Tuesday, October 31, 2023

Happy Halloween

Steven in the door waiting for
Trick or Treaters.
Many came tonight.
This is a photo from a couple
of years ago.  Tonight we were
masked, and in winter coats because it was
very cold. 

Tonight I put on one of my nice, dressy warm winter dresses,
and a witch's hat and stood on the front porch in the cold
letting kids come, and pick halloween chocolate bars out of
a basket on our porch.  It was so much fun. After an hour or so
I had to look for my warmest winter coat, and even put on gloves
towards the end of the night.

Our next door neighbour was out giving out candy
too.  The children's costumes were wonderful, and not one Barbie
costume, even though it was predicted they would dominate the
scene. And the kids were sweet -- so polite, careful not to take too
much candy even when we said they could.  

So that was Halloween this year. Sweet.  I ate about five chocolates,
and then had a super dinner with Steven when it was over.

Have a loving your life day.

Monday, October 30, 2023

Happy day before Halloween

Me at the gala opening with
the fabulous Ruthie Tucker

I was looking for a photo of me in a witch's hat because tomorrow
is Halloween -- a special day for me.  So I didn't find one, but 
I found this photo of me with the gallery Director at the Amsterdam
Whitney Gallery in New York City, Ruthie Tucker, taken 12 years ago. 
How is that relevant?  I got a beautiful note from Ruthie today, and
she is one of my favourite people -- plus I am very happy today, and
this photo captures the feeling of exuberant joy I'm feeling. Thank you
Ruthie for all that you've done for me.

The conversation continues
Left to right: Listening across oceansLate night
in Norway; and The best news right here
This is my series based on Skype images taken of
conversations with my friend the artist Henriette Sonne
in Norway, who I met at the Florence
Biennale in Florence, Italy, in 2009.
( love this series, and am thinking of working
on some portraits in the near future.)

The world is in turmoil. We need small moments of joy so we can
continue to do whatever it takes to change the horrendous events
we're witnessing. 

Have a changing the world day.

Sunday, October 29, 2023

Need to get ready for Halloween


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. 

I am so inspired by the artists I follow today. And by the gorgeous
fall day we've enjoyed.  Cold, a bit rainy, then sunny, and beautiful.
We are not ready for Halloween.  We have the pumpkins, but
Steven hasn't carved them.  But hey we've just 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 few years.

Still I love the spirit of celebration -- so we've bought the
candy, and we'll figure out a way to give it out safely. We will
be masked. 

The image today is from an earlier Halloween when we were
ready. Check. It will look a lot like that again.  We did buy
10 little pumpkins and put them along the walk.

Have a loving your life day.

Saturday, October 28, 2023

Artists overdoing it

Sam's birthday cake portrait
from Grade 8
Icing on cake with candies
Barbara Muir ©

Talking with my son Sam and his wife Emily tonight, he reminded
me of an embarrassing birthday cake I made for him when he 
was in Grade 8.  He said it made his friends really nervous because
they didn't want to eat his face.  So funny. Of course not, but we'd
brought really great arty cakes to school for him all along, and
suddenly he was not the little boy we'd been celebrating all
through public school.

Mothers eh?  Especially artistic mothers.  I like the look
of the cake now (long gone of course).  Sam was and is very
handsome, which I didn't capture in the portrait.  And I
learned that portraits are a lot harder in icing.

Have a loving your life day.

Friday, October 27, 2023

A day off

Nasturtiums on the kitchen table
Barbara Muir ©

It would be good to have a day off because I've been painting
steadily for quite a few weeks, and just started teaching one
night a week, a week ago. Teaching is super fun, and the next 
day I am super tired. 

I actually had a day off today -- went and visited a friend, and 
sat outside with her talking.  It was lovely.  And Toronto was
so warm, that it was like summer.

So I'm taking a day off, maybe even a couple, but I did gesso
a canvas last night, and am thinking about my next piece.
I am probably going to do a portrait of a fabulous young
woman I know.

Have a loving your life day.

Thursday, October 26, 2023

National Pumpkin Day


Steven carving a pumpkin
Barbara Muir © 2019

Hi everyone,

Halloween has always been a big deal with my family.  This year
it's going to be super cold.  I still love seeing the little kids coming
around in costumes.  We will wear masks and probably hold out
baskets of treats at the door. And wear warm costumes ourselves.

