Sunday, August 27, 2017

New York bound -- a joyous journey

No Contest -- Nature Wins!
Acrylic on canvas
30 x 30 inches

Barbara Muir © 2016
This is the last painting in the trio celebrating the beauty
of Nova Scotia, that will be on display on September
9 at the champagne opening and I'll be there.  So if you're
in New York City then, and want to come out -- see the
art and have some fun, let me know.  You know that party
you are always wanting -- this is it.

When I am in Nova Scotia, clouds, the landscape and the
sea dominate my vision.  But I am strongly attracted to
cityscapes too. So I love this little corner of commercialism
with the clouds doing a happy dance above, and of course
being more spectacular than anything below.  Truth to tell,
just around the corner there are fields and horses, about six
blocks away are some of the most beautiful, majestic houses in the
Maritimes, and along the road, and around another corner you
can see farmland as far as the eye can see, rolling in gorgeous
shades of green and yellow, and then the ocean.

I am missing all of it, and the wonderful people I know

Have a loving-what-you-see day.

Friday, August 25, 2017

A continuous high -- the ecstasy of clouds

The happiest view 
Acrylic on canvas
36 x 60 inches
Barbara Muir © 2017
Today's painting will I hope be the centerpiece in my New York
exhibition next month at the Amsterdam Whitney Gallery.  Finishing
it made me so happy -- because the scale (quite large) really gets
across the magic of clouds over the ocean.  It's almost like clouds,
dance, and stretch and breathe into the most gorgeous and luminous
sculptural shapes when they have the space -- over rolling farmland,
or the wide open ocean.  They get both opportunities in Canada's

And we artists on the ground looking up are in complete awe.  I felt
like I got that with this one.  And I love it.  So once again -- if you
are in New York City when my three paintings are part of a group
show at the Amsterdam Whitney Gallery in Chelsea.  Let me know
and I'll send you an invite to the champagne opening between
3 and 5 p.m. on September 9.

Thank you for all your support.  We artists and collectors and curators
need one another, and I feel so lucky to get to do this work.

Have a marvelling at clouds day.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Sending Nova Scotia to New York

At the Boat Launch -- Port Philip
Acrylic on canvas
30 x 30 inches
Barbara Muir © 2016 - 2017

I first painted this painting last year and revised it when I came back from
our recent trip to Nova Scotia.  The experience of walking down the
boat launch and seeing masses of brilliant yellow flowers and red, red sand
was still vivid in my mind, and demanded some changes.  Paintings
do that.  They look at you and say "Really?" And the next thing you
know you are back in the thick of it.  I'm happy with the results.

The work I'm sending to New York City for a show in September at
the Amsterdam Whitney Gallery, is all about my love of Nova Scotia.
Sitting at the dinner table a few days after we got back, my husband
and I were teary with longing for the place.  I painted when I was
in N.S., and visited other artists.   New art projects were filling my mind.
But Nova Scotia is too far from our family, and from the familiar
and friendly art world here.  Still seriously, if you haven't been, you
must go. And if you go to this place on Highway 6, there are magnificent
views in every direction.

I apologize for the photo.  I was in a big rush to ship the work
so it could arrive on time.  More about this, and about the artists
I met on my trip to come.

Have a getting-the-work-out-to-the-world day.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Water -- and painting

Untitled (work in progress)
Acrylic on canvas
12 x 12 inches
Barbara Muir © 2017
If you have running hot and cold water be happy.
We have been on holiday in our 100+ year old
school house for the past almost two weeks (with
a short two day break), and it does not have running water.

Most years when we come here we go to a lovely
park on the shore (that we think of as our beach --
although in Nova Scotia no one can "own" the
beach), and fill up our five 20 litre containers there.
It is about 15 minutes away, and we combine
getting water and going to the beach.

But this year the local parks do not have clean
drinking water, and we've been driving about
45 minutes away to a source a friend suggested.

When we get home to Toronto and turn on the tap it seems
like a miracle.  And in fact it really is.

This painting is still in process, and I will finish
it when I get back to my home studio.  I am
working on one here and it is coming along fine.

Have an enjoying your drinking water day.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Unique Vision -- the work of Flora Doehler

Me and Flora in front of a wall of her smaller work.
She is the feature artist this month at the Bear River
Artworks Gallery in Bear River, Nova Scotia.
All works are © Flora Doehler

One of Flora's larger works on view at the 
Bear River Artworks Gallery

I've just returned from a visit to my friends Flora Doehler
and Larry Knox.  I met Flora through the DVAC (Don
Valley Art Club) inToronto. She inspired me then, and does even
more so today.  Flora has painted every subject -- flowers,
portraits, landscapes.  But when Flora paints the results are
entirely unique.  Walking around her beautiful house and
studio my eyes were entranced -- and as an artist of course
I was constantly wondering how she did it.

This painting in the couple's bathroom totally blew me away.
Flora's paintings have an energy and excitement that is
all her own.  Her love of life comes through in every painting. 

This beautiful painting of lupins is 36 x 48 inches 
(I do know that measurement).
Apologies for the blurry photo.

 A landscape in the library at Flora's home.
 This beauty is 5 ft. x 4 ft.
Flora and Larry are major movers and shakers in the
Bear River community, both in the arts, and on other
projects.  Larry Knox makes beautiful jewelry which
is on display  at the Bear RiverArtworks Gallery. They are
part of the reason for the opening of the Gallery.  And they have
a studio beside their beautiful yellow house with blue trim in the town.

I was captivated by Flora's work this visit (as I have been
every time I've visited) and had to take some photos.  I'm afraid
I was rushed. There wasn't time (we were just in town overnight)
to get captions, dates and sizes for you.  But I know you will love her
work -- done with liquid acrylic on canvas,

Have a loving-your-artist-friends'-work day.

Friday, August 4, 2017

The Alchemist -- and Dreaming paintings

Untitled (work in progress)
Acrylic on canvas
12 x 12 inches
Barbara Muir © 2017
(forgive the photograph taken
with my phone.)
The drive from Toronto to our school house in Nova Scotia
is 1,000 plus miles (or 1609 kilometres) (more like 1846 kilometres
on the route we take).  What helps us in the long, long hours on the
road are audio books, and we listened to The Alchemist written by
Paulo Coelho for part of the trip, read by the wonderful actor Jeremy Irons.
The book was both spiritual and romantic -- but Jeremy Irons' voice
gave it a delicious power.  The message delivered by the little
shepherd boy in the story was to be brave enough to live your
legend.  That wasn't about fame, or fortune, but about living
your best life.  A great message.  I started seeing paintings as we drove
through Canada's spectacular landscapes.

Then last night, after being saturated in the beauty of Nova Scotia
I dreamt this painting that I'm working on today.  I want to capture
the amazing light you see here.

Have a loving-books-and-paintings 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!