Thursday, July 30, 2015

HIGH PARK IN TORONTO!

Happy Thursday!
I have been super busy getting this new piece ready.
This was a request.
As you can imagine, people always ask why I haven't immortalized "their neighbourhood" in a painting........and I always ask, what is special about your area? What can I paint that would really tell the story of your 'hood? Sometimes it is not an easy answer!
But in the case of High Park, it was really a no no brainer!
Sit back and lemme tell you a story......

High Park opened to the public in 1876 and is about 400 acres of park land right in the middle of the big smoke. It is the LARGEST park in Toronto, and is a mixed recreational and natural park, with sporting facilities, cultural facilities, educational facilities, gardens, playgrounds and even a zoo. One third of the park remains in a natural state, with a rare oak savannah ecology. High Park was and is based on a bequest of land from John George Howard to the City of Toronto.
WORTH capturing in a painting.........like so......

First - I started with the subway tile backgound of High Park Station.
The poster part (in blue and green here) is illustration of the Hillside Gardens. 
THEN I forgot that you guys like to see the progress and didn't take photos for a day.....and THIS happened:

As you can see, the Hillside Gardens have a formal garden area - it was IMPOSSIBLE to
illustrate ALL the kinds of great gardens....so I chose this one!
 BAM!
The High Park Subway tile is in - with a bit of sheen!
ALSO there is a vintage map of the City of York on the bottom!

Finishing up the map at the bottom of the piece!

This is what I LOVE about these paintings......I was able to include the FAMOUS peacock!
If you don't remember the story ......check out this:

If you want more on this infamous bird.........just follow his twitter feed!
ANYWAYS, I wanted to make sure he was included in the painting - I painted him as though he is just popping into the frame - like only for a day - he was free again.

More progress on shadows, and the addition of the Train!
If you have kids, you most assuredly have been on the trackless train!

Adding in the words and more washes of colour - and the tape!
The quote "The earth has music for those who listen" is a nod to Shakespeare in the Park
Which if you haven't done - is a real TORONTONIAN MUST!

AND HERE IS THE FINAL IMAGE!

It has a bunch more finishing touches that make it really look swell!!
Lots of washes and highlights and shadows added!
I am super happy with the final look! I think it is the perfect addition to my series!
Yes.......I will have merch of this SOON! AND YES I will blog about it! ;-)

Also.....If you want to make a difference, try making a donation to http://www.highpark.org/donate/


Honestly, the fact that we have such a great place in the city, is AMAZING!
Go out today....and also feel free to sent a little dough their way!
Thanks guys!


Wednesday, July 22, 2015

MY HOT BOX WEEKEND at SCADDING COURT!

Howdee!
Yup - I made it through the weekend! It was touch and go for a while!
Lemme tell you all about it....
My friend and fellow artist Cindy Scaife rented a shipping container for the weekend.
Yes....like the ones they use for human trafficking.
BUT IT WAS NOT AT ALL LIKE THAT!
This shipping container was outside of Scadding Court Community Centre at Dundas and Bathurst.
It was kind of part of the Market 707....

We decided to call it S.P.O.T. (Summer Pop-up of Toronto):


We were thinking we may hashtag ourselves into gettin' some of that sweet sweet PanAm business.......although I am beginning to think that the only business that is benefiting from PanAm IS PanAm......
ANYWAYS, here are some photos from my hot and sweaty weekend
(which I know sounds like a porn name - BUT IT WAS NOT AT ALL LIKE THAT)!

So you start with this:

and turn it into THIS:

Here we go......I LOVE THIS VENUE. A great alternative to a tent!!!!
BAM!!! It looked great - and was such an easy load in!
I was showing off my new rack.
NICE RACK HUH??

Cindy's work looked great in the box!
On the Thursday we had a visit by Liberal MP Adam Vaughan, which was great!! 
Nice to get noticed a bit!

Rob: Duuuuuuuh
Here I am showing off my prints.........
That was the highlight of our day.....oh except our DELICIOUS COFFEE drink from http://www.cookiemartinez.com --- I was hoping to go back on Saturday for another treat....but sadly Cookie was closed.....I cried......but make sure you stop to see her........YUM!

The next day started great - I FINALLY got to ride on one of the new streetcars! I had a bit of a Sheldon from Big Bang moment with my train nerdiness!!!!!

That is a small dog - not a black cat crossing my path.......
ALTHOUGH......the cat would explain more.....
Look! Balloons.....signs......excitement!
Okay 2 outta three??
But then the RAIN CAME.......and.......
....the balloons began to deflate.....
....and my attitude did too!

Yup....Day 2...in the POURING RAIN....we are hitting the deals out of the park...
or other baseball references...you know I have NO IDEA... 

This was in the bathroom in Scadding Court.
I WAS SO UPSET!
I had brought ALL my lacy delicates to wash out!
THANK GOODNESS the rain lasted only a day....and we were pretty sheltered from it in the container.....actually in that way it was BRILLIANT!!!
THE NEXT DAY WAS SUNNY......and also....

