Friday, January 9, 2015

Getting to Yay!

The Fruits of Love
Work in Progress Stage 6
Acrylic on canvas
24 x 30 inches
Barbara Muir © 2015
I am reading Shawn Achor's, Before 
Happiness and was excited to learm
about the finish line phenomenon.  Apparently
when we know we're close to finishing a
project or a race, our brain kicks in
accelerants that give us the physical and mental
energy we need to finish.

We all know how this is in art, especially painting.
The start stems from an idea, or the visual stimulation
of a theme or model, or event in our lives.  So
we are all fired up when we begin, and then there is
the middle, when we flag.  The painting seems
too hard and we think we'll never finish, or it's
stupid anyway, or we were wrong to begin, or
we're all off.  If we stop there we will stay
in limbo with that work.

But what Achor says is that if you can convince
yourself that all is going well, and you're nearly
finished -- bang -- brain resources flood your
system with endorphins and your creativity and
thinking juices up, until -- aha!  Wonderful
-- the finished product.  Yay!

Working today on finishing a work I started
last year, that was getting there, but not done.
What stopped me? Whatever it was -- it seems
a perfect subject today for a very cold winter's day.
I haven't made that many changes so far, and it will
mostly be just shadows and a bit more detail, but
it felt so wonderful to paint!

Have a feeling-the-Yay! day


Unknown said...

i love this post it's so bang on! my favourite is always the beginning when I'm excited about the idea...but yes you're right sometimes it's exceedingly hard to carry through with feels like work...I guess that's why we call our paintings 'works'. I used to feel guilty about calling them 'works', it felt like 'play' to me. ha ha.but i recognize there is definately work involved in finding a resolution. Gorgeous painting for a winter day.

cohen labelle said...

An excellent post, Barbara! Sometimes for me it's at the beginning of a project where I freeze. And then I can freeze in the middle as well and instinctively seek diversion. But I agree that bringing something to completion is definitely a spirit lifting, yea moment - not unlike preparing a nice meal and sitting down to eat it.
Your paintings always have a glorious energy to them.

xo, Marcia

Barbara Muir said...

Hi Sally,

The reason I like the word works, is I've known artists who think selling art somehow cheapens it. But as well as being a must for me, art is a job, and I like to be paid. I love the end of a painting, or drawing when what I was trying to accomplish is there. Wonderful feeling! Love your work ;-)


Barbara Muir said...

Hi Marcia,

Thank you. Yes it is a good feeling at the end if the painting or drawing works. True too that despair or frustration can happen at any point. The distractions for me are built in. I sometimes even set a timer, so I know exactly when the break is going to be.

XOXOXOXOXOXO Barbara Love your wonderful work.

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!