Tuesday, May 31, 2022

Entries in the Food for Thought exhibition beginning tomorrow


Upper left corner: Stand Back for the Pie Acrylic on canvas 24 x 24 inches Barbara Muir © 2013
(First place in the show)
Upper right corner: 
The King's Breakfast Acrylic on canvas 24 x 24 inches Barbara Muir © 2015
Lower left corner: Good news Clementines with Lemon friends Acrylic on cradled birch panel 8 x 8 inches Barbara Muir © 2019 
Lower right corner: Breakfast at the Skylight Diner, NYC Acrylic on canvas 30 x 30 inches Barbara Muir © 2014

The San Fernando Valley Arts and Cultural Center's Food For Thought
virtual exhibition starts tomorrow, June 1.  I will send out the link tomorrow.
I have five entries in the show, and won First Place with my painting 
Stand Back For The Pie. 

I put four of the pieces in the show together in the image above, and
the fifth is my painting Breakfast In The Hotel, below. It is an excellent
show -- so much fantastic work -- and I'm proud to be part of it.

Breakfast in the hotel
Acrylic on canvas
6 X 8 Feet
 © Barbara Muir

Look for the link to the show in tomorrow's post. Thank you to all the organizers.
And your kind support means so much to me -- everyone who follows my blog and
comments. Thank you so much!

Have a loving what you do day.

Sunday, May 29, 2022


Garden Treasure
Acrylic ink on 
watercolour paper
5.5 x 8.5 inches
Barbara Muir © 2022 

Do you ever put things away in a rush when someone's
coming over?  No? Good for you.  I do, and then there's
the post visit search, or as almost no one has been over
during COVID. No post search, and I just found this
painting of nasturtiums in my briefcase!

Good. We are on a short break from work, while Steven
relaxes for the next week, so finding hidden treasure is
especially wonderful. 

Wishing you a joyous day.

Friday, May 27, 2022

Quick paint the pansies!

Front Porch Pansies
Acrylic Ink on
Watercolour Paper
5.5 x 8.5 inches
Barbara Muir © 2022

I was working on this pansy painting tonight.
We've been lucky with a cool spring, because pansies
are a bit like this artist -- they hate the heat.  So before
the high heat of June comes in I am working on 
finishing a few more pansy paintings.

I think I learned to love these flowers from my
mother.  But another source of inspiration, as I've
said before, was a superb drawing teacher I had when
I studied art.  He was a high realist of sombre, even
grim topics,  but each year he took a break to enjoy
the beauty of pansies, in many watercolour paintings.
I loved them, and although he is no longer with us,
I think of him every spring.

Have a loving what you do day. 

Thursday, May 26, 2022


Breakfast at the Skylight Diner, NYC
Acrylic on canvas
30 x 30 inches
Barbara Muir © 2014

Breakfast at the Skylight Diner, NYC was also accepted into
 Food For Thought virtual exhibition put on by the
San Fernando Valley Arts & Cultural Center in California.
I am so excited and happy to be included in this virtual show
that begins on June 1st. 

I'll put the link to the show and 
the virtual reception on
June 4 here for 
you when I receive it.

Have a loving your work day.

Wednesday, May 25, 2022

On the easel

Acrylic on canvas
24 x 24 inches
Barbara Muir © 2022 

On an off and on the easel.  I am working on this, and
thought I'd show you a detail.  None of it is finished, and
everything could change in a blink of an eye. (Forgive
the cliché.)  I am still devastated by the news from Texas, 
and Buffalo, and all over the world.

When I feel at a loss for the state of the world, I head to
the lake, and it is always an inspiration. Nature knows
what it sometimes seems we don't understand.

Have a finding your inspiration day.

Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Heartbroken for the people of Uvalde, Texas, and Buffalo, New York

Cottage Flowers
Acrylic on canvas
12 x 12 inches
Barbara Muir © 2012

There are no words for how sad I am tonight to learn that a man
broke into an elementary school today killing 19 students, and 3 teachers.
These numbers may change, but the heartbreak is horrific.  

I am showing a painting of flowers in respect for the parents, and
families so horribly affected.

Take care of one another.

Monday, May 23, 2022

Another entry in Food For Thought plus First Place for Stand Back For The Pie!