Things still looked great in the container....until....
Then late in the day....this happened:

"Poor Rob has passed away from heat exhaustion. To honour his memory, and help support his widowed husband, you can come out to the SPOT (Summer Pop-up Of Toronto) @ 707 Dundas St W (outside Scadding Court Community Centre) TODAY until 7pm ‪#‎TooHotInTheHotTub‬ ‪#‎coolart‬ ‪#‎Market707‬"

Now, I was hoping for a HUGE social media storm to bring the people out....like:


ALAS.....it wasn't meant to be...even despite my best hashtagging:
#robisdead
#RobIsDeadNoFoolin
#RobLives
#toohotinthehottub -- which I realized many people don't remember......so I give you this:


ANWAYS. I didn't die.
Time to chill out....well...not LITERALLY.....
....and speaking of 'literally' there was a moment when 2 girls were looking at Cindy's art and having the following conversation.....

(girls run to Cindy's display of art)

GIRL 1: Oh Mah Gawd, these are, like, so great!
GIRL 2: Ya
GIRL 1: Like, I totally love these so much. I like, literally am gonna buy one.

(girls immediately exit - having bought NOTHING)

THE END

SO THAT WAS SATURDAY! OPPRESSIVELY HOT......but that kinda weather can't last....can it???
Oh I forgot to mention, our food for the day highlight......
MMMMMMM..........crêpes!

Banana, Peanut Butter, Nutella Crêpe!
 We got these from the delightfully entertaining Marc at Nom Nom Nom Crêpes
 ...and yes....I also had the poutine.....voted the best in Toronto.....

 Go by and tell him Rob and Cindy sent you......and after he says 'who?'......just say "NEVERMIND.....poutine me!" YOU WILL NOT REGRET IT! NOM NOM NOM!!!

So that was day 3!!! And day 4 - the final day started like this:
 and like this:
That's right folks...both HOT and wet!!! 
It is a dream forecast!!! 


The truth is, it only rained for maybe 20 minutes, just enough to cool it down irritate me!
;-)
But what was worse - was that CP24 was saying "stay home in your air conditioning" ALL FREAKING DAY!!!! That is super helpful-- thanks for that!
OKAY...and my last complaint.......
......there was a pool LITERALLY right behind us!
TAUNTING US!!!
And what made it especially unbearable was the fact that all the young hipsters were just sitting in the sun AROUND the pool - look below:

YES! I know it is kinda Pedo-y to be taking photos of people at a pool....BUT.....
SERIOUSLY!!! WHAT GIVES!!???
There was a line up to get in, so that you could cool off....
IN THE SUN - ON THE DECK OF THE POOL!???
Explain to me how one cools off IN THE BLISTERING SUN?
I found myself screaming "GET IN THE GOD FORSAKEN POOL ALREADY!"
(Okay, maybe it was in my head - but it was LOUD!)
Rant over with.
Later I also noticed that all of Toronto looks kinda the same......just add a streetcar!


West
 PUT A STREETCAR ON IT!
East
In our downtime, I hired an OCA graduate to do artistic chalk renderings around the Pop-up
X marks the spot for DEALS DEALS DEALS!

There she is, working hard for the first time all weekend!
(That comment will get me in trouble on Facebook!)

 Thankfully all ended well.....and with watermelon!!!
TAA DAA!
So, that was the big weekend.
HOT.
WET.
FUN. FUN. FUN.
Thanks to all the great vendors at Market 707 that ruined my diet -- including:
NOM NOM NOM CREPES
COOKIE MARTINEZ
PETIT NUAGE
OH MY LARD

And thanks to the SCADDING COURT COMMUNITY CENTRE for hosting us!
Thanks also to CINDY SCAIFE for keeping me company all weekend long with her remarkable fine art and her remarkably silly stories!
Finally thanks to all of you who made it out this weekend - I REALLY appreciate it!
See you at the next show!



Wednesday, July 15, 2015

THE GOLDEN HORSESHOE: A NEW PAINTING!

GOOD WEDNESDAY TO YOU!
So, I posted an image of this painting on Facebook a week or so ago....and got a LOT of feedback.....
The funny thing is, the painting wasn't finished!!! So let's hope you guys love it MORE now.....
Okay so, this is from my "Sign of the Times" series, that seems to be doing quite well.
This time I focussed on "The Golden Horseshoe" Ontario......
As you can see, it is generally Niagara - Toronto.
So I wanted to create a piece all about the sights and landmarks you find in that area!
I chose the following landmarks.....
1. Toronto: the CN Tower and a TTC Streetcar.
2. Mississauga: the Marilyn Monroe Towers
3. Burlington: Lift Bridge
4. The GO train
5. Oakville: the downtown Oakville Clock
6. Hamilton: Dundern Castle
7. Grapes (or fruit)
8. The QEW outside St. Catharines
9. The many beaches of Lake ontario from Kew to Fifty Point, from Lakeside and Jones Beach to 
    Grimsby and Bronte Beach!!!
10. "ER" lampposts on Bronte Creek Bridge, 16 Mile Creek Bridge and more along QEW 
     to St. Catharines
11. Niagara Falls: Horseshoe Falls
12. Maid of the Mist

I also decided to do this painting on PAPER....which was a first for me.......and I am excited about how it worked out!!
Okay enough chit chat.....here is the progression of the piece:

Get paper ready - draw out composition and start in with first colour....

