Friday, May 31, 2024

Great day with our family

After the Dance
Sam sketch
Acrylic on canvas
30" x 30"
Barbara Muir © 

Today despite the fact that I'm still recovering from the wicked cold, we 
helped my son and his wife move.  It's a big move, out of town
and into their first house.  Pretty amazing.

It's late, we just got home from a long drive, and it's time for bed.
I'm sharing a portrait of Sam that I love.

Have a loving your life day.

Thursday, May 30, 2024

Bride on the bridge

Journal Sketch
Marker on journal paper
6 x 8 inches
Barbara Muir © 2024

When we stayed in Paris, our hotel was just across from the Pont Neuf
-- a beautiful old bridge, with elegant, curved built in benches along the
sides, so you could sit down and gaze out at the river.

We were there at the beginning of May, and wedding season had begun.
This is a fast sketch of a bride-to-be getting her wedding photos captured on
the bridge.

Have a loving your life day.

Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Enjoy the pansies

Pansy bouquet
Acrylic ink and marker
on watercolour paper
5.5 x 8.5 inches
Barbara Muir © 2024

I realize that I’m missing pansy season. At this time of year, I normally
create some pansy paintings, but this year I have been hit by a super
bad cold. The pansies in the pots at the front of the house are a bit
shocked with how cold the weather is, but flourishing anyway.

Here’s one of a few pansy paintings I did last year. You know where to
come if you’d like a pansy painting. I have many even though I haven’t
been able to make any this year. Meanwhile, I hope you are enjoying the
pansies you see in your neighbourhood, they don’t like heat. So once the
full summer starts their season season is finished. 

Thank you for your beautiful art and your posts on Instagram, Facebook
and in the blog world helping me get through this rough patch.

Have a loving your life today.

Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Memories from two years ago


At this time two years ago I was in the Food For Thought virtual show
put on by the San Fernando Valley Arts and Cultural Center.

I'm still fighting this horrible cold. Here is some of my piece from that time.
That was a wonderful experience for me.

Upper left corner: Stand Back for the Pie 
Acrylic on canvas 24 x 24 inches Barbara Muir © 2013
(First place in the show)

Upper right corner: The King's Breakfast 
Acrylic on canvas 
24 x 24 inches Barbara Muir © 2015

Lower left corner: Good news Clementines
with Lemon friends
Acrylic on cradled birch panel
 8 x 8 inches Barbara Muir © 2019 

Lower right corner: Breakfast at the Skylight Diner, NYC 
Acrylic on canvas 
30 x 30 inches Barbara Muir © 2014

This was my fourth entry:

Breakfast in the hotel
Acrylic on canvas
6 x 8 Feet

I had five entries in the show, and won First Place with my painting 
Stand Back For The Pie

That was a big thrill. A very happy memory.

Have a loving your life day.

Monday, May 27, 2024

Thank you to my husband

Tree by the lake
Acrylic on canvas
24 x 24 inches
Barbara Muir ©

This is here because it's cheerful. It is a sad, sad day in the world, and
we need some cheer. I have a miserable cold, with vicious coughing, 
and today a very nice doctor came to the house.  He said he thought
I may have broken a rib from coughing -- hence the pain.  Although
I do feel a bit better, the coughing in the middle of the night continues,
and it is bad.  Steven has been taking care of me, the house, the animals,
and he has been more than sweet. So thank you Steven.

So what I hope for going forward is peace -- an end to the disgusting,
inhumane wars happening.  And if you are lucky enough to live somewhere
peaceful, as I am.  Enjoy the beauty.

Have a caring for others day.

Sunday, May 26, 2024

Sunday is for dreaming

The gorgeous restaurant in the Musée d'Orsay 
Barbara Muir ©

It is a gorgeous day, and if I were not very sick with a horrendous
cold, we would be walking by the lake.  But as it is, it's so 
beautiful out, that there is no way to be anything less than
happy looking at the day.

