Monday, February 7, 2022

Why you need to love yourself in The Month of Love

For David Lobenberg
Self portrait
acrylic on canvas
12 x 12 inches
Barbara Muir © 2009
(I did this portrait for David Lobenberg's
June Paint Off in 2009)
You can read about it here.)

I taught my once-a-week evening class tonight.  It was great, and I'm
tired. I was looking at a blog post from 2018 on loving the self, and
it seemed perfect for tonight, so I am going to repost it here.

"A fact of a portrait artist's life is that if there is no one else
available to paint, you always have you, so of course I've 
painted and drawn myself many times. Some of these images stick 
and make me happy.  

When I taught Positive Psych one of the first things we said
to students was, "if you don't know yourself, you won't love 
yourself, and if you don't love yourself, you can't love anyone else,
and you won't be happy."

Self-portrait: The Happy Artist
acrylic on canvas
36 x 36 inches
Barbara Muir © 2009
This was not a popular idea when I was growing up -- loving 
yourself smacked of narcissism.  But in fact nothing could be 
further from the truth. If we love and accept ourselves, the world 
is less about us, and more about the people we love.  It's when we 
don't love ourselves that we go around hurting other people, don't end up
doing what we love, and generally don't enjoy our lives.
I credit Louise Hay, excellent therapy and Frank Daley, who
helping me get that concept, and then of course the constant work of 
quieting the ever present inner critic to keep the idea going. 

One more cup of coffee please
Self portrait
Watercolour and black marker on
Arches watercolour paper
6 x 10 inches
Barbara Muir © 2012
(this is perhaps the most me of
the bunch.  I run on coffee, and
am not quite in the day until I've had
three. I am so lucky to live
with a man who gets this, makes
the best coffee, and if possible
brings me a fresh cup when I wake
up.  A veritable coffee lover's saint)

I've included a few of my favourite self portraits to underscore the
idea of loving the self.  I know I'm lucky.  I love my life, my work,
my family, my friends."  

I'll end the quote there.  Reading it I was struck by how different life
was in 2018.  We had no idea that this big, bad virus was coming.
None. Now our job is to continue working to get through it --
and that means loving ourselves enough to continue to care about
ourselves, and loving our family, friends and our community enough
to make sure we continue to be vigilant about their safety.

Have a loving yourself and your world day.


Evelyn Oldroyd - painter said...

Wow these are such wonderful, beautiful self portraits. Your last line is so important and loving life itself as well. ❤️

Barbara Muir said...

Thank you so much Evelyn,

I did another fast line drawing today thinking of you and your
dedication to drawing. It isn't good enough to share, but I
felt good just making myself do it.

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!