Sunday, February 28, 2021

Missing my Dad on his birthday in the Month of Love


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 -- and I miss him so much.  He died when
our oldest son was a toddler.  This portrait is my Dad in what he would
consider almost casual clothes. He was a very dressed up person.  He'd
probably be shocked at my clothes, mostly worn for painting -- covered
with paint, ripped at the elbow, worn out.

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 up, he enjoyed us more and more.  I'm going to explain
how I feel about him by quoting what I wrote some years ago.

"It's appropriate on this 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

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.

Saturday, February 27, 2021

Love of the country in The Month of Love

Stop a farmhouse!
watercolour on watercolour paper
8 x 10 inches
Barbara Muir © 2011

I love this painting -- a watercolour that expresses the joy I feel driving through
the country anywhere I’ve been in Canada. There is a vibrancy in the light and
shadow in this piece that I like. And there’s an obvious love of the look of
farm houses.

I’ve been feeling compelled to see both the light at the end of the day, and the lake.
It gives me hope in this hard time. Each time we go for a drive Steven asks me whether
we should go west or east? I always say west because a 15 minute drive along the lake
takes us to a beautiful park, where we can see the geese, ducks, and swans that we love.

We did that today.  Getting out into nature reminds me of how much I love 
this time of year.  February is almost over -- but the love will continue.  I hope
you can get out into nature this weekend, and I look forward to a time when
we can take a drive through the countryside outside of Toronto. 

Friday, February 26, 2021

Drawing for a future painting

Before the wedding (work in progress)
Marker on drawing paper
5.5 x 8.5
Barbara Muir © 2021

On a trip to Ottawa to see relatives before COVID, Steven and I met a group of
women in the lobby of the hotel we were staying in. They were waiting for
a ride to a wedding.

The bride was beautiful, and her two bridesmaids were very excited.
A relative (maybe an older sister) was clearly concerned about the time.
And for a portrait artist, these beautiful women in gorgeous off the
shoulder satin dresses, holding gorgeous bouquets of flowers was
a magical subject.  

I asked if I could photograph them, and they agreed.  I have the 
reference photos I printed when I got back to Toronto, but I need
to find my original photos for better reference on the details when I
do a painting. 

It's wonderful to think about life when travel was easy, and we
could meet people anywhere and have a conversation.

Thursday, February 25, 2021

It starts with me and you

Dreaming of someday
marker on 
Maison de hautes couleurs paper
6 x 8 inches

For about a week now I’ve had the urge to sort. That isn’t my norm – I normally
like to pretend that somehow the mess in my studio, and all over the house will
magically just go away. But on the rare occasions when I get the urge to look at
some of what I've accumulated, I go for it, knowing the urge could vanish any

This sketch of a tired me – a self portrait makes me happy. I can see that I am
dressed up because there’s jewellery at my neck. An artist's regular work clothes
tend to be ripped, paint splattered sweaters and jeans. No jewels. Nothing that
could get harmed by paint, or water, or any other substance in the studio.

So what do I mean that it starts with you and me? I mean we have to take charge
of our moods. In the past week I've been noticing the light. Steven and I are
getting to the lake, even to hear the sound of water if the sun has already set, after
his workday. We're listening to music, dancing when the mood hits us, and trying
 to enjoy everything we can enjoy in the moment.

That’s what it means it starts with me and you. If I decide that I can be happy, and
there is anything at all to be happy about, then it is time to take hold of my life. If
I can share anything that gives me joy with you, believe me I will. I hope you like
this tired portrait. I do because I know it means that I was either teaching, or had
just been to an opening. And as tired as I sometimes get with my once a week night
class, I enjoy it so much, and it makes me happy.  I can’t wait until I can see my
students in person again.  

And as for the fatigue that comes after a great exhibition reception, with people
drinking champagne and talking about the work -- bring it on! (Not yet -- when
it's safe.)

