Saturday, December 31, 2022

Happy New Year 2023!


Steven and I in 2015
on New Year's Eve
Happy New Year>

We had a lovely party and wish you all a very Happy New Year.

I look forward to sharing great creative adventures with you in
the new year.  Let's all be kind, and healthy and stay happy.

Have a loving your life day.

Friday, December 30, 2022

Happy New Year's weekend!

Some of my images from 2020.
The top 9 app wasn't working
so I gathered some images I love. 
Happy New Year!
Photos and artwork
Barbara Muir © 2020
(I felt like posting them
again tonight.)

I'm tired tonight from 2 weeks of hustling for the season. Funnily
enough we put up our outside tree today!  It is warm enough --
although it's raining -- that the fellows in our neighbourhood who
have backyard parties in the summer, are out laughing and talking
in the rain. A wonderful sound.

This is my top nine I made myself for 2020.  2022 was a hard year,
but things are looking up and we're going to have some (careful)
fun this weekend.

Have a loving your life day. 

Thursday, December 29, 2022

Thinking about 2023 -- it rhymes with creativity


Wonder Water Image #1
Acrylic on canvas
30 x 30 inches
Barbara Muir © 2014

This new year coming has got my brain packed with new ideas.
And they've come flooding in. Yes! I say.  One thing I'd like
to do (out of the list of something new every other minute)
is get back to painting portrait commissions of people
posing in my studio.  If my subjects were rapid tested and
so was I before each session, I think it would be okay --
if we were all up to date on our vaccinations. That's our
world today.

Here's a portrait of a favourite model. 

Have a loving your life day.

Wednesday, December 28, 2022

This kid stays with me

Reading on the dock
Acrylic on canvas
24 x 24 inches
Barbara Muir © 

 I've read a lot of articles lately about finding out who you are.
This painting is based on a photo of me at a young age, sitting 
on the dock at the cottage my parents rented against a backdrop
of my son's mother-in-law's view at her cottage.  

The painting hangs inside our front door -- and reminds me, the 
grown up, supposed adult, to know this is my essence -- a
happy kid who loves to play, and read, and loves beauty.  Being at the
cottage when I was a child was the easiest place to find equilibrium,
because the setting was beautiful, and my parents who were lovely
people, but also critical, and back in the city highly disciplinarian
were happy, and distracted.  In other words no one paid
attention to me except my aunts and uncles down the path, and
my cousins. So fun was possible and available.

Have a loving your life day.

Tuesday, December 27, 2022

The chorus of Amaryllises

Amaryllises insist on
 being center stage
Barbara Muir © 2022

A couple of weeks ago I bought three Amaryllis plants, not
in bloom.  If you are even slightly down about the state of
the world, or are anxious about the coming new year, this
flower is the antidote.  It takes a long time to move from
bud(s) to bloom.  It soars up like a green arrow, with leaves
surrounding it, and then the magic begins.

And it is impossible to look at these beauties and not feel
an enormous joy, just for the luck you feel getting to see
this. For anyone entering the room it is a feast for the eyes, and
for an artist it is an ecstatic eye full, and absolute proof that
the world is good.

Let's leave it at that. Happy Holidays.

Have a loving your life day.

Monday, December 26, 2022

Happy Holidays to my California family

California scene
Acrylic on panel
5 x 5 inches
Barbara Muir © 

A hard fact of our family life is that a huge chunk of our
family lives in California.  We have visited, but with COVID 
not for years, and we have 9 family members there. 
I remember the first time I visited California -- it was for a
course by Skip Lawrence and Toph Shink.  It was 

We left Toronto in weather so cold they had to de-ice the plane,
and arrived to see lemon trees thick with lemons outside our hotel 
room. Everyone complained of the cold, which we snow bound
Canadians thought was very funny. It was so wonderful. We'd love
to go again, and love to see our family there.

Have a loving your family day.

Sunday, December 25, 2022

Happy Holidays to you


Holiday Prep in the studio
Barbara Muir © 2022

Well today is Christmas day.  And after an evening and morning
of celebration we had the day to ourselves. So we took some
bread down to the very hungry birds at the park we love on the
lake, and gave them what they call a holiday dinner. It was sooo
cold, that even though we were very warmly dressed, we were
too cold to go for our favourite walk.

