Sunday, July 3, 2022

In love with the Lake

In a park by the lake -- happiness
Acrylic on canvas
24 x 24 inches
Barbara Muir © 2018

Today we took a long drive along Lake Ontario.  By now you
know that I'm in love with the lake -- seeing her out there --
so vast, and gorgeous blue, makes me happy.

I started a new painting yesterday, and even at the rough stage
it was going really well. But it isn't ready to be seen.  Wishing
you a wonderful Monday, and if you're American, a great 4th of
July.

Here is a view of the lake from one of our favourite parks.

Have a loving where you are day.

Saturday, July 2, 2022

Happy Birthday to my son

After the dance reading the paper
Acrylic on canvas
16 x 20 inches
Barbara Muir © 2010
(Christopher was my model
for this painting.)

This is my son Christopher's birthday.  If we are in town
together we have cake and presents, and lots of laughter.
Today he is on a birthday vacation with his wife Megan,
and we've had some happy phone calls. 

In some ways today is Mother's Day for me -- the day I first
became a mother.  I wanted children from my very early
years, when I was a doll freak, and played at being a mother
all the time.  

Of course as a teenager I lost interest in that role, and it wasn't
until I met Steven that I could even imagine life as a mother. It
is wonderful.  My sons have taught me so much, helped me
by posing for my art, encouraging me to paint, coming out to my
shows, even creating my website.  

And my whole happy life as a mother began on this day.
Happy Birthday Christopher.

Have a loving your family day.

Friday, July 1, 2022

For Canada's 155th birthday

A few of my landscapes
celebrating my love of
Canada.
The two on the
ends are Maritime landscapes,
and the one in the middle is the
school yard up the street.
Acrylic on canvas
Barbara Muir ©

This weekend Canada marks it's 155th anniversary of
Confederation. Compared with other countries on the
planet, we are a baby.  I have been thinking about this and
thought I'd write about why I love Canada. Loving Canada
has been sullied somewhat by the anti-vaxxer
truckers who descended on our capital this winter. So I won't
go waving the flag, but I will say why I love this country.

1.  The people -- Canadians come from all over the world.
My own ancestors, great, and great, great grandparents
came from Italy, Scotland, Ireland, and France.  My
husband is descended from Dutch and Indonesian
great grandparents.

2. My city.  Each time I come back to Toronto, after
visiting other countries, I notice how people are here.
At the bus stops all of us hang out together.  It feels
different from other cities in the world.

3. Our humour.  Canadians are self-critical -- and
that is the core of our humour.  And we're funny.
Our humour gets exported big time, especially to the
United States where so many of the top comedians, and
comic actors are Canadian.

4. We're boring.  We're allowed to be boring and
safe. We want good and happy lives, and it doesn't
matter if that means we live by routines.

5. No guns. (Or almost no guns).  We don't think
it's cool to use/have guns.  We don't have guns in
our houses, our cars.  Guns are not cool here.
Criminals and hunters use guns. The police have
guns, but the general public detests gun violence,
and thinks guns are scary, and worse -- stupid and
senseless.

6. We say we're sorry.  You know you're in
Canada when you bump into someone's cart
 in the supermarket and the sorry fest goes on
for 10 minutes -- first you. "I'm sorry," then
the other person, "No I'm sorry" and that
continues.

7. Free health care.  When relatives of mine
have gone through treatments for cancer, or
had surgery, or babies, or any kind of reason
to need healthcare -- it's free.  Some doctors
charge a yearly fee -- maybe $200, but otherwise
healthcare is free.

8. We're a vast country.  I've traveled from one
side of the country almost to the other, and there
is still so much to see, so many places I haven't been.

9. Our art -- it's exciting being an artist in Canada.
Although we're a young country, our art has a
distinctive quality.  Canadian artists love this country,
and that comes out in so many forms -- in art, music and, 
literature.
 
10.  Our kindness.  It is in to be kind here. People from
other countries might find that boring, but we don't. 

Of course things go wrong. The country and its history
are far from perfect. We are dealing with righting the
terrible mistreatment of indigenous people at residential
schools. We are not free from disturbing and violent acts.
And we have been struggling with the pandemic too.  
But in Toronto, where I live, violence is not the norm.
Many neighbours from every culture were out at a
local park watching fireworks together tonight, and
wishing each other Happy Canada Day.

Have an enjoying what's good about your country day.

Thursday, June 30, 2022

Honouring older work

At the art show
Acrylic on canvas
24 x 24 inches
Barbara Muir © 2011 

I was scrolling through my blog looking for posts about this
day (June 30) and found a post about a piece I was 
working on 11 years ago.  I love the painting, which is of
an artist and her daughter -- from a photo I took at a show
at the Don Valley Art Club.  

I love how the painting captures the love between
the mother and daughter, and how proud the daughter is of
her mother's work. These are special times that will come
back to us as art shows open up again, and we can share
our work with a live audience.  These moments mean the
world to artists, who spend most of their days working 
alone.

Have a loving your life day.

Wednesday, June 29, 2022

July 1 means the world to me

The Life Changer
Black marker on drawing paper
11 x 14 inches
Barbara Muir © 2014

This week is the week of Canada Day on July 1.  Fire crackers are
already going off in the neighbourhood. Unlike in past years
not as many people are putting up Happy Canada Day signs,
or the red and white Maple Leaf flag.  The invasion of Ottawa, our capital
this winter, changed our feelings about the flag.  It was used
as a symbol of the trucker convoy who positioned themselves
in front of the parliament buildings and stayed for weeks,
because they wanted "freedom" mostly it seemed from masks,
and the vaccines that have been saving our lives during this
pandemic. And apparently they are going back for Canada Day.
 
So we won't be hanging a flag like we have before this whole
fiasco happened.   The front of our house is already
white, with red shutters, (white and red are the colours of
the Canadian Flag), so we've got the theme going.

But for me Canada Day will always mean something infinitely
more important.  Because Canada Day was also the day I
went into the hospital with labour pains. And I had my baby boy,
Christopher, the next day.

This image is of a mother and child looking at one
another after the birth for the first time.  That mother
and child are me and Christopher.  Yes I wasn't always
blonde.  The drawing is far from perfect, but I think
it gets that shock, absolute love, and wonder on the
mother's face, and the shock of being in the world --
and "who are you? " on the baby's face.

And what a delight that baby, now a grown man, is in our
lives.

Happy Birthday Week Christopher.

 

Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Great art group tonight

Art group sketch --
Man in blue

Acrylic on canvas
16 x 20 inches
Barbara Muir © 2022

Working with my art group is almost magical.  I think I had
about 45 minutes with them tonight, and 30 was this pose.
We were lucky to have a great model, and this image flew
onto my canvas.  That's the most fun -- how painting a 
person who is modelling live transmits the image almost
without thought.

Amazing.

Wishing you a wonderful day.

Monday, June 27, 2022

End of day

Late day light
Cherrywood
Acrylic ink on 
watercolour paper
6 x 8 inches
Barbara Muir © 2022

Yesterday was such a joyous day.  And when we took the dog
for a short walk the sky was magnificent.  I am not a sunset
painter -- never say never.  But this sky captivated me, and
I wanted to give it a try.

Here it is. Acrylic ink is maybe not the best for clouds, still I 
had fun trying to get that beauty down, even with the wrong
medium. What I hadn't planned on was spending most of the
day with it.  Some days in an artist's life are like that, and 
everything is learning.  Now back to the canvas. Yay!

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: barbara.muir@sympatico.ca
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!