“Things are almost bad enough to have a party.”
~ Judd Nelson, The Billionaire Boys’ Club
I dunno about you, but I am having the strangest damn year. As you may know, I work as both an artist and a graphic designer, and having the two revenue streams is really helpful in these dark and troubled times.
This year, though, everything seems to be… off.
Art is selling much better than usual, and January is particular was much busier than in any previous year. Which is weird, but definitely good – because graphic design work has been non-existent (and that’s coming on the heels of a year as financially and emotionally ruinous as 2016).
My solution to such issues is probably obvious by now: when in doubt, throw an art sale. Then I can clear some much-needed space out, AND help pay the rent.
Speaking of which, I’ve been doing 2-day flash sales over the past week. Responses have been good, so I decided on Friday to cap it all off with a BIG sale. Have a look below at the latest offerings. There might just be something there you want, and of course there’s the added bonus of supporting local art (or if you’re not in Vancouver, think “independent art” instead).
And by all means, tell your friends. Spread the word. Help a brother out.
Also, I’ve finished a number of commissions lately, so if you’re thinking about having a custom piece of your own painted, now is exactly the right time.
Sale ends Sunday night, April 30th.
(Disclaimer: prices do not include shipping.)
April 29, 2017 | Categories: "black widow", accomplishment, ace of spades, acrylic, adult beverages, april, art, art biz, artist, artiste, artistic growth, artists, artwork, avengers, batgirl, bret taylor, business, buy, buy buy buy, cartoon, change, changes, color, colour, commission, commissions, creative, creativity, crimson, details, dino, dinosaur, earth-shaking, economy, exhibition, gallery, t-rex, thank you, thanks, tradition, turquoise, twitter, tyrannosaurus rex, Uncategorized, van, vancouver, wine, woman, wordpress | Leave a comment
Full report on the show still to come, but here’s what’s still up for grabs. First, the metalflake paintings:
And then the sketches (all 8×10 inches, $50 apiece):
If there’s something you’ve got your eye on, let me know ASAP (prices do not include shipping). And if you’re interested in commissioning something you don’t see here, also let me know.
Thank you and goodnight.
July 16, 2016 | Categories: "black widow", acrylic, alizarin crimson, amazing, art, art biz, art show, artblog, artist, artiste, artistic growth, artwork, avengers, batgirl, betty boop, black, blog, blonde, bret taylor, business, buy, buy buy buy, catwoman, color, colour, comic, comics, creativity, crimson, drawing, exhibition, girl, girls, goddess, gold, golden, harley quinn, heels, hey ladies, high heels, illustration, labour of love, ladies, legs, look at me, metalflake, montana gold, movie, naughty, opening, painter, painting, paintings, paper, pencil, phoenix, picture, pin-up, pin-up girl, pin-ups, pinup, poison, poison ivy, red, shameless, show, sketch, sketchbook, social media, spider, stencil, studio, superhero, supervillain, thor, tribute, Uncategorized, vancouver, woman | Leave a comment
So my first show of 2014 is finished. Dark Valentine was another stellar experience for me, of course – these events mean more to me than I could ever really explain. People from different parts of my life (some who I had never even met before), all brought together by my art? After eight shows, that still floors me at times.
There was a great turnout again at Score on Davie – including several first-timers, which is always nice. It’s great to see the Gospel of Metalflake spreading far and wide.
Keith from Score came up with another delicious, powerful cocktail for the show, and this one even topped the Howyadoin Whiskey Sour from last time. Here’s my first Broken Heart of the night:
Irish whiskey (thanks to the amazing Simone Kelly, Jameson Ambassador par excellence), ginger liqueur, lemon juice, and a hint of maple syrup. Seriously, you gotta try one of these sometime.
Or maybe two, even.
Should I actually talk about the art? Yeah, I guess I should. Here’s the centerpiece of the show, a painting called “Once Upon a Wine”. It features three of the four main characters: Sleeping Beauty, Snow White, and Cinderella:
(In researching the fairytale characters for the show, I came across all sorts of interesting trivia, and some pretty dark versions of their stories. The sheer amount of murder in the original stories is kind of astounding. So I came up with an overall narrative for the show, tying several of these tales together and bringing the evil Queen of Hearts (she’s kind of a serial evil stepmother) into the mix as a sort of catalyst. Along the way the characters began to establish their own identities in my head, shaping the final paintings in ways I hadn’t anticipated.)
