Thursday, July 15, 2010

Hello from Pugwash

The beautiful Chatterbox Cafe in downtown
Pugwash, Nova Scotia

Here I am at the Chatterbox Cafe in Pugwash, Nova Scotia, and
missing you all so much. But wait. I'm just going to put on some
photos of the cafe today. Owners Greg and Norene Smiley are
just wonderful people. Norene is a painter --just an amazing painter.
Tomorrow night I plant to go to the opening of an art show she's
in at the Fraser Cultural Center on Main Street in Tatamagouche on
the north shore in Nova Scotia.

We have had quite a journey getting here. We drove through
blinding rain at night through the hills on the way to Fredericton.
And it's mighty wet in the acre around the school house. We
definitely need those rubber boots we keep near the door in
case the field is wet. I wish I could bottle the peace, quiet and
pure joy we find there, and send some of it to each and every
one of you. This is one of the corners of the universe that is
so delightful, it's hard to understand why we only come for
such a brief stay.

Patrons enjoying the cafe, and so are we.

Thanks to everyone both here, and back home in Toronto
who has made this treat possible.

Have an having-a-great-vacation day.

Thursday, July 8, 2010


The August Issue of Style at Home Magazine

No I don't mean me! Okay some freckles because the
UV levels are hovering around 11 which is higher than
they've ever been here. I mean I spotted an article in one
of Canada's top decorating magazines that features my
painting in one of the photos! You've seen this painting
before because it was featured on Pure Design with
Samantha Pynn, and on City TV's Breakfast Television
and Real Life on CTS TV. Well now it's come out in print.
This month Style at Home magazine features the room
Samantha Pynn designed in a piece called Eco Makeover.

That's my painting! How exciting.

Buy the magazine and turn quickly to page 54 to see
my painting. I was so excited I bought three copies.
(Of course I'm buying more.)

Tobias and the tigers
acrylic on canvas
18 x 24 inches
Barbara Muir © 2009

Plus I sold the painting I showed you yesterday, so in
a future blog I'll show you the final version of that painting -- just
a bit refined from yesterday's version.

Come on! I had to blog about this didn't I? Still on a blog holiday.
Back on it. Honest.

Have an happy-to-be-an-artist day.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Reporting In

Boy at the beach
acrylic on canvas
12 x 12 inches
Barbara Muir © 2010
(This painting is almost finished.
I have a few last minute touches
to make.)

Okay, okay, so it's true I just couldn't stand being
away from you for a whole month. Besides
I have things to say. I read a woman's blog that
said if you wonder what she's been doing for the
past two weeks she's either been picking, pitting
or cooking with sour cherries. And I knew what she
meant. By the way picking cherries in the late
evening light is at least as calming as knitting, or
meditation. You can't possibly think about anything
but balancing, reaching and getting those jewel-like,
perfect, juicy, round, ripe berries, how many berries
you need for the next pie, crumble, cheesecake.

I've noticed the robins are crazy for sour cherries.
What else? Take a deep breath. Nothing is more
important than cherries, or picking fruit. It is
vital that we slow down sometimes and be completely
in the moment. Sometimes painting does that, and
when it does it is as good as picking fruit. The rest
of the world disappears, all worries are gone, bliss
enters vigorously bringing a whole cast of joyous
revelers along with it. If that's the feeling. Keep

Happy summer to you. It is here full force. Hot,
smoggy, thought defying. So I am not thinking very

Have an it's- summer- it's-okay-not-to-think day.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Blog Holiday

Girl reading
acrylic on canvas
36 x 48 inches
Barbara Muir © 2003
My dear friends,

And I definitely think of you that way. I am
taking a blog holiday. No there is nothing wrong.
No I am not worn out, ill, in psychological
distress -- far from it. But I have been writing
every day for 872 days, and I have decided
that I've earned a breather.

So I am officially taking the month of July,
my family holiday month, off! Bold I know.
I blogged in Florence, I blogged from Pugwash,
Nova Scotia. I am a loyal blogger.

Here's how I'm going to play it. If the mood
hits me (and it may), and the technology
is readily available, I will blog during this
month off. So from time to time, or maybe
even every day sometimes there will be
a post here. But officially I am giving myself
the month to not blog.

