Monday, July 31, 2023

Lake people

Picnic on the rocks

Barbara Muir © 2023

Today I'm showing you a photo.  Of all of the beautiful photos
I've taken in the last two days, this one resonates the most. Why?
Because the people love the lake so much, that instead of using one
of the available (though rare) tables for their picnic, they climbed
out onto the rocks, to get the full Lake Ontario experience.

And the waves were crashing against the rocks and sending
up beautiful spray. So sweet.

Have a loving your life day.

Sunday, July 30, 2023

The dance of art

Getting Ready To Dance
Pastel on Drawing paper
181/2 x 24 inches
Barbara Muir ©

Today would make busy look like a holiday. We have been
on the go since before I even had coffee. That happens sometimes.
So much to get done. We planted one whole garden, and part of
another. We have 3 garden spaces in our backyard. I should say
Steven did the planting and I helped -- weeding while he did most
of it.

I still have so much to do, but love this image and post from 2019
titled This Lucky Girl. Last night on our night walk with the dog
there was a backyard party near the alleyway we walk in, and Steven
and I danced briefly across the street, unseen by the party people
with the dog in complete astonishment.

Here's the post from 2019

"This young woman, who modeled for me when
I was doing pastel drawings, has had a magical life. 

The connections between drawing and painting portraits,
and changes in mine, and the models' lives has
been fascinating. I painted a portrait of one model
and placed her in Paris hoping she'd get to travel there.
Later I learned that she'd already traveled extensively.
But a few years later I was invited to exhibit in Paris.
Something I could never have imagined, but had
dreamed about since my first trip to Paris after university.

In this case maybe drawing the model shown above
signaled the start of a completely different life for her.
She met and married the man of her dreams, had two lovely
children, and a happy life --  friends, exciting travel, and
wonderful work opportunities.

Though I might be mistaken, I'd like to think I had something
to do with the unfolding of her story.  At the time
she was into dance, and that's why the pose is athletic."

Have a loving your life day. 

Saturday, July 29, 2023

The power of power

Journal Sketch
marker on journal paper
6 x 8 inches
Barbara Muir © 2023

As the power has shut off once for a few hours today, and may
go off again at any minute, I'm writing this now.  This morning
working on my 3 journal pages and sketches, I was able to get
a rough sketch of a young woman I want to feature in a 

What challenged me when I first tried to draw her was her glasses.
I drew a rough sketch of the painting I was planning on a square
canvas, and realized that I needed to get a rectangle canvas and
paint horizontally to fit her and her boyfriend in with their arms
stretched across a table. So the good news while the power is
on, is that the glasses were not a problem. And I may
proceed with that painting empowered by my improved
ability, when our power (electrical) here is secure.

Have an acknowledging your own power day.

Friday, July 28, 2023

Looking back on 2020

Today was ferociously hot, but not as hot as all of the 
southern United States, and southern Europe. I have
been in meetings, and busy today, so wanted to find 
something meaningful from the past.

2020 was when this long, long pandemic began.  We
had no vaccines, and new variants kept coming at us.
One of my friends, the wonderful artist Georgia 
Fullerton, held a GASP session for artists on Zoom,
to try and inspire us to keep going.  I will quote that
piece tonight, and show the poor quality video I made to go 
along with the blog post.


"Georgia Fullerton's GASP -- and the magic of fellow artists

COVID -19 has shut a lot of artists down.  We keep trying,
and doing this and that, but the impetus to paint is impacted
 by the facts -- most galleries being closed, no meetings with
other artists, no workshops in person, and the endless
sad stories connected to the virus.

On June 26 Georgia Fullerton held a Zoom event to introduce her
GASP method of painting people's emotions and histories.  She had
wonderful, inspiring guests.  And I don't know about the effect on
other artists, but it got me back into the studio in a pre-COVID-19
way.  I'm not saying the art I'm producing is great, but I feel super
painting.  The joy of doing it has come back to me.  I credit
Georgia.  Oh and of course my husband Steven who came into the
studio and said he liked the painting I was working on.  We need
that support."

