metalflake

And then it was April.

Here we are, a quarter of the year already done. The first big show of 2013 is over (and a damn successful one it was), and two more are in the works. Longterm strategies are being developed, and new venues and opportunities being explored.

Creatively I feel incredibly positive. The ideas just won’t stop coming, I’m happier with my drawing skills than ever before, and I keep thinking of new variations on my metalflake technique. This in particular is pleasing, given that I’ve finished 102 of these paintings and currently have another 17 in the works (obviously I don’t ever want this to turn into some sort of assembly-line process; frankly I think that having assistants do the bulk of your work for you borders on the fraudulent).

With the Hot Pink show and the Christmas Metalflake series, I played around with the technique, sometimes out of necessity, and other times just out of curiosity. I did several paintings with pulverized Christmas balls worked into the strata for texture and reflectivity. And the other day it occurred to me that I could also use gold leaf in my backgrounds.

This experiment turned out even better than I’d anticipated. And it got me thinking about some other new possibilities.

A few specifics, then, before the conversation takes a turn for the personal. The Ocean Rain show, which you’ve already seen hints of, is progressing nicely. Expect an announcement regarding this very soon – we’re hoping for an early May launch date.

The show after that will most likely use superheroes and science fiction as its launching point.

After that I’d like to do something with an automotive theme, and of course we’ll be doing something Christmassy as well, in the fall (truth be told, we’ve probably got ideas for a dozen shows). Also in the fall, we’ll be releasing a book and/or calendar of T-Rex illustrations. Three of them are done already, and the Agent and I have been brainstorming on lots more.

And by this time next year I want to have my work in galleries.

So, enough business. Let’s talk about what else has been going on. Last year, as documented again and again (and AGAIN ), felt like some sort of trial to me. One trauma after another, month in, month out. By November I was a bit of a mess.

I can’t pinpoint any one specific moment when the game changed (unlike, say, in 2011), but a lot of minor victories added up to help pull me out of my funk.

And this process continued through January and February, to the point where I finally feel like I’ve gotten my groove back (I won’t lie; I was extremely worried about that, and for a long, long time). Friends and family have done their part to help, chance encounters have led to new opportunities… and inspiration? Inspiration is EVERYWHERE . I’m on fire creatively.

I’m back , baby.

Bret Taylor
Vancouver, BC
April, 2013.


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


Hot Pink – the Latest.

Pretty caught up in art-show excitement these days. So much so that I almost forgot about the blog.

But many amazing things are happening. Paintings are already selling, buttons have arrived, a new shirt is almost ready, sketches are being posed for, greeting cards are available, and the Hot Pink Peeler Mix playlist is nearly finished. All sorts of craziness, and definitely of the good variety.

This art-show business does actually get easier. For a long time I didn’t think that would ever happen.

Mind you, I’ve got a team behind me now, and their support and enthusiasm are pretty infectious (and it’s not just my show this time around). In fact, we’re meeting on the weekend to talk over some hush-hush, ultra-top-secret business. Just wait till you see the results. Oh, man…

Anyway, people are stepping up to bat and generally being excellent human beings. I could rave about that for hours, or about how beautiful women are keeping me informed as to what shoes and underwear (pink and/or black, obviously) they’ve bought for the show. But instead I’ll just treat you to another slideshow:

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Nine days to the big show. Anybody else as pumped for this as I am?


A few teasers for next month’s art show :

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More info here .


So it’s official now: the Christmas metalflake paintings are happening, and in a big way. I’ve been building the bases for the paintings and refining the designs over the past month.

Here you can see a few of the bases, nearly ready for the lineart that will turn them into Christmas paintings:

These are the prototypes to give you a solid idea of what the finished pieces will look like. First, the 6×6-inch paintings:

And here are the smaller, 3×4-inch paintings:

They’re coming together rather quickly now. These paintings are limited edition pieces, and we’ve already had a number of inquiries, so if you’re interested in one of these, you should probably act fast.

