Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Ten things I learned on vacation

Port Howe Bakery Cranberry/Orange Loaf
acrylic on canvas
8 x 8 inches
Barbara Muir © 2009
(This loaf, really a very heavy cake
is worth gaining 100, even
200 pounds. It's that good. I
painted it, so I wouldn't eat it,
and gave this very plate with the two
scrumptious pieces to my son to eat. He
was suitably grateful. This little painting illustrates
lesson #7.)

1. Two weeks is too short for a vacation (especially
it it's been two years since your last one.)

2. It's hard to beat the feeling of warm sand, and
the sound of ocean waves.

3. Eat locally, especially if locally means seafood,
seafood, seafood.

4. Don't sleep on the third floor of a hotel beside
a highway (higher is quieter.)

5. If you aren't in a hurry take time to enjoy some of the
cultural highlights of the towns where you
stop for
the night.
(The Beaverbrook Art Gallery
in Frederiction, New Brunswick has an amazing
collection -- and the Beaverbrooks in England are
claiming that Lord Beaverbrook didn't mean to donate
his collection in perpetuity (forever). Fredericton is a small
and lovely town, with great art, and an art scandal
locals are delighted to discuss. (Seems the current
Beaverbrook heirs need money, and casting their
eyes on a great art collection seems like a superb
solution. This means half the paintings in the
gallery have the words "under dispute" on their

6. Collecting sea glass is a delightful way to spend your
time on the beach.
Steven and I walk along like strange
birds looking, peering in the small
pebbles that wash up in a line above the sand looking
for sea glass. The most coveted is the elusive blue,
which used to be much easier to find.

I need my glasses to search for sea glass in
the Gulf Shore pebbles and rocks. It's a
thoroughly absorbing and delightful task.

7. The Port Howe Bakery outside of Pugwash,
Nova Scotia makes baked goods so unfathomably
delectable that it's worth any amount of weight you pack on eating their goodies. (Look for the
bakery across from the large farmhouse with a red
roof that's been for sale for more than a year).

8. It's hard having good friends half way across
country when you only get to see them once a year.
(I love my Nova Scotia friends, but we can't spend
the time together that I would certainly love to have!)

9. A good holiday is like a party -- good food,
good friends,
good ice cream, good wine, long sleeps,
and more of the same
all over again, then back home
exhausted to start work.

10. You can paint on vacation, enjoy yourself, and
superb, even though you're working on art.
You can also have great conversations about art while your
mate eats lunch, or checks his email.

I might have to continue this because I learned so many
other lessons. But that's enough for now. I'm super
tired. Sam has caught a horrible cold, and Steven and
I are trying our hardest not to get it. More TV cameras
tomorrow, so I need to sleep and be cheery.


Liza Hirst said...

Just a quick hello to you from Barcelona, dear Barbara! Haven't got time to read your posts but like your paintings! More in a few days - hope you are well.

Barbara Muir said...

Hi Liza,

I hope you're having a wonderful time. I would love to be in Barcelona with you! I am more than fine, and thanks for asking. So glad you like my paintings. I love yours.


Mitzi Easley said...

Great vacation lessons and wow Barbara, I love your color - I just can't help but smile. Thanks! M

Karen Bruson said...

Great idea to paint it so you won't eat it. I don't know if I could resist. What a fun painting!

Catherine Jeffrey said...

Being cheery for t.v. cameras! What a scary thought! With your personality, you will have no problem! Can't wait to find out the details.
I love the dazzling reds and yellows in this picture with the touch of blue in the plate. Very Wow.
Nova Scotia sounds like a difficult place to leave, but you have such great memories to sustain you.
P.s. Thanks for the positive comments on my blog. You are right, positive words are very uplifting.

r garriott said...

Regarding #5, and not being in a hurry... my favorite road sign, as seen on the island of Caye Caulker, Belize, reads 'Go Slow'. There's no cars allowed on the island, so it's all about the attitude. Sounds like you know how to get the most out of a vacation. Good for you!

Barbara Muir said...

Hi Mitzi,

I'm sure they're lessons everyone else has learned, except the ones specific to Pugwash and Port Howe<
but I'm glad you like them and my painting.

Take care,


Barbara Muir said...

Hi Karen,

Thanks. Well I have found that painting definitely gives me a little distance. When you're figuring out how to paint the lovely texture of the cake, you aren't thinking as much about how it tastes. Plus I ate a lot of this cake at my schoolhouse -- you know the "just one thin slice" phenomenon, and then your taste buds start pitching with love so you have to have just one more really thin slice. Oh yeah!

Glad you like it.

Take care,


Barbara Muir said...

Hi Catherine,

It isn't being cheery that's scary, that's my life's work, it's trying to look like I am. Without sleep I might look less than brilliant. So I did sleep. Plus I like the work I'm doing for that show. Plus the people are just lovely.

Take care,


Barbara Muir said...

Hi R.,

We did our best to enjoy it. (Understatement!) It seems like a long way off now. But it's still on my mind, and wonderful to contemplate. Things are pretty great here too, so I am happy in both worlds.

Take care,


Laurel Daniel said...

Great lessons all - I especially agree with the sea glass searching. I love that stuff and have my own little collection in a glass. And of course good friends. And making art. Well and of course tasting all the local wares... :)

NOw what about those camera crews? Very interested to know more about that! Rest up my friend! XOXOX

Anonymous said...

sounds like you are missing Nova Scotia a bit Barbara. You are right holidays are way too short. But it's probably why we treasure them so.

Linda J - By The Sea said...

If you LOVE sea glass you may be interested in our Members only site Seaglasslovers,

We currently have over 2200 SGL members, tons of speciality collecting groups, over 500 discussion on sea glass collecting, crafts, display ideas, beach locations and much MORE!

Stop by for a visit on Http://www.seaglasslovers.ning.com

membership is free to join and we are a non commercial and non jewelry website!

Barbara Muir said...

Hi Linda,

Thanks a lot. I love sea glass, but just in one place, on the beach. But I'm so glad to know you are out there, loving sea glass. How wonderful.

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: 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!