Friday, May 24, 2013


Happy Friday everyone!! an enjoyable story - that I simple HAD to share with you.
Sorry for all the reading on this...but the payoff in the end is some very nice imagery produced by what may be tomorrow's next great fine artists!

Sue Greeley is a client that has bought some of my work in the past. I remember how she was clearly happy with the piece she bought......and that is always a good feeling. Even now, after so many years doing this, I am always thrilled to be a part of someone's art collection!
I know it sounds kinda silly.......but as an artist, it is a great honour when someone really 'gets' what you are doing artistically and decides to include your art in their world! 
I suppose it is a kind of validation of your work.....and hey, who doesn't like a little validation every now and again?

Anyways, on with the story.....and here is where this story gets GOOD....

Currently, Sue lives and teaches art at North Broward Preparatory School, in Coconut Creek, Florida. When she arrived back in the Sunshine State, she showed my work to her colleague Shelley Weiss (Team Leader of Visual Arts). They both really enjoyed my paintings! let me interject this:
This is the campus at North Broward! WOWSA! really get a sense of the school and what it is MUST also watch this clip:

(Here is a LINK to their site if that didn't work!)

And here is a snippet from their website too.....if you don't wanna watch the video:

"North Broward Preparatory School delivers a distinctive, challenging and enriched college preparatory educational experience to domestic and international students on a fantastic South Florida campus. The broad Upper School curriculum that includes 20 Advanced Placement (AP) courses and the International Baccalaureate diploma program with 18 course options.

Academic offerings are immeasurably enriched by an award-winning Fine Arts program, complemented by a full range of Interscholastic Athletic teams for both boys and girls, and augmented by an Elite Boarding Program.

In addition to outstanding academics, NBPS offers students a wide range of opportunities in the arts, athletics, community service and extracurricular activities. As they participate, students uncover hidden talents and discover new passions. They gain the joy of giving to others, the satisfaction of working as a team and the challenge of learning in a new environment.

International students make American friends and visit American homes. They study with American students in many subjects. Elite Boarding Program students often leave campus for social activities. Twice a year, they take trips to places such as New York City and Europe."

The point of all that info? CONTEXT.
I was impressed by breadth and depth of learning that NBP seems to provide for students.

I was especially flattered when my work was used as 'inspiration' on one of the honours art class projects! As an arts educator, Shelley does her share of research - looking for artists to inspire her students. She looks to find artists that can inspire her students in terms of technique as well as idea generation and even their artist statements. (Note to self - revisit and proof-read my artist statement.) this part is gonna seem like me patting myself on the back.....but...onward we go.... 
**Lesson to any student who may reading prepared to be a self-promoter, despite the AWKWARD nature of it! 

Shelly went on to explain that she was "impressed by my body of work", and liked that I had a number of painting series'. She also mentioned that she thought that "each (series) is unique and slightly quirky" and she enjoyed how I explored my themes "using both textual references and puns both literary and visual".  In her class, she feels it is important to "show students how real artists can answer questions like 'Where do artists find their ideas?', 'How does Art communicate cultural values, beliefs and roles?' and 'How is Art related to all aspects of the human experience?'" 

So keeping those questions in mind, they started to analyze my paintings! In doing so, they broke down my 'formula' into a few parts that they then employed to create their own pieces.
First they were asked to research advertising in a culture. Then they had to select a cityscape.
Finally they were to add a quote (presumably pertaining to the imagery).
Part of this project was also to paint on top of aluminum foil (some of my work is also on metal)! as a refresher, here are some examples of my work:
(although regular readers - you SHOULD recognize this work - which - by the way - is all sold ;-) with this as inspiration, and the 'guidelines' in place, the project went ahead!
Evidently it worked out pretty well for the class and they completed their own works in record time. 
Admittedly, I am a little shy about being "an inspiration" to anyone - including art students.......but you can't argue with these results! Here are a few of the pieces:

I think this is great! I like the quote at the bottom.
I also enjoy the use of numerous fonts....and the giant lady is nicely rendered too! 

This one is still pleasant to look at while remaining topical!
That is something that is important to me in my own works.
I like the composition and the colour balance of this one.
I think the landscape is especially nicely handled!

This one is slightly different from the rest!
 I like that it is BOLD and expressive. I also like that font in the quote. Very nice!!

Dark....and fantastic!!
I like the use of the drips and the overlap from the lower imagery to upper.

Again....very nicely done....and I like that the quote is simple and direct.
The point of this painting hits you immediately! Great job.


Each one uses my visual 'formula' as their cue, but then each one has it's own personality.
I couldn't help but comment on each one...they are just super!!
I feel a real sense of pride that my work is out there in the world, 'inspiring' people!
As an artist, I think there is often that little devil on your shoulder whispering doubts into your ear, so it always so flattering to get positive feedback!!
I wanted to take this opportunity to tell the class at North Broward Prep. a couple of things that have served me well in my art career:
1.) Be true to yourself in your art - that honesty will define both you and your art!
2.) It is great (some say vital) for your work to tell a story. Let you work be ABOUT something!! I like to think of my work as a barometer of what is going on in society.
3.) Never fear that things you say won't be well received - fear that they won't be said at all!
4.) Love your work. Love it and be grateful that you get to do what you love.
and best piece of totally unsolicited advice?
5.) WORK HARD. In the past 8 year alone, I have completed over 500 paintings - each piece has helped me shape my artistic vision, and hone my talents. It is VITAL to your growth to work and keep working!

So there you go!
I really want to thank Sue and Shelley! I really love this story. It has honestly made my week!!!!
Ok...'s time to get back to the easel!
Have a great weekend y'all!!


  1. Wow!!! So Great!!! The students and teacher really did a great job!! It is really wonderful that the assignment was so inventive and inspired.

    You should feel very proud Rob!!

    1. I KNOW, RIGHT???? Thanks for the kind words, Cindy!!

  2. Way to go, Rob! What a terrific concept: using a piece of contemporary art to inspire prospective contemporary artists. Good on you for creating the original work, good on the teachers for their creative use of your artwork to teach kids.