Here’s how it breaks down. There’ll be 16 of the 6×6-inch paintings: 5 red santas, 5 green trees, 3 blue snowflakes, and 3 blue snowmen. These will be $60 apiece (plus shipping if you’re outside the Vancouver area).

And there will be 10 of the 3×4-inch pieces: 4 blue snowflakes, 3 red santas, and 3 green trees. These are $30 each (again, plus shipping where applicable).

If you want to reserve one, please contact my agent at this address: [email protected]

I’ll also be releasing Christmas t-shirts on Thursday. And while we’re on the topic of our metalflake Christmas, I’ve still got room in my schedule if you’d like to commission a custom piece as a present for someone you love. The window of availability is narrowing rapidly, though, so if you want one in time for Christmas, please let us know ASAP.

Ho ho ho.


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.


Welcome back, and thanks for joining us. It’s been a few days since the Dinosaur Show – time spent recovering and regrouping, for the most part. It seems that the bigger these events get, the more time it takes to bounce back.

And this was definitely a BIG event.

Earth-shaking, even.

The excitement all started Friday night, with a trip to imagemaker photographic studio to hang the show. This is part of the process that I always stress needlessly about, as it usually goes off without much of a hitch. In this particular case, the positioning and hanging of the paintings was a breeze; it was just the peripherals (a display for posters and calendars, for instance) that raised questions.

That night I slept well, which has never happened the night before a show till now. Come to think of it, I slept pretty well for most of the preceeding two weeks.

In the morning I was up early, running last-minute errands in the rain. We were at the studio doing last-minute setup by 1:00PM…

… and then it was showtime. My friend Cindy, who moved here recently from Ontario, snapped up the medium-sized T-Rex almost immediately after we opened the doors. Technically that was the second sale of the show, though, because John from HogShack had already spoken for one of the struttin’ T-Rex paintings.

Over the next six hours lots of people came in, often with young dinosaur fans in tow. Talked to old friends, met some people I’d previously only talked to online, sold a few paintings, and all in all had a great afternoon.

And then it was 8:00. The afterparty started.

The Agent was outfitted in a custom T-Rex top, and we also had hot pink T-Rex buttons made:

The people who got into the dinosaur theme the most, though, were Candice Roach and Danny Parker. Candice made a cake especially for the show, and Dan brought not only a T-Rex hat, but a full-on dinosaur COSTUME :

I kept thinking we’d hit the point where people were more focused on the party than the art, but then, miraculously, a few more paintings would sell. The final tally: 14 paintings sold out of a possible 17.

Did I mention there were drinks? Cake? Sandwiches and pumpkin pie cheesecake that my friend Melissa Jones so thoughtfully contributed? That people came from all over the place just for the show?

I’ve gotta say, the show of support never gets old.

Things wrapped up pretty quickly around 1:00AM. The day was done, the show a success.

Thanks, first of all, to the people who bought my paintings, posters and prints: John Lim Hing, Cindy McShane, Nic & Todd Cruickshank, Lori Kittelberg and George Smeltzer, Lindsay Bayne, Christine Warner, Geoff Gauthier, Irving Lau, Mark Crater, Candice Roach, Krista Lee, Amanda West, Donna Jay-Crowe, and all the people who bought buttons.

These lovely people couldn’t make the show (which will always happen) but were still kind enough to send along apologies and/or encouragement anyway: Chantal Michaud, Kate MacDonald, Lynn McIlwee, Jackie McCaughan, Adam & Corinna Carlson, Lyndsey MacEwen, Jewel Staite, Crystal Witty, Ceci Graber, Erin Kyle, and Jeff Hornby.

And of course, how could I forget my agent, Tess McCann? We’ve been through a lot together in the 14 months since we met, and this show actually started with her posting T-Rex cartoons on her Facebook wall in the early part of 2012. Thanks for everything, Tess. At the risk of repeating myself, this wouldn’t even be possible without your help.