Have a loving your life day.

Wednesday, July 26, 2023

Exciting times

Flowers for my father
pencil crayon on paper
21 1/2 x 26 inches
Barbara Muir ©
(the drawing was photographed
through glass because it's

The other day I got the promise of a commission, and 
when I mentioned it to a friend, the promise of another
commission.  The first one is to paint a flower garden,
and the second one is of a garden through a window.
All enticing, because I love flowers.

The first request may want something very realistic
in a Dutch Renaissance way -- that will be a challenge. 

So I found this drawing I did years ago when I was
painting flowers every day, and I worked primarily
in coloured pencil. And my style was more realistic.

In recent years I like a much looser impressionistic 

So I will let you know where this goes.

Have a loving your life day.

Tuesday, July 25, 2023

Date night


At the restaurant 
Black marker on Moleskine paper
6 x 9 inches
Barbara Muir © 2011

Our date night used to be Thursday, but now I'm 
teaching on Thursday night, so our date night is
Tuesday.  We head out to Ikea, wear masks in the
line, then eat 40 feet away from anyone else and
enjoy ourselves.

The staff know us, and are very sweet.  It's not
quite like this drawing from the pre-pandemic
restaurant days, but it isn't bad.

Have a loving your life day.

Monday, July 24, 2023

Always celebrating

Steven and me at the 
(Yes I was not blonde yet)
Wallace Muir © (my father)

People who read my blog often comment on how we
are always celebrating. Of course that's not true, but
Steven and I do notice a couple of important dates
each month that are just ours -- our Monthaversary
of our first date, and our Monthaversary of our wedding,
which happened 11 months after our first date.

Last year on this day I wrote to you that love is coming,
if it isn't in your life right now, and you want it. I could
never have imagined meeting someone who loved me
from minute one, before meeting Steven.  And I wish that
love for you in your life.

Are we perfect?  Not at all.  We argue quite a bit, but do
we love each other -- yes. To the moon and back.

Have a loving your life day.

Sunday, July 23, 2023

Belated Anniversary

Steven -- the love of my life
with two of our constant
companions -- (Monet the
kitten is now a cat, and Fiona)

Barbara Muir © 2022 

Yesterday was the anniversary of our first date --
which we celebrate monthly, but the annual one
is of course more significant. Still yesterday we 
were exhausted from a busy week, and not at all

So today we got it right.  We drove out to our favourite 
park by the lake, passing a wonderful outdoor band, and
a dancer teaching moves to a very happy crowd.  We
picked up delicious chocolate covered ice cream
bars, and ate them watching the dancers and 
listening to the band. What a treat.

That felt perfect, because we love one another, and
talked all day about that first date, and the days, years
that followed.

Thank you to everyone who has made our life
together so happy.

Saturday, July 22, 2023

More from the journal

Journal portrait sketch
Marker on notebook paper
6.5 x 8.5 inches
Barbara Muir © 2023

In the past month I've been trying to do three drawings
in my three daily pages of journals.  Although the drawings
improve as I drink my morning coffee, I am not a
morning person, so they are far from perfect.  But perfect
isn't the goal anyway, so they make me happy.

The drawing today is from a little photo in our kitchen of
me reading to my sons -- Christopher and Sam, when Sam was
a baby.  I liked the serious look on my face.  That is a
wonderful pleasure -- reading to children.

As usual it's a busy weekend.

Have a loving your life day.

Friday, July 21, 2023

Journal drawing

Journal sketch based on
Young Woman (Simonetta Vespucci?)
in Mythological Guise

tempera on panel
Städelsches Kunstinstitut, Frankfurt am Main
Sandro Botticelli,  c. 1480/1485
Barbara Muir © 2023

Super tired today.  We had guests who arrived late last night, when
I got home from teaching my night class.  They stayed over
because an electrical mistake near our guests apartment building,
resulted in an explosion and fire.  And now power or AC
in the building.All fixed now. 

