Monday, June 17, 2024

June is also the Month of Love -- Love yourself first

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)

I was talking to a friend who was depressed today, and I was suggesting
ways to make himself happy.  Maybe he could do the trick I use of
thinking of five things he loves about his life.  He thought I was
obtuse and simplistic.  Sometimes not a bad way to be.

In the spirit of trying to be happy with one's life, I found this great
blog about self portraits, and loving yourself, and thought I'd share it

"You can read about David Lobenberg's contest hereA 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 that 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.

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
was my boss, and wrote the book Who are you and what are you
doing here?
 for helping me get that concept, and then of course the
 constant work of quieting the ever present inner critic to keep the
idea going. 

Self-portrait: The Happy Artist
acrylic on canvas
36 x 36 inches
Barbara Muir © 2009

Self portrait at the year's turning
Black marker on Moleskine paper
8 1/4 x 11 3/4 inches
Barbara Muir © 2015

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
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 husband,
my work, my family, my friends."  And I am very lucky that teaching people
how to be happy taught me how to be happy.   You are a big part of that.

Have a loving yourself 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!