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

The Kings's Breakfast is another painting that was accepted
into the Food For Thought virtual exhibition put on by the
San Fernando Valley Arts & Cultural Center in California.

The most exciting news I discovered yesterday, and was 
officially made public today is that I was awarded the 
First Place award for the painting in Saturday's post --
Stand Back For The Pie.  Wow! I am so excited and 
delighted.  The virtual show begins on June 1st, and 
I will tell you more as I get more information about
links for the show, and the virtual reception on June 4.

I am very grateful to the exhibition organizers and 
the juror, Terry Romero Paul. 

Have a loving your work day.

Sunday, May 22, 2022

Some highlights and Happy Monthaversary

Untitled (work in progress)
Acrylic on cradled birch panel
12 x 12 inches
Barbara Muir © 2022

Do you and whoever you love celebrate Monthaversaries?  We do.
Today was the Monthaversary of our first date.  So we wish each other
a great day, and it was one. Very cold today after yesterday's heat, 
which meant we could go for a long walk in our favourite park
on the west end of the city.  And of course we fed the geese, ducks,
seagulls and swans. They were very hungry.

This painting is a work in progress.  So you may see it again, with
even more progress.  I know I've said it before -- but Steven and I 
absolutely love clementines, and take them with us whenever we 
go out. They are a treat, and so beautiful.

Have a loving what you do day.

Saturday, May 21, 2022

Stand Back for the Pie gets some very positive feedback

Stand Back for the Pie
Acrylic on canvas
24 x 24 inches
Barbara Muir © 2013

I picked up this painting today from friends who were storing it for me,
and on the way home showed it to people in our favourite food
store, to friends at our favourite take out restaurant, and to wonderful
neighbours.The funny thing was that everyone asked me where I got it, and
when I said I painted it, they were very impressed. How fun!

This painting is one of five works of mine that will be in the Food for Thought
virtual exhibition that starts on June 1. Read about it in my blog post yesterday.

I'll be sharing more about the show this week.

Have a loving what you do day.

Friday, May 20, 2022

My work is in the San Fernando Valley Arts & Cultural Center Exhibition

I'm so happy that five of my paintings on the theme of food have been
accepted into this juried virtual show -- Food for Thought.  I'll be telling
you more about it over the next few days.  There will be a virtual reception on
Zoom on Saturday, June 4, and I'll keep you updated with the details of how to
join if you're interested.  I couldn't be more excited about this wonderful news.
Have an enjoying your art life day.

Thursday, May 19, 2022

More than 3000 blog posts! Yes. Thank you for being there for me

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

When I first started blogging in February, 2008 I could never have
predicted that I would  hit the 3000 blogs published mark.
And what a wonderful journey it's been!  There's no question in my
mind that writing this blog has been a blessing.

I would not have shown in New York, Florence, Paris, The 
Netherlands without the blog. Oprah found me through the 
blog.  And I have made and kept some wonderful friends 
through the blog. So I am grateful.  I think tonight's
post makes it 3012! Wow. Thank you to everyone who has
read my blog, invited me to shows, commented on the blog,
been my friend, shown me endlessly wonderful art.
Thank you.

Have a loving your life day.

Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Great night with my art group

Art group sketch
Acrylic on canvas
14 x 18 inches
Barbara Muir © 2022

 Last night was a good night with my art group. The model was excellent,
 and also funny. He asked if we were drawing his mouth, because he
wanted to do a quiz with us. We said he could go ahead, and it was interesting
and fun. After setting up I think I only had about 35 minutes to sketch this
because I arrived at the time of a break, and there was one more break in
the hour I had before my husband came to pick me up. But I felt so energize
by being with friends who are artists. And there's no comparison to drawing
someone live.

This was my third time back with the group. There were not too many people
there and everyone wore masks, which made me feel more comfortable.
The virus has really changed life as an artist. And I appreciate every possible
chance to feel somewhat normal again.

Have an enjoying your life day.

Tuesday, May 17, 2022

Honouring the companion on my easel

One of the best
(Michael Gibson)

Acrylic on canvas
24 x 24 inches
Barbara Muir © 2022

This painting of Michael Gibson is finished (for today).  As so
often happens when I think I'm finished a painting, details and
changes leap out at me, and want me to keep working. I will.
But for now, it is done.

