Saturday, December 7, 2019

An addiction -- to beauty

Breakfast in the hotel
(the star of the show)
Upper right section
Acrylic on canvas
36 x 48 inches
Barbara Muir © 2012
I suppose this is true.  I absolutely must have beauty -- but
before that I must have coffee.  So I've been thinking about
writing about Paris tonight, because Wing Lee a friend and
collector is in Paris this weekend and posting deliciously
beautiful photos that make me long like crazy for that gorgeous
city.  What is it about travel -- knowing you are going somewhere
exciting, that makes you think of every other exciting place
you've ever been?  It stirs up memories so vivid and wonderful,
that you realize it would good to travel more often.

The image tonight is of one corner of a 4 piece painting.  I was
listening to David Hockney when I painted this -- and Hockney
prefers to go large.  He frequently puts smaller paintings together
to make one huge one, and that was my goal here -- big!
And beautiful.

But more importantly one aspect of travel that I love, which won't
be happening in New York on this upcoming visit is breakfast in
the hotel room (the hotel we're staying in doesn't feature room
service).  This painting was inspired by two amazing hotel
servers who wheeled a table of food into our room, designed it,
made sure everything looked beautiful, then pulled out our
chairs for us, and put the glorious, blue linen napkins on our laps.
I mean.

The coffee was hot, the food delicious, the mood romantic. Perfect.

Have a day filled with memory making beauty.

Friday, December 6, 2019

Friday night -- Florence is on my mind

One view from La Terraza (our apartment)
It was a warm day for
December, and we could imagine
that in summer the flowers
would be spilling over flower boxes,
everywhere, but it was still magnificent.
Hard to believe that it was 10 years ago.
Thank you Florence.
Here's the great thing about international art shows.  You meet
amazing people -- absolutely wonderful people and they change
your life.  It's true.  I am thinking about Florence, because I met
such super people at both the 2009, and the 2015 Florence
Biennale.  Those people changed me.  The first time I showed
there it was December, and mighty cold. But it didn't matter.

The kindness and support, and friendships that extend across
the ocean and over time through Facebook, and Instagram and
the blog world are overwhelming.  These are people who are
both outstanding artists in their field, and superbly warm
to the people who share that fascination with making something

There is a downside.  No it isn't the expense -- which is considerable,
but worth it from a life experience point of view if there's any way
you can figure it out.  Not it isn't the travel time, or all the
arrangements you have to make to ship your art, and have people
take care of your house and animals while you're gone.
It is that you don't get long to spend with these great people,
and when it is over you feel that loss.  Quite severely.

Luckily we all do our best to at least heart messages on Instagram
if we can't actually comment.  And we continue to care.  And that
is huge.  And some of us keep in touch via letters and the phone. All in all
that is amazing.

Have a loving the people in your line of work day.

Thursday, December 5, 2019

Happy Birthday to this wonderful model

Wonder Water Image #5
Acrylic on canvas
30 x 30 inches
Barbara Muir © 2015
The people who tell you that portraits don't sell are wrong.  This 
painting travelled in a collection, which put together was a large
ocean scene, and two young women who will have the job of 
saving the oceans in their lifetime.  "Because they are oceanographers,"
you ask.  No because that job will be every human being's job.

The audience liked that idea in Florence, Italy, at the Florence Biennale
in 2015.  In fact one woman stood crying in front of the portraits, so
worried about the young women and the oceans.  

Both of the women I painted for that combination are strong, 
amazing people, who take on challenging jobs.  They modeled for
me because I knew them, not because they do that full time.  I have
no doubt that they will change the world.  After Florence, the paintings
 showed in Toronto, and then in New York where this painting sold.  
The other portrait in the set sold here in Toronto.

Today we're celebrating Emily's, birthday and I wish her a joyous day, and
thank her for helping me get my message out to the world.

Have a helping each other, and enjoying your day, day.

