Monday, December 6, 2010

Stepping back and walking towards peace

I've been painting on and off all day.  Actually
I've spent one hour marking and one hour painting,
alternating all day.  I used my iCal alarm to let
me know when to switch tasks and locales.  It
sounds pretty dry I know, but I teach time management,
and every now and then I have to apply my own

I've also been listening to wonderful talks on TED TV
while I was painting.  What an incredible pleasure.
One of my favorite lectures was by William Ury on
The Walk from No to Yes.  Ury's thoughts on how
to create peace in the world are inspiring and
fascinating to say the least. 
 Late afternoon light Pugwash
watercolour on Arches watercolour paper
16 x 12 inches
© Barbara Muir (date unknown)
Unfortunately I can't show you what I've been
working on. But I wanted to give you an image -- maybe
one you haven't seen.  In this watercolour image
I was trying to catch the magical light at the end of day
on the beach near Pugwash, Nova Scotia, where
we spend as much time as possible each summer.
  I've always been embarrassed by it, because it
doesn't do either the light, or the beach justice. 
But today I think it does capture something --
maybe it captures the feeling of peace, or the idea of
walking for peace.

I painted it at a time when my son, Christopher, was a young
teenager, and some of our happiest moments were spent walking
together.  Ury says that when you walk side by side, a
feeling of peace can develop.  I know that this is true.  I've
told my classes that if they walk beside someone for more
than 20 minutes they'll notice the endorphins kick
in, and the mood transform.  In fact the mood will
elevate considerably most of the time.  Some research
says 30 minutes, but night after night walking with one
of my sons, or with my husband at the time when this was
painted, I'd notice the talk move from complaint to wonder
at about the 20 minute point.

Now let's all try moving towards peace -- at home, and
on the planet.

Have a walking-towards-peace day


cohen labelle said...

Barbara, I'm about to step into a hot bath and then I'm off to bed. But you've just posted this, it's gorgeous. good for you! I can tell that you've had a good day!

Linda Popple said...

Very nice commentary!

eldon said...

I like the idea. I'll start paying attention. Thanks!

Melinda said...

I really love this painting, Barbara! I was just researching a bit on Nell Blaine and thought of you. Then, I come here...! Hmmm. Artists on the same wavelength again.

It's great, too, that you are able to apply your own teaching about time management. We have to use whatever we can, yes, to do all that we want to?!

Looking more of these kinds of paintings!

laura said...

Humans are fascinating--that is so true about walking alongside someone' it's a provocative thought and a reassuring one!
Love the tendrils of orange in your painting.

Melinda said...

Oh, yeah, if I walked awhile with you I'd prolly drop words, after looking at all the beauty you live with, the way I did earlier!

I meant that I'm really looking forward to seeing more work like this lovely watercolour!

Barbara Muir said...

Hi Marcia,

Glad you liked it. It's and oldie, so I guess I'll dig in that drawer some more for you.



Barbara Muir said...

Hi Linda,

Thanks. We walk beside one another metaphorically in blogland.


Barbara Muir said...

Hi Eldon,

Actually there's a parenting writer in Canada who suggests that talking in a car has the same effect. I think walking is better.

Take care,


Barbara Muir said...

Hi Melinda,

This one is from the back of the cupboard, or the drawers in the cold room that I never have time to explore. My mind has moved a long way away from those old watercolour days. But I guess that's why I like it now.


Hey uncanny what you were looking at. Hmmmm.

Barbara Muir said...

Hi Laura,

You are lucky to live by the sea. It haunts me -- the beauty I see every summer. But I also know I have never come close to getting that opulent light show.

Love your work.


Barbara Muir said...

Hi Melinda,

I love everything you write. Go easy on yourself. Typos are sent to try our patience, especially when we have something to say. You always have something great to say.


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!