Friday, April 30, 2010

RETHINKING THE MURAL PT. II

Ok, so here are another couple mural ideas for your house based on my work!
I bet you are wondering what inspired this whole 'rethinking the mural' phase I am going through?
Well, for years I have felt like there is just nothing exciting about painting another pastoral landscape in your kitchen. Then yesterday, I found a site that had some super-fantablulous mural work. 
This very cool and graphic inspiration was posted on a blog called design-crisis.com. This blog is chopperblock full of GREAT stuff and super funny writing! It is my new favourite thing and this section on murals is complete eye candy!! Check them out!!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

WANNA-BE CELEBRITY

I know that title seems a Seussical...but every now and again, I feel a little celebrity-like. 
Ok, maybe not like a Prickton (the celebrity couple name of Paris Hilton and Rick Soloman) kind of celebrity....aka the famous-for-no-reason kind of celebrity. And certainly not like Brangelina, the world-known-and-revered kind of celebrity. More like a "local man eats weight in hotdogs" kinda of celebrity. Like a local-celebrity: a locebrity. 
For example, last month, I had my picture in the the local Metro paper.

Then yesterday, I had another brush with locebrity, and I was blogged about on the Paint a Lifestyle Blog. P.A.L. is a great reference for all things decorative paint and mural related. Barb's amusing insights make her a hoot to read and she has lots of great reference for both faux finishers and for the every-day person! 






In addition to yesterday's  post, Barb will be interviewing me for her video-blog called "Outside the Can", which will hopefully be both funny and informative.  I will post a link here when it happens. 
In the meantime check out the Paint a Lifestyle Blog!!



Wednesday, April 28, 2010

RETRO-MURALS

As many of you know, in a former life, I was a full-time Muralist and Scenic Painter. to date, i have worked on several hundred murals. At one time, I was working for several soul-eating, mega-mural-producing conglomerates, which were producing big mural packages for the OLGC. Eventually, I went on my own and started creating murals then finally artwork for myself....sadly, in my career as a Muralist, I have reproduced the Tuscan landscape more times than I care to count! After a while it is just not interesting! But maybe, if we can re-think what a mural has to look like, there can be murals that are spectacular! Check out this below......the sky is the limit, it can be super-graphic or painterly and bold......Imagine your space - or a corporate space, with a GREAT mural! Whadda 'ya think? This is based on a painting of mine from a few years ago! It could be more graphic and simple for a kids room.....or made larger for a loft!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

BOY TOY REDUX

I don't often repaint images. This image entitled "boy toy" (see below) I painted in 2005. At the time I was still working mostly on my "Etiquette Series". The quote is from Miss Manners. I was happy with the look, but after going to an art-expo, I decided that I should put resin on top to make it BETTER. Resin was super hot, and super new, so I thought it would be good to get in on a trend before it got huge. THIS WAS A MISTAKE!! I applied the shiny resin and it was ruined....and ultimately took away from the piece. This was a great lesson to learn.
Here is the redux which I finished yesterday called "Extraordinary Things". As you can see, it became a total repaint! I also changed the text to make it more updated! I think it is a much stronger painting in 2010! The lessons I learned here were: 
1. NEVER follow a trend, BE the trend
2. Listen EXCLUSIVELY to your own artistic voice and be be honest with your art!
What do you think? Is the new version more dynamic? Or do you prefer the older version?

Monday, April 26, 2010

MATCH GAME?


Here is "Outta this World" finished. I am really happy with how it looks in my hallway!
Truthfully, I painted it to match my interior. I have greige as my wall colour, there are some blacks in the furniture, some red in my door and the room attached is grey-blue!
Now, I know what you are thinking! "Oh Rob, matching your art to your house......c'mon, isn't that a cardinal sin?" well.......
I am one of the few art-type-people who can see the need to have your room look consistent and coordinated! There. I said it. I took a few years of Interior Design and think (generally) it is good to have a cohesive look to your room - from a design point of view. BUT BUT BUT having said that, you need to buy art that you LOVE, and that makes you happy (even if it is a painting of the Canadian wilderness who's who) and maybe you could build a whole room around the art!!!
So, gentle readers, what do you think?
Should you try to match artwork to the room?
Or is better to not match at all?
I would love to know your opinions!

