Wednesday, November 26, 2014

TWO HOLIDAY OFFERINGS.......

Hey guys! 
Miss me yet??? I have been thinking of YOU! 
Usually I would be in full production and promotion for my shows, alas.....
BUT let me share the info about my last 2 shows of the season.....
I hope to be present at these two events......but it sorta depends on what is happening here in London....(see the last post for THAT sad-sack story)
If I don't see you at the these shows, please do take care of yourselves, and have a great holiday season! Cheers!! ~R


HAPPY HOLIDAYS!!

Happy winter!! I hope this finds you warm and happy!
As many of you know, I have temporarily moved back to London to care for my family. READ MORE ABOUT THAT HERE! Because of that, I am away from the studio and my computer...so please excuse the crappy JPG above! ;-)
BUT I still have 2 shows that I am committed to doing, and I wanted to share those 2 shows of the season with you.

FIRST:
Come out to the WONDERFUL Wychwood Barns for some INDOOR holiday shopping! This indoor art market features a wide range of hand-made things PERFECT for that hard-to-buy-for person on your holiday list (jewelry, pottery,  clothing and paintings)!

For my part --  you can expect a whole bevy of works UNDER $100! (WOW!)
As a special enticement for you to come out to this event, I will be offering $5-10 off on all the prints! Exciting!!!! So come out:

Thursday December 4th from 4pm-10pm 

AND……….then there's this:

SQUARE FOOT SHOW

A fabulous group exhibition at Julia Veenstra Gallery in Hamilton!

December 11th and 12th, 7-10pm
167 James Street North, Hamilton

This is your chance to se a HUGE array of 12" x 12" artwork by some of my FAVOURITE artists....and me! As a special  incentive, all the work will be SPECIAL PRICED at $225.00!!! (YUP - crazy deals to be had!)

...and YES, there will be BRAND new unseen work from me -- so go and check this event out!! See more on her site HERE.


Saturday, November 15, 2014

A SHORT NOTE.......

Hello faithful readers!!!!
I bet you are wondering where I have been, right???
I have never missed a Wonderful Wednesday post, and NEVER missed WHOLE WEEK of posts before......
Now.........it's not that I don't care for you......really....you are my favourite peeps!
But here is the truth......sometimes in life....things kinda fall apart.
I am not the kind to solicit pity and sympathy.........I like to consider this blog a place for humour and fun and not a place for sad stories.....so I will keep this short and sweet.
The sh*t has hit the fan!!!!
In a big way. I AM FINE......but my parents are quite ill. Yes BOTH. At the same time.
(It is a great test of my limited mental fortitude!m ;-)
So, I have essentially moved back to my family home in London for a while.
It may be only a couple months, or it may be into the new year.
I don't really know.
Just until things are settled.
Right now I need to be the best son I can be.
It is important for me to take care of the people that gave me this life -- they provided me with so much of the life that I am so grateful for!
And that is where we are at!
Sad? YOU BET! Part of life, yup!
DO NOT WORRY.
I have a lot still to paint, a lot of stories to share, a LOT of art and life to enjoy.
BUT......I need to take the next few months to take care of my family and grieve.

I hope that when I return to my blogging and painting and showing, that I will be a smarter, stronger, more determined-to-find-the-silver-lining kinda guy!
LORD KNOWS when things get bad, you really gotta FIND the things to be grateful for == so I  hope I learn some profound and powerful life lessons!
(or I at least hope to survive the stress and suck-y-ness without killing someone in the healthcare system ;-)!
So.......I will blog if at all possible. I will show with the commitments I have made,
I will paint when I am able...
and ohhhhhhh...I....I will survive......as long as I know how to live....
SORRY - was getting a little Gloria Gaynor-y
:-)
Take care of yourselves, take care of the people you love, and I will be back soon!
Better (and maybe drunker) than ever!
xxx

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

WW190: BACON BRITTLE, ELLEN NOVEMBER, AND A GREMLIN SWEATER

Welcome to Wonderful Wednesday!!
Here are the top 5 things that I want you to LOVE this week…….

1.) You know me….loyal readers….I am a fan of the Sweet+Salty….Admittedly….I started drooling at this…….
It's Bourbon Bacon Brittle!!!!!
OH
MAH
GAWD!
Thanks to bakingthegoods.com for posting this recipe for brittle!!!!
(for the full recipe check THIS link!!!!)
YUMMMMMMMMMERS!