We sat on the back porch staring at the amazing huge trees, until
a neighbour started doing something with a horrible mechanical
whine, then we moved to the front porch.  There through the
thick, green screen of the flourishing rose bower, we watched 
neighbours walk by with their dogs, little children play
running games laughing uncontrollably, and serious people
walking by talking on their cell phones.

What were we talking about? -- Wonderful memories.  Like the
one above.  The fantastically beautiful restaurant in the Musée
D'Orsay in Paris.  When you go to Paris, please make a point
of eating there.

Have a loving your life day. 

Saturday, May 25, 2024

Please be patient

Journal sketch
marker on journal paper
6 x 8 inches
Barbara Muir ©️2024

My request is kind of ironic, and would be funny if I weren’t in fact sick
with a truly horrific cold. I think I may be marginally better than yesterday.
But not to bore you -- I still managed to do a journal drawing. 

Yesterday’s drawing was better, but at this point, what matters is keeping
going while not much is going on. In fact, I did spend most of the day in bed
however I got up to sit on our back porch for a while to marvel at what we see.
We are lucky in summer to see a solid line of very high trees -- marvellous
in their varying shades of green, and waving in the wind like dancers.

Have a loving your life day!

Friday, May 24, 2024

Journal drawing

Journal sketch
marker on journal paper
6 x 8 inches
Barbara Muir ©️2024

I didn’t know whether I would write anything today, or not, although I am
dedicated to the blog. I have certainly got one of the worst colds I’ve ever
had in my life. The coughs literally take my breath away.

So did this lovely image I saw today of a young woman I met at working at
a gas station out near Colonel Sam Smith Park. Since then, I believe she’s
become quite famous organizing an art space at Humber College.

It was a treat to start my difficult day, drawing a quick sketch of her face.

Have a loving your life day!

Thursday, May 23, 2024

Love is still the answer

The Fruits of Love
Acrylic on canvas
24 x 30 inches
Barbara Muir © 2014

I love this painting. It went home four years ago, and I still feel
happy every time I open my blog and see it. It just expresses such
exuberance and joy at living.

I have a horrendous cold. My husband had a bit of a cough, and even
though we wear masks in public, I wasn’t careful around him in our
house. So.  I got a way worse cold than him.

See I’m still here for you as a character on my favourite TV show
says, “always.” True. If I can, I will write my blog for you. So please
 have a great evening. 

I wore my mask and my husband took me down to see the lake. The car
was for sure too close quarters for this big viral mess. Now it’s back to
bed to try to heal. I have a lot of exciting things in the works so I need to
get better.

Have a loving your life day 

Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Here’s a painting I should do


View of clouds in Paris
walking along the Seine
Barbara Muir © 2022

I’m sick today with a very, very bad cold – No, I don’t have COVID.
And it’s our monthaversary of our first date. So I’m sorry I’m not
feeling well. I have a rather dramatic cough. Not fun.

I found this photo of Paris by the Seine, and decided it was right for
tonight. I know I go on and on about Paris that’s what love is like.
I hope you get to go there someday if you haven’t already. But don’t
go during during the Olympics. Our Parisian friends worn against such
a trip saying that it will be chaos.

Have a loving your life day!

Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Got a big wall?

Cloud Magic
Acrylic on canvas
4 x 6 feet
Barbara Muir © 2018

To tell you the truth, I’d be sorry to see this one go -- it’s a beauty.
But if you have a big wall that needs a dramatic image – this is it.
It’s an ocean view with magnificent clouds, and one of my proudest

I don’t usually sell in this space, so this is an aberration. I just saw a
photo of this as I’m sitting in my car waiting for my husband to buy
something cool to drink on this hot night. And I thought to myself self
as we always say, "self I said," this piece should go to someone who’d
appreciate it. If that’s you contact me at

Wishing you a wonderful evening. 

Have a loving your life day.

