Friday, May 31, 2019

The people who keep you going

Black marker on bond paper
8 1/2 x 11 inches
Barbara Muir © 2009

Tonight I'm showing a sketch I did years ago of my friend
Flora Doehler, probably from Skype, which was my thing back
at the start of Skype (Skype sketching and painting). In the
Month of Good Cheer, it's important to acknowledge
people who make you happy.

Flora is a great friend, and one of the kinds of people an
artist needs to keep going in this artistic life.  Before I
ever started blogging Flora wanted to open up a blog for
me.  I was shocked and horrified at the idea, and months
later started the process with my son Christopher's help.
More than 2,000 posts later, so much has happened.

It is too bad that Flora lives in Nova Scotia (for me, not
for her, she is very happy), and I only get to see her once
a year for a couple of days when we visit.  But when we
do see her and her husband Larry, what a wonderful time
we have.

This whole series of pansy paintings I did this month was
inspired by Flora turning me on to the joys of acrylic
ink last summer.  And wow is it fun!

I sat for a few minutes tonight trying to sketch my friend
Marcia while she sketched me. My sketch didn't turn out
well enough to show you here, so please accept this sketch
of Flora, and to my friend Marcia, an amazing artist, I say
let's do that again another time, but maybe with one of us posing
at a time! LOL.

Have a loving your friends day.

Thursday, May 30, 2019

Gratitude for the Month of Good Cheer -- and last year at this time!

From last year's show in Niagara Falls in May
Water for Life Official VIP Opening at the Niagara Falls History Museum.
Left to right -- the Mayor of Niagara Falls, Jim Diodati, Antoine Gaber,
Artistic Director, and artist, me -- Barbara Muir, sculptor, 
Gabrielle Fischer Horvath, and at the side of the photo Angelina 
Herrera, Cultural Promoter for the exhibition. 
(Photo courtesy Antoine Gaber)
May has been a month of absolutely wonderful moments -- two
openings, more shows unfolding, and a deliciously slow and
beautiful spring.  Tonight I'm posting a photo from a
show I was in a year ago at this time Water for Life.  It was
one of the highlights of my life in art last year.  And the photo
I'm including shows me with Grabrielle Fischer Horvath who
has this year just opened a fabulous studio/gallery space in
Niagara Falls.

The Water for Life show last year pretty much saved my artistic spirits
 when I broke my wrist quite badly and was in a cast
for five months.  This exhibition had everything -- fabulous artists
who are now a collection of online, and real world friends,
wonderful directors and curators -- Antoine Gaber and Angelina
Herrera could not have been more gracious.  The events
offered to us as artists were magnificent, and all in all it was

Now in the home of that first Water for Life show, Gabrielle
is creating a permanent artistic focal point for the area, and
that is really exciting for me.  Expect great happenings.  For one
thing she is hoping to get her huge, magnificent elephant
sculpture installed permanently in the area where her gallery/studio
is making its home.

Have a loving your life, and enjoying your memories day.

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

On the path -- in the Month of Good Cheer

One day on the Ottawa
Acrylic ink, and marker
on watercolour paper
9 x 12 inches
Barbara Muir © 2019
Wow!  What a great name for this month, which has been
so filled with joy and humour.  Amazing.  The class I
taught tonight is exuberant and funny.  Here we are talking
about very serious subjects, and having so much fun,
despite the hard ideas.

The path in this piece tonight is about my father.  It never
occurred to me until a moment ago that I might have
started painting landscapes because of my Dad, who
painted whatever he felt like, but sometimes painted

I have a collection of his photographs -- he was a really
amazing photographer -- with all the best equipment, and
he could have gone pro, but didn't know it.  My oldest
became a photographer, feeling a bit like it was in his
blood, and now is a director of ads and music videos.

Looking through my Dad's photos I found two images
of landscapes that hit me.  So I photographed them and
went to the printer to have them enlarged to
use as reference.  The printer was upset. Why would I
use black and white photography? I was a painter in high
key colour.  I was blown away that he knew that and cared.

