Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Happy Monthaversary

Part of the invitation. 

This is the Monthaversary of our wedding day, a very happy memory.
I went to the bank today, and was talking to one of the managers, who
is trying to figure out what to do about getting married to his girlfriend.
It seemed an appropriate topic.  And it has been a beautiful day.

Tonight I'm showing you part of an invitation we made for our 10th
wedding anniversary party that we had in the backyard of our semi-
detached house.  I think we might have line danced, which seems so
bizarre now.  Somebody DJ'd the night, and it was fun!

A friend found this in the endless files she's sorting through trying to

Happy Monthaversary Steven.

Have a loving your life day.

Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Happy Birthday to Hugo!

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

Today is Hugo Leemeijer's, birthday, a young man who I met when
Steven and I were in Paris in 2016. Miranda Brouwers, and I were both showing
in the Carrousel du Louvre show in the Louvre. We met Hugo, his brother Marnix,
and their father, Miranda's husband, Rolf.  We had so much fun. Happy Birthday
Hugo. I hope you have a wonderful day, and a terrific year.  We are all wishing
  you a super time.

I'm thinking of Miranda and her family today. One of the things I love about
my blog, and social media is the ability to keep in touch with friends and
family around the world.

As I said in a former blog, "my friendship with Miranda is one of the loveliest
relationships in my life. We talk on the phone across the great Atlantic Ocean
once a week whenever possible, and always enjoy one another. (She's in The
Netherlands, and I'm here in Toronto, Canada.)"

We'd love to see the whole family again sometime.  It was great to get together
with Miranda and Rolf in Paris last summer. 

Happy Birthday Hugo!

Monday, April 22, 2024

Earth Day

 Bluebird (family Musicapidae)
on a coffee cup
Bird Study #1
Acrylic on canvas
8 x 8 inches
© Barbara Muir

What I have to do to write this blog sometimes is strange.  So today I'm writing the copy,
then I'll cut and paste the bird and the caption, and put it in above the post.  Funny.

I hope you had a beautiful Earth Day.  We did.  Plus the sunset was magical, and the moon
is exquisite. Nature is constantly reminding us about why she matters.  So as I say every
Earth Day, let's stop the wars, and get more environmentally intelligent vehicles.  In
Ontario if you're driving an electric car it isn't better for the environment because our
electricity comes from nuclear power, the most toxic and perpetually harmful method of
creating energy possible.  But the industry has infinite political support, which is

Enough.  I love the planet.  I don't have the answers.  But let's work on them together
for this guy, and for us and our children.

Have a loving the planet day.


Sunday, April 21, 2024

A beautiful day in the country


Country view
Barbara Muir © 2024

We spent the afternoon visiting relatives in the country.  What a pleasure.  The
views over the river were amazing, and the conversations a complete

Tonight we've just enjoyed a walk through ever changing weather -- clear
skies, some snow, a bit of rain, clear skies, crisp cold, and all of it
beautiful.  I hope you're having a wonderful Sunday night.

Have a loving your life day.

Saturday, April 20, 2024

We miss you Patti-Anne

Acrylic on canvas
24 x 36 inches
Barbara Muir © 

One of the powerful truths about portraits is that they make the person feel present
when you look at them, I wish Patti-Anne was still with us, she died way too young,
and if her doctor had been more knowledgeable, it probably wouldn't have happened.

I'm combining some blog posts about Patti-Anne and the painting today.
Patti-Anne died a year ago of an aneurysm.  She'd been experiencing severe 
headaches for more than a week.  The doctor gave her Tylenol on her first visit,
and when she went back a week later still with severe headaches, the doctor
prescribed an antibiotic. Here is the post I wrote last year slightly edited.

"I painted this portrait of Patti-Anne Fitzpatrick before I started my blog,
16 years ago, and before I understood that I needed good quality photos
of my work.  Patti-Anne died yesterday when she was taken off life
supports after suffering a severe aneurysm.  She is profoundly missed.

I thought I'd share this blog post I wrote about her in 2008.  I had so much
fun painting her portrait, as this was long before COVID and she sat
and posed for me in my studio.

