Monday, November 29, 2010


Hello friends.
Well, my commissions will be done this week. Great, but a bit scary. Having guaranteed income is always a good thing......and is a great motivator. Truthfully, around this time, I tend to slack off a bit.
But here is the thing.....I REALLY can't afford to. I need to push through the laziness and make some serious headway for the 2011 season. Not as easy as it sounds.......not whilst Google calls to me.....and the Christmas decorations need to get up.
So, the big item in 2011 is The Artist Project.
For those of you who do not know what it is.....SHAAAAAAAME.
Here is how it is described on their site:

The Artist Project is a meeting ground for artists, collectors, and art enthusiasts. View and purchase original Canadian and International art from over 200 juried contemporary artists and enjoy an eclectic program of talks, special features, and art installations. Whether you are a first time buyer or seasoned collector, this four day art fair is a rare opportunity to meet and purchase directly from independent artists. Now in its fourth year, The Artist Project returns to the Queen Elizabeth Building at Toronto’s Exhibition Place.
March 3 – 6, 2011
Queen Elizabeth Building, Exhibition Place
Thursday, March 3      7PM – 10PM (Opening Night Preview Party)
Friday, March 4           12AM – 9PM
Saturday, March 5       11AM – 9PM
Sunday, March 6         11AM – 6PM
Show Location
Queen Elizabeth Building
180 Princes’ Boulevard, Exhibition Place
Toronto, Ontario

This will be my FOURTH year doing this show, and it is a really nice (albeit pricey) show.
Basically, you pay to rent walls and space for the 4 days.
The wall rental is GREAT because it keeps all the booths looking very clean and gallery-like.
Some of the other art-fairs do not have this, and they tend to look sloppy.
So, my booth is 10 feet x 10 feet, which means I have three 10 foot walls that are 8 feet tall.
The first thing I do to get ready is do a mock up of my booth.
I thrive with organization, it is sad really.
Many artists just create a bunch of work and bring all the art and figure it out on site - on the opening day.
I AM TOTALLY NOT THAT GUY!! It stresses me out. I need to have a plan, and then I work towards finishing the work to complete the plan.
**Insert type-A personality joke here.
So, here is what my plan looks like:

So, the green squares are works that I need to complete by March.
There are 7 brand new big paintings....some are landscape-y and some are robot-y,
I also have 7 mixed media pieces.
I like to mix it up, so that people can get a real overview of what I am about.
As you can see, I have a number of older works.
I have included a bunch of my small and affordable mixed media pieces that were left from this past summer. I also have a few pieces left over from my Arcade Exhibition this past summer.
As a rule, I like to have all brand new works,  but I have only shown these works once.........
So I think it still acceptable to show them again.
Once I have this plan, I go buy all my materials and start my drawings asap.
I will report back when things begin to get check back soon!

Friday, November 26, 2010


Ok, so this is too yummy to not share.
This is a little out of the way, but so worth it (based on the photos)

You can read the article here:
If you ride the 6 train to the end of the line and get off at the Brooklyn Bridge stop, you're missing out on something incredible. As the train loops around to go back uptown, it passes through an abandoned and beautifully preserved City Hall station from 1904.
The city closed the station in 1945, mostly because at its height only 600 people a day used it, and because the loop created an unsafe gap at the platform. In 1995 the city vowed to restore the site and turn it into a part of the transit museum, but those plans were scrapped years later.
The station is still not open to the public, but there's a trick you can use to see it for yourself. Until recently the MTA would force passengers to get off before the train made the loop, but now passengers are allowed to stay on. So the next time you reach the end of the line, keep going.

Check out these pics....YUM!
I bet it has been used in films/t.v.
Love it!!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010


Hey all.....
As many of you know, I am a bit of a dabbling environmentalist.
Here is something that I found a bit disturbing.
Take a moment to read it!

Stephen Harper has done what he promised never to do: allow the Senate to go against the will of the majority of Members of Parliament and the Canadian public.