Have a dreaming of someday day

Wednesday, February 24, 2021

In praise of small

I'd like that please!
Acrylic on watercolour paper
4 1/2 x 6 1/2 inches
Barbara Muir © 

I've noticed that some of my favourite artists occasionally do small
work.  Working at a small size is a great way of getting into gear,
and figuring things out.  I love large art. I love walking into a 
gallery, and being overwhelmed, and awed by a massive piece of
artwork.  But in the continued practice, sometimes small is good

I found this sweet portrait of my son Sam today -- he was such a
kind boy, and my available model for years.  Would I work the 
same way on a large piece?  I'm not sure.  I could include more
in the background, and maybe even another person.  But I love
this.  I love the cardinal, which was and is one of my favourite
birds -- a symbol of happiness for me.

Have a working on whatever size of art pleases you at the

Tuesday, February 23, 2021


Untitled (work in progress)
Acrylic on canvas
12 x 12 inches
Barbara Muir © 2021

It’s easy to get stalled creatively in these scary times. I talked to a friend today
who said that he was of two minds -- first there was a constant cloud of fear
hanging over him (COVID -19 and the new variants, and then his rational mind
said that, 'probably everything will be all right.' When it comes to trying to be
creative we have to push that cloud of fear away, and allow ourselves to just begin.

Today I cleaned up the studio because I had a clear understanding that
I want to be living my proper artist's life as much as possible. This is where my
happiness lies.

I started work on this portrait of an artist friend.  It's not done -- but the images
of flowers, the lake and clouds have been surfacing in my dreams every night.
This is how far I got today. I had so much fun.  So my message to myself
is, "just start!" 

Monday, February 22, 2021

The lost ones in the Month of Love

Constant Inspiration 
Acrylic and faux gold leaf on canvas
8 x 8 inches
Barbara Muir © 2019
(I'll try and get a better photo

For many people this month, there are people we love who are
gone forever, and still our love lives on.  We miss them, think of
them, love them and wish they were here. 

My niece Chloé, who inspired this painting is one of the people 
lost to our family two years ago, too soon -- way too soon. 
She was brilliant, funny, beautiful, and I think of her every time I walk
by this painting in my studio.

I wish we could know when we are living on this planet, how 
much we mean to the people who love us.  Would it change
our life story? Maybe not.  But it might.

Please everyone -- stay safe, stay healthy, and stay happy.
This virus is not gone. Wear a mask, social distance, and 
do everything you can to keep yourself and the people who
love you safe.  

Sunday, February 21, 2021

Wanted — some happiness

At the edge of Lake Ontario
Barbara Muir © 2021

For everyone around the world going through hard times I  feel for you. Today
 I woke up determined to be happy. I taught positive psychology, and I follow
 many people who put great ideas about how to be happy online.

So before I even had my first coffee I declared to myself that, "this would be
the happiest day of my life. My life so far." As soon as I said it, and told
Steven that that was my plan, I did feel happy – it was like a miracle. 

We had a pretty normal Sunday except that we moved things around. It was
my idea to head out mid day to go to our favourite beach and see the geese,
swans and ducks. In lockdown and a pandemic it’s easy to sink into depression
 about all that’s missing. But on a good day I think about what's working. We
can be all by ourselves at the edge of the lake feeding the water birds. What a pleasure.

Then we sat in the car, ate delicious sandwiches looking out at the lake, and
drank the decaf coffee we brought with us. A few small clementines finished off
the wonderful lunch and we were on our back way back home and back to the
work we had to finish.

I’m hoping I’ll figure out how to post one of the videos I took of the birds – such
 a wonderful group -- busy today and very hungry.

Saturday, February 20, 2021

Discovering more inspiration in the Month of Love

Sketchbook sketch
charcoal on paper
Israel Covarrubias © 2021

There’s no question about it people are very, very tired of this
pandemic. In Toronto the lockdown is now continuing until March 8
at least. My last once a week class in person as a community College
teacher was on March 9, 2020. A year ago on this date we really didn’t
know what was going to hit us, but it has.

That’s why discovering art by artists I haven’t known about before
is so inspiring. I’m showing a drawing tonight by the artist Israel E.
Covarrubias, a Mexican artist. I love this drawing. I love the mood, the
technique, everything about it.

I don’t know the title for the work. It is beautiful. I hope someday when this
pandemic is over that I can get to meet the artist, and all of the other
wonderful artists I've met in this strange year.

