spraypaint

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?


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.


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.


As you may have noticed, I’ve really been cranking out the art the past few months. Another highly educational period for me, especially since I started working on roughly 20 paintings at once. I realized once again tonight just how much I love playing mad scientist with paint.

That being said, there are a handful of products that really float my boat. So with your kind indulgence, I present the following list:

Liquitex Pouring Medium. Seriously, this stuff is the real deal. I’ve used many other manufacturers’ self-levelling mediums, and most of them are garbage. Liquitex, though, has come up with the magic formula – the stuff dries hard and clear with no crazing, sets up fast, and looks gorgeous when it’s done.

Tri-Art Liquid Mirror. Another product that absolutely raises the bar. I’ve used a lot of iridescent paints in recent years, and nothing else even compares for reflectivity. Even when it’s relatively dark, Liquid Mirror will pick up any minimal ambient light and reflect it – it’s almost phosphorescent in that respect. Washes of transparent colour on top of it barely affect the reflectivity at all. I’m told the secret ingredient is bismuth oxychloride, but let’s call it what it is – magic .

Golden Iridescent Copper (Fine). I’m a little bit obsessed with copper. Even as a child I was drawn to its colour and sheen. When I built my bar in 2004, I put $500 worth of sheet copper into the top. Getting back to paint, there are many iridescent coppers, of course. I’ve tried 5 or 6 at last count, and I finally found what I was looking for with the Golden. So rich and vibrant it puts others to shame.

Montana Gold Spraypaint (various colours). A stunning array of colours, seemingly endless cans of paint, and a system of interchangeable nozzles in a wide variety of sizes. I feel like I’ve barely scratched the surface of what’s possible with these paints. Expect a major push in this direction in my art in 2011.

Anybody else have paint or mediums they’d like to recommend? I’m all ears.


So I was just thinking it might be helpful to throw out the occasional art tip in the blog. Okay, that’s a lie – I’ve actually been considering it for a long time, but it’s only now that I came up with something I thought would be helpful. I wouldn’t want to just regurgitate advice from other artists, after all.

Now, where I was again?

Riiiight, tips. I use spraypaint in my work from time to time, and the stuff I like the best is Montana Gold . Great selection of colours, plus they’ve got a system of interchangeable caps in several different sizes. My one beef is that the caps can gum up pretty easily, depending on how you use ‘em. I’m a big fan of spatter, and that seems to exacerbate the gumming-up issue. The other day I busted out a can of Red Orange (#2090) and found the cap on it was completely blocked.

Undaunted, I tried a couple other caps and found them clogged, too. But fear not – eventually I found a few that were still functional. So I got to work laying down some orange shading on my latest car illustration (more on that later), and when I was done, I put on my thinking cap and started pondering the whole clog issue.

The “aha” moment came when I remembered I have a compressed-air gun that I use to blow dust and crap out of my keyboard:

Just a cheap little accessory from Staples. I think it cost 20 bucks. I just inserted the nozzle into the bottom of the cap I’d just used, and blew all the residual paint out of it:

It was just that simple. Now, I haven’t sat down with my abacus and crunched any numbers yet, so I couldn’t give you any kind of cost-effectiveness breakdown, but I can tell you the caps cost something like 75 cents, and a pack of 4 CO2 refills retails for 20 bucks. Considering I’ve had caps that were ruined after one use, I think this’ll eventually work out for the better.

Oh, and the car I was talking about? Here it is:


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