Thursday, September 29, 2016

Something I'm proud of -- one of my son's early films

Chris Muir on the set of his short film "Bye"
Watch it here
As Alyson Stanfield points  out it's good to share the work of other
artists.  I had planned to share the work of William Kentridge but
that can wait for another night.  Five years ago on this date
my son Christopher Muir directed a short that received great attention.
Thanks to Facebook for reminding me about it.  I thought I'd
share the memory both here and on FB.  It's a fun film to watch.

Steven and I played the young woman in the story's mother and
father -- and as the whole drama is very fast, I am just a whirl
of hair, and Steven is in the hallway and may not show.

I had forgotten all about this project which was super fun to be
part of.  I love the theme, all revolving around the word
"Bye" and all of the different meanings and emotions conveyed
by that word.  So I am sharing it today.

I hope you know that when I say "Bye" to you tonight,
I am going to be back another day when time permits.

Having a saying "Bye" with meaning day.

Monday, September 26, 2016

New work and the balancing act -- not always perfect!


Heading home
Acrylic on 2 canvas panels
4 x 6 feet,
Barbara Muir © 2016
Dear friends,

I do live by lists -- something I learned to do from my dear friend
and former boss Frank Daley.  In fact we taught list making as a
strategy in a positive psychology -- school success course.  But even
the lists, and their near magical perfection could only propel me so far
 last week.

I did. 1. Sit a show of one of my major pieces and two other
              landscapes for all of Friday and Saturday night.
          2.  I had just sent a painting, Dream Selfie -- Wonder Water
               Image #7 off to Italy,  to travel to the Louvre for a the
               Carrousel du Louvre Exhibition opening October 21 in
               the Louvre Museum, Paris.
          3.  The weekend before that I was in the Worp exhibition in
                Hooge Zwaluwe, The Netherlands with my painting
                 In the right place at the right time.
          4. I did get a large, rather glorious diptych landscape, Heading 
              home,  finished for a group exhibition opening at the
              Amsterdam Whitney gallery in New York City on October 8.
              And shipped it and two other landscapes to New York last Thursday.
         
But.... I did not manage to take a decent photo of that painting.  So
I apologize.  I was rushed in the last half hour before shipping the work.
The photo I'm showing you gives you an idea of the work.  I am
pretty pleased with it.

Now when I talk about people helping me, and how wonderful the
world is.  I should flip this list and start with that.  My friend
Miranda Brouwers in The Netherlands got me into the Warp
show, and stretched my work that I shipped off the stretchers for
me, in addition to working on hanging the whole show and
finishing her own huge and beautiful work!

My dear friend Raylea Lambert helped me sort out what to put
on my list for the Louvre show.

My over the moon kind gallery director in NYC offered to
photograph my work properly for me when it's hung (it arrives
tomorrow), and prepare postcards for me from that high res
photo.

My dearest husband, knowing I was over the top with work to
do and obligations and tasks still to stick on the list, brought
me home a dozen roses using the water container on his bicycle
to carry them on Friday night.  All of my loving family hung out with
me on Friday and on Saturday and made me soooo happy.

Now it's back to the lists.  And I've learned new lessons about
how to function under pressure -- always handy. I'll use
that when I teach Creativity at the University of Toronto
in November. More news about that coming up!

Have a making really good lists day.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Kindness powers this international artist. Thank you!

Dream Selfie -- Wonder Water Image #7
Acrylic on canvas
30 x 30 inches
Barbara Muir © 2016
Last week there was a lot going on.  I'm sure some artists
displaying internationally pull all the pieces together,
get the art done, and ship and the list goes on -- all
by themselves.  Take a bow if you are one of them.  I am
blessed to have people help me every step of the way.

I finished my painting -- Dream Selfie --Wonder Water Image
#7 last week, then needed to ship it to Europe where it
will eventually appear in the Carrousel du Louvre
exhibition opening on October 21 in the Louvre, Paris.   So
here is my list of supporters, starting with Regan, my
gorgeous model, a busy writer, mother of three sons, and wife
to a fabulous musician.  She supplied me with photos, posed for me,
and encouraged me. Thank you so much Regan.

My husband Steven helped photograph the piece.
Heather, Jen, Mike, Nicole, Nikkole, John and Courtney
at the De Serres Yorkdale store, helped me buy the canvas
and paint.  Plus they packed the painting in a bubble wrap
envelope, and foamcore box they custom made to fit the work!  

The shipper Mehrdad at UPS, and truck driver Robert,
helped with the next step of packaging and getting the
work processed, then the truck drove away and voila she is
gone!  On the other end Francesco Saviero Russo, the
art director of EA Editore and his team at will receive it,
courier it to Paris, hang it and be there on opening night
with champagne and smiles.

Thank you every one of you, and all the people who
helped in a hundred other ways.  I wish you could all
be there at the vernissage, and we could toast one
another!

Here's to the wonderful people who help artists every day!

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Huge week in art!


Thank you to C. U. Slater for taking this video of his friend, sculptor
Bert Jackson doing the 22 day challege in front of my painting
Breakfast in the Hotel at the MUSE Show opening at Super Wonder
Gallery on Saturday night here in Toronto, Canada.