You can see Israel's work on Instagram at

Friday, February 19, 2021

Drawing today

The teacher teaches

marker sketch 
5.5 x 8.5 inches
Barbara Muir © 2021

Today I'm showing you a drawing of me as the teacher. 
I have a look when I draw from one of my course videos.
I'm not sure how to describe it.  But a quick sketch is probably
better than a thousand words. Lol. If I stop a video to draw I
hardly recognize the person I create.  But I know it's me.  

I have a large canvas getting prepped in the studio, and soon I'll
have a painting to show you. Meanwhile drawing is definitely one
 of my passions.  So here's a little sketch of the artist as teacher.

Have a loving what you do day.

Blogging for 13 years -- a joyous anniversary!

Before the Dance
Acrylic on canvas
4 x 6 feet
Barbara Muir © 2008
(The painting on my first

This is the 13th year celebration for the first day of my blog!
It's such a wonderful anniversary.  I have been part
of the blog world for 13 years, and it's been a fantastic
experience. There is no question in my mind that these
past 13 years have been the best years in my life hands 

My blog won me incredible media attention. It got me onto
the Oprah Winfrey show via Skype. I have been so lucky to have both
and newspaper and magazine recognition for my work in Canada, and
in Europe, to be invited to show in international 
exhibitions in Paris, Florence,
the Netherlands and New York City.  Plus it's helped me make friends with
artists and art collectors all over the world. 

Being involved in international shows has given me wonderful
friendships with all of the 
people I showed with in major exhibitions.
These past 13 years have been an extra special time 
filled with inspiration,
amazing opportunities, and so much fun!

I am so grateful. Thank you blog world, and Flora my friend
who introduced me to the world of blogging, Christopher, my son,
who helped 
me start blogging, and to everyone who has supported this blog
to the point of 639204 + hits, on 2770 blogs!  Thank you. Thank you.
Thank you one million! (We'll get there!)

Wednesday, February 17, 2021

Super friends in the Month of Love

Marcia in sunlight
watercolour sketch on
watercolour paper
8 x 11 inches
Barbara Muir © 

It seems like an endless activity, but in my free moments I’ve been sorting
through the shelves of one of the bookcases in my studio. I found this portrait
of my good friend and one of my favourite artists — Marcia LaBelle Cohen.
I’m not sure when it was painted.  And although I really like the painting for
its loose, quick quality --it is not the best likeness of my gorgeous friend.

Still I like the piece's cheery feeling, and felt happy when I found it tonight. I
hope that someday I do an excellent portrait of Marcia. She is lucky to own
portraits of herself by famous artists who have caught her magnificent beauty

I sometimes dream of doing wonderful portraits of all my artist friends, but
at the moment that remains an idea. It is a good time for dreaming, a good
time for ideas, and an excellent time to sort through the work that’s already done.

Have a loving your friends and discoveries day.

Tuesday, February 16, 2021

More Family Day thoughts

Tea on the couch
Acrylic on birch panel
6 x 8 inches
Barbara Muir © 2014

Tidying the studio today I found this sweet painting from the reference shots for
 the beautiful family in my painting last night. One of the things I loved
about this painting was the distortion in the family's reference photos. You can
see that the teapot, and milk carton dominate the front of the frame.

The painting takes me back to the time when I was working on the Times Tables
series. I love the thoughtful look on the girl's face. Seven years later she must be
 a teenager, and I’d love to start a new series.

We finally have typical winter snow here in Toronto. Our thoughts have been
turning to the people experiencing the extreme snow and cold in the United
States stretching all the way to the Gulf of Mexico on the eastern U.S. coast.
I’m hoping that the snow melts soon,  and the heat returns. We know you’re
not prepared, and shouldn't have to be for what we see as normal winter.
Stay safe and stay healthy.

Monday, February 15, 2021

Happy Family Day Ontario

Let's get this party started!
First in the Times Tables series
Acrylic on canvas
30 x 30 inches
Barbara Muir © 2013
(One of my all time favourite
paintings because the family
is so happy, and because they were
wonderful models in a hard
time in my life.)