Here are a few of the paintings on the wall:
And here’s the evil Queen in all her reflected glory, in a piece titled “Who’s the Fairest?”:
The other key painting in the show is this one, “Awakening”:
The significance of this one changed several times during my creative process, as the story seemed to rewrite itself. So, hearing people’s reactions and interpretations has been fascinating. And those interpretations add their own layers of meaning, as well. Art should, after all, be an ongoing dialogue.
And finally, the night drew to a close:
I was feeling a bit rough the next day, but Simone treated me to lunch after I took the paintings down, and after that pulled pork mac & cheese hotdog, I recovered completely. As Valentine’s Days go, that was a pretty good one. Especially once this magic elixir entered the picture:
P.S. In the credit-where-credit-is-due department, I would like to thank these fine people for all they do:
Jewel Staite, for suggesting the concept to me in the first place, back in December (and for buying the Queen of Hearts). It makes me very happy knowing this painting is now hers.
Simone Kelly, for lunch, whiskey, and being an all-around epic human being.
Keith Corbett from Score, for pulling all of this together, providing the venue, and for excellent, excellent cocktails.
Bon Bahar, Amanda West, Cathy Browne, Meghan Kilner, Krista Falconer, Donna Jaggard, Dan Udey, Corrina Carlson, Adam Carlson, Steve Graham, Steve Kinsey, Chrissy Watson, John Watson, George Smeltzer, Nikkie Milne, Melissa Jones, Kyle Reid, Mike Watson, Aaron MacDonald, Scott McLeod, Lyndsey MacEwen, Stephanie Hogan, Jordana Manchester, Holly D’herty, Ian MacKinnon, Lindsay Bayne, Patrick Masse, Theresa Barteluk, Johnny Warkentin, Geoff Gautier, Cynthia Griffiths, Matt Bosch, Jay Holtslander, Katherine Houston.
Annie Friesen, for the buttons and the creative support.
Derek Bolen, for instigating.
Shannon Nilson, for naming “Once Upon a Wine”.
And Jamie Lee Purgavie, for always believing.
(Photos courtesy of imagemaker photographic studio, Bon Bahar, Jordana Manchester, and Simone Kelly.)
March 9, 2014 | Categories: accomplishment, acrylic, adult beverages, also, amazing, art, art biz, art show, artblog, artist, artiste, artistic growth, artists, artwork, bar, beautiful, best, big, blog, booze, bret taylor, business, buy, buzz, canada, color, colour, creative, creativity, danke schoen, drink, drinks, drunk, exhibition, finished, garter belt, girl, girls, goddess, happy, heartwarming, heels, here's to you, hey ladies, high heels, hips, howyadoin, illustrate, inspiration, labour of love, ladies, legs, lingerie, liquitex, liquor, love, medium, metal flake, metalflake, metallic, muse, naked, opening, paint, painter, painting, paintings, panties, pin-up girl, pin-ups, pinup, process, projects, promotion, show, sirens, stockings, story, stripper, strut, supernatural, thank you, thanks, that's all she wrote, thursday, transcend, vancouver, violet, whiskey, wine, woman, wordpress, work | Tags: dark valentine, purple, score on davie, valentine, vancouver | Leave a comment
My first solo show. I went into it practically blind, and it wasn’t till a week before it opened that I had someone to help me out with the planning. Fortunately it all came together nicely anyway, though.
What I learned:
• that it feels amazing to bring strangers together.
• that brown is a tricky colour to glaze with.
• that not everything will sell.
• that good lighting is crucial.
• that the private afterparty is the best part of a show.
Eight months later, I tried it again. I put on a live-art show, but also had a variety of new and old metalflake pieces on hand, plus a pretty random assortment of non-metalflake pieces.
What I learned:
• that it’s impossible to go slow when you’re painting in front of a crowd.