I didn't say, "these are my father's images, shot when I
was about 10, so none of it looks the same anymore.
But I love the emotion they relay to me."  Maybe I
should have.  My Dad died before my second son
was born.  I think he'd be happy that I even played
with the idea.  In fact I know he would.  Here's a
sketch to give you a break from pansies!  No I don't
need a break, I'm thinking of you!

Have an honouring your path day.    

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Love being with my art group

Best Earrings -- Art Group Sketch
Acrylic on canvas
12 x 16 inches
Barbara Muir © 2019
I had an hour total to be with my art group tonight,
and it was so great.  There was a ten minute break
in that hour, and still I felt incredibly recharged
when I left.

The model was pro -- she posed perfectly and
transmitted a lot of emotion from her face.  I love
that.  So even though there was laughter and
fun, all of the artists in the small group
tonight got to work as soon as the model was
back on her chair.

I loved painting her sweater, and how the folds
created patterns with the stripes.  I could have
spent more time on that, but time was up.

Have a doing what you love day.                    

Monday, May 27, 2019

No Internet! Not a good thing.

Pansies try perfection
Acrylic ink, watercolour and marker
in watercolour paper
5.5 x 8.5 inches
Barbara Muir © 2019

I am posting this for May 27, because I'm trying to post
every day.  But last night when I went to say something
a belligerent red light shone from my modem, telling me
to stop all activity because my efforts would be doomed.
No!  But alas that was that.

Luckily I had a real novel, some computer work to do that
didn't involve cyberspace, but so many things I enjoy
were just plain down.  This made me see not just how
dependent I am on the world wide web, but what I'd
be missing without it.

I love those brave people who say -- "Oh I don't do
Facebook, or Instagram, or read on the internet."  I think
they are lucky, and lead a charmed life, but that is not
me.  I do love seeing my friends from both here and
around the world, going to art shows, visiting gorgeous
cities and buildings, doing all kinds of great things,
helping the world in one way and another.  They make
me happy, and give me hope.

So here are the pansies you should have seen yesterday --
today.  More is coming in the way of art. It got so
hot yesterday I was sure my crop of flower models was
going to quit, but today is wet and colder, and they have
perked up and plan to hang on for maybe one more week.

Have a loving your day, day. 

Sunday, May 26, 2019

To the park and back. Feeding geese and -- more pansies!

Hot Toronto Pansies
Acrylic ink, watercolour and marker
in watercolour paper
5.5 x 8.5 inches
Barbara Muir © 2019

I have an idea in my head for these pansy paintings, which
I'll tell you about another day.  Meanwhile here's another happy
group.  It was actually hot today. We went to the park we love on
the west end of Toronto.  The traffic was brutal, but we got to
see the lake, and feed the geese.  Today a pair of geese was
terribly hungry and would not let any other birds near us.

There were some very dramatic water chases, which were
hysterically funny to watch, although I know the real intent
was serious.  We met another bird loving man, who told us
how much he loved the neighbourhood, and how he finds
peace in the park, and comes there every day to chill out.
We get it, and gave him some food for the geese.  Our two
determined geese ate out of his hand while he called them

All in all a treat of a day.

Have a loving your life day.

Saturday, May 25, 2019

City in pink -- sing back Saturday

Pink in the city
Acrylic on canvas
16 x 16 inches
Barbara Muir © 2017

Today has been a day of dramatic storms, incredible fog,
lush green, and a city flowering in every colour of pink.
The trees are now in full leaf -- setting off the flowering
trees that are delighting the eye in every direction.

Today we saw a lady struggling to carry two huge bags of
soil home from the supermarket, and offered her a ride.
She would have had to walk a few more blocks, and we
were glad to help.  When we dropped her off, and Steven carried
one of the bags up to her porch for her, I noticed a gorgeous
crab apple tree flowering to one side of her front steps.

And so tonight I think it's right to show this painting --
a personal favourite of mine, for the gorgeous time of
year it captures.  I stopped my car on the way home from
a meeting the other day to take more photographs of
the street in the painting.  It is all happening right now.
A man sat with his dog on his front steps watching me,
probably wondering what that lady was doing taking
photos.  I was thinking forward.  Maybe soon I'll do
another painting of one of the marvels of spring.