It has been such a week of art adventures!  Thank you to
everyone who came out to the MUSE art exhibition at the Super
Wonder Gallery, 876 Bloor Street West (near Ossington)
in Toronto.  And if you haven't seen it you owe yourself
that pleasure! It's on until Wednesday night from 2 - 8 p.m.,
and it is spectacular.
Breakfast in the hotel
Acrylic on canvas
6 X 8 Feet
 © Barbara Muir 
The show opened on Friday and Saturday night and
my large still life Breakfast in the hotel, and two landscapes
Magic Day in the Neighbourhood, and Across the Highway
were given a place of honour -- the front wall in the exhibition
designed by the brilliant curator, Daniel Anaka.


A Magic Day in the Neighbourhood
Acrylic on canvas
24 x 24
Barbara Muir © 2016

Across the highway
Acrylic on canvas
24 x 24 inches
Barbara Muir © 2016
Last weekend my painting In the right place at the right time
was featured in a gorgeous exhibition in a church/
restaurant in The Netherlands as part of the Worp show.
Mid week my portrait of the supremely beautiful Regan began
its journey to France (more on that tomorrow), to be displayed
at the Louvre.  Whew!

There are so many exciting, excellent, significant paintings
in the MUSE exhibition that I was delighted that my big still
life attracted a lot of attention and seemed to energize people --
like the super sculptor, Bert Jackson who is doing a 22
day, 22 push-ups-a-day challenge in support of first responders
suffering from PTSD.  His challenge aside from push-ups,
is to find someone new to take on the 22 day/22 push-up
challenge, for each of the 22 days.

Have a letting art give you an energy boost day.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

For my father on 9/11


Under the beautiful window, on the left you see my painting
In the right place at the right time, which is in the right place
as part of the Kunst in Drimmelin exhibition,  in the Netherlands
Thank you to Kunst in Drimmelin for the photo, to Miranda Brouwers,
Rolf Leemeijer and Vittorio Dorigo for everything.  You all mean the world to me.

Another photo of the Kunst in Drimmelin show in the Restaurant Onze Kerk,
from the exhibition photographers, showing my work on the left and 
and to the right you see half of my friend Miranda Brouwers' gorgeous
landscape diptych, plus many other super artworks.  
My dear father,

I think of you every year on this date because you died on 9/11 some
years before the tragedy in New York City.  For me your death,
and the devastation and sorrow New York experienced blend together
in a cloak of sorrow.  But this year something else is happening.
Computers -- which you were fascinated by, and the internet
have lead me to be invited to partake in wonderful exhibitions
(something you as an artist would have so enjoyed), and also
brought me some truly delightful friendships.
My friend, Miranda Brouwers' beautiful, large diptych of the Worp 
One of these -- my friendship with Miranda Brouwers who I met
in 2015 at the Florence Biennale -- has resulted in me being part of
an exhibition in the Netherlands this weekend, in a show called Kunst
in Drimmelin. I know that even if you would have had trouble telling,
me so, you would have been proud of this event, of its focus on the
environment -- something you cared about.  You might also be
surprised that I paint landscapes now too -- something you were
known for in the creative part of your life.

I think of you lost to ill health, and of the losses of all of the families
all over the world who have lost people they loved because of war, violence and
terrible and pointless hatred.  And I wish for all our sakes that
we turn to peace and saving the planet in time for our children,
your grandchildren, and mine.

I love you and miss you Daddy.

In the right place at the right time
Acrylic on canvas
36 x 48 inches
Barbara Muir © 2016

Have a loving your family and friends day.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Inspiration wins


Untitled (Work in Progress)
Acrylic on canvas
30 x 30 inches
Barbara Muir © 2016

Coming down the home stretch on this one.  I don't like to show works in progress,
but this is so close.  I was moved by Amy Hillenbrand's shots of the development
of her painting of orchids.  I liked her brave discussion of the middle part in creating
a painting, when you can't see the end.  And I love what Elizabeth Gilbert said in her
book Big Magic about fear being allowed to come along for the ride, and how fear could have
sandwiches, but fear would not get to drive, and fear would not get to give advice.
So brilliant.  At this point I can see where I'm going, and fear is not on the journey
anymore.  (Probably out hitchhiking). So I don't mind showing you how it's going.

I will of course give you all the details when it's done.

Have a taking the driver's seat day.

Friday, August 26, 2016

The land of my greatest inspiration


 Across the Highway
Acrylic on canvas
24 x 24 inches
Barbara Muir © 2016
This painting will be on display and for sale in the MUSE
show that opens at Super Wonder Gallery on Friday September 16,
and Saturday September 17 in Toronto from 8p.m. to 2 p.m.

Here I am in the place that fuels so much of my landscape
art -- vast horizons, oceans, rolling hills, forests, farms,
endless beauty -- Nova Scotia.

And I did not bring art supplies -- thinking that I could
get them at an art store in Moncton on the way.  But it
is for sale!  Is that the universe telling me to take some
time off? For me art is both a passion and a job.  Do I
deserve a holiday from art?  Am I kidding myself.
As long as I have eyes there are no holidays from art,
and I am grateful for that fact.

Here on our little property in Nova Scotia -- I see the
too blue sky I put in my paintings.  It is too blue for
Toronto, but the real colour here.  So blue it is
delicious.

I stand under a crabapple tree on our acre of land, that forms an
umbrella arch about 20 feet wide over me, and marvel.
Our yard in Toronto is about 20 feet wide, and we crammed
a cherry tree (now gone) and an apple tree (suffering)
and a garage in that space.

So even if I don't find canvas and paint, I will use my
camera, eyes, heart, soul to prepare to paint as much as
 I can of what I've seen when I get home .  If you've
never been to Nova Scotia -- you should come.  Meanwhile,
Happy Painting.

Have a loving where you are 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!