2.) Some things are so UGLY that I cannot help but LOVE LOVE LOVE them. Like these sweaters from Mondo Tees:


OH MAN I WANT THAT GREMLINS SWEATER!!!!!!!!!!!!
So awful - and so fantastic!!!
Go to MONDO TEES for more nerdy stuff!

3.) Speaking of awesome fabric work……I give you the work of Ellen November from California. She has combined her skills in illustration, photography, graphic design and fiber art to creat some really lovely work!!! Like these:





Commission Ellen or inquire about the pricing and availability at ellen.november@gmail.com
http://www.ellennovember.com/


4.) Hey train lovers…..yes…I know you are out there! I am one of you!!! The future is coming……well….for the Brits at least……check out these driverless underground trains….the 250 new trains are being built and will be capable of fully automatic operation:

The design reflects the contemporary culture and architectural landmarks of the city but also stays true to the british transport’s style heritage.

See this video….it's CRAZY…...


(link to the video)
ALSO GO TO DESIGNBOOM to see the interior of the train!!!

5.) Finally…..I give you this. It makes me laugh every year…Thanks Ellen:


Friday, October 31, 2014

OTTAWA -- THE MEGA POST


Good Morning! I am back and ready to dish.
As you know - you loyal readers - I did my first out of town art 'trade show' - The Ottawa Art Expo.
Let me share my trip with you through photos……it's a long one…so buckle up…..

Leaving Toronto with a glint in my eye, a bow tie in my suitcase, all the hope in the world,
a car stacked with art, and a pumpkin latte!
Husband was my official photographer -
- as it is difficult to drive, drink coffee, take photos and pray for good luck
- all whilst driving!
Driving along the 401 can make a person thirsty.
Husband took MANY photos of the water towers…..
For lunch, we stopped for heese and bacon.
It was 'heese-y!
Oh….before I go any further…..I guess I need to mention the 'climate' in Ottawa.
Maybe I can let these headlines tell the story:







Sufficed to say, it was NOT a great time to arrive for fun and frivolity.
It was a very sombre mood…even a day later!
No…..it was not the lockdown bedlam that was reportedly happening, but it was definitely not the best weekend to be there…..selling art……and enjoying the ambiance of the city.
It felt like the reaction in Ottawa was that YES….it is a terrible tragedy….but we keep on….business as 'usual' as much as possible.
It seemed almost perfect that I had created this piece for the show:

Thankfully Ottawa is VERY resilient!
Me? Not as resilient. ;-)
We arrived around dinner time, and walked to the Market to check out tourist-y dinner places!

The War Memorial and the streets were still shut down….
But at least we caught a glimpse of Andy Coop!
Yes…..he is tiny……and almost translucent…….
Anyways….past the press lines and such to the Byward Market….
Nothing like drowning your sorrows in a bowl of tortellini and grapes in gorgonzola sauce!!
This is what I wanted our hotel to look like:


 This is what our hotel ACTUALLY looked like:
:-)
Inside our hotel room was a clean and large mini-apartment that was trapped in 1973…..I enjoyed it a lot…..

This was over the bed…..
because there is nothing like bald expressionless Albino creatures playing jazz to help you drift off to sleep!
Nope….not creepy at all.
Inspecting the oven….or preparing for the worst case post-show scenario……
You decide.
Yes….I ready every book on this shelf!!!
This was the Johnson control….for…..you know…..controlling my Johnson……
 The next morning, we decided to make the best of our tie despite the bad timing. We got up early to check out the Nature Museum:
AMAZING PLACE!
Pay no attention to the Elephant Man in the foreground.
;-)

Such a beautiful building!!!

Terrible acting!
I do not look sufficiently scared, I just look kinda constipated!

Oh dear….
Look close up on this one…..is that an ARCTIC SCORPION??
I found the perfect stone for my new ring…..
hint hint….
WOW.
COOL…everywhere!
Learning how to work in the submarine….so that if this art thing fails…
…..I can fall back on that…….RIGHT??!!??
Is that a volcano in your pocket……
……..or are you just happy to see me?
My favourite photo of husband and I.
We look so hot here.
LITERALLY HOT!!
Ok….so then off to help set up at the Expo……

BEFORE my booth came together…..
AFTER
Yes…..BOOM…..that was my aisle.
I was gonna put the BOOM in booming business!
More from the BOOM aisle….don't mind the dusty rose coloured ceiling.