"Patti-Anne, my former boss Frank's wife, is what Frank would
 describe as, "beyond gorgeous," and a very funny woman.
One of her favourite expressions is,"too funny!" as she cracks up
watching a comedy skit. She is also a pro golfer, so when Frank
asked me to paint her, I knew I had to honour her love of the

Of course she posed in my studio, but I placed her on my back
porch, with a sunny, abstract floral background. I love the energy
in the painting -- her athletic strength and femininity coming through,
and the clear expression of the sparkling sense of humour I enjoyed
so much while she sat for the portrait."

Goodbye Patti-Anne, we miss everything about you." 

Friday, April 19, 2024

A big day in our family

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

Yesterday our youngest son, a happily married man had his last day
on his job here.  He and his wife are moving out of Toronto, to
another town, and they will be deeply missed by all of us in the
rest of the family.  We are so proud of them.  Just when I was feeling
all sentimental about missing Sam, I found this journal drawing of him when 
he was a young boy dressing up as a king for Halloween.  It made
me very nostalgic.  But now new opportunities are opening up,
and I'm sure we'll all have fun when we visit and get together.

Have a loving your life day.

Thursday, April 18, 2024

What matters

The wonder of tulips
iPad drawing
8 x 10 inches
Barbara Muir © 2019

Here's what matters -- love, joy, kindness, fun, exuberance, empathy, humour
care.  The list is long.  This drawing of tulips is far from perfect, but for me
today it captures the luminous joy these flowers exude.  On a walk passing by tulips, 
the joy they transmit is immediate! Yes!

Bring them inside and put them in a vase, or jug, and that pleasure is available
to you every time you enter the room, or sit down and have a coffee, drinking in the
delight of those beauties. So if you can, get yourself some tulips today and
enjoy them.

Have a loving your life day. 

Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Wishing my sister the best day!

The Blue Sweater
acrylic on canvas
24" x 36"
© Barbara Muir  

My blog post from last year on this day is perfect for my current

"There is one main thing on my mind today -- it is my sweet
sister Sally's birthday.  She is one of the kindest, most 
supportive, funniest people I know in the world.  And
I think she was probably the biggest factor in my learning
to only share my life with kind people.  

So I thank you Sally, and wish you the best Birthday ever.
You more than deserve a super day.  And in Victoria, B.C.
with the beautiful gardens there, I hope you will enjoy every

The painting is based on a sulky photo my father took
of Sally when she was a teenager.  I love the expression.
And my sister is the farthest thing from sulky.  

Have a celebrating your life day."

Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Every day is World Art Day

Me with my painting Dream Selfie
at the Carousel du Louvre show in
the Louvre museum in Paris in 2016
Acrylic on canvas
Barbara Muir © 2016
(Photo by Steven van Schaik)

Yesterday, like most days in my house, was a busy day.  I read about World Art Day,
and in my task-filled day missed it.  But I'm here to say that if you're an artist --
every day is World Art Day.  How lucky I feel to have artist friends around the 
world, and to have talked to one of my dear artist friends in Europe this morning
as I drank my morning coffee here in Toronto.

I feel so lucky to have shown my work in New York City, in California, in the 
Netherlands, Paris, and Florence.  What an inspiration to show in the creative
centers of the world.  

Have a loving your life day

Monday, April 15, 2024

The love of drawing makes sense

Journal Sketch 
Marker on journal paper
6 x 8 inches
Barbara Muir © 2023
(This one is cropped awkwardly 
because the journal writing
overlapped the drawing. I
still like it.)

If you're an artist, it makes absolute sense to draw as much as you can.
Even talking to abstract painters at a recent show, I learned they may
begin by drawing shapes.  In trying to capture portraits, drawing as
much as possible makes our eyes get more precise, and that's so

Funnily enough drawing like driving depends on following what our
eyes are seeing.  In all higher level drawing courses, you begin by
not looking down at the page when you draw.  Scary yes.  But it trains
the eye to see, and the hand to follow.  

Last year I started journal drawing -- every day for awhile, and as 
often as possible now.  Those quick sketches, sometimes in the morning
before my second coffee, really help me when I start on other projects.
I wanted to remind myself of that.  

The portrait today is a quick sketch I did in my journal about six months

Have a loving your life day.

Sunday, April 14, 2024

10 more reasons to be happy

Market pansies in a cream jug
Acrylic ink and marker
on watercolour paper
5.5 x 8.5 inches
Barbara Muir © 2023

It was a gorgeous day today and I’ve got my 10,000 steps! So I thought why not give you another set of 10 reasons to be happy.