It all starts with the pumpkins.  Those beautiful big traditional
orange beauties are on every front step here.  And I love them.
How it works in our house is that I draw the design on the pumpkins, and
Steven, my husband, carves them.  It is an incredibly messy and
fun exercise. So we will have to get ready tomorrow for next
Tuesday's festival. 

Happy National Pumpkin Day.

Wednesday, October 25, 2023

International Artists Day

Chu Okoli's photo of
Rolf Leemeijer, Miranda Brouwers,
Me and Chu at the gala dinner for the
2015 Florence Biennale
Chu Okoli © 2015

Wow! I just found out that it’s International Artists Day, and I want
to say thank you to all of the wonderful artists around the world 
who have inspired me! Plus I want to thank all of the artists from
so many different countries who share their work, who support me
with encouragement on Instagram, Facebook and my blog.

If you possibly can, I recommend participating in International art shows.
Fees and shipping can be expensive yes. And the benefits and joys of 
participating certainly are more than worth it.

I have been lucky to show in the Carousel du Louvre Art Shopping show in
Paris, France 3 times, in the Florence Biennale twice, and in shows in New
York City 10 times, plus I've had work featured in the Netherlands, and
in California.  My whole life as an artist transformed in exciting ways
with these experiences. They brought me a worldwide artistic community and 
wonderful new friends. 

Happy International Artists’ Day!

Tuesday, October 24, 2023

Hey Dream Garden is done and went home today


Dream garden
Acrylic on canvas
24 x 24 inches
Barbara Muir © 2023

What a wonderful feeling it is when a collector commissions a painting,
and when they come to pick it up they love it! The best. This one
took awhile to complete.  And I'm happy with it too. Yay! 

We were in a bit of a rush when we took the photos, so I will get
more photos next week, and it will be amazing to show them to you.
The collector is a complete sweetheart, and I'm so glad she's happy.
Steven and I had a little bit of champagne to celebrate. Yay!

Have a loving your life day.

Monday, October 23, 2023

Enjoy what's enjoyable now

Catherine in the coat and hat
Inktober drawing 
Black marker on paper
5.5 x 8.5 inches
Barbara Muir © 2019
We are living in hard times.  This drawing from Inktober 2019
made me think about how lucky we were in a way then.  The pandemic
became public in March 2020, and since then life has been profoundly
changed, and not for the better. We lost so many people to COVID -- and
social life became precarious. But when I published this little drawing of
Catherine in 2019 we didn't know what was coming. 

        Here's what I wrote when I first published the piece.  I've been working on
        a painting for the better part of two months, and it is finished today.  When
        it gets approved by the collector, I will show it to you.  Meanwhile please
        enjoy this: 

        "When I was a little girl I adopted a family.
        Really they adopted me -- because I was told
        to go outside all the time, and would be hanging
        around the nearby streets with my dog. The long
        and the short of it is that a nice family let me
        come in and see the baby.  I fell in love with
        the baby, and the couple proceeded to have
        three more from the time I was seven when
        I met them, until I was thirteen when I moved away.

       I loved, loved, loved these babies, and before long
       I was helping change their diapers, playing with them,
       and I was allowed to take them for walks around the
       corner to my house and my mother.

       My mother was sad about changes in baby clothes,
       and snowsuits, and things that tried to make babies
       look older than they were.  She was an amazing sewer
       and sewed this beautiful coat and hat for one of the children,
       Catherine, in a deep rose corduroy (so it would be
       washable). The coat had pleats and so much material,
        but it was sweet, and Catherine's mother made sure to
        let me dress Catherine in the coat and hat if I was bringing
        her to see my Mother.

Have a loving your memories day."  

Sunday, October 22, 2023

A year ago today

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
(See the Eiffel tower in the background!)

One of my happiest memories of Paris one year ago was
what happened exactly a year ago today. Today is a big day --
our daughter-in law's birthday, our monthaversary, and a 
day filled with memories of one year ago. 

Here's what I wrote then:

"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.  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.
I will never forget all of the artists and guests on the boat
yelling together every time we went under one of the many bridges
over the Seine.  So fun.  Everybody laughing. The best!

Have a loving your life day."

