Saturday, February 29, 2020

Moving into spring and thoughts of travel



Salad for two at the MoMA
Black marker and watercolour on drawing paper
9 x 12 inches
Barbara Muir © 2012

We talked about travelling today -- do we want to?  Of course we do.  In some
ways this is just dreaming because both of us have so much work to do.
And our family is here, both in the house and in the city.  So. Going through
my old photos looking for a particular image for a large painting I'm
completing I found this sweet watercolour of lunch at the MoMA.  I used
to absolutely love the restaurant at the MoMA in New York City.  It
looked out through glass windows onto a huge open section which let 
the customers inside see beyond the space to the city.  So exciting.

I love travelling, and got invited to show in Spain today.  I would love
to go there, but the reality is that travel is expensive. I will probably be
teaching one night a week, and it's still a very exciting idea. 

Sometimes at night when I'm sleeping I give myself permission to walk
out of the doors of my hotel in Paris, across the Seine on the Pont des Arts,
over to the Louvre, or just down the street to the  Maison De Haute Couleur
Charvin art store, or around the corner to the café with the waiter Moustafa 
who served us two of the best omelettes I've ever eaten.  In the morning I wake
up in my own bed. Steven brings me coffee while I read my book, and I'm so 
happy to be home.

Have a traveling in your mind day.

Friday, February 28, 2020

Happy Birthday to my Dad -- I owe so much to you


My Dad (from his own self portrait photograph)
Charcoal on Canson Mixed Media paper
13 x 14 inches
Barbara Muir © 2017
This is my father's birthday -- but he hasn't been around to celebrate 
for years.  I miss him.  As I said in an earlier post, this was my Dad's
relaxed outfit.  He was a very dressed up person.  He would 
probably be shocked at my indoor clothes, mostly worn for painting
 -- covered with paint, dog and cat hair.

I love everything my father taught me.  I most definitely walk in his
footsteps.  He was a very strict father for small children -- but as
we grew, he enjoyed us more and more.  I think I described our
connection best a few years ago, so I'll quote myself:

"It's appropriate on this almost last day of the Month
of Love to think about the meaning of love on
a deep level.  And here's what I know.  Not only
is my father visible in my face, and in my way
of talking, my love of humour, and the fact that
I have been both a journalist and an artist, like him. 
But the main connection I have with my Dad is in my
heart.

The powerful message he would like me to convey
if he were alive on this the final day of the Month
of Love, is that love lasts.  It never goes away.  And
my Dad's love for me, and mine for him is a
wonderful thing, and always will be for me.

Isn't that comforting to know?  I think so."

Have a loving the people in your world day.

Thursday, February 27, 2020

Don't go February! -- Thoughts on happiness and winter


End of a perfect day (work in progress)
Acrylic on canvas
12 x 12 inches
Barbara Muir © 2020
The painting I'm showing you tonight is a work in progress.
I know some painters can paint really quickly on a small
work.  I am not that artist.  This is more of the clouds I love, at the
end of a summer's day.  I love summer, but I'm really enjoying
this winter so far.

I have had a good February. Lots of walks with a dear
friend and her very obedient dog. Great conversations with
artists all over the world. Paintings in two shows in New York
City. Plus a fun trip to Ottawa, Canada with my darling to see
family and friends.

As a Valentine's Day fan, I feel happy when the house is
decorated with sweet red hearts for the day and the month.

The look of winter on a sunny day is every bit as
beautiful as summer in the same light -- it's just not as warm.
(the operant word is layers -- big time.)  In summer you
see many more colours.  I know it's beautiful, but winter
gets me too.

Sigh.  Deep breath, welcome March in a few days --
and  of course the excitement of spring coming. I know
I'll love it.

Have a loving where you are day.

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

The joy of flowers in the Month of Love


Late evening tulips 
Acrylic on birch panel
12 x 12 inches
Barbara Muir © 2014
SOLD 
Through every season, flowers are a necessity for me.
I paint them, I revel in their presence, I need them,
-- they are an essential part of my life.  It's great
in summer when we can just go outside and pick them,
but in winter they are such a supreme delight.

