Saturday, May 27, 2017

On the days between -- my love to you!

Before the Dance in the White Dress
Part of the Dance series
Acrylic on canvas
24 x 24 inches
Barbara Muir © 
(Thank you to my sweet niece Chloé for posing for this one)
I am probably the most cheerful artist you know.  Or one of
them.  Not because of a life free from problems, or because
I am wildly successful, or even because of art itself.  I just
simply am.  Right now the loudest sound in this huge city
other than my typing is a Robin chirping on the back porch.

That could be why I am happy right now.  Or is it the kitchen
table with it's little silver tray crammed with white cream pitchers
filled with purple and yellow pansies?  Or the dog wondering
if I will eat more soon, and if so could she maybe have a taste?
Or could it be that this is one of slowest, wettest, most beautiful
springs in recent memory -- that new spring green just lasts and
lasts captivating me. Or is it -- yes it is -- knowing that you are
out there with your wonderful creativity, your affection, your life
lessons, and inspiration.  Thank you.

Art sometimes is slow in coming.  I am working on a very happy
painting now, but it is not a fast painting.  And when I don't write
I miss you.  What to do?  How about showing you a painting from
my Dance series of a few years back that I am very proud of.
This series was about young people on the edge of life in "Before
the Dance" paintings, and grew to include people "At the dance",
and even "After the dance." I'll show you what I'm working on soon.

Have a loving-your-life day!        

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

An iconic Nova Scotia landmark -- home in Ontario

The House on the Hill #2
Acrylic on canvas
18 x 24 inches
Barbara Muir © 2017
This house -- is a perfect example of a Nova Scotia
clapboard farmhouse.  It's a sight I crave when I'm not
in the province. This particular house means that we
are almost there -- almost to the small town of Pugwash,
almost to our school house -- almost home to Nova

I have never met the owners, who would probably be
flabbergasted that I've painted their house more than once.
In fact this painting needs to have a #2 added to its name
because I sold a different view of it last year with the
same name!

What is particularly happy news for me is that the sight
of that house meant Nova Scotia, and nostalgia for a
beloved place to the buyer too.  So even though the
painting will live in Ontario, it will bring the beauty of
Nova Scotia to the collectors who now own it.

A very happy ending all round.  Thank you owners of
this iconic house.  Your house makes me happy every time
 I see it.

Have a loving-what-you-see day.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Sometimes everything happens perfectly -- grace in action

A Perfect day
Acrylic on canvas
30 x 30 inches
Barbara Muir © 2017
One of the things that makes me happiest about painting is
being able to create an image of a place, person or still life that captures
what I feel in the first moment of seeing what I'd like to paint.
As the painting goes on, even if the process makes it appear
simpler, the thrill is in the Aha, of "Yes! that's what I wanted to do!"

This painting has that, and it made me happier than I can describe
properly when a woman came to our This Magic Land show, and
stood in front of this scene caught up in her feeling about place.
The Maritimes landscapes are magical to her, and we share that
feeling.  So she took a photo of my work and went home to see
where it might fit.

Next day she came back eager to buy it, and had to wait until the
show came down.  At which point I packed it up for her, and off she

I love how that worked -- how I felt moved by the scene, and she
did too.  I loved how we talked about the Maritimes, and about the
peace we feel there.  And I love that my perceptions meant enough
to her that she took the painting home and put it up in her house.
In this artist's life that is grace in action.

Have a finding-the-art-you-love day.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Home again, home again to a wonderful new home

In the right place at the right time
Acrylic on canvas
36 x 48 inches
Barbara Muir © 2016
This painting is a world traveler that's been to places
I've never been.  My lovely artist friend in the Netherlands,
Miranda Brouwers got me into an exhibition called
Kunst in Drimmelin in support of a nature reserve called
the Worp.  The whole painting experience was a delightful
example of international co-operation.  My friend wanted
a painting with my blue skies of her beloved spot.  She
sent me many photos, and I researched the look here in
Toronto at a marsh that looks quite similar.  The result --
my happy painting -- In the right place at the right time.

The painting traveled to the Netherlands rolled up in a tube,
was stretched by Miranda and exhibited in a beautiful church.
It came home just in time for another exhibition.

At the This Magic Land show the weekend before last it
sold to a collector who loved the painting featured on our
invitation, and enjoyed its back story too.  I was so delighted
to deliver the painting to a collector who commissioned a
poignant work years ago of her mother and father.

I know she and her partner will enjoy living with the painting
as much as I loved creating it.

Have a doing-the-work-you-love day!

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Happy Mother's Day to all the mothers and children of the world

Some of my paintings of mothers (and grandmothers)
Happy Mother's Day.
One of my happiest roles in life is to be a mother to two sons.
And now the role gets better and better as my boys have
grown into men, and our family has expanded to include
my daughter-in-law, and my son's girlfriend, and to our
son and daughter-in-law's lovely baby, our granddaughter.

Sometimes I am baffled by how intelligent we are as
children.  And something I knew that I wanted to be from
about three on was a mother.  Of course I admired and loved
my own mother, and she was the original inspiration for
that dream.  But I also loved babies and children and
took care of them, and was paid to do so from the moment
I was big enough to hold a baby.

A great thing about the connection to humanity through
your children, is that as your children grow up, you love
every age they reach, which makes you love and understand
children going through all of the stages of baby to adult.
That is very helpful when I'm teaching young and even
older adults.  We all started out as eager, loving, curious
beings.  And the glorious thing about that, is that it is
all still inside us -- that wonder, curiosity and eagerness
to learn.

Much love to my children, my family, my friends, collectors,
and to all the mothers, children and families in the world, and
to my wonderful husband who made my dreams come true!
Thank you.

Having a loving your mother and mothering day

Thursday, May 11, 2017

To the beaches -- we fans can't stay away

Winter at the beach
Acrylic on cradled birch panel
8 x 8 inches
Barbara Muir © 2017

Coming back to Toronto after being away sometimes
makes me sad.  Take being off in Paris for instance --
seeing truly magnificent architecture and art -- for a few
days Toronto can seem small, and not quite with it.  The
answer to my "other city homesickness" is the beaches.

My husband knows me so well, that at the first sign of
my overwhelming longing to be somewhere else he takes
me to our favourite, quiet little beach in Toronto.  But if
at all possible, on weekends he may try an even more
profound cure, and take me as far as Port Stanley on
Lake Erie.  This is how this little painting came about.

We head to the beach in all weather -- and this is Port
Stanley in winter.  The collector who bought the piece
knows that drive along the lakes well, and is also a fan
of beaches in all weather.  So this quiet scene sold to a
really good and appreciative home.  Thank you to the
collector, and to my dear Steven.

Have a heading-down-to-the-beach day!

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

First choice -- the joy of a long distance summer drive

Best summer drive
Acrylic on canvas
12 x 12 inches
Barbara Muir © 2017
As promised, for the next few days I'll feature work that sold
in the show last weekend with Gill Cameron -- This Magic Land.
I have a friend who makes fun of my positive stance on the world.
But views like this on long drives, on a perfect day, definitely bolster
my spirits.

Our two sons both went to the University of Windsor -- which
seemed ironic to me because I left that town with my family
when I was four -- and moved to Ottawa.  But the university,
especially the acting program, was a wonderful place for
my children.  And we got used to frequently making the journey
from Toronto to Windsor, which is about a 4 1/2 hour drive.

Over the years we started to look forward to seeing the stretches
of wide open countryside, farms and windmills, and all of the
nature along the highway.  This is one view -- quite beautiful trees
next to the road.

Have a loving-the best-long-drives 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!