Thursday, July 30, 2015

HIGH PARK IN TORONTO!

Happy Thursday!
I have been super busy getting this new piece ready.
This was a request.
As you can imagine, people always ask why I haven't immortalized "their neighbourhood" in a painting........and I always ask, what is special about your area? What can I paint that would really tell the story of your 'hood? Sometimes it is not an easy answer!
But in the case of High Park, it was really a no no brainer!
Sit back and lemme tell you a story......

High Park opened to the public in 1876 and is about 400 acres of park land right in the middle of the big smoke. It is the LARGEST park in Toronto, and is a mixed recreational and natural park, with sporting facilities, cultural facilities, educational facilities, gardens, playgrounds and even a zoo. One third of the park remains in a natural state, with a rare oak savannah ecology. High Park was and is based on a bequest of land from John George Howard to the City of Toronto.
WORTH capturing in a painting.........like so......

First - I started with the subway tile backgound of High Park Station.
The poster part (in blue and green here) is illustration of the Hillside Gardens. 
THEN I forgot that you guys like to see the progress and didn't take photos for a day.....and THIS happened:

As you can see, the Hillside Gardens have a formal garden area - it was IMPOSSIBLE to
illustrate ALL the kinds of great gardens....so I chose this one!
 BAM!
The High Park Subway tile is in - with a bit of sheen!
ALSO there is a vintage map of the City of York on the bottom!

Finishing up the map at the bottom of the piece!

This is what I LOVE about these paintings......I was able to include the FAMOUS peacock!
If you don't remember the story ......check out this:

If you want more on this infamous bird.........just follow his twitter feed!
ANYWAYS, I wanted to make sure he was included in the painting - I painted him as though he is just popping into the frame - like only for a day - he was free again.

More progress on shadows, and the addition of the Train!
If you have kids, you most assuredly have been on the trackless train!

Adding in the words and more washes of colour - and the tape!
The quote "The earth has music for those who listen" is a nod to Shakespeare in the Park
Which if you haven't done - is a real TORONTONIAN MUST!

AND HERE IS THE FINAL IMAGE!

It has a bunch more finishing touches that make it really look swell!!
Lots of washes and highlights and shadows added!
I am super happy with the final look! I think it is the perfect addition to my series!
Yes.......I will have merch of this SOON! AND YES I will blog about it! ;-)

Also.....If you want to make a difference, try making a donation to http://www.highpark.org/donate/


Honestly, the fact that we have such a great place in the city, is AMAZING!
Go out today....and also feel free to sent a little dough their way!
Thanks guys!