Friday, September 18, 2009

A fine opening

Late late summer anemones
acrylic on canvas
8 x 8 inches
Barbara Muir © 2009

Tonight was the opening of the Don Valley Art
Club's fall show. For two weekends in a row a
show of work by a wide variety of artists will
hang in the lovely display gallery at Todmorden Mills.
I believe the show runs between noon and four each
weekend day.

The opening was fun. I was delighted to see
my artist friends, and a few of my good friends
dropped in to see the work, surprising me. This
year's show is especially good, so it's worth a
trip over to Todmorden Mills if you're in town.

I'm working on a little painting of Japanese
anemones tonight. They are a gorgeous flower.
I can't even remember when we planted them in
our garden. But they start out very delicately
and then whump -- suddenly they are a really big
plant. A friend of mine warned me that they are
invasive, and I say let them invade! They are
one of the last totally summer looking
flowers to bloom in Toronto, and right now the
clump in my small garden is about five feet square --
a huge mass of rich green leaves topped by delicate
high stems of brilliant white, camellia like flowers,
with a fragile quality.

When I was at university I was a tremendous fan
of Virginia Woolf, whose writing introduced me to
Vita Sackville-West. Sackville-West stays in my
memory as the brave woman who had an entirely
white flower garden planted at Sissinghurst, her
estate in England. She was quite a character, but
her taste in flowers was one of her better qualities.

The white flowers are particularly well suited to
the lifestyle of night owls like me, because you can
see them when you sit out with friends having a late
summer glass of wine, and appreciate their festive

Have a loving-your-garden-and-tending-it day.


Susan Carlin said...

Up in the middle of the night, thought of you and had to send you hellos from Texas and read your good words. Lovely flowers, my friend.

Liza Hirst said...

Oh how I wish I could have dropped in at the opening, too!
Yes, Sissinghurst, a lovely place with a very special atmosphere. My oncle used to live just round the corner of it, so I got the chance to visit it more than once and admired the various parts of the garden dedicated to different colours - beautiful!

And your painting is a beauty, too! I am enjoying your flower paintings very much.

Tammy Hext said...

I think I have inherited that same plant in my garden. It was very small last year and has spread out a little bit now. It is beautiful - I hope it keeps invading as well. Lovely painting.

Janie B said...

Really beautiful painting. Anemones are wonderful flowers, and you certainly captured their delicacy.

Barbara Muir said...

Hi Susan,

I'm so glad you thought of me. Thanks for liking my flowers. Your words power me forward. Believe me I need that!


Barbara Muir said...

Hi Liza,

I would probably have fainted if you walked in! Now that would have been amazing. I have never seen Sissinghurst, but another friend of mine also loves white flowers and we talked about it a lot. It's a legend for us.

Thanks so much for your encouragement. It means everything to me.


Barbara Muir said...

Hi Tammy,

I think it may have very deep roots, because the Cleome beside it are just not growing. I love cleome too, so I'm sorry about that. But the basement back door has a window that looks out now on this huge magnificent display of Japanese anemones, and it makes me happy every time I see it.

Take care,


Barbara Muir said...

Hi Janie,

I'm so glad you like the painting. They are wonderful and odd, with these long, long steps coming out of the base of dark green leaves.

Take care,


Elizabeth Seaver said...

Barbara, this painting is just lovely! Nice job.

Barbara Muir said...

Hi Elizabeth,

I'm so glad you like it. It was pretty late last night when I decided to call it a day, and I hoped the painting worked. The flowers in the garden are beyond beautiful, so I really wanted to do them a modicum of justice.

Take care,


Linny D. Vine said...

I'm having a "I love this painting of Barbara's moment"! (The background blue, the delicate peach with the bits of red - beautiful.)

Anonymous said...

Another beautiful flower painting Barbara. I really love anenomes and these ones look marvelous! I love the way you have juxtaposed the creamy colours of the flowers with the blue/greens, it is lovely.

LeSan said...

What a perfectly charming painting. I love the way you described the flowers. It has made me wonder where I might try some in my garden.

Barbara Muir said...

Hi Linny,

You made me feel just fantastic with that comment. I absolutely love your work. Your light, abstraction and colour are just wonderful.

Take care,


Barbara Muir said...

Hi Sally,

I love your latest painting. It's wonderful, and the same scene with a slightly different backdrop happened here yesterday.

Take care,


Barbara Muir said...

Hi LeSan,

What's nice about Japanese anemones is that they're late bloomers. When the rest of the world is giving up and buying pots of Mums, these flowers finally spring out of a bed of tall green leaves and send their stems about two feet above the leaves.


Thanks so much for your kind comments, and the inspiration of your blog.

Take care,


Gwen Bell said...

You have so many new paintings on here and they are all so GOOD! How do you do it? You work gets better and better all the time. Love this Floral and the unusually muted palette for a "Barbara Muir". Lovely! I love the other recent posts as well. said...

Beautiful little painting, lovely imagery of your garden and hearty congrats on your exhibit! Brava!

Portrait Artist

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