Sunday, August 2, 2020

If we're talking ideal

The gorgeous Restaurant du Musée d'Orsay, in the Musée d'Orsay 
where we ate with my friend Miranda Brouwers in 2016
her husband, Rolf Leemeijer, and their sons Marnix and Hugo.

There is the faintest possibility of a holiday in the offing.  I finish school this
week, and marking by next week. So...maybe we can go somewhere.  Although
going anywhere is fraught right now -- we can go as far as Ottawa, Ontario.
We can stay in our favourite hotel, but there is no room service.  Where to eat
will be a problem, and what to do.  Luckily we have relatives just outside of
Ottawa in Quebec, and in fair weather we can visit at a distance. 

But for now a dream.  This is one of the most beautiful restaurants I've
ever been in, in one of the most gorgeous cities I've ever visited (Paris), and in
an amazing gallery where I can walk by paintings by Berthe Morisot, van Gogh, Monet,
and a sculpture by Degas.  As I recall the food was good too, and the servers
kind.  I mean what more do you want?

Another view.  The tables and chairs are simple,
everything else is opulent. 

Miranda Brouwers and Rolf Leemeijer,
Enjoying a meal in the Musée D'Orsay

Saturday, August 1, 2020

The small leads the way

Summer perfection
Acrylic on watercolour paper
6 x 8 inches
Barbara Muir © 2019

One year ago I did this small painting, which I loved right away.
My love of landscape and for the park in the painting has become
greater over time.  And now if at all possible we go and visit
the park at least once a week.  We feel known there by the birds
we feed, even by some of the people, although the park is huge and
on the other side of town.

A Day at the Lake
Acrylic on canvas
24 x 24 inches
Barbara Muir © 2020
This year I finished a larger painting based on the same view, and
using the smaller work as a jumping off point.  It's Saturday night.
It's a busy holiday weekend, and I hope you enjoy seeing these
two again.  Both are available if you're in the mood for a
visual escape.  I will deliver them, masked, gloved and social
distanced if you are in the Toronto region.

Friday, July 31, 2020

Dream spaces goes to the Heliconian

Dream spaces
Acrylic on canvas
36 x 48 inches
Barbara Muir © 2020

Thank you so much to Emma at the Heliconian for opening up for me this
afternoon so I could bring in this final painting for the Liminal Spaces
show.  The between spaces idea in this painting is the reality of where we
all are.  We can dream of anything we want, but we are stuck in our houses,
in our kitchens, and longing to cross the divide between now, and the life
we dream of, magically if possible.

The young woman is in her nightie.  This is about the comfort available
to us because we don't have to go anywhere, or dress up for anyone (the
fashion world is in peril because of how irrelevant what we wear has
become).  And it's about the overpowering desire we have for this to
be over, for everyone to wear their masks and wash their hands, and
social distance, and do the ridiculously simple things we know how to do,
so the girl in the painting can drink her coffee, go and get dressed, and
get on with having the wonderful life she deserves. 

Thursday, July 30, 2020

Stars shining for the Liminal Spaces exhibition

All the stars that shine
Acrylic on canvas
36 x 48 inches
Barbara Muir © 2020
This painting has been a long time coming.  It was inspired by a wonderful
mother holding her baby in the star blanket, I think six years ago.  The mother
let me take photographs and her whole family came to the house, but none
of the photos had enough detail for the faces, so the baby's face came first,
and then I finally found a model's face I could work from that looked a little like
the mother.

The painting fits in the Liminal Spaces show, because a mother's love transports
both her and the baby into the mysteries of the universe, creation, the cosmos.
It is all there in the mother's arms -- filling the world with wonder. 

The ad for the exhibition was in last night's blog.  I hope you'll figure out a way to see it.
The show runs at the Heliconian Club, visiting by appointment only, from July 31 -- September

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

An art exhibition at the Heliconian Club -- real and virtual

The invitation to the Liminal Spaces exhibition at the Heliconian Club
Consider yourself invited

Toronto is going into stage 3 in the Coronavirus-19 lockdown reopening phase.  One
exciting result is that my work is going to be in a physical show that you can visit by
appointment.  You will still have to follow COVID-19 protocol -- masks and sanitizer,
but you can go and see real art.

As I write this I am putting the finishing touches on 2 pieces, and I hope to have three 
pieces in the show.  If you're in the mood for art, The Heliconian Club is such a beautiful

Plus you can see the show virtually too.  

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

More about Georgia Fullerton's GASP -- and the magic of fellow artists

Hi Everyone,

I hope this video loads on my old computer.  COVID -19 has shut a lot of
artists down.  We keep trying, and doing this and that, but the impetus
to paint is impacted by the facts -- most galleries being closed, no
meetings with other artists, no workshops in person, and the endless
sad stories connected to the virus.

On June 26 Georgia Fullerton held a Zoom event to introduce her
GASP method of painting people's emotions and histories.  She had
wonderful, inspiring guests.  And I don't know about the effect on
other artists, but it got me back into the studio in a pre-COVID-19
way.  I'm not saying the art I'm producing is great, but I feel super
painting.  The joy of doing it has come back to me.  I credit
Georgia.  Oh and of course my husband Steven who came into the
studio and said he liked the painting I was working on.  We need
that support.

Monday, July 27, 2020

A long time coming -- almost done

Approach (Work in progress)
Acrylic on canvas
40 x 40 inches
Barbara Muir © 2020

This painting Approach has to be delivered to the Heliconian Club Liminal Spaces
Exhibition on Thursday morning.  The show was originally scheduled in April,
and now will be opening to limited numbers online and in person from July 30 --
August 25.  There will not be an in gallery opening, but groups of five will be
permitted to go and see the show, and it will be lovely for people to see real art,
not through a computer screen. Of course all of the COVID-19 protocols will be
in operation.

Approach is about longing, and love.  Somehow although my titles
and thoughts about the paintings were submittied last winter, the painting
has new meaning after the times we've lived through with COVID-19.
All of us who have missed loved ones during this hard time, would
like them to come nearer.  So the ocean is the perfect metaphor for
distance, and for the feeling of being so far away from the ones we

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!