I am thrilled to join the Blue Crow Gallery!
It is a brand new gallery located at 1610 Gerrard Street East, Toronto (right in the heart of Little India).
I am excited to be in company of so many of my favourite artists including; Ian Busher, Mark Gleberzon, Kelly Grace, Lisa Hickey, Julie Himel, Rachelle Kearns, Sandy Middleton, Alanna Peters, Ann Shier, Marjolyn Vanderhart, Jodi Wheeler....etc.......
Go by this holiday and check them out.
There is fine art, jewelry, ceramics, textiles, some cool robots and MORE.
You can also sign up to do some classes! There is a full calendar of events that run in this GREAT new space for both adults and kids!!
So, everyone has been talking about "the six" or "the 6IX".
For those of you living under a rock (or out of Toronto) they are talking about Toronto....And I mean more than just Drake and the Raptor fans....
SO....WHY "The 6"?
There seem to be 2 schools of thought.
ONE - it was due to the amalgamation process that created our Toronto. It was originally broken up into SIX different cities: Toronto, Scarborough, North York, York, East York, and Etobicoke.
TWO - it is attributed to Toronto because of the inclusion of the number in the city’s two area codes 416 and 647.
So I thought I would make a piece that both glorified and satirized this WHITE HOT new nickname.
First I adopted a 1950's "welcome to" postcard style.
MY FIRST TIME (although if you look at my logo - I am trying to do the same kinda thing)
So I thought about the imagery that I liked - icons of the city which included:
1.) The Skyline with the CN Tower
2.) The fantastic modernist architecture of New City Hall and Nathan
3.) The Goodman Worts Flatiron Building
4.) The clocktower of the Old City hall Building
5.) The St Lawrence Market
6.) The streetcar
7.) The Prince's Gates at the CNE (and another streetcar)
8.) The Flag of Toronto
9.) The unofficial mascot for Toronto - the raccoon
Then to add a bit of "Rob-oscity" to it....(aka smart-pants-ness) I put the tag line as "...kinda makes you miss "TDot" or "The Big Smoke".
It amused me a lot....here is how the painting profession went....
So that was how I got to this...the final image:
I think it is one of my very best pieces!
I am now figuring out how to merchandise it....
STAY TUNED FOR THAT INFO SOON!!!
So here's the thing.
Sometimes I just plain forget to take photos of a project as I paint it. This is the case for this next piece....
"Leslieville" came together pretty fast when painting it. (Which is great and a refreshing change from my last few pieces!)
Here you go:
So as you can see, I went for the same multi-area focus that I did on my last big painting (St Clair West). I like that by picking a bunch of locations in the same area - I can really get the flavour of the area!! I think this one is pretty good...In it, I focused on:
1. The DeGrassi Street railway overpass that is essentially the gateway to Leslieville.
2. The beautiful Ashbridge Estate.
3. The iconic Leslieville Mural at Jones Street - that is about to repainted! :-(
4. A stretch of Queen east that represents the many FAB shops!!
I have featured the streetcars (as they are iconic for Toronto - and especially Queen Street). I have also integrated the maple leaf as my homage to Alexander Muir, the composer of “The Maple Leaf Forever” who was a Leslieville big shot!
This is all in preparation for The Riverdale Art Walk:
Riverdale Art Walk is a two-day, public fine art exhibition showcasing established and emerging artists INDOORS and outdoors in Jimmie Simpson Park in Toronto’s flourishing Queen East arts district. The first outdoor art show of Toronto’s season, participating artists are selected through an anonymous jury process, allowing an opportunity to participate in the only outdoor art show that focuses ONLY on fine art. Last year, the festival hosted over 170 participating artists and the inclusion of local community groups, entertainment and food vendors.
Now in its 18th year in the Riverdale/Leslieville area of Toronto, the festival has grown to reach an audience of over 10,000 art enthusiasts and supporters. Through new partnership opportunities with the local BIA, the Riverdale Art Walk expects to continue to grow.
The Riverdale Art Walk is held primarily in Jimmie Simpson Park (Outdoors) plus, NEW this year, the indoor space of the Jimmie Simpson Community Centre!
YOU WILL FIND ME INDOORS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
(Tell a friend - actually, tell 10 friends!)
Saturday, June 4 11:00am – 6:00pm
Sunday, June 5 11:00am – 6:00pm
I will have A LOT of new work to show you at this exhibition!
Mark your calendars!
I hope you can come out and see me!
My newest original painting. IT IS BIG! (48" x 25")
It is a love letter to the city I CHOOSE to live in!
Thanks for being; lovely and loud, crowded and cramped and colourful and creative, worrisome and wonderful.
Toronto. I love you EVEN DESPITE your flaws. Perhaps FOR your flaws!
I hope you guys like this one too......
This one is like a graphic vintage postcard and was really different to work on for me.......see if you like it!
I tried to work in a bunch of Toronto iconography.
