Friday, March 6, 2009

The best day ever

Winter sunset in my backyard
acrylic on canvas
12 x 12 inches
(I finished this little backyard landscape tonight.
I always ask my students to write about
what they'll miss about winter. Not much,
but scenes like this remind us of the
beauty the season offers.)

It was so warm today that everyone went into a kind
of euphoric shock. This sometimes happens in Toronto
-- a massive shift of temperature in spring from
freezing cold, to near summer. It doesn't even matter
that we know it could snow again, on days like this
we have the good sense to live in the present.

Zoey, my dog insisted on a walk. Don't you love it
that dogs always want to go for a walk because
every day is the best day ever! So walking with
Zoey seemed a great way to celebrate the first really
warm spring-like day, and to celebrate Toronto's
175th birthday.

On the way home I saw chickadees close to my
face fluttering in a thick hedge, and singing. A man
got off the bus and walked down the street belting out
hymns at top volume as a little boy raced past me
on his bright blue bike, wearing jeans, a
plaid shirt coloured to match the bike, and a
wide gleeful grin. I turned down our street,
all brown lawns, retreating grey slabs of snow,
and houses that look drab and tired at this time
of year, and despite its dull dress today, I felt a
powerful affection for this city.

Happy Birthday Toronto!


Laurel Daniel said...

I grew up in Wisconsin and remember these days you are describing. We would strip off our shoes and walk home from school barefoot (between the retreating slabs of snow). It was/is euphoric! This little backyard landscape - with its blue shrouded rooftops and softly lit windows against that glorious flaming sky - really captures that euphoria.


Anonymous said...

Barbara, that painting is gorgeous!! It so captures a cool winter sunset. I love your description of your walk...felt like I was there. Spring is surely coming!

Barbara Muir said...

Hi Laurel,

You're right. Even at zero Celsius, which is really cold, I saw a guy in the supermarket wearing shorts with his skijacket, and bare feet in his runners. Come on! People just get so antsy for spring. Your paintings now tell me what it will look like. They are just gorgeous.


Barbara Muir said...

Hi Flora,

Thanks so much. I am always standing still in the thick of the park hoping to see chickadees. But even though I can hear them, they are so elusive. Yet there they were hidden in a hedge on a city street right in front of my nose. Literally six inches away. I felt so blessed. I wish you were here with me, but feel you are better off where you are.

Love Barbara

Melinda said...

What a lovely painting, Barbara. It has qualities of cold as well as an impeding warmth that is really beautiful. The painting makes a very powerful statement of place and how you feel about your environment.

Your post also creates an environment for us readers. I do feel as though I traveled there and could feel how happy everyone is to know that Spring is near. Good days are ahead!

Well done.

Barbara Muir said...

Hi Melinda,

If we were taking off our coats and boots here, it must be very hot where you are. Last week it was 90 degrees there, what's happening? Thanks for your kind appreciation of my painting. The actual scene was so amazing -- the luminous cool of the snowy roofs already in the dark and the firey glow of the sun as it set. Such a breathtaking combo.

By now most of the snow is gone. Two warm days and steady rain today.

xoxoxoxBarbara said...

Very interesting perspective. Were you looking out an upstairs window?

I love to see those chickadees flit through the bushes.

Barbara Muir said...

Hi onpainting,

Yes I was looking through an upstairs window. Aren't chickadees lovely? They visited our bird feeders today.
Their colouring is perfect.


Anonymous said...

I REALLY like this one. I think what I'll miss most about winter, (besides not much)is the color of snow in the evening and in the shadow. Most everything else in winter nature turns gray but the snow is usually colorful enough to carry it. You nailed this one good.

Barbara Muir said...

Hi Eldon,

That's a high compliment coming from
someone who paints snow as well as you do. Thanks so much.

Take care,


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!