Friday, May 31, 2013

EATS & BEATS (and ART) IN RIVERSIDE......and a new painting.....

Happy Friday!!!
So this weekend......in the rain.......I will be showing my prints.....and originals in Jimmie Simpson Park in Toronto. Here is the Riverdale Art Walk information again:

Then....if that weren't enough, there is also music and great eats..... 
Check out EATS AND BEATS




Come by and see a brand new piece!!!!
NEW NEW NEW
Ok....so......here's the story......this painting is 'repurposed'.
What do I mean?
Well......I painted this one last year.......but then was NEVER happy with it:
"Hoedown", 48" x 60" 
So....I cut up the landscape....
(INSERT SHOCKING INWARD BREATH HERE)
In fact, I cut into TWO pieces. 
(INSERT DOUBLE BREATH)
Here is my re-draw of it......


The quote was from Piet Mondien. 
So I thought that I would use that theme.....but then I DID NOT like it......
So I did a redraw......


I was much happier with this layout. 
I wanted it to be about how the East of Toronto has been becoming a destination.
I like that it has been developing slowly and more methodically. 
I also I like that there is so much green space in the East end. 
The new painting is in a 18" x 36" wooden panel. 
Here it is:

So....let's break it down......the background is my version of that retro cherry wallpaper.
The poster I designed and painted to look more water-colour-y...and be about "building".
 I made the 'tend the garden' more of a postcard size and moved the quote onto a post-it note - to better balance my composition.......and kept the little shovel!
The bottom on the other side just says Queen and Broadview.
Finally I put my washes and tried to balance it all out.

So there it is!
What do you think???
Come out tomorrow (in the rain!!!!) I would love to see you!!! 

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

WW119: BATES MOTEL, C2C and George Takei's Amazon

5 things that I love this week:

1.) Bates Motel. I really like this show. First.......I like the artwork for it. It is creepy and lovely:






For those of you who havent tuned in to this show yet....here is a quick synopsis:
Following the death of her husband, Norma Bates buys a motel on the outskirts of the idyllic coastal town of White Pine Bay, seeking a fresh start. As Norma and Norman get ensconced in their new home, they discover this town isn’t quite what it seems, and the locals aren’t so quick to let them in on their secrets. But the Bates’ are done being pushed around and will do whatever it takes to survive – and will do whatever it takes to protect their own secrets....

Bates is made by the folks at Lost and Friday Night Lights. So the story is good. Creepy - and good. it stars Freddie Highmore as a young Norman Batesand and Vera Farmiga as his mother. BOTH of these actors do a SPECTAULAR job!!!!!!! I love them in this!

The whole 1st season is done.......so it is the perfect time to see them all in one big scary viewing!!!!!
What are you waiting for?? DO IT NOW!!!

2.)  I love these mixed media pieces. Boriani 2.0 tells a story: that of a family tradition, painting, reworked with different materials and techniques, and that of a second life of objects otherwise destined for landfill, a second level, a new release. Computer parts, floppy disk, hard disk, CD-ROM becomes canvas on which to paint alternatives. It is very neat! i like the colour palette - I like the graphic quality - and I like the fact that he paints on re-used stuff!!!! Look at these and decide for yourself:





3.) Ok.....this is my new FAVOURITE song!! You will see why below! C2C (formerly known as Coups2Cross) is a French turntable group created in 1998. They have a new album of work....that is pretty cool!!!! It is called "Tetr4"........you can get it on iTunes!


I am NOT ganna tell you about it....I want you to experience it for yourself. I think it is a cool sound.....TRUST ME.....if you like upbeat music - with a retro feel....this is super cool!
I especially love this song - AND I really like the video too!! Check it out:

Here is another toe tapper....and another good video:
SUPER GOOD!!!!!

4.) And now for something healthy. I came across this one on Pinterest. I will be trying it out next week!

QUINOA PIZZA BITES!!!!!!

