Tuesday, March 3, 2015

The Happy Art Award

 Large version of the award 
(realistic sized version is 
available below)
Barbara Muir © 2015

Hi friends,

I planned this award to start the year on a happy note.
I want to give out an award to everyone on my blog list,
and everyone I whose site I visit regularly.

I was thinking about the joy (and demands) of
 receiving awards in the early days of blogging.
 And I decided to create my own award.
Because it's almost spring and I thought what
could be better than to think of a way to tell my
artist, and blog friends how much I appreciate them.

The award

I believe it's important to spread happiness
as frequently as possible.  If you
receive this award from me have:
a) Made me happy with your work, whether
it's particularly joyful or not.  I so appreciate
the wonder, and beauty and creativity of your
art.  Thank you.
b) Created worlds of joyous work, helped
lift my mood in times of sorrow, or even
artistic frustration -- have moved me and
changed my day.

So -- as a winner of this award, and it may
take me a few days to get them out to those
of you I know best, please pass the award on
to five artists whose work fulfills one, or both
of these two descriptions, and link that post back
to this one.

You can cut and paste the award directly from
my web page.

In no particular order here is the list so far.
I'll add to it as names occur to me:

Jennifer Hinrichs, I had my very first
art shows with Jennifer who I met
when we worked on an art magazine
together.  Her work is powerfully
emotive, and original, mostly featuring
people.  I have learned so much from
 looking at her paintings over
the years, and I am grateful for every
wonderful connection she has introduced
me to.

Flora Doehler, who started me blogging.
Her vibrant flowers and scenes are always
an inspiration. 

Marcia LaBelle, my friend, and friend in
art forever, whose drawings take my
breath away.

Gill Cameron, has been my friend and
partner in art since we first started having
shows together.  She is an astoundingly
wonderful landscape painter.  Her colours
are beautiful, her designs unique, and she
gets the essence and soul of any landscape
she visits.  

Melinda Esparza is an amazing artist
in both landscape and portrait.  Her
vibrant colour and distinctive style
won her a residency at the Grand
Canyon for a month.  Her friendship
keeps my art happy.

Kim Rempel is a blog friend who has
become a 3D friend in the Toronto/Beamsville
area.  I love her abstracts, landscapes and
still life work.  She is a dedicated artist,
experimental, talented, witty, and kind.
A wonderful friend, and friend in art.

Nicki Ault is this generation's answer to
Tom Thomson, and beyond.  She is so talented
at landscape even in a small work, that
I am always in awe of her work.  And she
is a searcher, trying the new, breaking into
new modes of expression, canoeing out to
the wilderness to get the best plein air locations.

Sally Chupick is a wonderful painter, who
has taught me so much through her
instructive posts, and paintings.  She paints
her favorite landscapes and cityscapes with
a feeling of serene joy.

Norene Smiley is a wonderful artist, and writer,
and good friend in Pugwash, Nova Scotia.  Her work
is bright and she is constantly experimenting
with texture and image.  I love her portraits,
her flower paintings -- anything she does.

Belinda del Pesco, whose watercolours,
drawings and prints are magnificent.
Plus her how to videos are a gift to
all artists, and the quotes in her blog
are an art education in themselves.
Belinda was one of my earliest
blog friends.

Liza Hirst, is a wonderful artist in any medium
or size she chooses.  In the past couple of
years she has moved from France to London,
England where she runs a cool shop with
her husband Hubert too.  We met through
the blog, and in person here in my house!

Laurel Daniel, is a super landscape and
cityscape painter.  She captures the
soul of any place he paints.  Laurel and
I are firm friends through blogging.

Linny D. Vine paints Canadian west
coast landscapes and townscapes around
Victoria and the Vancouver islands with a
unique style that radiates joy and fills
me with happiness every time I see her

James Langston is an incredible artist
who I met at the Florence Biennale.
This year James is producing at least one cross
painting a day and showing these complicated,
brilliantly colourful, and gorgeous designs mostly
on Facebook.

Edward B. Gordon, can and does paint
everything from still life, to portraits,
to landscape to cityscapes, and sells
every painting he ever makes!  When I
think I can't keep blogging Edward's
wonderful work and persistence
inspire me to keep going.

Karen Bruson is also one of my early
blog friends.  Her lush use of colour,
and wonderful brush work draw me in
every time.  Her subject matter goes
from portraits, to still life, to landscape
to cityscapes and all of her work is

Laura Starrett's watercolours are absolute
perfection. She is incredibly humble about
her talent, and a force to be reckoned with
in this difficult medium.  I am always
overjoyed when I open her blog.  You will
be too.

Janet Vanderhoof is a new blog friend, who
I met through Facebook.  Her landscapes and
street scenes pulsate with life and brilliant colour.
Every time I see one of Janet's paintings I
am overcome with admiration.  Plus Janet
taught me to meditate last summer when
we meditated and reported on our experience
to one another every day for four months.
It is one of the blogging miracles that Janet
is in California and I am here in Toronto,
yet we bonded. 

Catherine Jeffrey explores the moody light
of the city in works centered around downtown
Toronto.  She paints traffic lights at night,
how light reflects in rain, the city in snow.
Her work captures the beauty and guts of
the heart of the city.

Sheila Vaughan can capture mood as well
as any artist ever.  Her deep explorations
of her past, and present are glorious.
Plus she is always experimenting, trying
new methods, approaches and subject

Eldon Warren has not blogged for a few
years, but he too was one of my very
early blog friends.  His landscapes are
miraculous, and his horror faces very
scary.  Come back to the blog world Eldon!