Saturday, October 21, 2023

Tired -- sometimes fatigue creates art

Let sleeping dogs lie
 charcoal on bond paper
14 x 16 inches
Barbara Muir © 2011
(this was our dog Zoey -- a
great dog)

Are you awake?
Charcoal on bond paper
8 1/2 x 11 inches
Barbara Muir © 2012
(My son Sam as a teenager sleeping.)

It’s been a busy day—painting, going to the market, painting, getting 
groceries, painting. You get the picture. Tonight I’m posting two drawings
about fatigue. Wishing you a good night’s sleep, and a wonderful day

Have a loving your life day.

Friday, October 20, 2023

A year ago in Paris

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

Last fall on this day we were in Paris taking shots of a print
of my piece showing in the Carousel du Louvre Art
Shopping show in the Louvre Museum. We had the
most wonderful time, and I'm so grateful to the E A Editore
people for giving their artists exhibiting in the show a super time.
Those memories always make us happy. And I'm grateful to
everyone who helped us to be able to make the trip.

Part of my reason for exhibiting the painting I did,
was that it was of Steven's mother, and over time Daisy
and I became very fond of one another.  Daisy was 
an artist too, she loved this painting, and would have
loved to know that my portrait of her, and her great
granddaughter showed at the Louvre. 

Steven and I had so much fun.  I do love Paris.
Miss you Daisy.

Have loving your life day.

Thursday, October 19, 2023

Teaching again

Journal Sketch
marker on journal paper

6 x 8 inches
Barbara Muir © 2023

Tonight was the first night of a Presentation course I'm teaching
at a community center.  So much fun. So today will be a short
blog.  Here's another one of the quick sketches I've been doing 
each morning in my journal, to practice.

I'm really loving doing the sketches.  I notice that some artists
I follow do small paintings, and then expand the work on a larger
canvas.  Who knows?  Maybe one day these small portraits will
become faces on canvas.  Yes! That would be exciting.

Have a loving your life day.

Wednesday, October 18, 2023

A love of portraits

Journal Sketch
marker on journal paper

6 x 8 inches
Barbara Muir © 2023

These morning journal portrait sketches make me happy.
What is wonderful is looking at a person's face, and then
recreating it with marker, essentially pen and ink. It
is great practice.

I also love that as the people come alive on the page
in front of me, I start thinking about them, and wondering
how they're doing. I don't know this man, but I hope
he is having a wonderful life.

Have a loving your life day.

Tuesday, October 17, 2023

The past in the present

Fall Garden Bounty
Inktober drawing
Marker on drawing paper
7 x 10 inches
Barbara Muir © 2022

I started my Inktober drawings before October this year,
because I so love drawing with ink markers. Today has been
(like so many other days this month) wildly busy, so I'm putting
up an Inktober drawing from last year that looks a lot like our
kitchen table harvest today.  Except for the pansies.  We usually
have fall pansies, but I haven't seen them for sale this fall.

I hope you are having a good October wherever you are.  We are 
blessed in Canada to see spectacular fall colours, and to get to
drive through wonderful scenery with gorgeous trees in red,
orange, and yellow as the leaves turn.

Have a loving your life day.

Monday, October 16, 2023

Artist Heidirose Claussing

Peaceful Lunenburg Harbour
Acrylic on canvas
11.5 x 15.5 inches
Heidirose Claussing ©

One of the pleasures of visiting Nova Scotia we discovered
when we stayed at an inn in Annapolis Royal in Nova Scotia
was the German bakery, and meeting Heidi and Dieter, the chefs
and bakers, and their daughter Susanne who frequently runs the

Heidi is also an amazing artist.  If we're in the area we make a 
point of dropping in for breakfast, lunch, or to pick up some 
pastries. Yum. If you visit Annapolis Royal give yourself a treat
and go and see Heidi's art, and eat their delicious food. 

This beautiful painting caught my eye, and Heidi has graciously
agreed to let me show it to you.

Thank you Heidirose for wonderful conversations, lots of laughter,
your amazing art, and delicious food. 

Have a loving your life day.

Sunday, October 15, 2023

Check out the Colours Of The Earth Show


Me with my painting
Moody Beauty
Acrylic on canvas
30 x 30 inches
Barbara Muir © Revised 2023

On Saturday I visited the Heliconian Club Colours Of The Earth exhibition.
Mark your calendar for either November 4 from 2 - 5 p.m., or November 8,
from 4 - 7:30 p.m. if you haven’t seen the show yet 
-- it is wonderful. 

