Friday, August 31, 2012

"SIGN OF THE TIMES" & NEW CITY HALL TORONTO

Hey y'all!
Well, as I have mentioned, over and over and over again....I am putting together a brand new show for October......well....here is the invite:


I am getting closer to my crazy-ass deadline, and as such am getting a little worried about the scale of this project......but then again, I seem to work best with crazy deadlines.
ANYWAYS....I wanted to share another new painting....are you ready??

"Laws", 36" x 24", Acrylic on Board, 
So let's dive in.....
The background of this painting mimics the tiles at Queen Station.
Why Queen?
Well.....I couldn't decide between Queen or Osgoode.
(City hall is right in between the two of those stops.)
I decided Queen because I already did Osgoode Station tiles on a piece (see it HERE).
Ok...moving on....the poster part is of City Hall.
I am SUPER PROUD of how it turned out. I think it really looks like an old poster.
The lettering (quote) is from Otto Von Bismark. (Dead in 1898 - German political guy)
"Laws are like sausages. It's better not to see them being made."
I like the quote a lot, and I thought it made a funny point.
Now don't get me wrong I am not comparing certain politicians to a fatty pig.
NO SIR!
The other bits on this painting include a pair of scissors cutting some corporate letterhead from Toronto Services. YES, I know this is very literal for me.......and I am known for my subtlety.
OK and the last piece is a little poster for the "King of Bologna" - I thought the king turned out well.
AGAIN, I am not suggesting that any politician seems to think that they are the king, and may be treating his/her job as a kind of dictatorship. I am also not suggesting that any person in office is full of bolgogna. Finally, I am not suggesting that someone's fatty little piggy fingers need rapped for their blatant ignorance.
I am not the kind to make such disparaging remarks.
Ok...so that is the latest painting!!!
What do you think???
Also, if you have a great idea of a Toronto issue and/or landmark that you think that I could paint something fantastic about.....tell me!!!
So far for this show, I have paintings with:
-The Bloor Viaduct
- Ontario Place
- New City Hall
- The Light Rail Transit
- The ROM
- The Flatiron Building
- The Drake Hotel
- Yonge Dundas Square
- The Public Library (on Queen East)
- The Prince's Gates at The Exhibition
- The Royal York Hotel
But I am ALWAYS looking for more ideas!!


Wednesday, August 29, 2012

WW81: SOLAR ROADS, 'ECCE HOMO', AND RICHARD AHNERT

It's Wednesday - so let's get going!!! 
Here are 5 things I am loving this week....and you should love them too!!!

1.) SOLAR POWERED ROADS! I Love this one! It is a great idea.....and probably needs a LOT of perfection before implementation.....but still......

An American electrical engineer by the name of scott brusaw has developed a system of solar powered roads as an initiative to change the face of national highways. These 'solar roadways'  re-purpose existing concrete and asphalt surfaces that are exposed to the sun with solar road panels. He is currently introducing the technology in driveways, bike paths, patios, sidewalks, parking lots, playgrounds, before integrating them onto public roads. 





The hope is that in time it will provide sustainable transportation solutions. The roads are capable of directly inputting energy into the power-grid through photovoltaics, which if realized, could power an entire country from the generated electricity!! CRAZY HUH?? These 'solar roadways' would replace coal- and nuclear-powered electricity generation plants by transforming the road into a self-contained energy source!!!!! I hope this comes to fruition!!! It could completely transform North America!

(Thanks to DesignBoom for this one - check them out HERE)

2.) So, I am in the market for a new bathroom........and here is what I am thinking:


(thanks to Cindy - via onebynine.com)

3.) So...art that centres around anthropomorphizing (the attribution of human characteristics or behavior to a god/animal/object.) seems to be more popular than I thought........You know....like a woman with a goats head.....and such..........


Personally, I really like local (Toronto) artist Richard Ahnert. We have done a number of the same shows together...and I am always impressed by his work. His paintings are creepy and beautiful.....not to mention stunningly executed!!! I stole these images from his site:


GO TO HIS SITE FOR MORE!!! He has a whole site of brilliantly done paintings!