Monday, May 20, 2024

Happy Victoria Day

display in the schoolyard
Barbara Muir ©

A short one tonight.  Steven and I went out to the lake today
after a wonderful meeting with a client.  Then tonight
we drove around trying to find fireworks.  It's Firecracker
Day, or Queen Victoria's birthday.  

We both love firecrackers, but hadn't had dinner when we
headed out.  Our local park had some, and someone
just north of the park was creating a gorgeous display.
But when we came home some kids were letting off the 
most beautiful firecrackers in the schoolyard across the

Just amazing, and although it was well after 10 p.m. on
a school night, a small crowd had gathered across the 
schoolyard.  We were on our own with a woman named
Harriet, who also loves fireworks, and we were very
happy.  The display was amazing, delightful and

Have a loving your life day.

Sunday, May 19, 2024

Two more reasons we love Paris

Robel and Dara 
(These two work at the restaurant
where we eat most nights when
we're in Paris.  The food
is fabulous, but the main
reason we eat there is that these
guys are our friends.  And we can't 
wait to see them again. They are
kind, and very funny, and make
every evening that we spend
there a joy.)

An artist I met in Paris said that one of the most wonderful things about
the city is that you make new friends all the time, and that has been
true for us. I won't say the name of the restaurant where these two work,
in case it gets them in trouble (for being friendly?), you never know.

If you haven't been to Paris, I hope you get there soon.  Not during the
Olympics, it will be insane, but any other time. Perfect.

Have a loving your life day. 

Saturday, May 18, 2024

Paris for Shaniece

First stop Paris
Acrylic on canvas
30 x 30 inches
Barbara Muir © 2012
(When I painted this painting I was
thinking about encouraging Shaniece
to go to Paris.  I hadn't exhibited
in Paris yet -- my first time
showing in the Carousel du Louvre was in
2015. But in a way the work was telling
the world that -- hey! I love Paris,
and since I painted this piece, I've visited Paris
a number of times, and exhibited in
the Louvre three times! Of course I loved
 it every time. Right now there's a 6 hour
 time difference between Toronto and Paris.
When you go there it's worth every
 minute of that difference.)

It's Saturday night, and I am super tired.  It was a beautiful day today, and
I had a wonderful, very busy day.  I discovered this blog from awhile
back that says it all for me.  So please enjoy the reposting.

"My mind today is consumed with thoughts of Paris.  That
happens.  Have you ever been there? Well the place gets
into your psyche, and going once makes you want to
return.  And so on.  It is somewhat addictive -- beautiful
buildings, wonderful art, delicious food -- kind, brilliant

This painting seems right today.  We have a quite neglected
sculpture of the Eiffel tower on our front lawn. We refreshed
the lights the other day, but the tower is tilting a bit. The
neighbours are fond of it so we must fix it.

Have a loving your life day. 

Friday, May 17, 2024

Memories of Paris -- an afternoon with Sophie and Jean Philippe

Sophie Ghuzel, Jean Philippe and me
Steven van Schaik © 2024

We have been lucky to visit Paris 3 times in the past two years.
And even luckier to make friends along the way.  Jean Philippe
Grelaud manages a lovely art store near the hotel where we 
stay in Paris -- Maison de Haute Couleur Charvin. He is a
wonderful artist, and a treat to visit in the store, even when we're
just walking by to the restaurants we go to around the corner from
the hotel.

This past visit he asked us to come for aperitifs with him
and his wife Sophie Ghuzel.  Sophie is also an artist, and we had
so much fun visiting them, seeing their art, enjoying a
sweet wine, delicious pastries, and glazed strawberries.
Steven and I stumbled along in our awkward French, and
still had riveting conversations, lots of laughs and so much

Thank you Jean Philippe and Sophie.

Have a loving your life day.

