Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Art Talk #2 How to get over the blues in the Month of Love

An exciting thing that's happened this month for me is
the start of video talk with my friend the wonderful
expressive artist Georgia Fullerton.  Georgia is a
trained art therapist, who will create a painting for
you that both reflects your soul, and deepest concerns,
and will heal your worries. Quite miraculous.

So today our subject is the blues that plague you as
an artist at any time of year -- maybe especially in
the grey days of winter. Today in Toronto it's balmy --
so warm after sub zero winter temperatures -- but also,
grey and foggy, and a bit gloomy if you'd prefer
the sun.

What I didn't suggest in this video is going for a walk.
Because even here in the north, as the snow melts
on a wet day brilliant greenery is coming up through
the damp earth!  We will be hit by snow again, and that has
its own beauty.  But a short walk can lift our moods,
because when we're walking outside we're in the moment.
And that's the only place our physical body can ever
be -- so incredibly walking makes us feel at home if
we can just observe what we see.

Have a feeling more yourself day!

Monday, February 19, 2018

Thank you -- and love to everyone for 10 years of blogging!

Before the Dance
Acrylic on canvas
4 x 6 feet
Barbara Muir © 2008
(The first image I ever posted on my blog.
The photo could use work, but I still
love the painting, part of my
Dance series)
Today I am celebrating 10 years of blogging!  What can
I say?  Blogging has changed my artistic life in so many
ways I hardly know where to begin. Let's try for five to start.

1.  I have been blessed to connect with amazing artists all
over the world -- to learn from them, get support from
them, and over the top amazing -- to meet them in person.
You in person.  Thank you.  I wish I could hug every single
one of you, and let you know how much seeing
your work, and reading your thoughts on art and life
have made me sooooo happy.

2. I've been invited to show in wonderful places by
curators who've seen my work online, and have invited me.
I cannot ever begin to express how much that has enriched
my artistic experience -- showing in Florence, New York
City, Paris, and the Netherlands with such talented and
warm, and exciting artists.  Thank you to the max to
everyone involved.

3. I've received some dazzling press coverage from
newspapers and TV shows in Canada, includingThe
Globe and Mail, and HGTV, and also been featured
on the Oprah Winfrey show as a Skype artist.  Oprah's
 people found me through a Youtube interview conducted
 by journalist and then Skype Blogger, Howard Wolinsky.
I am eternally grateful to Howard, and to Oprah -- who
I think is one of the most talented, intelligent, kindest and
influential people on the planet.

4. I am constantly trying to learn and keep up with
changes in the technology of putting images online.
I'm still the farthest thing from a techie, but I have
learned so much, and keep learning.  In ten years
I have come a long way -- though I know I need
to learn so much more. But the logic of what might
work is infinitely more available to me now, than it
was a decade ago.

5. I have sold quite a bit of work through people
finding me online, through my blog, and the blog's
links to Facebook, and Twitter.  And of course that's
one of the primary reasons I paint. To sell the work.
No it isn't the first reason.  But being an artist is a job,
and a great job, so it's definitely part of it. Thank you to
everyone who has helped make that possible.

Okay -- so there are my first five.  I love blogging,
because I love sharing my art, and writing and hearing
from people. Plus I love reading people's blogs and
comments.  If you read this I'd love to read your comments.

Have an enjoying your passions day.

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Major Love -- travelling -- Let's Go (to Paris!)

First stop Paris
Acrylic on canvas
30 x 30 inches
Barbara Muir © 2012
I can't believe I haven't mentioned this yet, but I love,
love, love travelling -- especially if there's an art show
at the destination.  Why?  Well it's always wonderful
to meet artists and make new friends in a new venue.
Plus if you are in a show in a new city -- you are part
of it, even though you've never been there before.
Making magic in Montreal
Acrylic on canvas
30 x 30 inches
Barbara Muir © 2012
I love that.  I love it in New York City, where I've
shown enough times that it feels like home.  I know
where to eat, and that I want to go to Central
Park, and to the MoMA and the Met to see
amazing art.

I love it in Paris, where I've shown in the Carousel
du Louvre show twice, and loved every minute in
the city. I now know the man who runs the lovely
art shop near our hotel, and the waiter Mustafa at
the café around the corner that makes an amazing
omelette, and the lady in the gorgeous scarf shop.

