EVERY year, I do a round up of all the things I am most proud of in my art career! TRUTHFULLY, I do it for myself...often the New Year cultivates a bunch of insecurity that has me questioning my life choices. This list of accomplishments HELPS me keep on!
My biggest change this year, came from painting a brand new series of work...as I keep mentioning, I have been taking photos of old neon signs for as long as I can remember. Until late 2018, I didn't really know WHY...(other than they are SUPER AWESOME to look at)! BUT THEN a concept came to me. Mix signage with movie quotes!
BLAM-O the magic happened!
Here are the 2019 artworks from my "SIGN LANGUAGE" series:
I worked hard in 2019 to enter new things, and to get press on the whole rebuilding/rebranding of my art empire! I was super fortunate to get the attention of The Jealous Curator, and The Canadian Art Junkie. These articles BOTH really helped my new series and my personal story gain some notoriety! I am so grateful for attention these articles brought me!!!
So...my sign series became my new obsession, and as such, I needed to halt production on a few other series' (cuz' momma's gotta have time to eat!) I made the decision to stop painting my "Sign of the Times" Series of Toronto/Hamilton neighbourhood themed artworks. I have renamed it the "Poster Series" and I am not moving forward with this series for the immediate future. I NEVER say NEVER....so I may be back to revisit this work....but not in the immediate future!
BUT don't be SAD, I needed to change. If you stay the same, you get stale and obsolete - AND THAT IS NOT FOR ME, NO SIR!
I also discontinued my 6” Mixed message Series...but I CREATED a paint embellished print of 4 of my most popular 6” pieces!
I AM continuing with my 8" "Mixed Message" paintings though! Here are a few with the brighter colours:
In total, I finished around 120 new paintings and commissions this year!
TAKE THAT IN!
ONE HUNDRED AND TWENTY!!!
BOOOOO - FREAKING - YAAAA!
I also painted my first ROUND canvas:
I was featured in Blank Spaces Magazine, and even designed and painted a COVER for Quill and Quire Magazine:
The biggest news of 2019 was that in February I was FORCED OUT of my studio space on Wallace Ave in West Toronto.
We looked at a bunch of HORRIBLE places, some FAR locations, and a few nice but CRAY CRAY expensive places....in the end we decided on Studio 102 - 100 Sunrise Ave, Toronto - and as well as gaining a tonne of space and natural light....I also gained an in house GALLERY space! I had my first solo show in MY OWN DAMN GALLERY in May....
Studio 102 was one of the VERY BEST things that happened with my year. Thanks to Karen Taylor and Jessica Lin, my new home away from home is a DELIGHT:
...and speaking of shows....and delights.....YOU ARE STILL ABLE to see my latest (mini)show:
"THE REELNESS: QUEERS IN FILM"
NOW - January 6th, 2020, The Window Gallery YYZ, 558 Church Street, Toronto:
This year was full of commissions, but I also did a few BIG commissions...I finished my BIGGEST commission to date…..for The Daniels Corporation - it is hanging in the lobby of “The Logan” in Leslieville:
....I painted a mural at Ethel 20th Century Living...
...I also worked with Pomerleau Construction on a community engagement mural for "The Big Draw" in High Park....it was a new challenge....but a lot of FUN:
In 2019 I picked up new galleries in Ontario; Paula White Diamond Gallery, Mad and Noisy Gallery, and Butter Gallery. These fabulous places are great additions to my other gallery representation at Noodle Gallery in Caledon, LaBodega Gallery in SanDiego, Curly Tale Fine Art in Chicago, and my home base gallery...Blue Crow Gallery in Toronto! These galleries, in combination with the Rosedale Art Fair, The ETSY shows and the Riverdale Art Walk, made for an extra busy show season!
I also picked up two new retailers for my merch! SOHO Art and Framing gallery on Roncesvalles in Toronto and Framing and Art Centre in London! I still have my regular retailers; The Hamilton Store, Sonic Boom, The Papery, and The Spacing Store!
I was THRILLED to donate art to ARTAttack at Buddies in Bad Times, where my art raised $1200 for them to continuing to serve the LGBTQ community with fine theatre productions next year:
In my merch shop....I reached the end of the edition run of a few more of my limited edition prints of Toronto...and I am discontinuing a few of the less popular prints in my “Poster Series” - formerly “Sign of the Times” Series. I also released 3 new limited edition paint embellished prints for Sign Language Series and 3 lower end posters too!
I ended the year with a big decision.
I have decided that after 6 years at the Christmas One of a Kind Show, that I need a break for 2020:
It was a great run with OOAK, but I need a change. That show is all consuming for MONTHS, and in the end, I am tired and worn out for a month...so I am looking forward to changing my priorities and trying new things!
What shows will fill it's HUUUUUUGE shoes?? NO IDEA! But the opportunities that come up will be exciting and different...and I look forward to them!
TRUTHFULLY, I look forward to ALL the things that are gonna happen this year!! I am hoping for some big AMAZING and happy changes.....
I hope that you follow my antics and art in 2020, and that you too have a great new decade starting!!!
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Rob is a professional artist, lover of vintage stuff, part time smart @ss and compulsive pancake eater!