• that if there are metalflake and non-metalflake pieces in a show, nobody will look at the non-metalflake ones.
• that consistency of style and theme are crucial.
Armed with a new agent and a new series of paintings, this was my first show with some actual strategy behind it. We had an all-ages afternoon portion, and then an adults-only afterparty. We also had a dinosaur cake, buttons, and even costumes (some people really get into a good theme).
What I learned:
• that everybody loves dinosaurs.
• that eight hours is a long damn time to be standing and schmoozing.
• that a lot can change in a year.
• that cheap masking tape from the dollar store is the only way to go.
This show was a joint effort between Alex Stewart and I, based on a pin-up girl theme. Everybody involved (and it was a sizable crew) really brought their A-game. The show was a smash, and a real event.
What I learned:
• that everybody loves pin-up girls.
• that sanding the edges of a painting before glazing adds so much.
• that audience participation is the best form of publicity, and people love to dress up.
• that collaborating with another artist is an amazing experience.
• that spraypaint is your friend.
• that baseboard heaters are pretty useful for drying paintings.
• that under the right circumstances you can get away with almost anything.
• that I don’t have pre-show jitters anymore.
A much longer show (it ran for 3 months), a brand new venue, and overall a serious change of pace. The opening had a relatively small turnout, but that was okay. Nearly all of the paintings were sold before they were even hung at the venue – some before they were even finished.
What I learned:
• that everybody loves undersea creatures.
• that putting together contracts is exhausting but educational.
• that people can and will let you down, but other people will raise you back up.
• that blues and greens are inherently more intense colours.
• that octopi are incredibly hard to draw.
• that I shouldn’t schedule an art show opening for Mother’s Day.
• that X-Acto blades are sharp.
• that leaving the biggest, most crucial painting in a show till last isn’t such a bright idea.
• that borders aren’t necessary.
Another new venue, and many new people were in attendance. Superheroes seemed like a natural fit for my art style and process, and sure enough, this was easily my most successful show to date (particularly if you factor in all the spin-off commissions I got from it). Also, the food was astounding, and once again I was treated like a star. This show opened all sorts of doors for me, too.
What I learned:
• that everybody loves superheroes.
• that putting on a show by myself isn’t actually that hard.
• that going hog wild with colour is a liberating experience.
• that light refraction is what makes the colours really pop.
• that mica flake gel is a gamechanger.
• that lipstick on your forehead is a great conversational gambit.
• that people really do care about Green Arrow.
My fourth and final venue for 2013, and one well-suited to the topic at hand. Everything about the experience was positive, from the formal-dress aspect, to the involvement of one of my favourite whiskeys as a sponsor. And while there were no pre-sales, I did sell half the paintings in a matter of five hours that night.
What I learned:
• that everybody loves cocktails.
• that every girl crazy for a sharp-dressed man.
• that art shows should always have signature cocktails.
• that black lava gel is a must, not just an option.
• that when the baseboard heaters just aren’t enough, the top of the toaster oven can also be pressed into service to make paintings dry faster.
• that a splash of iridescent colour under the top layer of clear is like a revolution for the eyes.
• that a venue so close to home is a godsend at the end of the show (particularly when you’re in a hurry to celebrate for another five hours).
• that pulled pork mac and cheese defies description.
• that not even Pearl Jam can keep the people who really want to be at the show from attending.
January 29, 2014 | Categories: accomplishment, acrylic, adult beverages, advice, agent, also, amazing, arigato, art, art show, artblog, artist, artiste, artistic growth, artists, artwork, bar, batgirl, blog, booze, bret taylor, business, canada, captain america, carnotaurus, catwoman, cherry bomb, color, colour, commission, commissions, dino, dinosaur, drawing, drinks, earth-shaking, garter belt, girls, handcuffs, heels, high heels, hips, hot pink, howyadoin, howyadoin graphics, imagemaker, insomnia, iridescent, koi, labour of love, ladies, legs, lingerie, liquid mirror, liquitex, liquor, lovely assistant, magenta, metal flake, metalflake, metallic, montana gold, onward, paint, painter, painting, paintings, party, patron, pin-up, pin-up girl, pin-ups, pink, pinup, projects, promo, promotion, red, remix, reptile, seahorse, show, social media, spinosaurus, spraypaint, stars, Stegosaurus, stockings, stripper, strut, superhero, supervillain, t-rex, the tipper, thor, tipper, triceratops, twitter, tyrannosaurus rex, upward, validation, vancouver, whiskey, whisky, woman, wordpress | Tags: art, art show, blog, bret taylor, cocktails, dinosaurs, hot pink, howyadoin, ka-pow, ocean rain, vancouver | Leave a comment
Another art show is officially done. Cocktails was the first formal-dress event I’ve put on so far, and I have to say it was a rousing success. A great turnout, impressive sales, and everybody looked like a million bucks.