Instead we drove to a lookout we love, and watched the high
waves crash against the breakwaters. So beautiful to watch.
Then we drove to another park near Ontario Place where the
waves were sending spray up 50 feet in the air -- astounding and
sooo exciting to see.

A Happy Day. We had a quiet and delicious dinner, and sat on
the couch after dinner singing.  Happy Holidays to all of our
family and friends.  Thank you for being everything that was
wonderful about this past year.

Have a loving your life day.

Saturday, December 24, 2022

Happy Holidays

 This is our local park a few years ago.
It will look like this again tomorrow
on Christmas Day because we had a major
snowstorm, and it looks magical.
Happy Whatever Holiday you celebrate!
Barbara Muir ©

It's Christmas Eve, and we are having dinner with our 
family.  We're all rapid tested and there will be nine of
us at the table -- including one just 3 months old.

The lead up to the dinner, with work demands just ending
yesterday really, has been hectic to put it mildly -- almost
the whole house re-shuffled.  And after years of almost no
social life -- all of us rapid tested, this is a superb pleasure.

Happy Holidays!

Friday, December 23, 2022

The Holiday Hustle

Friday's flowers
black marker on bond paper
8 1/2 x 11 inches
Barbara Muir © 

With two evenings to get the holiday together and as predicted
some wind and snow, we spent today on the road.  What's
interesting is that just north of Highway 401 the roads are
sanded and clear, but in our neighbourhood south of that it
was a bit slippery. Everyone in every store we visited was

I found this quote in a post from this time of year that I
really like:

"Happy Holidays to you, and Happy whatever
festival of lights you celebrate.

We've been in the stores today trying to catch
up with ourselves and make sure Christmas is
the way we like it...

Thank you for giving me a very special present
all year round -- your kind encouragement and
comments. You more than keep me going, you
make me downright happy, and confirm my
faith daily that the world is a good place. My
thoughts go out tonight to the many people
on the planet who don't live in a good place,
and I hope that together bit, by bit, we can
change that."

Have an enjoying your life day.

Thursday, December 22, 2022

The 22nd thing I learned again in 2022 -- I can get it done with this guy

Me and Steven in our
winter gear about
10 years ago.

So far we haven't needed
the warmest clothes --
but this is coming!
Dawn Yaeger ©

Steven is definitely my Santa -- and with two days -- make that
two evenings to get all of the holiday celebration together --
we have been working hard.  If we didn't get a card to you,
Happy Holidays.  We simply had to work -- and now a winter
storm is expected with high winds, and maybe power outages,
and snow.  So who knows how the festive weekend is going to
go.  All I know is that with this guy -- it will all get done.

And if there's no power -- our holiday meal will be at Tim Horton's.
And you know what -- if we can stay warm, it would still be fun.

Have a loving your life day.

Wednesday, December 21, 2022

The 21st thing I've learned this year -- the light returns after the darkest day! Yay!

This year's tree 
Barbara Muir © 2022

I am not religious -- and yet we go all in for Christmas.  I found 
out that everything I like goes back beyond 2,000 years -- trees,
food, lights (not electric), song and delicious food were all part 
of the Yule celebrations -- about the return of the light.

So today is the longest day of the year, which means the light
starts coming back tomorrow.  And we sunset chasers will enjoy 
every single new minute of light that comes our way.

Happy Holidays to you!

Have a loving your life day.

Tuesday, December 20, 2022

The 20th thing I learned again -- art is alive

Marty's Mom
acrylic on canvas
24" x 36"
Barbara Muir © 2004

Today a group of friends in the neighbourhood, who have been
friends since our children were in kindergarten, got together
rapid tested to share some goodies and celebrate the holidays.

I was moved when I was getting ready to leave my friend Marty's
house to see the portrait I did of her mother sitting above the mantle
among the cards, and decorations.  But it was still early morning
for me, and I hadn't had quite enough coffee to notice the tiny
Santa hat sitting on Marty's Mom's portrait's head. 