On November 16, after a surprise vote and without any debate, unelected Conservative senators killed the Climate Change Accountability Act. The Act would have made government accountable for putting in place the solutions to reduce global warming emissions to safe levels – in line with targets that leading scientists say are necessary to avoid the devastating consequences of uncontrolled climate change. It was overwhelmingly supported by and passed in the elected House of Commons, thanks in part to the support of Canadians from across the country.

This decision by Conservative senators to avoid debate and call a snap vote shows disrespect for our democracy and for Canadians, who time and again have told our elected representatives that we want the federal government to act on the most serious threat facing our country and the world.

The David Suzuki Foundation makes it very easy (it should take you about 30 seconds) for you to write to your MP and heads of government about this.  Click here:     Please take the time and send this to people you know.  It’s not just about the environment.  If Harper can do this on this one issue, what else will he do it with?

Thanks for taking the time!

Monday, November 22, 2010


Hey - a quick blog entry today.....

Here is a little interview I did about my work for the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair.
It is on the Paint a Lifestyle Blog:
Barb at Paint a Lifestyle asked me all about my work, my piece at the Royal and my future.
Check it out!!

Friday, November 19, 2010


Oh, hi there. I am just sittin' here, relaxing and listening to some smooth smooth jazz, and thinking about what inspires me. relaxing - I mean web-surfing.....and by smooth smooth jazz - I mean the broadway cast  recording from 'A Chorus Line'. Nonetheless, I AM thinking about what I should blog about that is inspiring for me.
Truthfully, I feel like I could put anything here and it wouldn't much matter - because I only have 3 people who check back at this blog. So, for example, I could say: I am inspired by the sounds of people harassing the elderly, or I find inspiration in making prank phone calls and cheating on my taxes.......No one is reading this, so maybe I find inspiration by copying other artists work and selling it to chinese sweatshops for mass production. Wait.....if you have gotten this far, you probably know too  much already......NEVER MIND!!!
Ok, for reals.....something I love is good retro signage. Whether it be neon or metal or painted.....I LOVE ALL SORTS. Here are some sign reference that I have collected over the years. I constantly take pictures as reference, I have painted a couple already, and it is part of my plan to paint more of them, I just haven't gotten to it! Here are 2 that I have completed...and sold.....

Both of these are taken from photos I took at the Las Vegas Sign Boneyard in 2005. For those of you who don't know what that is, let me tell you all about it. Every neon sign in Vegas was made by one company. Every time they rip down an old casino, they try to save the signage. Most of these signs went to a graveyard to rot. In the last decade they started to refurbish the signs...but it is very costly

"The three-acre Neon Boneyard houses more than 150 historic, non-restored signs.  As part of our guided tours, the signs are available to be viewed at ground level and up close. Each has been donated or loaned by individuals, businesses and sign companies such as Young Electric Sign Company (YESCO).
The Neon Museum is in the process of rehabilitating the historic La Concha Motel lobby for use as a visitor’s center. In 2006 the building was saved from destruction and moved to the Boneyard site, and in 2007 the structure was reassembled.   The La Concha, a swooping curvilinear example of mid-century modern architecture, was designed by famed African-American architect Paul Revere Williams. The building is on the City of Las Vegas Historic Register."

Check out their website fro more info:


When I went, it was not open to the public, so I had to jump a HUGE fence! It was exhilarating.....but I was nervous because I was trespassing. I would have liked to spent more time. Here are some of my reference photos from the site. 

I LOVE how they re-organized the letters from the casinos!!

You said it!

Rusting and decaying...LOVE LOVE LOVE it.

The Stardust sign. Each letter is about 12' high!!!

This is what the Stardust sign looked like in it's hay day!


Glam and grungy!!

The signs are now "organized" since I was there 5 years ago....but I still like the chaos in this photo!


So great!!

No such thing as free....not in Vegas!

So there you go. I have about 60 more pictures from the boneyard, but you get the idea.
Who knows what/if I will do something with these photos in the future.
In the meantime, it is just fun to revisit them!
What do you think? Love them? 
Want to see more??

