Friday, November 18, 2016

More Paris -- straight up addicted

My plan was to photograph the wonderful postcards I had
of my painting Dream Selfie in the Carrousel du Louvre show,
 in different venues around Paris -- giving my model Regan 
the Paris experience from a distance -- but I ended up being too 
busy in the moment to remember most of the time.  Here's one with Regan
metaphorically enjoying a glass of delicious Sancerre with us
 when we ate at Khao Thai, rue Dauphine on more than one evening.
I did hand out many, many postcards of Dream Selfie both at
the Louvre and around Paris in my travels. Everyone loved them,
which made me super happy.
Yes it rained, and it was still beautiful.

Okay I confess, I have thought about Paris more than is
probably healthy since I landed back in Toronto.  I have
pined for it, longed for it and missed it.  Too much?
Go there for me this weekend, and report back.  Meanwhile
I'll give those of you who can't go a bit more exposure.


Clouds reflected in a bus window outside the Musée d'Orsay

Doing the happy people pose at
the Orangerie Museum in Paris.  This is
the museum specially made
to house Monet's waterlilies, and it
is beautiful.  I am a devoted fan of
Monet's.  I have seen his work in
Stuttgart, Germany -- where I fell
deeply in love with his poplars,
in New York City, where I rush to
see the Monet water lilies (also
magnificent before the museum closes, when
I arrive), in Ottawa, Canada -- last year
his bridges, and in Paris -- Oh Monet!
Steven at the Orangerie with the
beautiful Monet Waterlilies
More of Monet's Waterlilies at the Orangerie. 

Detail from Monet's Water Lilies

Is there more?  So much more.  But I don't want to lose your interest.

Here's a picture of my wonderful friend Miranda Brouwers
 with her painting, Morning Mist
at the Carrousel du Louvre show.

A typical view in our neighbourhood

And that is all for now.  I miss you Paris.  Things have happened on this
side of the Atlantic that make me want to catch the first plane into CDG.
But the truth is I'd feel that anyway except for my wonderful family and
friends, who keep me grounded and sane and happy back here at home --
in Canada.  

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Don't sleep in Paris

Down the street from our hotel -- the beautiful Notre Dame Cathedral

A friend at George Brown College cautioned me before
I showed in the Louvre last year, not to waste time sleeping in
Paris.

Visiting for the show two weeks ago in the Carrousel Louvre
I knew what she meant.  The city is always alive.  A friend
who lives just outside of the city told us he thought there'd
be nowhere to eat late on a Sunday night, but right in the
neighbourhood on Sunday evening there were people sitting
 out at cafés with heaters overhead -- it was cold -- restaurants
and bars open at midnight.

 It sunk in in this past visit.  If you visit Paris more than once,
you can anticipate the ache you'll feel when the trip is over
 and you're back on home ground, and you don't want to miss
a thing.

But as I told my colleague -- smart people sleep, otherwise the
city is overwhelming.  Soooo much to see. And do.  And eat.
And drink.

Un coin d'appartement (A Corner of the Apartment)

Claude Monet,
Oil on canvas, 1875

One of the things I love is discovering paintings by favourite artists that
I've never seen before like this super detailed, and mysterious painting by
Claude Monet.  It's in the Musée d'Orsay.

The gorgeous restaurant in the Musée d'Orsay where
we ate with my friend Miranda Brouwers 
her husband, Rolf Leemeijer, and their sons Marnix and Hugo.

A superb surprise in the Musée d'Orsay is the beyond gorgeous restaurant above.  
The food was wonderful and we had so much fun with my friend Miranda's
family.  The staff were warm and gracious, you don't need a reservation --
incredible.

This man and his daughter were visiting the Carrousel du Louvre
and I asked if I could take their picture with my painting.  
"Mais oui!" he said, and I did.  