Thursday, May 16, 2024

Happy Birthday to my friend Miranda

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

Chu Okoli © 2015

Miranda and I, and her husband Rolf, and the artist Chu Okoli met at the 2015 Florence
Biennale in Florence, Italy.  It was such a wonderful time, and all of us are still 
connected.  Miranda and I started the Happy People Group at the Florence 
Biennale to keep the artists' spirits up during the long days of sitting the
10 day show.  And Miranda and I have been close friends ever since,
even though she lives in Lage Zwalue, The Netherlands, and I live in
Toronto, Canada.  

We talk once a week, almost every week, and are always happy about the
conversation. Happiest of birthdays to my dear friend.  And love to all of
the family.

Have a loving your life day. 

Wednesday, May 15, 2024

Still dreaming of Paris

View of the Seine in Paris
Barbara Muir © 2024

Paris doesn't leave my brain very easily.  I love my neighbourhood in 
Toronto, which is spectacular right now with lilac trees in bloom 
everywhere in every range of mauve, purple and of course white.
Fantastic.  But Paris is a whole different experience, and our last
visit was one I cherish. (We got home just over a week ago.)

At night I'm actually dreaming that I'm there, and struggling to speak
French in my sleep! That's pretty funny, and also it makes me
happy when I wake up, and remember dreaming of sitting in
cafés, or laughing with the friends who work in the restaurants
where we eat.

I'm so grateful to everyone we met there.  People were so kind and
funny.  And if you know me, you know that I really enjoy both
kindness and humour.

Have a loving your life day.

Tuesday, May 14, 2024

Wonderful time with my art group

Art group sketch
Acrylic on canvas
16 x 20 inches
Barbara Muir © 2024

As usual I had an hour tonight -- from drop off to pick up
in the parking lot -- to paint with my art group.  So with
set up, and clean up, plus a 10 minute break, I maybe had 40 
minutes to get this sketch done.

Emily was a great model.  And it was fun to be back with
the great artists in the group again. 

So here it is.  

Have a loving your life day.

Monday, May 13, 2024

The fun of reworking

At the Boat Launch 
Acrylic on canvas
30 x 30 inches
Barbara Muir © 2016 - 2017

If you're not already a devoted fan of Mitchell Johnson,
and you're an artist -- it would definitely help your 
ability to allow yourself to revise your work if you 
did look up Johnson's work.  He does delightful videos
where he comes up to one of his paintings on a wall
(sometimes a framed painting), and just starts painting.

The painting I'm showing you today wasn't working for me,
and I've looked at it, and changed this and that on and off
this year.  Today I like it, so I'll share it in its current evolution.

So much fun.  And also one of my favourite places in
the world -- Nova Scotia

Have a loving your life day.

Sunday, May 12, 2024

Happy Mother's Day

Spring Break Shoreline
Acrylic on Canvas
30 x 30 inches 
Barbara Muir © 

Thank you to my family for an amazing Mother's Day weekend.
Thank you Christopher and Sam for being my children, thank you
Megan and Emily for being my daughters #1, thank you Alice, 
Madeleine and James for making my Saturday over the top Happy.

Thank you family.  You so rock!

Have a loving your life day.

Saturday, May 11, 2024

Happy Mother's Day weekend

The Writer's Life
Acrylic on canvas
30 x 30 inches
Barbara Muir © Revised 2023

Happy Mother's Day to all you wonderful mothers out there.
I feel extremely blessed to have two delightful sons, two
lovely, kind daughters-in-law, two adorable granddaughters,
and a sweet grandson in my family.  Mother's 
Day is wonderful
for me every day of the year.

And to my own mother who's been gone now for eleven
years -- I love you and miss you Mommy.  You are with me
every day in my thoughts.

This is one of my favourite paintings.  I just love how
the painting captures the mother's love and devotion to
her baby son, and her persistence -- to keep on working
while keeping the baby happy.  The woman in the painting
is a very successful novelist.