For reasons I can't explain I am very tired tonight on this
the 26th day of The Month of Love.  It has been a
snow coming down day (after almost no snow this month)
that makes me think of sleep, and want to curl up with a good
book (got one).

I love this painting and am so glad it sold to an appreciative
collector a couple of years ago.  At that time I was trying to
paint one of the biggest paintings I've ever created. Then I broke
my wrist tripping on my cat, one night when I got home
from class.  My husband was away. Not good.

But you know what got me through the night until I
went to the emergency ward?  The gorgeous flowers in
our house. Today I'm appreciating how nice it is to be
healthy, whole and happy.  And to have flowers -- an
Amaryllis coming out -- tulips.  Now it's Nap time.

Have a loving your life day.

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Great night with my art group


Art hero (art group sketch)
Acrylic on canvas
12 x 16 inches
Barbara Muir © 2020
We had a wonderful model tonight -- he looked like a 
superhero. I worked for just over an hour on this, and it 
came together so easily, because the model knew how to
hold a pose and stay interested in what was happening.

I'm so sorry I didn't get his name.  He was funny too.
Grilling us about celebrities.  So here's my art group
painting sketch from tonight.  Thank you to the
marvellous model.

And thank you to the DVAC art group for being fun and
engaging, and making me want to go and work with
them at the end of the day.

Have a doing what you love day.

Monday, February 24, 2020

Some quick sketches



Concentration -- 3 quick sketches
Acrylic ink on notebook paper
Barbara Muir © 2020
I'm a big fan of James Edward Clark.  One of my favourite
things he does is fast sketches of people on buses on
subways, and then he finishes the sketch in this studio.  Every time
he posts a little video on Instagram of how he creates the sketches,
I watch it over and over trying to learn how.
Concentration -- sketch #2
Acrylic ink on notebook paper
6 x 8.5 inches
Barbara Muir © 2020
Tonight I just happened to have three sketches I could try
and work on in a similar way.  They are done with a
marker and acrylic ink.  Thanks James for the inspiration.
I love sketching too.
Concentration -- sketch #3
Acrylic ink on notebook paper
6 x 8.5 inches
Barbara Muir © 2020
Have a loving what you do day.

Sunday, February 23, 2020

The delights of a winter escape


Winter Road Trip
Acrylic on canvas
24 x 48 inches
Barbara Muir © 2019
Thank you to Caitlin Grandison and Shiobhán Mulcahy for
making it possible for Steven and I to leave the herd
(two cats and a crazy dog) behind and take a short trip
to the Ottawa region.

So much fun. There is something incredibly freeing about
getting out on the highway and leaving all of your routines
(okay most of them) behind.  It was a beautiful weekend,
and we got to see friends in Ottawa, and meet the sweet
dog I put on last night's blog.

I did have work to do, and took it with me.  I did some
drawing, and made sure to talk to you here.  And I
felt such profound freedom.  It doesn't even make sense.
It's been a lovely winter so far, and I've enjoyed  every
minute -- but the road, the endless gorgeous scenery --
soooo inspiring.

Have a loving your travels day.

Saturday, February 22, 2020

The happy world of dogs



Finn
Black marker on watercolour paper
5.5 x 8.5 inches
Barbara Muir © 2020
A dear friend in the U.S. who loves her dogs -- two German
shepherds, once advised me to adopt the dogs' motto,
"Forward, forward, forward."  I loved that, and notice that
my own dog, Sally,  follows that advice and is happy most of the
time.  She gets anxious when it's time for supper, or a
walk, but cheerful is her modus operandi.

So although I've been a cat person most of my life, now
that we're raising our second family dog, I cannot
imagine life without a dog.

Yesterday we met my brother and sister-in-law's new dog
Finn -- a West highland terrier.  So adorable.  And although
he's sometimes a bit nervous, he is one cheery little dog.
Only about four months old, he already knows so much.

So for all the dog lovers out there, who no doubt spend a
bit more time with your dog(s) on the weekend, here's
a drawing of Finn.