Sadly Marty's Mom, a wonderful woman is no longer with us.
But it's clear that her family feels her presence in her 
portrait, and that made me happy.

Have a loving your life day.

Monday, December 19, 2022

The 19th thing I learned in 2022 -- Go outside if you can

The ducks and geese at the park
Barbara Muir © 2022

Yesterday in a day crammed with obligations we managed to get to
the lake.  It had been awhile.  And when we hit the beach to feed
the ducks and geese, we were swarmed.  The crowd definitely
appreciated the food. Big time.

We took a brief walk, saw the sunset, and were excited to say
that this Thursday the days will get longer again.  Which means

Have an enjoying your life day.

Sunday, December 18, 2022

Working and decorating --the 18th thing I learned again in 2022 -- We love celebrations

Sketchbook drawing of our
fireplace mantle and stockings

Red Sharpie on bond paper
Barbara Muir ©

We are still dealing with the pandemic, and this year our family
hopes to get together to share a meal and some gifts.  For us that 
will be amazing. What I realize that we've missed so much
is going to parties, or out to dinner with friends and family.

Today we picked up some rapid tests, so we can enjoy a few
holiday celebrations.  

I found this sketch on my blog. No idea when I drew it -- but
I liked the colour red for a Holiday season sketch.  Our decor
is far from ready, although we did start the tree. And it looks

We've both had too much work, and this weekend -- a sick
dog.  All will be well thanks to a sweet vet.

Have an enjoying your holiday day.

Saturday, December 17, 2022

The 17th thing I learned -- life is surprising

Before the Dance in the blue dress
Acrylic on canvas
24 x 36 inches
Barbara Muir ©

I am thinking a lot about how to paint people from life in
my studio.  I think if my model, or customer and I rapid tested
before a session, and if I wore a mask too, I could continue. For 
instance this young woman, Donnelle was part of my Dance
series more than a decade ago. She was my son's high school
friend, and a wonderful model.

And then -- about a year ago she was my student at George
Brown! The high school friends had grown up, gone to 
universities in different cities, and lost touch.  And suddenly
this young woman was in my Zoom sessions, and that was
surprising and wonderful. 

So if I do back to painting live in my studio, I would love
to paint Donnelle again. She won't be my student again,
I don't think, because I only teach one course. 

Have a loving your life day.

Friday, December 16, 2022

The 16th thing I learned in 2022 -- wonderful things happen when you least expect them

Sunny winter afternoon
on Cherrywood

acrylic on canvas
8 x 8 inches
Barbara Muir © 2010

Looking on the bright side -- inspired by this cheery
image of my street -- Cheerywood -- no -- kidding --
Cherrywood -- a lot of wonderful things have happened
in 2022.

The fact that it wasn't safe to be in public gatherings
inspired me to join art shows in California put on 
virtually by the San Fernando Valley Arts and Cultural

The shows were beautiful. I met new artists and 
curators virtually, and won first place in one show
and a $500 American prize for one of my pieces.  
So lovely.

Plus I also got to show in the Louvre in the Carousel
du Louvre Art Shopping show for the third time.  That
inspired us to travel to Paris, which was certainly one of
the highlights of the year.

Back home, we are beginning to think about the holidays,
and time spent with family -- who have lots of big news --
a new baby, my son's wedding. Happy times.
And this image came up when I did a search for the holidays,
which somehow seems just right.

Have a loving your life day.

Thursday, December 15, 2022

The 15th thing I learned — art lives on!

Susan Hartnett
Acrylic on canvas
24 x 36 inches
Barbara Muir ©

I was looking through past portraits today, and came upon this one I posted
in 2008 of my friend Susan Scott, who changed her name to Susan Hartnett.
Susan was a lovely friend, who was always kind.

We became friends when we both worked for a gas company—she as the
Chief Financial Officer and I as editor of the corporate magazine.  She went
on to work almost exclusively for charities, and I do art, freelance writing, 
editing and teaching. 