Ingredients:
1/2 c. uncooked quinoa
1 large egg
1/2 c. chopped onion
1/2 c. fat free shredded mozzarella
1 t. minced garlic
1 T. dried basil
1 t. dried oregano
pinch of salt
pizza sauce for dipping

This is from http://fitsuccess.blogspot.ca/2013/02/healthy-snack-quinoa-pizza-bites.html
Check out the blog - lots of great ideas here!

5.) This is one of the funniest things I have seen in a while! TAKE THIS LINK to George Takei's Amazon reviews of products. Thanks Deb for sending this to me!! Enjoy folks! Here is a sampling:



Monday, May 27, 2013

"GATEWAY TO THE EAST" and THE RIVERDALE ART WALK

Hello!
So, hot off the heals of being 'an inspiration' I wanted to share my latest original painting!!!
Heck ya! I also wanted to mention that you can come out to The Riverdale Art Walk this upcoming weekend! Here are the deets on this great little outdoor art show!!!


i will have lots of great stuff to show this weekend....and there are some other great artists work to enjoy! COME OUT!! Rain or shine....I'll be there!!!
OK.......onto the new work:

"Gateway to the East", 30" x 24", Acrlyic on Board.
 Ok.....so this one is a nod to my peeps in East Toronto!
As my studio (and my home) are both in the east, I wanted to create a piece that celebrated that area!!
So....let's disect it.
The poster has a Queen streetcar crossing the bridge over the Don River.
The 100 year old bridge with spans the Dona River  - is lovely and adorned with (Toronto artist) Eldon Garnet's stunning "Time: And A Clock". Simply a lovely symbol of the great things that happen as you venture into the east of Toronto!!
In the background, is an old map of Toronto, WHICH I LOVE.
There is also some bricks at the bottom that emulate the ones on the sidewalk at Broadview and Queen.
Moving on....there are 2 'patches' or coasters that mention 2 of the great ethnic areas of the east - Chinatown and Little India - I chose them because they are GREAT and also as tongue in cheek - get it FAR EAST?? Ok...also there is a postcard that I made about the Ashbridges Bay Treatment Plant (which I also LOOOOVE)
 All of those elements were created BY ME...(not the monuments - the coasters)
And then finally everything was aged and 'Rob-ified' to give it an antique look.
I was so thrilled with this piece that I created an accompanying print:

"Gateway to the East", 15" x 20" Variable Edition Print!


SO.........as usual:

-These LIMITED EDITION beauties are Variable Edition Prints (which means there may be slight differences from print to print.)
-Each print is heat transfered onto paper by hand and hand embelished with ink.
-The paper is high qualtity, acid and chlorine free 100% cotton rag paper.
- made with love and time, these are great little AFFORDABLE pieces that can be a great addition to YOUR home!!!!
Remember to come out this weekend to buy a FABULOUS painting or a wonderful print!!!
Also you can buy a print on Etsy.....or contact me directly!!
Cheers!!!

Friday, May 24, 2013

CURRICULUM-IZED.......AT NORTH BROWARD PREPARATORY SCHOOL!!!

Happy Friday everyone!!
This......is an enjoyable story - that I simple HAD to share with you.
Sorry for all the reading on this...but the payoff in the end is some very nice imagery produced by what may be tomorrow's next great fine artists!

Sue Greeley is a client that has bought some of my work in the past. I remember how she was clearly happy with the piece she bought......and that is always a good feeling. Even now, after so many years doing this, I am always thrilled to be a part of someone's art collection!
I know it sounds kinda silly.......but as an artist, it is a great honour when someone really 'gets' what you are doing artistically and decides to include your art in their world! 
I suppose it is a kind of validation of your work.....and hey, who doesn't like a little validation every now and again?

Anyways, on with the story.....and here is where this story gets GOOD....

Currently, Sue lives and teaches art at North Broward Preparatory School, in Coconut Creek, Florida. When she arrived back in the Sunshine State, she showed my work to her colleague Shelley Weiss (Team Leader of Visual Arts). They both really enjoyed my paintings!