Have a magnificent weekend, and sing about spring.

Friday, May 24, 2019

Temperatures rising -- quick paint the pansies

Weekend pansies hang out
Acrylic ink, watercolour and marker
in watercolour paper
5.5 x 8.5 inches
Barbara Muir © 2019
When I look at the pots of pansies on our front steps that I bought
in April, it's hard to imagine that then they were mostly
leaves with the occasional tiny bloom.  Even then they were completely
inspiring (as you know from the many paintings I've
done of them), but nothing like the current crop overflowing
every container, crying out to be picked and painted.

Why hurry up and paint more?  Because as soon as the true heat
starts, the pansies will die off, and we've had a couple of days
of warmer weather.  Southerners would laugh at what we think
is bordering on hot, but quite warm.  Pansies are fond of warm
weather that is closer to cool, and do not like heat one bit.  In
that the flowers and I are sisters.  I am alone in Toronto as a person
happy with a long, slow, cool and magnificent spring.  Spring,
like fall is one of my favourite seasons.  Everyone else
is out in shorts begging for summer.

So here's another painting of pansies to keep the art happening,
while I continue to work on larger work.

Have a loving the day you're having day.

Thursday, May 23, 2019

Support matters -- from the ground up!

My cards by the cash in the just opened
Gino's Shoe Repair store
3687 Bathurst Street in Toronto
When you walk into a business that has just moved and reopened days
ago, and see your business cards and show postcards
set up by the cash, you know that this shoemaker cares deeply
about your art. This may not mean much to you, but it touched me.
What does it have to do with art?  It is support, and small gestures
can lead to big sales.  When I say from the ground up, I mean this
man takes care of the shoes I walk in.  Literally the ground up.

Michael Rabinovich with my boots.
They will come back to me
better than new

The best shoemaker in Toronto (go ahead argue --I'm right)
used to be located on Marley.  Recently
the city's passion for condos, meant he had to move
when the building he was renting space in was sold
for future development.  And he has not even finished
moving in, but my cards are there right where he put
them at his old place, when I gave them to him promoting
different pieces.

He is the best of the best, (and has only balked at
fixing a pair of boots for me once in 15 years). So I got
his new address, and when my favourite boots fell apart last
week, I knew I had to find him.  I did today.  His name is
Michael Rabinovich, but he took over the business on
Marley from Gino, so kept the name.  And now that he's on
Bathurst street near Wilson, the name Gino's Show Repair

Have a noticing the kindness in your world day.

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

More from the pansies, and turning to hope

Fabulous pansies rule!
Acrylic ink, watercolour and marker
in watercolour paper
5.5 x 8.5 inches
Barbara Muir © 2019

This is after all the Month of Good Cheer in my lexicon.
That means it's vital to hold on to what makes you
happy.  Looking out the window now at the world
turning green, the lush tulips Steven planted, and
the glorious clouds every day, I am happy.

The other day Steven and I went down to Cherry
Beach, and I couldn't get a good photo of the hundreds
of swallows swooping and flying up over the water
catching what seemed like a healthy crop of bugs.
But it was miraculous to see.  So inspiring.

Maybe we all need to be out in nature more, to see
what we'd be losing if we don't set our sights on making
sure we save the beauty all around us.  In my case
the immediate beauty, made more immediate because
it can come inside, is the beauty of pansies.  So here
are some more for you. It has been such a delight painting

Have a saving the planet day.

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

The joy of seeing

See what I mean?
Acrylic on canvas
30 x 30 inches
Barbara Muir © 2019
I'm talking about this, because I just got new glasses
for reading and for distance.  Miraculous.  How does that
connect with art?  I think maybe one of the gifts landscape
painters can give to their viewers is the absolute delight
in the natural world -- in what the artists see.  I certainly feel
this, and see it in all of the landscape work I admire.

This painting has taken a while to get to where I can call
it done.  All along my idea was to transmit the incredible
joy I have seeing scenes like this in a park out on the west
side of Toronto.  Getting the colour right for me took awhile,
and then it needed more.  Welcome the total strangers
who posed for me unknowingly, and have completed the
piece for me.  I am over the top grateful to them.