Have a loving your dog day.

Friday, February 21, 2020

Pansies go big! So much fun!


Untitled (work in progress)
Acrylic ink and marker on canvas
18 x 24 inches
Barbara Muir © 2020
A big thank you to Flora Doehler -- yes I know I thank her a lot.
With good reason.  She is a mover and shaker in mine, and
in her local art world.  She's an amazing artist, and wonderful
friend.  Flora is the one who turned me on to acrylic ink.
These magical inks go over, and under acrylic, and the colours
are vibrant and glorious.

When you're painting flowers, one of the issues is trying to
in any way replicate the intensity of their colours.  It is
nearly impossible.  And pansies, which I've been painting
as long as I've been an artist probably, are a particular
case.  Their colours are so rich, they defy capture.

Last year I was so excited about discovering acrylic ink
that I did a whole series of pansy paintings.  These
were on watercolour paper, and the lovely thing about
the ink is that it flows like watercolour.

For this painting, I gessoed a canvas three times, to get
a smoother surface, and of course the ink behaved in a
completely different way.  But it is still intense, and I am
excited about taking one of my smaller paintings, and translating
it onto canvas.  Turns out it doesn't matter how you use
the ink, it is a treat.  This is a work in progress, because the
canvas requires more ink to get a similar intensity -- so
there will be more to show you.

Have a loving what you do day.

Thursday, February 20, 2020

Opening night at the Artist Project on all weekend


Gill Cameron was clearly having a great time,
and her beautiful watercolours made
a vibrant display.

Eleanor Lowden's work was a must see.
I've been watching her develop
this cheerful series on Instagram.

Mike Rachlis's huge portraits are amazing.

Andrew Cheddie Sookrah was one of the artists
whose work I absolutely had to see.  I've
been watching the development of some of
the work he's installed in the exhibition and his work is 
magnificent. 

Dalia Elcharbini's work is mostly graphite on 
paper, gilded with real gold.
This work is graphite on canvas, and is
beautiful and dramatic.

Ilinca Ghibu brought her gorgeous, large flower 
paintings to the show from Montreal.
They are stunning.  

Steven and I were excited to get out tonight for the first
night of the Artist Project at the CNE.  I have several
friends and artist colleagues in the show, and was
eager to see their work.

It was so exciting.  I love the variety of work -- true
there are so many wonderful artists.  It's like going to
a huge art gallery.  So inspiring.

I took a few shots (above) for you to enjoy, but if you're in
Toronto, head on down!  There is so much more to see than
I could possibly include here.

Have a going to an art show day.

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Last night with my art group -- what a pleasure

Woman in blue
art group sketch
Acrylic on canvas
18 x 24 inches
Barbara Muir © 2020
A good friend in my art group reassured me that the night
was on.  I was so happy.  I packed up and went out for
the planned hour.  That was all I had.

The model, Alyson, was wonderful -- so much mood
emoted from her, which for me in a fast situation seems
to be the magic.  She had it.   Plus I had fun with the
group listening to good music and seeing people's
work.

Here is the result.  I think if I'd had longer, she might
have resembled a long ago queen.  She had the
dignity and composure I'd associate with such a
character.  Royal.

Have a painting with your friends day.

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Happy Twelfth Anniversary for my blog!



Before the Dance
Acrylic on canvas
4 x 6 feet
Barbara Muir © 2008
Wow!  12 years -- I can hardly believe it.  I have been part
of the blog world for 12 years, and it's been a magical
experience.  I cannot imagine what life was like before
I was a blogger.  This site catapulted me into a world of
surprising media and TV recognition for my work, international
exhibitions, and friends across the world who like me, love making
art. Steven and I drank a toast with a bit of champagne to
celebrate.

The international shows lead to strong bonds with all of the
people I showed with in major exhibitions.  And they add
to a life filled with inspiration, exciting possibilities and fun!
I am so grateful. Thank you blog world, and Flora my friend
who insisted I had to blog, Christopher, my son, who helped
me start blogging, and to everyone who has supported this blog
to the point of 511,000 + hits, on 2404 blogs!  Amazing.  Thank you.

