Thursday, November 16, 2017

Work in progress -- life's big secret

Untitled (work in progress)
watercolour and pencil on 
watercolour paper
5.5 x 8.5 inches
Barbara Muir © 2017

Here I am making myself laugh in the middle
of the night.  A common phenomenon.  No.  I'm
not crazy, I'm blessed with an odd sense of humour
and friends and family who are funny too.  But
I wanted to post this little watercolour, which
is a work in progress, and of course was struck with
the irony of the term.

Is that it?  Our whole lives are works in progress.
Like mine now -- trying to get the teenager in
me to calm down, quit thinking about the great
day and go to sleep.  Meanwhile here's a little
watercolour I'm working on.  Thanks for helping
me.  I went back to working on my larger
painting, little by little.  Another life lesson.
That's the way to do it.

Wishing you a getting-on-with-it day!

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

If you're tired -- lie down!

Let sleeping dogs lie
 charcoal on bond paper
14 x 16 inches
Barbara Muir © 2011

I love the sight of the people and animals I love sleeping -- especially
when I know that they're exhausted.  Animals don't need to be
persuaded, and in fact mine are on a very fixed schedule of
morning, afternoon and evening naps.
Cat on an office chair
Acrylic on canvas
8 x 8 inches
Barbara Muir ©  2009
New in pink
Acrylic on birch panel
5 x 7 inches 
Barbara Muir © 2014
I feel the urge to nap right now, after a day of running around
trying to get my list completed.  I am working on a small
painting, should be working on a larger painting, and could
add a list of shoulds as long as the TransCanada highway.
Instead I will show you some examples of the art of sleep
from my blog, and get back to work in an hour or so.
Are you awake?
Charcoal on bond paper
8 1/2 x 11 inches
Barbara Muir © 2012

Sleeping dog with cat food can
Watercolour and marker on
Arches watercolour paper
6 x 10 inches
Barbara Muir © 2013
Have an enjoying-a-nap-day.

Monday, November 13, 2017

Loving flowers -- more from the garden

Autumn beauties
watercolour and marker on 
watercolour paper
5.5 x 8.5 inches
Barbara Muir © 2017
When I first started painting professionally, I was mainly a
flower painter.  And I still love the glorious colours and 
happiness that bouquets of flowers can bring into the
house.  Outside now the world looks grey and brown.
Inside the last surviving flowers are bravely putting out
new blooms to my amazement and delight.

Here is another watercolour of our late season offerings.
I am having fun painting these, and will perhaps be
showing them in a pop-up sale in mid December.  

Have a letting-flowers-turn-the-joy-up day 

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Sold in New York City -- Happy Dance!

No Contest -- Nature Wins!
Acrylic on canvas
30 x 30 inches
Barbara Muir © 2016

It's always a treat to exhibit in New York City -- one of the art capitals of the
world.  And it doesn't hurt a bit that I love both the city, and the wonderful
curator who runs my gallery there. This painting had the special Karma of
my deep love for Nova Scotia and its landscapes.  Plus the A&M are dedicated
to two of the sweetest people in my life -- Alice and Megan.  

So I was excited to learn the piece sold.  I loved painting it, and the title
says it all.  The beauty of Nova Scotia is partly that the massive move to
urbanization has not hit there so far.  Fingers crossed that that continues.

Have a loving buying art day!

Friday, November 10, 2017

Remembering joy

Late summer flowers
watercolour and marker on 
watercolour paper
5.5 x 8.5 inches
Barbara Muir © 2017
In the midst of great sorrow each opportunity for joy
and hope seems like a miracle.  My family is grieving
the death of my lovely niece last month.  Losing her
has overshadowed so many parts of normal daily life.

But through it all -- each moment of delight, each sweet
memory of a moment with her, each bit of pleasure
offers up the validation that life goes on, and also that
it's important that those of us left behind continue to
live the life she won't get to enjoy.

Last night I had a wonderful conversation with the
artist, Georgia Fullerton -- an amazing woman, and
we talked about purpose and mission.  I know that my
mission on the planet is to create joy and happiness
with my art, and to try and share those feelings
with the people I encounter in my artistic, and teaching life.

This watercolour, my first step back to painting,
is of the last flowers in the garden -- frost hit the
other night, and that is the end of that part of the year.
The garden was a delight this year.

Wishing you a day filled with beauty and happiness

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Sam's day in the birthday line up

Skype Sketch of Sam
Charcoal pencil on bond paper
6 x 9 inches
Barbara Muir © 2010

Searching through my blog for images of Sam there are
so many.  That makes sense.  My family were the
natural subjects for so many paintings and sketches, and
still are.  He has grown up now, and I was trying to find
a sketch that reflects the happy self confidence he radiates
today. He's enjoying life -- which of course makes everyone
around him happy.

Today is his birthday, and this drawing from seven
years ago captures him in a happy mood -- tired and
enjoying his life -- in school.  I drew him via Skype,
which was something I liked to do back
then.  Sam now looks much more mature, but the
kindness in his face here captures something
that is essential Sam.

Happy Birthday Sam!

Monday, November 6, 2017

Missing my mother's Happy Birthday

Ink on Moleskine paper
8 1/4 x 11 3/4 inches
Barbara Muir © 2017

My mother was a gorgeous beauty -- never aware or confident
of that for reasons I will never know.  Today would have been
her birthday if she were alive to see it, and I thought of her
all day.

I've never done a painting of my mother, or even a real sketch,
so decided to try.  I get why I was intimidated -- she had her own
unique look.  Plus I know so much about her -- almost too much to
approach her simply as a portrait subject.  But I'd like to try again.
Here's my first sketch.

My mother was brave, resilient and always looked for joy in small
things.  Even blind, with a serious lung disease she asked me to
help her fill out cheques to dozens of charities.  Not large amounts,
but the thought of helping people was uppermost on her to do
list.  I miss her every day, but especially today.  She died on
Canadian Thanksgiving Day four years ago, and enjoyed a full
and mostly happy life.  I will try drawing her again to make an
effort to capture her beauty and the inspiration of her spirit.

Wish your mother Happy Birthday. 

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!