Have a loving what you see day. 

Monday, May 20, 2019

Happy Victoria Day -- this painting seemed right

At Lake Muskoka 
Acrylic on canvas
36 x 48 inches (3 x 4 feet)
Barbara Muir © 2011

I have been thinking on and off this weekend of this
portrait -- which was a complete pleasure to paint
eight years ago.  The sitter was genial, posed well,
and enjoyed the cookies I serve to people when they
come to pose for a portrait.

The theme of sitting by a lake seems perfect for
a Victoria Day long weekend image (though
today you would need that blanket at least).  And
that is (or has been) Canadian summer for us --
long weekends and holidays by one of our many,
many lakes.  Here's to that!

Steven and I sat tonight on a very cold and windy
beach on Lake Ontario, dressed in full winter
outfits, complete with gloves, down coats and hats,
and still enjoyed the fireworks display in honour
of Queen Victoria's birthday.  Hats off to you queen.
Some of us might not know much about you, but
your birthday still gives us a holiday and we're grateful.

Have an enjoying your life day!

On the trail -- Sunday scene on the holiday

On the pansy trail
Acrylic ink and black marker
on MoMA paper
5 x 7 inches
Barbara Muir © 2019
The word "trail" has been on my mind lately -- maybe
because I've been thinking about the environment so
much, and thinking of the trail we leave behind us ecologically.
We are trying very hard to lessen our impact on the

But then I thought artistically we leave a trail too.  This in
a different form -- and here on my blog you can track
that trail, and of course see that in recent weeks pansies
have been one of my obsessions.  That's a trail I can be happy 
about.  I finished another painting of the morning pansies I drew
the other day.  

The pansies depicted here are sitting with me now, not quite 
as perky as they were the other morning, and insisting that 
it is now time for bed.

So goodnight my friends.  What kind of a trail are you
leaving behind you these days?

Have a wonderful Victoria Day!

Saturday, May 18, 2019

Sunday-- Today is the last day to see the DVAC show at Todmorden

Higher Love
Acrylic on canvas
36 x 48 inches
Barbara Muir © 2018
If you haven't seen the DVAC (Don Valley Art Club) spring show Illusions,
do yourself a favour and head over there today, Sunday May 19 before 3 p.m.
The sign says Noon to 4 p.m., but they've changed that to Noon to 3 p.m.
There are 100 paintings in the exhibition, and there are many magnificent

Plus the grounds make for a pleasant walk, and parking is free.  Bring the
kids. It's a large space, with lots of room for families.

Did I mention that I have a painting in the show?  See it above. I will
be there myself to pick up my work at 3 p.m.  So if you're in town,
head over and I'll be delighted to see you there.

Have a checking out art shows day.

Friday, May 17, 2019

Today I beat my goal -- and more pansies

Morning pansies cheer you on!
Acrylic ink and black marker on
MoMA sketch paper
5 x 7 inches
Barbara Muir © 2019

Last year I broke my wrist -- and that affected so many
parts of my life.  This year I vowed to take back my blog,
and beat my last year's record.  Meaningless to everyone
else, but meaningful to me because of living through a
year of not being able to do all of the things I enjoy.

Another painting of pansies has decided to show up
for the celebrations of making it one blog past my last
year's record.  Now I can relax, quit blogging, have a nap.
No -- I'm kidding, but I also know that however many times
I blog for the rest of the year, I am besting my last year's record.

This little glass of pansies was sitting on my bedside table
begging to be drawn when I woke up this morning.
Later today I brought the pansies to the studio and
finished this painting.  It is the long weekend
here, and everybody's psyched to have a holiday
free from winter's grip.  The pansies cheer for that
idea too.

Have an enjoying your holiday day.

