Thursday, June 10, 2021

Quit competing with yourself

Happy new pansies
Acrylic ink, and marker on
watercolour paper
7 x 9.5 inches
Barbara Muir © 2021

One of the things I want to quit doing -- something so many encouraging
articles recommend -- is competing with me. You know how the talk goes. You see
a photo of yourself from three years ago, and you flinch. “Oh my god, I looked
so good back then." Really? Or was it the photographer, and the light and your
super happy expression?

The same is true for art. I see one of my favourite paintings hanging on my wall,
and in a down mood may tell myself, “you knew what you were doing then, and
now?” Stop it. Children and teenagers do this too. And when they do, as loving
parents, we step in and say, “That’s not true. I think the work you did today
is wonderful." Then you pick it up, and praise your child some more.

As artists we have to do the same. And we need to focus on enjoying, not being on
some path to glory— a trophy out ahead that we’re missing. If this pandemic has
taught us anything, it's that there’s a lot that’s good about loving being here now.

Speaking of being in the moment -- right now one of my favourite flowers is
thriving in some pots on our front steps.  But with the high heat we've had this
week, and the higher temperatures we know are coming, that can't continue. 
I enjoy these beauties -- pansies -- by painting them.  Here is one of my latest

Have a loving the moment day.


Jennifer Rose said...

I stopped competing with myself years ago when it comes to my art, i see old art and sometimes see things I want to try to do again but never think it was better than what I am doing now. old art is just a link to your past and shows how much you've changed as an artist. now when it comes to seeing old photos of myself its a different story lol

Barbara Muir said...

Thanks so much Jennifer,

There is that delicious feeling as an artist when you start a new project that it‘s going
to be great. I‘m working on a large piece now that makes me happy every time I come into the studio.

Love your work!


Verna Vogel said...

Wise words, Barbara, thank you. I need to keep reminding myself of these things too!


Barbara Muir said...

Thank you Verna. I think sometimes the "scene" sets up this false competition feeling.
Your work is great. and unique.


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!