Thursday, December 1, 2011

The need for joy in darkness

Evening conversation
Watercolour and black marker 
on watercolour paper
10.5 x 13.8 inches
Barbara Muir © 2011

When I look out my upstairs back windows at
night I see such a cheerful sight.  Two of the
neighbours on the next street over have strung
colourful lights in their backyards.  Just a looped
strand of brilliant blue and deep magenta in one,
and in another multi-coloured lights nestled in a small
tree.  When I first saw them their beauty and simplicity
took my breath away -- and something else warmed my
heart - the kindness of offering this beautiful sight to their
backyard neighbours.
Making plans
Watercolour and black marker 
on watercolour paper
10.5 x 13.8 inches
Barbara Muir © 2011

Today is December 1.  The sun began to set at 3:30 in
the afternoon.  We are heading towards the darkest days.
And I think how brilliant we are as creatures to create
a lot of song, dance, and colour right now when the
world is at its darkest here in the Northern hemisphere.
The whole notion makes me proud of us.  I don't mean
the crowds in the stores, and the gifts.  But the ceremony,
the parties, the singing, and lights everywhere.  Brilliant. 
Zoey the dog featured in my last post, is practicing
Jingle Bells. When people sing, especially Happy Birthday,
she joins in (with the reward of a cookie in mind). 

Today I'm showing you a couple of watercolour Skype
sketches I did of a recent talk with Sam.  One of the
great things about this time of year, is that my family
will be together again soon.  And they are a gloriously
kind and funny bunch.  Happy December.

Have a singing-because-you're-happy day.

14 comments:

Nicki said...

Hi Barbara,

Great sketches... I like your use of the watercolours.

It is clever of us to string twinkling, colourful lights around at this dark time of year. We are having a hard time getting out of bed these days... it is still slightly dark even when I drop the kids off at school at 9 a.m.

Thanks for your sweet comment.
Nicki XO

Kim said...

Like these! Especially the top. Wonderul feel about it! And I know. I feel the same way about Christmas lights. And often the simplest little string hung over a tree or bush makes me smile the most. They really make me feel happy and hopeful and fill me with a sense of camraderie ; )

Liza Hirst said...

Hi Barbara, your post fits perfectly to my own thoughts and feelings about the momentary short days, the twinkling lights everywhere and the festive mood they create. I enjoy that very much - especially here in London, after many years of winter darkness in the middle of nowhere.
Your watercolour paintings are inspiring! So loose and vivid again....
Lots of love to you and your family, Liza

painterchum said...

Hello Barbara, nice work capturing the expressions of your son chatting. yes lights at this time of year are a treat aren't they?

laura said...

Beautiful, Barbara. There is something undeniable, primevally attractive about a light in the dark--magenta lights even more so!

Barbara M. said...

HI Nicki,

Thanks so much. We bought some more lights today. Starting to gear up for the season.

XO Barbara

Barbara M. said...

Hi Kim,

Thanks so much. I like the second one for the slight distortion. It's the nuance you get from Skype that you don't get in a regular photo.

Happy Holiday Season,

XO Barbara

Barbara M. said...

Hi Liza,

I miss you. Maybe you could let me know where to reach you by email. I'm glad you're enjoying the lights in London. As I recall that was a lovely place to be at this time of year.

xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoBarbara

Barbara M. said...

Hi Sally,

I can really see the lights around your house and they must be just so beautiful standing out from the countryside.

XO Barbara

Barbara M. said...

Hi Laura,

Some people were so on top of it, that the lights went on November 30th. Wow I thought. That's smart.

And of course the first lights catch your heart off guard.

XO Barbara

cohen labelle said...

Barbara, your ability to project light heartedness into your work and your blog at any time of year, in spite of periodic ‘tsuris’ is a gift and a dependable source of pure happiness for me. And I love the portraits of Sam – gosh what a handsome young man he’s grown into, but it seems like just yesterday I was looking at Sam the beautiful little boy in your paintings…
And are you really teaching zoey the Dreidel Song?! I'll believe it when I hear it - I hold you to it, Muir!
love, Marcia

Barbara M. said...

Hi Marcia,

As in all matters multicultural it has to start with me. So I'll learn the song and then teach it to her Okay?

You are a funny woman.

Love,

Barbara

Linny D. Vine said...

You are full of light and your Sams are, too - beautiful!

Barbara M. said...

Hi Linny,

You are a dear. My Sam is full of light. And so are you.

XO Barbara

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!