Here is a journal drawing I did of a Botticelli painting of 
Simonetta Vespucci.

More tomorrow.  For now, tired and taking a break.

Have a loving your life day.

Thursday, July 20, 2023


Water Image 3
Acrylic on canvas
30 x 30 inches
Barbara Muir © 2010

We were talking tonight in class about how to unify people
and make them feel part of the community when they come
from all over the world. In my art, I have tried to create small
communities to link people and places from different geographic

This painting Water Image 3 is part of a series,
joining the oceans, and people that loved specific ocean places
together by bands representing the beaches at the edge of the ocean.

This is one of my favourites, a young woman from India I met
through a class, and had come to work for a family here as a nanny.
She was studying Pre-health with the hope of one day becoming a nurse,
or a doctor. She moved several times, and I lost touch with her. I hope
 she achieved her dreams. I'm forever grateful to her for posing for me.
The painting travelled to New York, and hangs in my studio at the moment.

Have a loving your life day

Wednesday, July 19, 2023

The romance of 2019

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

 I have been drawing small portraits today, inspired by an
artist I'll talk about in a future blog.  But this portrait from
2014 way before COVID in my part of the world, drew me in. 
And as a small portrait, I think it has a delightful
amount of life and happiness.

I am reposting the piece I put up in 2019, in fond memory
of that relatively worry-free time.

"A few years ago -- (OMG 5!) -- we had

a family member who had to visit Toronto Western
Hospital frequently.  At the time one of us would
head over to La Rosa Bakery and either hang out, or pick
up sandwiches for when the treatment, or appointment
was over. We loved the people there.

I did this little portrait of Lisa who worked at the bakery, but
when I went back to show it to her, she wasn't there.
Since then we've rarely been back in the neighbourhood,
and I hear the bakery closed.  So sorry.  I did a few portraits
of people who worked at, and visited La Rosa --
all great people.

I think this woman's wonderful warmth and humour
comes through in the portrait.  I've been thinking of
and planning portraits all day, but have nothing
concrete to show you.  This painting is one I'm
proud of.  Small, and it's all there."

Have a loving what you do day.

Tuesday, July 18, 2023

In the mood for drawing

Fun times
(work in progress)
Marker on 
Fabriano paper
5.5 x 8.5 inches
Barbara Muir © 2023

Today a strange little drawing.  The woman is from a magazine
article, she was holding a dog, but this is a different random
dog photo, same magazine, small, and without explanation. The
baby was based on a photo of one of mine.

Everything is different than the sources, and I like the result.
When I'm in the mood to draw, it's a happy day.

It was a glorious day here today, we saw one of my brothers-in-law,
and had nice lunch together, then I walked with my friend, and
enjoyed it so much. Rain held parentheses around the walk, which
miraculously was in sunshine.

Have a loving your life day.

Monday, July 17, 2023


The House on the Hill #2
Acrylic on canvas
18 x 24 inches
Barbara Muir © 2017

Last year on this day, I called thinking about this painting
Dream Time.  Today one of our family dreams is coming 
true with relatives coming for dinner, rapid tested all way
from California.  

And a after that this is the next dream -- going to our 
school house.  Here's what I said about it last year on this 

"I get the recharging of fresh air, a slow pace, and exquisitely beautiful

scenery on our annual trip to our school house in Nova Scotia.
The entire journey is wonderful, and of course there are landmarks
all along the way.  This is one of them -- the house on the hill that
means we're almost at Pugwash, and almost at our home in
Nova Scotia.  I have painted this house so many times, and never
met the people who own it.  Maybe some day.

Have a loving your life day."

