Monday, April 30, 2012

MIXED MESSAGES: Hate Mail, Poppycock and Reboot

Good Monday Morning!
Ok, so I have been busy at work creating my little shadow boxes.
For those of you who don't follow my work, these little gems from my "Mixed Message" Series are:

Assemblages that combine imagery from my catalogue of my 450+ completed paintings and brand new hand painted work. The segments from my catalogue are printed on heat transfers, varnished and painted/inked on. I then take all the imagery and reassemble it to create the shadow boxes. Most pieces incorporate 2-4 different images and I add some found objects to fill out the box. Each piece is one of a kind, completely affordable, and SUPER CUTE!

Here are 3 more I have just finished!

"Hate Mail" (or H8 Male), 6" x 9", $100.00
This piece is made up of my recycled imagery. The running man is from "Rocket Ride" (sold), the guy snapping his undies is from OLD OLD SOLD work - "Snap to it". I did my usual paint and inking on top of them......and added some vintage letters/paperwork - put in some colour washes.......and put in 2 children's blocks and a little red toy man!

"Poppycock", 6" x 9", $100.00 
The poppies are hand painted (and new) imagery. The rest is my recycled imagery with paint/ink and coloured washes. There are also some scrabble letters and some painted mouldings........and a plastic toy rooster too!!!

"Reboot", 6" x 9", $100.00
The robot is from  "Killer Robot" (sold), and the boot is brand new imagery painted directly on the wood. Again - I did my usual paint and inking on top of them......and added some foam glitter letters. I also put in a bunch of parts from computers! I think it turned out well!

What do ya think?
Love them?
H8 them?
I love to know!!!

Friday, April 27, 2012

WHAT'S UP ROB?

Hey loyal readers.....I was gonna post AGAIN about my NYC trip.......but then realized that you might just need a break this week from that!!! So.....I am gonna show you a couple projects I am working on.
PROJECT 1:
A commission for a client "Gravy Train (Too)". This is the second piece that I have done with this name. When the first one was bought, my client asked if she could have a second one.....so I went to work.
I don't EVER do the same thing twice.....as I want each piece to be important and unique, so  I created this piece with different imagery and a different layout. Here it is:


So, the imagery in this painting is from my painting "Going Somewhere" (which is sold) and "Plan Ahead" (which is also sold). I then added some wooden trim, children's magnets for the word 'gravy', a toy train and track, and an actual antique "Canadian National Railway" soap!
Then I added some colour washes and some ink work on top. I think it turned out SWELL!!

PROJECT 2:

Revitalizing an old master? So, as a favour for a family member, I did a little restoration project. I was given an old oil painting that had cracked and gotten damaged over the years. A lot of the paint had actually peeled off and it was terrible looking.....so I matched all the paints and filled all the white spaces and retuned it to its original "splendour':


It was a boatload of work - probably because it was a 'freebie'........I had to fight the urge to do this:

PROJECT 3-10:
As my deadline for The Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition is looming, I thought I had better get to work on some new stuff. So I have stared creating more from my "Mixed Message" Series. Here is a computer rendered drawing for one:

Reboot
AND HERE IS A BRAND NEW PIECE:

"Top Dog", 6" x 9", Mixed media. 
This piece is made up of some new imagery and some old. The Tops are new....painted on the wood.....the dogs running are from "Hard" (which is sold) and the Tin Toy Dog is from my "A-Z Series" (and is also sold) I added paint and ink-work ontop.....and some coloured washes......
I also added a little plastic doggie in the corner just for fun!

So....there you go. Busy as ever. If you have a great idea for one of my 'Mixed Message' pieces....
I WOULD LOVE TO HEAR IT!!!!!
Have a great weekend all!!!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

WW:59 - I LOVE NEW YORK IN SPRING.....how about you.....

Hey y'all! Welcome to my NYC themed Wonderful Wednesday!
Here are 5 things that I LOVED on my recent visit to New York.

1. I had a lot of delicious meals, but my breakfast at 'Good Enough To Eat' was one of the best!

Carrie Levin, the Chef and Owner of Good Enough to Eat, was born in New York City and moved to Belgium at the age of five. She grew up in Brussels and spent a lot of time in the two restaurants her family owned. Carrie completed college in Aix-en-Provence & Pru Leith's School of Food and Wine in London. Returning to New York in October 1979, she worked briefly at the Russian Tea Room and did an apprenticeship under Seppi Renngli, then Head Chef at the Four Seasons. 

In 1981, "Good Enough to Eat" opened. Carrie recognized her desire to create and serve "good, old-fashioned American food." The eatery became a huge success, noted first for its all-day, bountiful breakfasts featuring omelets, pancakes, waffles, and buttermilk biscuits. Further renown came soon with homemade soups, huge sandwiches, and classic Turkey and Meatloaf dinners, establishing Carrie—with her sophisticated European culinary training and palette —as one of the first Chef's in NYC to create and celebrate "traditional" American cuisine. Today, visitors sit side by side with Upper West Side "regulars," enjoying wholesome, mouth-watering (and ample) plates such as Macaroni and Cheese, Lemon Parmesan Chicken, Pecan Trout, Caesar Salad, Sweet Potato Fries, the now legendary Meatloaf and Turkey Dinners, and Peach Pie with homemade Vanilla Ice Cream. 
 Carrie Levin has made it her mission to satisfy hunger at Good Enough to Eat.