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Pansies crossing the line

Pansies in a tangle
Acrylic ink, watercolour and marker
in watercolour paper
5.5 x 8.5 inches
Barbara Muir © 2019

Back to pansies today -- admittedly an obsession, and a
pleasure. The long, glorious spring that everyone in my
city is complaining about has been perfect for these
beauties.  Now the pots out front are packed with pansies
that get larger and more beautiful every day.  I come
home and see them on the steps, and I want to
paint them.

So I did again.  This time these wonderful flowers crossed
the cut off line on the watercolour pad, and I don't care.
Soon I will have a wall of pansy paintings behind me,
in a photo like the wall of daschunds behind David Hockney
in a book I got for my birthday.   -- At this point in this post
my computer bumped into the cream jug holding the pansies
(yes they are real), and the water covered about half of
our kitchen.  Cleaned up now!

Time to say goodnight.

Have a loving the flowers in your life day.

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Catching The Moments -- Rain Ahead

Rain Ahead
Acrylic on canvas
24 x 24 inches
Barbara Muir © 2017
Strange weather today, very wet, heavy rain, bright sunshine
after the rain, then thunder, hail and heavy rain again.  I
missed the last sequence because I was teaching in an interior
room, and had no idea so much drama was happening
in the city outside the college.  This painting on view now
at the Catch The Moments studio/gallery in Niagara Falls and
for the next month is all about driving into weather -- very wet rain.

I am a fan of rain as long as it's not a dangerous storm  --
maybe that's the Scottish part of my heritage.  Rain doesn't
bother me, but I do like to be prepared. I bought two umbrellas
in the past week, (and lost one). Umbrellas have been a necessity.

If you're in Niagara Falls this weekend check out the
incredible sculptures of Gabrielle Fischer Horvath,
Manny Martins' gorgeous photography, and my

Have an enjoying the weather day.

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

The importance of play

Moon view
Acrylic ink on watercolour paper
5.5 x 8.5 inches
Barbara Muir © 2019
Last week was thick with things to do:  two openings - one
at Todmorden Mills in Toronto, one in Niagara Falls (read
about it in the latest posts), the first week teaching a fast track
course, meetings and Mother's Day.  Sometimes in the
midst of a whole lot going on we need to stop and take
a deep breath.  And for painters it's important to play.
The big ideas come out of small steps.  Amazing new
beginnings happen every day.

Here in the month of Fresh Starts I have been treated to
being one of the first artists to show in a brand new, gorgeous
gallery space as part of Catching The Moments. Pretty Fresh.
Today I painted this painting in honour of the moon.  Why?
Because the moon rules the tides, and the tides rule our holiday
near the ocean, in Nova Scotia in August.  We will
plan our getaway around the time when the tides are
low during the day, so that we can walk for hours on the
beach.  What a delicious thought!  Hold onto your free
time, for sure it feels like every minute counts.

Have a taking some time to breathe day. 

Monday, May 13, 2019

More show talk! Happy times!

The fields between
Acrylic on canvas
18 x 24 inches
Barbara Muir © 2018

Here’s another painting currently showing in Niagara Falls at
Catching The Moments— The Fields Between. I love this
painting that's part of my obsession with painting fields (and clouds!).
For a city woman the expanse of sky and fields in the Maritimes is so
inspiring. To the farmers they represent hard work, and production,
but driving by they speak to those of us ruled by enclosed spaces,
and towering buildings on a romantic level.  Their beauty combined
with the amazing action of glorious Maritime clouds is often
overwhelming, and Steven is remarkably patient with me when
I suddenly say,"stop the car -- I need this!"

I needed this.  And the theme will no doubt continue.  If you
are in Niagara Falls and go to the Catching The Moments studio/gallery,
you can see it too.

Doctors in several cities in Canada are taking people to art
galleries, because being around art improves people's health and
well-being.  So buy some art and see how great you feel.  (Yes
that was a pitch.  Forgive me. ;-)

Have a taking in an art show day

Sunday, May 12, 2019

More from the Catching the Moments show

Sky high summer joy
Acrylic on canvas
30 x 30 inches
Barbara Muir © 2019

An wonderful weekend and fast paced week.  This painting is another of my
works in the Catching The Moments show in Niagara Falls that opened
yesterday.  I finished this painting in mid-winter, dreaming of summer skies
-- lush clouds and the gorgeous colours and textures of fields that we see on
our long, long drive (2,000 kilometres, over 1,000 miles) to Nova Scotia.