Adding more of colour #1 - a teal like blue

Adding in some dark and light Greens

Adding in the dark blue colour, and the 2 greys...

 THEN I FORGOT TO TAKE PHOTOS....
You missed me adding in a beige and an orangey red.....
Drybrushing in some white to break up the areas a bit

Finally adding little washes ad a sepia coat....
I GIVE YOU THE FINAL PIECE:

"The Golden Horseshoe", 36" x 24", Acrylic on Paper
I am happy with the final look!
YES! Prints are already at the printer!
Wanna pre-order one? JUST EMAIL ME!
I will have these beauties available this weekend at S.P.O.T. - The Summer Pop-up Of Toronto!
Don't know what that show is???

See you Thurs-Sunday at Scadding Court Community Centre - at Bathurst and Dundas!!!!


Monday, July 13, 2015

BARGAIN HUNT #4

HEY HOWDEE!
Let's get to it, I went to the Value Village (aka The V.V. Boutique) on Sunday, and found come things that I feel like you may need to have in YOUR life......let's look at the bargains......

Sisters......
..OF MURDER???????
Yikes!
FAME - the record! On the front you will see ALL the students......
...all the faculty is on the back....
.....oh....except Doris......
WAA WAA WAAAAAAAAAA
Mmmmm.....now imagine them in a nice stew - or a red sauce.
WHAT?? Too dark?? 
The new 'Sarah Yoder' doll!
(ya..that was my try at an Amish joke)
NOW WITH "SEE INTO YOUR SOUL" EYES!

This bag of toys sponsored by Male Body Dysmorphia.
You're welcome boys!

Look at his feet.....that loin cloth must be made of some strong material.
This guy really should be in the previous bag.
Just saying.

I WILL NOT REST until the filthy gay agenda is ABOLISHED from the Value Village!
FIIIIIILTH!!!!
Which of these 'girls games' is great for nurturing young minds:
1. "Totally Me" - tattoo craft art kit
2. "Create your own Dollhouse"
3. "Glitter Bottle painting set"
4. "Marry, Date or Dump"
5. Barbie Puzzle
WOW.
EVERYTHING A YOUNG GIRL NEEDS TO KNOW!

OKAY - it's time for another game of "Why is THIS in the locked case?":

2 Flashlights - WITH batteries -- Priceless - literally!

2 action figures (and they are only $9.99 each??)

This.
Honestly - can you tell me WTF this is???

Meanwhile in the Men's department.......
Wife: Hey Jim, why don't you go try on these activewear pants.
Husband: But I also need shoes!
Wife: Oh. Well how about these lovely wedges?
Husband: I was actually thinking more of a sexy kitten heel.....
Wife: Thank goodness they are also right here!Husband: Beth, I think I wanna also try on a lacy camisole. 
WHO LOVES HOOKING??
I used to hook, my Mom got me a lion rug when I was a young boy.....it was time consuming!
Seriously! There was one summer when I was pretty heavy in to hooking!
HIDDEN POTENTIAL!!!
Just put 2 things together to repurpose them!
Let's see if the ads are right....
HOLY CRAP THIS LOOKS GOOD!!!
Take a mason jar - add silk flowers - you get a "shabby chic centrepiece"
Way to go Rob.....but can you do it again?
You can turn a fire extinguisher - INTO A LAMP!!!!
Ah-MAH-Zing!!!
Way to go Rob.....but can you do it a THRID TIME??
Rooster Trivet + Teapot = cock teas!
Okay one more time.....find the hidden potential.......
Creepy bear toy + Broken wagon
= child catching cart!
Way to go Rob!
Poor thing.
Little did she know she would gain all that weight and sleep with tonnes of men.
Oh...and poor Fergie too!
......ROYAL FAMILY YEARBOOK....
The REAL Big Book of British Smiles!
What is THIS backstory?
She went to Costco, to pick up her 36" x 24" photo plaque of her baby....
AND THEN WHAT??
It is still wrapped in the plastic here............
Add caption


That's right. You can pass around the Salt and Pepper in these CLASSY holders.
Yes. They actually say "full of S" and "full of P"
EW.
Finally I leave you with this chilling print.
I don't call this one "Recess Bell", I call it
"Mrs. Brown hangs her entire class".

I hope you enjoyed this trip to the VV Boutique!
If you are looking at buying ANY of these things......GET THERE NOW!!
Have a good week y'all, and I HOPE TO SEE YOU AT THE POP-UP on Thursday!!!!!