Sunday, July 16, 2023

Cleaning up and working

Morning bouquet
Marker on Fabriano
drawing paper
8 1/2 x 11 3/4 inches
Barbara Muir © 2022

It's been a busy weekend. I found this sketch of market 
flowers from last year, and have two beautiful bouquets
in my kitchen right now from the farmer we buy goodies
from every weekend.  One of the people who helps him
with customers is Stephanie, who proudly presented me
with a huge bouquet yesterday.  It turned unto two luscious
displays in my house.

I hope I do get a chance to draw this year's versions.  So
magnificent, and varied.

Have a loving your life day. 

Saturday, July 15, 2023

We finally found Nasturtiums

Night Nasturtiums 
Watercolour on watercolour paper
5 7/8 x 9.5 inches
Barbara Muir © 2012

Steven and I, as I've told you in years before, are late,
not great gardeners. By the time the end of the season
rolls around in October or maybe November, we will
have a lovely full garden, planted in snatches, when the
mood hits, and the right flowers appear in a garden

We have some perennial flowers, and I am grateful for
them -- a 5 foot wide stand of fall blooming anemones,
Irises, some pink lilies blooming now.  Poppies showing
up here and there, and some very weak looking Cosmos,
which will jump up given the chance. (The Cosmos reseeded

But the flowers we couldn't find anywhere this year were
Nasturtiums, which are one of my favourites.  Seriously
we've been to 5 or 6 garden centres looking for these 
beautiful plants -- nothing.

But today on a drive out east we stopped at a small flower
shop -- and there they were.  

Thank you Cathy at the store, and her siamese companion
cat, Marley for making us very happy. May the planting begin.

Have a loving your life day.

Friday, July 14, 2023

Another busy day

Morning sketch
Marker on notebook paper
6.5 x 8.5 inches
Barbara Muir © 2023

I'm grateful that I'm making myself draw in my journal first
thing in the morning.  My rule is simple -- 3 pages in the
journal combining writing and 3 drawings.  I don't always
get all three pages done, but when I do, I feel like an 
artist, even if the day -- like today was spent mainly trying
to sort and tidy my studio, and try to organize my house.

Small steps.

The artist Simon Davis, whose work I love, featured portraits
today of the dancer, choreographer, Ching-Ying Chien.  I 
looked her up on Instagram, and did this fast sketch on coffee #2
of her.  (As you know things improve with coffee #3).
She is a magnificent dancer, and I'd love to see her perform if
she ever comes to Canada.

Have a loving your life day.

Thursday, July 13, 2023

Journal Drawing

Morning journal sketch
of Linus Torvalds
from a Peter Adams

I teach today, so I didn’t have much time for art. But in the
morning I try to write/draw three pages in my journal. This
morning, drinking my second coffee – so somewhat awake,
I drew this man whose photo I found online under the word Faces.
It turns out the photo is by Peter Adams, and the subject is a
man called Linus Torvalds Who invented the Linux operating

Starting the day off, drawing as I drink, my first coffee helps
me feel like I am an artist, even if there is no time in the day
for more serious work.

Thank you for all your support and for your continuous

Have a loving your life day.

Wednesday, July 12, 2023

Portrait of an amazing artist

My portrait of Susan Carlin
quick sketch
charcoal on watercolour paper
12 x 9 inches
(One of my early blog mentors
was the artist Susan Carlin.  The day she
asked me to sit for a Skype portrait and to
do her portrait via Skype long distance (she
was in Texas) was a big day. I had already
been interviewed by 
Howard Wolinsky for a
YouTube interview, 
and was contacted by my
friend Melinda  
Esparza who did a portrait
drawing from Howard's first 
interview with me.

Susan taught me a lot about drawing.
She taught me how to draw a curve.  Big lesson.  
She now can't remember that, but you did Susan
on one of your internet drawing classes!
 You are part of the 
reason I love
drawing coffee cups)

I am a bit tired today, and have what feels like a million 
chores to do.  But just as I was feeling somewhat
overwhelmed, I noticed a letter in the mail slot from
a dear artist friend in Texas, Susan Carlin.