I started this painting at a time when the possibility of a live
model was not a thing.  I watched a video of Michael,
and took some still shots.  True -- painting from captured video stills
was not ideal. But I absolutely love Michael Gibson's work, and
originally hoped to emulate his style. I soon realized that was
impossible.  He is a genius. Plus I much prefer to work in paint.

So I may show the piece to you again if I do more.  For now
the point has been to honour the work of one of my artistic
sources of inspiration.  Michael Gibson is continuously
inspiring.  And the stories he posts with his art are vital
and moving. Thank you Michael.  

Have an honouring your heroes day.

Monday, May 16, 2022

Almost done

One of the best
(Michael Gibson)

Acrylic on canvas
24 x 24 inches
Barbara Muir © 2022

Tonight I'm showing you my portrait of Michael Gibson, a
graphic artist whose work I admire so much.  With his 
permission I took a few shots from a video he showed on
Instagram, and have been slowly, slowly working on
his portrait ever since.

Michael is such a magnificent artist.  Check out his work, you
will love it. Tomorrow I hope to show you the finished work,
properly photographed. 

Have a painting who you admire day.

Sunday, May 15, 2022

An exciting day

Mauve over everybody!
Acrylic ink on watercolour paper
5.5 x 8.5 inches
Barbara Muir © 2022

I recently applied to be in a juried art show in California, called
Food for Thought.  I entered six food paintings and five of the 
six were accepted! Seriously I am very happy.  It's a virtual show,
and I'll tell you more before it's available.

Today was a knock out beautiful day in every way here in Toronto. 
Steven and I went to the lake and walked on a quiet path.  A miracle
because so many people were out celebrating the gorgeous spring. It
was hot! Which is funny, because two weeks ago it was cold!
And apparently colder days are coming again.

I worked on this painting, and it seems to be finished.  You never
know -- until you do.

Have a loving your work day.

Saturday, May 14, 2022

I want you back again!


Fall blooming Anemones in our little garden
 -- a super cheerful sight
Barbara Muir © 2017

Our fall blooming anemones are the most gorgeous, long lasting
and valiant plant in our garden.  Each year when the holiday
season is over we take our holiday tree, wire it to the fence and
fill it with birdseed.  Birds are the decorations -- this year it 
lasted until April, when it turned brown and had to come out.

And despite being under a tree, covered with birdseed (in fact
enduring bad behaviour) this magnificent plant usually comes back
to my absolute delight. (Forgive me, I'm an artist.  We get excited
by most things.) Well the birdseed got raked off, and I was weeding
yesterday and saw one anemone leaf.  There is hope!

We need it. Sorry about the Leafs game. Toronto wanted a win.

Have a loving your life day. 

Friday, May 13, 2022

The watchword is wonder

Baby robins in the nest
Barbara Muir © 2022 

The photo tonight is of the baby robins living in a nest on the column by
our front door. This was a couple of days ago.  There were four, and
today there were two.  Our hope is that they grew so much more 
(they were easily doubling their size every day) that they left the nest and
went out into the wide world.

So despite my blurry photo, my message is clear. In Toronto right now
the world is filled with wonder.  Robins growing above the porch,
flowering trees everywhere. Gardens including ours thick with flowers.
(our tulips are amazing this year.). You have to live through real
winter to get what a miracle this is.

Have a loving your life day.

Thursday, May 12, 2022

A paint day, and a pansy painting

First pansies
Acrylic ink, acrylic and marker
on watercolour paper
5 x 7 inches
Barbara Muir © 2022

Today was a super day, even though I broke a tooth last
night, and had to go to the emergency dentist. (The dentist
was great by the way -- kind, gentle, funny. Multiple
masked and also good at the job.) (As a former dental
assistant in high school, I am very clear about what's
good work.)

But the main thing is that I worked on a painting that
I've been making for the past six months on and off,
and I am almost done. Plus I talked to a super joyous
friend and laughed a lot, and even weeded the garden
a bit in between painting sessions.

I found this little pansy painting that I don't think I
showed you. I started it the minute pansies started
appearing in our previously flower free world, and
sending everyone's hearts into pure unmitigated joy.
And I did a bit more work on it tonight. So it was a 
paint all day day, and soon I'll show you the main

Have a loving your life day.