The Cinesphere, the beach, some flying rats (oh I mean seagulls) the skyline, a retro streetcar, the city hall, the Toronto sign in Nathan Phillips Square....loads of great stuff!
World. Class. City.
Here is how my painting process went on this one:
Made some mistakes in the painting of this one, but FINALLY I got it right. There was a LOT more push and pull in the colours and the balance for this painting than I normally deal with!
OOPS....but FINALLY here is the painting:
"Toronto", 25" x 48" Acrylic on Canvas
This one will be BOTH a print and postcards for the show season!
BUT YOU REALLY NEEEEEEEED this original!!
Well.....after 2 weeks of work, my latest painting is D-O-N-E!
It is also the first piece of art I have completed at my new studio!
It has been a great learning curve....and so fantastic to STAND to paint again! Trust me, my chiropractor is happy with me!!
I am gonna show you how it progressed:
So in this painting I pay hommage to the greatest signs in the city!
Let's break it down...
1.) Honest Ed's - soon this Toronto icon will be a memory! You KNOW I have painted this guy SEVERAL times, but it is still such a draw for me...you can see my SOLD Ed's paintings HERE...or my daytime - "Sign of the Times" Ed's painting (which is amazingly still available) OR Ed's print HERE.
2. The El Mocombo sign is also an institution. Although it is out for repairs, you will hopefully see it up again SOON! NEVER painted this one....and honestly - this was the whole reason I wanted to do this painting! YAY!
3.)Club Zanzibar has the most wonderful sign on Yonge Street! I love how it blinks and chases and glows....and NO....I have NEVER been into this glorious snake pit! BUT I have painted 3 times....all those paintings are sold....but if you wanted to buy one...I would love to revisit it again! ;-)
4.) The Inglis sign was like the first welcome to the city, along the Gardiner Expressway....now it is GONE....I used to be so happy to see it when I came back to Toronto after a weekend away in my hometown of London.....sigh....
5.) The Massey Hall sign looks BETTER than ever!!! I am thrilled to paint this guy!!!! I would love an excuse to do the whole building....stay tuned.....
6.) The Goof (AKA THE GARDEN GATE RESTAURANT) is a great eatery with a great sign! It is also an integral part of the Beach (or Beaches) history and hopefully it is around for MANY more years!
7.) Sam the Record Man. Steeped in controversy, this sign is currently being refurbished (No...for reals!!) and will soon find its way into Dundas Square! Yes...I currently have a day version of this sign available HERE....and as a print.....I also have a few SOLD versions of it (and a commission) you can check out too!
So there you go!
A big splashy new painting!
Come out to Walnut Studios to see it in person - or look for it at my outdoor shows this upcoming season!
AAAAAND...yes.....I will probably be making prints of this one too!
What do you think of the final piece?
Have a great week!
You guys....remember when my old blog used to have 500- 900 hits when I posted?? Let's see if I can get those numbers back......because I solely live for strangers validation! Nothing unhealthy about that!!!
Any who. Here are a few things that I love this week and that I want you to LOVE......
1. The Daughter -- I recently had a delightful brunch in the Junction........I want you to go! There is a nice limited menu of yummy things! But if you go remember you should do a reservation!
Here is a review from BLOG T.O. and here are some photos:
2. DEADWOOD - Oh god I love it soooooooo much!!! NOW there is a TV movie reprise in the works.....which is great news for all you F***ing Co*****king Hoopleheads! Those of you who have never watched it.....lemme tell you about it.....it's an American western TV series created, produced, and largely written by David Milch. It is over 10 years old.....but the 3 seasons have had me MESMERIZED! It's a great ensemble cast.....and the plot lines has historical truths as well as substantial fictional elements! Milch used actual diaries and newspapers from 1870s Deadwood residents as reference points for characters, events, and the look and feel of the show.
I LOVE it! I DO NOT normally enjoy a western....but this series is SOOO great to look at, and the acting is SUBLIME! I love ALL the actors in this! Ian McShane is spectacular in this one!
Be warned - there may be some swearing.....be very warned!
I am seeing it on Crave right now......but I am sure you can steal it from the internet. ;-)
3.‘apparences’, by filmmakers claire & max. It is amazing how they have isolated the façades of Paris' most iconic architectural sites and recreated them as two dimensional ‘props’. The film takes you on a strange walk through a city that is both familiar and disorienting at the same time! Here are some stills....and the movie.... WOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
4. If you love Downton Abbey....you'll love these 2 videos.....
(thanks Husband for sending me the link!)
5. Here is the final thing you need to love.....I put this on the Book of Faces......but if you did't see it...YOU MUST...and remember "Zinfandel and cabernet, red merlot and chardonnay..." WOO WOO WOO!!! (PS - you're welcome!)
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Rob is a professional artist, lover of vintage stuff, part time smart @ss and compulsive pancake eater!