Friday, September 28, 2012

SCARBOROUGH BLUFFS

It seems to be a trend for me to post brand new work on Fridays.
So, as to not disappoint you...here is a new piece!!

Thankfully I am in the home stretch........getting all the 24 pieces ready for the hang next week.
Here are the deets AGAIN:
"Sign of the Times: a new solo exhibition by Rob Croxford"
October 3rd-27th, Gallery at 129 Ossington, Toronto
OPENING RECEPTION: OCTOBER 11TH, 7PM- 10PM
Remember to come out on October 11th and have a drink with me!!!!!!!!!
So here is my latest for the show:


"It Blows", 36" x 24", Acrylic on Board.
So as you can see, this one is about the intended wind farm for Scarborough.
It is mired in controversy.......so I figured it was worth commenting on!
The poster part is of the bluffs - with the turbines in the water.
The background of the piece is a lovely water/bird inspired wallpaper.
There is a vintage aspirin container (representing the alleged health risks), and also a Blackburnian Warbler (that's one of the endangered birds ;-)
The quote is on a fake postcard and says "You don't need top be a weatherman to know which way the wind blows." It is from Bob Dylan.
Ok....I think that is all I can tell you about this one.
PLEASE come out and see it live.....everything looks better in person!!!
Have a great weekend!!!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

WW85: BAD CHILDREN'S BOOKS, BUTCH WALKER AND PEE WEE

Welcome to Wonderful Wednesday- I am just gonna get right to it!
5 things I love this week:

1.) I am gonna start with desert! It was my birthday Monday.....so to celebrate, my lovely sister made Peanut Butter Bars:

Reese’s Peanut Butter Bars (from Let’s Dish)
1 cup butter melted
2 cups graham cracker crumbs (use the boxed kind, or grind them in a food processor. Tiny granules.)
2 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 cup + 4 tablespoons peanut butter
1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

Directions
In a medium bowl, mix together the melted butter, graham cracker crumbs, confectioners’ sugar, and 1 cup peanut butter until well blended. Press evenly into the bottom of an ungreased 9×13 inch pan. In a metal bowl over simmering water, or in the microwave, melt the chocolate chips with the peanut butter, stirring occasionally until smooth. Spread over the peanut butter layer. Refrigerate for at least one hour before cutting into squares.
SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO GOOOOOOOOD!!!!!
2.) Another reason to go back to Paris. The louvre's 'department of islamic arts' by milan-based studio mario bellini architect(s) and french practice rudy ricciotti is now complete in paris, france. This awesomely cool structure is a great counterpoint to the louvre's pyramid!

Here is the description of it.This new addition is 6,800 square meters and is contained by an undulating semi-transparent golden roof. Hovering within the 18th century cour visconti, the foulard appears to be suspended inside the courtyard by the wind, never touching the pavement or historic facades. Appearing to be lighter than air, the canopy ranges in thickness from 20 centimeters to 1.20 meters and weighs a grand total of 120 tons. Each of the 2,400 triangulated glass panels measure 120x120x160 centimeters and are screened with an outer layer of brilliant gold and silver aluminum mesh, insulating glazing, welded tubular steel space frames, aluminum honeycomb panels to diffuse daylight into the galleries and a final golden layer which matches the outer shell along the ceiling plane. only eight slightly inclined pillars lift the waving form, reaching a maximum of 8 meters from the ground.


Super cool. I like it! But I don't know what the French will be saying - they didn't much like the pyramid when it was added 25 years ago.

3.) "Bad Little Children's Books". OMG!!!!! I LOVE THIS!!!!!!!!!!! Bob Staake, the author and illustrator of more than 50 children’s books, has reimagined the covers of kid-friendly classics from the 1940s, 50s, and 60s, giving each one a twist that is often more PG-13 than G and always darkly comical.








GO CHECK OUT HIS SITE FOR MORE!!!!!
(thanks to Beautiful Decay for this one!!)

