Thursday, April 18, 2019

Salute to Pip in the Month of Fresh Starts

Pip the Lionhead rabbit delivers eggs
8 x 8 inchs
Acrylic on canvas
Barbara Muir © 2015
Each Easter I look for my bunny paintings.  I only have two,
and they've been sitting on the mantlepiece over the fireplace
in my studio, perhaps calling to me.  This one is Pip, the
Lionhead Bunny.  Her breed doesn't look anything like
the rabbits I was used to when I was younger.

I have only seen them in Moncton, New Brunswick
at the Chapters, when we stopped on the way to our
school house. A very devoted young woman
was displaying the bunnies with a children's book she'd
illustrated about them.

Easter for us is bunnies and chocolate, combined with a
family gathering.  We're not religious, but the very grown
up children like celebrations and chocolate.  A young
bunny fan I know goes to sleep at night with a ring of about
ten bunny toys around her head.

Have a getting ready for the rabbit day!

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Creativity and movement in the month of Fresh Starts

Untitled (Work in progress)
Acrylic on canvas
30 x 30 inches
Barbara Muir © 2019
When people get stuck in my writing class, I sometimes
suggest a short walking break.  After five minutes of
movement new ideas surface.  A good thing to remember.
I'm still working on this painting.  I came home from a walk
and changed it again, and it is definitely moving in the direction 
I want to go.  Not entirely done, but getting there.

It is a stunningly beautiful day here.  The birds are singing
so joyously.  The sun is out, and everything in the backyard
is moving, shaking and growing. My neighbour's forsythia
sends a message of yellow blooms across the fence.

Have a moving towards a new idea day.

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Dramatic painting changes in the Month of Fresh Starts

Are you ready?
Artists' Group Sketch
acrylic on canvas
14 x 18 inches
Barbara Muir © 2019

I had no idea when I got home from my art group tonight,
that this woman -- no doubt a saint for posing perfectly
for a large group of artists -- would turn into a saint on
my canvas, or an angel.

Blame the influence of some friends sending gorgeous
photos of Florence home via Facebook.  I had a massive
temptation to put halos on everyone after Florence.
So this very quick sketch done with my art group moved to a
level of intensity it didn't expect in the short time I spent on it
here at home.

Now of course I could fix that halo.  I could work on this
sketch some more.  But she stands now in the spirit of
a big religious weekend, and maybe my thoughts were on
Notre Dame in Paris.

Still for someone who is not religious, this painting took
an odd turn.  I like it.  It is compelling.

Have a following your spirit day.

Monday, April 15, 2019

Pansies for hope in the Month of Fresh Starts

Pansies for hope
Watercolour, acrylic ink, and
black marker on watercolour paperBarbara Muir © 2019

I was on my way to school when I heard that Notre
Dame Cathedral in Paris was burning.  At first the news
was very bad -- nothing could be saved.  Now people are
offering money to help rebuild this Paris landmark,
and touchstone for people all over the world. And
if anyone can rebuild an 800 year old building, it
will be the people of Paris.

So sad, I came home and painted another painting of
the pansies currently gracing my front door steps.
Outside they are not at all happy as it's been cold
and windy, but sunny today.  Inside they thrive.

We need to take joy and happiness where we can get it,
in the face of so much sadness. Paris is one of the cities
in my heart.  And Notre Dame is in the neighbourhood we've
visited three times in the past decade.  It is in "our"
neighbourhood. A place that feels like home because
the people there have been wonderful and welcoming
to us. Thank you to the firefighters, and to everyone
working on saving Notre Dame.

Have a creating hope in the world day. 

Sunday, April 14, 2019

Back inside in the Month of Fresh Starts

Pansies shaking off the rain
5.5 x 8.5 inches
Watercolour, acrylic ink, and 
black marker on watercolour paper
Barbara Muir © 2019
Today was busy with chores, phone calls
and prepping for class tomorrow.  It rained all day 
which made me happy for my brave pansies on the 
front porch steps, because it turned mighty cold.  
Yesterday people were out in shorts, and today
 back in ski jackets.

In between other kinds of work, I drew this drawing 
pansies that I brought in, and painted it. I love the
intensity of the acrylic ink.  It can go the distance
with the vivid, deep pansy colours.  The pansies
were closed up like a rolled up umbrellas when I
arranged them, and as I drew and painted them they
unfurled.  The way flowers move when arranged
fresh cut in water always surprises me.  

I hope you had a delightful weekend.  I am happy
to say that I did.  Sometimes routines are exactly
what you need, and that was today.

Have a welcoming a new week easily day.

Saturday, April 13, 2019

The Market and amazing day in the Month of Fresh Starts

More from the pansies
5.5 x 8.5 inches
Watercolour, acrylic ink, black
and gold marker on watercolour paper
Barbara Muir © 2019
Our Saturdays start with coffee and reading and wishing
we could hang around longer  -- but off to the market.
Today the Brickworks was hosting a dog market, and
it seemed like half of Toronto was squished into the space
with their dogs.  So many different types of dogs -- all
well behaved.

There was going to be a dog fashion show, and some of the
tiny dogs were happily wearing Tutus, and wings and
other costumes. Our dog is not social, and that would
have been her nightmare. But we enjoyed seeing how
insane people are about their dogs. (pictures to follow).

In the late afternoon we went for a walk, and all of the
flower stores and small convenience stores were
selling pansies.  To me they are one of the most
jubilant flowers.  So I did this sketch.

Have a loving your weekend day.

Friday, April 12, 2019

Dancing into the middle of the Month of Fresh Starts

Pam in New York
36 x 48 inches
Acrylic on canvas
Barbara Muir © 2011

I'm not sure why this painting of Pam is on my mind.
I hope that all is well with her, though I haven't seen
her in more than a year. This painting (a commission)
could have been (should have been) part of my dance series,
because unlike almost everyone else in the series Pam actually
is a trained ballet dancer, and professional dancer.

Today I wanted to see that energy.  Was her dress really
striped like that? No.  But when Pam posed for me she
had an energy zinging off her like lightning bolts.
It was almost wrong to ask a woman with so much
physical energy to sit down.  And for me that energy
continues into the background, the cushions everything
seems ready to move.

I just finished reading The Music Shop by Rachel Joyce,
an absolute treat of a novel, which got me thinking
deeply about music, and playing a lot of the pieces in
the book.  Maybe that's why Pam came to mind, because
I love music you can dance to, and I believe Pam could
probably dance to any type of music, and seemed
to be dancing even sitting down.

Have a can't stop dancing weekend.

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!