Thursday, May 14, 2015

Limping in a speedy town -- My trip to New York

 Woman waiting at the airport
Black marker on Moleskine paper
8 x 10 inches
Barbara Muir © 2015
Reading the paper
Black marker on Moleskine paper
8 x 10 inches
Barbara Muir © 2015

I hurt my knee in January.  Badly. Since then I've
been waiting for a diagnosis, living on extra
strength aspirin, and working on staying cheerful
and upbeat. But I don't get an MRI until
the end of this month. (I am lucky that I can
walk, and stand, but my leg does hurt -- sometimes a lot.)

So... when the decision of whether or not to travel
to New York came up -- to show in my wonderful
gallery there -- The Amsterdam Whitney Gallery --
 I was both determined and hesitant.
 I'm so glad I went.  My gallery set up a special
chair for me at the opening.  And the opening was
so much fun.

 Steven and me in the lights of Times Square
As a teacher, and a reader, and a lover of life and
art -- my deal is learning.  Here's what was good.

1. We lingered.  In a city of 81/2 million, 
filled with art, theater and excitement the temptation
is to hurry to see more, more, more. But seriously
who is keeping a tally on how much we see?  No one.
On the first really warm day we sat under an umbrella
beside a gorgeous fountain in the café in Rockefeller
Square for a good part of the afternoon drinking wine
and eating delicious panini.

2. Our slower pace lead to friendships -- with the
couple we spent 2 hours talking to about art and
life in the MoMA over lunch, and the wonderful
Malawian artist, Franco Mbilizi from Chicago
who we met at my opening, and enjoyed a short trip
 to the MoMA with, and coffee, and dinner.
Franco Mbilizi talking about art
at dinner in NYC.
3. We saw more of less. Our hotel was close to
the MoMA and Central Park.  So I could get
to both leaning heavily on Steven. We had to be
choosy, so in the MoMA I saw a Bjork video
our friend insisted we see, and made sure to
see the Monet water lilies -- which always
blow me away, and at the Met works by Derain,
Matisse and the paintings I know I love.
Fishing Boats, Collioure, 1905
André Derain (French, 1880–1954)
Oil on canvas; 31 7/8 x 39 1/2 in. (81 x 100.3 cm)
4.  We did things differently.  We've seen the
horse carts every year taking visitors to the
city through Central Park, and never gone on one.
This year we did, and it was lovely, so slow and
romantic, and we both fell in love with the horse --
A night ride through 
Central Park NYC with King
5.  We enjoyed every minute of what we could
do.  A negative fact in part of your life can make
you doubly determined to seek out pleasure.
So we did.  Every cup of coffee, every lovely
blooming tree, and arrangement of pansies around
the city trees, every beautifully designed store window,
and buzzing restaurant reaffirmed our delight in
being in the city.

Have an enjoying-your-town day.


Unknown said...

o Barbara, to hear your appreciation for the things you did get to do is truly lovely. I'm in agreement, that there is no point rushing around(even if you could) ticking things off a list; you're right there is no-one keeping tally. Really sorry to hear you are having such knee pain though, I hope it will improve soon. thanks for sharing about your trip. sounds fun. sounds perfect.

Melinda said...

I'm so glad that you were able to go to New York. You are such a trooper!! What an adventure you had. I've enjoyed hearing and reading about it.

Lovely photos of you and Steven too!

I hope you two get to go again soon. Now, back to painting, yes?!

Warm hugs from the desert...

Melinda said...

Ooops! I forgot. I love your line drawings!!

Barbara Muir said...

Hi Sally,

I am so glad I had that special time. There is nowhere like New York City. I have to believe that things will improve once I get a diagnosis! ;-)


Barbara Muir said...

Hi Melinda,

I could use the services of this wonderful company I've heard of that will paint your edges for you. I have a stack of paintings needing that right now. But I'm still worrying the fronts of the canvasses. Super talking to you.


Barbara Muir said...

Hi Melinda,

Thank you. I carried such a large notebook that I couldn't whip it out and draw wherever we landed -- until we were leaving New York. And then what a pleasure after looking at magnificent art for 6 days, to get to make a mark or two. ;-)


julie davis said...

Barbara, I LOVE the slow-it-down approach. Physical setbacks can often be a blessing in that they force us to slow down, re-evaluate, or change our focus. What a fun trip! I do hope you get back to full strength soon--when you do it will feel great! xo


Barbara Muir said...

Hi Julie,

Thank you so much, it's true you learn a lot with every setback.

We had a super time, and I've just had a great show here. One day my leg will be better, and I will stride again. Meanwhile Julie, go dancing for me ;-)

XOXOXOXOXO Barbara (love your 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!