Sunday, January 10, 2010

Looking forward

Looking out the window
black marker on bond paper
6 x 9 inches
Barbara Muir © 2010
(This is a little drawing I did of Steven
holding Christopher up to see the birds
at our kitchen window when Christopher was
a baby. I found the sketch in a little
notebook today as I was cleaning up my office.
I love the look on Steven's face, a serious
pride in his baby.)

Hi everyone.

Tomorrow is the first day of school, and I've spent the day
organizing my room in preparation for that shock.

I've been thinking about a lot of things I'd like to
say, but it seems critical to get to bed earlier than the
2 a.m. which has been my normal bed time for the

One of the things I hope to write about in depth one
of these days is about all that you've taught me
during the past year. When I do, and I may start
now, I will write at random, as the names come into
my head, and that doesn't mean that I don't care about
you, if you're regularly in my world, as much as someone
else I mention. It just means that my brain is turning
things over and hasn't reached you yet. Please be
patient. Our unwanted friend the Florence cold, as
resurfaced this weekend with a vengeance, and although
my spirit remains cheerful, my brain is fogged.

Flora Doehler: Forgive me Flora for not putting you
on here yesterday when I began this post. You are
like the sun and the moon of my blogging world.
Without you I would never have considered blogging,
or had such a knowledgeable and kind guide. Flora
is one of my favorite artists in the world, and a very
great friend. We have shared so many art shows
together, we share a love of colour, and a love of the
Canadian province of Nova Scotia and the ocean.
I didn't forget you. I assumed that everyone already
knew all of this. Plus Flora writes, photographs for,
and takes movies for one of the best blogs out there.

Aaron Lifferth. Aaron was the first artist I really
noticed in the blog world. I absolutely loved his
style and light, and the way he took ordinary objects
and abstracted them. In 2009 Aaron decided that
he wanted to become a doctor. He applied to medical
school, and his wonderful almost daily blog came to a halt
to my great regret. Aaron could make a saltshaker look
significant. I wish him every success in his new studies
and hope he continues to paint and blog as time allows.

Belinda Del Pescoe: I may have found Belinda through
Aaron, or the other way around. But as a beginning
blogger, Belinda taught me (indirectly) to experiment.
She moved from prints, to watercolour, to drawings
with great facility, switched sizes, and above all seemed
to be having fun, while producing a lot of beautiful

Laurel Daniel: I found Laurel through Aaron, and
have admired her gorgeous landscapes every since. She
seems to never miss a step in her work -- it is always
beautiful -- perfect light, perfect brushstrokes and
just the exact right amount of abstraction. Laurel
is a super blog friend.

Liza Hirst:
When I first discovered Liza's blog I
was astounded at the volume of work she produced,
and the many blogs she created to feature her work.
Liza too showed her fellow bloggers that she could
do portraits, still life, interiors, landscapes -- whatever
struck her fancy -- all with the same vibrancy and
grace. I consider Liza a friend and a very important
influence on my life and art. She is a great, intelligent,
beautiful and funny person.

Edward B. Gordon: Through Liza I learned about
Edward. Observing Edward's determination
to produce a new piece of art seven days a week has
built my confidence, given me purpose, even made
me competitive sometimes, and greatly increased my
output. Plus I have learned things about light and
colour from observing his work that I did not know
at all before. I admire Edward's zest for life, his use
of flashes of bright colour, his understanding of
anatomy and the way he creates mood with light.

Theresa Rankin became a blog friend the summer
before last when I broke my ankle. Our styles are very
different, but I greatly admire Theresa's skill, her
joie de vivre, her professionalism and beautiful work.
She is also a superbly vivid writer, and could and should
write a book.

Eldon Warren and I became friends that same summer.
Not long after I started commenting on his blog, he
sent me a wonderful book about the Colorado Boys
Club, an organization that had encourage his painting
skill when he was a troubled child. Eldon is a fantastic
landscape painter in a classic somewhat impressionist style.
He is a warm, kind and thoughtful human being and
a cracker jack writer too.

David Lobenberg: I think I found David Lobenberg
through Theresa Rankin. David is great at portraits,
cityscapes and huge mural commissions. He paints
with gusto and writes with passion and humour, and
is a constant inspiration.

Susan Carlin: is primarily a portrait artist and known
for her classic portraiture style. She is incredibly generous
with her time, doing regular portrait painting demonstrations
on line. I learned an important trick from her. Well I've
learned so much, but I learned that in a line drawing, and
it works in painting too, if you're not sure of the line
of a cheek, or any line, you can put a small dot, or series
of faint dots along the curve and connect them. No one will
be the wiser and you'll have a great line.

Melinda Esparza:
Melinda captures the feeling and tone of
the landscape around Tucson in a way that is completely
unique -- powerful, emotional, abstract, fantastic. Her
work is vividly alive like she is. But that's not all, she
can paint a portrait that would leave most painters in the
dust. Her skill is astounding. She is a warm and considerate
blogger, kind friend and a writer with a keen eye and heart.

Edgar Schrock: Edgar not only paints beautiful, and
thoughtful paintings of the Arizona landscape near
Tucson, he writes evocative and thoughtful blog
posts about issues in art. When I read his entries
I am both moved and challenged. Edgar gets me to

That's it for tonight. I am moving in the direction from
early to later. So I am including the people I discovered
first and then going through my memory.

I'll continue my praise for you tomorrow. Thank you to
everyone who has ever commented on my blog. You have
made a huge impression on me, kept me thinking and
painting, and have given me the priceless experience
of being friends with people all over the world.

Have a thankful-for-your-life day.


Laurel Daniel said...

Oh Barbara M... I am so honored to be included on your list! I count your kind friendship as a blessing in my life and your strong art spirit is a constant inspiration! Thank you so very much - you made my day! XOXOXO

Liza Hirst said...

Barbara, you are such a good writer! Thank you so much for including me in your list and writing so nicely about my work and me - I also consider you as a friend and feel as if I have already met you although we haven't actually met personally yet. Thank you for your constant inspiration and joie de vivre - you give me so much!!!
I agree, Stephen's expression as a proud father is absolutely there. Well done!

Liza Hirst said...

I forgot to mention how cool I find your skype portraits up in the right hand corner of your blog. Great!!

Barbara Muir said...

Hi Laurel,

You are so sweet. Included. Of course your included. I have been inspired and encouraged by you so much. My brain is a fog though, so I have many people to put on that I left off last night.

You make my day every time I open your blog.


Barbara Muir said...

Hi Liza,

That's an old, old drawing. I did it from a photograph, but I think my grown up son was 10 at the time. Still I do like the expression, and it makes me happy to find older drawings that I still like. I'm fighting the Florence cold again, so I was counting on an image of old.

Stay warm!


Melinda said...

I am humbled by your kind and generous words, Barbara.

You have taught all of us so many good things since we discovered you and you are an inspiration always.

I hope you had a pleasant first day back at school. I know your students are going to be so happy they are with you for the semester.

Your drawing is wonderful. Your paintings--luscious.

Barbara Muir said...

Hi Melinda,
I am having a great time at school. I keep hearing my father's voice when we'd get giggly as little kids -- a very stern "settle down!" I have to say that to myself because I get way too happy teaching.

Wahoo! I'm glad you are glad that I think you are wonderful. You are.


Anonymous said...

Barbara, thank you for including me in your list...and at the top even!!
You are such a generous artist and are always happy to promote others and their work. I have counted on you to find these truly fab painters so that I can enjoy their work too.
Your faithful painting and blogging has reaped you a community of people who truly appreciate you AND your beautiful paintings.
Without your blog, I wouldn't feel like we still live not too far away from each other.
You are an inspiration Barbara!

Susan Carlin said...

How exciting to see I'm in your list! Thank you, Barbara. I don't know how classic I am, but I love that you think so. I'm a huge fan of your paintings and of you, my friend.

Barbara Muir said...

Hi Flora D.

I almost missed this lovely note. Thank you so much, but the inspiration is all mine, seeing how you stay cheery and connected in your community as you work so hard on your big house and garden. Then there's your painting which is always fantastic and original. Thank you one million, for being the source, the beginning and the continuation. This year I need you to teach me how to podcast and upload videos. Let's do it.

Love Barbara

Barbara Muir said...

Hi Susan,
Having watched you paint, I see that you paint in a classically trained style. But of course your work is contemporary too. And above all 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:
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!