Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Thinking about creativity

 Tonight at the opening with Maureen Morrison, wonderful artist
and one of the show organizers for the DVAC Holiday
show on at Todmorden Mills Toronto. We're standing in front
of my paintings and you can just see Now that's breakfast!
behind us. The show is on this weekend, and I'll be there
Saturday between noon and 2:30 p.m.  Come on down if you're
in Toronto or the vicinity.

When we were going through my mother's files
we found the strangest thing.  She had saved all
of our elementary school report cards.  When I
was a little girl we were all called "him, he."
That was a surprise, and also that in kindergarten
I was good at singing, but not considered to be
good at art.  And yet I remember my kindergarten
teacher so well, not for the singing (I was not
crazy about her voice), but for the fact that
I first painted in her class, and will feel grateful
to her forever for that.

I remember to this day the look of the big pots
of hard tempera paint we worked with, using
water to bring the paint to life.  Reading my
old report card with my father's elegant
signature in peacock blue on the back, I could
feel the large, stiff bristled brushes in my hand,
and the pleasure of putting colour on paper.
The best.  I think that was the first time I knew
the thrill of creativity, how rewarding it was to
make a painting, and to take it home to my

Tonight two of my paintings are in the Don Valley
Art Club Holiday Show.  And submitting them to
be included in the show made me feel a similar
pleasure to the feeling I had as a child with fresh work
to go on the fridge.

Have an-enjoying-your-creativity day.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Painters paint

 Sasha -- Art Group Sketch
Acrylic on canvas
20 x 24 inches
Barbara Muir © 2013
After a long day I went to paint with my art
group tonight.  There are some wonderful
painters in the  group, and when the model
breaks we talk.  Tonight I think the other artists
were tired like I was, but I had one short
discussion about art.  To all of you out
there painting on a regular basis it might
seem simple, but it's what I've been thinking
about lately.  An artist I really admire in
my group who easily creates four or five
strong paintings in a night, while the rest
of us come away with one agreed that Painters
paint.  We don't do it for fame.  It may not even
be a life decision. We do it because that is what
we do.

I like that idea.  And so in the brief time I
was with the group, I painted this portrait
sketch.  The model posed with an intense
almost angry expression.  He was wearing
a sports jacket, and the entire look created
a mood I enjoyed painting with gusto.

Have a being-a-painter-who-paints day.

Monday, November 18, 2013

The Don Valley Art Club Large & Small Holiday Art Show

 Now that's breakfast!
Acrylic on canvas
10 x 10 inches
Barbara Muir © 2013
This weekend I will be working at the Don Valley Art Club
Large & Small Holiday Art Show.  I have two pieces for sale
in the show which opens Wednesday night, November 20th
from 7 - 9 p.m.

Served to perfection
Acrylic on canvas
10 x 10 inches
Barbara Muir © 2013
I'd love to see you either Wednesday evening or Saturday from
noon until 2:30 p.m.  There's a wonderful variety of work in the
show.  If you're considering giving art as a Holiday gift, or giving
your house or apartment a lift with beautiful original art, and
you're in the Toronto area, this is the show to see. Plus admission
is free and parking is free.

The show is in the elegant Papermill Gallery, at the Todmorden
Mills Heritage Site, 67 Pottery Road, and if you're using Google
Maps, it's M4K 2B9. 

Come on out and see my work and all of the other super work
in person.

Have a wanting-to-buy-art-day.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Starting a new one

Winter tea at the gallery (work in progress)
Acrylic on canvas
24 x 24 inches 
Barbara Muir © 2013

A while ago I showed you a grey scale painting of
this subject I've been wanting to work on since
last winter.  In the midst of summer, the reflection
of a winter tree on a black table didn't appeal.

But going through my references again I realized
that I always loved this image and the memories
it conjured up of tea at the Art Gallery of Ontario
on a mid-winter day -- one of the great pleasures
of living in Toronto.  The black surface of the table,
cleaned to a high polish, formed a perfect mirror except
where either shadow blocked the light, or where the
light missed the table.  All in all, a challenge, and
a delight.

So this is what I'm working on.  I have quite a ways to
go, but I thought I'd show you now.

Have a getting-going-on-a-wonderful-week day.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

A time of great kindness

Unititled (Art Group Sketch)
Acrylic on canvas
24 x 24 inches
Barbara Muir © 2013
(I went back to my art group this week.  The model
was wonderful, and I so enjoyed doing this
sketch in the hour and a half that I was there.)

The emotions and also the obligations and tasks around
my mother's memorial and burial took a slice out
of my concentration.  I know I am lucky that
emotionally I was, and am complete with my mother.
I loved her and she loved me.  We had that down.  I
found her funny and witty, and supportive when it
mattered.  I also found her strength and courage
inspiring right up to her death.

I have said before that she would want me to keep
going and she would.  But more than that one of the
beautiful things about life is that it insists on itself,
which makes sense.

Thank you to everyone who has given me kind comments,
sent cards, given me flowers.  You have made me feel
wrapped in a blanket of kindness.  And I thank the
universe for the gift of sunlight through golden trees
against a blue fall sky.  I thank my parents for my
eyes and for sending me to art college and university,
so that I could know the desire to paint and write.

Ultimately as I said before the compulsion to paint
trumps even sadness.  Thank goodness.

Have a working-it-through-with-love 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!