Monday, October 31, 2022

Happy Halloween

Halloween Trick or Treaters get the candies
Barbara Muir © 2022

On top of Halloween being a family member's birthday, tonight
I was teaching my once a week writing course, and my students
had a test.  So this was a special day all round.

We set up a table on the front porch, with a big bowl of
candy, and Steven sat at the other side of the porch
and told the children to take two candies each.  At
the end of the evening, he went in to get something,
and when he came out some children had done us
the favour of emptying the bowl.  Excellent.

Happy Halloween. 

Sunday, October 30, 2022

Have to get ready

Our porch on a rainy, windy Halloween night.
The canvas pumpkin princess reigns supreme.
She is pinned at the bottom, and
stuffed with newspapers.  We 
recycle the paper.  She goes flat and
rolls up to be put away for next year
when the fun is over. 

Very inspired by so many artists today. And by the gorgeous
day we had.  We are not ready for Halloween.  We have the 
pumpkins, but Steven hasn't carved them.  And we haven't put 
up our pumpkin princess.  I am not into the death's head,
gruesome part of Halloween, all the more unpleasant when
friends have died -- as is true of the past year.

Still I love the spirit of celebration -- so we've bought the
candy, and even though I will be teaching at Trick or Treat
time, Steven can put the candy out on a table on the porch, and
sit masked on the other side, letting kids take their own. Last
year we said two candies each.  Bur by the end of the night
kids were taking as much as they wanted.

The image today is from an earlier Halloween when we were
ready. Check.

Have a loving your life day.

Saturday, October 29, 2022

Flowers to sketch

Nasturtiums in a cream jug
Acrylic ink and marker
5 1/2 x 8 1/2
Barbara Muir © 2022 

A treat about being back home is that the fall season is
at its peak, and the garden is still looking amazing. I
wake up every morning worried that this will be the
day when all of that beauty is gone. But so far -- awesome.

Today I'm showing you a fast sketch of our beautiful
nasturtiums in a cream jug.  

Have a loving your life day.

Friday, October 28, 2022

About time

One of the famous, beautiful clocks
at the Musée D'Orsay, Paris
Reminder that time is of the
Barbara Muir © 2015

The stories of other artists inspire me. Today I went through
the Instagram posts of a wonderful artist, and just the sheer
volume of beautiful work blew me away. In the Musée D'Orsay
in Paris this week (pinch me -- yes that was this week --
Tuesday) there was a huge painting on the wall in two pieces
by Monet.

Another huge clock at
the Musée D'Orsay
looking over the river Seine

Barbara Muir © 2015

Being a huge fan of Monet, I read the tag on the wall, which,
if I remember properly, was about Monet trying to compete
with Manet's Dejeuner sur l'herbe, but needing money for
rent so he cut his huge painting up to try and sell it. We think
of Monet as rich, and also most of the main floor of
the L'Orangerie gallery in Paris is dedicated to his waterlily paintings --
which are huge.  So it's hard to imagine him being insecure.  But
apparently he was in awe of his friend's work.

Acrylic on canvas
12 x 12 inches
Barbara Muir © 2022

I came home to Toronto (yes - Canada) determined to get over
my COVID-makes-it-hard-to-work blues.  This little painting
is on the easel and it's getting done. 

Have a loving your life day

Thursday, October 27, 2022

The Re-entry


How's it going
Black marker on bond paper
8 1/2 x 11 inches
Barbara Muir © 2010

When you fly to another city across the ocean, to
participate in an event, all that you can think about
is preparing, and how it's going to be.  Coming 
back to your life before doesn't enter your mind.

But then you're back -- a transformative week between
you in the present, and the person you were before
you met and talked to people from all over the world
about art and every other subject.

Before I go back to bed to try and catch up on some
sleep from the 24 hours we were awake yesterday,
I just want to say that Toronto has been kind -- beautiful
weather and we took a walk in our favourite park.

My image tonight is an Inktober drawing from before
I knew there was such a thing.  It's a Skype image
of my husband Steven calling in from somewhere in
the world, and the style of phone is amusing, as that
shape is not something you'd find in hotel phones
anymore.  I like the use of line in the drawing and
Steven's expression.  

