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.

Souvenir of a friend’s trip to the Big Easy:

Graphite, Photoshop.

Playing catchup again, so this post will be a two-fer:

Ink, coloured pencil, gouache.

Pencil, Photoshop.

Continuing my catchup efforts, I believe this is another glass I got from Gary & Morna of Starfish Glassworks fame:

Graphite, Photoshop.

Got this particular glass from my good buddy Paul Whitt, along with a matching flask. He allegedly found it in an establishment of questionable moral fiber:

Coloured pencil.

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.

Watercolour, charcoal.

Another shotglass offering tonight. This one’s from Busch Gardens, another place that I’ve never been:

Graphite, watercolour, gouache.

Day three:

Souvenir of (duh) a trip to L.A. in 2004. Picked it up at LAX on the way back to Vancouver.

Watercolour, graphite.

It occurs to me that the number of blog posts this year will obviously be jumping pretty drastically.

I’m probably late with shotglass number two, given that the holidays are over. But here it is anyway:

Coloured pencil, ink, watercolour, gouache.

(Got this particular glass from my folks, if I remember correctly. I’ve probably only got about 60 or 70 shotglasses, so I guess that for this project to go beyond that point, I’ll have to either invent some shotglass designs or buy more.)