You heard it here first. I’m releasing 4 of the metalflake Christmas paintings as Christmas cards (and postcards) as well:
Each of those 4 images is a separate card, of course. And they’re all in my RedBubble store .
(RedBubble, incidentally, has a Black Friday sale on at the moment. Everything is 15% off.)
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:
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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….
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.
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!
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.
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!
Had a very nice walk home through the West End via the quieter side streets last night. Felt like I hit a level of inner peace that I haven’t felt in a long, long time.
Now as you may or may not know, the past year has been an incredibly tumultuous one for yours truly. Every couple months has been marked by another sea change – one dramatic shift in tone, content, mood, cast, dialogue, conflict, theme, plot, etc. after another. Bret Taylor circa August of 2011, for example, would be floored by the day-to-day (and especially night-to-night) life of the Bret Taylor from a mere month in the future.
And so it goes.
For a long time I got lost in all this, just struggling to keep my head above water. Maintaining any sense of perspective was an nice idea in the abstract sense, but an impossibility in practical terms. So I did what anyone would do: I tried to keep it on the path, and I adjusted my worldview as I went, based on the current day’s data.
And ultimately? I failed.
You heard me. Failed. And miserably, at that – I lost my path altogether. Let some very (very) important people down, couldn’t live up to heartfelt promises and blood oaths. I dropped the fucking ball altogether, if you must know. Paid an absurdly high price for that failure, too. And in the process lost more than I even knew I had to lose – more than I could ever handle losing again. But then, nobody said any of this was fair , right? I mean, fairness is great as a utopian ideal. But how many times have you actually seen it play out in front of you? Once? Twice?
So. This brings us to yesterday. The morning started out with disappointing news, albeit not the kind of news that could change a man’s life (a cancelled date, if you must know). Yet that news hit me hard, out of all sense of proportion and in a way that left me off-kilter for most of the day. Even my old standby, paint therapy, absolutely could not snap me out of it (of course I publicly blamed paint therapy).
This has never, to my recollection, happened before. A real measure of how far adrift I am right now, you might correctly surmise. I had honestly thought the method to be infallible.
In the end I dragged my much-bruised and abused ego into the kitchen and focused my flagging energies on sustenance instead. Whipped up a mindblowing batch of meaty, chipotle-dominated chili. And when the bulk of that work was done and I was waiting for the mixture to reduce, I turned my attention back to the painting in question.
And goddamn, but everything flowed . Hit exactly the right marks when mixing my glazes – tone, saturation, volume. The highly-reflective silver bits (my trusty Tri-Art Liquid Mirror) drybrushed over the glass bead gel took the phthalo blue and alizarin crimson glazes perfectly . Ditto the more subtle highlights I’d carefully worked in over the past few days.
Then I went out to visit friends. Had a couple drinks, talked some things over, watched some TV. Y’know, everyday stuff.
And made that fateful walk home. And the rest you know. I guess the lesson here is, the therapy won’t take when you’re not receptive to it. But it’ll work when you’re ready.
Deep, I know.
May 6, 2012.
(Not to be confused with the Bret Taylors of September 2011 or January 2012.)
Soundtrack – “Hold On”, by the Alabama Shakes.
So. One month of 2012 is done already. Not exactly one of my better ones, though I’m slowly coming to accept that maybe January will always suck.
Anyhow, January’s done, so February’s a (minor) fresh start, right? Lots happening artwise, as is often the case. There’s a whole raft of metalflake paintings that will hopefully be finished soon. Including a piece I called “For a Dancer” (after the Jackson Browne song of the same name):
What you’re seeing here is a mockup, of course. I first envisioned this painting back in August after one of those life-changing late-night conversations. But when I mocked up the whole thing up tonight, I have to admit I was taken aback just a bit. This is a very personal piece, so it’s gratifying to see the emotional impact it has.
“I don’t remember losing track of you,
You were always dancing in and out of view,
I must have thought you’d always be around.”
Moving on to the next item on the agenda, I’m sharing this from Franziska San Pedro’s blog, entitled “How The Internet Can Change Your Life.” Interesting reading.
And finally, I’ve posted a couple new t-shirt designs to my RedBubble store just in time for Valentine’s Day:
Carry on, then.
12×24 inches, acrylic on canvas.
So yesterday’s sale was a smashing success. I commandeered the studio at Imagemaker Photographic Studio , lots of good, fun people showed up, paintings and prints were sold, and a good time was had by all. The show wasn’t even started before several prints were already sold, and with the guidance of a few friends, the momentum kept going as we turned the sale into a bit of a Twitter event (#BretsBigArtSale).
(Photo courtesy of George Smeltzer – GSCameraworks )
I was really touched by how much effort people made to promote the sale. Plenty of mentions, retweets, photos and link sharing on Twitter, Facebook and Google+. Right off the bat, I should thank these fine people:
John & Chrissy Watson, George Smeltzer, Lori Kittelberg, Patti Catroppa, Ceci Graber, Brandy Trudeau, Jeff Hornby, Donna Jay-Crowe, Adam Carlson, Ned Tobin, Nikki Cruickshank, Nicola Rueschmann, Richard Finch, Adé Win, Vincent Ng, everybody at Cosca and Novo, Nicola Rueschmann, Yvonne Milroy, Matty Sadorf, April Trasy, Valarie H., Kimli, Stephanie Insixiengmay, Anthony Wittrock, DaDe Art & Design Lab, Vancouver Vantage, Carly Fryer, BC Berrie, Lora Jean, John Bell, Jenn Ashton, Lola Frost, Louise Perrin, Ashley November, Steve Kubien, and of course my family.
Sold a set of 6 bourbon prints, a Jack Daniel’s print, the Crow’s Funeral painting I did in tribute to my good friends Lisa and Paul in Mojave , etc. etc. I was sort of sad to see this one go, but at least it went to a good home:
(Photo courtesy of Brandy Trudeau)
In the midst of all the wining and dining and wheeling and dealing, I managed to get a little sketching in:
(Photo courtesy of Tess McCann)
And of course, adult beverages were provided to keep spirits up (see what I did there?). There’s still a bit of wine left in my fridge, but the tequila didn’t survive:
After 6 hours we packed up the paintings and called it a night. Only thing left to do at that point was celebrate with vodka and poutine.
Thank you one and all for a stellar day. Let’s do it again sometime soon.
P.S. Thanks to everyone who put up with my twitchiness and general neurosis on the days leading up to the sale. Apparently I’m always going to be a bit of a mess right up to the point where a sale/show starts.
Running a bit late, but this is yesterday’s shotglass pic:
Drew and painted it last night after supper, but there wasn’t time to scan it before I had to go to a birthday party.
For tonight’s entertainment, I proudly present with:
Ink, watercolour, coloured pencil.