To please the bees (work in progress)
Acrylic on canvas
8 x 8 inches
Barbara Muir © 2011
(I'm working on a large work and for relief I sat on my back
porch to paint our glorious apple tree. Inside as I worked
rejoicing that the apple tree was in full bloom and also
filled with honey bees.)Three weeks ago it snowed here. Maybe it's four,
but my point is that not even a month ago a day
like today and yesterday would have been any Torontonian's
dream come true. All of the major Home Decor magazines
are telling us we should have outdoor rooms. I think
I have such a thing -- it's called a back porch. Just a
bit of a concrete deck with a roof over it. We clean
it up, stick some chairs and pillows out, candles,
maybe a container with some of the flowers from the
garden -- presto. But the truth is an outdoor room,
a flourishing garden -- these add to the tasks we have
I say try this. (This is especially helpful if you work at
home.) Start painting, keep going. Good -- now get
to a place that feels really awkward. Stop. There is
no one watching you to make sure you keep going. So
go outside. Sit in your outdoor room. Then see the
garden. You'll think, 'maybe I could just weed for a couple of
minutes' (It's true. You can.) Weed until you want to
quit (five -- maybe ten minutes at the most), then get
restless and go inside. Inside put on a load of wash,
sweep the floor. (Only five more minutes have passed).
Get restless, and guess what? You're back at the painting.
To change it up. Unload the dishwasher in your next break.
Go outside with a cup of tea, weed, load the dishwasher
and back to the painting. No one tells you that this is
how Georgia O'Keefe painted those bones, or how Michelangelo
painted the Sistine chapel. But rumour has it that their
respective places were spotless, the dishes done, the beds
made when they were at the height of their creativity.
Is my place spotless? No not at all. But it's a lot tidier than
it would be if I weren't painting.
Have a balancing-it-all-with-pleasure day.