This was another special day, although a bit hard, because we can't
see any family who don't live in our house.  It is Family Day in Ontario,
Canada. Still we managed to visit our immediate families yesterday
and today, and loved seeing them even masked and at a distance. 
Friends in the U.S. have had the vaccine.  I can't wait.

If it wasn't Family Day where you live, hug your family, or give them
a call.  We need each other now -- loving each other will make us stay
safe, social distance, wear a mask, and eventually all of the fun of 
our former life will come back.  

Love to my family, and you my friends, and to my art, blogging,
Facebook, Instagram family.

Sunday, February 14, 2021

Happy Valentine's Day you wonderful people!

Valentine's card
based on two of my
Barbara Muir © 2014

My message today is short and sweet.  I wish you a very Happy Valentine's
Day.  If you are alone, hug yourself, and treat yourself to something special.
If you have someone to love, wonderful.  

Steven just served a lovely dinner with candles, and a good tablecloth on the
table.  We toasted one another with our favourite wine, and enjoyed our meal.

It was a beautiful day, and we got out to our favourite park -- where the geese
were very hungry, so we fed them. The little pond that never freezes, had
completely iced over in our below zero weather, and people were skating and
playing hockey on the pond -- something I've never seen in all of our years
visiting the park.

Happy Valentine's Day.  I love your work, I love your messages, I love
your posts on the blog, Facebook and Instagram.  Let's keep the love

Saturday, February 13, 2021

Happy Day before Valentine's Day

True love means springtime
 in any weather
Acrylic on canvas
8 x 8 inches
Barbara Muir © 2012

On this day before Valentine's Day I wish everyone the love that
they need in their lives.  Steven and I had a Valentine Read -- traveling
through time reading about our Valentine's Days on my blog.  Often we
actually travel on this weekend, frequently going to Ottawa to visit my brother.
He lives in Chelsea across the Quebec border.  Not this year.

Turns out I have loved the day since I was a little girl when my mother
used to make us chocolate fudge for Valentine's Day, wrap it in white paper, 
glue on a red felt heart, and leave this treat at our place at the table for us to
discover at breakfast. My family now are not early morning people, even
if they have to be up then, so our festivities usually happen at lunch or

My whole family loves the day, and loves hearts -- down to the youngest
who is only 18 months old.

In a world filled with turmoil, it has never been more important to
be kind and loving.  And of course that's always been important. 

Friday, February 12, 2021

Valentine's Day weekend begins

Reading with Heart

Acrylic on canvas
8 x 8 inches
Barbara Muir © 2010

Sitting on a shelf in my kitchen I have the original painting of this subject.
I am so busy most of the time, that I just glance at it.  What I didn't remember 
until tonight when I picked it up to check the date, was that I painted
2 versions of this painting.  The first (the one I still own) Reading
in the kitchen,
 I painted in 2009 of my wonderful model, Shakoya. 
She is dressed in a formal, supposedly getting ready to go out to a
dance, and reading a magazine.  I asked myself tonight, "where's the heart ?"
-- because there isn't one.  Plus the flowers and the chair, and even the cup
are different.

The version I'm showing you tonight Reading with Heart is the second one,
created to be donated to a fund raising event, the Heartbeats of Africa show in
2010, an auction held for the Stephen Lewis Foundation to help buy antiretroviral
drugs for people suffering from AIDS in Africa.

I'd forgotten about this.  After I saw Stephen Lewis speak about this work
on AIDS in Africa at the University of Toronto, years ago, I knew
his work was important.  

Happy Valentine's Day weekend. 

Have a loving each other day.

Thursday, February 11, 2021

Missing the Louvre in the Month of Love


The Louvre and a
woman posing as a
sculpture in Paris

Barbara Muir © 2015

This photo of the Louvre is so nostalgic for me. Do you see the woman standing like
a statue on a platform? The Louvre is one of the most famous art museums in the world,
and they do cool things, like leave sculpture plinths out for visitors to pose on. I met and
photographed this family, and they were so much fun. The whole neighbourhood where the 
Louvre is, is so alive — so much going on. You cross the Pont des Arts over the Seine 
and you are in an area packed with cafés, restaurants, charming stores, and galleries.