Have a loving your life day.

Wednesday, October 26, 2022

Chez nous

Our cat Monet
eager to hear about
the work by Monet
in Paris.
Barbara Muir © 2022

We have just landed in Toronto.  Our plane ride back from Paris
was uneventful -- except that Air France serves delicious food
and wine, in the regular section.

We were very sad to leave Paris, and all of the people who were
so kind, generous and fun with us. And it's lovely to be home with
our animals, and in our own city.

Thank you to EA Editore for inviting me to be in the Carousel
du Louvre, and for giving me the Paris award.  It was such
a treat to be in Paris.  Thank you to our friend, Alessandra Masha
Mascitti for making us feel welcome, and for being so delightful.

Have a loving your life day.

Tuesday, October 25, 2022

Our last day


Clouds over the Seine
Barbara Muir © 2022

If you've never been to Paris, and you get the opportunity
to go, do yourself a favour.  The city is so beautiful, that
we are both in love with it, and in awe looking at all the gorgeous

For an artist this is an ideal place.  So many galleries, and
beautiful museums with legendary fine art.  

Downside? Way too much to enjoy and explore.  

People are here loving the place, from all over the world.
It's exciting.  Our waiter last night was teaching me how to
say thank you in Cambodian.  Then we got into a discussion
about his parents.  His father is Cambodian, and his mother is
from Bangladesh, so he feels closer to Bangladesh.  He's in
Paris studying marketing. 

These stories abound, and make Paris extra special.

Goodbye Paris.

Have a loving your life day.

Monday, October 24, 2022

To Paris and the Louvre for Daisy

Posing with Salvatore Russo
at the awards ceremony for the
International Prize Paris.
Thank you so much EA Editore
Steven van Schaik © 2022

Me with my image of the painting.
Steven and I wore T-shirts
with the image too.
So much fun.
Steven van Schaik © 2022

When I was invited to show at the Louvre virtually,
I thought seriously about which painting to choose. I
chose one of my favourite pieces, which is a portrait of
my mother in law, Christina Maria (also known as
Daisy) with her great granddaughter. 

The painting depicts the first time they met, and shows
the tenderness that Daisy felt for the baby. Daisy was
an amazing woman -- a devout catholic. At one
point she accompanied a severely disabled friend
to Lourdes, and carried her in her wheelchair up the
steps to worship.

I am not religious, but my mother-in-law and I connected
on the subject of art.  She was an artist too, and one of
the reasons I chose this work to display was to honour
her, and to give her spirit the chance to be part of a
major art show in Paris.

Daisy died just before I was in the last show I took part
in in Paris, The Carousel du Louvre Art Shopping in 2016.
She had multiple heart attacks, but somehow held on until
she'd seen all of her children (7) and told them that she loved them.

Have a loving your family day.

Sunday, October 23, 2022

The last day of the Carousel du Louvre Art Shopping

 Jennifer Hinrichs' work in the
virtual display curated by
EA Editore at the
Carousel du Louvre, Art Shopping
exhibition in the Louvre Museum, Paris

The Pond, Source of Life
Acrylic on canvas
30 x 30 inches
Jennifer Hinrichs ©
(forgive the slant in the photo.
There were a lot of people standing around
looking at the work, and I had trouble
getting a clear shot. If someone I know
took a better one, I'll put it in.)
The work is beautiful.
Congratulations Jennifer.

Today Steven and I walked over to the Louvre for the last
day of the Art Shopping show. We wanted to capture the work
of my friend, Jennifer Hinrichs, who also won the Paris Prize 
for her beautiful work -- The Pond, Source of Life.

I will write much more about the day tomorrow.  It was 
lovely. Tonight I am doing what many of the artists who
were in the show will be doing -- taking a rest. Paris
is one of the most beautiful cities in the world to explore,
and that means you do a lot of walking.  Wonderful, and
tiring.  So more tomorrow.  It has been a thrilling weekend.

