Friday, October 11, 2013

Opening in honour of my mother

At the opening of Interplay at
Studio Vogue last night.
Me with the Times Tables Series
from top to bottom
Tea Alone,
Acrylic on canvas
30 x 30
Barbara Muir © 2013,
Let's Get This Party Started
Acrylic on canvas
30 x 30
Barbara Muir © 2013,
The Writer's Life
Acrylic on canvas
30 x 30
Barbara Muir © 2013
My wonderful mother is dying in a hospital in Ottawa.
My heart is breaking beyond anything I could have
imagined, but one of the best lessons my mother has
taught me is to be strong in the face of life's sorrows.
And I am.

She was and is one of the bravest people I have
ever known.  Living alone, almost blind, and with
a lung ailment that made her cough for hours at a time,
she still found pleasure in life, especially in her friends
and family. She lived alone by choice.
Even four days ago she was making up
songs about her condition, but I'm afraid that was
the last of the songs I'll hear from her.

During the past few months, and especially in this
past sad month, there have been many
moments of happiness, and some of the most
inspiring have been in the lovely development
of the series I call the Times Table Series, on
view now at Studio Vogue.  The family that let
me into their lives, and took hundreds of photos
for me to use as reference, are funny, and kind
and loving.  And every time I'd make a new request
I'd receive another flurry of photos trying to
give me what I needed.

To honour them, and to honour my mother I
wanted to be at my opening.  I told my friends
in the community that they would cheer me up
if they came, and they did.  It was wonderful.
The ultimate message that filters through out
of all of this, is that love is what matters -- give it,
share it, enjoy it.  And that's what I hope this series
expresses.

Have a loving-your-family-and-friends day.

14 comments:

cohen labelle said...

Dear Barbara,

I understand how this is an incredibly difficult and painful time for you and your family - and that you are doing the best and wisest thing possible by taking it one step at a time. I know from all the wonderful stories you've shared with me about your mom - that in spite of her illnesses she never hid from life and was connected to the world in the best possible way - like you, a brilliant woman - loving and caring to the fullest!!!

Hazak, be strong - you are

Love, Marcia

Mary Lou van Schaik said...

Dear Barbara -- the few times that I met your mother, she was beautiful, vibrant, funny and fiercely intelligent. What a passion for life she has had. My heart goes out to you and your family. Love -- Mary Lou

Michelle V. Alkerton, mixed media artist said...

Your series looks great hanging in for the show.

Sending strength and gentle ((hugs)) to help you through and peace to your mother in her last moments.

Stay inspired!
Michelle

Laurel Daniel said...

Oh, Barbara, I am so sorry about your mom and the dark days you are facing. I know she must be so proud of the woman you have become and that she was standing right next to you in spirit at your opening. What a wonderful tribute - your 3 pieces are gorgeous and so are you. I will be thinking of you, and keeping you in my prayers. XOXO

Karen Bruson said...

So sorry to hear about your mom.

Barbara Muir said...

Hi Marcia,

Thanks so much for coming tonight. I will. Hazak. Be strong. Love that.

Love,

Barbara

Barbara Muir said...

Hi Mary Lou,

Thank you for your kind thoughts. My Mom died last Sunday. We are all very sad.

Love,

Barbara

Barbara Muir said...

Hi Michelle,

Thank you. I appreciate your thoughts. My Mom died last weekend. Her love and strength lives on in her children.

XOXO Barbara

Barbara Muir said...

Hi Laurel,

Thank you so much. My mother died on Sunday. It was a hard and sad death. I am feeling better now -- somewhat empty and adrift, but better. Her love goes on in all of her children.

XOXOXOXO Barbara

Sally Chupick said...

What a beautiful post Barbara. I'm sorry for your sadness, you're mother would be so proud of you, she sounds a lot like you, strong and cheerful. Congratulations on finishing these wonderful portraits. the family must be just delighted. They are wonderful. Hugs to you at this hard time.

Barbara Muir said...

Hi Sally,

Thank you so much. I've been staring at the girl in the picture (me before my mother died) and wondering if I'll ever see her again. But I know I'll feel that happy again soon. I'm glad you like the portraits. The family was a pure pleasure to paint.

XOXOXO Barbara

Barbara Muir said...

Hi Karen,

Thank you so much. She is dearly missed.

XOXO Barbara

Mary Sheehan Winn said...

Barbara, my dearest Mama died on September 15th after a surgery that was successful and follow up treatment that was not.
She also lived alone at the age of 86 but was still driving and going out every day to visit with her friends at their local pub. Such characters and independent spirits our mothers were!
I join you in celebrating the life we had with them and the legacy they left us.
I will miss, so much, the Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners with the family. Hugs to you Barbara. One day at a time.

Barbara Muir said...

Hi Mary,

I am so sorry for your loss. My mother died on Canadian Thanksgiving weekend. Thanksgiving dinners without her were sad indeed. She wasn't big on holidays, preferring quiet times with family and no fuss, but she loved seeing us. Hugs back to you too. One day at a time -- never forgetting.

XOXO 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!