I planned to put a drawing on as my post today, and a
drawing of Susan came up. We drew one another via
Skype in 2009.  'Perfect,' I thought, and then
read my post about it in 2019, and decided to put that
on today's blog too.

"Leaving your parents' sheltered and safe home to
go out on your own at 17 can have its downsides.
It is lonely - even if you live with a friend, and
scary, even if its in a safe area of town, and a lot
of work.  But what I was lucky enough to realize
early on -- if you read my earlier story about a family
in my neighbourhood who were kind to me as a seven
year old -- is that the world is full of mentors.

I was transformed from practically a stick figure
drawer at the end of high school, into a decent
life drawing artist in the 8 months of my first
school year at OCAD.

When I switched to English at a different university,
I was taught that contrary to the views expressed
by my family, I was smart!  What?  An A+ student
all of a sudden.  I could write a 40 page undergraduate
thesis on Iconography and Imagery in Edmund Spenser's
The Fairie Queene!

And so the story goes throughout my life.  Brilliant teachers,
wonderful artists, and magnificently inspiring friends and
mentors have given me the delightful life I live -- filled
with loving family, superb friends, exceptional books,
music, film, super walks and above all happiness.

Mentors in recent years other than family,  have been all of
the artists in the blog, Facebook and Instagram world, plus
the artists I show with, and in the art clubs I belong to.  So
ultimately this is a thank you!  Thank you for teaching me so
much on a continuous basis, and for supporting me.  You are
all my mentors and you empower me.

Have a mentoring someone day."

Tuesday, July 11, 2023

A hot, hot painting day

Cottage Flowers
Acrylic on canvas
24 x 24 inches
Barbara Muir © 2017

Today I worked on the painting I showed you yesterday.  
I also worked on a landscape painting and had so much
fun changing it.  Both are not finished. 

Plus I listened to a podcast interview on Alyson Stanfield's website
with Amy Clay on Artist Residencies.  That was a treat.  So was
talking to my artist friend, Flora Doehler, who did a vibrant
drawing of the view out her window during our conversation. 

So it was a busy day with thunderstorms expected, but we worked
in our walk before the storm.

The painting I'm showing you is available.  It brings back so many
memories of the gorgeous flowers we buy from Ken Lander
in Pugwash, Nova Scotia and Sunrise Greenhouses. If you're
interested in the painting email me at

Have a loving your life day.

Monday, July 10, 2023

"The long and winding road"

(work in progress)
16 x 20 inches
Barbara Muir © 2023

You know the song.  Yes I'm still working on this. In my
case it's "the long and winding road" that leads to 
finishing a piece. No I am not on the road. 

I am happy with where it is right now, and I am still
slowly, slowly working on it.

Have a loving your road day.

Sunday, July 9, 2023

Today is about flowers

From the market 
Acrylic on canvas
16 x 20 inches
Barbara Muir © 2015

I'm showing you this painting today, although the flowers we've
bought aren't the same. It's just one of my best paintings of
market flowers.  There's a big jug on the kitchen table filled with
beautiful flowers from the market that I need to arrange, and 
perhaps paint.

Plus we bought some flowers for our garden which has some
perennials coming up, but there are large gaps that we want
to fill.  So what could be more perfect on a summer's day
than adding to our garden with the sound of Salsa music 
from Salsa on St. Clair in the background?

Have a loving your life day.

Saturday, July 8, 2023

Still in a Florence mood

View from our apartment terrace when
I stayed in Florence the first time
I exhibited at the Florence Biennale.
There was a church right against
our building, and that's the Duomo
in the distance.
Barbara Muir © 2009

I just read a delicious post to Steven about a wonderful dinner we had
on our first visit to Florence in 2009 for the Florence Biennale. The
fabulous experiences we had there are vivid in my memory.  I considered
going to the Biennale again this year, but a fragile job situation meant
that I couldn't easily afford the hefty fees -- for exhibiting, transporting
work of any size, air fair for us, and staying in the city during the

Do I think the expenses of exhibiting and travelling are worth it?
Yes.  If I could. I would.  The photo today is of the view from the
terrace at the apartment we rented for the first Biennale.

