Monday, January 1, 2018

2017 -- The big lessons -- Love and kindness

No Contest -- Nature Wins!
Acrylic on canvas
30 x 30 inches
Barbara Muir © 2016
Last year I had a list of 10 things I learned in 2016.  This year one
of the major lessons that leaps out at me is that Kindness is a quality
I value.  It has been a full year.  So much joy, so many
hard times, so much happiness and so much sorrow.

This is what powers me -- kindness, love and humour -- and
 a wonderful, growing, dynamically creative art community.
You've reached out to me, taught me, encouraged me, exhibited
my work, bought my work, helped me in so many ways, and made
this artistic journey such a wonderful experience.

Through the mass of emotions in 2017, what has emerged for me
is the vital importance of love and kindness.  Thank you to everyone who
stepped up to the plate for me, and my family this year.

We have had two close family members going through hard
medical treatments.  We've lost two family members to death,
and are grieving them, and are determined to live a positive, happy
life remembering them every day.  We've suffered injuries
and kept on trucking.

Miraculously through the hard times, art and my friends here, on the
blog, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter have helped show me how
to keep heading back to the happiness I rely on.  Thank you.

Here's to a joyous, amazing, prosperous, healthy and adventurous 2018.
Thank you all for making my life amazing. 

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Super fun -- and still time to get work to you for your Holiday!

Amy McNeill, Miriam Kaufman and me (Barbara Muir)
 in front of the wall with my paintings. 
Dear friends,

What a year in art! I'm glad it finished off with a lovely and intimate show in a
working artists and artisans' studio.  A great vibe for an exhibition and
excellent company.  Thank you to Miriam (Meej) for organizing the show,
for her gorgeous jewellry, (yes of course I bought a piece!),
and for leading guests on a tour of the space. Thank you to Amy McNeill
for her great ceramics, and cool abstract figurative pieces.  And for her joyous spirit.
We had fun conversations and someone will be the lucky recipient of one of her
holiday stained glass pieces.

Thanks to Gill Cameron, who couldn't be with us this weekend, but whose
gorgeous watercolour work made a beautiful contribution to the show.
Also thanks to Gill for her card display and space for my cards too.  We both
did very well with our packs of note cards.

 I want to thank Daniel Anaka for manning the door and helping people find us.
The Akin Artisans Studios are in a former factory, and Miriam Kaufman's studio
is down an outside walk, and then a bit of a hallway to her door.  More than worth
the short walk.

Thanks to my sweet husband Steven van Schaik, who hung the show for
me with great care and patience, and who was on hand if we needed

And thanks to all our guests, who came out, bought our work, enjoyed
spending some time with us, and made the show a success!

Happy Holidays.

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Art Show with Friends -- Great fun!

Me, Miriam Kaufman and Amy McNeill in front of Miriam's wall
of handcrafted jewelry.

Some of the work I have in the show
© Barbara Muir 2017

In Amy McNeill's cool studio with her abstract 
figure paintings.

I was invited by Miriam Kaufman to take part in a dynamic
pop-up show in the studio where she works.  Miriam and
another studio artist, Amy McNeill, Gill Cameron, and I all
set up for a pop-up show on Friday night.

It was great fun, and we decided to leave the work up, and
have another pop-up show and party today between 2 and 5 p.m.

Have a coming to an art show day.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Moving into new colours -- Pink!

Untitled (Work in Progress)
Acrylic on cradled birch wood
8 x 8 inches
Barbara Muir © 2017
What inspired this?  Maybe the Pink Show in California
curated by William Wray, maybe the endless pink
light shows we get by the sea both morning and evening
in Nova Scotia.  Maybe all the stories about women
coming forward and asking for justice.  Maybe I just
wanted to try it.

So I started small, and this is a work in progress.

Have a super pink day!

Monday, December 4, 2017

Dog Love -- I've got it!

Acrylic on canvas
12 x 12 inches
Barbara Muir © 2017

I am so grateful to my friends and family who buy my art.
But I have to say this -- painting commissions for family
who pay the going rate is terrifying.  How could I possibly
care more about the outcome?

So I am happy to say that this little doggy, commissioned by my
son for his wonderful girlfriend, went home to a joyous reception.
Whew!  I was sad to see him go, because I'd fallen quite in love with
the dog.  And  since I began work on him, have had great conversations
about dogs, especially dachshunds and David Hockney's paintings of
Dachsunds in Dog Days.  But today the ultimate reward.  My son's lovely
girlfriend was happy with the portrait.  And that's why this painter paints --
to create work that people love.

Have a thanking-your-collectors day.
P.S. Ever since I got the commission -- I've had this song on my
brain.  Who Let the Dogs Out?

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Work in progress -- life's big secret

Untitled (work in progress)
watercolour and pencil on 
watercolour paper
5.5 x 8.5 inches
Barbara Muir © 2017

Here I am making myself laugh in the middle
of the night.  A common phenomenon.  No.  I'm
not crazy, I'm blessed with an odd sense of humour
and friends and family who are funny too.  But
I wanted to post this little watercolour, which
is a work in progress, and of course was struck with
the irony of the term.

Is that it?  Our whole lives are works in progress.
Like mine now -- trying to get the teenager in
me to calm down, quit thinking about the great
day and go to sleep.  Meanwhile here's a little
watercolour I'm working on.  Thanks for helping
me.  I went back to working on my larger
painting, little by little.  Another life lesson.
That's the way to do it.

Wishing you a getting-on-with-it day!

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

If you're tired -- lie down!

Let sleeping dogs lie
 charcoal on bond paper
14 x 16 inches
Barbara Muir © 2011

I love the sight of the people and animals I love sleeping -- especially
when I know that they're exhausted.  Animals don't need to be
persuaded, and in fact mine are on a very fixed schedule of
morning, afternoon and evening naps.
Cat on an office chair
Acrylic on canvas
8 x 8 inches
Barbara Muir ©  2009
New in pink
Acrylic on birch panel
5 x 7 inches 
Barbara Muir © 2014
I feel the urge to nap right now, after a day of running around
trying to get my list completed.  I am working on a small
painting, should be working on a larger painting, and could
add a list of shoulds as long as the TransCanada highway.
Instead I will show you some examples of the art of sleep
from my blog, and get back to work in an hour or so.
Are you awake?
Charcoal on bond paper
8 1/2 x 11 inches
Barbara Muir © 2012

Sleeping dog with cat food can
Watercolour and marker on
Arches watercolour paper
6 x 10 inches
Barbara Muir © 2013
Have an enjoying-a-nap-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:
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!