Sunday, June 3, 2012


 Salad for two
Black marker and watercolour on drawing paper
9 x 12 inches
Barbara Muir © 2012
(I added watercolour to the drawing
I posted on May 14.  Here's the
The other day we had one of the first huge rainfalls of
the season, and the power went out for just over an
hour.  I'd had one coffee, but need two to feel
truly awake.  In our little house it was too dark to
read without a flashlight.  I couldn't paint because
my studio was much too dark.  I started to list the
things I couldn't do in my mind and it was a long one.
So much of our house is plugged in.  We have a big
clock that runs on batteries, and I have a landline
phone.  Resigned I got a big flashlight, opened the
curtains and shutters as wide as I could and settled
in with my book.

 All of a sudden the power flipped on, and I ran downstairs
 to plug in the kettle. In the three minutes before the power
 went off again I made a second cup of coffee, and felt so
 blessed to be drinking my delicious, hot, morning drink.

It got me thinking.  I don't have any solutions to it.
But I need to be equipped to paint even if the power
goes off.  On my desk I have a cue card that
says Power that one of my students made for a presentation
this year.  Every time I look at it I feel happy remembering
that delightful, high energy group.  And I remember
my own power.  The power to change, grow, adapt and
to make a difference both in how we use power, and in what
power -- mental, physical and electrical we use.

My main powers are the power to get making art, and
the power to keep myself on a positive track, and to
try to help other people stay there too.  I do believe that
together we have power.  So if our computers go down,
 we're going to need windmills, and solar, and new and
 exciting environmentally safe power inventions that
we don't even know about now.

As radioactive tuna has washed up on California's shores
from the Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan, which is still not
contained, I hope we collectively turn our backs on
Nuclear soon, and vote it out as they have in Italy.
We have the power to act together and change
art, thought and even how we live.  Thank you for
the power you give me.

Have a plugging-into-your-emotional-power day.
P.S. We  planted our tiny front garden last night, a bit of
teamwork between Steven and me.  He's the digger/
planter, and I'm the bone meal/ hand the flowers person.
As he put the last two plants in the garden (impatiens
because it's a shade garden) it started to rain.  We just
got inside when sheets of rain came down.  Perfect
timing I said, and we went out on the front porch to
admire our handiwork as the rain thoroughly watered
the young plants.


Pam Holnback said...

Love this vignette!

Melinda said...

Gorgeous watercolour! There is so much energy and power in this. Excellent work!

Well, here is a link to some off the grid light you can wear and paint by: Headlamps

I wear one of these around my neck when walking at night and when there's a power outage. It's a bit like the "Eye of Sauron" and I do have to make light saber noises when I turn it on, but they are really helpful.

More power to you! And, not the nuclear kind, either...! :)


Barbara Muir said...

Hi Pam,

Thanks so much. Love your work and photos from Europe.

XO Barbara

Barbara Muir said...

Hi Melinda,

Thanks so much. Okay Headlamps it is.
We went out and bought lots of flashlights. The power went out yesterday for about 15 minutes. I like the light saber noises. We used to use a light saber over a baby gate to stop our puppy from chewing furniture. Just the sight of it made her avoid jumping the barrier. Funny. Then we discovered doggy bones and Kongs. And we didn't need all that futuristic stuff.


Nancy Laliberte said...

Another awesome post and painting, Barbara!

Melinda said...

Very funny, Barbara! I like picturing you using the light saber!

The nice thing about the headlamps is they are hands-free so you can paint with both hands!!


David Lobenberg said...

This one will sell too!

Barbara Muir said...

Hi Nancy,

Thanks very much. I'm glad you like it. Love the apple.

XO Barbara

Barbara Muir said...

Hi Melinda,

You would find weather warnings here very funny. We were warned about serious power outages. And we got rain, but people outside the city had tornadoes. We bought a stand alone really big "task" flashlight. So I wouldn't be holding it and painting. I have tried to paint using my laptop for reference, and found holding the laptop, and painting with the other hand (I usually only use one hand to paint) arduous to say the least.
So now the photo reference is almost always printed for ease of use. Yes those early puppy days were hilarious if you like your antiques "improved."

I'm looking into the Headlamps.


Barbara Muir said...

Hi David,

Thanks for the vote of confidence. You know it means the world to me.

Your values are getting me thinking.



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!