Wednesday, May 11, 2022

A great night at my art group

Earth Angel
Art group sketch
16 x 20 inches
Barbara Muir © 2022

Last night the model at our art group was amazing.  What I love about
making a quick painting is the vibe that the model gives off. In this case
perhaps because I realized my friend had just died, I picked up an angel 
vibration. Susan, my friend was an angel on earth, a kind person dedicated 
to caring for others.

I am not religious. But I do love some of the religious art I've seen
on my travels. I was happy with the abstract way the painting turned out.
Steven says that the angel looks angry or stern.  I said maybe she's upset
about what we're doing to the planet. 

Have a loving what you do day.

Tuesday, May 10, 2022

A sad week

Susan and Simone 
Acrylic on canvas
12 x 12 inches
Barbara Muir ©

Yesterday I found out that my friend's wonderful mother had died
that morning.  My thoughts are with her family who will miss
her terribly. She was a kind and loving mother.

Today I learned that my friend Susan Hartnett (who some people
will remember as Susan Scott) has died. I met Susan in my early
working days when she was an executive, and I was a corporate
writer at the same company.

She was a wonderful person, a kind and devoted friend. She
spent her life helping other people, working for charity 
organizations, taking care of her parents in their final years.
She was also beautiful, and had a great sense of humour.

I did a portrait of her years ago, and can't find the image.
All I can find is this cheerful painting of Susan with my
cat Simone. And this is enough to make me long for 
my friend. My thoughts go out to her family -- her sister
and her children, and her brother, and Niko -- her long
time friend.

Have a loving the people in your life day.

Monday, May 9, 2022

More on Mother's Day

Small is beautiful
Watercolour and marker on
Arches watercolour paper
6 x 10 inches
Barbara Muir © 

Thinking today about a friend who just lost her mother.
It is a powerful loss, and the details of those last moments
stay etched in your heart and brain forever. 

Nothing can replace the person you love.  But the love
continues. And that is heartening.

The flowers today are to honour all of the mothers here
and gone, and to send love to everyone missing a parent.
We love you, I love you Mommy. We think about you,
talk about you and miss you every day.

Have a loving your family day.

Sunday, May 8, 2022

Happy Mother's Day to all the mothers, and all the people mothering

Ocean play
Watercolour on watercolour paper
16 x 24 inches
Barbara Muir ©

Thank you to my family for so much joy in my life -- for your
kindness, generosity, humour. You mean the universe to me.
And thank you to all my friends who are kind beyond measure --
you make the world worthwhile. To all of you Happy Mother's Day.

I had an amazing day starting with coffee and breakfast in bed, 
with lovely phone calls with family members, and ending with a dinner
of a delicious take out meal, and beautiful home made cherry pie made by
Steven, my wonderful husband. I am a lucky woman. 

Have a loving what you do day.

Saturday, May 7, 2022

Happy Mother's Day weekend

Christopher and Sam
my sons,
Barbara Muir ©

The photo is of my two guys Christopher and Sam, a few years
ago when we could all get together at a restaurant for
Mother's Day, and enjoy an evening together.  At this point
things are not so relaxed, and I miss that easy life.

These two have been the finest sons anyone could want.
I love them to the maximum, maximum, and I love the
extended family they've brought into our lives, our
daughter-in-law Megan, our grandchildren Alice and
Madeleine, and Sam's fiancée, Emily.  I'll feature
more Mother's Day love tomorrow. 

Have a loving your family day.


Friday, May 6, 2022

What we do

At the pond
Barbara Muir © 2022

I spent a lot of the day today applying to be in an art show.
It will be great if it all works out, and I get in. Meanwhile,
I am grateful for the help I had here in Toronto, and from
the organizers in the U.S.

What do artists do when the behind the scenes life is hectic.
We get out.  Spring is at its ultra lush beginning here.
The sweet baby green leaves like fuzz on the trees -- flowers
everywhere. And at the pond in the park we visit -- this.

Have a giving yourself a hug day.

