Last year, I was a part of Hamilton's James Street Supercrawl.
Truthfully....it was the straw that broke the Croxford's back.
It was hot...then rainy...it had LONNNNNG hours and the installation I was beside nearly made me go POSTAL.
READ ALL ABOUT IT HERE:
SO.....after a terrible 2016 of rain and sweat I decided to trim BACK my show schedule for 2017.
FAST FORWARD TO NOW.....I am doing ONE DAY at The Supercrawl as a guest of (thehamiltonstore.ca) The Hamilton Store!!!
So here are the details.....
SUPER SATURDAY IN THE COURTYARD
SEPTEMBER 9TH from 11am-11:30pm
The Hamilton Store
165 James Street North, Hamilton ON.
(North of Cannon / West side)
I will have all my Hamilton Merch and art - as well as a selection of my other works! I have THIS BRAND NEW piece at the show too:
As you can see I chose 6 signs that I LOVE from Hamilton:
1. The Bowlero Lanes Bowling Alley
2. The Tivoli Theatre
3. Hutch's on the Beach
4. The City Motor Hotel and Restaurant
5. Hendry's Shoes
6. The Millionaires Drive-Inn
A few of these are just HISTORY now....but there are a couple that you can still see around Hamilton!
Why call this one "Electric City"? Well that was a Hamilton nickname at one point....lemme share WIKIwhy:
The Dominion Power and Transmission Company in 1896 brought hydroelectric power to Hamilton from their plant at DeCew Falls. The title of a 1906 promotional booklet on the city proudly proclaimed that Hamilton was "The Electric City." New industries, such as the forerunners of the Steel Co. of Canada (Stelco) and Canadian Westinghouse, were attracted here by the cheaper, more efficient power.
By 1938, with a population nearing 155,000 inhabitants and home to 500 + manufacturing plants, (centre of Canadian Steel and Electronic activities), the city's promotional brochures were boasting that Hamilton was home to more than fifty flourishing branches of United States and British industries, with invested capital approximating $150,000,000. They were also advertising that "Hamilton was home to the cheapest hydro power in the entire world."
So that is why I chose to work with that theme....and also because I had already made a piece about the INDUSTRY of Hamilton...
So come out on Saturday the 9th....I'd love to see you there!
Some days it is hard to believe that I have been working as my own boss......as a full time artist for so long.
This year, more than ever, I have begun to feel like an 'elder statesman' in my local art scene. I have freely doled out hard-won advice to very talented artists that are just starting out.
WHICH IS WEIRD AND FRIGHTENING!
I guess it means that at this point in my career I have been doing this art thing long enough to know basically what I am doing!
That is NOT so say I have it all figured out. Truthfully, I have more questions/worries NOW than I had 14 years ago when I completed my first painting! But after going through my inventory spreadsheet today I realized I have hit a career landmark.
I wanted to share it with all of you!!!!!
I HAVE NOW PAINTED 1000 paintings!!
If you amortize that over my 14 year career, it works out to about 71 paintings a year! Now....let's be clear....some of these paintings have been only 6" x 6".....but still....it's remarkable! RIGHT??
I am actually kinda proud of myself.....and as I look back, I am astounded with how much better my skills are than say......990 paintings ago....
This is one of my first paintings....Husband calls this one "Frau Blücher" (from the Young Frankenstein movie):
Sadly.....he is right on!!! I REAALLY hate this painting....it should be embarrassing....but the truth is....it took Frau....and these hideous failures......
....to get the right feeling for these three from a decade later:
In another decade, will I look back at these paintings through an objective (aka critical) lens to see their flaws? Probably! Sounds like me! I am super mean to myself! ;-)
I have improved with my landscapes too....
Don't get me wrong......I still stand by this painting.....that is from 2005....about 940 paintings ago.....but I DO think my new piece is just a bit stronger.....
CLEARLY, as the years have gone by, my skills have improved, but what of my concept?
I am 100% sure that my inner-artist voice has gotten stronger.
I know what I want to say, and I know how I want to say it.
My work now is all about a clever....some might say 'smarty-pants' approach. And that is how I LOVE it. NO! It is NOT for everyone. But that is more an more okay with me.
I guess that being clever-ish is my "gimmick", it is what makes me unique, and also what makes it all worth doing!!
My art is the truest reflection of me as a person.
I am BEYOND GRATEFUL that I have been able to be a part of my clients lives, all 700+ of them!
THAT....is what art is about!
To touch other people,(no, not literally) to make them laugh, or to make them think, to enrich their lives - or at least enrich their walls!!!
And I know the next 1000 paintings will be better still because I:
FOLLOW MY INNER COMPASS!
And most of all I LOVE WHAT I DO!
Thanks for coming along on the journey!!!!!
ONTO THE NEXT 1000!!!!!!
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Rob is a professional artist, lover of vintage stuff, part time smart @ss and compulsive pancake eater!