A toast to all of you, and to artists, collectors, and
art lovers everywhere! 

Monday, February 17, 2020

For Family Day -- one of my favourites


Let's get this party started!
First in the Times Tables series
Acrylic on canvas
30 x 30 inches
Barbara Muir © 2013
SOLD 
Today was Family Day in Ontario, our province in
Canada.  I've got to admit it's one of my favourite
holidays, because all you do is hang out with family.
Yesterday we had my older son's daughter over for
dinner, and saw my daughter in-law, son and the
baby on the pick up.

Today we went to our favourite park on Lake Ontario
with our youngest and his girlfriend.  A lot of family,
and all of it fun.  Thank you to the government for inventing
that day -- a great mid-winter break.

I love this painting, and the family it depicts.
The parents' love story was wonderful, and the
whole family was a treat to paint.  Endless reference
photos, Skype calls, discussions and three paintings
-- a series -- as a result.  I love all of them.  The family
purchased this one.

Have a loving your family day. 

Sunday, February 16, 2020

Family thoughts on the Family Day weekend

The Maharani's Great Granddaughter with 
her Great Granddaughter
Acrylic on canvas
30 x 30 inches
Barbara Muir © 2016
It is wonderful to grow up in a warm, loving family.  When
I was younger I took my family for granted, my parents, and
our wider family.  Only as I got older did I understand the
importance of having, and being a loving family.

And as for my parents-in-law.  I knew I loved my husband
almost from the first time I saw him, which I believe was
at his sister's wedding.  We didn't actually start dating until
a few years after that.  I am an agnostic, and have been
forever, and his parents, staunch Catholics found me hard to
take.  Looking back I'm sure I was.  I was probably full of
myself, judgmental, defensive -- everything I've tried to
get over in my life.

I'm showing this picture tonight for Family Day, because a
lovely miracle happened in our family.  When my mother-in-
law, Daisy was older we bonded.  She understood that I
made her son happy, and she had always loved my children.
I learned to love her, and she learned to love me.  And that
was huge.

I will never forget the day that inspired this painting.  We
brought my granddaughter Alice to meet her great grandmother,
and Daisy was so sweet with the baby and moved to meet
her.  I am so happy that my mother-in-law got to see the
painting hanging in a show, and that she loved it.
She died in 2016, and I got to see her and hold her hand
before she died.  And we both told each other that we
loved each other.

The more I learn about her, the more I admire her.  And once
again my message here is love.  Thank goodness we got
to share that emotion.  She was a brave woman who had
seven children in eleven years, and continued to work as
a nurse.  She was amazing.

Have a loving your family day.

Saturday, February 15, 2020

Flowers are always right


Pansies
Each image is a separate painting
Acrylic ink and marker on
watercolour paper
Barbara Muir © 2019

I sit in my bright kitchen on one of the coldest nights
this winter.  Maybe last night was colder.  The kitchen
is yellow, and our new red door sports the huge heart
made from tissue paper peonies (once a much brighter
pink.)  The huge white double lilies feel like a celebration
all on their own in an antique china jug on the hutch.

And on the table in front of me lemons and oranges in
a glass bowl emanate cheer.  And beautiful yellow roses,
with random edges of a deep red sit at the end of the
table.  Happiness, and a love of nature sing out all
over this room.

Which brings me to these pansies.  These line drawing
and acrylic ink paintings all done on 5.5 x 8.5 watercolour
paper are available, and would cheer up someone's
wall.  Contact me if you're interested.  Meanwhile
enjoy whatever beauty you can see.

Have a loving your world day.

Friday, February 14, 2020

At the core -- love rules


Stand Back for the Pie
Acrylic on canvas
24 x 24 inches
Barbara Muir © 2013
Happy Valentine's Day.  It was a super day.
I got to talk to some of the people who've made
a difference in my life, and to tell them how
grateful I was.  Plus I went out to dinner with
my sweetheart.