Friday, April 23, 2010

WORK IN PROGRESS

Ok, so this is a painting that I started a couple of days ago. It is for my own hallway.
You probably can't tell by the picture, but this canvas is 3 feet by 4 feet. (BIG) Please, pay no attention to how messy my studio is - it tends to get a bit out of control while the painting is in-progress. So, as you can see, I tend to work up a painting form the background to the foreground. I have blocked in most of the major elements in the background. I have put a 'spatter coat' on it and several washes in colour and in umber (to age the look of the canvas). I find that the distressing helps lend to the vintage look of my work. (It also means I can handle the paint loosely and it will still look good in the end!) You can see the drawing that I am working from - in the middle of the canvas. I am working up the robot, and hope to have him done today. I also have to put some text on (in the bottom near his feet). So, this is what it looks like a day before it is done.......I hope you find it interesting......if you have any questions or comments, I would love to hear them!!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

TOP 10 OFFENSIVE ART SHOW COMMENTS

Hello All!
Well, we are on week 2 of blogging, and as you can see, I have been busy like a bee!
I have been doing a lot of googling as well (you know, no matter how many times I say that it still sounds kinda dirty). Anyways, I found an article that claimed to get your blog noticed, it is good to have "how to" or "top ten" in the title of your post......
So here is my first top 10, which could also be called:
TOP 10 WORST/FUNNIEST THINGS PEOPLE HAVE SAID TO ME AT AN ART SHOW:
(in no particular order)

10. "The art is so much better in Provence,(said as prov-aaaaw-nce) France!" 
     said in my booth to her friend (who also had a Louis Vuitton knock-off purse)

9. "Your mother must be ashamed of you!"
    about the 'etiquette' series - to which I replied "Actually, my mother has a sense of humour."

8. "Your work looks just like so-and-so's." 
    which is sort of like saying "You are completely unoriginal!"

7. "Your work is like such-and-such's - but not as good."
    I know, it is the same as the comment above - but it made me laugh!

6. "No..." (pointing at my booth with a disgusted look)
    said by stringy-haired woman who was walking with Jeanne Beker (from fashion tv)

5. "I bet someone likes your work!"
   read  - "I am dumb and I do not like your work."

4. "your work looks kind of cheap..."
    said TO ME....I wish I would have replied with "so's your momma."

3. "This work is just junky looking!"
    see #4 for what my reply should have been!

2. "Can't you just paint a landscape without ruining it with all the text?"
   if I had a dollar for every time I heard this....I wouldn't need to work - EVER AGAIN!!

1. "You don't LOOK like a starving artist."
   I am not sure this was meant as a put down?! But I think it could still be offensive

Ok, now let it be known, I have a pretty tough skin, so most - if not all, of these comments was kinda funny to me! I am not seeing a therapist about these! So no need to feel bad!!
HOW ABOUT YOU, ARTISTS??? 
What is the worst/funniest thing someone said to you at an art show?

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

GONE IN 60 SECONDS

"NEW YORK MINUTE" is the name of this 9" x 6" 'shadow box'. 
The imagery is taken from my paintings:

"Wander" which was sold in 2009, and "Countdown" which is actually still available at one of my galleries! On this piece I added some painted metal, and a watch face!

This is my first 'landscape related piece in this series!
Do you have an idea for one of these? I WOULD LOVE TO HEAR!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

HOW TO BE A CHICK MAGNET?


Ok...not really an article on this.......but here is my artwork called "CHICK MAGNET"

Not the same - but just as interesting!! (ish)
I have taken imagery from 2 of my completed paintings:



"New Plan" whis was sold in 2009. The barn in it is my Grandfathers in Port Burwell, ON
and the toy chick is from my painting "Dull".
I reassembled this imagery to create this 9" x 6" shadow box.
I then add ink and paint to punch up the colours.
On this piece I (again) added some scrabble times, some painted metal, and a cute little jigsaw piece - that I repainted!
And, as I mentioned before, each piece is one of a kind, and is completely affordable!

Go ahead and comment with one of these reactions below:

Monday, April 19, 2010

SMOKE AND MIRRORS

Ok, this one is a little less obvious.......
It is called "Smoke and Mirrors"


On this one, I have taken imagery from completed paintings:
"Egghead", 2009 - the orginal of which is still available!
and "Deceived", 2007 (which is sold)
I, as on the rest in this series, have reassembled this imagery to create  9" x 6" shadow boxes.
On this piece I added some little mirrors and a piece of moulding.
What do you think?

Feel free to comment!!!

Friday, April 16, 2010

BAR FLY





























One more little shadow boxes. 
I wanted to show you how I made this one.......

I chose, from my reference shots, my original 16" x 20" painting entitled "Hard".
I cropped out the drink pouring guy, and printed it on a heat transfer paper......










Then I took this dragon fly from my original 16" x 20" painting entitled "Bugged", and also printed it on a heat transfer paper.....