Part of the view of the new Catching The Moments Studio/Gallery
with my work on the wall.  
It looks super on the wall in the gallery with its other cloud work, photos
by Manny Martins, and of course glorious sculptures by Gabrielle Fischer
Horvath.  I hope you all had an fabulous Mother's Day.  I was still basking
in the pleasure of knowing my work was in such a beautiful space.

Gabrielle Fischer Horvath and her daughter Candice Fischer
at the opening.  Candice is a Marketing Business Coach
and involved with the gallery. 

If you are in Niagara Falls make a point of checking out this gorgeous space.

Have a going out and seeing art day.

Saturday, May 11, 2019

Amazing Opening at Catch The Moments Studio/Gallery

Gabrielle Fischer Horvath and Joanelle Murray cut the ribbon
opening the Catch The Moments Studio/Gallery at
4444 Queen Street in Niagara Falls as Lori Lococo
City of Niagara Falls Councillor stands ready
to give a plaque of recognition to the
gallery.  Ms. Lococo has a particular interest in encouraging
the arts.

Catch the Moments Life Casting studio + gallery is one of the
most beautiful galleries I've exhibited in.  The partners
Gabrielle Fischer Horvath and Joanelle Murray have done an
incredible job renovating and decorating a beautiful, welcoming
space --perfect for workshops, wonderful as a gallery, and
all set for a wide range of sculpture and art adventures.

Here's a link to a little video I made of the day:

I felt so thrilled to be invited to show there for the grand
opening complete with a ribbon cutting ceremony and
a representative from the mayor's office giving a speech
and a plaque.  Everyone who came into the space was
thrilled with the beauty and vision of the partners.

Today and for the next month the gallery features the
work of Gabrielle, gorgeous photography my Manny Martins,
and paintings by me.

Have a very Happy Mother's Day!

Friday, May 10, 2019

Come out to the opening -- this painting will be there!

Moody Beauty
Acrylic on canvas
30 x 30 inches
Barbara Muir © 2018

If you're in Niagara Falls on Saturday, May 11 (tomorrow) please head
straight for 4444 Queen street for the opening of Gabrielle Fischer
Horvath's grand opening of her Catch the Moments studio/gallery.  I
am in that exhibition, which will be up for a month, and this
is one of the pieces in it.

The theme is more moody than my usual landscapes, and it's
called Moody Beauty, because every mood in the Maritimes
is beautiful, especially on a summer drive.  I am captivated by the
landscapes there

As Mother's Day approaches I wish I could thank my parents for
teaching me a love of landscape, and getting away on holiday.  And I thank
my children for pushing me and Steven to try and give them a
similar experience -- a place to go to every summer, and somewhere
rural to love. Our one room school house although ultra rustic did the job,
and amazing people as neighbours in the towns nearby made
the whole experience a pleasure and a treat.

Have a loving your drives in the country day.

Thursday, May 9, 2019

Five paintings in Catch the Moments opening Saturday!

The moon's out early
Acrylic on canvas
30 x 30 inches
Barbara Muir © 2018

Hi everyone -- this is quite the week!  On Saturday between
2 - 4 p.m. I'm in sculptor, Gabrielle Fischer Horvath's
studio/gallery opening -- Catch the Moments at 4444 Queen
in Niagara Falls, Ontario.  The photographer Manny Martins
is also in the exhibition.  It is going to be fun.  If you're in
the Niagara Falls area, please come over and see us.

I will have five paintings in the show -- the painting
above is one of them.

A reminder:  tomorrow I sit the Don Valley Art Gallery spring
show, Illuminations at Todmorden Mills between 12 and 2 p.m.
See the map in last Saturday's blog. I'd love to see you there!

Here's the ad for Catch the Moments in Niagara Falls this

Have a taking in the art shows day!

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

A super opening at Todmorden Mills. So much fun!