One of the people I talked to was a former boss
who got me to teach a school success course
that was actually Positive Pscyh.  Under his
guidance we did a brave thing. Brave in an
environment terrified of emotion.  Looking at our
student group, who were mostly late teens up to the
thirties, we correctly deduced that the main thing
everyone wanted was love.

And add to that success.  And the main blocker?
Not loving the self.  Now it's almost mainstream
to teach students to love themselves -- to start there,
but at the time it was not.  And guess what?  It
really worked! Marks shot up dramatically,
students started getting along with their parents,
and taking care of themselves -- getting out
of bad relationships, getting help when they
needed it.  It was brilliant.

So today on the day of love, in the month of love
I encourage you.  Please be kind and loving to
yourself first.  Quit reading this, go and do something
you love.  Pick the five kindest people in your life and
spend time with them in the next few weeks.  You are
at the core of the entire life you live.  So love you, and
you will end up loving your life and others.

Yes.  That was a bit like a lecture.  Now back to
painting.  Oh and let yourself have some pie if you
feel like it today.  Celebrate.

Have a loving your life day.

Thursday, February 13, 2020

Love's lessons -- worth learning -- Happy Valentine's Day!


A Valentine's Day card for you from me

I have been lucky to be loved by my family and friends all of my life.
I am so grateful.  My husband is without a doubt the love of
my life.  He is a wonderful person, and the center for sure of the love
I care about, and the love that powers our family.

I learned a lot about love when my mother died.  It was a sharp, painful
set of lessons, but despite the horrible loss, those lessons have made
my life happier than ever.  

#1.  You can never give out enough love to the people you love.
You can never say it enough, show it enough, overdo it.  Life really
is short, so let people know you care about them.  And I care about
you, and am grateful to you for your kindness and support.

#2.  Don't let people stay in your life who don't love you, and
care about you, or who are unkind to you, your family, or your
friends.  Once again life is short, and you deserve to be loved
while you're here.  

#3  Yes of course there are 100s of lessons -- but number 3 is
key -- love is everywhere.  Enjoy your love for the planet, and the
love you see around you.  Love is an enormous gift, 
and it's there for you.

Happy Valentine's Day.

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Love really helps. Believe it.


Time for love
Acrylic on canvas
8 x 8 inches
Barbara Muir ©
Coronavirus, horrific climate change, world leaders more
concerned with pleasing billionaires than taking care of
their citizens, and narcissistic, silly and irrational
people dominating the news.  There is still love, and maybe
if we can make our passion for caring about each other
dominate our choices we can solve some of these giant
problems.

I feel sorry for people who say they don't like Valentine's
Day.  Why?  To say the day is commercial -- so what?
Make your cards then, or like my mother make chocolate
fudge for your children, or your love.  My husband and
I have just started decorating the house -- putting up
the banners of hearts, and Valentine's decorations we've
saved for years.

Celebrate, celebrate, celebrate.  Celebrate whatever love
you have.  Your cat, your friends, your family near and
far.  That love really is the answer.

And your kindness and love for me that you show me
all year 'round helps me to think of the world as a
place of possibility, and affection, to feel like miracles
can happen.  A little bird told me.

Have a spreading the love day. 

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

40 minutes with my art group!



Captain Valentine
(art group sketch)
Acrylic on canvas
18 x 20 inches
Barbara Muir © 2020

Thank you DVAC for the wonderful model who posed
tonight.  I had an hour to paint, and it was fun.  With two
10 minute breaks, it was about 40 minutes.
The portrait makes me happy because the model sent out
stories through his expression, and posture.

I decided to make him a sea captain, and as it's Valentine's
Day on Friday, and we're big fans of that day and month
in our house, he became Captain Valentine.  I don't know
the model's name, but he was good.  And I am grateful for
that.

Have an enjoying creativity day.

