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).
show and the
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
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
), 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
. I’m on fire creatively.
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
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”
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,
Now, Hot Pink has its roots in two sources: a suggestion from
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.
. 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
. 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
An Evening of Debauchery
. Full of inappropriate dirty jokes, politically-incorrect comedians, burlesque performers and an artist with a…
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…
. Many excellent friends showed up, both old and new. These pics should give you an idea of how it went:
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
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.
First off, you may have noticed the lack of a report on the
show. Fear not; it’s happening. It’s just been..
a little while I recover. Further to that, though, this particular handful of paintings is still available for purchase:
Chapeau – 8×8 inches, acrylic on cradled wood panel. $100
Collaboration with Alex Stewart – 16×16 inches, acrylic on cradled wood panel. $600
Collaboration with Alex Stewart – 16×16 inches, acrylic on cradled wood panel. $600
Cheeky – 10×10 inches, acrylic on cradled wood panel. $200
Spikes – 6×8 inches, acrylic on cradled wood panel. $75
Up or Down – 10×10 inches, acrylic on cradled wood panel. $200
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,
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
behind me now, and their support and enthusiasm are pretty infectious (and it’s not just
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:
Nine days to the big show. Anybody else as pumped for this as I am?