Wednesday, October 27, 2010


 View out of the glass shell at the 
Art Gallery of Ontario in Toronto
Black marker on bond paper
6 x 9 inches
Barbara Muir © 2010

I am a big fan of the humanizing influence of culture.
In this city it's exciting to visit cultural spaces and see
how we all get along, and are raised above the petty
concerns of the day -- such as Monday's divisive municipal
elections in Toronto -- by the presence of art, and great architecture.
Art and architecture definitely contribute to increased levels
of something I value -- sanity.

Today I met my friend Susan Filshie, a landscape architect,
city planner, and wonderful painter for tea at the Art Gallery
of Ontario.  We had a delightful time.  First we enjoyed
full service tea in the members' lounge.  Then we both love
the Group of Seven and headed straight for those paintings.
I love going through a gallery with a friend who is passionate
about painting.  I learn so much.  Susan's observations on
everything from painting techniques, to how the work was
framed were delightful.  I felt like I was playing hooky,
but I was studying my subject, learning, learning, learning.
The Cathedral like walkway at the Art Gallery of Ontario
The Group of Seven bowl me away every time because their
work is still so innovative, their colour so fresh and
experimental, and their passion for both painting and the
wilderness is clear.  We put so much energy into just
looking that we were tired after an hour or so, so we
made a last stop at the glorious cathedral like walkway that
runs the full length of the front of the Frank Gehry redesign.
There we sat down for a minute. Looking out at the city I was filled
with nostalgia for the way the city looked when I was at
OCAD (The Ontario College of Art and Design) and like
all first year students was asked to draw these old houses.
The school is right next to the art gallery -- a civilized
arrangement. I did a small sketch of what I saw for you,
in the style we that were encouraged to try when I was a student.

Have an enjoying civilization day.


Linny D. Vine said...

Oh, lucky you, Barbara - spending time up close with the Group! I'm fond of your character filled sketch! Your creativity flows in all directions.

Barbara Muir said...

Hi Linny,

Aren't I lucky? I see echos of the Group in your work. You are a complete original, but I think they're spirit resides in every Canadian artist who loves their work.
I'm so glad you do too, but not surprised.


Portrait Artist

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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!