Monday, February 10, 2020

More on the New York City opening


Left to right: artists in the exhibition -- Robin Kang, Ian Clyde, Ryan Michael Ford, 
Lightning Yomeku, and Katie Cercone with the show curators, Lena Liu
and Apelles Zhou beside one of Apelle's wonderful paintings. 
This past weekend was pretty spectacular for me --
an opening in Toronto at the beautiful Heliconian Club,
plus an opening in New York City at the Wall Street Art
Space.  And both happened at the same time on Saturday
afternoon!
The art show band added a musical dimension
Last night I showed you a super photo of Katie Cercone
performing in front of my work in this show. We were celebrating
the same thing -- the vitality that arises from light and love—
me in landscape, and Katie in magnificent Yoga.

The show looks beautiful. Apelles Zhou has collected a
dynamic group of artists working on the theme of  Victory
of Light.   The band played music to intensify the
theme. And the whole concept is perfect for this time of year,
when each day is filled with more and more light.  But this
exhibition was also designed to welcome a more peaceful, light
filled and love filled world.  We need it.

People enjoying the art: visitor Shakespeare Guir,
artists Robin Kang, and Ryan Michael Ford with 
and a guest.
Please check out the exhibition during business hours on week
days. It is at 2 Wall Street on the 8th Floor.

Have a going to art shows day.

Sunday, February 9, 2020

Super opening at the Wall Street Art Space

At the Victory of Light Opening at
the Wall Street Art Space yesterday
Katie Cercone, performed an
ethereal starseed flow in yoga in front of
 my works The light of my life (left),
and The heart of the neighbourhood (right).
How perfect!  The heart symbols
on the floor add a super touch. 

Big thanks to Apelles Zhou, co-curator of the Victory of light
exhibition which opened yesterday at the same time as
the opening for the Life Drawing exhibition at the Heliconian.
I featured the Heliconian Club's Toronto opening last night.
And tonight I am showing this beautiful image of one of the performers
at Victory of Light,  a yoga performer Katie Cercone doing one of
her moves in front of my two paintings in the show.

Tomorrow I'll write more about the Victory of Light
exhibition opening.  It was wonderful!

Have a going to buy art day.

Saturday, February 8, 2020

Super Life Drawing Show Opening at the Heliconian Club


Steven and me in front of my portrait
You can't keep a good man down
(Acrylic pen and acrylic on canvas
3 x 4 feet)
at the opening of the Heliconian Club
Life Drawing Exhibition on at 35 Hazelton Ave. 
until the beginning of March
Thank you to all of my friends and family who came
out to the opening at the Heliconian Club today.
I had one piece in the show, and I was very happy
with how the people in charge of hanging the show
placed it.  As a friend said, "beautiful frame" meaning
the gorgeous walls of the Heliconian.


Some of the work that caught my eye
clockwise, Ruthia Pak Regis,
Susan Powers, Dougal Haggart,
and Gary Fogler.
(I tried to put them together
using Facebook as my
computer will no longer
work with my former app for this.
Gary's work got badly cropped,
so see the full image and a few others below.)


Gary Fogler's painting

Friends looking at my work

Detail from drawings by Sara Craig

People enjoying the show.

Have a going to an art show day. 

Friday, February 7, 2020

Contemplation of line drawings, and the comic heroes who save us


Drawing of a man
black marker on watercolour paper
8 x 10 inches
Barbara Muir © 2009
(not the image I'm showing tomorrow.
See that below. 
This was a drawing of Stephen Colbert
 from a stopped video frame.)
Tomorrow the largest pen drawing I've ever done will
be featured in a Life Drawing Show here in Toronto.
Come out and see it if you can at The Heliconian Club,
35 Hazelton Ave between 1 and 4.  I am bringing
delicious cookies!  I have already posted the work
twice, so I'll show a small version below.

My friend Flora asked me to talk about what I learned
doing this big drawing.  Good thought Flora.

1.  The drawing is on canvas and is done mostly with
acrylic pens.  I learned that canvas is not smooth.

2.  I learned how to gesso a canvas three times with it
flat on a table, and then scrape the liquid gesso smooth with
a metal utensil used to smooth plaster. Layer over layer the
canvas became soooo smooth it was a delight to touch.

3.  I learned that canvas, unlike paper, bounces. It's one
of the things I love about working on canvas, the
bigger the better.