Julie Davis is a wonderful landscape painter, whose
works inspire me.  I have been following her
work for almost as long as I've been blogging, and
she amazes me.

Tammy Hext and I met through a celebration
of 100 years of International Women's Day
art show.  Her work is vibrant, abstract,
gritty and bold.  I admire her greatly.

Marilyn Flanegan is a superb artist.  She paints
landscapes, animals and abstract pieces on wood.
Her use of light and colour is impressive, and
she is deeply empathetic with her subjects, so that
when she paints a dog you want that dog in the room
with you.

Theresa Rankin -- Does not blog anymore but she
who gave me my first two awards and has painted
a beautiful work of flowers in my kitchen.  Theresa
is a classical portrait, and still life painter and
one of my very first blog friends.

Susan Carlin can create a perfect and
 accurate oil painting portrait in no time
and has done many instructive videos.
Her work ranges from very traditional to
high key colour exploration, and she is a friend.

David Lobenberg -- is and astounding portrait
artist who does things with watercolour no one
else is doing.  He is a talented and funny artist friend.

Róisín O'Farrell is one of the most prolific, joyful and
successful painters I know.  She works incredibly hard
and sells almost every one of her glorious interiors.
Her thick impasto paint is lush, her colour brilliant
and delicious and she is well loved as a painter.

Liz Holm is comfortable in many styles, but has
been exploring a kind of magical, fantasy abstraction
lately in light filled, shimmering colour.  She
is a fantastic artist, and devoted to animals as well.

Wendy Barrett is a multi-talented Australian artist and
new friend.   She has written a series of children's book,
and paints the glorious ocean scenes of the beach near
her home, and does wonderful line drawings in pen
and ink on paper of a wide variety of subjects from
tractors to plants.  Her love of life, and of her home
comes through in all her work.

 Gwen Bell has not blogged for awhile, but her work
is magnificent and I wish she'd return to blogging.

Realistically I will not start contacting you personally
until tomorrow.  Meanwhile thank you.


Have a loving-winning-a-happy-art-award day.


  1. Thank you, Barbara, for including me on your list and for including me with all these amazing artists. You are a joy and it makes me so happy to know that, in some way, my work makes you happy.


  2. Thank you so much, Barbara, for your kind and generous words about my art and the wonderful art of others.

    You are an inspiration. I hope everyone who visits here, and those who have the pleasure of talking with you, know that too.

    Your work is a delight. Never stop painting. You've got 'it' going on!

    Warm hugs from the desert---M

  3. Hi Nicki,

    Are you kidding. Of course your work makes me happy. It is beautiful and inspiring! I love it.

    XOXOXOXOXO Barbara

  4. Hi Melinda,

    Just linking to your web site I sat staring at your glorious work. I was overcome. Thank you for this. You have so got "it" going on.

    XOXOXOXOXO Barbara

  5. Thank you so much, Barbara! YOU are a MAJOR contributor of happiness to this world of art and life. I am honored to receive this award, and to be acknowledged by you in this list of wonderful artists; and most importantly, I am blessed to know you.
    Love, love, love,

  6. Dear Barbara

    I’m thrilled that you have selected me to receive this delicious looking award - does the breakfast come with it? I’m honoured as well, though I’m not convinced that I’m particularly deserving.
    It’s true we’ve known one another since time immemorial and like one of those lazy cats I love to bask in your humour and sunny disposition. I believe you’re also responsible for getting me to blog in the first place!
    I love your work and really, every artist you pay tribute to is eminently gifted.

    Thank you, thank you, thank you dear friend!!!

    love, xo


  7. Hi Laurel,

    I feel so blessed to know you and your art spreads the joy of the beauty you see out into the universe. You so rock!

    XOXOXOXOXO Barbara

  8. Hi Marcia,

    I think the reason I paint breakfast is that I am so rarely in a mood to eat it with anyone else -- except when I'm travelling and it is magnificently served. But yes, for you I'd produce French toast with organic strawberries and Maple syrup. I'd even make you one of my famous peach crepes. (Usually served at a later hour). ;-)
    Deserving doesn't begin to cut it!


    XOXOXOXO Barbara

  9. I truly appreciate the kind words you have written about my work. Most artist are too competitive to speak kindly to others in the same field but you are so above the fray in your search for beauty.
    Thank you so very much and I treasure our friendship.

  10. Thank you James. I am blessed to know so many supportive artists like you. You are above the fray too James, and your work us superb. I am always delighted when I scroll down in Facebook and see the exquisite work you are posting.

    I treasure our friendship too. Thank you again.


  11. Oh, Barbara! I can't tell you what a thrill it is to be included in your Happy Art Award with all these amazing artists!! I consider you to be one of the happiest and most enthusiastic artists that ever drew breath (oh, a pun!)so I feel very honoured indeed to be on your list!

    I really appreciate the time you spent on writing such glowing and thoughtful accounts of everyone's art. You generate such a powerfully positive energy that I can feel it tangibly all the way over here in Australia!!

    I've so enjoyed getting to know you through your stunning and inspiring art and words. Thanks again Barbara!

  12. Hi Wendy,

    It has been such a pleasure getting to know you through your blog and your kind, thoughtful comments.

    I definitely feel your effect all the way over here in Canada! I just wanted to show my appreciation for the artists who keep me going. You are certainly a vital one.



Your thoughts and positive comments make my day. Thank you for stopping by.