Friday, June 29, 2012


Happy almost Canada Day/Pride weekend.
I am celebrating by working hard on new work.
No, need to be sad for me....I LOVE painting!
So, as many of you know (if you are avid readers of this blog) I am prepping for a big show:

And due to crazy demand, I am back to working on new pieces in my Landscape Series. 
I hadn't done one in almost 2 years, and thought I wouldn't really enjoying going back.....BUT...
I am really enjoying the challenge of Landscape painting!
Here is my latest:

"Refreshing", 24" x 18", Acrylic on Board, 2012

So, this one is made up of 5 different photos I took last year - in The Beach here in T.O. 
I didn't like any of the photos...but when I put a bunch together - I got this composition. 
I am pleased with how soothing this whole painting feels to me!
I the quote is: "When the well's dry, we know the worth of water." (Benjamin Franklin)
I think Benny Frank's (ya...that is how he and I roll) quote is brilliant!
What do you think?

Wednesday, June 27, 2012


Here are my top 5 picks this week!
5 glorious things that are inspiration worthy!!! Enjoy:

1.) Ok...I am slightly OCD...but I love finding artists that are WAY WORSE than me....I totally love the new paper-art movement that seems to be going on right now......So that is why I like this:
MONEY as art!!! Rodrigo Torres sees paper currency differently than most people. He doesn't see it as a negotiable instrument, a way to buy necessities or luxuries. He sees it as something to cut into, an incredible art form in the making. Torres carefully cuts into money and then layers pieces together until they become stunning collages. This emerging artist also isn't afraid to mix currencies.
When recently asked the question "What is your process?," Torres answered this:
“I am using to starting with some object that i find, and I try to intervene in a way that has something to do with the fabrication process of that object. For example, in banknotes, I make some interventions with the stylus, very meticulously, because it has to do with the work of the engraver, what he has done there.”
Here are some more:

Thanks to MY MODERN MET for this one!!!

2.) I have a confession. I am a HGTV junkie. Normally, I think that the designers on HGTV are blandly beige (see Peter Fallico and Sarah Richardson's shows to see what I mean) BUT I watched an episode of Home by Novogratz today.....and I totally dig these guys!! The newest design team to hit HGTV’s line-up is husband-and-wife collaborators Bob and Cortney Novogratz. The hip, always-pushing-the-design-envelope NYC couple manages to juggle seven children while overseeing dozens of design projects. In each episode of Home by Novogratz, they take on a unique project to create a distinct space that showcases their self-taught, downtown-chic aesthetic!! Yes, they have a bit of a hipster vibe......but I like their more daring approach to decorating...and the fact that they ALWAYS seek out original art!!! Here is some of their handiwork:

3.) Do you like that bubble gum pop music? I am ashamed to say I kinda do! If it is a flavour you think you might like....try out Maroon 5's new album "Overexposed":

I especially enjoyed the white-guy-reggae-like sounding"One More Night" or the retro-ish "Wasted Years". It is mostly an album of getting-ready-to-go-out danceable pop songs! And while yes, it is true I do have a small crush on Mr Adam Levine, I did actually enjoy this album! But for me, the stand out for me on this albumen is a cover tune....that I just NEEDED to share:

4.) I cannot say enough about this you like your chocolate cake? I was at my oldest friend Christina's house last night for dinner (oldest in duration of relationship - not in age of friend). Now she is an extraordinary cook (although she claims to be ordinary) and she made this chocolate cake. It is called the DIED AND GONE TO HEAVEN CHOCOLATE LAYER CAKE. It was the most decadent creamy, delicious cake I have ever had. And if you know me, you KNOW I know my cake!!!
Here is the recipe. Please make it.....and then please invite me over!! (WARNING this cake is not easy as it looks to make.....and it is REALLY not calorie friendly!) Here is a picture in the cookbook:

Here is a crappy photo I took last night:
Here's the recipe:

Died and Gone to Heaven Chocolate Layer Cake(From "Eat, Shrink and Be Merry" by Greta and Janet Podleski)
Ingredients - Cake:3 cups granulated sugar
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
3 large eggs
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
1 cup strong brewed coffee. cooled
3/4 cup vegetable oil1 teaspoon vanilla4 ounces (113 grams) unsweetened chocolate squares, melted in a double boiler and cooler slightlyIngredients - Frosting:1 1/4 cups granulated sugar1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder1 cup (35%) whipping cream6 ounces (170 grams) semi sweet chocolate squares2 teaspoons vanilla1 package (8 ounces/250 grams) light cream cheese, softened1 cup butter, softenedDirections:Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Get three 9 inch round cake pans. Using one of them, trace and cut out three circles of parchment paper. Grease each pan with a little bit of butter, place the parchment paper circles in each one then lightly grease those too. Set aside.In a large bowl, combine sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Set aside.In a seperate large bowl, beat eggs on high speed for 3 minutes. They should be thick and lemon coloured. Add buttermilk, coffee, oil, vanilla and melted chocolate. Mix on low speed to blend well.Gradually add dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Blend on medium until smooth then divide the batter between the 3 pans. Bake 25-30 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool in the pans for ten minutes and then transfer the cakes to a cooling rack. Peel off paper.To make the frosting, in a medium saucepan over medium heat, whisk together the sugar, cocoa and whipping cream. Whisk constantly until mixture comes to a gentle boil then cook 1 minute more. Remove from heat and stir in chocolate squares until melted. Add vanilla, stir then let cool to room temperature.In a large bowl, set your electric mixture to high and beat the cream cheese with the butter until smooth. Add cooled chocolate mixture and beat on medium until well blended. Refrigerate frosting until spreading consistency is reached, about one hour.When cakes are completely cooled, set one cake layer on your presentation plate. Frost. Add a second cake layer. Frost. Add last layer and finish frosting. Add chocolate shavings, raspberries or strawberries to complete. If you use berries, make sure they are super dry after washing. Cover and refrigerate. Remove from fridge 30 minutes before serving.

5.) here is something that made me smile this know I am OBSESSED with Disneyana and Pixar related I give you this.....

Ok...that's all folks!
Hope you enjoyed todays post!!
Remember, I love your feedback (unless it is about my bad grammar or spelling)!!

Monday, June 25, 2012


Boring title. I know. Truthfully I am a little under the weather there will probably be very little cleverness in this post! But neither snow nor rain nor gloom of night nor illness of the throat stays this blogger from the swift completion of his try-weekly posting!
Oh....wait....maybe I am thinking of the post man......well whatever.....
Here is my latest completed painting that I will be exhibiting at my "Town and Country" Exhibition in a few weeks!!
First here is the painting mid way through the process:

Here is the final painting:
"Untie", 12" x 36", Acrylic on Canvas
Now let me break it down:
1.) The landscape is Riverdale Farm. Let me tell you a bit about it....Riverdale Farm is a 3-hectare (7.4-acre) municipally operated farm in the heart of Cabbagetown, Toronto. Between 1888 and 1974, this was the site of the Riverdale Zoo. In 1974 the zoo relocated to a much larger facility in Scarborough and eventually became the Toronto Zoo. In 1978, Riverdale Farm opened on the west bank of the Don River adjacent to Riverdale Park. The main barn was first constructed in 1858 in Markham and moved to the present site and rebuilt in 1977.
The farm is open to the public all year-round. It specializes in pioneer breeds of farm animals that are hard to find on commercial farms. It is an example of a typical Ontario farm from between 1880 and 1920. 'sAnimals at the farm include poultrywaterfowlgoatssheeppigscowsdonkeys, and horses.
Riverdale farm's funding (like many important Toronto attractions) came very close to being cut by the current mayor of Toronto this year! But thankfully was saved at the last moment.
So I figured it was a great thing to feature in a painting!

2.) The bottom of the painting has some gossipy animals that I featured in another painting I did see them on the tiny matchbook cover of Farmers Feed Cities (sold): 

3.) the quote at the top (on the trompe l'oeil ripped lined paper) says "Don't cut what you can untie." I thought that it seemed fitting given what the Riverdale Farm has been through this year! that is the newest!
What do you think?
Do you like my return to my Landscape Series?
Remember that a photo does not do it justice! Come out and see it in person:
July 17th - Aug  5th
Opening reception: Thurs July 19th, 7-9pm
Hangman Gallery, 756 Queen Street East 