Have a loving your life day.

Saturday, October 22, 2022

A Fabulous Day

Steven and Me
on the Paris Prize 
Boat trip down the
Seine through Paris.
We're wearing T-shirts displaying
my painting
The Maharani's Great Granddaughter with 
her Great Granddaughter
 © Barbara Muir 2016

After breakfast Steven and I took a taxi to the Gem Gallery for
the International Prize Paris awards ceremony. I was awarded 
the prize by EA Editore for contributing work to the 
development of contemporary art in the world. When I get
home I will show you the prize that arrived last week -- a plaque
made of stainless steel in a velvet case.  So many great artists
from all over the world were there to pick up their prizes.

Then this evening EA Editore -- Salvatore Russo and Francesco --
organized a boat trip down the Seine for all the artists, and it was so 
much fun. Paris is so beautiful, and at night spectacular. I am so
grateful to the Russo brothers for organizing the show in the
Louvre, the awards ceremony, and that beautiful trip.

Have a loving your life day.

Friday, October 21, 2022

The opening of Art Shopping at the Louvre

Me with my print of the painting
The Maharani's Great Granddaughter with 
her Great Granddaughter
Painting © Barbara Muir 2016
Print © Barbara Muir 2022

Steven and I took a cab over to the Louvre, which is very close by
to go all dressed up to the E Editore section, where I am part of a
virtual exhibition in the Carousel du Louvre Art Shopping.  Before
I show you that image -- here is a photo of me yesterday posing with
the print of the painting I brought from Toronto, which is pretty funny
because it's bigger than the image on the screen in the virtual show.

Me tonight beside the International Award display
at the Art Shopping, Carousel du Louvre
Paris, France.

The exhibition in the Carousel du Louvre is huge, and it was packed
tonight.  There was a lot of excitement about the show. Tomorrow
there are more celebrations, and it has been so nice to see my friend 
Alessandra Masha Mascitti, who is working for the Russo brothers,
the directors of the EA Editore display at the Carousel du Louvre. 

Have a loving your life day.

Thursday, October 20, 2022

Our own exhibition

Steven holding a 24 x 24 inch print on 
canvas of
The Maharani's Great Granddaughter with 
her Great Granddaughter
which is
Acrylic on canvas
30 x 30 inches
Barbara Muir © 2016

Today might be our last sunny day in Paris for awhile,
so we sourced out a carrier for my print on canvas of
my painting of Steven's mother. The painting will be in the
Carousel du Louvre exhibition virtually this weekend.

My printer, Chris made a beautiful print -- 24 x 24 
inches. The actual painting is 30 x 30 inches.  The print
done on canvas looks exactly like the painting -- which is
really cool. I carried it on the plane in my briefcase wrapped
around a flannel nightie so it wouldn't crease.

We went over to the Louvre today to take some photos
of the print in the gorgeous Louvre setting.  The photo
is of Steven, who climbed on one of those plinths, and
showed off my work.

Have a loving your life day.

Wednesday, October 19, 2022

It's worth the flight to Paris


The Louvre tonight
Barbara Muir © 2022

An Ontario fur distributor in Canada had an ad that said,
"It's worth the drive to Acton." Acton is an Ontario small
town, and the fur and leather coat company were trying to
boost sales there. I don't wear fur or leather except shoes,
but that's not the point.

Steven and I often copy that phrase in a joking manner
when we travel anywhere.  Like today -- "it's worth the
flight to Paris." Is it? Yes.  We just walked to the Louvre from
our hotel.  Exhausted as we are today, the experience was

There were magnificent musicians playing solos, children in
illuminated roller skates, skateboarders. Even after closing time
the Louvre radiates magnificence.

Have a noticing what's amazing day.

Tuesday, October 18, 2022

The weird world of technology

Window view
Barbara Muir © 2022

Perhaps one good thing about the pandemic is that we really got 
a chance, are still having the "chance" to step back and examine
what we do in our personal lives, and how human beings

We have just been on a flight across the Atlantic ocean.  The
plane encountered "mild" turbulence, which always makes 
passengers wonder why they're doing this, and more than one
baby cried for the entire flight.  In a strange way I found that
comforting.  Babies haven't lost their natural instincts, and if
we adults on the plane were sensible we would have been
reactive too.