Me in front of my painting
Higher Love,
Acrylic on canvas
36 x 48 inches
Barbara Muir © 2018
at the Don Valley Art Club
Spring show opening tonight.

Quite a busy day today with an evening class, and
an evening opening! But what fun.  If you haven't
made it to the Don Valley Art Club spring show
and sale, Illuminations, you want to because there is
 so much to see.   I took some shots at the opening,
which I dashed to after teaching my class, but my fatigue
was obvious, because most of my shots aren't good, and the
photos of some of my friends' work straight up
didn't work -- sorry. I'll get those photos I promise.
My husband Steven took this picture of me tired in front
of my painting -- beautiful work on either side of me.

I will be sitting the show on Friday from noon to
2 p.m., and would love to see you there if you're in
town (Toronto).  I promise to get some better
photos then.  There are 100 artists involved in
this show, which gives you a lot to choose from
if you're looking for a Mother's Day present.

Here's a sample of my  shots.  Mostly no names

Amy Chen with her painting Backstage.

Have a going out to an art show day.

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Come out to the first opening of the week!

Higher Love
Acrylic on canvas
36 x 48 inches
Barbara Muir © 2018
Tomorrow night from 7-- 9 p.m. the Don Valley Art Club is
holding its spring show opening at Todmorden Mills in Toronto.
100 artists are displaying work in the exhibition.  There will
be drinks and food, and free parking and free admission.

I have a painting in the show that I really like.
(Always a good feeling when you are an artist.)
It is a painting of the pond behind the Brickworks,
or inspired by a particularly beautiful day there.
Everything I'm mentioning is in Toronto, so if
you're not familiar with Toronto, or Canada, rest
assured that these are quite wonderful, popular

If you do plan to come out to the show to see me, I
will be there for the last half hour because I am
teaching a class tomorrow too, and have to keep
my students happy!

Have a coming to the art show day.

Monday, May 6, 2019

Hey universe -- thank you! More from the pansies

Pansies break on through 
Acrylic ink, watercolour and marker
in watercolour paper
5.5 x 8.5 inches
Barbara Muir © 2019

I'm sorry if you're getting sick of pansies, because I am
not. When Sunday was so warm men wore shorts, the
pansies said,"finally!"  just like every other person in
Toronto on every street.  And to celebrate they popped
out some bigger beauties in the pots on the front porch.

I started teaching a fast track course tonight, such great
students. So I'll tell you more tomorrow about a show
I'm in this weekend.  I'll be at the DVAC opening Wednesday
night at Todmorden Mills in Toronto that I'm dashing to after class.
See you there from 8:30 until 9 p.m.   I have one piece
in that show, and I think it's a beauty.  See my Saturday
blog for details.

Then on Saturday May 11 I'm going to have a number
of pieces in the grand opening of Gabrielle Fischer
Horvath's studio gallery in Niagara Falls. I just
found out about that yesterday! And I'm so excited.
I will give you the details on that tomorrow.

Things are moving and shaking. Super happy news all round.

Have a shaking up your world day.

Sunday, May 5, 2019

Super day in the city

Pansies toast the spring
Acrylic ink, watercolour and black marker
on watercolour paper
5.5 x 8.5 inches
Barbara Muir © 2019

Wow.  Went for a walk in the park today and the colours
were incredible.  High, pure sky blue, soft bright green
buds of leaves on the trees, and people most definitely
high on life.  Couples walking holding hands of all
ages and descriptions.  Love was in the air.

The sweetest thing I saw was a young couple who'd climbed
up into a tree and were perched up on a big horizontal branch
smiling down on the world, and proclaiming it a magnificent day.

So here's another pansy painting to honour spring in
her magnificence.  The radio announcer says the main
thing you smell in Toronto now is cigarettes.  Not here, it was
barbecues -- everyone's dinner wafting across the backyards.  And
the main sound aside from birds, was the excited laughter
and happy screams of children playing tag.

Have a beautiful day today.

