Wednesday, June 29, 2011


Ok folks....time for some honesty.......I am getting a but stressed for time these days.......
So to keep myself from getting any more prematurely gray hair, I am changing Wonderful Wednesdays.
Now wait...before you freak is only a small change....
I am gonna share 3 things.
Three, instead of five.
Think of it this is less reading for you!!!!
So...after much adieu....I give you the streamlined #WW!!

**Fun game......after I finished writing this post, I realized how many times I say spectacular....
take a drink each time I say it!

1.) OK! So, as you may know, I am planning a big trip to the big apple. I love me some Times I wanted to mention this guy:

Douglas Leigh. he is the ad executive that introduced the spectacular billboards of times square.
For example, this billboard, which was up on Broadway between 43 and 44th Sts. until the 1980s, actually SMOKED!!!

Mr. Leigh started his business in 1933, with an option on a location at Fordham Road and Crotona Avenue in the Bronx. He persuaded the St. Moritz Hotel to put up a billboard on the site. His pay was $50 a month and a room at the hotel for a year. This gave him only enough to eat at the Automat, he says, but it also provided a Central Park South address for his stationery.
Later in 1933, he came up with the idea for a steaming coffee cup, 15 feet wide, at the southeast corner of 47th Street and Seventh Avenue, and he sold it to A&P to advertise its coffee brands.
Although he had started work in the middle of the Great Depression, Mr. Leigh's soft-spoken sales ability helped him carve out a very comfortable niche. Within a few years he had thrown switches in Times Square on a blinking penguin for Kool cigarettes, a clown tossing quoits in the shape of the Ballantine ale logo, and an animated cartoon for Old Gold cigarettes.

Here are some more of his SPECTACULAR billboards:

In the 40's this was REALLy high tech. A real spectacle!!

The worlds biggest pen! (and most spectacular - you drunk yet??)

This is my FAVE!! 

The neon was cutting edge!!


This one is a block-long, 90-foot sign featured fifty-foot high plaster casts or heroically-proportioned nudes (male and female) draped in golden neon togas. The statues were originally posted on either side of a real waterfall (27' high, 132' across)

Read more about the Smoking Billboard — Imprint-The Online Community for Graphic Designers 

2.) WOW!!!!!!! That is all I can say. Thanks to the WONDERFULNESS of the gals at DESIGN CRISIS for this one!!! DEFINITELY SPECTACULAR!! 

Cuban photographer Abelardo Morell creates these images ON WALLS using a  process called camera obscura.  Morell blacks out the windows of rooms then cuts a small hole in the fabric he’s used to shut out all the light.  That pinhole is used to expose the window’s view onto the opposing wall.  He then takes a picture of the projection using a large format camera.  The film often takes up to 10 hours to expose.

Say it with me.....SPECTACULAR!!!!

3.) LASTLY, you know how I think the folks at Pixarare genuises? The Pixar movies are the best of the best at storytelling. I LOVE "the look" in their movies and....well.....check out this trailer for a new Pixar movie.......


 They you go!
I hope you enjoyed this wednesday's post!!!!
What do you think of the shorter version?? Easier to get through???
Please let me know what 'cha think!!

Monday, June 27, 2011


Happy Monday everyone!!
I have exactly 11 days until the Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition opens.
Ok, I am better now! I need to scream it out!
So I want to tell you all about this show. For those of you who missed the recap on last years show, you can click here for the nitty gritty stories!!!
Ok, so here are the deets:

Now in its 50th year, the Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition [TOAE] is a juried showcase featuring contemporary fine art and craft that takes place annually on Nathan Phillips Square, every July.

As the largest outdoor art exhibition in Canada, TOAE offers a fresh-air alternative to conventional art shows and galleries. Hundreds of artists participate and an estimated 100,000 visitors attend the exhibition every year.  Side by side, established artists, undiscovered talents and innovative students sell their work directly to the public and make lasting connections with art dealers and collectors. 

What is exceptional (for me) about this year, is that the show is smaller than ever before (due to the
 "revitalization project" in the square). So there are less exhibitors, and this makes it kinda extra special to be juried in!!!  
(insert pat on back here) ;-)

The Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition takes place on Nathan Phillips Square - a city square that forms the front (south) entrance to Toronto City Hall at Queen Street West and Bay Street.  The address is 100 Queen Street West.

Exhibition Hours
Friday, July 8: 10:30 am-7:30 pm
Saturday, July 9: 10:30 am-7:30 pm
Sunday, July 10: 10:30 am-6:30 pm

Rain or Shine. 