I also took this little drinking guy from my original painting from 2004 entitled "Drink to Others", and printed it on heat transfer paper too....












With all these piece in place, I felt it still needed something. So I added a bit of intensity, with acrylic paint, to the colours of my printed imagery, and then added an ink detail of a fly ontop.
As an afterthought, I also added alittle red plastic bingo dot to it - just to balance out the reds.
F-U-N,  huh?
What do you think? 
Should I keep making these little "jewels"? 

Thursday, April 15, 2010

MONKEY BUSINESS



One more of my little shadow boxes - which are technically NOT shadow boxes - as they have no glass front! This one is called "Monkey Business".
Again taken from imagery from my catalogue of completed paintings; "Monkeys", and "Circus".
This one has ink and paint embellishment as well as some scrabble times and an old key.
I think this one is my favourite!!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

LUCKY DUCK





Here is another 9" x 6" Shadow box.
"Lucky Duck" is assembled from pieces of my paintings: 
Then I have embellished this with ink/paint and added some scrabble tiles, a poker chip and some metal to finish it up!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

NEW SHADOW BOX

Here is my latest little art piece.
I have taken imagery from my catalogue of completed paintings (of which there are over 300) printed them on heat transfers, and then reassembled the pieces to create  9" x 6" shadow boxes.
This piece was built using imagery from my paintings; "Balance" and "Dull".
I then add ink and paint to punch up the colours, and add some found objextd to fill out the box.
On this piece I added some scrabble times and some painted metal.
Each piece is one of a kind, and is completely affordable!
I think it is super cute!

Monday, April 12, 2010

SOPA GALLERY "U-8" OPENING


These are some photos from the group exhibition "U-8"
at Sopa Gallery, in Kelowna B.C. looks like it was a great event - and I hope I can go next year!
You can check them out at www.sopafinearts.com



Friday, April 9, 2010

YO' MAMA....

I was recently commissioned to do this painting for a great company. Mama Earth Organics delivers fresh organic products from local farms and businesses. It is such a great company with a such an important mandate to buy locally!
The commission, was meant to be turned into a 5" x 7" postcard that gets mailed out to over 75,000 homes in the GTA. The piece itself shows the partners in the lettering of 'fresh'.....and emulated an old postcard from the 50's.
We were all very happy with the results!
Check them out at: www.mamaearth.ca

Thursday, April 8, 2010

WORKIN' HARD......OR HARDLY WORKIN'?



















   
   I awoke this morning to find these city-workers out front of my house. It appears that this is the 9:30am breaktime........which is curious - as they started at 9am! I listened to them chit-chat for what seemed like an eternity........without working a single bit. I wonder if their work will be done today. In fact, I wonder how many days it takes to complete a 1 day job? The crazy part is that if I compared my bank account statement to the city-workers statement, those chit-chatters would appear rather successful – and me? Not so much!
     It begs the questions – do you really have to work hard to achieve success and does the universe reward those who don’t work hard with wealth?
     As an artist, I have kinda felt that one of the keys to success is to treat your art form with a bit of business savvy. For example, if you work on your art/career for an 8 hour day, you tend to get a lot done! This hard work attitude should translate into success.
     However, if you get up, listen to some people outside your window, then update your blog and facebook, then check your emails, then get distracted on the computer, then suddenly look up at noon and realize that you have been surfing the web for clips of "Glee" for 3 hours......you are suddenly acting like a city-worker yourself!
     Ok, so I have done my part to waste time today, how long must I wait for my windfall of fortune?



Wednesday, April 7, 2010

THE HOGTOWN PROJECT

http://thehogtownproject.files.wordpress.com
I am a part of this fabulous book! I can't wait to buy one....I will publish details as they become available!!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

HELLO
















This is a blog.
I used to believe that there were only 2 types of bloggers:
1. Those who obsessively needed to foist their opinions on people
2. Frustrated writers.
As you may know, I am a full-time artist, which requires a endless amount of self-promotion.
Lately, I have been hearing that (allegedly) blogging is a fantastic forum for promotion.
I am not completely convinced, but I am gonna give it the "ol' college try".
I am not a fabulous writer, but I hope to keep this entertaining and informative.
Here's what I hope the content includes:
-the latest paintings I am working on
-my influences (aka great stuff by other people)
-amusing stories that may not be art related
So, let's hope for the best - and hope that someone wants to read this!
As part of my first post I have attached a commission that I just finished for a client.
It is a 12" x 36" painting - Acrylic on Board.
I look forward to lots of comments!
Cheers!

www.robcroxford.com