The woman who posed
on the plinth at the
Louvre (center)
with her family.
Barbara Muir © 2015 

We’ve stayed in a lovely apartment hotel in Paris both times that I exhibited in the Carousel 
Du Louvre, in the basement of the Louvre. I was thinking about that show today — the last
time I exhibited there was in 2016. And that was the last time I saw one of my best friends, the
wonderful artist Miranda Brouwers, who I talk to on the phone every Thursday. Wow we had
a wonderful time. 

The Louvre
Barbara Muir © 2016

Of course these memories are especially precious today, when we can’t know when travel 
will be possible again. Until then — 3 cheers for the Louvre, 3 cheers for Paris, and 3 cheers
the kind art directors at E editore in Rome, Italy for making that show in Paris affordable,
transporting my 
work from Italy to Paris, and shipping it home to me where it sold! 

Have a loving your happy life stories day!

Wednesday, February 10, 2021

Loving the seasons in The Month of Love

Autumn feeling

Watercolour on 
Arches watercolour paper
14 x 19 inches
Barbara Muir ©  

The Month of Love in Toronto, Canada is one of the coldest months of the year
Today with the wind chill it was -12 Celsius (10 degrees Fahrenheit). And yet I
love living where there are four seasons. I talk to my sister who lives in Los Angeles,
California, and she says that she looks out of her balcony and sees flowering trees
lining the streets. I remember visiting California in February, and I know that it's
beautiful, but I'd miss the changes in the seasons.

The other day we went to our favourite park and it was so cold that we walked quickly
to the lake, looked to the west to the beautiful sunset, listened to the waves for a minute,
and hurried back to the car. But while I was out on the shore staring at the sunset I felt
nostalgic for the season we were living in. That sounds crazy doesn’t it? But I thought,
"winter will be over soon, and I'll miss it." Of course when spring comes my winter
nostalgia vanishes – spring is so magnificent.

I found this watercolour when I was sorting out my reference drawer yesterday. It’s
almost an abstract painting of the fall season, and I love it for that. As I said to my friend,
the wonderful artist Flora Doehler when I was speaking to her on the phone tonight,
"I’m not great at abstraction, it’s not how I think." But I love the abstract feeling of this piece.

Have a loving the season you’re in day.

Tuesday, February 9, 2021

Discoveries in the month of love

Watercolour on
Arches paper
15 x 19 inches
Barbara Muir ©

While talking to a very funny friend of mine today, I started sorting out
the drawer that holds large reference photos for paintings, printed by the
wonderful printer Chris, at St. Clair Printing and Graphics.

There were hundreds of photos and I was looking for a specific reference
for a painting I’m working on now. I found a photos that will help. And
bonus I found this beautiful watercolour. I have no idea when I did it, but I love it.

This still life is everything I love -- the feeling of sunlight,  abundance,
and joy – what could be more important in the month of love?

Wishing you a joyous day, and lots of wonderful and amazing discoveries.

Let night fall -- a sweet end to a good day in The Month of Love


Night in the backyard

Barbara Muir © 2021

Today is a teaching day.  That means I run my night class in writing and
presentation from 6:15, to 9:15.  Right now this class with wonderful
people who I see on Zoom is a life saver.  I get to be with students, to
talk, teach and of course, to learn -- all the time.

After class we eat our dinner, and by that time, I am tired.  Even though
my students had a test today, and we hardly spent any time together, I
feel like I taught the whole night, because they were on my mind, and
I was waiting for their calls.  When some students did call for advice,
or clarification I felt happy.  In fact I was just writing this -- and a 
student called.  

I guess what I mean by all this, is that I am lucky to have social 
interactions in this lonely time.  Artists work alone most of the time,
and count on exhibition openings for their social time, but those
are not happening.  

The picture is of our yard at night.  

Wishing you a joyous day creating. 