Ok....now let me interject this:
This is the campus at North Broward! WOWSA!
.....and........to really get a sense of the school and what it is about...you MUST also watch this clip:



(Here is a LINK to their site if that didn't work!)

And here is a snippet from their website too.....if you don't wanna watch the video:

"North Broward Preparatory School delivers a distinctive, challenging and enriched college preparatory educational experience to domestic and international students on a fantastic South Florida campus. The broad Upper School curriculum that includes 20 Advanced Placement (AP) courses and the International Baccalaureate diploma program with 18 course options.

Academic offerings are immeasurably enriched by an award-winning Fine Arts program, complemented by a full range of Interscholastic Athletic teams for both boys and girls, and augmented by an Elite Boarding Program.

In addition to outstanding academics, NBPS offers students a wide range of opportunities in the arts, athletics, community service and extracurricular activities. As they participate, students uncover hidden talents and discover new passions. They gain the joy of giving to others, the satisfaction of working as a team and the challenge of learning in a new environment.

International students make American friends and visit American homes. They study with American students in many subjects. Elite Boarding Program students often leave campus for social activities. Twice a year, they take trips to places such as New York City and Europe."

The point of all that info? CONTEXT.
I was impressed by breadth and depth of learning that NBP seems to provide for students.

I was especially flattered when my work was used as 'inspiration' on one of the honours art class projects! As an arts educator, Shelley does her share of research - looking for artists to inspire her students. She looks to find artists that can inspire her students in terms of technique as well as idea generation and even their artist statements. (Note to self - revisit and proof-read my artist statement.)

Ok....so this part is gonna seem like me patting myself on the back.....but...onward we go.... 
**Lesson to any student who may reading this......be prepared to be a self-promoter, despite the AWKWARD nature of it! 

Shelly went on to explain that she was "impressed by my body of work", and liked that I had a number of painting series'. She also mentioned that she thought that "each (series) is unique and slightly quirky" and she enjoyed how I explored my themes "using both textual references and puns both literary and visual".  In her class, she feels it is important to "show students how real artists can answer questions like 'Where do artists find their ideas?', 'How does Art communicate cultural values, beliefs and roles?' and 'How is Art related to all aspects of the human experience?'" 

So keeping those questions in mind, they started to analyze my paintings! In doing so, they broke down my 'formula' into a few parts that they then employed to create their own pieces.
First they were asked to research advertising in a culture. Then they had to select a cityscape.
Finally they were to add a quote (presumably pertaining to the imagery).
Part of this project was also to paint on top of aluminum foil (some of my work is also on metal)!

Ok....so as a refresher, here are some examples of my work:
(although regular readers - you SHOULD recognize this work - which - by the way - is all sold ;-)




 


Ok....so with this as inspiration, and the 'guidelines' in place, the project went ahead!
Evidently it worked out pretty well for the class and they completed their own works in record time. 
Admittedly, I am a little shy about being "an inspiration" to anyone - including art students.......but you can't argue with these results! Here are a few of the pieces:

I think this is great! I like the quote at the bottom.
I also enjoy the use of numerous fonts....and the giant lady is nicely rendered too! 

This one is still pleasant to look at while remaining topical!
That is something that is important to me in my own works.
I like the composition and the colour balance of this one.
I think the landscape is especially nicely handled!

This one is slightly different from the rest!
 I like that it is BOLD and expressive. I also like that font in the quote. Very nice!!

Dark....and fantastic!!
I like the use of the drips and the overlap from the lower imagery to upper.

Again....very nicely done....and I like that the quote is simple and direct.
The point of this painting hits you immediately! Great job.

IS THAT COOL OR WHAT??????
GREAT JOB GUYS!!!