These very expressive sculptures of geese 
were in a gallery window.  I love how they look.
Eclipsed 
Coffee and black marker 
on Clairefontaine watercolour paper
4.5 x 7 inches
Barbara Muir © 2016
The artist Barbara Muir (yes me) painted this on a small watercolour pad 
while having coffee in the Orangerie café -- but the Orangerie discussion
is for another night.  I was thinking of William Wray and his movie
Gamma Wray, and of a blogger friend I knew I'd meet back in Toronto Verna Vogel,
and this is the result.   A lot of fun I must admit, though you may not get the
connection.  They were in my mind.  Love (do I say love too often?  Is it possible
to love too much?) well I do love the work of both of these artists.  And in this
crazy world I think it's vital to love  art, and beautiful cities like Paris. 

Have a loving art Day!  And have fun! 

Friday, November 4, 2016

Paris -- in my heart and soul -- some memories as promised

Night one -- the bridge across the Seine across from our hotel, built in 1607!

Dear friends,

I don't think I did any drawings in Paris, but if so I'll include
them.  Here are some images -- far from perfect to show
why I love the place beyond measure.  The people we've met
are fantastic, funny, encouraging with our bad, stumbly French,
and kind. I'm tempted to start like the annoying birthday toast that
I might make that begins with the grown child's birth,  and
continues with the first smile, and so on.  But instead maybe I'll
break this into two or three blogs.  Bear with me (that's
what I might say when I move from the first smile to first toy!
And if there are 20 more years to cover the birthday guests will
definitely need more champagne).

Rain out our hotel window.  Yes that's rain.  It rained quite a bit,
You don't care when you're in Paris!
The Neighbourhood we stayed in

A Painting I loved at the Musée d'Orsay
Gustave Caillebotte  
Les raboteurs de parquet (the floor scrapers)
1875 Oil on canvas. 
I love the mood, the very French room, the light,
what looks like a bottle of wine (excellent plan).


A beautiful pillow in a store window
The butterfly and ladybug are
embroidery and loose - they
can move on the pillow!  So cool.


The store window

Okay I've decided it better be a Paris weekend.  Artistically I admit the
city resonates with me so powerfully.  And if I keep writing (I could go
all night) I will wear your Paris passion out.  Stick with me.  If you haven't
been there, you will have to go, and if you have you will understand.
Going to take my cough medicine and go to bed -- yes -- to dream of Paris.

More tomorrow I hope. 

Have a being inspired by where you are day.

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Our Neighbourhood moves -- to New York!

A Magic Day in the Neighbourhood
Acrylic on canvas
24 x 24
Barbara Muir © 2016

Today I sold one of my favourite street/cloud scenes -- A Magic Day
in the Neighbourhood -- to collectors in New York City.  This intimate
painting of the school yard up the street from us in Toronto, was one
of a pair of paintings I did about where we live.  The one that struck
the collectors was a view of an idyllic day right here at home,
and the other one is of the view across the street from our school house
in Nova Scotia.

Yes I am pumped about the sale.  The buyers loved my clouds, and
the mood, and even the title.  Wonderful.  My thanks to Director Ruthie
Tucker, Torie and Diego at the Amsterdam Whitney Gallery for
showing my work so beautifully!


I meant to tell you more about Paris, and New York -- last
month was jam packed with travel and art, but I have a horrendous
cold, and the rest will have to wait.

I hope you have a magic day in your neighbourhood tomorrow. 

 I love my own neighbourhood, and the family and friends nearby make
it extra special.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

A delightful opening -- (vernissage) at the Louvre!


Left to right Marnix, Rolf Leemeijer, Miranda Brouwers, Hugo and me.
in front of my painting Dream Selfie -- Wonder Water Image #7 

Here we are in Paris, a bit tired after a hard week, but
how exciting to be in an opening at the Louvre and to
see my wonderful friends from the Florence Biennale,
Miranda Brouwers and her husband Rolf and to meet their
 sons -- Marnix and Hugo.

Me and Miranda Brouwers with 
her beautiful painting,
Morning Mist

Plus the super funny interpreter for the show, along with Directors
Francesco and Salvatore Russo, Alessandra Masha Mascitti is there
all weekend, and it was fantastic to see her last night.

The Carrousel du Louvre exhibition is huge -- massive, and
last night so packed with people that it was a challenge to
get photos with our paintings, so please forgive the bizarre
angles, we had to bump our way in behind the crowds.
Which of course is wonderful!  I've never seen so many
people at an art show. More to come on Paris, and this super
event.


Me with my painting.  

Monday, October 10, 2016

Great show in New York City -- Next stop Paris!


Me with my large diptych, Heading Home, at the beginning of the opening
The painting is done in Acrylic on canvas,
and is 4 feet x 6 feet 
Barbara Muir © 2016

Happy Canadian Thanksgiving everyone,

Our Thanksgiving is about the harvest and giving thanks for the good
things in our lives.  I feel so happy today about my life, my family,
and my friends.  I've just returned from New York City, where
my large diptych Heading home, and two smaller landscapes --
Across the highway, and A magical day in the neighbourhood are
beautifully displayed.  The paintings are on view there for the month
of October, so if you're in New York, check them out at the Amsterdam
Whitney Gallery.
As soon as the delightful champagne opening started the room my work
was in filled up with people who clearly felt at home in front of
Heading home, and my two smaller landscapes, Across the highway,
and A magical day in the neighbourhood.  
I met some wonderful artists who are in the group show I'm in, Luminita
 Gliga, from Roumania, who was there with her sister the writer Dana Gliga.
I loved Luminita's work, and we had a great conversation about acrylics --
she paints in acrylics too, and we both like David Hockney's paintings.
Luminita Gliga, and her beautiful paintings.
 They are glorious.
I also met and enjoyed talking to Alice Cescatti all the way from London,
England.  She does gorgeous pieces on wood with real silver leaf --
some abstract and some landscape work.  And I loved the paintings of
Sally Ruddy, and  John Peters' work, and the powerful abstract sculptures
by Jim Keller.

My thanks to the ever wonderful and dramatic Gallery Director,
Ruthie Tucker who orchestrates a super champagne opening, is
kind and considerate and generous, and to her husband, Alton
Louis Amsterdam the 4th.  Thank you to Diego for hanging my
work perfectly, and to Torie for helping with everything.  What
a team!

My next stop is Paris and the Carousel du Louvre the weekend
after next.  Just home in Toronto to catch a breath and then off
to more art excitement.

Happy Thanksgiving -- I am grateful to all of you for supporting
me in this creative world.

Have a being thankful for the good things day.

Friday, October 7, 2016

Showing in New York CIty!

Heading home
Diptych -- 4 ft. x 6 ft.
Acrylic on canvas
Barbara Muir © 2016
Tomorrow (Saturday October 8, 2016) is at 531 West 25th Street,
Ground Floor, Suite 4 in New York City.  The show
runs for the month of October.  If you're in town and want to
see it, you can call the gallery to get an invitation to the
special opening between 3 and 5 tomorow, or visit the gallery any
 time in the next month to check it out.

I am exhibiting a large diptych landscape called Heading Home,
and 2 other landscapes -- A magic day in the neighbourhood,
and Across the highway.

We landed in New York yesterday and have been to the MoMA,
and Rockefeller Square, where people are skating in the warm
weather.  New York is always exciting, with hits of beauty around
every corner.

Our first stop at the MoMA gallery is always the Monet Water Lilies on
the 5th floor.  Cannot get enough of them.  This time I read
that Monet started those huge paintings when he was 74 and
kept working in a large format until he was 86, when he died.
New things hit me about the paintings every time I see them.
This time I noticed that they are not framed.  That made me
happy, but each time I notice more colour surprises.
Wonderful.  I also love talking to the docents.  One measured
the large Matisse of the women dancing by walking in front
if it, and counting his one foot long steps.  13 or 14 feet wide
he said.  Amazing.

Have an enjoying  the art 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!