Have a very Happy Mother's Day

Friday, May 10, 2024

Tree wonder in Toronto

My friend's tree
(I'm not a gardener so
I don't know what type
of tree it is.)
Barbara Muir © 2024

I thought I'd better write you while I'm still riding high on an
unexpected feeling of overwhelming happiness.  The cause?
Maybe the kindness of friends and family, good news about
our family member post surgery, and the incredible beauty of
my neighbourhood at the moment with flowering trees everywhere.

I worked on a painting that's been bugging me today, took some
risks, dialed them back.  Not quite ready to show you yet.  Watching
Mitchell Johnson paint, makes me feel positive about my changes.
He is amazing. If you haven't seen his work, seek it out.

Today I'm showing you one of the delights of my day when a 
friend invited me to take a break sitting under her beautiful
trees in bloom.  

Have a loving your life day. 

Thursday, May 9, 2024

The Paris joy continues

Journal Sketch
(from today, Toronto)
marker on journal paper
6 x 8 inches
Barbara Muir © 2024 

I felt so happy today I was afraid I'd be intolerable to other people.
It was a spectacularly beautiful day.  I went through my Paris 
photos picking images for future reference, and my wonderful
printer printed large, good copies for me.  Then looking at them
was a bit like the Paris Immersive I've been trying to create with
my imagination when I go to sleep at night. Wow it was so 
wonderful being in Paris.

So the joy continues.  I did this fast sketch trying to capture the look
of happiness on my face.  Close.  I look way more serious than I feel.
Hard to concentrate, pose, and replicate over the top happiness.

More art tomorrow.

Have a loving your life day.

Wednesday, May 8, 2024

What do you know. It's Iris Day

Irises celebrate
Barbara Muir © 2022

Today, May 8, is Iris Day.  Yes! Okay it's in Brussels, but if you love
Irises as much as I do, you will be happy to join in.  The recommendation --
go out and pick some Irises, or buy some and enjoy their beauty at
their best time of year.  In our garden they come out in August, but in
Paris they were in the Tuileries Gardens last week.

I spent the day in the hospital today as an advocate for a family member
going through surgery.  The people there were incredibly kind, and
although it was a long, long wait, I was pleasantly surprised that the people I
met made it fun.  The news at the end of the day was good for our
family member, and everyone went home happy.

So Happy Iris Day.

Have a loving your life day.

Tuesday, May 7, 2024

Happy Birthday to my brother one day late

Acrylic on canvas
24 x 36 inches
Barbara Muir ©

We got home from Paris late last night, have had a wonderful day here
on one of the most beautiful spring days in Toronto (Toronto does spring
well), but we have another big day tomorrow, and I am super tired.
I didn't get a chance to post this Happy Birthday message yesterday to
my brother, and I found a post from last year that says it all perfectly.

"I love this painting of my brother -- and no he doesn't look like this
now.  (As a freelance writer the long hair had to go.) But the painting
(which he owns) is one he posed for.  I like the exuberance of my
brushstrokes in this.  

In between sittings I'm sure we were drinking strong coffee,
laughing our heads off, and perhaps arguing -- something we do
very well, because we can switch the argument on and off at a 
moment's notice, and we still love one another like very good

Happy Birthday Andrew.  

Have loving your life day.

Monday, May 6, 2024

We leave Paris today

Steven and me on our last
day in Paris

(I don't know what the lady
behind us is doing.)
Barbara Muir © 2024
We look very tired and happy.

To say we are sad to leave is an understatement. We've had such an 
amazing time here.  I know I've said that too many times, but I can't say
it enough. Please, if you get the opportunity, visit Paris.  

So we've packed up and are probably on the plane, flying over the ocean
watching Haute Potentiel Intellectuel with subtitles.  We love that show.
You can't get it with subtitles anywhere but on the plane.  True.  So
we'll be watching and drinking champagne. Air France is quite wonderful.