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Thinking about dreaming -- the good life

Coffee, a magazine and lilies
acrylic on canvas
8 x 8 inches
Barbara Muir © 
I worked until very late last night, and feel the effects
today.  The idea of dreaming is filling my brain
tonight, and searching through my blog I see that I've
had some great ones.  It seems like one requirement for a good
dream is an iconic setting.  For me that's often the
beautiful beach we visit every day when we're in
Nova Scotia.

That setting has brought me Oprah, Deepak Chopra,
Louise Hay and Stedman in one dream, and artists
artists -- Mary CassattEmily Carr (I don't think
they ever really met), Vincent van Gogh,
Matisse, and Gaugin in another.  In both cases
the people were walking down the beach near Pugwash
toward me.  With Oprah and her friends we went and
had tea under a beautiful canopy up on the hill.  The artists
got into vibrant discussions with me about colour, and told
me to stay bold, not to go for quiet, dull colours.

And I've had lovely dreams set in Paris and in New
York City too.  And some of those were based on
reality.  It is magical for me as an artist to have work
on display in either of those two major art centers.  But
I have been incredibly lucky to actually have that

The painting I'm showing you tonight captures just
about everything I love -- a wonderful model to paint,
flowers and my kitchen -- one of my favourite places.

Have a dreaming about what you love day.

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

What is it about winter?

Winter at the beach
Acrylic on cradled birch panel
8 x 8 inches
Barbara Muir © 2017
People say that the snow makes things more quiet in the
city.  Maybe that's it.  Or maybe it's that if you take the same
walk in winter that's your normal route in summer, you
most certainly get more exercise.

All I know is that on this gorgeous winter day, after
handling some of the day's work, and enjoying a great walk
with a friend, I crashed and slept for an entire hour in
the late afternoon.  Get to know me.  I rarely do this,
but I did.

Now it could be the list of what I have to do -- which
grows and grows exponentially it seems.  I tried the
old trick of listing things I'd already done, and
crossing those off. (That's supposed to make you feel
more accomplished.)  But after I was back in action I
noticed that one thing on my list was "Read and sleep."
Done and done.

This painting reminds me of the crisp, good day beach
walks my husband and I used to do mid-winter at
Port Stanley when there was an amazing restaurant there.
Maybe it's time to go back and see if there are some
new ones.  But first the list.

Have a getting 'er done day.

Monday, December 2, 2019

The city is decorated in lights

Snow scene on Cherrywood
Acrylic on canvas
8 x 8 inches
Barbara Muir © 2015
In Toronto, especially this year, the winter celebrations
make sense.  The whole town is coated with an idyllic
layer of snow -- outlining every tree branch, every leaf still
clinging to some of the trees, making our town look
like a winter wonderland.

It is time to write the holiday cards.  And whether you like the
cold or not, or had to clean snow and ice off your car just
to get your day on the road today, it is still magical.  Driving
to school tonight we drove past such beautiful light displays.
Fantastic.  On top of being gorgeous, all the lights are
practical on dark streets at night.

Although I am not a fan of cold, I am awestruck by the
magnificence I saw on this the second day of December.

Have a loving your environment day!

Sunday, December 1, 2019

Snowy day -- perfect for work

Golden Sunlight Cherrywood
acrylic on canvas
16 x 20 inches
Barbara Muir © 2010
The first day of December launched with an appropriately snowy
day.  Not fun if you were out on the roads, but pretty to look at from
inside the house where I spent the day working on a commission.

I had a good day painting, and taking breaks reading a great book
my sister sent me.  All in all a pretty wonderful Sunday.  
This painting of the gorgeous end-of-day light I see across the street
in winter, sold nine years ago at the Don Valley Art Club spring
show.  The man who bought it liked the happy feeling of the 
painting.  That made me feel wonderful, because in most of my work I'm
trying to convey my delight at what I see in the world.

Safe journeys on the way to work tomorrow if you live where it's
snowy.  It's definitely time to get the snow tires on. Happy December --
the month of celebrations.  

Have a loving what you see 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!