Thursday, May 5, 2022

Nostalgia -- leads to change


Some of my work in the 2017 exhibition Magic Land
Left to right View from the highway
Acrylic on canvas
18 x 24 inches
Barbara Muir © 2017,

The happiest view 
Acrylic on canvas
36 x 60 inches
Barbara Muir © 2017,

On the St. Lawrence
Acrylic on canvas
24 x 24 inches
Barbara Muir © 2017

Five years ago tonight I was at a wonderful opening for a show
called Magic Land with the fabulous artist, Gill Cameron.  The
exhibition was held at the Artscape Wychwood Barns Peter
McKendrick Community Gallery.  It was a super show, and this
was long before COVID, so everyone talked and laughed, had
wine and goodies, and bought art. It was so much fun.

Today with the help of a friend and neighbour up the street I 
applied to be in a virtual exhibition called Food for Thought
run by an art group called SCORE (Southern California Open Regional Exhibitions) in the Los Angeles California area.  If
my work gets accepted I'll let you know. But it was fun
thinking about past shows, and a time when we felt entirely
free to live our artists lives. Applying to be in the show today
brought back a similar feeling.

Have a trying new things day.

Wednesday, May 4, 2022

Back to my art group

Art Group Sketch
Acrylic and acrylic ink
on canvas
16 x 20 inches
Barbara Muir © 2022

Strange times -- in the houses just around ours 12 people have had, or do
have COVID. So I am wearing a mask when in a public group.  Last
night Steven drove me to my art group in the pouring rain.  In the studio
everyone was wearing masks, and the model was great. 

I think I painted this sketch in 35 minutes.  Because I had one hour
before Steven was coming to pick me up. I set up, painted, the model
took a break, maybe two, and I had to wash my brushes before I
met Steven at the door.  It's clear from the painting that I had fun,
and people around me were doing such amazing work.

Have a loving what you do day.

Tuesday, May 3, 2022

Happy BIrthday to my friend, the wonderful artist Flora Doehler

A Little Bit of Summer
Acrylic on canvas
24 x 30 inches
Flora Doehler © 2020
It's my dear friend Flora Doehler's birthday today.  Flora is such a 
wonderful artist.  We love her art so much that when we
go to Nova Scotia, we take a four hour drive to make sure
we drop in on Flora and Larry Knox, her husband in Bear
River.  They are sweet.  And they are always wildly
enthusiastic about their lives.  At a time when some of life
is so frightening, and much of the daily routine seems endless,
it is always inspiring to see Flora's art, and talk to these two.

Flora gets flowers like no one else, and her paintings have the
same effect as flowers -- they take your breath away with
their beauty. I always feel happy looking at her work.

Again this year it's a hard time to have a birthday. 
Sending Flora a toast to a wonderful year with lots of sales 
despite the pandemic.
Have a celebrating your friends day!

Monday, May 2, 2022

Bloggers love to blog

Working on it.
Acrylic ink and marker on
watercolour paper
5.5 x 8.5 inches
Barbara Muir © 2022

The end of a wonderful term in my one night a week course
happened today when I sent the marks in.  I will miss the
online class so much. So funny, and they worked so hard.
This will be a short post, but I do love to blog, so I
wanted to write to you.  More tomorrow. 

I started a new pansy painting, which is not finished. 
And I am very tired -- I wish you a wonderful day.

Have a loving your life day.

Sunday, May 1, 2022

Vibrant inspiration

Fabulous spring pansies
Acrylic ink and marker
on watercolour paper
5.5 x 8.5 inches
Barbara Muir © 2022

It was a wet moody day today.  Perhaps in mid-summer
you would discount the day as a rainy day.  But two
weeks ago it snowed a lot, and a week ago it snowed.

So here's what pops out at you, if you are a person
who enjoys the visual.  The forsythia are beyond
gorgeous -- wild clouds of brilliant yellow, sometimes
tamed into hedges.  The grass is a green so bright, you
would swear it couldn't be real (but I'm talking real grass).
And the trees are starting to be that sweet soft cloud of 
palest green.  It was beautiful.  On my front porch a 
team of glorious pots of pansies line the front steps,
and they are the best. So I did this little painting of
some of them, who came inside to pose.

The colours of the pansies are knock out.  They shout
out to you -- "Hey you -- put a smile on your face! 
It's spring." It works for me. Happy May!

Have a loving your life 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!