alex stewart

Hot Pink Recap

Let me tell you the story of one amazing day. A lifetime ago (or a very short while, depending on your perspective), I had my very first solo art show.

I was half-assing my way through organizing the show till Tess McCann stepped in to offer her assistance. I would mark that as the most significant turning point in my art career to date (and of course, Tess is now my agent).

From there it’s been… I dunno, would it sound pretentious if I said it “a journey of self-discovery” ?

Anyway.

We’ve spent the last year and a half experimenting and learning about art shows and art marketing, and we’ve met some incredible people along the way. And all the things we’ve learned got applied to the latest extravaganza, Hot Pink .

Now, Hot Pink has its roots in two sources: a suggestion from Alex Stewart last summer that we do a pin-up girl show together, and a request from Tess the summer before for a hot pink painting of a dancer.

Everything just gelled from there. Putting this show together was almost effortless, apart from the labour in actually creating the art itself. Many people stepped in to help promote the show, offer suggestions and their encouragement, and lend a hand in many ways.

But wait . I’m getting ahead of myself here.

Let’s backtrack. Friday night, Feb. 22. Team Hot Pink gathered at imagemaker photographic studio to hang the show. I wore my toolbelt, because I’m told it makes me more popular with the ladies:

Alex brought along some stunning pieces. I’d been following their progress for months via social media, but it was my first time seeing most of them in the flesh.

(I brought along a few pieces of my own, of course.)

And in no time at all the entire show was hung, the pizza eaten, and beers drank. Waking up to sunshine the next morning was a nice omen.

And just like that, the Big Day was upon us:

You may have noticed the beautiful Hot Pink button in that last pic. It comes courtesy of Annie Friesen, the proprietor of Dottie’s Buttons . In addition to that button, Annie is now selling others that feature my artwork and Alex’s. We’re pretty pleased to have her on the team.

In addition we had a major contribution from Candice Roach’s Love Your Cake business. Another great local company run by a good friend. And her cakes are mindblowing to see (or to eat, for that matter).

My latest paintings were a hit. Several of them were sold before the show even happened. Here are the ones I’m particularly proud of:

Aside: Agent McCann and I also donated a painting to a fundraiser by our friends at the HiVE called An Evening of Debauchery . Full of inappropriate dirty jokes, politically-incorrect comedians, burlesque performers and an artist with a… unique approach to painting, the event was held to raise money for a non-profit business incubator. In the end the painting went to Nelu Oncel, who was patient enough to let us keep the painting for a few more days so it could still be in Hot Pink.

Alex and I also collaborated on two pieces, which is probably the creative highlight of my year so far. I started one piece that he finished, and vice versa. An incredible experience, and one I learned a lot from. Hopefully there’ll be more joint efforts from us in the future.

And from there, things just… rolled . Many excellent friends showed up, both old and new. These pics should give you an idea of how it went:

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At midnight we wrapped things up, exhausted. Took the party to several other locales, and in the AM we were back to tear everything down. By that afternoon you’d never know there’d even been a show.

So thanks to John Carter, Sarah Merris, Kimli Welsh, Steve Kinsey, Jeremy Ball, Amanda West, Jamie Presley and Meghan Low, Vicky Hames, Meghan Kilner, George Smeltzer and Lori Kittelberg, John Bell, John Watson, Alex Stewart, Jon Crewe, Jaime Lee Purgavie, Aimee Vuilleumier, Lyndsey McEwen, August Wiled, Chantal Michaud, everyone who wore pink to support the cause, and the incomparable Tess McCann, who once again deserves a huge round of applause for everything she’s done for me.

Photos courtesy of John Watson, Tess McCann, Alex Stewart, Heather Prost, Cathy Browne, Christy McNeil, Scott Graham, and Bret Taylor.


Available.

First off, you may have noticed the lack of a report on the Hot Pink show. Fear not; it’s happening. It’s just been.. delayed a little while I recover. Further to that, though, this particular handful of paintings is still available for purchase:

Should something here catch your eye, please contact my agent, the lovely and talented Tess McCann , and she can arrange things for you.

