Friday, August 19, 2016

The rarest thing in life and in art -- humour

When my children were small I left every teacher's
conference upset because the complaints about
my lovely sons never varied -- "all they care about is
being funny!"  I have to add that the teachers were wonderful
 -- most are still friends to this day -- long after both of my
children have grown up.  But then the boys were disruptive,
giggly, funny, trouble, funny and funny.  And I knew I was to

I would walk across the street to my house wanting
to cry, but of course the people inside that house
had one major goal -- and that was to laugh and to
be funny.

It has always been a problem in the wide world.
This overwhelming urge to have fun.  So imagine my
delight in finding the curator Daniel Anaka, who although
deeply serious has a wickedly funny side.

The first ad for a show I am in in September here in
Toronto, is a joke meant to bug me.

The second ad is the real one, but I do appreciate the
cat.  Why he didn't use one of my cat paintings -- I
don't know.
Come on out if you're in town, I will have a huge painting,
and two small landscapes.  And it will be fun!

Have an enjoying yourself day!

Thursday, August 18, 2016

My baby is off to Europe!

In The Right Place At The Right Time
Acrylic on canvas
36 x 48 inches
Barbara Muir © 2016
I've worked on this painting intensively for what seems
like a long time.  The thought of taking the finished work
off the stretcher put me into paroxysms of fear.  I have
never shipped a painting off the stretcher -- although
all the pros at international shows I've been in do it all
the time.

My thanks to the lovely man in the framing department of
Yorkdale De Serres who helped me take the canvas off the
frame.  We worked together quietly, then rolled the painting
up ever so carefully and I took it to the shipper.

Once it is gone, anyone who has done this knows -- it's
on to the next.  But until it was in the tube and ready to
go I was over the top anxious.  Safe journey my painting.

I finally named it In The Right Place At the Right Time,
because the painting will be in a show that supports an
environmental area in the Netherlands, near Drimmelin,
called the Worp.  The exhibition is called Kunst in Drimmelin.
And everything about the title is right -- it is a painting
of the conservation area -- the Worp.  And it is
going there because I was in the right place at the right
time last October and met the wonderful artist, Miranda 
Brouwers at the Florence Biennale, and she invited me to
show in this special exhibition happening on September 10 and 11.

Thank you so much Miranda, and for Miranda's friends
who trusted her judgement.  And I hope the painting
gets there safely, is not too much of a hassle to reframe,
and I know it will be in the right place at the right time.
And here's a detail of the next painting.

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

Have a sending your art around the world day!

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

The thrill of finishing up

Untitled (Work in Progress)
Acrylic on canvas
36 x 48 inches
Barbara Muir © 2016
Here's what I'm working on.  I'll tell you more tomorrow
when I hope to be all finished -- every last detail.  But I
am so close in this image.

I wish I could have posted more on my blog, but painting
has filled my days lately.  And I admit that's a pretty
wonderful way to spend my time, even when I am nervous
from time to time and trying to figure things out, and
occupied night and day with thoughts of where it is, and
where it's going.

As another artist said to me today -- "Aren't we lucky!"
I can't imagine a life without a serious passion.

A toast to all my fellow artists.  I will try to catch up --
soon.  But for now back to painting.

Have a loving-what-you-do day.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

A favorite painting sells to wonderful collectors -- a joyous occasion!

 In the City
Acrylic on canvas
36 x 48 inches
Barbara Muir © 2016
I know my blog posts have been sporadic to say the least
this summer, and there has been a lot going on.  So here's
an update, and I hope to tell you more good news as
the week progresses.  One of my favorite paintings of this year has
sold to wonderful people to highlight their happiness about
getting a new home.  I couldn't be more thrilled.

This painting was inspired by a photograph by my friend,
the amazing photographer, and world renowned journalist,
Howard Wolinsky.  Howard and I go back to the time when
he was working on a Skype blog, and I was one of the first
artists to publish drawings and paintings done live from Skype.
Howard's interview with me, and his encouragement got
me first a major job with a New York company doing line
drawings for an event in Las Vegas via Skype, and a second
You Tube interview caught the attention of Oprah Winfrey
and got me on the Oprah Winfrey show.

