Monday, February 5, 2024

Love and language

In the kitchen researching for the doctorate
Black marker on bond paper
12 x 14 inches
Barbara Muir © 

Steven was feeling happy tonight after a long day of work and
we had a slokje of our favourite liqueur in the special small
crystal glasses I inherited from my mother. Believe me for
our whole marriage when we'd say that Dutch word, I had
no idea how to spell it.

Tonight before I started making dinner (it was my night -- we
alternate nights) I started trying to look up the word -- which
as far as I knew meant a sip, or a very small amount.  It
actually means a taste, and with the "je" on the end means a
tiny taste. Delicious I might add.

I love this drawing and the memories it brings back of a 
time when without any discussion of masks, or rapid tests
we could have people pose for me in the house. This was a 
preparation drawing for a painting.  The drawing stands out
to me.

And I loved the blog I got this from about language, so I may
quote myself.  Forgive me if the post gets long. 

"One of the great pleasures in my life has been travel.  
I love going somewhere new, and 
finding out how little
I know.  I was lucky to grow up in Ottawa, and to start learning
French at a young age. So I can stumble a bit in that language.
 I took German in grade 10, and 
somehow those lessons stuck,
so I can understand some of what my fellow artists post on 
Instagram, Facebook and their blogs. I am part Italian, and can
understand a little Italian.  

I'm married to a Dutch Canadian, and have a wonderful Dutch
friend in the Netherlands, so a few Dutch words have come to
me that way. A smattering of Latin helps me decipher some English words.

But I just read that there are 6500 spoken languages in the world.  
I feel lucky thatmy curiosity about languages continues.  I was so
lucky to teach a one night a week writing course, and a presentation
course to people from all over the world. Those classes made me
aware of how little I know about the world and its many rich languages.

To be fair English tops the list of the 12 most popular languages in
the world. But how wonderful it is to be able to say thank you to
someone in their own language.  And how lonely it must feel to walk
 through the streets of Toronto and not hear your own language.
So on this day in the Month of Love, I'd like to add language as one
of the things I love.   

Have a loving learning new things day."


Evelyn Oldroyd - painter said...

Beautiful drawing and so spontaneous looking❣️❣️❣️ I love languages too. The history of the English language is so interesting too. I love how words evolved and are still changing.

Barbara Muir said...

Thank you Evelyn,

Big time language is changing. One of the things I love about teaching
people in their late teens and early 20s is that they bring vibrant
new vocabularies with them.

Love your work.


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!