Thanks,
Bret Taylor
Vancouver, BC
March 2013


So I checked out the 24 Artists 24 Hours art show recently. It was held at a great gallery on Hastings called Sheppard’s Pie . You can get more info on the event .

I dropped by on Saturday night about 6:30, and painting, drawing, sculpting, glassblowing and recording were all well underway. I’d come mainly to see my good buddy Alex Stewart, and offer my support (and a can of Full Throttle), but I ended up meeting a whole bunch of great, very talented local artists, any of whom I’d gladly go see again.

Alex had several pieces started when we got there, and over the next few hours we watched him work on all of them – one stencil at a time. The whole process was mesmerizing to witness. I decided then and there to interview Alex for this blog.

A few pics, then, before we get to the interview itself:

Now that you’ve survived the 24 Artists 24 Hours show, what’s next on the horizon for you? Besides sleep, I mean.

Hah, oh and sleep I did, next up is most definitely a few group shows! I’ve met a lot of wicked artists in the past few months and really enjoy the collaborative process.

What are your longterm plans, if any?

Future plans include many things mainly starting up my own studio and gallery, I would love to be able to help other artists in a more substantial way. That and I have so many ideas floating around in my head I would truly love to start working collaboratively more often and having a dedicated space for that would simply be amazing.

I’m really diggin’ your multi-layered stencil technique. How’d you develop that? Did it come from your automotive painting, or is it more of a graffiti thing?

Honestly, I’m not entirely sure how it all came together, as a kid I remember my mom making stencils to put on whatever she may have been working on, so that could be where it all came from. I could also blame it on my job or my addiction to graffiti, the first time I attempted a multi-layered stencil was just after a rather long session on stumble-upon where I found a video of Logan Hicks working, after that I was hooked.

How do you know when one of the stencil pieces is done?

I never really know when a piece is finished, I’ll cut a stencil one day, spray it the next, and have it hanging in my house for weeks. Then one day I’ll walk by it and think, “god, that is bugging me,” then figure out some way to change it. So I guess what I’m saying is that my pieces are never truly finished in a traditional sense. They keep evolving as long as they are in my possession. Though there are a few exceptions, The skulls from the 24 hour show in my mind are finished, I am beyond happy with how they turned out!

It’s kind of a generic question, but how did you get started drawing and painting? On a related note, are there any other artists in your family?

I’ve been told that as soon as I could hold a crayon I’ve been drawing. But I first started painting when my grandmother attempted to teach me to oil paint, which as you can see by how I work now didn’t entirely stick, I just don’t really have to patience for it. I love oil paintings (I love my grandmothers paintings) but it’s just not my medium. I guess in a way that answers the second part of that question. Both my Grandmother and Mom are artists, so I guess I come from a line of artists.

What other artists inspire you? Which ones would you most like to drink with? (You can include dead ones if you like.)

Hmmmm, artists that inspire me. I could list far to many, so I’ll just list the heavy hitters, Jeff Soto, Logan Hicks, and 2:12 are the three artists who’s work I check regularly just to see what they are up too. They all work in different fashions, that in my mind blend together so well. So I guess if I could bump into all three of them in the same bar, I would seem like a teenage girl at a spice girls concert in the 90s….

Would you say there’s an underlying message to your work?

I’m not sure if there is a hidden message in all of my pieces, some yes, but mostly I just paint what I find beautiful and interesting.

Have you considered any sort of merchandising? Shirts, prints, your own energy drink… ?

This I have put a decent amount of thought into, and am currently working on a few things. So you’ll just have to keep a eye open!

Do you take commissions? What’s the best way for people to contact you?

I do take commissions, when time and demand allows it, I can take on about 2-3 commissions a month depending on what else life throws at me. The best way to get ahold of me is either by email ([email protected]) or just find me on twitter (@Enlifestudio) and get me a shout.

Is there anybody in particular you’d like to give a shoutout to?

Far to many! Mainly my friends and family for putting up with my ridiculousness, more than I care to count have I forgone a social life to paint, and I thank them for not disowning me for it.

Side note, anyone who brought me caffeine during the 24 hour show… I am forever indebted to you!

Thanks, Alex.

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