1. We sat in the backyard with family members who are planning to leave town and had a lovely visit.

2. I found this pansy sketch on my blog and thought this would be perfect for tonight’s blog.

3.  It isn’t my turn to make dinner and I can hear Steven downstairs in the kitchen chopping vegetables for what I know will be a delicious meal.

4. I got to play ball with my dog Sally in the space between ours, and our neighbour's house. Sally loved it and got all the dogs in the neighbourhood excited with her barking.

5,  When we went to the café, where we order wraps for lunch yesterday, one of the servers yelled out "Artist!" when she saw me. That was sweet.  I showed her my most recent painting.

6. Steven and I went on a long walk today just at sundown, and all the trees are at the very beginning of coming into bud.

7. This is one of my favourite times of the year. People's gardens are full of daffodils, birds are singing everywhere, and little children are out playing just loving the perfect new spring weather.

8.  We saw the youngest members of our family yesterday, and that is always joyous and fun.

9. Our favourite farmer at the farmers' market gave me a sweet  bunch of tiny daffodils yesterday,
 and gave another bunch to my daughter-in-law.

10. I’m finishing a painting tomorrow. I’m planning to start a new one, and that will be an exciting beginning to a wonderful week.

Have a loving your life day.

Saturday, April 13, 2024

For inspiration -- thank you to the farmers

Daffodils from the farm
Barbara Muir © 2024

Spring is here -- intense rain, then sun with wind, and cold again.
We went to the farmers' market today at the Brick Works, and one way
you know that spring has arrived is that the farmers we buy from--
Marvellous Edibles Farm -- brought flowers again! So beautiful.

They call them Narcissus, we call them daffodils.  Here I have
photographed them sitting on our back porch in the sun, enjoying
the day, like everyone else. Happy spring! 

Have a loving your life day.

Friday, April 12, 2024

Truth in a former post

Pansies prepping for the parade
Watercolour, acrylic ink, and
black marker on Strathmore 
mixed media paper
6 x 8 inches
Barbara Muir © 2019

I like this post.  So I thought I'd share it again. Busy day today
visting an artist friend who basically launched me into exhibiting.

"There are addictions that are easy to explain -- coffee,
alcohol, dope -- but art is a whole different story.

How do you explain it?  Something hit you over the
head with a passion to paint and draw, and you
can't ditch it.  I know almost no one who has
successfully quit drawing and painting.

The desire runs deep.  Even when it doesn't work,
even when we've got no time for it, even when
we need a break.  Even if we don't paint, or draw,
or sculpt, or take photos or one other arty thing --
it is there.  Planted deep in our skulls, brains,
hearts, probably in our blood cells.  This incredible
urge to make something."

True.  So if this is you I get you.

Have a loving your life day.

Thursday, April 11, 2024

Here's to the people who keep artists going!

Water Image #2
Acrylic on canvas
30 x 30 inches
Barbara Muir © 

It’s been raining like crazy here, and soaking wet as everyone walking is, everyone 
agrees the rain is necessary. We had no snow this winter.  Despite the rain, it was a
run around do errands day, and I am tired. Visiting my printer today was a pure delight.
I dropped in to order a birthday card, and show him my 
latest painting. He helps me by
printing large reference photos for me, and he thought there was no way I’d get my
large painting — Our Garden finished for the show it’s in now. I showed him photos
from my husband’s phone, and he was super impressed, which made me happy.

Then I came across this portrait photo on my website, and couldn’t help but wonder
where it went. I sold it to a wonderful boss I worked for at Seneca College. He liked my
work. In fact encouraged me to take my writing students to the Art Gallery of Ontario
for a writing project as part of my course. He sometimes came to my openings, but sadly
he died a few years ago too young. I just hope whoever has the painting likes it. It was
part of a portrait series called Water Image of people in their favourite ocean location. 

I miss that kind boss and wonderful collector.

Have a loving your life day.

Wednesday, April 10, 2024

A special day

Me with Reading on the dock at the
Heliconian opening of 
the A Portrait by Any Other Name show today.
Steven van Schaik © 2024

Reading on the dock
Acrylic on canvas
24 x 24 inches
Barbara Muir ©  Revised 2024
(This is a better photo of the work.)

