Pugwash Flower People
Acrylic on canvas
24 x 24 inches
Barbara Muir © 2012
SOLD ♥I've been reading Elizabeth Gilbert's Big Magic this week.
I became a fan of hers reading The Signature of All Things, a
spectacular novel, the writing unlike anything I'd seen
of hers before. That made me want to read Big Magic,
plus I'd just finished teaching a course on Creativity
(Nourishing Creativity) at Emmanuel College at
the University of Toronto, so I was psyched on the subject.
Gilbert's concept of approaching creativity with "stubborn
gladness" appeals to me. I am sure I inherited my
determination to be happy from my mother who stayed
stubbornly happy to the end of her life, despite losing
her eyesight, severe arthritis, and a lung disease that
left her coughing horribly in phone calls where she
was describing something she'd read with giant
magnifiers, and special light, or heard on the radio,
or enjoyed at a friend's house that inspired, delighted or
even infuriated her. She was definitely stubborn, and
determined to take every bit of joy she could in
her existence. That didn't mean she ignored the world,
she was deeply committed to it, volunteering to help
children with disabilities swim when she was younger,
taking meals to the elderly until she couldn't see well
enough to drive.
Artists who claim to be painting about joy can be
dismissed as shallow. But I believe that finding the
joy in life is an important part of why we're here.
If we don't take any joy in our love lives, our
family, the places we visit and the places where
we live, how can we commit to caring for, and
nurturing, and sheltering, and celebrating the lives
we are living.
Gilbert's book is a treat for anyone in a creative
field. I am loving it (and I am a novel reader).
I am busy now working on a commission, but
here is a painting from a few years back, that is
all about the wonder of loving life. The subjects
in my painting work hard at creating beauty --
developing specimens of flowers that are sold
all over North America, and have been featured
in Martha Stewart Living magazine. Yet they
are the most kind, humble lovely people,
and crazy about each other.
Have a living with "stubborn gladness" day.