About 70 something artists!
At these kind of fairs there were a number of people I knew.
Here are some of the booths near me!

Debra Tate-Sears had AMAZING work on slate tiles!
Eryn O'Neil makes LOVELY work…..
Day 2 bow tie was NEW! (It has mini robots on it!!!)

Lisa is amazing!!! http://lmlstudio.com
Nice to meet Alison Fowler http://www.alicatart.com/AliWebSite/Home.html
 Others around me that you should check out….

http://www.john-shea.artwebsites.com
http://www.johnvisserart.com
There were tonnes of other great things to see.
Oh…and here is a clip of some video of me at this show…..just in case you missed it on Facebook (please ignore my many chins, my wildly gesrturing arms, and my inability to look at the camera) :


All in all -- an excellent calibre show.
I was REALLY impressed with how well it was organized. Just a fantastic job to all who made it happen!!
Now….I know what you are gonna ask next……..Rob…..how did Ottawa receive your work?
Well…….the truth is there seemed to be a great reaction. 
I haven't seen people so surprised in a number of years. 
I got a lot of almost 'shock' at how 'different' and 'unique' my work was.
I have to agree, that in that show, my work was unmistakably 'different'.
NOT to say that there wasn't a lot of great work at the show…..there was just no other work that felt even vaguely like mine. That should be good news, right?
Unfortunately, I think the tone of the weekend was set by the events leading up to it.
There wasn't a lot flying off the walls, and I think my work would be better next time, when people are more "comfortable" with my pop-art-y style!
Will I enter next year? It is a distinct possibility. I will see how this week shakes out….
Usually there is a certain amount of post-show business that happens!
(FINGERS CROSSED!!!!)

So other things from my trip to Ottawa that I wanna share...
Yes….it's modern art….and by modern….I mean….terrible...

Amazing Architecture -- EVERYWHERE!!!!
I liked these jack-o-lantern heads in each window!
 I wanted to share more of the photos of downtown - but this post just got too big……and besides - I may need them as reference shots for new paintings!!!!

Super Zesty….yes…..that is also my stage name….

OH
MAH
GAWD
BEST cupcakes I have had in AGES!!!!
The Cupcake Lounge.

This was the drink list in our hotel - I had one of each!!!!

Nope…not Paris…..but still rather lovely!!!!
I did not put a lock here - I gots no secrets!!
This was strange to me.
Not sure why?  
Not as strange as this store…..
I now call my husband Mrs. Tiggy Winkle.
(No, he does not enjoy it !! ;-)

MASSES of people show their respect at the War Memorial.
All the news outlets were still there!
This is for Cindy.

I went into this store…..sadly they didn't sell what I THOUGHT they might sell!
While I slaved away all day, husband enjoyed these 2 lunches…..the first was at MLT DWN.
He could not stop tailing about how INCREDIBLE his grilled cheese was!!!



….and he also checked out the Poutine Festival that was happening that weekend!
I kid you not.
Yes….it made me feel bad for myself….but I was hoping I would bring home the bacon!
I didn't even bring home ACTUAL bacon…
So many poutines - so little time
GOOD FOR HIM!!!!!!!!!!!
:-(
We left early on the Monday, so I really didn't get to see that much of the city.
But what I did see, I did like a lot!
I look forward to going back!!! 
There was lots to see and do - and lots of cool places to eat - that I didn't get to!!! 
Look out Ottawa - I will be back…..hopefully next time with a little less horror to start off with! :-)
We drove home through Perth (to visit relatives):
PRETTY!!

Oh SO PRETTY!

I will eventually have to paint one of the photos husband took as we drove around Perth!
We also stopped at the Big Apple on the way home…..
We went there after we first met 14 years ago……
I know, I know, we look exactly the same!!!!!
This little diorama was neat!
I had to apply for a job as an apple picker to pay for my trip.
Pretty sky…..full of pie……my oh my….bye bye.
(I wanted to make that a Haiku…but couldn't make it happen!)
So that was my trip to The Ottawa Art Expo.
Thanks to the city of Ottawa for persevering in this tough time!
Thanks to John and David who helped us out with accommodation. It was much appreciated!
Thanks to the organizers of the show…….you should be proud of your hard work.
Thanks to all my artist neighbours and friends for making the days more fun.
And thanks to hubby for….well…..everything.
OH….and thanks to you readers for getting through this HUUUUUUGE post!
Have a great weekend y'all!