But wait. I’m getting ahead of myself here.
Wednesday morning I was up early, packing up the paintings and heading to Score on Davie to set up. Score is a great venue, with a much bigger room than you’d anticipate from seeing the outside of the building, and fantastic lighting, too.
It only took a few minutes to set things up; after eight shows I’m kind of an old hand at this.
All the while this was going on, I could smell food aromas coming out of the kitchen. So once the show was hung, I sat down and ordered some breakfast.
The management and staff of Score were very enthusiastic about the show, and very accommodating. They’ve had art shows there in the past, and it showed in how professionally they handled everything.
Of course I live-tweeted the whole process, and I had three paintings sold before I even finished that Jack & Coke.
After that I ran a few errands, and went home to do a bit of painting before suiting up for the evening’s festivities.
Then it was party time.
The night went something like this for me: sell a painting, have my picture taken with a beautiful woman, drink a signature Howyadoin Whiskey Sour (Jameson whiskey, hand-squeezed lemonade, free-range pasteurized egg whites, and Angostura bitters), schmooze, sell a painting, have my picture taken…
The drinks were potent, delicious, and incredibly cheap, thanks to the involvement of Simone Kelly, who came all the way from Ireland just to promote her favourite whiskey (she was also kind enough to treat me to a shot).
Several times that night, things started to slow down and I thought maybe the party was over. But then there’d be another influx of people, and the cycle would start again. Even as the Pearl Jam show ended, more people were still arriving.
We finally wrapped things up around 1:00AM, and then a friend from the bad old days who I hadn’t seen in a year came back to my bar, and we cracked open another bottle of (you guessed it) Jameson and drank and talked till 6:00AM.
So I’d like to thank these most excellent people for their contributions to the evening:
Jessi, Keith, Rob, Shiz and Jessica at Score, for… everything, basically (not just the free meals).
Derek Bolen, for lining up the dominoes.
Simone Kelly, for all things whiskey-related.
Annie Friesen, for the buttons, the artistic encouragement, and generally being an excellent human being.
And Krista Falconer, Jewel Staite, Mark Fox, Cher Staite, George Smeltzer, Lori Kittelberg, Cathy Browne, Katherine MacDonald, Doug Farmer, Scott Graham, Lyndsey Locke, Cristina Weir, Sam Anderson, Dale De Ruiter, Donna Jaggard, Dan Udey, Amanda West, Meghan Kilner and Shaun, Candie Tanaka, Adam & Corinna Carlson, Nikkie Milne, Melissa Jones, Johnny B., Ian Martin & “Holly”, Rochele Potter, Tiffany Shim, Don Falconer, Lindsay Bayne, Ian MacKinnon, Theresa Barteluk, Kyle Reid, Chris, and Sean (I’m sure I must be forgetting somebody here).
I thank you, one and all. You made my day.
Photos courtesy of Amanda West, Lyndsey Locke, Simone Kelly, Dan Udey.
December 7, 2013 | Categories: accomplishment, adult beverages, art, art biz, art show, artblog, artist, artiste, artists, artwork, booze, bret taylor, color, colour, creative, creativity, drink, drinks, howyadoin, howyadoin graphics, metal flake, metalflake, metallic, paint, painter, painting, paintings, party, restaurant, vancouver | Tags: alcohol, art, art show, booze, cocktails, drinks, howyadoin, liquor, metalflake, painting, party, vancouver | Leave a comment
Just a quick note: we’re in the process of sorting details for the next show, entitled “Ka-Pow!: The Age of Heroes”. It’s a tribute to superheroes, which, when I was a little kid, were my main reason for learning to draw.