More to come. We have landed on the other side, and
are safe.

Now to enjoy our high tech life.

Have a loving your life day.

Monday, October 17, 2022

An Inktober drawing

Fall Garden Bounty
Inktober drawing
Marker on drawing paper
7 x 10 inches
Barbara Muir © 2022
(I could work on this more.)

The inspiration for this was an arrangement of all the beautiful 
flowers from our garden.  What I'd love to do is copy it,
and paint the colours in. So amazing.

So maybe I will at another time, when things are a bit less complicated 
in my life. Yes all is well.

Have a loving your life day.

Sunday, October 16, 2022

Do what feels right

Some of my paintings of mothers (and grandmothers)
Happy Mother's Day.

What am I talking about?  So many people will tell you what,
and when to do whatever you are thinking about.  Sometimes
their suggestions are thoughtful and helpful. Sometimes they
are the opposite. My message (not an original one) is -- You be
you!  For instance this collection of paintings I'm showing you
today is supposed to be for Mother's Day.  But it appealed to me
today -- in part because the painting on the left of the trio is 
going to be on display virtually, or digitally next weekend in
the Carousel du Louvre show in the Louvre in Paris, France.

So I felt like showing the images to you tonight. I am busy 
after a whirlwind of a day, and a wonderful weekend, but
these paintings talk about what matters -- love.

Have a loving your life day.

Saturday, October 15, 2022

What do you miss?

Drawing of Botticelli's
Madonna of the Veil
black marker on paper
5.5 x 8.5 inches
Barbara Muir © 2019

Steven and I were at two malls today (whew! A lot).  We were 
masked, and a few other people were, but we felt we were there
for necessities -- like new shoes because ours are worn out.  Still
a mall makes our society's passion for shopping so wildly clear.

And still I realized I missed seeing people -- even overhearing
people arguing, because we have only been to a mall once a
year since the pandemic -- for the holiday season. It was
exciting to see the whole of Toronto -- all different cultures,
and ways of dressing, on parade -- just out shopping.

So I realize that I also miss museums, like the Uffizi in Florence,
that has a room of Botticelli's. Overwhelmingly wonderful.
This Inktober drawing from 2019, celebrates Botticelli.  I am
not religious at all, but Florence, Italy made me fall in love
with halos.

The drawing in no way reflects how amazing the
painting is. I love how Botticelli creates such
beautiful halos, and that they slide over the rest of
the world, taking precedence.  Still I had fun doing
the drawing, and I think the care required working
with ink, makes painting seem relatively easy.

Have a loving your life day.

Friday, October 14, 2022


Inktober sketch
Marker on bond paper
8 1/2 x 11 inches
Barbara Muir © 2022

One of the things I appreciate about Inktober is that the focus
on line simplifies an artist's choices -- like in this drawing.  

On a day filled with decisions, this is simple. And clear. 
There is mood, personality and a hint at character.  You get
the feeling of a conversation in progress, all from a minimum
of bold lines.

Have a being your bold self day.

Thursday, October 13, 2022

A wonderful friendship

Left to right Marnix, Rolf Leemeijer, Miranda Brouwers, Hugo and me.
in front of my painting Dream Selfie -- Wonder Water Image #7
Steven van Schaik © 2016

So much has changed since this photo was taken of my friend
Miranda Brouwers family, and me at the Louvre. Miranda and
I showed in the 2016 Carousel du Louvre, and we loved the
experience. Tonight I’m thinking about the great memories we
had there.

What hasn’t changed? My friendship with Miranda is one
of the loveliest relationships in my life. We talk on the phone
across the great Atlantic Ocean once a week whenever possible,
and always enjoy one another. (She's in The Netherlands, and I'm
here in Toronto, Canada.)