Friday, June 22, 2012


Hello friends!!!
As you probably already know, I am busy getting my "Town & Country" exhibition for July ready.
I seem to be on a roll of repainting....which is probably the HARDEST way to create new work.
Starting from scratch would be easier than trying to re-invent my older works.....
But there's just one see.....we nev-vah,  ev-vah do nothing......nice.....and easy......
(yes....that is a Tina Turner - Proud Mary - reference)
So here is the work I have most recently reinvent!
"Fast Enough" 2010 there was a lot I liked about this painting.....I was happy with it (read about it here)
Enlarge it and you can see what I liked. I thought the keychain was super 'tight' and pretty well painted.
I LOVED the poster.....a good design.....I also thought the car itself was well painted...
I was pleased with the lady too.
What bothered me was the fact that everything was competing for attention.....
So when I went back to the drawing board....I decided to keep the general layout.......and the lady.....
So on went the gesso.....and then the repaint began....
Here is the painting as I began to repaint it:

As you can see it was A TOTAL MAKEOVER!
A "move that bus" kind of re-do!
Here is the final painting:

So.....let me brisk down the NEW elements...(*all of which are painted - of course)
1.) there is the "Jilly's" building at Broadview and Queen St. E...with 2 meeting streetcars.
2.) there is the square dance poster
3.) the lined paper with the quote "we do not look in out great cities for our best morality" (Jane Austin)
4.) the 'hoedown' ripped paper
5.) I painted out one of her arms - and repainted a new arm  - to make her more dynamic!
6.) the background has dance steps (do-sa-do)

So there you go......a TOTAL re-do.......what do you think?
Do you love the new direction?
I LOVE your feedback!!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012


I know I am late today - sorry folks! I got all the way through composing this post and then forgot to save it!!! So I had to start all over again from scratch. ACK!!! But here are 5 things that I LOVE this week!

1.) This is one clip that really has been keeping me inspired. Really so inspiring. I know it is long.......but it is so worth watching!!! SEE THE CLIP HERE

(thanks Josephine Cleo for bringing this to me!!)

2. Hey Londoners....This one is for you.......DO YOU LOVE CUPCAKES? You have to check out Razzle Dazzle:

I really enjoyed the Red Velvet, the Cherry Chocolate cupcake was also deelish!!!!
Look at these photos:

I love the box for presenting a cupcake (this one is for your favourite car guy)

3.) Conor Harrington. AMAZING!!! Graffiti art is normally not my thing at all ....but his works and murals are exceptional! Here are some of the pieces I enjoyed:

and here are some murals that Conor painted for "The Fame Festival" in Italy this year:

and here is little video too:

(thanks to designboom for this one)

4.) This is smart. I am not really a car guy....but I enjoyed this - the world's slowest Ferrari:

the 'fahrradi farfalla FFX' is the world's slowest ferrari, and its name says it all. in german 'fahrrad' means 'bicycle',
and that is exactly how it is powered. the car's second name 'farfalla' translates to 'butterfly' in italian and references its
built-in butterfly mechanism; an angle gear attached to the rear of the axle moves the wing doors while driving,
resulting in them beating in a similar manner to that of the flying insect. this component makes it possible for the
'fahrradi farfalla FFX' to lift slightly off the ground at all times, which results in better ventilation throughout the interior.

the design is developed from the idea of mimicking a sports car and is not a copy of an existing car model. the overall shell of the vehicle has been sculpted to form based on research of various real and fictive design ideas about what it could look like, incorporated with ideas from its creators han-lan. with its movement capabilities completely based on a 'muscle-powered' pedal driving technique, the 'fahrradi' is even a rival for pedestrians on public streets. despite this intentional sluggishness, it can be driven at any time on roads in austria. night-time use is ensured by a lighting system based on approximately 200 ultra-bright LEDs.
'fahrradi farfalla FFX' is part of the sports team MT RACING which includes  the world's slowest porsche 'ferdinanad GT3 RS',
and is currently on show at the lentos museum of art in linz, austria until july 4th, 2012 as part of the 'car culture. the car as sculpture' exhibition.

5.) Trend Hunter.  I really like this website. It is full of great "time eating" stuff. I encourage you to check it out......this week I got a kick out of these Disney/Marvel mashups:

That's all folks!!
Hope you enjoyed it - more than I enjoyed posting it TWICE!!