Saturday, August 17, 2019

Beautiful P.E.I. and an unwelcome guest

The Yellow Field
Acrylic on canvas
12 x 12 inches
Barbara Muir © 2016
Today we drove over to P.E.I. to have dinner in Victoria
at the Landmark Oyster House.  Everything was delicious
(Wine, beet salad with greens, grilled salmon over mashed potatoes,
creme brulée, coffee ).  P.E.I. is beautiful, and if we have time we'll
go back, but what a treat!

We got back to the school house to the sound of frantic banging
against the downstairs floor.   The reason?  A porcupine trapped under
the school house.  We tried everything, and eventually Steven
created a space for Mr. Porcupine to get out, tempted him
with some lettuce, knocked on the school house floor, and
went to read about porcupines.

Very educational and the poor fellow left.  Steven patched up
the exit space, brought in the lettuce, and as far as we know
that's the excitement for tonight.

Have a learning about the world day.

Friday, August 16, 2019

A beautiful day, and sketching

Clouds -- sketch
Acrylic ink, black marker and watercolour
5.5 x 8.5 inches
Barbara Muir © 2019
When the real holiday mood sets in out here in the
school house, it is sooooo peaceful.  I guess you could
say we're blessed with erratic Internet.  That has forced
us to read our books, in the absolute silence that is life
here --unless of course the highway is busy.

So we've done that.  And I've started sketching.  Plus
we went to the beach we love and walked on the wide
sand at low tide.  Then we drove as fast as possible to
reach the Sandpiper restaurant before the 8 p.m. cut off,
and made it.  Supper was delicious!

Other than that every drive in the car -- and it's a long
car ride to groceries and water (no running water here),
and almost everything -- is a symphony of overwhelming
beauty.  This is without a doubt one of the most
beautiful places in the world.  And I am doing research
for all the paintings that will follow.

Meanwhile -- have a taking it easy day.

Thursday, August 15, 2019

Dinner with the artists

The Last Stand
Acrylic on canvas
30 x 30 inches
From the Back to the Land exhibition in
Tatamagouche, Nova Scotia, in July
Norene Smiley © 2019

We were so delighted to have dinner tonight at
Norene and Greg Smiley's house.  The artist
Louise Cloutier, and poet Richard Dittami came
for dinner too, and we had great conversations
over a delicious meal.

Norene's work has inspired me since I first saw it
at the Chatterbox Café in Pugwash, Nova Scotia.
I first saw Louise's work last year in a show in Oxford,
Nova Scotia that combined her work with poetry
by Richard.  It was a wonderful exhibition and
collaborative venture.

Riders on the storm
 Acrylic on Canvas
Louise Cloutier © 2019
Louise has added a huge spark of life to the arts
community in Pugwash with her ArtQuarters
Pugwash art school.  And Norene will be teaching
a watercolour workshop there tomorrow.

Have a talking to the artists you love day.

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Settling in

Cherries with a full moon
iPad quick sketch
Barbara Muir © 2019
Here's a rough iPad sketch I did tonight of cherries.
I had a great conversation with a couple shopping
at the Maxi in Lévis outside of Quebec City.  They
were buying cherries, and so was I.  In my bad french
I told them that I'd read that cherries helped you sleep.
Each time I ran into the couple while I was shopping,
the man would laugh, and pretend to snore.

Speaking of snoring, I am super tired from the long
drive yesterday.  So this is it for tonight.  I hope to have more
to say tomorrow.

Have a taking it easy day.

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Our second home

The House on the Hill #2
Acrylic on canvas
18 x 24 inches
Barbara Muir © 2017
(I started shouting when I saw this house
today, and scared the hell out of
Steven.  But this house means we are
almost there.  I was delighted to see
it.  Ecstatic even.  We have arrived.)

Today was the final lap of our journey out to Nova Scotia.
It's amazing how the details of the route are etched in our
minds -- like a living map.  Iconic in our memory and
imagination.  This is the place where our spirits feel
so joyous.

Thunder storms, high heat -- all this was predicted before we
left today.  But reality was completely different.  Paradise.  We are
in paradise.

Okay we don't have running water.  And the facilities are outside.
And the furniture is from yard sales and in rough shape.  But it is
all ours.  We do have wonderful friends, can eat on real china in our little
school house, and add to that we're close to the ocean. We had dinner
tonight in one of our favourite restaurants, looking at the ocean.
Can't beat that.

Have a loving where you are day.

Monday, August 12, 2019

Our big, beautiful country

View from the highway
Acrylic on canvas
18 x 24 inches
Barbara Muir © 2017
The great thing about travelling by car across this part of
Canada, is that we see again how incredibly beautiful, and
vast our country is.  Even this part, a fraction of the whole.
And of course it is the perfect time of year -- the whole
drive lush and lakes and rivers shimmering in the light.
Amazing.  We hit one heck of a thunder and rain storm
tonight, but got through it and ended up driving under an
almost full moon in a clear sky.

Aside from the gorgeous landscape, the people we
meet along the way are the life of the journey.
Great conversations everywhere.

I have painted so many paintings of views from the
highway.  It's wonderful to travel a route so often that
you know where things are.  I love that here, and I
love staying in the same place in cities like Paris and
New York, so we get to know people.

Today was the longest leg of the journey, and we're
now ready to arrive at our destinations, and be walking
 on the beach.  All good.  Can't wait.

Have a loving your life day.

Sunday, August 11, 2019

Half Way There -- an amazing journey

Self Servewatercolour on watercolour paper

9 x 12 inchesBarbara Muir © 2011 

(I love this series.  I love the light, and
exuberance, and observation of
what's happening at a gas station. 
Observation is key.)

Okay we have travelled 1,000 kilometres.  Half of the way to
our little school house in Nova Scotia.  While we've been
travelling we've been over the moon about news of the birth
of our newest family member -- a baby girl.

At the same time we've been with family going through the
loss of their dog as the dog slowly died.  Hard and very sad.

On the road we listen to the radio and sing at the top of
our lungs -- sliding through landscapes so deliciously lush
and green I just want to stop every five minutes to capture
this, and then this, and then the best yet -- this.

Today I saw a complete rainbow -- the total arch just outside
of Quebec, and for our pleasure in Quebec City the very
heavy rain had just finished falling, so we could have a beautiful
walk along the boardwalk after dinner.

Have a counting your blessings 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!