I’m thinking of Miranda today, and of her two sons in this picture
Marnix, and Hugo. They are wonderful young men and 
I feel so
lucky to have met them. And Rolf, Miranda’s husband is a total
sweetheart. So here’s to all of our wonderful friends, and our happy

Have a loving your life day.

Wednesday, October 12, 2022

Finding joy in my blog. Thank you my friends.


After Breakfast
Black marker on bond paper
18 x 24 inches
Barbara Muir © 2013

I was once told by an art blog adviser never to talk
about joy because it's too corny. It might have been good
advice -- when? Five years ago? I'm not sure, but it
doesn't hold up now.  Those of us who have come through
the first couple of years of the pandemic alive, who are 
not in an area of severe flooding, or famine, or wild
hurricane damage, are well aware of the importance of
joy, and how hard it is to find. I'm sharing a post I wrote
on the subject in 2017.  It made me happy to find it today on
another hard day, and the drawing of one of my all time
favourite sources of joy -- a beautiful hotel room service
breakfast with my sweetheart.

"Joy (or happiness if you like) is most potent in the
heart of hard times.  When you lift your eyes up 
out of sorrow and look around, it's there waiting 
for you.  I think perhaps it's the force of nature
saying -- "Look! Look at me! I'm always here 
to make you happy."  

These are harsh times in many ways.  The news
is brutal.  Anxiety is rocketing, and instead of
crawling back under the covers, joy beckons us
to keep going, call a friend, and make our
voices heard, donate, volunteer and join
a vast joyous choir across this beautiful planet. 
What do you do to express your joy?  Do you paint, 
write letters to friends (or politicians), spend time 
with family, or go for a walk?  I'd love to hear your ideas."

What do I do? I come here and spend time with you. I 
call a dear friend or two, and I settle into read a book,
and dream big. 

Have figuring-out-the-joy day.

Tuesday, October 11, 2022

Beautiful weather, a hard day's work -- and 10 (11) reasons to be happy

Coffee with milk in
a cup

Acrylic on canvas
8 x 8 inches
Barbara Muir © 2009
(This painting seems perfect
for today.  And 
I like that it
went to live 
with my friend, 
the artist Susan Carlin.)  

Whenever I get down, or stressed I remember an exercise that
I learned, and taught when I taught Positive Psychology. You've
seen it here before.  But today was one of those hard working
days when you just wish the world would give you a break.
As a happiness teacher, this exercise really works. So here 

10 Reasons to be Happy 

1.  It was a beautiful day and I sat out on the
back porch looking at the sky for a few minutes.
2. I am happy because I have a loving husband.
3. I am happy because I have a loving family.
4.  I am happy because I have kind, funny friends around
the world.
5.  I am happy because I'm an artist, and I love making art.
6. I'm happy that I get to teach, and that I meet amazing people
every year in that job -- even with one night a week.
7. I'm happy that I live in Canada -- deliriously happy about that.
8. I'm happy that I've learned how to be happy, and am
still learning, and think I will learn more, and more for the
rest of my life. And I'm grateful for all that my blog friends
and Instagram, and Facebook friends have taught me on the subject
9. I'm happy that I've learned to love myself enough to
choose only to be with kind and happy people.
10. I'm happy that I don't believe in horoscopes, superstition
or most dogma.
11.  I'm happy that I love to read and I have a wonderful

Have a helping yourself be happy day.

Monday, October 10, 2022

Happy Canadian Thanksgiving

Flowers from our garden on the
kitchen table
My Happy Thanksgiving wish to you.
Happy Thanksgiving
Barbara Muir © 

We had a delicious meal. Steven cooked all weekend, and then...
our whole family was sick.  So sad.  But we dressed up ourselves,
dressed up and set the kitchen table, and had a Happy Thanksgiving
dinner, complete with home made pie, turkey, stuffing, roast potatoes,
salad, home made cranberry jelly. Amazing. (Not in that order.)

Happy Canadian Thanksgiving. 