Howard and I have been friends on social media ever since.
And when I admired a wonderful photo he showed of the park
he and his wife walk in, near his home in Chicago, I asked if
I could do a painting using it as a source, and he agreed.

After that Howard sent me dozens of photos, but most of
the time I like to work from my own reference, and my
imagination. I like to carry the feeling of the place inside me.
That's how powerful Howard's photos are.  You feel like you
 are there.  The painting is not a replica of the photo, but I did
my very best to evoke the wonder I felt when I saw Howard's work.
Thank you so much Howard.

Having a being-grateful-for-artist-friends day.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Tulips in July -- Gone to a new home

Late evening tulips 
Acrylic on birch panel
12 x 12 inches
Barbara Muir © 2014
This year is strange in so many ways.  The weather is
one -- hot one minute, cold the next.  But deciding
to stay in the city this month to work has made me
appreciate the cool weather whenever it comes.

So it seems appropriate that this little painting
of tulips was sold today to someone who loves
the spring as much as I do -- one of Toronto's
prominent architects.  That made me so happy!

I'm working on some larger pieces that take more
time right now, so I will show you the work when
it's ready.  Meanwhile these lovely flowers are
delighted to have an appreciative audience.

Have a loving-the-season-day.

Friday, July 1, 2016

Happy Canada Day -- I love my country!

Dear friends,

Today is Canada Day.  The weather is doing what it does
best here, having trouble deciding.  It rains like crazy,
then apologizes (Canadians are noted for being apologetic),
says it's sorry, and bright sunlight fills the day with
sparkling beauty, then more rain, and more sunshine.

In that way the day itself is like a love affair -- one minute
all is well, and the next you get a bit wet.  But I feel
filled with pride at this crazy country, populated with so
many kind, talented funny people.  So I'm including
some of the paintings I've done in the past year of this
great land. The left and right are Nova Scotia, and the center
picture is our own street, looking over the schoolyard.

Whether it will keep raining and prevent the fireworks
we traditionally go and see, where people all gather on
the beach, and then clap when the fireworks are over, or
not is anyone's guess.  But fireworks or not.  I love
this place.

Have a happy, peaceful, joyous Canada Day wherever you are.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

New York -- full of surprises! My friend Franco and Me on the Kristal Hart TV Show!

 With Kristal Hart and Franco Mbilizi
being interviewed for MNN, Manhattan TV
in front of Wonder Water Image #6
at the new Amsterdam Whitney Gallery.

This was the opening of the new ground floor
space for the Amsterdam Whitney Gallery.
Imagine my surprise when I arrived, and
the gallery Director, Ruthie Tucker, had
hung my Wonder Water Image #5, in
full view.  The painting was sold, but not
picked up yet, and she wanted me to feel part
of the new space.
At the opening of the new Amsterdam Whitney Gallery.
I am with Gallery Director Ruthie Tucker, on
my left, and her husband, 
Ambassador Alton Louis Amsterdam III
next to Ruthie.
But even more surprising when my wonderful
friend, Franco Mbilizi arrived from Chicago,
we were told  that we would be interviewed on TV
by Kristal Hart, TV personality, and journalist for
MNN, Manhattan TV.

Kristal Hart interviews Franco Mbilizi about
being a featured artist in the 100th Anniversary
Issue of Vogue Magazine.
Franco and I met one year ago, and are great
friends, via telephone, and texting.  So it was
especially meaningful to me to be interviewed
in front of my painting, with Franco who
supports my work, like I support his.  And it was
so exciting when he showed Kristal Hart,
the 100th Anniversary Issue of British Vogue.
Franco's work featured in Vogue Magazine 
is in the upper right hand corner of the
double page spread.

The write up in the 100th Anniversary issue
of British Vogue on Franco.
All in all it was a wonderful afternoon -- a great
new gallery, meeting some super artists, and
Franco and me on TV.

Have an enjoying your friends' art 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!