Saturday, May 4, 2019

The Illuminations Show Opens on Wednesday

Hi everyone, 

I am going to have a landscape in the Don Valley Art Club show
at the Papermill Gallery, at Todmorden Mills, opening Wednesday,
May 8 from 7 - 9 p.m.  I teach that night, and will be there after class
from 8:30 - 9 p.m.  Please come to the opening.  There are 100
artists participating, and it is going to be magnificent.

If you'd like to see me there please wait until the last half hour.
I'm looking forward to it.

For more information read the note below.  This information
is from the Don Valley Art Club website.

Have a really wonderful day.  This is all for tonight.  We went
to see the movie Long Shot, and it was very funny.

Friday, May 3, 2019

Good cheer is what happens when you let it

Saint Hilaria -- saint of humour and good cheer
(disguised as a portrait of me)
Watercolour crayon, watercolour pencil, watercolour, 
acrylic ink, regular pencil, markers, acrylic pens.  
9 x 12 inches
Barbara Muir © 2019
Okay.  Great day.  I am going to be working extra hard in
the next month and a half with a bunch of projects.  And
miraculously today I am somewhat organized for it, and
ahead of the game.

I was reading the other day about the root of the word
hilarious (one of my favourite words because of the
feeling of laughing so hard you can't stop -- the best).
And I found out that the Romans had holidays called
Hilaria - maybe after bad things had happened, but as
part of spring celebrations.

So with all that is happening that is cheerful, and
happy, I painting myself as Saint Hilaria.  As a teacher
I am not entirely bad at making people laugh.  My
husband said, "isn't it princess Hilaria?", and I said "no.
But okay.  If you like."

This was inspired by the fact that David Hockney painted
himself often, that many painters are using stencils, because of
my love of Florentine art, heavily loaded with halos.
I used so many things that I can't list them all in the caption.
Watercolour crayons, watercolour pencils, pencils, watercolour
ink, acrylic pens, markers.  So there you have it -- Saint
Hilaria, otherwise known as me.  One variation.  It does
not really look like me, but tomorrow is another day! LOL.

Have a truly hilarious day (which by the way is guaranteed for
me if my family and friends are in a good mood.)

P.S. This has nothing to do with Alec Baldwin's wife, Hilaria.
She is lucky to have a great name.

Thursday, May 2, 2019

Remembering Water for Life -- in the Month of Good Cheer

Reading on the dock
Acrylic on canvas
24 x 24 inches
Barbara Muir © 2013
One of the major highlights of my life last year, and especially
last May was the Water for Life International Exhibition at
the Niagara Falls Museum of History in Niagara Falls, Ontario.

The theme of that show was about getting clean water to everyone.
And for me it was also about saving our rivers, lakes and oceans, 
which has been a feature of my Ocean series, that I've shown
in Florence, Paris and in New York City in the past decade.

I love this little painting, of the delight children feel when they get
to play, and hang out near water.  A young man came to the
door the other day for Save the Children, and he invited himself
inside to analyze my work in the hallway.  It was an interesting
conversation as he tried to figure out what colour of grounds I'd used
to begin the painting.  I think I've documented all of that here on the blog.  

In my mind Saving the Children, and saving our water from plastic,
and chemical pollution are the same project -- which adds up to
saving the planet.  We have to ask politicians, governments and 
businesses to change their ways right away.  The time is now.
And in the Month of Good Cheer, nothing would make me
happier than if you wrote your government officials, business
leaders, grocery stores right now and said get rid of plastic entirely,
and make the priority of everything you do about saving the

Have a saving the planet cheerfully day.

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Celebrating the month of Good Cheer

Pansies lead the cheer
Acrylic ink, watercolour and black marker
on watercolour paper
5.5 x 8.5 inches
Barbara Muir © 2019
I like the idea of setting up expectations for the month of
May to be a Month of Good Cheer. And in that spirit I went for a
walk with a friend, and her sweet dog in the May wind, organized
notes for my class, worked on this painting, and took reference photos
for a larger work. In general I made the decision to be happy.

It's a bit like deciding on a direction you want to go with a
painting.  The happy decision to paint something you love
is always a good beginning.  And here we are -- May first.
In Canada the start of spring really beginning.

Wishing you a glorious month of over the top good cheer.

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!