Sunday, February 7, 2021

The art store in the month of love

Cocoa spoon with Clementine
peeling, a piece of Clementine
and a paper towel

Marker and ball point pen
on Fabriano drawing paper
5.5 x 8.5 inches
Barbara Muir © 2021

One of my favourite things to do is to go to my art store – De Serres near Eglinton
and Yonge. I love the people in there, and have been picking up my supplies for
years at that location. Now of course that’s not possible.I can’t go browsing through
the aisles seeing what I'd like.

But the store is still amazing. Yesterday I called in an order and the wonderful
Natasha asked if I trusted her to pick out the items for me. "Yes," I said.
"Of course I do." When I arrived Heather the best framer anywhere and an
awesome artist was at the door. She handed me a paper bag, I opened it, and
there neatly packed was everything I'd asked for.

One item was an amazing notebook that I couldn’t even have dreamed of. I
brought it home and was so inspired I began drawing. Here’s a sample.

Have a loving to draw day.

Saturday, February 6, 2021

The Month of Love — artist friends

The King's Breakfast 
Acrylic on canvas
24 x 24 inches
Barbara Muir © 2015
(One of my favourite still
life paintings.  And it's available.
Below inspiration from
one of the best.)

Still Life with a White Mug
Oil on canvas
13 1/6 x 16 1/4 inches
© Jean Baptiste Simeon Chardin
c. 1764

Talking to my friend and wonderful artist, Marcia Labelle this morning, I
told her that I'd been playing Trivial Pursuit on my phone.  I do that maybe
once a week.  She laughed, and I explained that I've learned a lot this way. 
I only choose the category Arts and Literature.  Aside from learning new facts 
about my favourite subjects, I do enjoy seeing how much I already know, and 
also how good I am at guessing.

For instance I now know that the Louvre Museum in Paris (where I've
exhibited in the Carousel du Louvre twice) opened in1793, which I think
is an amazing and surprising fact.  And Marcia told me that the painter
Chardin had an apartment there.  I looked it up as we were talking, and it
was true.  He lived there before the museum opened.

Among other subjects Chardin painted still lifes.  I found one that
I liked a lot.  I like still life subjects that are not pre-arranged.  That's
why I've painted images of meals, and drawn the table after the
meal, with the plates, the crumpled up napkins, and some disarray.

I liked this painting I'm showing you today by Chardin.  It looks almost
casual.  And I didn't know that people in his time even drank out of
mugs.  I always imagined them having their coffee in fine china cups.

Marcia said that our goal during this pandemic, however long it lasts,
has to be to spread excitement and laughter, not COVID.  We laughed
and I agreed.  No wonder we are friends.  What a great way to start
the day.

Friday, February 5, 2021

The mighty Clementine in the Month of Love

Clementines dancing in 
the sunlight
Acrylic Ink, watercolour,
marker and watercolour crayon on
watercolour paper
9 x 12 inches
Barbara Muir © 2021

A surprising fact I found out this year about the delicious Clementine,
is that eating them reduces your stress.  I told this to a neighbour up the
street with two young children schooling online during lockdown, while she and
her husband work from home, and she said, "Good.  I think I'll go home and
eat three!"

They are also beautiful, and I've painted so many paintings of them.  This
sketch was partially inspired by the book Beautiful Oops by Barney Saltzberg
which I shared with a young artist in our family the other day. 

Before I started the drawing I didn't check whether the marker would bleed when I 
painted over it.  It did, and if I hadn't just read the book Beautiful Oops, I might 
have stopped.  But I ate a clementine, calmed down and kept going.  Magenta is
not my favourite colour, but I like what happened.  And experimenting is
particularly fun in this time of Lockdown.

In Toronto we are almost finished clementine season.  Even though it's
snowing outside, I think that means we're moving closer to spring! I love
the fruit, how it looks, the taste, and hey! All good.

Have a making something day.

Thursday, February 4, 2021

Loving drawing

Kitchen stuff
Marker on sketchbook paper
5.5 x 8.5
Barbara Muir © 2021

The Month of Love certainly feels like a good turning point in the year.
Last night I had the fantastic idea of trying to draw 100 sketches in a day.
Possible? Yes if I worked for eight hours straight, and did a drawing every
4. 8 minutes, I could do it. But each drawing might be a scribble.  Still I
liked the idea.  At some point while I was sleeping reason must have taken
over. I woke up and thought, 'Really? What would be the point of that?'