We lost touch during the pandemic because she followed the health advice of
an anti-vaccine advocate. Ultimately I expect that’s why she died 6 months after
her cancer diagnosis about a year ago. I think she had both. The story is even sadder
because she wanted me to bring her bright flowers. And I planned to do it the
next week, but she died before I could.

This portrait is both abstract and accurate. I can feel her presence when I look
at it. In part it captures the joy I felt when I started painting in acrylic, and when
my friend, as very shy, vibrant, British woman agreed to pose.  I miss you Susan. 

Have a loving your friends day.

Wednesday, December 14, 2022

Line is still key for me -- the 14th thing I learned in 2022

Anemones in a Crystal Jug
Inktober drawing
7 x 10 inches
Barbara Muir © 2022

In fact I think I did more line drawing than anything else this
year.  Aside from braving Paris for the Carousel du Louvre exhibition
in October, I was much too cautious about COVID to spend time
at gallery openings.  It seemed like everyday someone new would
get it, and on my street it's been rampant and still is. So smaller
work -- and especially line drawing made sense.

I was comforted today by finding this blog post from December 14, 2008.
*Note the interview with then Skype Blogger Howard Wolinksy, led to
my appearance on the Oprah Winfrey show in May, 2009. You have
all read about that here many times.  But here's the post from 2008.

It's all about line.

"An interest in sketching

Hi everyone,

Lately the sketches I do when I'm on Skype with my kids and friends
have garnered some attention in the wider world of the Internet.
You know I am a painter -- and I love painting, but I have always
been interested in sketching. Sketchbooks crowd my bookshelves.
At art college we weren't even allowed to use colour for some of
our classes, until we worked in grey scale for a year. I've
probably talked about that before -- because it drove me right
up the (white) walls.

Drawing was considered almost more "important" than painting.
Oh I know structure -- the gift of line -- I know why. The point
is that all of that went in, and I am someone who draws her life.
I said that on the video interview with Howard Wolinsky
that you can watch on You Tube by Googling Barbara Muir Skype.
Sketchbook self portrait
the girl fascinated by musicians

Tonight I was looking for a photograph of a friend that I stuck
in one of my old sketchbooks, and came across some drawings
that document my brief life as a musician's girlfriend. I really
wasn't cut out for the insecurity of life on the road, or the rock
musicians' obsession with equipment. The life was too harsh
and lived close to what seemed like a precipice to me.

A base player

But for the few months that I let myself get swept up in that
world, I'm really glad I documented it.

The drummer gets the spotlight

The funny thing is that both of my sons are very musical."

So that's my post from this date on my first year of blogging. Little did I know all of
the great things that were coming my way! Thank you Blogger!

Have a loving your life day.

Tuesday, December 13, 2022

The 13th thing I learned in 2022 -- art is a window

Heading home
Acrylic on 2 canvas panels
4 x 6 feet,
Barbara Muir © 2016

This painting, not beautifully photographed, is the background in one
of the rooms in my studio. It is big, and is of a scene I love in Nova
Scotia -- one of the places where I feel very at home.

People will say art is a window into the soul. And that's true too --
but landscapes can be a window into where you love to be. So
this large landscape tells me that Nova Scotia is out there, and I'll
see it again -- but in the meantime -- isn't this beautiful?

Plus the painting -- a diptych -- also tells me that I've done this before 
(painted large work) and can do it again -- so it gives me confidence.
I am so grateful for the art world, and the gifts it gives me, and to
my parents for sending me to OCAD years ago, and starting my 

And while we're at it -- my kindergarten teacher Mrs. Jordan, who
started me painting.

Have a loving your life day.

Monday, December 12, 2022

The 12th thing I learned -- We are always changing

The blue sweatshirt
Acrylic on canvas
8 x 8 inches
Barbara Muir © 2008
(I looked through my blog for
a sample of how I painted
when the blog began, and my
colours have changed quite 
a bit.  I still like bright 
colours, but don't use them
in the same way.)

What does that mean?  In one sense it means we have to
ask people how they're feeling, and what they enjoy doing,
and in another sense it means don't be afraid if you suddenly
see the world differently.  It just means that you've changed. 

