29 September 2009

1958 Dodge Regal (front and back) en Plastique


each: 20" x 26", watercolour on Yupo, 2009, both in a private collection

These paintings are also in my current show at The Pilot Tavern in Yorkville (see this post for venue details), which will be up through Christmas.

When I shoot reference I sometimes don't know in the moment just what angle I'll use for the final painting, so I tend to over shoot and end up with more photos than I need...but I keep all my photos because maybe these alternate angles will be used one day as part of the series...or in a completely different way.

And so it is with these car paintings; walking or riding my bike around Toronto, I often stumble upon a great old car and, if I'm lucky and have my camera with me, I'll get some quick shots. Obviously, I'll shoot the front and make sure I've got the "face" well documented, but sometimes these beauties have really nice back ends and some even have fancy fins --which I love, but are very rare around here. I had a feeling that I'd eventually get around to painting some of these cars from the back and this Dodge is the first of the back bunch --I even like it better than the front view: look at those fins!

25 September 2009

1973 Corvette Stingray en Plastique

20" x 26", watercolour on Yupo plastic, 2009

This painting is in my current show at The Pilot Tavern in Yorkville (see previous post for details), ongoing through Christmas.

This isn't a classic example of a 1973 Corvette Stingray (or one from any year, for that matter), but it is a great example of 1970s-style shiny hot rod customization. This car was designed for and was featured in the 1978 film, "Corvette Summer" starring Mark Hamill as a high school student who transforms a piece of junk from the scrapyard into the gleaming beast pictured above.

I remember seeing this movie in the theatre for my cousin's birthday. He was really into cars back then --and still is: Bob's had his own auto body shop for most of his adult life. Thing is, I was only around six years old at the time and I was more interested in seeing Luke Skywalker again than I was in the hot rods featured in the movie. But this car did strike a chord with me and I've always admired its design. This is my tribute.


20 September 2009

Pilot Show


This Wednesday (23 September) at 8PM is the opening night of my show at The Pilot Tavern in Yorkville. Venue details are at the bottom of this post.
A dozen of my watercolour paintings of cars on Yupo plastic were hung there today and they look great. The show will stay up until around New Year's, so if you can't make the opening night (which promises to be a blast), feel free to stop by and enjoy The Pilot's ambiance, have a few drinks, and look at some fine art over the next few months.

This happens to be my 100th post and I'm celebrating with a bright new look for the blog. The new banner image is from one of a trio of recent watercolour paintings on Yupo of a friend striking martial arts poses while weilding deadly kitchen utensils (the deadliness of which, I guess, is purely contextual).
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Autos en Plastiques Opening Night
Wednesday 23 September 2009 at 8:00PM
The Pilot Tavern
22 Cumberland Street (Yorkville)
Toronto, ON
416.923.5716

16 September 2009

Carmen

22" x 30" watercolour, 2005

17" x 14", ink on paper, 2005

This mock opera poster is for Carmen by Georges Bizet, my favourite opera. I'd like to eventually do a few more for this show --especially featuring Escamillo, the toreador. Of course, those period Spanish soldier uniforms are pretty cool, too, so there'd have to be at least one or two featuring Don José.

I actually painted the bottom poster first, to test the composition. The white parts of the dress were actually a gold material (but not lamé) and the red parts (here in watercolour) are plastic "gem stones". It's a beautiful dress, really.

The watercolour version foreshadows Carmen's fate at the hands of Don Hoser. The dress is solid red all the way down in reality, but I wanted to play with it a bit and lighten the lower part because the black area was so strong.

For both of these posters I created the text digitally and then projected the words onto my painting surface and then finished them by hand. "Georges Bizet" and the outline of "Carmen" in the watercolour painting are done in ink...come to think of it, I think the black of the dress was also done in ink, but I don't have the painting here to check. The gold is done with gold craft paint, so it has that metallic look. The white part of the paper (in both) is simply the paper left white.

I used the same photo reference from the ink painting to paint my Carmen Mural in Chesterfields.

10 September 2009

Faust

17" x 11", digital, 2006

For a few years earlier in this decade I worked in the opera department at Malabar, a costume house in Toronto. I had access to literally thousands of items ranging from the times of ancient Egypt (Aida) to the late 19th Century (La Boheme). Naturally, I shot some photo reference so I could use them to eventually make some mock opera posters and other paintings/illustrations. (although, I'm not entirely sure that this costume was actually from Faust)

I designed the layout, added the text, and created the "flames" in CorelDraw and then processed the photo (to make Mike the model look extra devillish) in Photoshop.
When building something digitally, the "size" kind of becomes irrelevant, because the final print size of the image is only limited to the resolution of the file.

01 September 2009

Nicimis

11" x 8.5", crayon and digital, 2005

For this Fringe poster I drew the brother and sister figures in black crayon on regular letter paper, scanned it, then coloured it digitally. The rest was also built inside the computer.

Fringe shows often have such a limited, and sometimes strangely-scheduled run, that including all the performance dates and times into a coherent and attractive design is very challenging. If the final poster size is small (like this one), wordy information tends to dominate.