Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Tagged into the examined life

Socrates said that, "the unexamined life is not 
worth living."  To that end a blog called TripBase 
(a travel blog) began the "My 7 Links" project
,"to unite bloggers (from all sectors) in a joint
endeavor to share lessons learned and create a
bank of long, but not forgotten blog posts that
deserve to see the light of day again."
(• Note: Something strange is happening with the formatting.
Please forgive me.  I can't get my blog to close
the gaps.)
I was tagged by Kim Rempel and Nicki Ault

You could easily create new categories, because almost
any question you could think of would help us examine
our blogging life, but this particular exercise follows 
a certain set. To participate I am supposed to link to seven
of my previous posts based on the following categories:

- Your most
beautiful post
– Your most popular post
– Your most controversial post
– Your most helpful post
– A post whose success surprised you
– A post you feel didn’t get the attention it deserved
– The post that you are most proud of

The point is that unlike a book, which might sit around 

and be read over and over -- the blog world moves on.

So although I have some trouble fitting into these categories I'll try.
The first category is a toughie -- as I often paint beautiful people, 
 and flowers, and I don't find it easy to choose, but this post is about
the astonishing colour in the work in a chapel not usually open to
the public in the cathedral in Siena, Italy is beautiful, and so is the one
about what you see in Florence as a tourist.
My most beautiful posts:
1. Give me more colour please.
2. Goodbye to Florence

My most popular post
Not too surprisingly looking back through my post lists the most
popular posts were those about being on the Oprah Winfrey Show
via Skype in 2009.
Oprah Winfrey
Skype Sketch
willow charcoal on Canson Mi-Teintes paper
11 1/2 x 13 3/4 inches
Barbara Muir © 2009
Both the announcement post
Watch me on Oprah on Thursday,
and the post about being on the show
Wow that was so much fun!!!
attracted a lot of attention.  But interestingly so did my announcement
last summer that I was going to take a blog holiday.
Blog Holiday

My most controversial post?
 Spring tree at sunset
(work in progress)
Acrylic on wood panel
5 x 5 inches
Barbara Muir © 2011

I'm not a controversial blogger most of the time,
except for perhaps my post on Nuclear Power
prompted by the Fukushima nuclear plant disaster --
Earth Hour and Nukes.
Recently in a discussion about wind turbines in
Nova Scotia I was shocked to hear someone say that
"I guess wind is better than nukes."It certainly is.
Nuclear power's ability to ruin the environment
permanently (for 150,000 years) wherever it is used,
is something we choose not to understand.  After all which
is more important getting to use our air conditioners and
blow dryers now, or stopping irreversible damage to the
oceans and air we breathe. Wind -- almost a complete environmental
freebie.  Problems arise when turbines are too large,
too noisy, and placed too close to towns, but all of those
problems can be solved, and are being dealt with in
countries like Denmark.  We are unfortunately unaware
that there are huge lobbies against every alternative source
of energy.  Money trumps the environment every time.

My most helpful post
 Looking for starfish at low tide
acrylic on canvas
8 x 8 inches
Barbara Muir © 2009
Keep on loving yourself
My focus in art, and life is on how to live joyously.  I even
teach this topic to students who aren't yet where they
want to be as students.  More and more research on the brain
is pointing out the impressive power of our thinking on
our health, happiness and overall quality of life.  So
I frequently write about happiness, and was glad to see going
through my lists that these posts attract readers and comments.
This post is a helpful one -- I know there are others.

A post whose success surprised me 
 One night deep in a painting push I published this
short piece on what I'd been up to, and was delighted
that people liked it.

 Backyard Cherrywood Avenue (just spring)
Acrylic on canvas
24 x 24 inches
Barbara Muir © 2011
(I've given you the finished version in this
post.  The image on the blog was a work in
Capturing spring, was short and sweet, and what do you
A post that didn't get the attention it deserved. 
I'm coming up with no examples here.  I think of
blogging as a wonderful bonus activity, and can't
remember ever thinking this way about it.  So forgive
me for missing this one.