4.) Musically this week I am really digging Butch Walker
I like this old song he did with P!nk from his album Sycamore Meadows (which I LOVE)

and this newer video with Matthew McConaughey:
Butch is very enjoyable. And you should check him out on iTunes!!!


5.) This made me laugh. (Thanks David)! 

TAA DAA!! The end!
Hope you enjoyed this weeks round up of favourite things!!!



Monday, September 24, 2012

BLACK MONDAY - NEW WORK

Well,  it is "black monday".
Why? Today marks the day my youth dies. Here on my 40th birthday, I must now face the fact that I am officially old!
Sigh.
But, this depressing occasion will not stop me from blogging.
Oh - hell - no.
Instead of wallowing, I want to share some more 'smalls' that I will be showing at my upcoming show:


"Sign of the Times", October 3rd-27th, Gallery at 129 Ossington.
Opening night reception:
THURSDAY OCTOBER 11TH from 7-10pm

Ok....on with the new work....
Here are two of my new 'smalls' that I will be exhibiting.

There are 9 new pieces that look like little shadow-box-like dioramas.
As i mentioned on Friday, each piece has been painstakingly created from balsa wood, glue, paint and ink.
The billboard has re-worked imagery from my existing artwork, plunked into almost theatrical scenery!!

(remember you can click them to make them bigger -aka 'enbiggen' them)

"Feed Cities", 12" x 9", Acrylic on Mixed media.
"Move", 9" x 12", Acrylic on mixed media. 

I love them. I think they keep getting better and better!!
What say you??


Friday, September 21, 2012

FIVE HUNDRED FRIDAY!!!!!!!!!

It's Friday! Friday! Gotta get down on Friday!
Everybody's lookin' forward to the weekend! Weekend!
Friday! Friday! Gettin' down on Friday!
Everybody's lookin' forward to the weekend?
Partyin! Partyin! Ya?
Partyin! Partyin! YA!
Fun.
FUN!
FUN!!!!
FFUUNN!!!!
Lookin' forward to the weekend?

You're welcome! ;-)
So.....big news.....I am almost done painting all the new work for my upcoming show!!!
Okay, not necessarily big news for you...but for me BIG NEWS!!!
And here is the bigger news.........
I just completed my FIVE HUNDREDTH PAINTING!!!!!!!
5 - 0 - 0
Crazy huh??
Now let's break it down.
500 paintings since 2003. That's 55 a year!
Now, it is of note that in 2003 I only painted part-time so I only created 25 pieces!
But in 2004 I started painting full time and since then have painted EPIC-LY!
I am very happy to have hit that number!
I really feel like it has been a great adventure!
I have said it before, and I will say it again. I would never be where I am now (artistically) if I hadn't painted soooooo many pieces. 
It has been a HUGE learning curve, both artistically and personally! 
I feel like I have honed my craft, and I continue to do so.
My artistic voice is stronger and clearer than ever.
The work is 'tighter' and is generally just better painted than 499 paintings ago!
I really look forward to seeing how the next 500 paintings shape up!
I wanted to show you my very first two paintings and then my last 2 paintings....
To compare and contrast!
Here are my two OLDEST pieces. Sadly, I still have them...they are rolled up in my studio.
At the time, I was thinking that they would sell sell sell!
They did not.
:-(

As you can see they are heavily influenced by Art Deco.
So, yes, I have always looked for my inspiration from the past!
They are also covered in leaf - gold silver and copper leaf - as at the time, I was painting a LOT of murals that were on leaf (for the casinos of the OLGC). Like these ones at Woodbine:
Good times! (Not really - thankfully, I have had a LOT of therapy since then!!)
Anyways, the next year, I tried to sell these 2 paintings as murals - showing pictures of them in a room:


That also did not help them sell.
But I was NOT thwarted!
Instead of quitting, I decided to re-evaluate my process and re-shape my work!!
That goodness I did so, or I would have never come to these paintings:
"R&R", 12" x 9", Acrylic on Mixed Media.
Yes, I know it is IMPOSSIBLE to compare the old with the new work!
As you can see, the new pieces are little shadow-box-like dioramas.
I think that they are a perfect pairing with my poster themed work for my upcoming show!
Each piece has been painstakingly created from balsa wood, glue, paint, ink, blood, sweat, tears, earth wind and fire. Wait....I am getting off topic - sorry....
The imagery on the billboards is taken from another existing artwork (of mine) - re-worked in photoshop - and then I have tried to re-create billboard scenery to place the imagery in!

I think it is pretty cool!!!
I am hoping that they will hit a cord with people and they will be bought up at my next show!!
Sadly, five hundred paintings later, I am still not sure how they will be received.
Funny. For all the progress, I guess I am still waiting for artistic validation.
;-)
"With Baggage", 9" x 12", Acrylic on Mixed media.
The one above is actually a billboard that is above the "Hooters" in Toronto.
One might make a correlation between baggage and Hooters waitresses......or not.
So?
What do you think?
Do you like the new works???????
I love to have your comments - unless you are a jerk......then.....not so much!
And remember to help me celebrate my 500th by coming out to see these new pieces at:

Gallery 129 Ossington  -  Thursday, October 11th, 7pm-10pm

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

WW84: THE SOLBOT, WRECK-IT RALPH AND THE NEW NORMAL

Hello lovelies!!
Ya..I know...a bit weird - I am just looking for a more engaging first introduction!
I often go with y'all......but I thought I would try something more intimate this week....
I 'm still working on it!!!
Ok - let's get to it!! Here are my top 5 favourite things this week:

1.)You know how I love me some Pixar animation, right? Well this #1 spot is actaull a threesome of amusing/great things. Last night I saw Finding Nemo 3D on cheap night Tuesday, and fell back in love with the movie. So funny and touching!!!! LOVE IT! The 3D conversion was quite good - all the 'particulate' matter in the water was super convincing!
And before it there was a Toy Story Short called Party-saurus Rex - it was super good! Here is a little preview:
The final piece of animation I was blown away by was the trailer for Wreck it Ralph!!

If you were a video gamer in the 80's (no, I didn't have Atari - I had "The Gemini" - Atari's less attractive sister) then you will love how Pixar has brought to life all your favourite old characters!!!! Check out the trailer....

and also CHECK OUT THE WEBSITE - and play one of the video games....sooo good!!!


2. Mugshot Doppelgangers is a new project from Michael Jason Enriquez. Michael is an advertising student that seems to be 'on fire' in the visual arts community. I think this series is super well executed:



In this new series is entitled Enriquez has taken some well known celebrity mugshots and inserted them into an early 20th-century context. Here is what he says:


…Our current mugshots of the rich and famous are plastered with every article, and blog these days, but look uninspired and cheap. That’s why I wanted to bring our celebrity mugshots back to a time when love and care was taken to compose a more artful mugshot – back to the 1920′s…

…We’re so used to seeing celebrity faces on our tv, on blogs, and we even know what their mugshots look like. The tacky looking mugshots we have today are in stark contrast to the mugshots taken in the 1920’s. Vintage mugshots have an eerie beauty to them that’s lost in current mugshot photography…



(thanks to husband for this one!!)


3.) Ok...so my environmental pick of this week is also my geekiest pick of the week. Check this out:

Qbotix has created this robot called 'Solbot'. 'Solbot' runs on a track positioned alongside solar panels. A magnet helps it locate each station. As it approaches an assembly, it stops and attaches itself to it, then tilts and modifies the angle of the unit towards the sun throughout the course of a day - much like the the behavior of a sunflower - increasing the power output of a single solar panel by 40%! COOL HUH??
Here is what they say:



if that link doesn't work check it out on DESIGN BOOM

4.) You can thank my sister...and Pinterest for  this one!!! SLUTTY BROWNIES. 

 OH
MAH
GAWD!



Slutty Brownies
   - Ingredients
One recipe chocolate chip cookie dough
One package Oreo cookies
One recipe brownies
   - Directions
1. Preheat oven to 375 and line a 8x8 inch square pan with parchment paper.  Spray the paper.
2. Make the cookie dough, then spread it in the bottom of the pan evenly.
3. Place Oreo cookies on top of dough, pressing in slightly.
4. Make brownies, and pour batter over top.  Spread evenly in pan.
5. Bake for about 20 to 25 minutes.  The top will look done and cracked.  

5.) Normally this is a viral funny thing....but I TOTALLY LOVE this clip from 'The New Normal'. I LOVE this show....yes it is SUPER GAY.......but I can't help but love the rapid fire quips and pointed dialogue. But more than that....this week the girl who plays the young daughter Shania (Bebe Wood) does the BEST Little Edie Beale impression!!! THE BEST. SHE IS FANTASTIC!! Watch the show on Tuesday nights on NBC - it is very funny............and enjoy this clip:

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

PANCAKES, POLISH-FEST, AND PERFECTION!

Hello everybody....I was gonna show you my latest paintings.....but then I thought.....
How about something entirely different.
I want to share with you how I spend a day off!!!
I am not gonna make this all 'talk-y'......so it is like Aunt-Linda's-trip-to-the-Holy-Land slideshow time!
Enjoy:

As alway, the day starts with BRUNCH!!
This time at Cardinal Rule
(Queen West and Roncesvalles Ave)
DEELISH FOOD PORN. Quinoa and coconut pancake with Jack Daniels infused apples!!
Husband had pulled pork eggs bennie - YUMMERS!!!! 
No trip to Roncesvalles (or Ron-sees - as the locals call it)
would be complete without going into Mrs Huizenga!!!

I love this floor - and the bucket of balls!

I like these posters too.
(I do not like hippy-hipsters ironic fedora though)

SIDESHOW!! LOVE!!!!

This is creepy. It reminds me of the ladies you see outside the methadone clinic.
I think I took a photo of this last time too.
It is super (and reminds me of a date I had once.)

Then we proceeded up the street to the Polish Festival.
Or 'sausage and pickle fest'.
(Which sounds like a dirty movie title, now that I have typed it.)

There were lots of great traditional Polish costume.

More adorable Traditional costumes
Another traditional Polish costume!
Oh, now wait......this was just a busker.
His knee socks threw me off!
We went into this church to look at books (thanks google)


I loved these light fixtures!!!!!!

Ok...what is amusing about this photo for me? Is it:
A) they put Nora Roberts and Science Fiction together.
B) they are selling Smutty Nora Roberts in a church
C) There are sooo many N.R. books that they warrant a whole separate box
(the answer is all of the ABOVE)
 Later in the day we went into some antique shops that I love on Queen West:

Lovely!

Not as lovely.

Look at the creepy guy!!!!
(and the creepy painting too)
get it??? See husband in the reflection????

MUST HAVE!!!!!!!!!!!

Insert dirty comment here!!!!!
It is a bit of tantric science?

Love this a lot! Nice colours!!!

HUUUUUGE pet peeve - when they cannot get the ads to line up....
Unless the movie is actually called "Clod Atlas"???

I love this old stone for the Queen St Subway.
SO NICE!!
We finished the day at the Queen West Art Crawl.
It was nice to visit and NOT be in it!
I like to support my peers.
(and also like amy ocassion for a 'glad it's you - not me'!)
Lovely Work

Nice crafty things too!!!!

We did not stay for much entertainment....
......we did stay for this.........yes.......a cupcake truck.....
HEAVENLY!!
MMMMMMM.....The perfect end to the day!

So there you go!
A wonderful day off filled with food and fun!!
Thanks for reading!!!