This is what I had! Delicious banana walnut pancakes!
It comes with strawberry butter!
SOOOO GOOOOOOOD!
Delightful atmosphere!
We sat at the bar.......and had cows EVERYWHERE!
This was framed in the bathroom.
It aMOOsed me!

I even like the old floor!!!

 When in NYC make it up to 'Good Enough To Eat'! You will NOT regret it!


2. Flea Markets of NYC. I was fortunate to get to all 3 of these fabulous Flea Markets (www.hellskitchenfleamarket.com)!


There are 3 locations. Each is unique - and each worth visiting. I did all three!!!!

THE ANTIQUES GARAGE - Located at 112 West 25th Street (between 6th and 7th Avenues)and open 9AM – 5PM, every Saturday & Sunday, the Antiques Garage has been attracting thousands of shoppers each weekend since 1994 with 100+ vendors on two floors selling eclectic antiques and decorative arts–paintings and prints, vintage items including jewelry, handbags, fabrics, rugs, and furniture, every type of fine silver item imaginable, and more.



WEST 25TH STREET MARKET - Located on West 25th Street between Broadway and 6th Avenue and open 9AM – 5PM, every Saturday & Sunday all year long (weather pending), the West 25th Street Market features up to 125 vendors selling antiques, collectibles, and other types of vintage and mid-century modern items.







HELL’S KITCHEN FLEA MARKET - Named one of the Top Ten Shopping Streets in the World by National Geographic, Hell’s Kitchen Flea Marketsets the standard for distinctive vendors, where collectors and top-notch hagglers including the fashion éclat, artists, celebrities, tourists, and residents shop the market for antiques, collectibles, vintage clothing, mid-century modern items–including home decorations and furniture–jewelry, and more. Located on West 39th Street between 9th & 10th Avenues and open 9 AM – 5 PM every Saturday and Sunday all year long (weather pending), Hell’s Kitchen Flea Market includes vendors from The Annex, formerly located in Chelsea.  The market’s Hell’s Kitchen South location is near the Port Authority Bus Terminal and Times Square.
Inflatable lil' devil!
Jewelry-palooza
You could buy this hamster!!
Music to shop by!! 
A teal thing.....that I did NOT buy!
Love this old ad......framed up!
Wanted this teal-y polka-dotty treasure!
Husband is having MORE fun than it looks!
For more photos MUST MUST MUST check out:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/fleaspeech/


3. MTA renos. The transit system in NYC is SPECTACULAR! I cannot say enough about it! Seriously,  THIS is how you do transit. More importantly, this is how you do subway renovations and extensions. Check out these videos. It is crazy how well funded the transit system is, and how well run it is!! We can seriously learn from NYC!!!












There is a bunch more information on their website:
http://www.mta.info/capital/index.php

4. As you know, for me, NYC is a lot about food. Some meals were expensive and great events, other meals just need to be fast. But fast is not enough! Why eat crappy-ass McAnything, when you can have something FRESH. That is why I like Prêt a Manger. 


It has delightful fresh items in a "fast food format". Read about them:

Good Natural Food

Using natural ingredients and avoiding preservatives and obscure chemicals is sacred to Pret. Our sandwiches are freshly made throughout the day in each and every Pret kitchen. This fact is (partly) what makes Pret special. We make them, we sell them!  People in the food business trust Pret. We’ve spent years earning their respect. This is vital to our ongoing success. If you would like to learn more about our menu and ingredients, check out Our Food.
If and when we make too much food, we offer it to charities working with the hungry.  We've been doing this for years. In New York, we partner with City Harvest, in Washington, DC we partner with Thrive DC and in Chicago, we partner with The Greater Chicago Food Depository.

As well as being fanatical about taste, the food team ensure our sandwiches and salads are free from the endless additives that plague modern food. This task is much harder than it sounds. Pret’s suppliers have to go to great lengths to meet our high standards.

Once we chucked out thousands of Fruit and Oat slices on account of a tiny trace of color enhancer in the dried pear. Likewise, our ham is pale (not bright pink) and our dried apricots are brownish (not orange). The list is endless but important.
Do you have a friend or neighbor who makes delicious natural food? Anything from jam to sausages. Please let us know or get them to call us. We are always looking for delicious, ‘out of the ordinary’ ingredients.

LOVE the Balsamic Chicken and Avocado sammy - LOVE LOVE LOVE it:





5. Ok.....now that you are hungry.....I have to leave you with this song. Whilst in NYC we saw a drag show. It was a lot of fun, and this song.....WHICH IS NOT SUITABLE FOR CHILDREN was stuck in my head for the rest of the trip!!!! It is from a singer named Storm Large


She is a singer best known as a contestant on the CBS reality television show Rock Star: Supernova. She has a great voice! But this song.......really sticks with you! 
You're WELCOME!!
I hope you enjoyed today's post! 
Let me know your thoughts!!!!