Speaking of anthropomorphizing...I really like these ones......from Emily Burns. They are super good too!!! I wanted her to call this series "Horny".....but she didn't. ;-) Still.....super well done:





4.) 'Newsies: The Musical' original Broadway cast recording. I KNOW this one is super gay....but sometimes a nice pick-me-up is a bit of tap dancing (not me - the kids on the soundtrack). I saw the show in NYC this year, and thought it was FUN!! I enjoyed the music and the dancing (and admittedly...all the tight slacks on the prancing chorus boys....)
Yes...the music is sugary-sweet,  Disneyfied shlock.....BUT I cannot help but enjoy it. The show is based on the musical movie BOMB from the 90's. With music by Alan Menken (you may know him from other musicals like Little Shop of Horrors, The Little Mermaid and Beauty and the Beast). If you like a show tune, like I like a show tune...try it out!!
Here is a little taste:
COME ON! F-U-N!! Can't you just picture the tight pants GREAT dancing??

5.) Ok...by now EVERYONE has seen this news item. But for those of you who have been living under a rock.....here is the cliff-notes. Picture it. A 19th century Spanish fresco depicting Jesus titled “Ecce Homo” by painter Elias Garcia Martinez. Now picture an 80 year old woman, with NO ART TRAINING attempting to re-touch a this crumbling century old fresco. Here are the results:

HILARIOUS - sad - but still....humorous! This botched restoration spawned a photoshop meme, in which the ruined painting was edited on to other famous works of art, and pop culture......like this:








And finally I leave you with this one:


Monday, August 27, 2012

LUCKY NEW WORK

Hot off the easel, is my brand new work. I have another few to show you on friday as well! 
Yup. I am really plowing forward towards my crazy deadline!!!
WHAT DEADLINE???
If you regularly stop by here, you know I have a brand new exhibition opening in October.
"Sign of the Times" will showcase some great new work!!!
Over the weekend I wrote up a new 'artist statement' for the show - (that will be used to help promote/describe the work for this exhibition). Let me share it with you:

At first viewing, this new body of work appears to be all about posters, billboards and advertising. Similar to my previous work, each piece evokes a sense of nostalgia. However, “Sign of the Times” is essentially about the signs all around us.  Signs that tell us our world has changed. Signs illustrating for good or for bad, the kind of communities we have built. Signs that society needs to react and change for the better!
The paintings in this exhibition have a specific message related to the politics of everyday life. I navigate around difficult themes such as drunk driving, urban sprawl and government budget using my ‘signature’ humour and word-play. They say “you can attract more bees with honey than with vinegar”, so I provide political commentary in a somewhat ‘sugary’ manner.
These acrylic paintings employ a collage-like approach, but are rendered in a technique that may be considered ‘trompe l’oeil’. Within each piece, the imagery has been designed specifically to mimic iconography and ephemera from pre-1950. This vintage ‘look’ offsets the political sting and complements a humorous approach to social activism. Along with acrylic paintings, I have once again created work using mixed media and found objects for “Sign of the Times”.
As always, I hope that my work entertains but also challenges people to re-assess the world around them, and perhaps even be a catalyst for change!
Ok.....so it is a bit 'art=speak-y' (which I HATE) but people in the art business are always expecting an obscure and ten-dollar-worded statement that essentially makes people feel stupid. I am NOT like that, so I try to keep it simple and easy to understand. Maybe because I am also simple. 
;-p

OK.....so here is the latest painting for the show:  


"Luck",  36" x 24", Acrylic on Board.
So, as you can see, this one looks like my others in its look.
Now, let's break it down!
It has a background of tiles from Union Station. Actually they are the tiles from the Light Rail (streetcar) station UNDER Union Station. I have always loved the teals and greys and beiges together.
The poster is of some crazy kids partying it up on a Friday night. The streetcar is an oldie. The city in the background it the Toronto skyline. The poster is aged and has the usual folds and such painted on.
The quote on this painting is "Luck runs out, but safety is good for life."Although I cannot find the source from it, I like what it says. It sets the theme of this piece!!
I then painted a horseshoe, and a coaster from 'The Horseshoe Tavern'.
The final elements are a vintage car key for a Ford, and a bottle cap for 'Steam Whistle' beer.
I wanted to make a painting about using your head, and taking transit when you plan on going out to drink. I wanted to tell that story in a tasteful and subtle way. 
I think I was successful.
What say you???


Wednesday, August 22, 2012

WW81: THE HIRIKO, PIP&POP, AND COLONEL SANDERS

Good Wednesday to you! Thanks for reading my blog!!!!
Let's get right to it. The 5 things that I LOVE this week.

1.) Ok...so this first one is really different. Even for me. But I really like it. So weird and wonderful. Pip & Pop are Australian artists (also known as Nicole Andrijevic and Tanya Schultz) who have a great sence of colour and form in thier work. They combine colored sugar and candy with modeling clay, glitter and other assorted craft supplies creates a highly detailed delectable fantasy world. 
(click on the images below to enbiggen them)





Check out thier website HERE or get a copy of their book, I Love That You Love What I Love.

2.) This super little environmentally friendly car is CRAZY!!!! The hiriko folding electric vehicle has been developed as an innovative solution for means of alternative transportation. True, it still needs a bit more work if it wants to appeal to us North Americans.......BUT what a great start!



"The concept automobile bridges the relationship between the city and its inhabitants by accommodating easy and accessible driving solutions within a busy metropolitan area.  In a collaboration between MIT's changing places, denokinn basque center for innovation and afypaida, the design caters to an environment that promotes more social, sustainable and smarter cities. the small commuter car integrates a 20 horsepower electric motor, controlled by a drive-by-wire system, where it achieves a range of 120 km (75 miles) with a top speed of 50 km/h (31 mph). Each wheel contains a separate drive motor, steering, braking, and suspension system, allowing its body to collapse into two separate units for tight parking spaces."

Here is a video of it collapsing to fit into tight spaces!!!! Super cool!



(thanks to DesignBoom for this.....go check them out HERE!!!!!)

3.) This is super fun!!! I love the whimsical direction that the Kansas City Public Library took when designing its library:

This permanent installation is designed to conceal the library’s car park. To select the books, the public were asked to nominate books that they felt represented Kansas City. I think it is a GREAT idea!!!!!!
(Thanks to Cindy via NOTCOT and Deputy Dog)

4.) Ok....so this one is less inspirational than usual.......but I do kinda like them for the irony. But PLEASE. PLEASE. PLEASE, for the love of all things holy, ONLY wear these socks for the IRONY:

For $5.95 US, you can have that chic-hoser look without all the trouble at Baron Bob!
(Thanks to Dale via Dangerous Minds and Dressed Like Machines)

5.) And for your laugh of the week (as if the sandal socks weren't enough) I give you....this which 2 people have forwarded to me already (thanks Deb and David):
For a better audio version....go to http://youtu.be/LSBFTKI-zIM

Monday, August 20, 2012

ONTARIO PLACE :- (

Hey y'all!!!
Sorry I have been a slacker! It has been almost a whole week since I last blogged.
No. Sadly, I have not been vacationing.
I have been super busy painting new work for my October exhibition at Gallery 129 Ossington.
I wanted to show the first piece from that upcoming show.
The exhibition is called "Sign of the Times". It is all poster inspired work.
I will be showing pieces that are all themed around posters and billboards.
I will NOT be showing ANYTHING from my last show...which means I have a boat-load of work to do in the next month and a bit.....but you know how I love a looming crazy-person deadline!!!
So, here is the first new piece for the show:

"Summer Fun", 24" x 36", Acrylic on board.
As you can see it is about Ontario Place.
Here in Toronto, there is a bunch of controversy over the closing of the Ontario theme park.
For those of you not from Ontario here is the wiki-description for Ontario Place:

"Ontario Place WAS a multiple use entertainment and seasonal waterfront park attraction located in TorontoOntario, and owned by the Crown in Right of Ontario. It is administered as an agency of the Ontario Ministry of Tourism and Culture. Located on the shore of Lake Ontario, just south of Exhibition Place, it is approximately 4 km west of Downtown Toronto. It opened on May 22, 1971 and consists of three artificially constructed, landscaped islands. Attractions are spread throughout the park, as well as walking trails and food and drink concessions. Traditionally targeted at a family audience, with emphasis on children's activities, the park has a seasonal operating schedule and is closed from October through April, with the exception of the Cinesphere IMAX theatre and private event space. Central to the complex is a public marina and a major concert theatre. Historically, Ontario Place, as a publicly subsidized provincial agency, aims to keep costs, especially for families, lower than comparable attractions. On February 1, 2012, the government announced that the public sections of the park will be CLOSED  and redeveloped, with a targeted completion date of 2017, in time for Canada's 150th anniversary. All Ontario Place facilities will be closed except for the marina, the Molson Amphitheatre, the Atlantis entertainment venue and parking."

SO SAD. 
I would like to believe that the government isn't gonna screw the re-development up.....
BUT......I have serious doubts!!!!! Thus the painting.
As you can see, the poster part is centred around the Cinesphere (as it really is the most iconic building in the complex) The logo and fonts are all made up on the poster part....
The logo on the ticket is very similar to the former logo....although the ticket is made up too.
There is a quote on a piece of accounting paper....that I really like.
I like it because it was from my husband! (or so he keeps telling me)
There is also a wooden nickel...just for fun!
The entire background is like the tiles at Bathurst TTC station (which is one of the ways to get down to the Exhibition area) I liked that it spelled 'thurst' (which sounds like 'thirst')
I think turned out really well!!
What do you think??

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

WW80: CARO EMERALD, HERE'S THE THING and FONT MANAGEMENT!!!

HOWDY!!!
Welcome to Wonderful Wednesday.
I hope you enjoy these 5 things that I am LOVING this week:

1.) Here's the Thing. Ok...granted....Alec Baldwin is a hot head, with a pension for attracting bad press.....but he absolutely has a way of making interesting conversation - from unlikely sources. I LOOOOOOOVE his bi-monthly podcast. LOVE it. You must give it a try!!!!!!!!



"Award-winning actor Alec Baldwin gives the listener unique entrée into the lives of artists, policy makers and performers. Alec sidesteps the predictable by taking listeners inside the dressing rooms, apartments, and offices of people such as comedian Chris Rock, political strategist Ed Rollins and Oscar winner Michael Douglas. Here's The Thing: Listen to what happens when an inveterate guest becomes a host." 

Truthfully, at first glance, some of the people he interviews are NOT my regular cup of tea. 
But they have ALL been FASCINATING!!!!!!!! 
I highly recommend getting the free pod casts from iTunes!!!
(thanks to Cindy for pointing me to this many months ago!!!!)


2.) I love this mural-like installation work. Makes an eyesore much more appealing!! I introduce you to  Martin Heuwold (aka MEGX) of Wuppertal, Germany. This is  “Lego-Brücke”, or “Lego Bridge”- he makes a bridge look like giant lego blocks..and the result is AH-MAH-ZING! The piece took 4 weeks to complete.,,,check it out...and look an his website for more stuff...
http://www.megx.de/#1
...before you check out his site....you might want to brush up on your German! Here's the mural I like:
\


(thanks to Beautiful Decay for this!!)

3.) Caro Emerald. O-M-G!!!!!! LOVE HER!!!!!!!!!!!!! 




I have been listening to "Deleted Scenes from the Cutting Room Floor"...which took me to the remix album. It is fantastic!!!!!!!!!!!!! (I know that is a lot of exclamation points) 
Here are her wiki-deets:
Caroline Esmeralda van der Leeuw (b. 26 April 1981 in Amsterdam), best known by her stage nameCaro Emerald, is a Dutch jazz singer. She debuted on 6 July 2009 with her single "Back It Up". Her debut album Deleted Scenes from the Cutting Room Floor set a new all-time chart record on 20 August 2010, spending its 30th week at number one on the Dutch album chart. The album has become the biggest selling album of 2010 in the Netherlands, selling over 300,000 copies so far. In total more than a million copies have been sold so far. On 3 October 2010, Van der Leeuw was awarded the Dutch Music Prize "Edison Award" for Best Female Artist.

Ok...here are a couple tunes that are toe-tappingly spectacular:

That Man - cool and retro:



Back it up - also cool and retro!!!!!:



and sorry but this remix........is soooo good.....



AND this cover.....so delightful (it starts a little weird if you don't speak Dutch...but stick with it!!!!!:


4.) Ok...I gots no good recipe/food items this week......but I do have a GREAT app for those of you artists/designers out there who are font collectors - like I am. I use photoshop a lot....and download a lot of fonts for my paintings.....what I didn't realize was  that: 
'every font that has been activated on your system requires the deployment of system resources to applications. This can be an unproductive use of resources, particularly for fonts that are used infrequently. Font management allows you to activate fonts solely for the period of time you actually need them, freeing up precious resources so your system can run more efficiently.'



This great app will:
  • lets you activate and deactivate your fonts.
  • shows you a preview.
  • shows you the font name.
  • tells you which fonts are missing in a document.

Download it HERE!! It has made a MASSIVE change in my computer wait times....I get the pinwheel a LOT less these days - which means a LOT less swearing!!!!!
(thanks to Warren for installing this for me!!!)

5.) This week we lost a great humorist. Awful when smart people die so early. Here is his wiki-bio:

David Benjamin Rakoff (November 27, 1964 – August 9, 2012) was a Canadian-born writer based in New York City who was noted for his humorous, sometimes autobiographical non-fiction essays. Rakoff was an essayist, journalist, and actor, and a regular contributor to Public Radio International's This American Life. Rakoff described himself as a "New York writer" who also happened to be a "Canadian writer", a "mega Jewish writer", a "gay writer'" and an "East Asian Studies major who has forgotten most of his Japanese" writer. On August 9, 2012, Rakoff died of cancer, surrounded by family at his apartment in Manhattan.
So I wanted to share with you this smart little tidbit...it is long...very funny and a bit sad too.....enjoy:

Saturday, August 11, 2012

SOMEONE GRABBED MY ASS AT THE AWOL SQUARE FOOT SHOW and

Ya. You heard me!
As you may know (cause I have been relentlessly tweeting and blogging about it) I am part of the AWOL Square Foot Exhibition this year (for the first time in 7 years)!
Now, the art community in Toronto is actually strangely small......a couple of years ago at The Artist Project I was across from AWOL Gallery. We spent the weekend commiserating and kvetching....it was fun! So I thought 'why not' do the show this year??? It could be fun!
BUT THEN TRAGEDY STUCK!!!
Ok....so here's the story.....
On Monday I got an email from the lovely people at AWOL telling me that the toy donkey from my art piece walked away! I couldn't believe it!! 

I mean...COME ONE.......anytime someone has touched my ass, I have usually known WHO it was.
(I said usually....stop your judging!)

Seriously, what kind of a person steals objects off an artwork?
Right then, I decided to put on my best Jessica Fletcher.....and scour the crime scene for clues!
"Rob Croxford and the Case of the Grabbed Ass." 
It was all very Miss Marple.
Ladies and gentleman of the jury, I give you exhibit #1:

(insert clever ass comment here)
So....after dusting for prints and using my electro-mass-spectrometer  (I learned that one on CSI)....
I found NO CLUES in the case of the ass-napping!!!!!
OK TRUTHFULLY, none of that happened.....what did happen was........I scoured the Value Villages and model stores on Tues/Wed to find a replacement.....finally after HOURS of looking I gave up.
Thankfully husband has my back (or in this case - my ass) and found a nice small ass to replace my missing one.
Then I went off to Twist Gallery (1100 Queen Street West, just west of Dovercourt) to fix my art piece.
I was IMPRESSED - it was super well hung....(you know what I mean) there was like 1500 or so pieces all hung with care...it must have taken them FOREVER to get it all up!!
Anyways, it took me a while to find 'Audacity' 
(No, the irony of someone taking a chunk from a painting called 'audacity' is not lost on me!)
Here's why it took so long to find my art pieces:

YEOWSA! That's a lot of art!
It is actually a great way to get VERY AFFORDABLE art. 
At $225, you can get an original from some great toronto artists including:
Randy Hryhorczuk
Cindy Scaife
Kelly Grace
Stewart Jones
Laurie DeCamillis
Brian Harvey
as well as a bunch of the AWOL artists like..
Pamela Rosales and Paul Robert Turner
Oh and yes..there are about 550 OTHER artists across every discipline there too!!!
CRAZY!!
Here are a few more photos from the show:
(Find mine.....win a shiny quarter.)

Buyers? Artists? ASS GRABBERS??
(they look suspicious)

Photo reconnaissance for future stealing - or harmless photographing?
You be the judge!

This piece of mine was sold! HUZZAH!!

Love the cotton candy!!!!
So, as you can see it is quite an exhibition. Well worth a look-see!
Give yourself at least an hour to look!
Here are the deets again:

The 10th annual original Square Foot Show runs until Sunday August 19th, 2012 at Twist Gallery, 1100 Queen Street West, Toronto. GALLERY HOURS: Wednesday - Saturday 12-7pm & Sunday 12-5pm 

That gives you a couple weeks to check it out! 
Go and buy a very reasonably priced artwork!!
For me, I learned a powerful lesson from this whole thing:
Make sure you cover your ass! 
;-p