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
If you’ve been following my art career, you know I’m a bit on the prolific side – I love to paint, and I have a lot to say. So it may not come as a total surprise that I’ve got a fair number of paintings on hand at the moment. I’d go so far as to call it a backlog, even.
And I work out of a small studio, so space is at a premium (can you see where this is going?).
I sat looking at all these pieces today, and decided I need to move some of them. Which is where you come in – I’m marking these down so I can free up some space, and you can score some art bargains.
Without further ado, then, here’s what’s for sale:
If you have your eye on a piece, drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org and refer to the sale in the email title.
The fine print:
Prices are in effect till Friday, August 1, 2014. Prices do not include shipping.
July 29, 2014 | Categories: adult beverages, art, art biz, artist, artiste, bret taylor, business, buy, buy buy buy, drink, drinks, heels, high heels, howyadoin, labour of love, ladies, liquor, metal flake, metalflake, pin-up, pin-up girl, pin-ups, pink, pinup, sale, sales | Tags: acrylic, art, bargain, bret taylor, cocktails, dark valentine, garter, heels, howyadoin, jellyfish, ka-pow, lingerie, metalflake, paint, painting, pinupgirls, promo, promotion, sale, socks, stocking, stripes, studio, summer, superheroes, vancouver, whales | 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
Unless you’re a newcomer to this site, you probably know that I recently completed a thousand consecutive days of art. Every one of those days, from January 1/2010 – October 1/2012, I drew and/or painted, without fail.
One thousand days.
As time went on, the numbers actually began to mean less and less to me. Because it was really about the journey, of course. About what I learned, where I went, how I changed.
The past few years have been challenging, to say the least. Apart from the financial hardships of the recession and its aftermath, one thing I’ve been struggling with is the lack of structure in my life (I’m a freelancer, by the way). So the added benefits to this extended art experiment are just that – structure, purpose, direction.
For a long time people were asking me what I planned to do on the final day. I considered several options, because I wanted to do something momentous. But in the end these options fell through, so I decided that the best course of action would be…
… Business as Usual.
After all, I had a show to prepare for. Paintings to finish, logistics to be sorted out, all sorts of promotional work to do. Putting on an art show is no small task.
So when I got up that morning, I did a quick little sketch, just in case:
That way if the sun exploded or we got invaded by zombies, at least I could still say I reached the 1000th day.
(Fortunately they didn’t. But hey, you never know.)
After that it was back to the metalflake dinosaur paintings. Since my T-Rex sketch from back in February was the central image in my upcoming show, I decided that finishing one of those pieces would be my best bet. And that just seemed fitting – it tied in with the show, with my calendar, and any number of other peripheral art ventures. Plus it was inspired in the first place by the person who’s made the biggest mark in my life during the Project – my Agent and former Muse.
So there you have it. One thousand days. I painted and drew a lot, I learned a lot, I sweated and bled, and I’m still standing.
Oh, and one more thing: I’m already working an art book based on the experience. Watch this space for further details.
October 29, 2012 | Categories: 1000 days, accomplishment, art, artblog, artist, artiste, artistic growth, artists, artwork, blog, blonde, book, bret taylor, calendar, carnivore, creative, creativity, dinosaur, draw, drawing, Dreams, end, end of an era, era, every day, finished, glory, goal, happy, howyadoin, howyadoin graphics, illustrate, illustration, inspiration, labour of love, learning, metal flake, metalflake, muse, one thousand, one thousand days, painter, painting, paintings, picture, process, show, sketchbook, story, survive, t-rex, teeth, thank you, thanks, that's all she wrote, tyrannosaurus rex, vancouver, work, year | Tags: art, blog, book, bret taylor, dinosaur, draw, howyadoin, illustrate, learn, lizard, paint, painting, sketch, t-rex, tyrannosaurus | Leave a comment
Brothers and sisters, these are strange and portentous times. An entire string of anniversaries, both artistic and (much) more personal, is sweeping by as we speak. And while I’m generally not one to dwell on the past, looking back can definitely be instructive.
Not that I’d want to live there. But F. Scott said it well:
So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.
On Friday afternoon I realized it was the anniversary of the day I hung the artwork for my first solo show. What a difference a year makes. Going into that first show I barely had a clue what I was doing – just flying by the seat of my pants, really. Since then there’ve been some monumental gains, and a catastrophic loss or two. But we soldier on, don’t we?
And Sunday (Oct. 7th) was the anniversary of the Metal Flake show itself. This might be a good time to have a quick look at these photos as well, though they’re more of a sidebar or a footnote to today’s musings. Go ahead, I’ll wait right here.
An unbelievable event for me; I’ve never experienced anything quite like it, before or since. The things people did for me, the way they helped out, was overwhelming. Even the little things, like the fact that there was a fresh drink in my hand practically before I even finished the previous one (my Lovely Assistant had some serious ninja skills). I felt like the king of the world.
I remember, at one point, looking around and seeing these people who’d never met before, talking and laughing and drinking, and realizing that it was my art had brought them together. That was incredibly moving.