Sunday, October 9, 2022

5 reasons I'm grateful

Pegann's flowers
Acrylic on canvas
8 x 8 inches
Barbara Muir © 2009
(Pegann was a wonderful woman
who used to sell flowers at the
Brickworks Market in Toronto.
We haven't seen her for a
few years.  I hope she's well.)

For us tomorrow is Canadian Thanksgiving.  One great thing about
having written more than 3,000 blog posts is that I frequently come
upon work I'd forgotten, like the painting I'm showing you today. I enjoy
thinking about what I'm grateful for all the time, but this weekend is about
reflecting on what's great about our lives:

1. I'm grateful for my wonderful family. Thank you for your love.

2. I'm so happy to have wonderful, kind, supportive, funny friends.

3. I'm grateful for my health. 

4. I feel so lucky to be an artist, and to be part of a vibrant worldwide
     arts community.

5. Every day the news makes me more, and more aware about how
    lucky I am to live in Canada.

What are you grateful for? Even in the midst of an ongoing pandemic,
I feel so glad that I have an optimistic nature. Thank you Mommy
for teaching me that skill.  

Have a great Thanksgiving Day Canada. 

Saturday, October 8, 2022

The art of the apple

Freshly made applesauce
created today
Barbara Muir © 2022

The good thing about living with, and loving a driven human
being when it comes to making food, is that you reach the 
freezing cold of February (we're getting a hint of that today)
with canned peaches that taste like they were fresh picked. 
And today the artistic focus is on applesauce, which is quite the

There's the cleaning, the chopping, boiling the apples,
and heating of the jars, then putting all of the mixture through
a Foley Food Mill -- hand pressing the applesauce through by 
turning the blade. OMG!

The result is delicious -- no sugar -- so if you get a gift of a jar, and
like yours sweet, you'll have to add it.  And there it will be for
Thanksgiving dinner, and all of the upcoming (masked, or rapid
tested) celebrations.

Have an enjoying the art of the day, day.

Friday, October 7, 2022

Grateful for my mother

Cutting a pattern
Black marker on paper
5.5 x 8.5 inches
Barbara Muir © 2019

(This drawing doesn't do
 my mother justice. 
 She was beautiful.) 

Looking through my posts about Thanksgiving, I found this post
that moved me about my mother.  I loved my mother so much.
I still hear her voice advising me, encouraging me. She died on
Thanksgiving Day in 2013.

Here's what I wrote in 2020, mildly edited, which seems perfect
for today:

"I can’t help but think about my mother on Thanksgiving
weekend. She was the kind of person who was quintessentially
perfect for Thanksgiving. She made wonderful pumpkin pies,
sometimes she even made the ice cream.

My mom could probably cook and stuff a turkey for any size crowd in her
sleep. That doesn't mean she wouldn't be nervous about every aspect of the meal,
but she could do it. She loved good china, and a table set with pretty dishes
and flowers.

But another reason that I think of her now is that she died on Thanksgiving
day nine years ago. And it feels like she’s been gone a for very long time. 

I think of her on a gorgeous day like today. If she'd been visiting we would
have taken her out to our favourite park, and she would’ve loved the high
waves crashing against the shore. She would also have loved how the geese
and swans absolutely love Steven.  We had so much fun feeding the birds
This is an Inktober drawing I did last year of my mother sewing a dress with
beautiful Florentine cloth that she bought on a visit to Italy with my father. My
mother was good at anything that she tried. 

She was a brilliant woman with a masters degree in Bacteriology. She would
have been upset with what’s going on in the world with COVID-19. And it
would have driven her crazy that some people refuse to wear masks, and want
to pretend that this worldwide growing pandemic is not real.

If your Mom is alive, and it's safe to be with her on Thanksgiving -- give her
a hug. And have a wonderful day."

Happy Canadian Thanksgiving weekend

Thursday, October 6, 2022

Happy Thanksgiving weekend

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

At this time of year I write about what I'm thankful for -- so
much. For instance right now I'm thankful for our kitten Monet,
who has just turned 1, who is having a bath on my studio chair.
And as always I'm thankful for my family and friends, who are
kind, loving, and funny. 