Each one uses my visual 'formula' as their cue, but then each one has it's own personality.
I couldn't help but comment on each one...they are just super!!
I feel a real sense of pride that my work is out there in the world, 'inspiring' people!
As an artist, I think there is often that little devil on your shoulder whispering doubts into your ear, so it always so flattering to get positive feedback!!
I wanted to take this opportunity to tell the class at North Broward Prep. a couple of things that have served me well in my art career:
1.) Be true to yourself in your art - that honesty will define both you and your art!
2.) It is great (some say vital) for your work to tell a story. Let you work be ABOUT something!! I like to think of my work as a barometer of what is going on in society.
3.) Never fear that things you say won't be well received - fear that they won't be said at all!
4.) Love your work. Love it and be grateful that you get to do what you love.
and finally....my best piece of totally unsolicited advice?
5.) WORK HARD. In the past 8 year alone, I have completed over 500 paintings - each piece has helped me shape my artistic vision, and hone my talents. It is VITAL to your growth to work and keep working!

So there you go!
I really want to thank Sue and Shelley! I really love this story. It has honestly made my week!!!!
Ok... now....it's time to get back to the easel!
Have a great weekend y'all!!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

WW118: TASTE OF THE FOOD TERMINAL, IF IT'S HIP, IT'S HERE and AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D.

Hi everyone!
First I want to say for the record....I am N-O-T a professional blogger.
I am not diligent about checking all my sources. I am an artist, a painter, a creator.
I'm just a boy, standing in front of the internet, asking you to love me.
I post each "Wonderful Wednesday" as a little promotion for other artists, and cool inspirations that come to me from various sources. I think it makes this blog more interesting than just...
LOOK AT MEEEEEEEEEEEE! Look at my art. Support me. Please.
So....here is this weeks round up of MY inspirations.
Please follow the links - share the love -- and enjoy!!

1.) Do you love your superheroes?? It is certainly the big trend right now.....Maybe you might like this:
Agents of Shield is gonna be on ABC - this fall at 8pm!!
Looks like it may be kinda neat!

2.) If It's Hip It's Here. A super fun and interesting blog that I LOVE to follow!

You should follow it too.....more than that - scroll to the bottom and donate a dollar to keep this FAB blog alive!!! Lots of great stuff to see - hip fashion - hip products - hip artists - hip replacements....
When I say lots of hip stuff I mean including things like these:




I love IT! Although.....she has never featured my artwork! ;-(
GO CHECK IT OUT! (and maybe tell her to mention my art sometime already!!)

3.) "Mutazioni" carpets by Lanzavecchia + Wai - for Nodus.

These two carpets are AH-MAH-ZING. They are a top-down view of two fictitious insects: 'amaurodes chernobilis' and tacua fukushimae'. Here is how it is explained on Design Boom (which has a TONNE of great photos - check it out here)

"Conceived from lanzavecchia + wai 's fascination with historical entomological illustrations, and the presence of radiation which is floating in our cosmos. their names have been independently derived from the nuclear disasters of chernobyl and fukushima-- the fear of nuclear energy matched by our growing dependence on it--and in addition, allude to a new species of a beetle and cicada respectively.

These hand-tufted rugs, produced by nodus, depict background patterns which follow the precision of the 'golden ratio' as a means of emphasizing the asymmetrical imperfection of the mutated specimens at hand."




I am not sure what any of that means......because I am just a simple artist...but I LOVE THEM:

4.) Last year I REALLY enjoyed "Taste of the Food Terminal"! On Saturday, May 25, 2013 the Ontario Food Terminal Board and its tenants invite you to this year’s event in support of FoodShare. Tour the Terminal, wholesaler's stalls and farmer's market, visit the pop-up neighbourhood, enjoy a delicious lunch prepared by our very own Cooking Team, enjoy fun interactive activities for the whole family and learn about our work in schools, and support FoodShare!
I ATE LIKE A BIT FAT PIG LAST YEAR - It was so yummy and great!!
YOU must go to this event!!
For more information:
www.foodshare.net/events/taste-of-the-food-terminal/

5.) In a desperate search for something funny....I found these on Pinterest. Hours of combing the internet - and found this.......you're welcome: