Tuesday, February 16, 2010

In the midst of marking

Night view from our hotel room in Ottawa.
That's the Chateau Laurier on the right,
and beyond that the parliament buildings.
Hi friends,

I am working on a small painting that isn't ready to show you,
and I've been marking papers all night. Marking is one of
the most difficult and most rewarding parts of teaching,
so I feel both happy and the slightest bit tired.
We went up to Ottawa, a long, long drive on Saturday morning,
stayed in a hotel, and visited family. It was a good plan.
We had a fabulous view, and didn't impose on our family
members too much -- not a good plan for the Valentine's
Day weekend. I love the journey, and Steven and I always
listen to good books. On the way up we listened to Malcolm
Gladwell What The Dog Saw, and on the way back last
night, Elizabeth Gilbert's Committed about marital love.

Both books were terrific to listen to, and fascinating in their
own right, although Elizabeth Gilbert is a better reader.
I love that feeling of learning, of devouring a book as the
miles speed by. Even though each time you get out of the car
you feel as stiff and strange as you do without the book, you
are also in the middle of something besides the journey. Your
curiosity is peaked. You want to know what happens next.

View of the Ottawa River from my mother's house.
The hills in the background are the Gatineau in Quebec.
Quebec is just across the river.

We didn't finish either book, so I will probably listen to
them while I paint, or we will get in the car, and listen
to them as we whip around town buying groceries and
running errands. It's a cheering prospect.

Forgive me for not getting back to your blogs today,
and for not writing about the sweet people who have
given me wonderful awards in the past week. I am
decidedly behind and need your understanding. It is
a busy time in my artistic life, my school life and my
family life, and I must sleep to be able to juggle the
elements of my existence with ease. Let it be known
that you cheer me up beyond measure, and I feel
so blessed to be part of this wonderful circle of
gifted and kind artist bloggers.

Have a counting-your-blessings day.


Anonymous said...

Hi Barbara,

Beautiful night shot of the city.


Karen Bruson said...

Gorgeous photos.

eldon warren said...

I was at Barnes and Noble book store a few days ago. Every time I see the audio books I think of you. One of these days I'm going to cave in and pick one of them up. It does sound like so much fun to drive and listen to a book.

r garriott said...

Barbara, Hello, in the midst of your marking...

I have been long away from Bloglandia and only today found your very kind praise (Jan. 12). Thank you, I will treasure it (and may post it on my website, with your permission)! It is so hard to find words for ones own work that it's a joy to find someone's done the hard work for us (especially with the grand gesture we couldn't get away with ourselves).

Thank you for honoring my quirky quirks, and your enduring blog-ship. I am most honored.

Anonymous said...

What a great idea, listening to books while doing long journeys...i've never done this before but think i will try it! Thanks!

Barbara Muir said...

Hi Josephine,

It was a beautiful scene.

Thank you.


Barbara Muir said...

Hi Karen,

Thanks so much.

Ottawa had snow. It's snowing north of Toronto, but we still don't have snow downtown where I live.

Take care,


Barbara Muir said...

Hey Eldon,

A better idea is to take them out of the library for free. We gave them to one another for Valentine's Day and I admit I had sticker shock. I'm used to getting about 20 out of the library for a trip and listening to the few that appeal. Free!

Try it.

Take care,


Barbara Muir said...

Hi R.,

It would be hard not to notice how
exceptionally beautiful your work is. I'm glad I made you happy, because your work makes me feel a lift in my spirits every time I see it.

Take care,


Barbara Muir said...

Hi Sally,

We usually take books on CD out of the library. It is really good on long journeys. Even driving all the way to Nova Scotia we sometimes get so
engrossed in a book that we have to go to the end of a chapter before we get out of the car.

Take care,


Melinda said...

What a beautiful city! I hope you are having a great week and that you have time to rest and read more soon.

Well, I hope that you have more time to paint even sooner!!

Barbara Muir said...

Hi Melinda,

Beautiful and safe for the most part!

Thank you for your sweet understanding. Love the painting you posted the other day.

xoxoxoxoxo Barbara

Liza Hirst said...

Hi Barbara, I am sooo behind and I am sorry about that but, similar to you, my daily life is very demanding at the moment - so many things happening and things to deal with. I simply haven't got the time to visit my favorite blogs, read and write and so on...
But I want you to know that I always enjoy receiving your daily posts and seeing your work.
These photos are lovely - so interesting for someone so far away!Thank you!

Dean Grey said...

Gorgeous pics, Barbara, especially the first one!


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!