I loved in Florence, where I've shown twice at
the Florence Biennale, especially staying in an
apartment, where over a 10 day stay for the
duration of the show, we acquired a neighbourhood,
and could have adopted a city.
On the road in Fredericton
Acrylic on canvas
36 x 48 inches
Barbara Muir © 2011
My big dream for this year is to go to Paris.  All
I need is to sell some art so we can go.  I
think if I think about it hard enough my dream
will come true!  And that my friend is a perfect
dream -- and a great end to another wonderful
day in The Month of Love!

Have a travelling in your dreams day!

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Love birds -- and Love Lovebirds

My latest Lovebird acting as a banner.
The original (on the left) is 
Acrylic on canvas
8 x 8 inches
Barbara Muir © 2018
This month has inspired me in recent years to create my
own Valentine card.  What could be better on the card
than a bird and a heart?  The reason for me is simple.
I love birds.  When I'm out for a walk and see sparrows
chirping in a thick hedge, so close I can almost count
their feathers, I feel charmed.

So what could be more natural than birds symbolizing
lovebirds.  This month I was teaching on Valentine's
Day at night, and didn't quite finish my 2018 bird.  But
never fear I thought -- I do have cards from past years.
Plus it's a whole month of love, not just one day.
(Fierce opponents of the idea of Valentine's Day point
out that we need to love each other all year -- true).

Ours is a celebratory family -- thank goodness, and if
a celebration wanders into our consciousness, it sticks.
So Happy Month of Love.

Spread the love.  Goodness knows the world needs it!

Friday, February 16, 2018

Meaning -- loving to capture people's true selves

Catherine Scott
acrylic on canvas
24 x 36 inches
Barbara Muir © 

Love -- the lasting kind -- is a deep feeling, compelling,
nourishing, and rewarding. Some of my favourite portrait
commissions were created to add significance to the sitter's
life, and to capture who they really were.

In the case of my portrait of Catherine Scott -- one of
my favourites -- her friends wanted to fulfill her dream
of having a meaningful image of herself to live on and
represent her after her death.  She was dying of cancer.
I was honoured to be picked to paint her.
Catherine Scott (detail)
Barbara Muir ©
She sat for me, and was so vital, funny, present --
that I really thought there was no way she would die.
Her portrait was the special gift her friends gave her
on what turned out to be her last birthday.

Every item she wore, every piece of jewelry, every
detail in the painting was to her specifications.  And
I was more than happy to make her happy.  She
was delightful to work with, and sat for me for
many sessions so that I could get it right.  I know
that tired her out, but she was a brave woman.

I was at the birthday party when her friends
unveiled the portrait, and that moment will
stay in my mind forever.

Have a cherishing the people you love day.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Loving the world

Untitled (work in progress)
Acrylic on canvas
8 x 10 inches
Barbara Muir © 2018
Apparently Louise Hay, who cured herself of cancer at
60 and went on to live an ultra fulfilling life until she
died at 90 last year, liked to say, "Life loves you."

I found this an inspiring quote when I read it yesterday.
And around the month of love -- it's clear, that not
everyone has a special person to love.  But I believe
that if they want that to happen, it can -- having seen
so many examples of people falling in love at
every age.

Meanwhile, there is a world to love that really needs
our input, and purpose and drive, to care about others
and eliminate senseless cruelty on a personal and
widespread political level.  We have a world to
fight for, to protect its environment, its creatures,
our ecosystem.

This little painting, a ways from finished is of a park
on the west end of Toronto that Steven and I find
beautiful at any time of year, and have visited this
year (2018) in the coldest weather.

Have a loving-the-world day!

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Valentine's Day -- and the excitement of loving art

My wonderful friend and super artist, Georgia Fullerton and I thought it
would be fun to have video talks on a very casual basis about art.  Georgia
doesn't ever drop the ball.  We got the idea last night.  She started today!
My first Art Talk, with Georgia Fullerton.

So here's my first try.  I am not techie, but my message is simple.  Loving art,
being an artist, makes your life wonderful!

Have a very Happy Valentine's Day!

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: barbara.muir@sympatico.ca
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!