Have a loving your life day.

Friday, July 7, 2023

Memories of Florence

A fruit market we passed
walking to the church of
Santa Maria Novella
where many Medicis are
buried in Florence, Italy.

Barbara Muir © 2009

The first time I showed in Italy at the Florence Biennale, was
one of the most exciting times in my art career.  True I was
showing three portraits, and people didn't seem to
understand why, but it didn't matter.  It was the most fun.
And the city was so beautiful, so moving, so rich in art,
fabulous food, wonderful people.

I'm putting on this photo of a fruit market near the
church of Santa Maria Novella.  Florence was an
endless visual treat.

Have a loving your life day.

Thursday, July 6, 2023

Back in class

Ready for joy
Charcoal on bond paper
12 x 14 inches
Barbara Muir © 2010
(This drawing was in preparation for
a painting in the same pose.
I really like the drawing. )

Tonight I taught my first in-class class since March 2020.  What
a difference.  It was the best. I had so much fun, and somehow
we packed a lot of information, and exercises into a two-hour 
period. I wore a mask most of the time, and no one minded. 

Thanks to Mark and Hajia, for their help and support, and to all of
the students who were wonderful.

Have a loving your life day.

Wednesday, July 5, 2023

MIssing Timbah

Professor Timbah
(This is a photo of Timbah 
from a very busy month in
my life, when he persuaded
me on a Sunday to do a 
relaxation course with him. (Lol.)
The course involved sleeping
most of the day with Timbah
and our cat Fiona by my
side, while I read a novel
intermittently. He
was a sweetheart, and
could persuade anyone
to slow down.)

Our cat Timbah died two years ago on this day.  A lot
has happened since then, and we still miss him.  After
he died at 16 we think, our older siamese cat, Fiona, was
broken hearted.  We couldn't bear the idea of losing two
of our pets, so we got a new kitten to give our older cat

Monet is now just over a year and a half old, and she is
still a major annoying factor in Fiona's life.  But even 
her constant irritating habits have somehow been a 
positive, and have helped Fiona get over missing Timbah.

If there is a heaven (I'm no believer) then our sweet cat
Timbah is there. Meanwhile as I write this Monet has taken
over the dog Sally's bed, and is having a bath while Sally
sighs beside her mattress on the floor.  Animals eh?

Have a loving your life day.

Tuesday, July 4, 2023

The beauty of sunflowers

(Work in Progress)
Acrylic ink and marker
on watercolour paper
9 x 12 inches
Barbara Muir © 2023

I bought some sunflowers the other day.  They were 
gorgeous while they lasted, and I had fun creating this
image. I have a bit more work to do on it.

Apparently van Gogh painted 11 sunflower paintings.
And I admire him for that.  Although they look like a
a simple flower, they are anything but that to paint or

Have a loving your life day.

Monday, July 3, 2023

Painting loose

Young Man Reading
Acrylic on canvas
30 x 30 inches
Barbara Muir ©

It's Canada Day weekend in Canada, and we are having a long
holiday weekend. I found this image and post about painting
loose, and I really like it.  I tend to paint more loosely when
I work from a model, and that was certainly true with this 
painting sketch. So here is the post from 2019:

"I found this painting in one of many stacks of work
around the house, and I really love it.  It isn't wired, and
probably was never shown. One of my blog and Facebook
friends Janet Vanderhoof is working hard at painting in a loose
style, and I love what she is doing. I tend to rocket between loose
and highly descriptive, but love the times when I am more free
with my paint.

