Friday, April 27, 2018

Water for Life -- come out to see a great international exhibition

I'm so proud to be exhibiting in this wonderful international show in Niagara Falls
this summer.  If you're in town please come out to the opening on May 12 at 7 pm.
The theme is water "Water for Life" and the concept is timely -- with so many
people in the world unable to access clean water, and with our own careless
treatment of our lakes, rivers and oceans.  

My paintings are not political, but I started painting images with the ocean as
part of the theme a few years ago.  My motivation was to honour the landscapes
cherished by people I met, and also my own strong connection to the astounding
ocean vistas, I'm privileged to see every year when we visit our one room school
house in Nova Scotia.  In my ocean landscape work I want to celebrate the beauty
I see.  And it breaks my heart that we are harming our most precious resource -- water.

Aside from the thrill of exhibiting with such amazing artists in the Niagara Falls
History Museum, beside one of the natural wonders of the world (Niagara Falls),
I am so looking forward to seeing some of the artists I've shown with before in
Florence, Italy at the Florence, Biennale. And the curator for the last Florence Biennale
I exhibited in, in 2015, is the International Cultural Promoter of this show in
Canada -- Angelina Herrera. The Artistic Director for the exhibition is Antoine

So if you are in Niagara Falls please stop by on May 12 at 7 pm..  The show runs
until September 9.

Have a loving water day.

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

The Comfy Chair -- I wish

A man's favourite chair
iPad drawing (with finger)
8 x 10 inches
Barbara Muir © 2018
I won't lie to you the last couple of days have been doozies.
Alright already as they say.  But our family member is on
the mend, I've finished my marking for tomorrow, and
very soon it will be full on spring, and everything we've
lived through will be behind us.  We'll be sitting on the
back porch having a glass of wine, looking at the garden,
and all around us people will be frantically barbecuing.

Meanwhile here's a drawing of a comfy chair at my
brother's place in Quebec.  I wish I could teletransport
there tomorrow and see him.  I did this from life in his
living room, and it has all the stumbling naivete of an
iPad drawing.  And I wish everyone out there a comfy chair
in the best meaning, and a decent book.

Have a taking it easy on yourself day.

Monday, April 9, 2018

8 hours in the hospital

Black marker on Fabriano paper
6 1/2 X 8 1/4 inches
Barbara Muir © 2018
A family member got sick last night, and we went to
the emergency department at a local hospital today.
It was a long saga, and in total we spent eight hours
until we saw a doctor.  The good news, everything
is going to be all right. And along the way, especially
in the final waiting room, we met some very nice

Black marker on Fabriano paper
6 1/2 X 8 1/4 inches
Barbara Muir © 2018
One lovely woman, Carmella, shared a sandwich
with a woman who had cut her hand badly falling
on a wine glass.  A total stranger feeling compassion
for someone else's pain, and feeding them after
a long, long, long wait.  I was so happy to
witness that, and all of the humour in that room
They say it's worse on Monday
Black marker on Fabriano paper
6 1/2 X 8 1/4 inches
Barbara Muir © 2018
I'm sharing some sketches I did.  Even though the
wait was long, people were always coming and going
and I drew what I could get down quickly.
A challenge I always enjoy.  But it would be
more fun to draw this way in a café for sure.

I hope my girlfriend's okay
Black marker on Fabriano paper
6 1/2 X 8 1/4 inches
Barbara Muir © 2018
Have a valuing your good health day.

Sunday, April 8, 2018

The rules -- what are they?

Tulips rule
iPad drawing
8 x 10 inches
Barbara Muir © 2018
Today in my house I'd say tulips rule.  I bought some
bunches -- on sale I think, and they absolutely blow me
away.  They grow!  That's what's astounding, aside from
their sheer beauty.  They are cut and in vases, and the
blooms are twice as big as when I brought them home.
Plus the stems keep growing.

Speaking of rules -- these tulips in my drawing are a
representation of how the real things make me feel, but
 I drew them from my brain, on my iPad, with my finger.
The hand that isn't in a cast right now, loves the iPad
and the magic I can make with it.  So this says tulips
 to me.

I hope you've been having a magical day.

How about this -- new rules -- have fun! 

Saturday, April 7, 2018

Saturday surprises -- art bin finds

Boy in a red tie on a starry night
watercolour quick study
watercolour on Arches watercolour paper
10 x 14 inches
Barbara Muir © 2010
It's been a good day.  Saturday is frequently my favourite
day.  We go to the market and see the wonderful farmer
who we buy our eggs, lettuce and delicious quiches from.
He is delightfully funny -- so the day starts out a treat.

Our son Sam and his girlfriend, Emily, dropped in with delicious
scones to share with us.  After they left I kept working
on a large painting.

And tonight I went into a basement storage room, and started
looking through bins to discover this sweet portrait of my
son Christopher which I did from an older reference photo eight
years ago.  I love the simplicity of it, and how touchingly
vulnerable he looks.  His expression indicates he sat for me
because it was clearly another case of his Mother (me) needing
 a model.

Thank you Christopher, and thank you Sam for all of the
times you've allowed me to draw and paint you -- a great
pleasure for me.

Have a rediscovering the images you love day.