After the show, a couple very important people came back to my place for more cocktails and the Most Inappropriate High-Five of All Time. The following day was a photo shoot for one of my friend Karina’s books. Sometimes I look back at photos from that weekend and I wonder what happened to that guy. He certainly had no idea of what life had in store for him over the coming months. So many things went wrong, it felt like I was living in a country song.
Not that it was all doom and gloom, of course. Some pretty goddamn incredible things happened to me, too. I’ve hit my stride as an artist. I’ve got a clear vision of where I want to go from here, and what I want to do. My heart was touched by people too numerous to mention – people who were there for me at the darkest times, people who made me feel like a rockstar, people who reached out, people who absolutely embraced my art.
I put on two more shows, created 40 new paintings (and 15 more are nearing completion) and countless drawings, published a calendar, was hit by a truck, had my heart broken, found support from unexpected corners, worked my ass off, completed a thousand consecutive days of art, made cool new friends from all over the world, reconnected with old ones, lost a couple people who were very important to me, burned a bridge or two, shed a little blood and no small amount of tears, succeeded, failed, lost 25 pounds, got new tattoos, learned a lot about muses…
… but most of all? I survived.
Now I’m mere days away from my biggest show yet. Plus it’s Thanksgiving. If you can join us on the 13th, we’d love to have you. And if you’ve moved me over the past year, if you’ve touched me, if you’ve inspired me, if you’ve shared my victories – then I thank you. You’re the reason I do this.
October 8, 2012 | Categories: 1000 days, arigato, art show, artist, artiste, artistic growth, artwork, best, bret taylor, calgary, catharsis, creative, karina halle, kudos, labour of love, live, loss, lost, lovely assistant, memories, metal flake, metalflake, mistake, muse, one thousand, one thousand days, onward, paint, painting, paintings, path, tattoo, thank you, thanks, therapy, upward, validation, wreckage, year | Tags: art, blood, broken, dinosaur, found, heart, howyadoin, lost, metalflake, muse, paint, painting, survive, tears, thanks, thanksgiving | 3 Comments
Sometimes a painting almost seems to come out of nowhere and touch all kinds of people. Other times, the process can be a lengthy, involved one. In this particular case, it’s a bit of both.
One night last summer I was chatting with a new friend and she happened to mention that she wanted a painting in hot pink. Further to that, she told me that she used to dance, and that she wanted art along that theme – feet and legs in pointe shoes. Time went by and we became much closer. But this idea stayed in my head. In November I drew a rough sketch of her legs and feet in the pointe shoes she’d had since she was a teenager. That original sketch has since been framed and now hangs on her living room wall:
By this point I could see the finished painting in my head pretty clearly. I started creating another of my metalflake paintings with the intention of giving it to her as a Christmas present. Unbeknownst to me at the time, the metalflake pieces take a lot longer to dry in mid-winter, because the shorter days and crappy weather mean a vastly-reduced amount of UV radiation (which speeds the drying process along).
In the end I bought her a Leonard Cohen book for Christmas, and the hot pink painting proceeded oh-so-slowly. A couple days ago I was inspecting the painting and noted that the thick, thick clearcoat was finally dry.
The end of this journey was finally in sight.
On Friday night I found myself at loose ends. I wanted to go do something social with friends, but any and all attempts to make that happen simply failed. So I mixed myself a strong Sailor Jerry’s & Coke, and started masking the painting. The whole process came together pretty quickly, and with the encouragement of my Muse, the painting was soon finished:
So there you have it – the painting was a labour of love, and it’s actually done.
Interestingly enough, I posted updates live on Twitter and then Facebook as the night progressed, and the response was stunning. So much support, so much praise, so many questions, so many people sharing the final image with friends and followers. So, I’d like to thank the people who made this so much easier: Meghan Low, Donna Jaggard, Kelly St-Laurent, Natalie Smith, Mandy Fisher, Nick Voikos, Mark Kretzschmar, Chris Hobrecker, Bruce Ng, Adé Win, Brandy Trudeau, Heather Prost, Liam Rines, Elaine Shiel, Leanne Corrigan, Tony Dunphy, Fiona Flowers, Nicole Crosby, Sean Parrack, Elizabeth Whalen, Jaime Purgavie, Melissa Hartfiel, Ceci Graber, Dale Deruiter, Vince Ng, Melissa Berg, John Lee, Dilara Litonjua, Cathy Browne, Risto Paalanen, Emily Brandt, Jackie McCaughan, Nick Routley, Amanda West, Christine Warner, Kathleen Ralph, Gary Hayden, Donna Jay-Crowe, Tina Power, Tom Van Hoose, Jackie Teel, Geoff Seymour, Winnie Huang, James Dickson, Marion Vincent, Sarah Merris, Katherine Bowes Pieters, Jewel Staite, Paulette Brown, John Bell …
… and Tess McCann, without whom this would never have even been conceivable.
March 3, 2012 | Categories: acrylic, art, ballet, bret taylor, changes, dancer, finished, hot pink, howyadoin, inspiration, labour of love, muse, painting, pink, pointe shoes, tess, tribute | 3 Comments