4.  I learned that if you put your finger against the canvas
close to where you are attempting to draw fine lines, the
canvas will not bounce.

5. I learned that 3 x 4 feet is a really large drawing.  It
took me most of the month to complete it.  And yet it
looks simple.  Art eh?  It's meant to be an illusion.

6. I learned that I love my husband more than ever, because
after the expression on his face in the portrait was right, every
time I walked in the room I smiled.  That was my sweetheart alright.

7.  I learned you can't do it all.  I was tempted to fill in the
suit, but my son the film director said "No.  It's enough."

Tonight I'm showing you the drawing of what I might have
done if the drawing like the one above was on paper, smaller,
and I had more time.
You can't keep a good man down
Acrlic pen, and paint on canvas
3 x 4 feet
Barbara Muir © 2020
Come and see this work tomorrow.  It looks pretty good.

Have a loving what you do day.

Thursday, February 6, 2020

A joyous tale of two cities


You can't keep a good man down
Acrylic pen, and acrylic on canvas
3 x 4 feet (.914 x 1.29 metres)
Barbara Muir © 2020
This weekend I have the pleasure of being featured in two
art openings, one in Toronto, and one in New York City.
This is beyond exciting for me.  So a heads up, if you're
in Toronto on Saturday, I have a large portrait drawing
(see above) on canvas in the Life Drawing Show at the
Heliconian Art Club.  This promises to be a wonderful exhibition.


The heart of the neighbourhood (left)
The light of my life (right)       
Acrylic on canvas
Both are 30 x 30 inches
Barbara Muir © 2019

And in New York I have two landscapes in the Victory
of Light exhibition in the Wall Street Art Space.  I can't
be there and in Toronto (we humans haven't figured that form
of travel out yet!), but if you are in New York, please
go to the Wall Street Art Space, and send me photos.

So that's tonight's story.  Two cities, two galleries,
two different art forms -- and the connection is your
friend -- me.  I hope you can picture me sitting here
happy as can be that this lovely story is taking place.

Thank you to the wonderful people at the Heliconian
Club, who believe in me, and encourage me to keep
trying new things, and to Apelles Zhou in New York
City who invited me to be in the dynamic show he's
organized.  Both shows are on for the month of February.
Visiting the Heliconian is by appointment only after the
opening. The Wall Street Art Space if open during business
hours on weekdays after the Saturday opening.

Have a planning to see art shows day.

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

New ways of seeing -- always exciting.


Primulas in a blue pot
Acrylic on canvas
8 x 8 inches
Barbara Muir © 2020
I love Primulas, one of the first signs of spring
in the flower stores here.  A huge winter storm
is predicted tonight, so nothing could be more
appealing than thoughts of spring.

A fact of life in an artist's world is that if you keep
painting and drawing you will accumulate work.
Every now and then you find a canvas tucked
away, and think,"whew!  Why am I keeping that?"

That happened today.  I pulled out a little painting
of primulas in an antique bowl. (I love antique
china, but this combination didn't work in the small
painting.)  The bowl was an awkward shape, and
vague.  "Aha," I said.  I'll change that."  So I did.
I amplified the pot of flowers, made it into one pot,
instead of three, ditched the awkward antique
bowl, spiffed up the flowers a bit. And now I'm
 happy with the painting.  A happy day.

Have a seeing the possibilities day.

Tuesday, February 4, 2020

Fun with my art group


You mean the wedding's off?
Art group sketch
acrylic on canvas
18 x 20 inches
Tonight I went to paint with my art group.  I just had
one hour, and there was a ten minute break, but I was
so glad I went.  My friend Sharon By the way(not her
real name), who calls me Barbara By the way (we have
become the By the way sisters) was there.  She is not
only a super artist, but very funny, she also plays wonderful
music on the stereo to motivate everyone to work happily.

Sadly I'm not a fan of hats, and the model was wearing
a large hat, fine straw with a big straw bow. I did my best,
then came home and painted the hat out.  And you know
what? It was much better with the hat.  The title came to me
during the pose, and I couldn't get it out of my head,
so it's there.  It feels so good to paint with other excellent
artists.  A treat in every respect.  Hats off to the DVAC for
 these great evenings.

