Are you working hard or hardly working? This is something I used to hear as a child spoken by adults peering down at me as I worked at my desk built by my charismatic uncle. He was a Shriner, in the clowning unit, bringing smiles to the kids on parade day as he tossed candy to them curbside.
I was surrounded by many passionate and hard-working adults towering above, almost as if they were on stilts. As a child who liked to observe from the floor in the corner of a room, tools for drawing in hand, it was a great education in commitment to a passion. Those early days make impressions that last for a lifetime.
Last year was busy and the ball I put into motion almost nine years ago now, has picked up significant speed, thanks to hard work. The first few months of 2016 the momentum is pushing out steam, is that smoke I smell?
A look back at the first three months of 2016.
Eight paintings sold to new and existing collectors in Victoria, BC and Edmonton, AB including a few remaining pieces from the ‘I See Mountains’ series and the ‘Vancouver Island Trees’ series.
A feature about my in studio process and how I utilize technology to connect with art lovers, on the Narrative company Blog Stockholm, Sweden.
First new painting of 2016 takes shape, Let Your Backbone Rise. The definition of rising to the occasion is; to meet the challenge of an event or to try extra hard to do a task. In our lives we face many crossroads and moments where courage is required, and where confidence is gained. Those times in which all the little pieces that came before, all the hard work, provides the base for standing tall next to those who own history. This is the simplest way to express my intent. The inspirations behind the piece include the work of Group of Seven luminary, Lawren Harris, famous for his soft and idealized paintings of the Canadian landscapes. The red coat for me symbolizes a stately influence, a bit mountie-esque, the red coat also hints at my love of The Beatles and specifically those satin coats they wore on the Sgt. Pepper's album cover. The backbone or spine, refers to 'having backbone'. Hold fast to your dreams, they will never lead you astray.
New submissions to the People of Canada Portrait project are received including this photo taken at Rideau Hall of a proud Canadian accepting a service award from the Governor General of Canada.
The second annual magazine, Canadian Subconscious, produced for my collectors and given as a gift to new collectors becomes available for purchase on-line.
I also received a call from iconic NHL sports agent, Ritch Winter, with an interest in my sports related paintings.
Another painting sold to a Victoria collector, an introspective piece about dreaming, inspired by the work of iconic American painter, Georgia O’ Keefe, Kissed. A painting which I was interviewed about for the website, A Portrait of the Visual Arts in Canada back in 2012.
A curator interested in my #ICONICCANUCK body of work contacts me regarding the possibility of exhibition during Canada’s 150th birthday in 2017. I begin laying out potential works for exhibition.
Four new paintings on 12x12 canvas completed for The 99 body of work. The ‘Red Mittens’, featuring red mittens holding items of Canadiana including a Lucky beer bottle, a hockey stick, a Tim Horton’s coffee cup and a snowball.
I celebrate the Lunar New Year with a gift from artist mentor and friend Andrew Valko, a lovely silkscreen print representing the year of the Monkey, something to be treasured forever, a beautiful piece to add to my art collection.
I celebrate the 51st birthday of the Canadian Flag with this recap of my paintings inspired by the maple leaf flag.
Another People of Canada portrait Project photo received featuring a heartfelt moment between a grandfather and grandson.
By months end I begin fleshing out a new painting on canvas inspired by Canada and the Little Church in Drumheller.
How about my paintings on something sweet? I was approached by Vancouver chocolatier, Blossom Spice, about licensing a couple of my hockey inspired paintings for their brand, Art Meets Chocolate. My Don Cherry and my Luongo ended up on handcrafted Maple glazed pecan chocolate bars, YUM!
I complete the painting inspired by Drumheller, 'Leave Your Boots at The Door'. This one is for the dreamers, rule breakers, entrepreneurs, and wanderlusters! (below)
With another painting complete I head to Vancouver to get my art and culture on, the hum of the city and two big art events. MASHUP at the Vancouver Art Gallery and a visit to the newly opened Audain Art Museum in Whistler.
Returning Home I finish up another painting, this time a piece for the People of Canada Portrait Project. A portrait of a fellow Canadian artist and accomplished sculptor Don Frost and his wife Vicki.
Closing in on months end I am contacted by a collector in Montreal and the first painting I painted this year, has sold. 'Let Your Backbone Rise' is on its way to Montreal in the crate that provided safe passage for the goalie mask painting to Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame just a few years ago.
Somehow during the first three months of 2016 I also managed to write and edit copy, on contract, for a fellow Canadian artist’s website and for a couple Canadian publications, which will be released in the months to come!
So I guess it’s safe to say those hard working adults and mentors over the years had some kind of effect on my work ethic as a self-employed artist. I feel very fortunate, every single day, to be creating art as a full-time professional, career artist. Thank you for reading, collecting, sharing and following my career. More news on it's way, get in touch here.