I got the inspiration from listening to my
sister's answering machine. She has closed
her office for the month, and says please leave
a message and she'll get back to you when the
month is over. I felt such a sense of "yes!"
when I heard that. Now of course I will be
working, painting, doing my commissions,
but I'll also be relaxing, reading, listening to
music, thinking, and I will enjoy thinking
about getting back to you. I'll also be
travelling, eating wonderful meals, seeing
friends, drinking great wine, walking on the
beach, collecting shells. In other words on
vacation. Total vacation.

And I'll miss you so much. So I'll comment
on your posts whenever I am near technology.
I may even post tomorrow. Crazy eh? Like
a fox. Happy 4th of July. I'll see you in a
month, if not sooner.

XO Your artist friend,


Have an hey-I-deserve-time-off-too day.

Friday, July 2, 2010

My son's birthday

After the dance reading the paper
Acrylic on canvas
16 x 20 inches
Barbara Muir © 2010
(Christopher was my model
for this painting a few years ago.)

Today was my son Christopher's birthday. All
through the day in the intense search to get
the gift he really wanted, I was thinking about
him -- what a wonderful person he is. One of
the unexpected benefits of having children
is that they teach you and pull you into worlds
you would not explore without their presence.
I feel that way about my sons. They make
my life so incredibly rich in love, laughter,
kindness, and in so many ways I can't describe.

Christopher's first show of his wonderful photography

Christopher's life long favorite dessert has been
cheesecake. Get to know us, we buy the cakes
for our kids birthdays, our make them from
mixes, but today we attempted to make a cherry
cheesecake recipe from the Internet that was
wrong in almost every way. Except for one.
The resulting gooey mess without nearly
enough sour cherries in a sauce that never
gelled for the top, was incredibly delicious.

But the birthday guy had been given about six
birthday cakes by the time he reached our
house for dinner. So that was funny. He
still ate the sloppy cheesecake pudding we
were euphemistically calling a cake, but that's
because he's polite and it was good.

Christopher and Megan (his fiancée) at my last show

I am planning to take a break from blogging
this month. I may take July off, or just blog
when the mood hits me, so if it hits every
day as it has for 871 days, you'll know where
to find me, but if it doesn't, you know I'll be
back in August sometime. I'll tell you more
about this tomorrow.

Have a loving-your-children's-birthdays day.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Happy, Happy Canada Day

Our school house in Nova Scotia

My Canada is about my childhood memories
of going to a cottage every summer -- swimming
and canoeing in a fairly clean lake. It's about
growing up free to be able to say almost anything
that comes into my head. And about not being
afraid to walk on the streets, even at night most
of the time, because Canadians don't have the
right to bear arms, so the chances of someone
having a gun are slim.

My Canada is about wilderness in close proximity
to cities filled with culture art, music and diversity.
My Canada includes everyone who lives here, and
recognizes that diverse cultures teach us so much
in terms of different styles of thinking, eating,
and celebrating. We are growing up as a country
because the rest of the world is coming to join
the party. This is a good thing.

Today my Canada is about my yard, my cherry tree,
the fact that I can go and sit under the tree and
listen to my neighbours discussing the ins and outs
of how to make their Canada Day barbecue picnic
with lovely music on low. It is the birds chattering
in the trees annoyed that I'm picking the cherries
they do dearly love. It's CBC on the radio playing
distinctly Canadian songs and stories, and the
cherry crisp baking in the oven for the dinner I'll
have with friends on the back porch tonight before
dashing across town to watch the firecrackers on a
beach with people who will all clap and cheer
after the last firecracker is finished.

My Canada is the long, beautiful drive through
Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick and Nova
Scotia - four provinces to get to our schoolhouse.
My Canada is flying across the Rockies and landing
in Vancouver where I can see ocean and mountains
and hug the friend of my young life. I love this
country coast to coast. Call it corny. I love
travelling, I love other countries, but this is my
home. Now stand up and sing the newer version
of Oh Canada and the French version, and then
have a glass of champagne like we did at supper
and toast one of the great countries of the world,
then put the patriotism, or matriarchism to bed for
another year.

Have a loving your own country day.

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!