Sunday, August 3, 2008

In the family of art

Portrait of Josephine
acrylic on canvas
36" x 24"

I met my friend Josephine in front of our house
on Cherrywood Ave. She was wearing rust brown
leotard pants and a long matching rust brown
sweater. I'd seen her walk her daughter in and
out of Humewood school where Sam was a student,
and marveled at how amazingly neat her
little girl always looked -- hair slicked back in a
perfect ponytail, clothes always pressed to a

I was shocked when she showed
me the mint green flyer from a school program
based on therapy ideas. In our very first conversation
there was an instant connection, and a deep vein
of humour about parenting and mothers.
Just as we were laughing about our own mothers,
mine pulled up in a taxi, and got out with a neat
suitcase. We laughed, I welcomed my Mom, and
a wonderful friendship began.

Our two small families quickly became so close that
to this day, Josephine and her daughter, and even
her animals feel like family. But we shared more
than that. Josephine is an artist too. She has
done beautiful work in sculpture and painting,
but focused around the time we met 13 years ago
on photography. Since then we've had numerous
shows together and in each show Josephine displays
her lovely black and white shots.

She's captured intimate portraits, stunning city
scapes, and images from nature. Being a single
Mom, supporting her household doesn't leave
her nearly enough time to concentrate on her
photography, but that's a problem she shares with
many artists. Each time she picks up her camera
the results are fantastic.

Josephine Pica
Shakespeare's Swan
black and white photograph

You'd be hard pressed to find a more spirited woman,
or passionate friend. I've painted Josephine and
Claudia her daughter, individually and together on
many occasions. Josephine's vibrant intellect and
wicked sense of humour make her a delightful


One day soon, when my cast is off, we will have
a great big party, and all of Josephine's friends
will drink a toast to her bravery as a single Mom,
her cheeriness as a friend, and her talent as an

Have a toasting-the-happy-life day.


Mary Sheehan Winn said...

the painting is lovely and so is your friend. She sparkles.

Barbara Muir said...

Thanks Mary,

She does sparkle. Some people
are lucky to go through life
with a lively sense of fun.
Josephine is one of those people.


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!