And the number one thing I'm thankful for over and over is the
wonderful man I'm married to, who is making dinner right now
as I write to you.

I wrote about him last Thanksgiving and I still feel the same way
I did last year about this wonderful man. That's impressive as we've
lived through another year of the pandemic (that's right it's still not gone.)
So here's some of what I said then:

"To begin my posts about what I'm thankful for.  Number One is my
darling husband.  He is a champion. And he's making dinner right now
as I write this.  My life has been so wonderful, even during this ongoing
pandemic, because I live with someone who loves me, and who I love.
I know that I'm lucky, and I'm posting this portrait I did of Steven in 2020. 

I was going to call the post "This guy!"  Because at least 
1,000 times a day on our best days I think  -- "Wow how lucky I am
to know this guy."  Like tonight when we went to the vegetable store
to pick up the vegetables Steven wanted to make dinner, and then dropped off
some documents my son needed, and then drove home late (this after
a long, hard work day).  I am lucky as all get out to have this guy.

I love Thanksgiving because it isn't about presents, and it's not about
religion. I am not religious. It's about recognizing what's good in your life.
In my case -- that is so much! And you are all people I'm grateful for.

Happy Thanksgiving weekend.

Wednesday, October 5, 2022

International Teachers' Day -- a big thank you

Deepak visits Pugwash
Acrylic on birch panel
5 x 7 inches
Barbara Muir © 2014
(I was going to put my own
self portrait on, but found this
and like it better.)

Today is International Teacher's Day, and I'm thinking of all the teachers 
who taught me.  It feels like a somewhat ironic, delightful and comical
twist that I am now a once-a-week teacher at a community college, teaching 
Professional Communication.  

So thank you to all of my excellent teachers for teaching me, understanding me
and uplifting me so that I could enjoy the wonderful life I have today. I don't 
remember my grade 8 Art teacher's name, but I'm sure she's part of the reason 
I ended up spending a couple of years at OCAD, (The Ontario College of Art
and Design) and that I'm showing a painting virtually in the
Carousel du Louvre show this month, and received an award in the mail today
for my 
art.  Also all the teachers at OCAD were amazing. 

I left the school and went on to get an English Literature degree, because
I followed a boy I was in love with to his university. The feeling was definitely
not mutual. In a way he was a teacher too, because because of him I learned that I
deserved to be with someone I love, and who loved me -- #1 most important life
lesson -- 
and my very happy marriage, not to that boy, is the result.

As an adult I'm grateful to Skip Lawrence, Toph Schink and Americo del
Col  -- fabulous art teachers, and to everyone whose art work I follow
through the blog, Instagram and Facebook. And I'm grateful to my
sister the therapist, for introducing me to her wonderful therapy partner.
On the thinking side I'm grateful to Brené Brown, Louise Hay, Oprah
Winfrey, Deepak Chopra, and a long list of inspirational thinkers and
writers.  The message is -- be the teacher you'd want to teach you.

Have a loving your life day

Tuesday, October 4, 2022

In Honour of Chloé


Before the Dance in the White Dress

Part of the Dance series
Acrylic on canvas
24 x 24 inches
Barbara Muir © 
(Thank you to my sweet niece 
Chloé who posed for this one)

On this date 5 years ago my sweet niece Chloé died.  This
painting is part of a series called the Dance series, that I
painted because I was inspired by my students. Chloé -- like
my students was at the beginning of life, but couldn't see that.

Tonight I'm quoting a post I wrote about this two years ago.  The 
loss for those who loved my niece gets harder as time goes on.

My Dance series including "Before the dance",
"After the dance" and "At the dance" paintings
was dedicated in part to my students, who I could
see were at the beginning (many of them) of the
dance of adult life.  And I wanted to wish them well.

Plus for a portrait artist, what could be more beautiful than
people dressed in party finery?  This painting of my niece
stays high on my list of work I produced in that series.
My niece was so beautiful, funny and intelligent.  She
had everything going for her, and yet she is no longer alive.  
She died suddenly in October of 2017.

