A view of my studio cleaned up for Artwalk
an art show in my neighbourhood
that allowed people to visit artists
in their homes. I don't recognize
my studio at all -- it is so crammed with
art, and paints, and brushes today -- but
the photo works for tonight.
Barbara Muir © 2008
Another thing I learned in 2020 -- everyone needs to use their gifts
The reason people love the Holiday Season, no matter how they celebrate,
is because it's a a time of heightened appreciation. We not only get to let
people know that they matter to us, we're encouraged to do so. But the gift
giving is more than that. It is a chance to express ourselves, to share our
talents, to give as one of my children said today, "from the heart."
I believe that everyone has important talents or "gifts" to share with the
world. Over and over as a teacher I've met people who were following
a dream of some talent they'd developed, and were told that it wasn't
practical, they'd never make money at it, so they quit, and in many ways
their lives lost their lustre.
In art I believe part of my reason for creating work is to bring more beauty
into the world, or to make people more aware of the beauty that's
around them. As a teacher, my mission is to allow my students to
flourish. Sometimes a teacher in the past, or an unappreciative
parent, or love interest, can throw a person off their course. I want to
see what students want to do, and be, and help them realize that dream.
This has been a hard year for that, but also a year of people developing,
and using so many talents. People started out the pandemic making
sour dough bread. Then they started knitting, and practising yoga,
and dance. And people started creating concerts online, and starting
new online businesses. People studied subjects they might otherwise
have never considered. Meaningful alliances were formed, and
so much energy focused on things as basic as getting out the vote
in the U.S.
Passion, wisdom, influence, caring, dedication -- all of these elements
were heightened to respond to the problems and restrictions of the
We've all had to shift our thinking, and now we need to focus all
of the talents and gifts we have on solving this problem, and making
the world safe and fair for all.