Thursday, February 23, 2017

Loving colour -- the world is captivating

Ocean tulips (work in progress)
Acrylic on cradled birch panel
12 x 12 inches
Barbara Muir © 2017
Here's the work on my easel. Today on the 23rd day
of the month of love, I want to celebrate colour -- the
gorgeous colour of the blue, blue sky today -- a sunny
day, a gift after almost two months of grey sky, of the
tulips I'm painting, people -- the exciting varieties of
people in this city -- Toronto, of the world -- every
single part of what I see cries out to be captured, put
down, locked in and treasured. That is what it feels
like to be an artist.  The complete opposite of boring.

How incredibly lucky I feel to have any ability to
convey this in paint.  And even more lucky to see
with eyes (helped considerably by glasses) that
feel a deep sense of wonder.

Have a loving-the-rich-colours-of-the-world day

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

A love of reading -- on the 22nd day of the Month of Love

The best story
Black marker on Fringe drawing paper
9 1/2 x 5 3/4 inches
Barbara Muir © 2017
(I was inspired by a post by Danny Gregory
today.  I loved how he began his drawing
with an outline of an entire tea cup
and saucer, and then just kept going.)
Tonight I was looking for a photo of my mother
reading to me and my brother at bedtime, but
couldn't find it.  I did find a photo (probably
styled by my photographer father) of my brother
and me reading a book together.  You can't see
the book, but our intensely focused faces say it all.

That nightly practice in my family has left me
with a love of reading, that is almost all
consuming.  I have to stop myself from reading
full time, but I do still read before bed every
night, and I thank my parents, especially my
mother for that practice, now in the month of love.

My drawing tonight is half the picture -- just me
looking down at the book my brother and I were
reading.  If I have time tomorrow, I'll add
my brother in.

Have a reading-when-the-mood-strikes-you day.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

A Toss Up -- Day 21, Salad plus Bananas

Salad for two
Acrylic on canvas
12 x 12 inches
Barbara Muir © 
A toss up (pardon my pun)today -- given the day, between my
love of salad, especially the salad my husband Steven makes
which is ideal, and my love (near addiction) to bananas.
Both deserve recognition, on this 21st day of the
celebration of the Month of Love

I am not the chef in my family, but I have brought
some foods into this unit that have stuck, and
one is salad.  My mother, for most of her life was a
into nutrition and a proponent of salad.  She made a
delicious oil and vinegar dressing, and taught the
simple recipe to me.

Naturally I passed that on to Steven, and he has
got that perfected to a T.  One February at least
10 years ago -- which is why the timing is right
for this discussion -- we decided to have salad with
our dinner every night.  And we pretty much have kept
to that rule.  Salad is work.  It takes thought, and effort
and commitment, and chopping, but I crave some right now.

I have painted salad, but so far no bananas.  That doesn't
make sense does it?  Since giving up sugar, bananas
have saved my life because they are filling and sweet.
So I did draw one today. Because this morning I met with
a super group of women in my neighbourhood, and the
conversation got very well... I was going to say 'hot' -- but let's
say animated. Our host said "we need a talking stone!," and
proceeded to hand a lovely ripe banana to one person in the group.
From then on we put up our hands if we wanted to talk, and
the banana went to the next person who was going to get
to speak.

Banana in a bowl
Black marker on Moleskine paper
5 1/2 x 8 1/2 inches
Barbara Muir © 2017
We were discussing how to be tolerant in an intolerant
world.  And that's a tough topic, you realize. But I loved the
banana as a "talking stone", and I loved that we immediately
 took turns as difficult as that was, and everyone who wante
to speak, did so with the full attention of the rest of the group.
 Amazing.  If only we were world leaders!

Have a passing-the-talking-stone-banana day. 

Monday, February 20, 2017

Day 20th of the Month of Love -- Traveling Home

Sleeping in the hotel
Black marker on Moleskine paper
5 1/2 x 8 1/2 inches
Barbara Muir © 2017
Today is February 20th, family day in our province in
Canada.  A brilliant holiday on this the 20th day
of the Month of Love.  And we were in Ottawa,
where it was so packed with families that we couldn't
get to the restaurant we love for lunch.