Today was the second opening of the Heliconian A Portrait by Any Other Name show, and Steven and I went down to the club. It was a wonderful opening.Thank you to my friends who dropped by.  Lots of people came to the show, and I met some amazing artists and writers who I hope I get to keep in touch with in the future. I also hope some of them join the club. There was a lot of interest in my painting called Reading on the dock, which was quite a treat, and everyone who came out praised all of the artists' and writers' work, which was wonderful. 

I hope you get a chance to come and see the show, which is on for the rest of the month until May 1.  From this point on it’s by appointment only, but you can get an appointment by calling the Heliconian at 416-922-3618and finding out when it’s possible to come and see the work. I know you'd enjoy it.

Have a loving your life day. 

Tuesday, April 9, 2024

More on happiness


Today's Happy Pansies
Acrylic ink and marker on paper
5.5 x 8.5 inches
Barbara Muir © 2023

I have one friend who is very suspicious of happiness.  Yes the world is a
hard place right now, but I feel that's all the more reason to acknowledge 
the happiness we have, when we experience it. I found a post from last 
year that makes a lot of sense to me, and may help me sleep tonight.

The second opening of the Heliconian A Portrait by Any Other Name
show is on tomorrow, and I will be there from 6 - 7:30 p.m.  Please
come out and see the show if you're in the neighbourhood of 35 Hazelton

"It’s too bad that happiness as a concept is suspect. Because
ultimately there’s nothing more important in life than figuring
out how to be happy. I woke up this morning wondering if just
saying the word "happy" could make you happy. I’m not talking
about being in the middle of a period of deep grief. I mean on an
ordinary day, when nothing awful has happened if you woke up
in the morning and thought I am happy, would it affect the day

When I painted this painting, I was thinking not just happy, but
extremely happy thoughts about how amazingly beautiful spring flowers
 are. Yes I do have a thing for pansies.  

And as one of my former bosses used to say -- here's
the thing.  People feel guilty about feeling happy when so many people
in the world are suffering horrible wars and famine.  My question is
how is your deliberate avoidance of your own happiness helping?
March, protest, contribute, donate, vote, speak up, and in all the good moments
in your life cherish your happiness.

Have a loving your life day.

Monday, April 8, 2024

The eclipse et al

Moon view (a sketch)
Acrylic ink on watercolour paper
5.5 x 8.5 inches
Barbara Muir © 2019

I love Canadians, and Torontonians, and my neighbours.  The big eclipse
excitement, (and that was a real thing) was huge. In Toronto, which was not in
the path of the totality, neighbours let us see the start of it, and then Steven
and I went for a walk, and the sky began to cloud over!

All along our walk people had those special glasses, and were looking. When
the clouds began we could look at the eclipse directly through a screen of cloud
and it was a foggy view.  But when everyone was geared up for the big moment,
at 3:19 p.m. a thick layer of cloud meant that all of us could see nothing -- except cloud.  It became a bit darker.  The street lights came on for maybe five minutes, and then the light came back, and in a very short time -- full sunlight. So everyone on the street holding their special viewing glasses started laughing, and saying "That was it?!!!!" 

We all laughed so much.  The best.  That is Canadian. Weather.  Who knew.

Happy Eclipse Day !

Have a loving your life day.

Sunday, April 7, 2024

Pansies are back

Pansies break on through 
Acrylic ink, watercolour and marker
in watercolour paper
5.5 x 8.5 inches
Barbara Muir © 2019

One of the pure joys of spring is the return of the pansies.  We
bought two pots of pansies for the planters on either side of
the front porch steps.  It is still super cold, so we take them
in at night. But what a treat to walk out the front door and see
them in bloom.  

I picked some, and started a pansy painting tonight, but it's
been a busy day, and I didn't get time to finish it.  So I'm
showing you another one.  Here's to a happy eclipse tomorrow.

Have a loving your life day.

Saturday, April 6, 2024

The opening at the Heliconian Club today was great!