(Photos courtesy of Danny Parker, Ned Tobin, Amanda West, Lindsay Bayne, Krista Lee, John Lim Hing, and John Watson.)


Thanks.

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 itself. This might be a good time to have a quick look at these 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.

Bret Taylor
Vancouver, BC
October 8/2012


Thoughts on the Dino Show, and a Question.

All sorts of fun things going on here in preparation for the next art show in October. You may have already seen the t-shirts and the new calendar , but there are also 18 new metalflake paintings in the works. Right now they’re scattered all around my studio, in various states of completion.

Here’s a sneak peek:

We’ve got paintings as small as 3×4 inches, and as large as 20×20. Some will have designs based on the illustrations in my calendar, and some will have designs that are just rough concepts at the moment (hey, there’s still plenty of time). Just the other day, for example, the Agent and I were talking and she suggested doing paintings based on dinosaur fossils.

Clearly she’s a genius, because this opened up whole new areas of creativity for me. This T-Rex skull design is already on a t-shirt , but on a metalflake painting I think it’ll blow people’s minds:

I’ve also got an idea in mind that involves revamping the whole metalflake technique so it’s even more three-dimensional. But that may have to wait for another show.

There may also be some other dinosaur-related merchandise available, but that’s still top-secret for now. Mum’s the word.

While I’ve got your attention, what’s your favourite dinosaur?


Well. As I write this it’s late Monday night. It’s been a pretty mellow day – slept in late, couldn’t really get focused on anything, though I did still get a lot done. Yesterday was a hangover day, though more in the spiritual/mental sense than the physical sense.

But Saturday? Ah, Saturday. That was a fine, fine day.

As you obviously know from previous posts, Saturday was the night of my latest show, Metal Flake Remix. We had a great turnout, and I met lots of new people, which is definitely one of the best perks of being an artist. And I sold lots of art, drank some delicious bourbon, and created six new paintings:

After the show, I sat up with a handful of close friends all night talking (okay, and occasionally drinking). By Sunday afternoon it felt like the day after the prom – I was tired and burned out, but very happy. And it felt like I’d taken a huge step in my life.

I definitely want to try live art again. What an amazing experience – I was nervous as hell about trying it, but once I got started I couldn’t have stopped if I tried. The music, the momentum, the amazing people watching, all combined to give me one hell of a kick in the ass. I know I have a lot to learn about this, of course – how to draw the audience in more, how to control the pace a little better, how not to blaze through all the work in just 20 minutes. But I’ll get there, with practice.

Some of my favourite moments – Kelly winning the painting we drew for, finally meeting some longtime Twitter friends face-to-face, putting the big blue handprint everywhere, tequila shots, having friends from the bad old days in Charlottetown on hand…

Plans are already afoot for upcoming shows, too. The Dino Show is tentatively scheduled for September, and I wouldn’t mind incorporating some live art into that as well. Closing Time is still a going concern, too (I’d really like to take my time and think that one through, though). And then there’s For a Dancer – those six paintings could conceivably be finished by early August. Not sure yet what will happen there, but it’d be nice to have a one-night mini-exhibit in a restaurant.

I certainly don’t want to oversaturate the market, so to speak. Fortunately my agent/marketing manager is passing on a ton of great advice in that regard, and in others as well.