When I was teaching Positive Psychology I discovered that
so many of our cells renew daily -- this means whether we 
want to our not -- we are changing.

Oddly enough people sometimes expect consistency in artists,
who are also supposed to be the most creative people in
the world. So let's be alive, thrive and enjoy each other's
new ideas and new work.

Have a loving your life day.

Sunday, December 11, 2022

Pets are wonderful -- the 11th thing I learned in 2022

Monet the cat when we
 brought her home as a kitten

Barbara Muir © 2022

Today was the first anniversary of our cat Monet's adoption.
We were singing Happy Weekaversary once a week, with the
superb singing accompaniment of our dog Sally, but today
we sang our first Happy Anniversary.

Pets are a wonderful part of anyone's life.  But for artists they
are especially important, because they force us to take breaks to
feed them, play with them, and spend time with them.  And
they listen.  One of my followers on Instagram said that if you
share secrets with a cat, you're really sharing them with yourself.
And I answered that he clearly didn't have siamese cats. (We
have two, and our dog Sally.) They talk back and comment.

This tiny kitten has grown into a very big cat.  There was a point
in late January this year when both of our cats quit eating, and we
thought we'd lose her. But that worry is completely gone!

Have a loving your life day. 

Saturday, December 10, 2022

The 10th thing I learned all over again in 2022 -- Be happy

This was my most popular image on Instagram in
2019.  Me with my painting Cloud Magic at
the opening of the Encounter exhibition at the
Heliconian Club.  Meeting the wonderful
artists who are members in the Helconian Club,
was one of the highlights of this year.

We've been living with a pandemic for almost three years.
Tonight we visited friends, rapid testing before we met,
and talked about Christmas 2020.  We ate outside in snowsuits
in -6 degree Celsius weather with part of family, masked until 
eating, and met the rest of our family on the porch masked for
presents. This was before vaccines, and we've had every one.
And before rapid testing -- which makes a big difference.  So
how wonderful it was to sit inside on a freezing night, and
talk and laugh with friends.  We were all very happy.

To quote myself from 2019

"Be Happy!  Doesn't that sound simple? It is, but we
lose our way over such ridiculous things -- like
traffic.  Hardship and sorrow come into every life --
and of course have been part of mine.  As well as
the richness of discovery, love and an exciting life,
there are the hard times, the silly arguments, the occasional
sleepless nights, and worry about other people's health and
happiness. This year I've tried to listen to a voice in my head 
that tells me to rethink my attitude (it sounds like my mother),
to notice what is great instead of what is wrong. I'm keenly
aware that our time on the planet is limited, and that
I am incredibly lucky. So in my best moments, and
fortunately they are many, I choose to enjoy life moment
by moment and in the case of enjoying you -- your support,
your beautiful art, and great thoughts -- that is a given.
I am so blessed that my family and friends are wonderful!"

Have a loving your life day.

Friday, December 9, 2022

Humour saves the day -- the 9th thing I learned again in 2022

Steven and Me laughing
I know that I'm lucky I married
a man who loves to laugh. 
This photo was taken at Christmas in 
2007, but laughter is a
lovely part of our family life.
Chris Muir © 2007

I'm posting a photo today that makes me happy every time I see it.
This is one of the things I love about my family -- at the best of
times they are funny.  They are actually some of the funniest people
on the planet, which makes me feel so lucky.

I hope you have a wonderful weekend filled with joy and laughter,
and stay well.

Have a loving your life day.

Thursday, December 8, 2022

Light Chasers -- The 8th thing I learned in 2022 -- love what you see!

A most beautiful tree
Barbara Muir © 2022

Steven and I are light chasers.  I realize that.  All year round we
try and see the sunset. And this month when the 21st comes, and
the days start getting longer we will be toasting one another
with a small glass of champagne! Hurray.

Meanwhile the brilliant (pardon my pun) thing about December,
especially in a colder climate, is that in the darkest month there
are lights everywhere.  Steven and I take a route home from our
favourite grocery story, up a tree lined street, and then into a
neighbourhood that has one of the most beautiful trees -- pine I
think -- in the city.  