Monday, April 23, 2012

LINKEDIN LOGO ARTWORK

It's like Karen Carpenter used to say.......rainy days on Monday's always get me down!
But despite the cold and rain........we shall persevere!
I wanted to share with you today a commission that I have been working on.
The commission is for the common-room at LinkedIn.


LinkedIn - just in case you do not know, according to Wikipedia is:


"a business-related social networking site. Founded in December 2002 and launched in May 2003, it is mainly used for professional networking. As of 9 February 2012, LinkedIn reports more than 150 million registered users in more than 200 countries and territories. The site is available in English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish, Swedish, Romanian, Russian, Turkish, Japanese, Czech and Polish. In June 2011, LinkedIn had 33.9 million unique visitors, up 63 percent from a year earlier and surpassing MySpace."


So, the piece that I painted was commissioned for their offices, to hang along side 3 other commissioned art works. Each artwork features their logo  - one of them was this lego art:




So, I started with the logo and worked up from there. 
We wanted it to look like an old weathered poster.....I then designed a fake vintage 'timecard',
and a retro looking coaster that was social networking related. 
The final piece was the wording straight from the mission statement.
Here was the computer rendering that was approved:




I was pleased with the overall look.....and here is it finished:




As you can see, it is similar to the drawing - with a bit more agedness!
Here are a few more photos dropping off the work at the offices:

Here I am....at LinkedIn......see my reflection??

The VERY WHITE entry!

My piece being held up by Steve at LinkedIn.
The other lego-logo is there too!
Mine is the 'more subtle' one!


So, it was a great process, as most commissions are.
Remember.......you can get exactly what you want of your corporate or personal art needs.
As long as it fits my mandate, and looks like my work, I love to work WITH people on the perfect piece for their space! So keep it in mind next time you go to buy art!!!
In the meantime, you can check out all my commissioned work at:
http://www.robcroxford.com/commissions.html
and you can also check me out and add me to your professional network on LinkedIn here:
http://www.linkedin.com/pub/rob-croxford/19/a5a/ba4


Thanks all!!!


Friday, April 20, 2012

SURPRISES OF NEW YORK: A TRAVEL SLIDE SHOW....BUT NOT THAT BORING....I HOPE.....

Hey all!
I am back form my little vacation....and I have a whole NYC themed Wonderful Wednesday post for you next week......and a great post all about the 'signs of NYC' that will come up some time soon......but in the meantime I wanted to share a couple of miscellaneous trip pictures!
Yes, I know it is akin to sitting through Aunt-Agnes'-Missionary-Trip-Epic-Slide-Show....
....but I will keep it short and sweet.
There were a few things that surprised me about NYC on this trip.
Which is nice!
We stayed at the Milford Plaza....(700 8th Avenue, (between 44th and 45th) which is in the middle of major renovations. Yes, last year I made fun of the fast that 1/2 of the sign was burnt out.......


 This year, it was the best deal in town!
We had a newly renovated room. Very modern.

I like the back wall which reads "RESTaurant"
I also loved the little details on the blackout blinds.
Super cute!
Small but modern bathroom that had a HUGE sliding warehouse orange door on it!
Dark - but modern hallways! 

Mid renovations - EVERYWHERE!


Lobby was ok.

Lobby again.
So, I was surprised that it was as nice as it was. I would actually stay there again!
It was nice and clean, and close to Times Square!

Surprise #2 - sometimes a broadway voice is NOT the best voice in town!
So...here's the deal, we saw Evita. With Ricky Martin! Or as I was calling it "Livin' Evita Loca".
Get it? (It's actually husband's joke. Sorry!)

The major players came out at the end and did a pitch for donations for " Equity Fights Aids"
(thus my photos - which are a SERIOUS theatre etiquette NO NO) 

Did I mention the scenery was WOW-Y!
As I mentioned - it was surprised that Ricky sang so well BUT I was doubly surprised by one of the other lead's voice......I won't say which one.....I will just say 2 words.......screech owl. (ouch)

Moving on....I was surprised with the amount of flowers and such:
The Cherry Blossoms in FULL BLOOM - were stunning!

This wisteria smelled SOOOO good!!!
There were 15 (or so) pots of these lining the streets across from Madison Street Park!  

 Here are some more photo surprises:

!Um.....spoiler alert at the HBO shop!
This was a "Game of Thrones" SURPRISE (as we are not done Season 1 yet)
Surprised that ANYONE would buy polka-dot acid wash jeans.
EW.
Strawberry Shortcake Cheesecake from Junior's.
I was surprised that I was able to share it.
IT WAS DEEEEEELISH!

Surprised that this store sold soap. Not sure what soap and sheep have in common.
Anyone?? 
Surprised how the people in the audience went CRAAAAAZY for this show.
It was good....songs were catchy.....the dancing was SUPER....but I am talking SCREAMING!!!!

'Toffee bananas' and cheesecake in a crepe. Covered with chocolate and served with hot  carmel sauce.
I am surprised I didn't die and go to heaven RIGHT AT MAX BRENNER!
 FINALLY......I leave you with this:

I don't know who is more surprised here.....the creepy mannequin......or me!!!