So without further ado, some people I really need to thank: my family, John Watson and Imagemaker Photographic Studio, Kate MacDonald, Alex Stewart, Cosca Restaurant, the Après-midi Teahouse, Bailey Hunter, Lindsay Bayne, Derek Bolen and Karm from VanCity Buzz, Abbey Jackson, Kelle Belle, Dale Deruiter, Karina Halle and Team EiT, Corinna and Adam Carlson, Lola Frost, Lori Kittelberg, George Smeltzer, Samantha K, Matty Sadorf, Ned Tobin, Jonny Warkentin, Scott Graham, Oddball Workshop, Annie Friesen and Dottie’s Buttons, Jamie Lee Purgavie, Nicola Proctor, Cynthia Griffiths, John Lee, Ceci Graber, Andrea Waters, Geoff Gauthier, Steve Goodman, Mike Watson, Johnny B, Novo Pizzeria, MCNG Marketing, Felice Lam, Cathy Browne, Anthony Wittrock, David Dreger, Amanda West…

… and of course, in the Without-Whom Department: Tess McCann .

(Photo by Lindsay Bayne. All other photos courtesy of Cynthia Griffiths .)


So my latest show has come and gone. I’ll do a more indepth post in the next couple days, but for now I’ll just show you a few choice moments.

The day started with mimosas and grilled cheese for the Lovely Assistant and I:

(Go Habs!)

Once we got to the studio, we got all the necessary supplies ready:

Along one wall I showed the evolution of the Metal Flake series.

Of particular interest to many people were the seahorse and “For a Dancer” paintings, but those were already spoken for:

All too soon, we got to the live-art portion of the show:

(As you can see, painting is thirsty work.)

The live-painting portion of the show over with, it was time for some social activity:

Photos courtesy of Corinna Carlson, Cynthia Griffiths, Ian A. Martin, Jocelyn Aspa, Lola Frost, Lyndsay Bayne, Scott Graham, Steve Goodman, and the incomparable Tess McCann.

Thank you, everybody.


Greetings and salutations. The big day approaches, all too rapidly. I’m slowly getting things together, but the usual pre-show stress (and accompanying insomnia) have already started.

Fortunately, painting takes the edge off, so it’s good I still have new metalflake pieces in the works. Just finished this one today:

I may do a dragon on a blue background next.

I’m aiming for 24 paintings (and 3 prints) for sale, plus another 4 on display.

And before I know it, it’ll be Friday and I’ll be painting live in front of a crowd. No pressure…


Two weeks from tonight, as you may already know, I’m putting on a new art show. The title is Metal Flake Remix , and as the title suggests, it’ll rework visual elements from the original Metal Flake show last fall.

The key difference is, this show will be mainly about live art. I’ll be whipping up a new series of paintings on the spot, in front of an audience. I’m aiming for six paintings of various sizes, done mainly with spraypaint and stencils – stencils based on the white lineart designs I used on the original series. I’m as curious as anybody to see how all that will turn out.

There’ll also be several new metalflake paintings available. And I’ll have a handful of older pieces for sale, as I’m trying to clear some of the clutter out of my studio and move forward with my art..

Further to that, if you’re planning to attend, bring a business card for the fishbowl – we’ll be holding a draw to give away one of the paintings.

The show will be in the same venue as January’s art sale: Imagemaker Photographic Studio (210-2075 Yukon Street at 4th).

Doors will open at 6:00PM, and the paint will start to fly around 7:00. Hope you can make it.


Preeeesenting:


It’s finally summer here in the GVRD*. And what better way to spend a summer weekend than being immersed in art?

Friday night, bring a proud, card-carrying member of the Vancouver Art gallery, I attended the Collecting Matisse and Modern Masters opening. I honestly had no idea Matisse was so prolific, much less in so many mediums. His pen-and-ink work in particular really caught my eye – the linework was beautiful, and so fluid.

It was nice to see another Van Gogh and another Renoir, too. I feel a real kinship for Vincent in particular.

Saturday was mostly spent outside in the park, barbecuing and soaking up the sun with friends. That night we moved the festivities back to my buddy Mike’s place for drinks and general good times, before closing the night at the Dover Arms. While we were all at Mike’s, I whipped up a couple more Sketchbook Diary entries, including this ashtray:

And today (Sunday) I’ve been working on the playlist for next month’s Metalflake Remix show. I haven’t sorted all the details yet, but it’ll be taking place the night of Saturday, June 16, and I’ll be creating live art all night (expect an official announcement very soon).

In other art news, potential new painting concepts seem to be popping into my head on a daily basis now. Here’s a couple to tantalize you:

Hope everybody else’s summer is off to a great start.

*Greater Vancouver Regional District.


Way, way back, I blogged about a project I called Top Seekrit . The project took awhile, due to the vagaries of winter weather and life just getting in the way, as it often does.

The painting was more-or-less finished in early January, and presented to the birthday girl who inspired it on the day of her party. Unfortunately there wasn’t time to get it properly photographed. Plus, the clearcoat was still milky in a couple spots, which I have to admit made me more than a little nervous. What if it never cleared completely? You really don’t wanna be the guy who ruins a pretty girl’s birthday present.

Fortunately it dried nicely, and a couple days ago I finally had it photographed by my good friend John Watson .

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

It all started this way: she told me about a seahorse tattoo she had, and how she’d love a painting based on Charles (the aforementioned seahorse, of course). She’d already seen several of my first-generation metalflake paintings, and liked the look of those. So really, it was all just a matter of sorting out details after that.

First I did a tracing of her tattoo, which hopefully didn’t tickle too much:

Then I refined that a bit, and defined the lineart better:

Next came the final ink lineart, ready to be transferred onto the painted surface:

(It was during this stage that I decided to add the little circular bits to Charles’s crest.)

And how did all this turn out, you ask? Well, a lot like this:

Oh, and here’s a little macro detail to give you more of an idea of how the metalflake paintings look in the real world:

What can I say? When I’m inspired the whole process is just… easier.

Bret Taylor
Vancouver, BC
March 31, 2012

P.S. As always, thanks, Tess.


… and counting. My brain is practically exploding with ideas lately. Something like twenty paintings are currently in the works, and ideas for more come every day. Having your brain on fire is kind of a weird, surreal thing sometimes. But I’ve learned to just roll with it.

In particular, ideas for the show/book of pinup girls in bars just keep popping up. I’ve tweaked the idea from the other day, and sketched out another. I’ve got concepts in mind for almost ten more.

Here’s where things stand right now:

I’ve also just complete two 6×6-inch metalflake paintings that I’m pretty happy with. Been thinking for awhile of doing some with just a simple border and no other linework, and lo and behold, the concept works:

On top of that there are Christmas gifts and five commissions in the works. Busy, busy.

And that’s my story.


Working, as I may have previously mentioned, on another series of metalflake paintings. Today there was big progress on 15 of them.

A few highlights of the day:

What’d you do today?


So I woke up too early this morning, after dreaming of better circumstances, to find myself at home. And outside in the hall, the building manager and the painters he hired were yelling at the tops of their lungs as long-awaited renovations finally took place. (A word of introduction: building management has done almost nothing in the way of upkeep on the building for the last couple years – a long-standing resident manager left under mysterious circumstances, then we had temporary relief managers, then we had a guy in his early twenties who was apparently too preoccupied with looking like a gangsta to actually do his goddamn job. Elevators sat broken for months at a time, lights in the common areas were burned out, homeless people were constantly trying to infiltrate the building, mailboxes and entrance doors and even apartments were vandalized, etc. etc.)

Anyhow, three guys standing five or six feet apart while they all yell to one another simultaneously makes for a hell of a ruckus. Literally a rude awakening after only four hours of sleep.

(In case you’re wondering, this is actually going somewhere.)

On top of all this, there have been many, many changes in my life in the past few months, nearly all for the better, but with their own accompanying stresses, of course. Insomnia has come back for several extended visits, the forces of evil seem to be conspiring, money issues continue to rear their ugly heads, people I need answers from are being flakes, and there are days when it’s all I can do to just roll with the punches.

Which brings us to today. I was jittery, bleary-eyed, sleep-deprived, and generally feeling like my entire emotional spectrum had been abraded with coarse-grit sandpaper.

And I took a look at some of the new metalflake paintings I’ve got on the go, and decided they needed a quick application of glass bead gel. Opened the jar, got out a palette knife, and started spreading the gel. Half an hour went by, and I realized a huge chunk of the stress had just… lifted off.

Paint therapy. You heard it here first, kids. I recommend it for everyone, even if you aren’t a painter. And did I mention I’ve got 19 new paintings in the works? That’s a lotta therapy.


The Booze Brothers:

Explaining the method to my madness:

First sale of the night:

Talkin’ art with Gary from Ontario and Gary from Ontario:

Another sale:

Planning and scheming:

Good friends sharing a laugh:

Having our picture taken:

Twitter friends:

Hangin’ out with the ladies:

Overview of the show:

And that’s all, folks.

P.S. Photos by John Watson, Gary Bolt and George Smeltzer.


So. As you are no doubt aware if you’re following this blog, I had my first big solo art show last night. After the show a couple close friends came back to my place for drinks, which inevitably led to me not saying anything online about the show.

Till now, that is.

The verdict? The show was a blast. First sale of the night went to my friend Patti, who bought the “Power Trio” triptych. Since then three of the smaller pieces were also snapped up, after some heated debate over “Dangerous Curves”. The rest, of course, remain on display and on sale at the Tipper till the end of the month.

What really made my night, though, was seeing old friends and new come together to eat, drink, and take in my art. Even writing this now is making me a little choked up. I am a lucky, lucky man.

And the show of support lately has been absolutely stunning . I’ve been profiled in the and VanCity Buzz , friends have come from all over the damn place for the show, and everywhere I had a question or a concern about anything, somebody always, always stepped up to bat.

Without further ado, then, the above-and-beyond roll call. These people are permanently in my good books: John Watson, Patti Catroppa, Lori Kittelberg, Dan Udey & Donna Jaggard, Sati from LiveVan, the irrepressible Jonny Warkentin, Ceci Graber, Nic & Todd, Nicola and her mom, Gary and Gary, Colin and Cameron and P.J. from the Tipper (without whom none of this would even be possible), Lindsay B. and K. Myles, Corinna Carlson, Karina Halle, Kelly St-Laurent, Mollie Caselli, Carly Fryer, Mike Watson, George Smeltzer, Ned Tobin… and I know I’m still forgetting people. I’ll keep editing this post as the day goes on.

Also, a number of people couldn’t make the show but were kind enough to send along apologies and/or encouragement anyway, because they rock: Jeff Hornby, Brendan Moran, Donna Jay, Amanda West, Dilara Litonjua, Adam Carlson, Kate MacDonald…

And finally, the biggest and most heartfelt thanks of the day have to go to my lovely assistant, without whose support this event wouldn’t have even been conceivable. Thank you, thank you, thank you, Tess McCann. Mere words cannot express…


So there’ve been all kinds of big doings going on lately. Arrangements for the big show have been made, and there are only three paintings left to finish (maybe 6 or 7 hours’ work altogether).

Now, of course, there’s a million other little details to take care of. But they’re coming along nicely.

Here’s a first look at the promo card/ad for the show:

How’s it look?


Well, things are proceeding nicely. Out of the twelve 8×8-inch paintings, eleven are now done. Just finished this one late last night (or was that early this morning?):

And I designed the lineart for another of the 8×24 pieces this afternoon:

The biggest hurdle to get past now is building up the layers of clearcoat on the remaining paintings. Love to get these finished by the end of August, so I can book the space for the show in September.

Oh, and I’ll be spinning another painting off from this series – a friend has commissioned a big, expensive abstract piece. So essentially I’ll be eliminating the white lineart that graces all the others and just going with a similar colour/texture combo. I may do a keyline in gold leaf, though. Just to show the depth of the clearcoat.

Good times.


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