Have a doing what you love day.

Monday, February 3, 2020

I couldn't have said it better -- happy thoughts from me


Reading with heart or
Reading in the kitchen
Acrylic on canvas
8 x 8 inches
Barbara Muir © 
Today was a completely exhausting and joyous day.  I finally
got my big 3 x 4 foot drawing in acrylic pen on gessoed canvas
(see last night's blog)done, and I was happy with it.  And we
delivered it.  Not only on time (mirabile dictu), but early (thank
you to Claire for opening the Heliconian Club big blue front door).
Driving away I felt a feeling of absolute liberation.  Not only is that big
drawing done, but I am free.  (Meaning I can't keep working on
it, my obsession for the past month).

Plus my work is in two openings this week -- one in New York City, see the 
post from two days ago, and the one here at the Heliconian Club. 
 If I could be in two places at once I would, but I'll be at the 
Toronto opening Saturday afternoon from 1 - 4 p.m., and thinking
about the opening in New York also on Saturday afternoon! 

Now we run straight into the Month of Love (February), one of
my favourite months in the year.  I am blessed beyond measure
to love my life, my family, and my friends.  It's time to dress
the house up with hearts, and get out the Valentine's Day
cards, and maybe even go on a short trip with my sweetie.

I believe in happiness, and felt pure joy working with my
class tonight.  And the class was great -- a very smart group.

So here's what I said last year at this time --
 I loved reading this tonight:
"There is a constant push against happiness in society, as though
trying to be happy is a mistake, or something dreamed up by 
advertisers.  Nope.  Take a look.  No push for obsolete climate
 harming fuel, no huge SUVS, not even toothpaste, or laundry 
detergent.  Happiness is absolutely free.  You choose to have it, 
and it chooses you.  Even people in desperate situations, in war, 
in prisoner of war camps have made that decision, and
been happy. If those brave people can do it, so can we.

And as for love -- the theme this month.  Love
definitely makes the world go 'round.  It is
the most fulfilling feeling.  And you don't need
a special other person to share love.  You just
need to be a loving being, and voila -- there it is.
Love knocking on your door, asking to what?  Oh
no! -- make you happy. 

So come on make some Valentine's hearts, make
some plans to treat the ones you love, call a friend,
call your family.  And a miraculous thing will happen.
Even if you are the worst skeptic, a doom and gloomer,
you will feel happy.  Walk with a happier step, smile
at the people in the grocery store line.  Improve the
planet's chances.  I thank you in advance."

Have a loving your world day.

Sunday, February 2, 2020

Big Portrait going into the Heliconian Life Drawing Show


You can't keep a good man down
Acrylic ink and acrylic on canvas
36 x 48 inches
Barbara Muir © 2020

Please come out Saturday to see this work in person.  It
has been a big job getting it done.  It is acrylic ink on
canvas, and is my contribution to the Life Drawing Show.

If you are in Toronto please come out to the Heliconian
Club at 35 Hazelton Ave. on Saturday February 8 between
1 - 4 p.m. to see some beautiful work.

Delivery is in the early a.m. tomorrow, so I'm going to bed.

Have a doing what you love day.

Saturday, February 1, 2020

Big News -- New show in New York City!


Two of my paintings on view until today at the Amsterdam Whitney Gallery, NYC,
have fallen in love with New York City, and are moving on to a new
show for February.  See the ad for the show above.

The Heart of the Neighbourhood 
Acrylic on canvas
30 x 30 inches
Barbara Muir © 2019

The Light of My Life 
Acrylic on canvas
30 x 30 inches
Barbara Muir © 2019

Apelles Zhou who is a wonderful artist, curated the exhibition Victory of Light,
and it seems perfect for February, the Month of Love, the movement towards
spring, and what the world needs right now when there is so much troubling news.

If you are in New York City, next weekend, or in the month of February,
please head over and check it out!  I am so happy about this.

Have a loving going to art shows 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: barbara.muir@sympatico.ca
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!