Adult life as it turns out, is not that easy for some people --
it was not for her.  I find the painting and even the idea
of the series especially poignant tonight.  We -- the whole
world, are like young women, and men on the edge of
life.  Our future, our very existence at the moment, is
a complete unknown.

We have got to take care of each other, help in whatever
way we can -- by staying healthy, by following whatever
few small pieces of advice we get from health authorities,
by recognizing how lucky we are for every day of our good

Unlike the dance metaphor about good things to come (which
was my hope), the virus (still) hitting the planet now predicts the
very opposite.  People talk about boredom.  But boredom
is a small price to pay to help not just ourselves, but
as many people as possible avoid this tragedy.

Have a taking care of yourself and the people you love day."
We love you Chloé.

Monday, October 3, 2022

Crazy little thing called love

Crazy Love
Acrylic ink on 
watercolour paper
4 x 6 inches
Barbara Muir © 2022

I may have written about this before, but why not talk about
it again? About 9 months ago, our cats both nearly died. Why?
They stopped eating. The vet gave the older cat (13 at the time)
meds to rub on her ear to make her eat.  She stopped because her
teeth hurt. And we force fed the kitten with a tube for a week. She
had gastroenteritis.

Both cats are fine. The kitten recovered with maybe a bit too
much of a an appetite, but my point tonight, is that my husband,
Steven, already pretty blue about COVID, and all of the restrictions
was devastated by the cats' hunger strike.  

So I started writing him love notes every night, that I put in our
middle bedroom where he keeps his clothes, for him to find in
the morning.  At first the notes (usually on cards of my work)
were about the cats. But he loved getting the notes so much I had
to continue.  My notes kept his spirits up, and made him happy.
And we got in a routine of reading them at his lunch time.  He starts
work at 8 a.m., and I'm a night teacher once a week, so we're on
completely different schedules. 

And now I can't stop, and he doesn't want me to.  So tonight's
small, quick painting is on a postcard. Most of my notes are
on cards -- with three pages of copy. And now he loves me
to write in French and Italian too! So I painted this for
tonight's note. Just a postcard of copy! But sweet.

Have a loving your life day.

Sunday, October 2, 2022

The lure of Inktober

Untitled (detail)
Inktober drawing
7 x 10 inches
Barbara Muir © 2022

I woke up this morning thinking it’s October 2. What is the perfect
thing to do in October? Of course there’s so many things to do --
it’s a beautiful month. But I was talking about what to do in art. I
have some wonderful photos by my father that are portraits of our
family when we were children, and I thought that I'd use one of those
and do a drawing. But when I opened the box where I thought they
were --they were all landscapes that my father printed himself in
black-and-white. Not what I wanted.

So I went into my own photos on my iPad, and found one of our
kitchen table at this time of year covered with glass pitchers and
cream jugs filled with flowers. The very essence of abundance! I
loved the feeling in the photo, and set to work. 

I'm showing you a detail, because it took much longer than I
expected. If I get it finished in the next couple of days I'll show you
the final image.

Have a loving your life day.

Saturday, October 1, 2022

Happy Inktober


Me in my Full Fine Art T-shirt
Black marker on Canson paper
5.5 x 8.5 inches
Barbara Muir © 2020

Crazy busy day today, so I'm going to use some of an earlier
post.  I do love Inktober, because it's so much fun drawing with

This is a self portrait of me wearing my friend Georgia Fullerton’s
Full Fine Art T-shirt. It isn’t a perfect portrait by any
means, but I enjoyed finding it in my Blog files.

"I’m inspired by my artist friends who do so many things
 to promote their work, and by artists in general -- who are
 so much fun to be around, and so inspiring to their artist friends. 

Georgia Fullerton is such an active voice in the arts community.
So that’s it for today -- a drawing and welcome October. I’m looking
forward to this month in our family. It’s full of birthdays, and will
be full of art. (Isn't the word full perfect on this T-shirt.  That's what
we want -- a full life.)  I wish you one.

Stay safe, and stay healthy, and if you’re an artist who enjoys doing ink
drawings Happy Inktober."

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:
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!