And then we were seven (work in progress)
Acrylic on canvas
8 x 8 inches
Barbara Muir © 2012A few weeks ago I was sitting in my accountant's office
bemoaning the state of culture in Canada, and he told me
that he's glad he's an accountant. You hardly think of
that as a glamorous job, but unlike the artist gig, it is
nine to five, or eight to six, except in March and April
when the workload really heats up. And when the office
day is done, and all the numbers are in place, you can forget it.
Whereas artists work all the time. They even work when
they're sleeping. Because as well as being a job, and
let's make it perfectly clear that this crazy, compelling work
is that -- work, it is also an obsession. You don't wash your
hands at the end of the day, drive home and say,"Hmm.
What's for supper?" You break for supper, and then you're
back in the studio staring at a painting and talking to
yourself. It was a revelation to my students that it's
okay to talk to yourself. Okay? Go in any artist's studio
and you'll hear if not speech, harrumphs and exclamations,
and ,"oh I know! I can do this -- yes! That works!"
Occasionally you might even hear an expletive deleted.
I have been working on a painting that I am quite fond of,
but it is a complex task -- for me. Today instead of doing
too much to it (it's almost done), and as a relief from
other distractions, like peeling the hard dried-on acrylic off the
plastic containers I mix it on, (a secret diversion -- now
made embarrassingly public) I painted tulips. The
other day I bought three pots, and today I reveled in
their straightforward beauty and started this small painting. It's
almost done, and I'm happy so far. It's very late now,
and I'm taking myself off to bed and my ridiculously
I'm glad I'm an artist, and delighted to know you.
Have a being-glad-that-you're-what-you-are day.