The blog I'm most proud of:
Shine your light in 2011

Ready for joy
(work in progress)
Acrylic on canvas
24 x 24 inches
Barbara Muir © 2011
(I painted this painting for the International
Women Celebrate show in Ayr, Ontario.
It seems fitting that the blog I'm most
proud of (one of them) connected
me in person with some of my fellow
bloggers, which was such a joyous event.)
Once again the version I'm showing you is the almost final one.
the post contained a work in progress.
The only problem with this kind of list is that
it's almost impossible to fulfill the categories.  I am
proud of so many blogs, and so many connections that
I've made through blogging, or all the media events
that have resulted from being on Oprah, of showing in
New York and Florence, but I think I am most proud of
writing more than 1,000 of these posts.  Whether my
writing was great, or just present, writing these blogs
has let me meet outstanding artists, and become a source
of great opportunities for me, and enriched every day that I
made the effort to post.  It has radically transformed my
art life.  So I am very proud of that accomplishment and
of continuing to add to the number.  2,000 here we come
(2,000 posts that is -- I know it's 2011). 

So I extend this opportunity to carry out the process
to some of my fellow bloggers:
Marcia Labelle
Melinda Esparza
Liza Hirst
Tammy Hext
Sally Chupick
Eldon Warren
David Lobenberg
Flora Doehler
Gwen Bell
I may tag more of you tomorrow.  Meanwhile I'll let the
people I've chosen so far know that they've been tagged.

Have an examining-your-happy-life day.


Gwen Bell said...

Love your choices! And it's so great seeing your beautiful work re-posted and to read why you chose them.


Linny D. Vine said...

How wonderful to be reminded of all these beautiful posts, Barbara!!

Anonymous said...

"Wind turbines causing health problems, some Ont. residents say"
There are well documented cases of people suffering for years all over the world from health issues-from turbines-it is not just "Some noise maybe"

Barbara Muir said...

Hi Gwen,

Thanks so much.

You are a sweetie.

XO Barbara

Barbara Muir said...

Hi Linny,

Thank you. I'm glad you like it.

XO Barbara

Barbara Muir said...

Hi Anonymous,

Thanks for the research. Yes wind can cause problems, because the turbines are not being used in the right places, in the right way. But even so, the affects are not life threatening to the immediate population, or to the rest of the world. Nuclear accidents can harm huge eco-systems.

Denmark generates 1/5th of its power by wind. And I have been near wind turbines that make almost no sound.

Thanks for visiting my blog.


Kim Rempel said...

Barbara - thanks - great post! I know they take a lot of time but it is such interesting reading. What a gem Loking for Starfish is - I had never seen it. I think "Taking a blog holiday" was so popular because people thought: On no! I hope we're not losing Barbara! : O!"
By chance did you see the David Suzuki program last week with his daughter? I caught the part on Denmark and was SO impressed. Then the Air Canada inflight magazine spotlighted Denmark and...I want to GO! Maybe in a couple of years ; ) Have a great day enjoying this fresh weather : )

Anonymous said...

thank you for tagging me, lots of good posts here.

Jill and Haida said...

Hi Barbara:

I enjoyed this narrative on the examined life...

Nicki said...

Hi Barbara,

It was so fun to read this post and take a trip down memory lane with you! It's amazing that you have written 2000 or so posts. You are so dedicated and we all love you for it!

XO Nicki

Nicki said...

Hi Barbara,

I misread the last part of your blog. I thought you were saying you were close to 2000! One thing I know is that you have made a heck of a lot more posts than I have! You re always and inspiration.


cohen labelle said...

This is so sweet of you,Barbara, to include me in this group of blogging artist friends - keeping me in the loop!
Your posts and memories are beautiful, well worth examining , reexamining!
love, Marcia

Barbara Muir said...

Hi Kim,

Thanks so much. No missed that show -- it sounds great. Thanks for naming me, and I did find teh exercise intriguing. Someday I'll write about what I learned from stopping blogging. Love your work.

XO Barbara

Barbara Muir said...

Thanks Sally,

I'd love to see what you'd pick. I hope you're having a wonderful August.
Love your work.

XO Barbara

Barbara Muir said...

Hi Jill,

I'm glad you liked it.

XO Barbara

Barbara Muir said...

Hi Nicki,

My original intention was to post like Edward B., but eventually real life put that idea to rest.

Thanks for your support and friendship, and I love your work and posts.

XO Barbara

Barbara Muir said...

Hi Marcia,

Aw shucks -- how could I not include you? You are such an inspiration to me. I'm glad you like my posts, and you know I'm crazy about yours, and your magnificent, glowing, supreme art.

Love Barbara

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!