So here are a couple more of the little shadow boxes I am working on for The Toronto Outdoor Show:

"City Slicker", 6" x 9", Mixed media,
The imagery from this piece is take from a sold piece called "Choose the Pace"

The lady in the 'slicker' is imagery from one of my drawings for an upcoming piece.
and has the usual paint and ink embellishments.
Have I mentioned that it is only $100?????

"Honest to Goodness", 6" x 9", Mixed media,
The car is taken from an AVAILABLE piece called "Traffic Jam" and the man and his popping champagne is from "Party Time" which is available (as of today) at Rivertown Gallery in London ON. 
and has the usual paint and ink embellishments.
It also has a toy wheel and some cool letters attached!!
And super affordable!

Saturday, June 25, 2011


The dog ate my homework.
Ok, that is not really my excuse for missing my regular Friday post........
I am working 4 days on a mural project.
As many of you know, I still do a bit of mural work from time to time.....
although less now than ever before.
I enjoy the murals, but I try to keep focussed on my art career so that I keep moving forward.
This mural gig is through Paint a Lifestyle and it's a Hockey Mural, for a boys room.
I know, I know, you are thinking:
"Oh Rob, you know SOOOOOO MUCH about Hockey, what a perfect fit!!"
Well, so far so are 2 pictures of the mural after the end of day 1:

The ice still looks like water.....but it will freeze over on Monday!!!

The crowd is kinda scary looking right now....but this is just the underpainting, and they will be behind glass!! 
So that is why I couldn't get it together for Friday's post!!
Taa Daa.
I will post the final pictures of this hockey mural on Friday next week!!
Have a great weekend y'all!!!!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011


This week I have some great stuff to share.
So great, I can hardly wait.
Here you go:

1.) Artist and metalsmith Cathy McLure strips away the plush furry coats from motorized stuffed animals and then casts the disassembled plastic limbs in bronze, while living most of the mechanisms exposed. Cathy says, "The underlying plastic object embodies more potential for my imagination than the stuffed object layered with intricate marketing identities. It is these unstuffed plastic oddities that I reinvent in precious metals. This contrast between the discarded forgotten object and the cherished one underscores societal contradictions and reintroduces us to the magical quality of flipping frogs, drumming monkeys, and slowly turning carousels." Find out more about Cathy's work 
Very Tim Burton-y 
Creepy....and super cool!!
I love it!!
(Thanks to eloisemoorehead and JunkCulture for this one!!!)

2.) You know how I love urban ruins....right?? Well check this out. I give you the S.S. United States. Here is the background: in 1952 the 
SS UNITED STATES was the fastest ocean liner ever built, and the largest passenger liner to be built in the USA. Today, she sits at the Delaware River pier in Philadelphia.  Currently the ship is owned by the nonprofit SS United States Conservancy.  It is estimated it will cost over $200 million to renovate the ship. Redeveloping her as a stationary entertainment complex with a hotel, restaurants, retail, with educational and museum components. In it's hay day she carried heads of state, royalty and celebrities in its 400 round trips. Passengers included Presidents John F. Kennedy, actress Grace Kelly and Prince Rainier of Monaco, and England's King Edward VIII! Right now she looks bad....but soon.....well...let's hope she gets fixed up!!
THANKS TO Modern-ruins for the before and afters!)

The lounge now...

The lounge then

The dining hall NOW

dining room THEN

The bridge now....
...and then.

The ballroom now....

...and then...

the telephone technology then!!

Crew quarters now...

The promanade

she is in bad shape

so grotty - I love it!



3.) My movie pick of the week: X-men: First Class. I know what you are thinking!!! "Rob are you geeking out??" No. It was a really good story. SERIOUSLY. And it was set in the 60's the look is LOVELY!! you should see it!! If even just fro january jones and Michael Fassbender (depending on your sexual preference)!!! 

Here are some still shots:

4.) Tokyo Disneyland. I love good design....but this place.....WOW!!!!!!! Check out these stills from Tokyo Disney Sea theme park (click on them to see larger images):

5. many of you who read my newsletter know....
    I acquired a gallery in London, ON.  (my home town) 
    Rivertown Gallery is fab. And located at 431 Boler Rd, call to verify their hours (P: 519-641-1273)
    So, as a tribute to London, I am gonna paint a few London inspired images.  
    Here are some photos I took recently:

HEY......YOU......Are you from The Forest City?
I need your ideas of where I can photograph that would be distinctly London, but not too touristy.
What would you like to see captures in a painting?
I would love the help on this!! that is it for another Wednesday!
Hope you enjoyed my top 5!
Remember, I am always open to your ideas on future #WW picks!!!!!!!