It will also be good to be home.  I miss my family and friends in Toronto,
and my cats and our dog. And our house.  And our street and our city.

And if we can, we'll come back as soon as possible

Love you Paris. 

Have a loving your life day.

Sunday, May 5, 2024

Our last night in Paris

Barbara Muir © 2024

What an incredible time we've had -- so much fun, meeting so
many wonderful people.  Thank you to Paris, and to our friends
here, for making this a trip to remember.  It was wonderful.

We will miss everybody, and everything about Paris.  Thank

Have a loving your life day.

Saturday, May 4, 2024

Another beautiful day in Paris

Jardin des Tuileries, Paris
Barbara Muir © 2024

Today we visited artist friends and they served us a beautiful wine, and
delicious pastries.  We had such animated discussions about everything
that's going on in the world -- a challenge for us, they were speaking
very fast intelligent french -- and so much fun.

The weather was perfect -- a little bit cool, and sunny with spectacular
clouds.  The whole city seemed happy.

Have a loving your life day

Friday, May 3, 2024

Une Journée à Paris (a day in Paris)


Paris today
Barbara Muir © 2024

A man named Sascha was selling
little easels and photos on a 
bridge near the Notre Dame cathedral.
I put my card on one of the easels
and he let me take a picture.
Then I gave him the card, and
he gave me an easel. So sweet.
Barbara Muir © 2024

Notre Dame Cathedral under construction
Barbara Muir © 2024

What a lovely day it was in Paris today.  The sun was out, the clouds were
magnificent against a pure blue sky.  The people we meet here are so kind.
This morning in the breakfast room in our hotel the women who run the
room had purchased two different brands of oatmeal for me, because I
said I wanted some.  I explained to them that it had to be cooked, and they
got out a big pot and we cooked my oatmeal together laughing.
So sweet.

It was the same all day -- everyone we talked to was super kind.  So it
was another wonderful day in one of our favourite cities.  I hope you had 
a good day wherever you are.  I sketched a bit in the restaurant at lunch,
and in a different restaurant at dinner, and it was so much fun.

Have a loving your life day.

Thursday, May 2, 2024

The Musée D'Orsay

Le Repas, dit aussi Les Bananes
Huile sur papier marouflé sur toile
Paul Gaugin © 1891
In the Musée D'Orsay, Paris, France
(Forgive my bad photo)

Visiting the museums here is a challenge because I have ripped knees,
so I can walk, but not stand for any length of time, without pain.  Today.
because of the rain, late in the day the line clipped along, we got in, and took
the elevator to the fifth floor to see our favourites.

Some were gone, maybe in other exhibitions in preparation for the Olympics. 
We don't know.  But that meant that there were paintings there that we'd never
seen before.

How exciting.  I'll share some.

Les Alyscamps
Huile sur toile
Paul Gaugin © 1888
In the Musée D'Orsay, Paris, France
(Forgive my bad photo)

Champs de tulipes en Hollande
Huile sur toile
Claude Monet © 1886
In the Musée D'Orsay, Paris, France
(Forgive my photo)

Have a loving your life day.

Wednesday, May 1, 2024

More fabulous art in Paris

Mériter son Ciel
Oil on canvas
 47.24 x 80.31 inches 
Anais Prouzet © 2023
(bad photo by me --
Barbara Muir)

Yesterday Steven and I went walking as has been our source of 
enjoyment here in Paris. Walking over to the Luxembourg Gardens
we passed a wonderful gallery, Galerie Olivier Waltman, with a kind
and funny manager, Ralph, which he said to pronounce with an H like Hralph.

The paintings and drawings in the gallery were astounding -- highly
emotive, and high realism.  We were oohing and awing and met the
artist, Anais Prouzet who was just leaving for another engagement.  Her
series is called  You breathe, I hear you on the other side of the earth.

The exhibition was stunning, and we left feeling so lucky to have
been here to see it.

More from Paris tomorrow.

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!