I have been lucky for my entire artistic life to have a super
supportive family.  This painting is of my son Sam who
posed for me many times during his late teens when he
was living at home and a ready subject.  Christopher,
my son, my daughter-in-law Megan, Steven, my husband
and our various animals have all posed. And I am grateful
for them.  Big time.

Have a loving what you do day."

Sunday, July 2, 2023

Happy Birthday

Look at this
Acrylic on canvas
24 x 24 inches
Barbara Muir © 2011

Today is my son Christopher's birthday -- the day when Steven
and I became a family.  I am so grateful to Christopher for all of
the joy he's brought into our lives. I wish him a wonderful year.
He now has three lovely children of his own.

The picture today is of Christopher and his beautiful wife,
Megan. I painted it using a Skype image as Christopher
and Megan were teaching in Korea.

Have a loving your life day.

Saturday, July 1, 2023

Happy Canada Day

A few of my landscapes
celebrating my love of
The two on the
ends are Maritime landscapes,
and the one in the middle is the
school yard up the street.
Acrylic on canvas
Barbara Muir ©

Since the invasion of Ottawa in January, 2022, Canada Day
has changed.  Before the right wing, anti-vaccination (for
COVID) truckers invaded Ottawa, Canada Day used to be
a very obvious celebrate-the-country holiday.  Our street
would be hung with the Maple Leaf flags on almost every house.

Since that insurrection, almost no one in Toronto hangs a Canadian
flag because the flag is connected with the people who parked 
their trucks in front of the parliament buildings for two 
months in the winter of spring 2022.

Still we are all proud of many things about our country.

Here's what I said last year -- it still applies.

What I like about Canada:

"1.  The people -- Canadians come from all over the world.
My own ancestors, great, and great, great grandparents
came from Italy, Scotland, Ireland, and France.  My
husband is descended from Dutch and Indonesian
great grandparents.

2. My city.  Each time I come back to Toronto, after
visiting other countries, I notice how people are here.
At the bus stops all of us hang out together.  It feels
different from other cities in the world.

3. Our humour.  Canadians are self-critical -- and
that is the core of our humour.  And we're funny.
Our humour gets exported big time, especially to the
United States where so many of the top comedians, and
comic actors are Canadian.

4. We're boring.  We're allowed to be boring and
safe. We want good and happy lives, and it doesn't
matter if that means we live by routines.

5. No guns. (Or almost no guns).  We don't think
it's cool to use/have guns.  We don't have guns in
our houses, our cars.  Guns are not cool here.
Criminals and hunters use guns. The police have
guns, but the general public detests gun violence,
and thinks guns are scary, and worse -- stupid and

6. We say we're sorry.  You know you're in
Canada when you bump into someone's cart
 in the supermarket and the sorry fest goes on
for 10 minutes -- first you. "I'm sorry," then
the other person, "No I'm sorry" and that

7. Free health care.  When relatives of mine
have gone through treatments for cancer, or
had surgery, or babies, or any kind of reason
to need healthcare -- it's free.  Some doctors
charge a yearly fee -- maybe $200, but otherwise
healthcare is free.

8. We're a vast country.  I've traveled from one
side of the country almost to the other, and there
is still so much to see, so many places I haven't been.

9. Our art -- it's exciting being an artist in Canada.
Although we're a young country, our art has a
distinctive quality.  Canadian artists love this country,
and that comes out in so many forms -- in art, music and, 
10.  Our kindness.  It is in to be kind here. People from
other countries might find that boring, but we don't. 

Of course things go wrong. The country and its history
are far from perfect. We are dealing with righting the
terrible mistreatment of indigenous people at residential
schools. We are not free from disturbing and violent acts.
And we have been struggling with the pandemic too.  
But in Toronto, where I live, violence is not the norm.
Many neighbours from every culture were out at a
local park watching fireworks together tonight, and
wishing each other Happy Canada Day."

Have an enjoying what's good about your country 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!