Last year this very tall, majestic beauty was lit so beautifully in
December that we were in awe every time we saw it.  This year 
some people put lights on in November, and we kept thinking
the tree would be lit early, but it wasn't.  December 1, we drove by and
started shouting yay, and almost jumping up and down in our
seats with excitement. (That's right some people never grow up.)

The tree
Barbara Muir © 2022

So I took a couple of pictures tonight.  They in no way do it
justice, but how beautiful.

Have a loving your life day.

Wednesday, December 7, 2022

The Seventh thing that I learned again in 2022 -- Believe in yourself

The Promise
acrylic on canvas
36 x 48 inches
Barbara Muir © 2009

If you're reading this blog and you don't paint, you might think
that the job is a party. Painting in a studio with other artists -- yes --
even if you have to be quiet while the model is posing, that is like
a party.

Painting from a model on your own in your own studio -- quite 
joyous if all is going well -- terrifying if it isn't.  I've never showed
models or clients my work until I think it's finished.  

But working alone from reference when the model is gone can be
quite agonizing. I haven't had a model since 2019, but I am thinking
about how to do it safely again.

So I was surprised and happy to find out by reading my blog, that this
portrait that hangs in my studio, which is a work I'm proud of, and that
I admire -- took forever to complete and made me feel inadequate.  Why
does that make me happy? Maybe that's the wrong word.  The point is that
it confirms the idea of not giving up, and of believing in yourself.

That is something I learn over and over.  If I get scared, and think I
can't complete something, I need to rely on knowing that I overcame
that fear in the past, and the result is more than satisfactory.

So please if you are making art, or auditioning to act, or singing,
or making movies, or taking photographs, or dancing, or doing anything
creative -- believe in yourself, and you can do it.

Have a loving your life day. 

Tuesday, December 6, 2022

The sixth thing I learned in 2022 -- art is best with people

The Cake House
Acrylic on canvas
14 x 18 inches
 Barbara Muir © 2011

 I went to my Art Group tonight.  I wore a mask and I don't think I
stayed an hour.  My husband drops me off, and when I called to ask
when he was coming back he was waiting in the parking lot.  So
I'd like to do a bit more on the painting before I show it to you.

The model was wonderful, and I felt the joy of painting loosely 
right away. And to see other artists painting around you is inspiring
and energizing. I haven't been to my art group for a couple of
months, and I really missed everyone.

The painting tonight was inspired by a walk through the loop in our
local park.  The front of the house is a faux castle look very big in
some neighbourhoods, but the back is a pretty, accessible brick.
Now a huge fence blocks this view.  But I loved looking at
the house when we would walk by with the dog.

Have a loving your life day.

Monday, December 5, 2022

The fifth thing I learn over and over -- Friends make the world go round!

The photo of me and Miranda Brouwers that appeared in the
Dutch newspaper, The Carillon on December 29, 2015.
We are standing in front of the landscapes
Miranda showed at the Florence Biennale in October, 2015.

Today I got to talk to the artist Miranda Brouwers who lives in The Netherlands. 
We made friends at the Florence Biennale in 2015 and have shown together in the
Carousel du Louvre in Paris.  But most importantly we talk on the phone once a
week, and the conversations are delightful.

Miranda has a wonderful laugh, and is generous and kind beyond measure.
I had some lovely conversations with friends today, and one of them was my
once a week call with Miranda.

I love this photo from seven years ago.  I hope we can show together

Have a loving your friends day.

Sunday, December 4, 2022

The 4th thing I learned -- art makes people happy! Stepping into the light goes home

India taking a selfie with her
portrait Stepping into the light.
Barbara Muir © 2022
Stepping into the light
Acrylic on canvas
24 x 24 inches
Barbara Muir © 2022

At home:
hanging above the famous artist
Georgia Fullerton's (India's mother) desk -- 

Today we travelled to Ajax in lovely sunny weather to take my
portrait of India Morgan home. The painting is called Stepping
into the light
, and I know that if the painting could talk it would
say that that's exactly what happened today.  It finally stepped 
into it's right place -- and the subject -- India was as excited as
her mother to see this work.

