Saturday, December 30, 2023

Thank you for being my greatest teachers -- Happy New Year's weekend

The Blue Sweater

acrylic on canvas
24" x 36"
Barbara Muir © 
(one of the most
important teachers
in my life has been
my sister Sally. This
portrait was created
based on a black and white
wonderful portrait by
my father.)

In recent years here's the gist of what I wrote on December 30th.
Howard Wolinksy persuaded me to write about the 2028 things I
learned in 2018, and I've been trying to do that at the end of each
year when I remember. 

This year life continued to be miraculous in at least 2023 ways.  
When I taught a Positive Psychology course at a community college
for 10 years,  in the time management section of the course
I learned that there are 168 hours in a week.  I sleep 7 hours a
night - times 7, that means for 49 hours a week I am not observing
the planet.  Instead I'm reviewing old stuff, or making up amazing
worlds (lately this is super true) in my dreams.  That leaves 119 hours
when I'm awake, that I'm amazed every minute.  That doesn't mean
I don't feel beyond sad about the tragic wars, and climate crisis the world
is undergoing. It means I also feel it's my purpose to notice what is
beautiful and touching, and if possible to create art based on what I

Here are some suggestions I'll try to follow in 2024.
They are helpful:

Be Happy! Hardship and sorrow come into every life --
and of course have been part of mine. This year I've tried to
listen to a voice in my head that tells me to rethink my attitude
(it sounds like my mother), to notice what is great, as well as
what is wrong. I'm keenly aware that our time on the planet is
limited, and that I am incredibly lucky. So in my best times
I choose to enjoy life moment by moment. In the case of enjoying
you -- your support, your beautiful art, and great thoughts -- that is a given.
 Plus I am so blessed that my family and friends are wonderful!

You (I) don't know what's going to happen next.
Who would imagine having a conversation in
in the Apple store tonight trying to get some things
adjusted on my phone, and finding out the tech expert is
an excellent photographer, and that I'd be looking at his super
photos of Kenya before I left the store.  What a
treat.  And I would be delighted if his photos 
ended up in a Louvre show.  We talked about that.

When I went to City Hall to get my parking sticker
renewed, I tried to hail a cab I wanted to take to go home,
and a passer by heard me yelling "Taxi", and ran down the street
after the car, tapped on the window, and told the driver that
I wanted the cab. Amazing. Total strangers have been so
kind to me.

Love matters, -- And I can't say this enough.  (My thoughts
on this haven't changed. They've just been reaffirmed.)  I want to
show the world that I love the planet (which is why I
paint landscapes of beautiful places), show the people who love
me that I love them back.  Some people may find it corny
or insincere if I tell them I love them.  But I know that love matters.
I'm a reader, and try to keep up with the news, and know
that the brutality of war, politics, climate change disasters, 
have made it another very hard year.  But I am once again so moved
by the kindness people show each other, even in the
hardest situations. And I'm moved by the people in
my life, who care, make me laugh, and will listen
when times are tough. After my mother died I realized
that even though I told her I loved her every time we spoke,
or saw one another, that we can really never tell each
other too often that we love one another.  Love does matter.

Have a loving your life day.

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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!