Friday, April 6, 2018

Fooling around Friday -- or was it?

iPad drawing
8 x 10 inches
Barbara Muir © 2018

I drew this little drawing today in a celebratory mood
when I heard that someone I was worried about across
the country, is feeling better now.  Good news was my
muse.  I deliberately worked with colours I don't always
use or put together.  But it's an iPad drawing -- anything
is possible, and why not?

I hope you had a good day.  My huge painting is right
on the edge of completion, and I'm working on a small
watercolour too.  In short, I had a perfect day -- painting
and drawing all day long.  Bliss.

Outside it snowed, and the scene was briefly magical and
gorgeous -- very fresh winter beauty.  Now most of it is
gone, and the people who were upset by its arrival, can
breathe again.

Have a loving what you do day.

Thursday, April 5, 2018

Friends are sooo wonderful! Thank you Howard

Signs of spring at the pond
(work in progress)
Acrylic on canvas
8 x 8 inches
Barbara Muir © 2018
I met Howard Wolinsky on line almost 10 years ago.
I have never met him in person, but at the time our
paths crossed over Skype, and his YouTube interview
with me on my Skype paintings, landed me on
the Oprah Winfrey show.

That would be more than enough to seal our friendship.
But on top of being an amazing writer, Howard is
an exceptional photographer, and has travelled
all over the world giving the rest of us gorgeous
images of places he's visited.

Still Howard and his wife Judi always come back
to their home in Chicago, and he takes spectacular
photos in a park near their home.  I feel incredibly
blessed to know him, because he has let me work
from some of his beautiful shots.

This painting is a small image, of what may become
a larger work. I would love to do that.  And thank you Howard
for the inspiration -- which is magnificent.

Have a thanking your friends day.

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

The art of intimacy

The King's Breakfast 
Acrylic on canvas
24 x 24 inches
Barbara Muir © 2015

Intimacy -- we all want it.  One of the things that surprised
me in art, was how capturing a meal -- and in my case
especially breakfast (which in a hotel is served in a
luxurious way before a day filled with anticipation) -- can
deliver so much meaning.

I don't think I completely understood what captivated me
about still life until I started creating my own.  Still life
is so practical for an artist interested in recreating life.
It's right there, and can be photographed, or drawn, or

I'm not attracted to special light booths set up to hold a
still life because what I want is the story -- and during a
meal, when the food is presented, or  or just after it when
everything is finished.  Then the, napkins, dishes,
cups, glasses, cutlery hint at all that surrounded that meal.
In some ways there is nothing more intimate.

Have an enjoying your special moments day.

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

In my other life -- or this one

Steven feeding the birds
Barbara Muir © 2018
In my other life sometimes I don't paint all day like
I did today.  Or tonight trying to make yesterday's little
painting grow.  In my other life, I go to the lake with
Steven and watch him feed the birds.  I marvel
at this world we are lucky enough to live in, and
come home to eat a great meal and maybe read my book.

So I am putting a photograph of that other life on
my blog tonight.  It folds into the art life, and makes
my art life happen.  Without my sweet family, here
in Toronto, and in Ottawa, and California, and my
wonderful friends, my art life wouldn't happen.

I'm giving you a photo of the amazing park we go
to, and Steven feeding the birds.

Have a living your life happily day.

Monday, April 2, 2018

What grabs you?

Dancing in the Water Jug
(work in progress)
Acrylic and acrylic marker on bond paper
9 x 12 inches
Barbara Muir © 2018 

These tulips caught my eye today, and I wanted to get
something down about them before tomorrow, when they'll
wilt, and fall, and it will be all over.

So this is a sketch, and I may work on some of the details
a bit tomorrow -- but today all I could think about was
having fun -- the red of the tulips and the amazing way
the green frames them.  In fact the tulips are mostly leaves,
not blooms at all -- but what we see is the red because of
the green back up -- the lovely tangle of lush leaves
that sets them off.

Have a loving what you see day!

Sunday, April 1, 2018

Happy Easter -- or Happy Your Celebration

Harold and the blue eggs
Acrylic on canvas
8 x 8 inches
 Barbara Muir © 2013
Our Easter celebrations involve getting our family together
for a great big feast.  That is the only way to describe it.
Steven (my husband) makes the best roast turkey ever. This
year Christopher our son, made wonderful broccoli, and our
son Sam made delicious roast potatoes and roast peppers.
Steven made pumpkin pie, and we had that with ice cream.
Add to that picture many, many chocolate eggs, and baskets,
and toys and champagne for the adults -- and you have a party.

That is our family, and I am proud of us.  What did I make?  I
set the table, helped the "bunny" design and fill the baskets,
helped stuff the turkey, and did the odd thing here and there.

It was a beautiful day in every way. I love my family.

Wishing you great celebrations with your family.
(I put Harold, the bunny rabbit on my blog every year
since I painted her (yes a she), and think
happily of the time a university boyfriend, not
knowing how innocent I was, gave me
a marijuana plant for a present.
Harold, my bunny, ate the plant,
plus a massive chunk of the sheets and blanket in
my rental room!  The young married
couple I was rooming with was not impressed.
Neither was I.  I had to pay for new sheets and
a blanket. But the whole story makes me laugh
every year when I think of Harold).

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!