Monday, August 13, 2018

The feeling of coming home

The fields between
Acrylic on canvas
18 x 24 inches
Barbara Muir © 2018
Painting is a driving force in my life I realize.  Without
painting I do feel a bit lost.  I'm so happy to finish this scene today
of the fields just inside the New Brunswick border when you
drive out of Amherst, Nova Scotia.  Plus it's a landscape I've looked at
with delight every time we pass it when we're visiting the
Maritimes.  Perhaps that's because clouds love this wide open
space and perform gorgeous miracles for the fields below.

On the way to our school house these fields are a sign that we
are almost there.  A joyous sight after the long, long trip from
Toronto, and our skyscraper views.

Have a loving the work you do day.

Sunday, August 5, 2018

Jumping back in -- for the love of portraits

Charcoal on watercolour paper
9 x 12 inches
Barbara Muir © 2017
Tonight I'm showing you a quick sketch I did today for a
finished portrait I'm hoping to do in the next few weeks.
For me a drawing is a great way to figure out what I'm
trying to do.  This sketch could be polished, but instead
I'll probably do another drawing.  I was using charcoal on
watercolour paper, and I may try another drawing on
smooth paper, or a line drawing.

It is very hot in Toronto -- it was 42 Celsius today with
the Humidex, which is 107 Fahrenheit, and way too hot for
we Canadian folks.  So we stayed inside for most of the day
enjoying the air conditioning, and then sat on the front porch
with the animals where it's cooler in the late afternoon.

Have a cooling things down with art day

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Day 7 and one of my favourite places

Summer clouds Wallace Bridge
Acrylic on canvas
40 x 40 inches
 Barbara Muir © 2014

I don't have a great photo of this piece, and it's been living the
high life in a featured position in its wonderful owner's house.  
It captures the wonder of a Nova Scotia cloudscape.  This summer
Toronto has been giving Nova Scotia a run for its money with 
some spectacular clouds -- but nothing can really top (pardon
my pun) the clouds in Nova Scotia.  When I am there I'm dazzled
by one view after another that absolutely knocks me out.

So it's appropriate on this the last day of the challenge, that
my thoughts are straying to that gorgeous place -- where I'll
 go before the summer is over.  As we head into August
I catch myself filled with nostalgia for a summer so packed
with work that there was barely a moment to breathe, let
alone enjoy all that nature has to offer.  Still as an artist
I am drinking the beautiful images in any chance I get.

Have a loving your summer days day. 

Monday, July 30, 2018

The one day dream -- a room full of my ocean series

Wonder Water Image #6
Acrylic on canvas
30 x 30 inches
Barbara Muir © 2015
This is the 6th day in the challenge I was invited to join by
the amazing sculptor, Gabrielle Fischer Horvath.
I am incredibly lucky to know an amazing bunch of women,
including this brilliant and beautiful woman, Etana, who
dropped by today.  My portrait of her is certainly one of my
favourites because it captures both her beauty and her serious
side.  She is committed to  helping Canadians work together on
saving the environment, on human rights, and on figuring out how
 to get people engaged in caring about their communities.

Her portrait has (appropriately in my opinion) traveled to be
part of the Florence Biennale and to New York City. She is
delightful, and I'm sure that my affection for her comes
through in the painting too.

In Florence, Italy the painting showed with another portrait
and a large diptych of an ocean scene.  I managed to say to
visitors to my wall that these paintings were about saving the
ocean, and these young women, Etana, and Emily on the other
side of the large ocean scene would be the ones to do it.
I spoke just enough Italian about saving the oceans
that more than one visitor stood in front of Etana's
portrait, and then Emily's portrait, very moved.  It was lovely to
witness that.

It is one of my dreams to one day have a show of my ocean series.
These portraits are very special to me.

Have a loving what you are trying to express day.

Sunday, July 29, 2018

Still Life and the Flower Queen

Breakfast at the Skylight Diner NYC
Acrylic on canvas
30 x 30 inches
Barbara Muir © 2014
This painting took me to Paris, where it showed in
the Louvre in the Carousel du Louvre in 2015.  It got me to meet
the fabulous Russo brothers, Francesco Saverio Russo, and
Salvatore Russo who were hosting the show in the Louvre,
and my dear friend Alessandra Mascitti who worked as
their translator/curator, and who is one of the funniest people I know.
So I am very grateful to this painting, inspired by a romantic
breakfast I had with my husband in NYC.

I started loving painting still life around the time when I
met the fabulous artist, Flora Doehler, who has yet to exhibit
her work in Paris, and New York City, but I think the time is long
overdue, because Flora's work is amazing, and beyond amazing,
astounding.  She can make flowers sing the way they do
in real life, and make you feel over the top wonderful.

I met her at a show in the Don Valley Art Club, went to
her incredibly vivid and artistic house in Toronto, and I
think I was responsible for getting her to visit the Maritimes
(no she comboed it with a wedding).  Whatever our lovely
time in the Maritimes maybe 10 years ago, when she visited
our little school house -- lead to her and her husband, a
fantastic ceramic artist, Larry Knox moving permanently
to the small and picturesque Nova Scotia town of
Bear River. And she and Larry have been loving their brand
new Maritime life there ever since.

But back to the painting.  Wow.  Paintings can take you
anywhere.  And this one gave Paris a bit of NYC.  All
in all an international vision fest, and incredibly wonderful
time.  Thank you painting, and thank you Steven for the
delicious meal that inspired the painting, and thank you
Flora for constant inspiration. And thank you Russo brothers
for inviting me, and thank you Alessandra for being the best
twinie anyone has. (our joke).

Have a loving your artistic life day.

Saturday, July 28, 2018

A shared love of the environment -- Day 4 of the challenge

In The Right Place At The Right Time
Acrylic on canvas
36 x 48 inches
Barbara Muir © 2016
For day Four of the Seven Day Challenge I've been invited to 
take part in by the amazing sculptor, Gabrielle Fischer Horvath,
I choose one of my favourite paintings.  So much of what I paint
is energized by love, the love of what I see, of who I talk to,
of who I'm painting for.  This painting was created to celebrate
a nature reserve in the Netherlands, and was in an exhibition called
Kunst in Drimmelin to to honour that area in Drimmelin -- the Worp
I was invited to join the show by my friend the wonderful artist,
Miranda Brouwers.  I shipped the painting rolled up and she and
her friends there restretched it for me.  It came home and sold! 
Miranda sent me many, many photos of this area for reference,
and wanted my blue sky and clouds in the painting.  I am eternally
grateful to her for getting me into that wonderful exhibition. 

Have an enjoying loving your art day.

Day Three -- a chance meeting and a happy painting

Tobias and the tigers
acrylic on canvas
18 x 24 inches
Barbara Muir © 2009

Today's painting in the 7 paintings for 7 days challenge I was
asked to join by Gabrielle Fischer Horvath, is a
painting of a little boy named Tobias, that I did for the HGTV
show Pure Design in 2009.  The whole experience was a delight,
and one lovely part of it was that Tobias's mother Carm cried
when she saw the portrait because she loved it so much.

Today Steven and I decided to go and sit on a park bench
on the hill at our local park-- to have a little relaxation
time for ourselves before dinner at the end of a long
work week.  While we were there Carm, and her daughter
stopped by and said Hi.   They were going to meet Tobias (now 11).
So amazing because I was thinking about the painting the other
day, and have not seen Carm in a few years.

The short conversation we had reminded me of the treat
of making this painting, and the joyous reaction from
Tobias's family -- the best possible outcome for a portrait

Have a loving what you do 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!