Here’s a little sneak preview:
July 8, 2013 | Categories: accomplishment, art, art biz, art show, artblog, artist, artiste, artistic growth, artwork, color, colour, comic, comics, howyadoin, howyadoin graphics, metalflake, metallic, superhero | Tags: art, artshow, batgirl, comics, fantastic, howyadoin, ka-pow, metalflake, superheroes, vancouver | Leave a comment
On Sunday, May 12th, I had the distinct pleasure of holding my sixth art show. This one broke new ground in terms of venue (the HiVE), timing and structure. And if audience reactions are any indication, in terms of the art itself.
I mixed things up some this time around – metalflake paintings without the border treatment I usually employ, less square-format pieces than usual, size and shapes I don’t usually work in. Plus a more multi-layered approach to glazing and iridescents.
And the subject really seemed to strike a chord with people.
A few visual highlights:
Buttons courtesy of Annie Friesen and Dottie’s Buttons.
Some of the fine people who showed up.
The long-distance traveler award goes to Jaime, who came over from Vancouver Island for the show.
Team Sizzr represents.
Oops. Not Aaron.
In which I demonstrate a narwhal/unicorn swordfight.
All the support in the world.
Very serious discussion.
So I’m calling this another one for the victory column. I had an amazing day. Every time we put on another show, there’s less stress to deal with, and the process gets more streamlined.
A very special thank-you to:
Tess McCann, who put the pieces together.
John Watson, who documented the process.
Lyndsey MacEwen, who stepped up to bat.
Jaime Lee Purgavie, who believed.
Annie Friesen, who buttoned it all up.
Mike Watson, who drove the getaway car.
Lindsay Bayne, who wisely said “narwhal!”
Cindy McShane, Karina Halle, Kate MacDonald, and Lyndsey Locke, who bought the paintings.
Aaron Cruikshank, Eve Rickert, Margarete Hernandez, and Alan Cheung from the HiVE, who gave me the opportunity.
Heather Prost, Jess Couture, Meghan Kilner, Kyle Reid, Jenn Derksen, Steve Kinsey, Scott Graham, Ian McKinnon, Katie Moran, Jacquie Clarke, Cheryl Cheeks, Kitty Nichols, and Mike C., who kept the faith.
Tom Odell and Lucy Schwartz, who provided the musical portion of the (very) exclusive afterparty.
Paul Keelan, who supplied my ticket.
Christy McNeil, Julia Gaetz, and Amanda West, who all made valiant efforts.
Jack Daniel, for service above and beyond the call of duty.
(Photos courtesy of John Watson and Imagemaker Photographic Studio.)
May 15, 2013 | Categories: aquatic, art, art biz, art show, artblog, artist, artiste, artistic growth, artists, artwork, beautiful, booze, bourbon, bret taylor, buy, buy buy buy, career, color, colour, commerce, commission, commissions, creative, creativity, draw, drink, drinks, girls, glory, howyadoin, howyadoin graphics, imagemaker, metal flake, metalflake, paint, painter, painting, paintings | Tags: acrylic, art, buttons, conch, dottiesbuttons, howyadoin, humpback, jellyfish, manta, metalflake, narwhal, ocean, ocean rain, octopus, painting, peaceful, seahorse, seashell, shell, starfish, water, waves, whale | 1 Comment
Another Tuesday, another t-shirt. The hardest thing about this week’s post is deciding which new shirt to release; I actually have a bit of a backlog at the moment.
This week’s apparel:
As always, this can be found in my RedBubble store.
April 9, 2013 | Categories: advertising, apparel, aquatic, art, art biz, artblog, artist, artiste, artists, artwork, bret taylor, buy, buy buy buy, clothes, color, colour, commerce, howyadoin, howyadoin graphics, illustration, redbubble, shirt, t-shirt | Tags: aquatic, art, baleen, howyadoin, humpback, mammal, marine, ocean rain, redbubble, rorqual, whale | Leave a comment