Me pretending to continue
working on the painting
Our Garden
at the opening of the
Heliconian Club

A Portrait By Any Other Name exhibition
Our Garden (after John Singer
Sargent's In A Garden Corfu)
Acrylic on canvas
36 x 48 inches
Barbara Muir © 2024

I had so much fun at the opening of A Portrait By Any Other Name today. I took off the masks for some photos. Steven my husband took this one, and it was a joke between us about my actions at the Orangerie in Paris, one of my favourite galleries.

When we visited the gallery last August, a girl was taking photos and for fun for her I pretended to be painting one of Monet’s paintings. I didn’t get close to it just moved a pretend brush in the air two feet from the painting. The guard came over and asked me to stand back. But he was smiling.When we left the gallery I asked the guard if he was an artist, and he said yes, and showed me his work on his phone. 

Today I pretended to be working on my large portrait for a photo, and Steven and I laughed at the memory. I am super tired tonight, so I will show more pictures from the opening tomorrow. 

Have a loving your life day.

Friday, April 5, 2024

See this tomorrow April 6 at the Heliconian Club A Portrait By Any Other Name show

One of the best
(Michael Gibson)
Acrylic on canvas
24 x 24 inches
Barbara Muir © 2022

Come and see this work at the Heliconian Club, 35 Hazelton Ave. in
Toronto,  tomorrow between 2 and 5 p.m. I will be there from 2 - 3 p.m.
Did I mention that there will be cookies, and coffee in very beautiful cups?

The title of this work One of the best is about Michael Gibson's
outstanding skill as a portrait artist. If you haven't seen 
Michael Gibson's
workfollow the link here to view some of the most fantastic portraits
being created today. They are frequently 
accompanied by
deeply moving poetry, or descriptions of his subjects.  I 
wanted to paint
Michael,  to honour 
him for his glorious work.  Not too surprisingly
my portrait of Michael based 
on a video he did about his drawings took
me awhile to complete.

I had his approval to paint him, and when it was finally 
done, and Michael saw my write up on it, he liked the painting. That was so wonderful. I was over the moon happy.

I hope you can come out and see it. 

Have a loving your life day.

Thursday, April 4, 2024

Please come out to the Heliconian Club A Portrait By Any Other Name show


Reading on the dock
Acrylic on canvas
24 x 24 inches
Barbara Muir ©  Revised 2024

This painting is one of three I took to the Heliconian Club today to be part of the A Portrait By Any Other Name show opening on Saturday from 2 - 5 p.m.  I love the exuberance of the painting, which has three of the things I love most in it, -- water, clouds, and something to read.  Like the girl in the painting, my delight in reading began early.  I was lucky to have parents who loved to read, and read to me every night.

My parents would often read bits of the newspaper, or their current favourite book out loud to one another. And it is wonderful to sit on the dock at a favourite lake.  All in all
the painting is about joy -- one of my favourite subjects.

Have a loving your life day.

Wednesday, April 3, 2024

Come and see this in the A Portrait By Any Other Name Show

Our garden
(after John Singer Sargent's
In A Garden Corfu)
Acrylic on canvas
36 x 48 inches
Barbara Muir © 2024

This painting will be in the Heliconian A Portrait by any other name show
opening Saturday April 6.  I will be at the show at 35 Hazelton Avenue from 2 -3 p.m.
on Saturday.  Please come out.  I have two other portraits in the show. I'll show you

The inspiration for this painting came from a dream I had after reading abou
Sargent’s In A Garden Corfu.  In the dream I saw my friend’s daughter as the model, and 
couldn’t wait to begin the painting. Sargent painted the work that inspired me in 
1909, the year the Heliconian Club was established. So the painting honours 
Sargent, and the Heliconian Club where I will be showing it. I loved the light in Sargent’s painting.

Have a loving your life day.

Tuesday, April 2, 2024

I need the two minute rule today

Pink in the city
Acrylic on canvas
16 x 16 inches
Barbara Muir © 2017
(Soon this is what we'll see. 
Not quite yet.  But
it's coming.)

Today I'm on deadline left and right, and had to go and get a scan for a dental procedure.
So I really needed this post that I discovered scrolling briefly through past spring blogs.
I'm going to share it with you here, and get back to work.  Sometimes the help you need
is right in front of you.

This post is that for me today.

"I watched a video a couple of weeks ago about The Two Minute 
Rule. Apparently the fellow who was talking wrote a book about it.
But what's great, is the idea of thinking -- maybe if I just do this for
2 minutes, I can get it done.  (It did take a bit longer. Lol.) The point 
is that if you start something thinking maybe you can finish it in two 
minutes, you might keep going, and not even notice that you're working
way beyond two minutes. Smart.

Which is why I'm here.  It's been a very busy day. But I thought. 

Just write your blog. Spend two minutes. we are.

 I hope you had a beautiful day.

Have a loving your life day. 

Monday, April 1, 2024

April Fools' Day

First Pansies
Acrylic ink on
watercolour paper
5.5 x 8.5 inches
Barbara Muir © 2023

I'm so glad Steven didn't do an April Fool's joke on me. But as a child if I'd known better April 1 would have been a day to worry about.  My sweet mother must have needed some extra humour.  And she pulled the same stunt every year.

"When I was a child my mother had one
excellent prank that she pulled on us year

after year. She used to change the time on all
the clocks in the house, and wake us up an hour
early for school, then shout "April Fools'!" into
our sleepy faces. Thinking about that now I can't
help laughing, and imagining my mother as a
young woman, with four children to get off to
school, dying for some fun. Most of the time
our lives were fairly serious. The house followed
a set routine, and we all did whatever we were
expected to do. But every now and then there
would be a mood of extra fun and gaiety."

Have a loving your life day. 

Sunday, March 31, 2024

Happy whatever you're celebrating


The next door neighbour's sidewalk art
Chalk on sidewalk
Sydney Barskey © 2024
Barbara Muir © 2024

Last weekend we had snow. Here’s what I love. The second the snow was gone, and it was a little bit warmer (as in 8 degrees Celsius), my neighbour’s eight year old daughter was out today creating beauty and inspiring me. 

Thank you to my neighbours for their lovely artwork!

Happy long weekend!

Have a loving your life day! 

Saturday, March 30, 2024

Happy Easter

Harold and the blue eggs
Acrylic on canvas
8 x 8 inches
 Barbara Muir © 2013

At this point on Saturday night it looks like we'll be having a very quiet Easter.  Part
of our family is away, and the part of the family that's in town are coping with a very 
serious cold.  So I thought I'd reshape this part of a post from another year.  Steven and I are not religious at all, and really like the pagan aspects of Easter -- chocolate bunnies and eggs, and having a great meal. 
Easter baskets.

I thought I'd add this piece from a former blog.  It's a story about my pet rabbit in
university -- Harold.  She was a girl.

"(I put Harold, the bunny rabbit on my blog every year since I painted her (yes a she), and think
happily of the time a university boyfriend, not knowing how innocent I was, gave me a marijuana plant for a present. While I was out at class, Harold, my rabbit, ate the plant, plus a massive chunk of the sheets and blanket in my rental room!  The young married couple I was renting from were not impressed. Neither was I.  I had to pay for new sheets and a blanket. But the whole story makes me laugh every year when I think of Harold)."

Have an enjoying celebrating day.

Friday, March 29, 2024

A weekend of bunnies


Pip the Lionhead 
rabbit delivers eggs
8 x 8 inchs
Acrylic on canvas
Barbara Muir © 2015

This is not my favourite type of bunny -- maybe those are the wild rabbits that live in our neighbourhood, that we see on our walks.  I always hope that they will be safe.  As a girl in university I had a white rabbit named Harold, that I will feature tomorrow probably. But I met 
a clutch of Lionhead bunnies at a Chapters book store in Moncton, New Brunswick, one year
when we were on our way to our schoolhouse in Nova Scotia.

A young woman who absolutely loved that breed of bunny was displaying the bunnies with a children's book she'd illustrated about them. I read a great article in the Guardian about the origins of bunnies with Easter.  They were the symbol for the pagan goddess Ēastre, which is where the name Easter originated.  Of course she was a goddess of fertility, which explains why rabbits were one of her symbols.

We are not religious, so for us this weekend is about festivity, and maybe a bit of chocolate. Wishing you a wonderful weekend, whatever you are celebrating.

Have a loving your life day.

Thursday, March 28, 2024

Thinking about the greats

 Four Trees
Claude Monet
Oil on canvas
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 
New York City
(The paintings at the
Staatsgalerie in Stuttgart were similar. I remember
crying telling Steven about them, and
how thick the paint was, and how Monet
went back as many as 60 times to
get the mood and lighting right!)

I've been working on a large painting for most of the past week for a show next week.  For me sometimes painting is a back and forth thing.  This is one of those times.  But I came upon this image today, which reminded me of the time Steven and I were in Stuttgart, Germany because he had a work assignment there, and I went to visit the Staatsgalerie alone. It was a beautiful gallery, with an incredible collection.

I love the work of Monet, in fact we named our cat after him (a girl cat), and I am always blown away when I see his work.  But when I saw his poplar series (this is one of them) in Stuttgart I was deeply moved.  The description on the wall at the gallery said that Monet had returned to the sight as many as 60 times to get the light and colours exactly right. The paintings were very thick with paint, and I was so touched at his devotion. I just read now that the trees were going to be cut down, and Monet had to pay for the trees so he could finish his paintings. Amazing.

So back to my project.  Yes I can do it. Thank you Monet.

Have a loving your life day.

Wednesday, March 27, 2024

More on our trip to the lake

Robin earns his stripes
Acrylic on canvas
8 x 8 inches
Barbara Muir © 2019

Yesterday I showed you one image from our trip to the lake last Saturday.  Today I'll try and
paint a picture for you with perhaps fewer than 1,000 words. (A standard page of copy is
250 words.  Just to give you an idea.)

After visiting lake Ontario at one park, we drove into the city, and stopped at a downtown park on the lake.  The grass along the path heading to the lake did have snow here and there, but we were more excited by the hundreds of robins.  

Steven and I are bird freaks you could say.  Today Steven cut up the Christmas tree that a friend attached to one of our trellises beside the fence between us and our neighbour.  Ever since January Steven has been filling the tree with birdseed, and the birds have loved it. Such a treat to see.

So hundreds of robins was a like coming upon a spring concert that magically began just as we arrived at the park. It was mighty cold that day too. And still the robins were enjoying themselves.

I'm still working on a large painting. So please enjoy this bird painting tonight.

Have a loving your life day.


Tuesday, March 26, 2024

A picture is worth a thousand words

Beautiful Saturday
Barbara Muir © 2024

You’ve heard that before, (a picture is worth a thousand words), and probably thought is it? And in some cases yes. Clearly. I could describe the view of the lake from one of our favourite parks to you using perfect descriptive words. Maybe I wouldn’t use 1000, but here’s the point. No matter how many words I use you cannot get the feeling of the park as well as you can from this photo.

For me part of being a visual artist is the ability to describe something in a way that words may not be capable of doing.  Not to deny the importance of words, and the beauty of wonderfully written books.  I was talking to a fellow today about his fiancée's work on a novel.  I am so impressed by authors who write the amazing books I love to read.  Their work is much more complicated, and deeper than what I will create. 

For tonight, please enjoy this beautiful view that we saw last Saturday at a park on the west end of Toronto.

Have a loving your life day.

Monday, March 25, 2024

A favourite painting goes to its new home


Moody Beauty
Acrylic on canvas
30 x 30 inches
Barbara Muir © Revised 2023
It's a happy day when a painting you love goes to someone you care about. 
This painting has got a new home with a beloved family member who has 
experienced the drive out to our Maritime school house that was the inspiration
for the work.

A few years ago we drove by the hill in Nova Scotia that inspired this painting.  I'd
also done a coloured sketch before I began. And I loved how the work turned out.

Meanwhile I am finishing new works, and I hope to have more to show you tomorrow.

Have a loving your life day.

Sunday, March 24, 2024

A wonderful wedding Monthaversary


Small is beautiful
Watercolour and marker on
Arches watercolour paper
6 x 10 inches
Barbara Muir © 2012

We had a super day today for our Monthaversary of our wedding day.  Steven and I celebrate the Monthaversary of our first date, and the Monthaversary of our wedding day two days apart.  Today it was a magnificent day.  We went for a glorious walk with our dog in the morning sunlight, which was bouncing off snow -- something we've seen once since winter began.

Then we picked up our usual wraps for lunch and saw friends at the place where we buy them. Then in the late afternoon, and evening we had fun with some of our family members. Lots of music, games and laughter.  The best.

Wishing you a happy week.

Have a loving your life day.

Portrait Artist

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