The good thing about the whole idea was how excited I got about the self
imposed challenge.  It felt like this intense idea was a breakthrough. I
was so hyped by the concept.  This morning I talked to a friend, an artist
in The Netherlands, and she had drawn 8 beautiful drawings of cats in
one evening while she was watching TV!  What? So amazing.

But when reason took over for me I decided that it would be better to
just draw all day. I’d see what I got done, and devote as much time as
 I wanted to each drawing.  That turned out to be a great idea, but in a
day filled with delightful interruptions and other work demands, I did
not draw all day. I did draw, and hey -- I am happy because of my crazy
brain and its deliciously ambitious thoughts.

One Clementine with
dramatic dried leaves
Marker on sketchbook paper
5.5 x 8.5 inches
Barbara Muir © 2021

Here are a couple of things I did. But I must say it was fun. 

Plate border
Marker on sketchbook paper
5.5 x 8 inches
Barbara Muir © 2021

And that is creativity for you

Have a loving your life day.

Wednesday, February 3, 2021

Lockdown sanity — the beautiful Fiona

Acrylic on mounted birch panel
5 x 7 inches
Barbara Muir © 2014

In the month of love everything that helps us keep going in Lockdown
matters. This beautiful cat, Fiona, our Siamese cat, is warm, affectionate,
insistent on going outside even in below zero temperatures for half a
minute here and there. That means that I go out on the back porch
 just to make her happy. And when I do I look around at the nature
in our neighbourhood, and immediately I’m filled with wonder at the
trees, the birds fluttering in and out of the Christmas tree Steven has tied
to the fence and filled with birdseed. So I’m very grateful.

If you have animals you’ll know that they have routines of their own --
they know their dinner should be at six.  Plus they learn your routines,
and no way should your routines change.  I think they even know what
should happen on which days of the week.  

Speaking of their habit of memorizing our habits -- it's TV time
now, and I have to go or Fiona, our cat Timbah, and our dog Sally
will all be upset.  But Fiona is the spokesperson for the pack.  So
talk to you tomorrow.

Have a loving your pets day.

Tuesday, February 2, 2021

The Month of Love -- missing my art group

My friend Peter
Portrait sketch
14 x 16 inches
acrylic on canvas
Barbara Muir © 2010

Before the pandemic Tuesday night was the night I met with my
art group to draw and paint from a model.  I loved it.  The charge from 
spending as little time as an hour with the group inspired
me in so many ways.  Seeing how people paint, listening to
conversations about art shows that were happening, the laughter,
jokes, and wonderful friends I've made -- make me happy to 
be an artist. For the past few semesters my once a week evening
class was on Tuesday so I couldn't go. And now we’re in lockdown
and can’t meet as a group at all. 

The painting tonight is a quick portrait sketch I did of an artist friend,
who was part of the Tuesday night group, Peter Adam. He posed
one night when the model didn’t show up. I think my admiration for
his amazing art comes through in this fast study. I love the painting.

Have a loving your life day. 

Monday, February 1, 2021

Happy Month of Love!

Lovebird acting as a banner.
The original (on the left) is 
Acrylic on canvas
8 x 8 inches
Barbara Muir © 2018

What a Happy Day! The first day of the Month of Love. A few
years ago, thinking about Valentine's Day being in the middle of
February, I started talking about the month as the Month of Love.
I love that idea.  To start the month off right I gave Steven a
Valentine's Card on his lunch break. And he was touched, even
though he knows me, and knows I am crazy about this month.

We took down the Christmas wreaths.  The Christmas tree went 
out in the backyard a week ago, and Steven covers it with birdseed.
The birds love it, and it is always filled with birds -- making it a
living Christmas tree.  

Now it's time for hearts, and lots of them.  I love hearts and so
does one of the youngest members of our family. I usually
do a painting for a new Valentine's card, and I have put that
on my To Do list.  

Wishing you a month filled with love.  Stay safe, stay 
healthy, and stay happy!

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!