It has been a hard, hard winter so far for us and
we needed the break. We saw some friends,
but mostly just hung out and did nothing. Now,
though we're on a tight schedule for work and projects,
and are back home again -- where the morning starts
super early.

Save the Amaryllis
Black marker on Moleskine paper
5 1/2 x 8 1/2 inches
Barbara Muir © 2017
(Our friends' place was packed
with big bouquets of flowers, including this
one sweet Amaryllis  in a jar)
Traveling is one of my favourite things, but there is
nothing to compare with being home.  The contrasts
are what keep life fascinating.

Have a loving-being-home day.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Coffee and lots of it on the 19th day of The Month of Love

Detail (of the coffee)
Salad Obsession
Acrylic on canvas
12 x 12 inches
Barbara Muir ©
This morning I had room service coffee -- which if you know
me is certainly one of my favourite ways to have the
beverage that powers my life.  Sorry but it's true.  I
run on coffee -- not that much -- but I like it strong,
and need two or three cups each morning to get going.
The beautiful coffee carafe
Black marker on Moleskine paper
5 x 8 inches
Barbara Muir © 2017
The coffee this morning was delicious and strong and
served in a lovely silver carafe which reflected the
gorgeous blue sky out the window, and even had
clouds floating in the sky on its shining surface.
That kind of coffee can make the whole day happier,
and it did.  This has been a super day.
This morning's coffee
Black marker on Moleskine paper
5 x 8 inches
Barbara Muir © 2017
I also spent some time with friends today,
and they make perhaps an even better, and stronger
coffee than the perfect morning brew of this the
19th day of the Month of Love.  And I should
not have had another cup.  I really tried to just
drink half of it, but I certainly wanted it.  So
if I am up all night drawing you will know why.

Salad Obsession
(The whole picture)
Acrylic on canvas
12 x 12 inches
Barbara Muir ©
Have a making-and-drinking-wonderful-coffee day.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Nine years blogging my friends -- Thank you! What a ride!

Before the Dance
Acrylic on canvas
Barbara Muir © 2008
(One of the things I've learned in 9 
years is how to take better photos.
But this is the original painting I put on my first blog.)

I wrote my very first blog on February 18, 2008.  It's
hard to believe it's been that long -- the whole time
has been like the fast forward with the sound on in
my mind -- but what a time I've had.  I owe it all
to you -- my family, my blog artist friends, my 
collectors, curators -- a long list.  Today on Day
18 of the Month of Love, I love my blog, and the
magic it's brought into my life.

I was thinking about it today, when a character in
the novel I'm reading complained that she was 
supposed to be having the best decade of her life, 
and she wasn't. And I thought this has definitely 
been the best decade of my life -- or best nine years 
of my life. Although I think each decade was wonderful.

But in my art life this decade brought me the chance
to draw Oprah Winfrey on a live taping of her
show, the chance to show in New York City, year
after year, exhibitions in the Louvre and in Florence,
Italy.  Wow!  And most important of all I met you --
either here through the blog, or in art shows here and in 
other cities.  That has been the best, the most
wonderful experience of all -- connecting with 
other artists, and directors, and learning, learning
learning about this amazing artist's life.  Mine
has been truly wonderful, and I know the fun has
just begun. Thank you one million times over everyone.

Have a loving-your-anniversaries day.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Day 17 -- thinking of Marnix, birthdays and food!

Breakfast at the Skylight Diner, NYC
Acrylic on canvas
30 x 30 inches
Barbara Muir © 2014

Of course I am missing a vital thing I love -- and that is food.
Food is certainly one of the most delicious things to
paint.  I'm thinking of this today partially because of
a wonderful young man we met in Paris with his
family -- Marnix Leemeijer.  It is his birthday today,
and I am pretty certain that his parents will prepare
an amazing cake.

In recent years I have painted quite a lot of food.  Which
seems right -- and even more so in this month of
celebration of love.  For the next few days I will
probably be showing older work, because there is
a lot going on in my family.

My own story with food changed dramatically in
the past year because I gave up sugar and flour for
the most part.  I do occasionally indulge, however.
It is not about a belief system, or even about health
reasons, I just wanted to get back to my normal weight,
and this diet was effortless, and worked.

But I guarantee you Marnix, if I were in the Netherlands
today, I would be having a piece of cake to
celebrate the big 17!

Have a  loving-the-food-you-eat 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!