What a great feeling that is as an artist -- to make people happy.
It's an over the moon joy let me tell you.  Thank you to India for
sending me photos, and talking to me on Zoom so we could
get this painting done. 

And thank you to Georgia Fullerton for her patience in waiting
for the painting to arrive. 

Have a loving your life day.

Saturday, December 3, 2022

Number 3 -- What do I know?

Santa street in Toronto
(not its proper name)
Barbara Muir © 2020

I can't wait until this street does this again. Maybe they're up already.
It amazes me that a whole street can agree to put the same
thing on their front lawns -- let alone giant Santas.  But they do it year
after year -- and whether you're a Christmas person or not that level of
co-operation is inspiring and heart warming.

Someone I know said that travel teaches you that you think
you know all about a place, but when you get there you
realize that you know nothing. As a constant reader, and
a teacher, I think this is a good point of view.  Tell me, show
me, teach me -- let me learn constantly. I appreciate everything
you teach me.

Have a learning something new day.

Friday, December 2, 2022

The second thing (really the first thing) I learned again in 2022

Poinsettias in the hallway
Barbara Muir © 
(Have to get some!)

I wrote this piece in 2015 to explain why I sign so many of
my letters with XOXOXOXOXO, and it resonated with me today.
I will be busy (rapid tested) with family tonight, so I hope you
enjoy my past post, lightly revised today.

"At this time of year when we're getting together with
family and friends (rapid tested) a part of me is thinking
who I wish I could see, could toast with a glass of
champagne, or sit down, and have a coffee and a
cookie with, and share a joke, or happy anecdote.

To all my friends and family who cannot be in
Toronto this year for the holidays, please know
that I love you and you are in my heart.

I learned the strong power of love when I held
my mother's hand as she lay dying.  It was
not about regret, although of course I wish I
could have spent more time with her.  My sadness
was about knowing I couldn't see her, hug her
and speak with her again.

After she died I knew I had to live to the fullest,
not for her, but because she would want me to.
And I understood in the most intense way
possible that however many years I had left on
the planet, they would not be enough to give
out enough love to the people I care about,
and to the world.

I don't mean to overpower people with the
XOXOXOXOXO.  I just mean to say I know
without question that however many X's and
O's I can put at the end of a note they will never
convey how important the concept of being
loving, and kind is to me.

Many friends at this time of year are sharing
ideas about beliefs and ceremonies they
enjoy.  But the common thread in everyone's
background is the importance of love and kindness.

Thank you for yours in 2022, and thank you
to all my friends and family for helping us to
enjoy yet another year of the pandemic.

XOXOXOXOXO to all of my friends and family

Have a loving your life day!

Thursday, December 1, 2022

Be the light - the first of 22 things I learned this year (again)


Light from the kitchen table
iPad sketch
8 x 10 inches
Barbara Muir © 2018

#1 of 22
I wrote this a few years ago, and it still works as one of
the first things I learned again in 2022.  I am not religious,
so what I like about the festive season, is the joy around
the light returning, which is all about rebirth -- a new year,
new ideas, new possibilities.  

Steven and I are sunset chasers.  By which I mean, we love
to see the sunset, and because we are also more late night
people, we rejoice as the days get longer.  So this is what
I learn every year -- try and be the light.  

In recent years the news has frequently been harsh:
fires in California, hurricanes on the east coast, climate
change so out of control, riots and arrests in Iran, and
mass shootings in America. A normal reaction is to feel despair.

But as I said a few years ago that despair is not generative
-- it doesn't lead to change. And change has to happen now
for the sake of the planet.

When I first talked about this I was thinking of the work
of my artist friend in Nova Scotia, Flora Doehler.  Not only has
Flora chosen to live a rural and sustainable lifestyle.
Her paintings are so joyous that they instantly lift the
viewers up, and make them happy.  Flora grows her own
garden with her husband Larry Knox, and  also sits in the
garden and paints -- celebrating the ecstasy and beauty of the
natural world.

I do believe that celebrating the world is one of the most
vital reasons for making art -- to inspire people, and help them
to love the planet, and value all of our lives on it.

Have a loving your light 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!