Tonight I will show you some of the pieces I photographed while I was there.
this week I’ll feature a few more. 

The Catalpa Twists
Gouache on paper
10 x 14 inches
Dougal Haggart © 2023

Lytton Wildfire June 30, 2021
Watercolour on paper
15 x 20 inches
Rosemary Tannock

Patricia Bello with her work

Aurora Borealis
11 x 15
Patricia Bello © 2023

Make a point of visiting, the show it's fabulous, the building is gorgeous, and
there will be cookies and tea — free and delicious! 

Have an enjoying your life day!

Saturday, October 14, 2023

Return to the couch

The comfy couch
Charcoal on manila paper
18 x 24 inches
Barbara Muir © 2009

It's been a busy day -- I went to the opening of the Colours
of the Earth show, and I hope I'll have time to write about that
tomorrow. It's been a hard day in some respects, and it's
Saturday night -- so I need a break.  Looking through old
posts I found this one about the art store where I buy my
supplies, and the idea of couch art. 

What's funny is that I wrote the piece in 2009 almost at the
start of my blog.  And I still feel the same way about the
lovely people at my favourite art store, and still share the same
sense of humour to my delight.  Plus this couch, which still
looks like this, is still in my studio.  So many amazing
things have happened in my art life since that post -- so here

"The staff at the art store where I buy my supplies are a delight --
witty, informed, artists, all working the art store job to support
their art. One of the super artists in there, Greg Nordoff
is classically trained, and we always talk to one another with
great understanding, and humorous sarcasm. I love it when I
see him behind the counter, because I know he's going to take
my incredible anxiety about some major project, and make me
laugh about it.

Greg can draw or paint the human form like Leonardo da Vinci,
so I had to laugh when we had a discussion about galleries
wanting "couch" size art. That would be 36" x 48". Recently as
a joke Greg painted a couch on a couch size canvas. "It was
really good," he says. "But it was a joke too in a way."
"Brilliant!" I said. And I went home and drew my studio couch for you.
I don't think I'll start doing couch paintings, and I'd be delighted
to have my art show up over the couch -- as it does -- in many
art lovers' houses. But I still like Greg's humour. And I was
just wondering what to paint or draw, when this idea popped
into my thoughtscape and I thoroughly enjoyed drawing my couch.
By the way this couch (sofa) was a garage sale find. The quality is great
under the sagging slip covers my animals do their best to
destroy. And it's comfortable. What more could you ask for?

Have a loving-the-couch-you're-with day "

Friday, October 13, 2023

The anniversary of my mother's death

Today's flowers from the garden
Watercolour and black marker on 
watercolour paper
6 x 9.5 inches
Barbara Muir © 2013

My mother died 10 years ago today.  I have been thinking
of her all day, and got to talk to my brother about that
day.  The family who were there to say goodbye to
Mommy, went out for lunch together -- and for me
that happy/sad occasion was the real celebration of
my mother's life.

I did this painting the week that she died.  Some of
what I wrote then seems right for today.

"Today I knew in my soul that my mother wants
me to carry on, to make art, to live life with
every fibre of my being.  So I went into the garden
and picked this small bouquet.  It made me feel
a taste of the delight I knew being in the world
as my mother's daughter -- a flicker of happiness
started in my heart.  One day I will be fine.

Meanwhile tell everyone you love that you love
them.  Spread love anywhere you can.  Yes
it does matter.  It all matters. And you matter to me.

Have a spreading-the-love day."

Thursday, October 12, 2023

Colours of the Earth at the Heliconian

Moody Beauty
Acrylic on canvas
30 x 30 inches
Barbara Muir © Revised 2023

I am delighted to tell you that this painting is in the Heliconian
club's Colours Of The Earth exhibition, 
and yes it is for sale. 
The next reception is from 2 - 5 p.m. this Saturday, October 14,
 at the Heliconian Club, 
35 Hazelton Ave in Toronto.  

It is a wonderful show, and I'm sure you'll enjoy it, so drop by if you

Have a loving your life day.

Wednesday, October 11, 2023

The importance of joy


After Breakfast
Black marker on bond paper
18 x 24 inches
Barbara Muir © 2013
(Hotel breakfasts are starting
to happen again.  Room service 
breakfasts are my favourite.)

The news is soul crushing.  I think that makes it all the more
important to try and find joy. My heart goes out to everyone
in war torn zones. It is beyond devastating what you are living

My mother was a great believer in noticing what was good.  I
don't know how she did that with incredible lung issues, and
being blind for the last years of her life.  She had wonderfully
supportive neighbours.  That was part of it.  When she
was blind she would sneak out to her pool with a swimming
noodle, cross a flagstone path, open the wrought iron gate, and
walk across the very smooth surface around the pool and swim
-- at night.  The neighbours who were watching out for her 
didn't know.

I am posting a piece I did on joy awhile ago. I think it

"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 and heart breaking.  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, 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 in to read a book,
I paint, I teach and I dream big."

Have a figuring-out-the-joy day.

Tuesday, October 10, 2023

A definite coffee type of day

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.)  

I saw this painting scrolling through my blog.  As I was doing
very fast sketches of people drinking coffee in my journal (I 
usually post them here if they work.), I was thinking about
how much I love coffee.  This painting went to my wonderful
friend the artist Susan Carlin, in San Antonio Texas years ago.
And I'm glad she has it.  

The day after Canadian Thanksgiving is a day when you need
coffee -- to get back on track. I drank my standard three cups and
have been painting most of the day.

If you celebrated Thanksgiving this past weekend I hope you
had a great time.  Steven and I had a delicious dinner on our own,
but dressed up.  So much fun.  And then tonight -- turkey dinner #2.

Have a loving your life day.

Monday, October 9, 2023

Happy Canadian Thanksgiving

Thank you family and friends
© Barbara Muir

Happy Thanksgiving everyone. The Morning Glories put out 10 flowers
today to celebrate.  Steven has been singing and making pumpkin pies
and tarts in the kitchen, and we just put the bird in the oven.  I made
cranberry jelly last night, and boy are we looking forward to this

We are on our own this year, and we will dress up, and eat this delicious
dinner with gratitude for all of our wonderful family, and our sweet
friends.  We feel very grateful.  Have a lovely day.

Have a loving your life day.

Sunday, October 8, 2023

Happy Thanksgiving weekend

Jens Eller of Marvellous Edibles Farm at
the Brick Works market with my
It's a fine day sweetheart
Acrylic on cradled birch panel
8 x 10 inches
Barbara Muir © 2017

In Canada Thanksgiving is timed to celebrate the harvest.
We are lucky to know farmers who were chefs in Europe
-- Jens Eller (shown above) runs their organic farm with his
wife Ayse Akoner.  

In addition to growing the most delicious vegetables, flowers,
and making superb jams and jellies, the Marvellous Edibles farmers
make some of the most delicious desserts I've ever tasted -- their pies
are out of this world, with a crust like none you'll find here. Beyond

This weekend Jens, who we see at the Brick Works market
every weekend if we're in Toronto,  took home a painting
by yours truly, and he was pretty happy about it.

Happy Thanksgiving weekend to you. 

Have a loving your life day.

Have a loving your life day.

Saturday, October 7, 2023

The cats' birthday

Top -- Fiona the cat -- 16 year old, girl cat -- brilliant and kind
Bottom -- Monet the cat, super smart and affectionate
Top: Barbara Muir © 2023
Bottom: Steven van Schaik © 2023

Sally the dog taking a break from singing
Happy Birthday -- her favourite song.
Photo: Barbara Muir © 2023

The news is pretty awful recently. So Steven and I decided
to uphold an old tradition, and celebrate the cats' birthdays.
Both cats were born early in October. They don't really get
cake, but that looks cute in the photos.

We couldn't find the delicious small chocolate cakes we
usually get, but we did find small cakes, and took the shots.
Fiona turned 16, and Monet turned 2.  Sally the dog, who
will be 11 next month, loves "singing" Happy Birthday, and
she did.

Of course they didn't eat cake.  All three had roast chicken, and
were extremely happy about that treat.  

Have a loving your life day.

Friday, October 6, 2023

World Smile Day

Kitchen Tulips
8 x 8 inches
acrylic on canvas
Barbara Muir © 

I hope you got to smile today, many, many times on World Smile
Day.  I am so lucky to live with someone who makes me smile every
day. I love the idea of a day celebrating kindness.  And sharing smiles
is one part of kindness that I really enjoy.

I found this painting scrolling through my blog, and I really like
the smile on the young woman's face.  It's a small work, but 
filled with joy -- one of the emotions I love to express.  My thanks
to the wonderful model.

Have a loving your life day.

Thursday, October 5, 2023

World Teacher's Day

An end of term party with
one of my classes before
COVIDSince the truckers
Blocked access to our captial in Ottawa
over being asked to take COVID vaccines
 -- those hats would no longer be popular.
I started teaching in class again
this past summer.  Such a treat.
Social distanced, masked, but
present. Amazing.

Today is World Teacher's Day, and I'm thinking of all the teachers
who taught me.  
It feels like a delightful result of my work with all
of my teachers that two weeks from now I will again be a once-a-
evening teacher 
teaching Presentation at Community Center, for a 
Toronto Community College.  

So thank you to every one of my excellent teachers for teaching me, understanding me,
and uplifting me so 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've shown paintings three times in the Carousel du
Louvre Art Shopping show at the Louvre Museum in Paris. And she is probably partially
responsible for the painting I delivered today to the Colours of the Earth show that
will open a week from Saturday at the Heliconian Club in Yorkville.  Plus all the
teachers at OCAD were amazing, and I became an artist because of them. 

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

As an adult I'm grateful to Skip LawrenceToph 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 the idea of therapy, and the
potential to change our ways of thinking.  That interest won me 10
years of teaching Positive Psychology to college students, and helping
them succeed in school, and follow their dreams.

On the thinking side I'm grateful to so many teachers -- 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

Wednesday, October 4, 2023

Inktober and Journal drawing

Journal Sketch
marker on journal paper

6 x 8 inches
Barbara Muir © 2023

In Inktober done properly you have topics. That doesn't interest
me though I admire the people that follow that plan.  What
does interest me is the focus on line drawings in ink -- one
of my passions.  I did this drawing this morning, as one of
my journal drawings.  The subject is a man in a trench coat
I found under that heading on Google.

He has a very serious look, and I love how drawing a 
portrait brings the person you're drawing alive. A 
great pleasure. I hope the subject is having a good life.

Have a loving your life day. 

Tuesday, October 3, 2023

A quick drawing

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

I’ve been painting all day, so thought I’d do a quick Inktober Journal drawing.
The subject was wearing a T-shirt, so I looked up men in suits. In his 
photo half of his face wasn’t finished. So this is how far I got.  

The reality of a happy artist’s life. Steven is chopping vegetables,
and singing in the 
kitchen downstairs, and I sit upstairs drawing this,
with the cats fighting (let’s call it playing) around me.

Until tomorrow — Have a loving your life day! 

Monday, October 2, 2023


Marker on 
Moleskine paper
8 1/4 x 11 3/4 inches
Barbara Muir © 2017

When I think about resilience my mother comes to mind.  She was
the symbol of resilience.  My mother stayed mostly positive and
curious about the world for her whole life, despite living with
a serious lung disease, and spending the last years of her life 
blind. She lived alone after my father died, and managed her
house, cut her lawn with a tractor, swam in her pool, was
determined to stay fit. She was very generous, and volunteered
all of her life. 

If I needed her to take care of my children -- almost at a moment's
notice -- we could drive to Ottawa and drop them off, knowing
that they would have a wonderful time, while we had a tiny
holiday.  I miss her every day, and love her forever.

After my father died she travelled a lot, following her passion
for art history and languages.  When I showed in Italy at
the Florence Biennale for the first time, my mother told me
every church I should visit, and knew so much about the city.

This drawing is a fast sketch -- Inktober style -- that is probably
the best drawing I ever did of her.  Someday I'll paint a good
portrait of Mommy.  She was very beautiful, but had no idea that
she was.

Have a loving your life day.

Portrait Artist

My photo
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
I paint and draw on commission and for shows. To commission a portrait, or purchase one of my paintings please contact me at: barbara.muir@sympatico.ca
A major highlight in my career? Drawing Oprah Winfrey live via Skype for her show "Where in the Skype are you? Galleries: Studio Vogue Gallery, Toronto, Canada. The Amsterdam Whitney Gallery, New York City. Gallery at the Porch Door, Kingston, Canada. Your positive comments on this blog mean the world to me. I'd love to hear from you!