Thursday, October 18, 2012

Today -- showing up to the paint

Dancing Nasturtiums
Watercolour and marker 
on Arches watercolour paper
6 x 10 inches
Barbara Muir © 2012

My friend Melinda Esparza recently blogged about
a book The War of Art by Steven Pressfield,
which I have yet to read that talks about
showing up and doing the work.  That doesn't mean
that painting is a slog and we don't want to do it.
It means that in the midst of all the things that can
pull us away from the paint, an artist feels better
when she/he honours the need to paint, and shows
up to do it.

At what could have been bedtime today, after
painting all day on a commission, I wanted to paint
for the blog.  I want to show up here, and be present.
So I looked at what may be the very last Nasturtiums
in this lovely milk pitcher and started the drawing for
this watercolour.  Immediately I was glad I did.  The
flowers sang to me -- saying now, now, now.  Today,
not tomorrow.  The large burgundy blooms would wilt
in the morning.  I knew this.  So I got to work.

I am happy with the result and bonus -- have added to my
series.  And now it is time to sleep.  Let's honour that
need too.

Have a painting-more-and-sleeping-more day.


Mary Lou van Schaik said...

Inspiring, Barbara! It reminds me of lines from one of Mary Oliver's poems:

"Instructions for living a life:
Pay attention.
Be astonished.
Tell about it."

Unknown said...

well done to paint for the blog after a full day of commission painting. Beautiful result.

Linny D. Vine said... glad that you did, this is another beauty, Barbara!

Barbara Muir said...

Hi Mary Lou,

Lovely lines. Thank you. I think at this time of year we get our clues from the animals, frantically gathering food for the winter.

"Use your time!!!!," they say.

Xo Barbara

Barbara Muir said...

Hi Sally,

The Nasturtiums are an urgent problem. They're something to harvest artistically while I can paint them from life, and not photos.
But you know what my tomato plants, brave things are still producing flowers. I keep bringing them in, but I think they need summer sun to be sweet. Love your work.

XO Barbara

Barbara Muir said...

Hi Linny,

You are lucky to live in a fairly temperate climate. We love this season, and crave its beauty. And then!!! Duh Duh Duh DUH DUH Dun Duh!!!! Winter. I know I love the look of it when it's here, but I love fall more.

XO Barbara

Melinda said...

Oh, how I love your watercolour flowers!

Thank you for the mention. The War of Art is a fabulous missive for the artist's soul.

I'm always glad when you show up.

Warm hugs from the desert!

Barbara Muir said...

Hi Melinda,

I could use a missive for the soul. Thanks for the vote of confidence and the great ideas on how to keep on going. Showing up does feel good.

Warm hugs to you, from the colder north (I think I just saw that they had snow in Calgary -- yikes).


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!