turn it on, and was making it play its automatic
symphonies, while adding a few notes of her own by
walking across the keys.

Have an enjoying-your-need-to-draw day.


Debra Keirce said...

Fun colors on the teapot! Nice painting!

cohen labelle said...

Hey Barbara, thanks for this link to Lynda Barry. She's a cool lady. I heard her interviewed - or David did - a year and a half ago on Writers and Company with Eleanor Wachtel. He got very excited about her and so I listened too.
It's also doodling that she talks about and how it unleashes the creative flow. Just pick up a pencil or a brush,
and whamo you've got the start of something good. All these fancy machines shouldn't make us forget these basic tools.

Barbara Muir said...

Hi Deb,

Thanks so much. This was in my coloured pencil phase. Once I started painting all the time, I never looked back.

Take care,


Barbara Muir said...

You're right Marcia,

We should not forget our basic tools.
If I knew how to draw on a computer I don't think I'd abandon painting. Hard to say. I don't know how, so it's not a dilemma for the near future. Isn't Lynda Barry great? She's a new discovery for me, and a happy one.

Love Barbara

Nicki said...

Hi Barbara,

Another interesting post... thank you for making me think and smile. The nest you found does sound intriguing... an installation artist could spin off a wonderful show from that very image!

I also love this happy drawing. I wonder what other treasures you will show us from your early days...

Nicki XO

Barbara Muir said...

Hi NIcki,

The nest was truly awesome, and tastefully done. That's what amazed me -- the colours all worked together -- it was a warm palette, and the dyed feathers were bright pink and red. Plus I think there may have even been a spot of something shiny, maybe silver. Sparrows really know how to decorate a kid's room.


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!