Wednesday, November 17, 2010


So, in my constant pursuit to find things to blog about, I just got some good advice:

"Perhaps Rob, it always doesn't need to be about you."

WHAAAAAAAAAT????? There is a world outside of me?? It cannot be true!
This person....who shall remain nameless....then went on to say: 

"Perhaps you have to expand you blog to include things that inspire you!  A pile of junk - the way the sun hits a plant outside - how clean your studio is? a favourite store, a window display - a rusty door knob!  Anything!"

After my initial shock wore off, I realized there was merit in that. I could write more about my inspirations.
So, I am gonna start to post more of the stuff that inspires me. 
I have posted stuff I love before, but evidently not enough! 
The truth is that I don't have enough going right now on my drawing board, that I can show you what I am working on! :-(
Here is something I found yesterday when I wasted a whole day surfing the web.
They are from this guy:
Now I cannot say enough about this guys header logo....IT IS all my favourite things!!! 

Check out his blog at:
Ok, so his last blog was on these posters for Epcot. The designer describes them as:

"Experimental Poster Compositions Of Tomorrow - These posters are modern day interpretations of the great Future World attractions of yesterday. Taking on a minimalistic style, each focuses on the main ideas and foundations of the pavillions they represent."  -Stephen Christ, designer

I love the James Bond-y background. 
Simple and lovely.

This is my favourite.

My least favourite....I think the honeycomb could have been larger....but still nice enough...

Very U.N.

And for those of you who cannot get enough of Disney these prints are available! 
Posters on a variety of papers starting at $16.61 here.
Well? What do you think?
Love them???

Monday, November 15, 2010


Hello again!
Here is the other part of the Royal for me.
Yearly, they have a call to enter the art exhibition at the Royal.
This is my second year as part of this.
Normally, I would not classify myself as a farm/rural painter, but since I am only one generation away from my families farm, and since I do paint a LOT of old barns in my Landscape Series, I thought it was a good fit. Here is the piece that I entered this year:
"A New Ending" 24" x 18", Acrylic on Board and Metal. 
This piece, is a perfect fit for the mandate of the Royal. City meets farm. I like the quote a lot.
"You can't go back and start a new beginning, but you can start today and make a new ending."
So, here is what the Royal's Arty Exhibition looked like this year:


This piece was very unique too! It was sandblasted glass.
The foreground is animals and the background was Toronto and a streetcar.

Brigitte Nowak was demonstrating. It was great!!

Sunday, November 14, 2010


Well, it is that time of year again. The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair.
For those of you who have never been, SHAME ON YOU!
Let me run down the event for you.
Yearly, all the best of the farm comes to Exhibition Place in Toronto.
So, I mean, the best in ALL agriculture, and farming.
I am only one generation away from the farm myself, and as far from rural as I am, I always find a lot to enjoy on my yearly trip to the Royal!
I was fortunate to be a part of the art exhibition there....but more about that tomorrow!
Here are some fun photos from my big day at the farm.
I loves me some butter art. 

Vertical farming - read about is AMAZING!!!

The gayest tin man EVER.....why was he at the Royal? Good question!

This is a Dalmatian. I think? (I don't really know my animals)

Ah, cow love. So moooving.

Artists working on animal portraits!

Gourd grief!

It's a beet. I KID YOU NOT!

Baked apple. YUM!

I guess it sounds better than 'hot dog pigs'. Get it? Weaner = Wiener?? GET IT??

Pigs with tattoos. Very 2011!

"Don't you just love my earrings?"

I believe this is the rare Adam Lambert Breed of Rabbit.

YIKES! Even its folds had folds. Someone needs to do a bunny intervention.

1100lbs of pumpkin pie = YUM!!

The Horse Building at the CNE is stunning Deco architecture!!

Authorized parking only. Really? 
I love this style of architecture!!

Homeward bound!
What did you think of my tour of the Royal?
Next year, I encourage you to check it out!!