Wednesday, May 28, 2014


That pansy thing (work in progress)
Acrylic on birch panel
5 x 7 inches
Barbara Muir © 2014

Do you have zero emails in your inbox? Neither
do I.  But Alyson Stanfield who writes the Art
Biz blog is that organized.

For artists deleting is huge.  It's major in a
painting, it's huge when selecting references.
Emotionally deleting is about letting go
of self criticism, and of the criticism other
people say or transmit about your art.

Right now because spring has hit our
part of the world, I am in a major delete
mode, trying to clear clutter out of
my house, files, ....and yes the inbox.

Do you throw out paintings? I tend to
paint over the practice ones endlessly,
but I have never actually thrown out
a painting on canvas.  Still I'm intrigued.

I did go through some of my sketchbooks
this week and eliminate every drawing, or
sketch I didn't like.  Those went into
the recycle bin.  My goal was to make my
sketchbooks thinner on the bookshelf, but
also to only save work I'm proud of.

File, recycle, reuse, -- move it.  This
is the theme this week, and as a good
friend of mine knows, this mood is rare,
and must be harnessed when it's ready
to race.  

The painting tonight is a work in progress
of a small still life with the gazillions of
pansies in pots around my house.  They
beg to be deadheaded (flower deleting),
and painted.  Essential.

Have a clearing-the-path-for-the-new day.


Wendy Barrett said...

A great post Barbara! I love your pansies - very pretty!
I actually did empty my inbox on one very rare occasion but was only able to achieve it through dumping many of them wholesale into various files - so it doesn't really count I guess! My inbox now holds a couple of thousand again - very depressing!
De-cluttering is one of my ongoing challenges in life and being of a creative mind-set makes it harder to do I think. I keep hold of so many things because of their art-reference merit.
Happy spring-cleaning! You will feel so light and free afterwards!

Barbara Muir said...

Hi Wendy,

Thank you. Putting your email in files counts, but Alyson recommends handling them right away by answering or putting in a to do list.
I think you are right that one of our problems with decluttering as artists is that everything could be art someday. The world including the world of things is so attractive. And as for clearing out paper, what could be more time consuming! Let's be practical :-) We all need assistants plain and simple;

Love your blog.


Kim Rempel said...

So happy looking! Yes, I have deleted a few small paintings. Usually I paint over but once in a while... ; )As for my inbox, well, it's a work in progress.

Barbara Muir said...

Hi Kim,

I get the inbox thing. I do paint over the paintings for my art group, and reuse them. I think with the birch panels, it would be possible to sand them off.

Thank you.


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!