Thursday, December 1, 2022

Be the light - the first of 22 things I learned this year (again)


Light from the kitchen table
iPad sketch
8 x 10 inches
Barbara Muir © 2018

#1 of 22
I wrote this a few years ago, and it still works as one of
the first things I learned again in 2022.  I am not religious,
so what I like about the festive season, is the joy around
the light returning, which is all about rebirth -- a new year,
new ideas, new possibilities.  

Steven and I are sunset chasers.  By which I mean, we love
to see the sunset, and because we are also more late night
people, we rejoice as the days get longer.  So this is what
I learn every year -- try and be the light.  

In recent years the news has frequently been harsh:
fires in California, hurricanes on the east coast, climate
change so out of control, riots and arrests in Iran, and
mass shootings in America. A normal reaction is to feel despair.

But as I said a few years ago that despair is not generative
-- it doesn't lead to change. And change has to happen now
for the sake of the planet.

When I first talked about this I was thinking of the work
of my artist friend in Nova Scotia, Flora Doehler.  Not only has
Flora chosen to live a rural and sustainable lifestyle.
Her paintings are so joyous that they instantly lift the
viewers up, and make them happy.  Flora grows her own
garden with her husband Larry Knox, and  also sits in the
garden and paints -- celebrating the ecstasy and beauty of the
natural world.

I do believe that celebrating the world is one of the most
vital reasons for making art -- to inspire people, and help them
to love the planet, and value all of our lives on it.

Have a loving your light day!

Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Yes you do get the message!

Flowers in a silver jug
Acrylic, acrylic ink,
and marker on canvas
11 x 14 inches 
Barbara Muir © 2019

No we have not gone to get flowers yet. And the message
is we need them. So much going on, but my blog keeps offering
up inspiring flower images, and I'm grateful.

This has been a very busy day marking, and I am tired
tonight. My one night a week course is coming to the end
of the term, and that means a lot of marking for me. And yes
I know I am so lucky to have a class on Zoom of such
great people.

So -- this lovely painting that I look at every day is here to
express my joy in the fabulous dinner my husband cooked
tonight, and my appreciation of your incredibly inspiring work.
The painting may or may not be finished.  And that in some
ways is an artist's story.  Keep us away from our work when
it's sold! Lol. 

Have a loving your life day.

Tuesday, November 29, 2022

The importance of ritual

Favourite Tulips
Markers, watercolour crayons,
acrylic ink 
5.5 x 8.5 inches
Barbara Muir © 2022

A friend yesterday talked about the importance of ritual,
and how she wanted to have some consistent practices
in her life. I think that is part of why I do a daily blog.

Of course it's great when I have something new to
talk about, or to show you.  But it's also a vital part
of my day.  Even though you might be thousands of
miles away -- I get to talk to you. Speaking of which,
I just got a beautiful hand written calligraphy letter
from a friend in Texas, and when I saw it in the pile of
holiday flyers I felt so happy.

 So I guess this is my ritual -- one of my daily practices --
something that keeps me anchored to the present. And
that's a good thing.

Have a loving your life day.

Monday, November 28, 2022

The people who help me

The helpful printout of my
ink drawings.
Thank you Chris at
St. Clair Printing.
Barbara Muir © 2021

Tomorrow is Giving Tuesday, which is supposed to be about
gratitude and giving to charities. On the gratitude side, I would
like to thank everyone who helps me do the jobs I do.  I have
a friend, who was my former boss, who I call about any technical
problems with my once a week teaching job. That was tonight,
and thanks to help from my friend, and my husband -- it all went well.

I's also like to thank my wonderful printer -- who helps me
with every aspect of my artistic life -- from making gorgeous
large prints of reference photos, to making business cards,
holiday cards, and cards of my work to sell at shows. He
is amazing.

The image tonight is one he made for me when I was 
adding line drawings to my website -- so I could see how
they would look, and figure out the captions.

And to everyone who helps me -- my friend who goes walking
with me, my brother who always has writing ideas, all of
my friends and family who encourage and support me.
Thank you.

Have a loving your life day.

Sunday, November 27, 2022

Time for flowers

Quick sketch of the Ranunculus 
we bought today

Black marker on bond paper
8 x 10 inches
Barbara Muir © 2009

Lately I've been featuring line drawings, and I found this
line drawing of ranunculus flowers from 2009, which I
quite like.  It says it was a quick sketch, and that made 
me happy too.

Good for me in 2009, which was a spectacular year.  So
this is my present to you tonight -- the thought of flowers.
It's time for us to get some, but this weekend was incredibly
busy with the wedding, and we haven't picked up any yet.

Thank you to all the relatives who came out to what was an
amazing party. Thank you to the wedding party, to Emily's
wonderful parents, and to Sam and Emily for inspiring

Here's to having a loving your life day.

Saturday, November 26, 2022

Super party

The youngest wedding guest
with his Daddy

Barbara Muir © 2022

I hope wherever you are that you're having fun. As I write this
I am taking a break from dancing. We’ve been dancing all night
at my son’s wedding, and that is such a great way to enjoy a special

The photo tonight is of the youngest wedding guest, who was so great
all night at exactly 2 months old. 

Oh -- got to go that's one of our favourite songs.

Have a loving your life day.

Friday, November 25, 2022

This weekend is about a happy couple

Our son Sam and his fiancée, Emily
© Emily and Sam's Wedding 
Photographer, 2022
(I'll put his name in when
I get it tomorrow!)

Tomorrow our son Sam and his fiancée, Emily Land will
get married. We are delighted and know that it will be a
special day filled with love for these two wonderful people.

Wishing you a very happy weekend wherever you
are in the world, and whatever you're celebrating.

Have a loving your life 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!