Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Great Big Smalls Show in Ottawa

I have six paintings included in The Great BIG smalls Show that just opened at Cube Gallery and runs until December 31st. This is the sixth year that Cube Gallery has held this group show of small works in time for the holidays. If you're in Ottawa drop by to see over 300 works by nearly 60 artists.
1285 Wellington W. For questions you can email them at info@donmonet.ca or call them at (613)728-2111.

Here's a photo from the show (five of my paintings are in a vertical row 2nd from the left).

Saturday, December 4, 2010

10 Squared Show at Grid Art Gallery

The 10 Squared show opened just in time for the holidays at Grid Art Gallery in my hometown, Nelson, BC. This is exhibition of work done by thirty artists on 10" x 10" canvases. You can visit the gallery at 351-B Baker Street (Lane Entrance) Nelson B.C. For questions email them at gridartgallery@gmail.com or call them at 1-888-446-9390.

Shayne Brandel and Michael Graham, co-owners of Grid Art Gallery

Eli Profile, oil on canvas, 10" x 10"

Eli in Hoody, oil on canvas, 10" x 10"

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Toronto International Art Fair

The Toronto International Art Fair was a big success! Here's a photo of me with Don Monet, the Gallery director of Cube Gallery at their booth at this year's fair.

Eric Fischl Show in Toronto

Last Thursday me and a few friends attended the Eric Fischl exhibition at Barbara Edwards Contemporary (1069 Bathurst St, near Dupont, Toronto). The show runs until November 13, 2010. This is the first time Fischl has exhibited in Toronto since the 1980's. It was wonderful to see his large scale painterly figurative watercolours. At the gallery I also looked through a book that they had of his oil paintings and found this quote by Fischl in it on psychology in his paintings:
“I don’t think my work is so much about opening up wounds. I think it’s about understanding the nature of the wound. I’m not bleeding on the canvas. I, like most people, have suffered traumatic events. The character of a person’s life is determined by the way they deal with those events. I am a creative person and I deal with it creatively.”
- Eric Fischl

Eric Fischl, "Untitled 2010", watercolour on paper, 60"x 40"

Monday, October 25, 2010

Midnight Plein Air

I went out with a friend at midnight one rainy night recently and painted the wet city streets near my new apt here in Toronto. I've wanted to do this for awhile now, but this is the first time I've actually gone out at night to paint a cityscape. It was pretty fun!

"Wet City Streets at Night," oil on canvas, 4.5 inches x 6.5 inches

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Toronto International Art Fair

A collection of my paintings will be for sale this week at the
Toronto International Art Fair in
Cube Gallery's booth (#244). It runs from October 28th to November 1st and is held at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. The Toronto International Art Fair is a juried show associated with the famous Armory Show in New York City. It is the most important annual art exposition in Canada and one of the most successful art shows in North America. Hope to see you there!

October 28-November 1, 2010
North Building, Exhibit Hall A & B (Booth #244)
255 Front Street West

Friday October 29, 12-8pm
Saturday October 30, 12-8pm
Sunday October 31, 12-6pm
Monday November 1, 12-6pm

More info about the Fair:

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Collaboration Issue of Poets and Artists Magazine

My work is featured in the latest issue of Poets & Artists (Oranges & Sardines). It's an honor to be in the company of so many other great artists. For this issue Didi Menendez has paired artists with poets, who worked together, discussing a theme that interests both, then each created a work on that theme. I was delighted to be paired with Matthew Hittinger, a New York-based poet, and together we collaborated on the theme of personal armour. You can see the article online HERE. With Poets and Artists magazine, Didi has created a wonderful venue for artists to show their work. It was an honour to be included in this issue and a pleasure to work with Didi. Didi created an interesting theme for this issue and did a lovely job putting it all together.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Now Represented by Grid Art Gallery in Nelson, BC

Over the summer holidays, while I was in my hometown, Nelson, British-Columbia, I connected with a lovely new gallery there, the Grid Art Gallery. It's run by Michael Graham and Shayne Brandel and I am excited that I am now represented by them. The Grid Art Gallery is a new addition to Nelson's already thriving art scene. Nelson has often been ranked as the number one small arts town in the book "The 100 Best Small Arts Towns in America," and has long needed a good gallery to reflects its vibrant culture. You can see some of the work I have in their gallery at this link or by visiting the gallery at 351-B Baker Street (Lane Entrance) Nelson B.C. For questions you can email them at gridartgallery@gmail.com or call them at 1-888-446-9390.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

My Painting's in Carol Little's Poetry Book

Carol Little has recently published a book of poetry, "A Study in Love," in which she paired some of my paintings with her poems about love. I just got my copy of it in the mail when I returned from Italy and it looks great! It's 7.5" x 7.5," 67 pages long and 14 of my paintings are printed in full colour in it. You can order copies of it online HERE.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Painting Expedition in Utah with Jeremy Lipking

I just got back from the most amazing painting expedition with Jeremy Lipking, Logan Hagege and a bunch of other artist friends. It started in LA, where me, Jeremy, and Logan started our journey to the Maynard Dixon Country Show in Utah. We got there a few days early, and met up with Scott Burdick, Josh Elliott and Glenn Dean to paint the Utah countryside. It was beautiful down there, and painting alongside these guys was truly inspiring. The extreme heat almost killed me at first, and I had to periodically take air-conditioning breaks in Jeremy’s truck. Luckily as the days went by it actually cooled down a bit, and I got acclimatized a little, so ya, I had a really great time. Here are a few photos from the trip, as well as some of the studies that I did while we were there.

Jeremy Lipking, Scott Burdick and my painting box

Logan Hagege, Scott Burdick, me, Josh Elliott, and Glenn Dean painting in Capitol Reef in Utah

"Torrey Cliffs, Utah," oil on canvas, 5"x 7"

"Capitol Reef, Utah," oil on canvas, 6"x 8"

"Boulder Mountain, Utah," oil on canvas, 5"x 7"

"Summer Sky," oil on canvas, 10"x 12"

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

New Commissions

Well, I'm back in Canada now! It's crazy to be back, everything looks new to me! I haven't seen Canada in almost a year, so it's like seeing it for the first time or something. I'm just getting ready to deliver a couple commissions to people this week, so I thought I'd show them to you.

"Steph Pregnant," oil on canvas, 21.5" x 18"

"Lew and Hélène West," oil on linen, 20" x 16"

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Florence is so Inspiring!

Here are some more of the paintings that I've done here in Florence. I did some of them as studies, to get a sense of how I liked a certain concepts before committing to doing large-scale versions, and some of them are final paintings.

Me joking around beside my self-portrait, "Who am I? The Performance of Everyday Life," oil on canvas, 80" x 50,"
at the exhibition here in Florence, "In Bocca al Lupo." Unfortunately I didn't get a chance to properly photograph this painting before shipping it back to Canada, but this gives you an idea of how it turned out, and I'll post a proper photo of it when I return home soon!

"Left and Leaving," oil on panel, 6" x 8"
This painting was done during a very difficult time in my life. It embodies the Buddhist philosophy that the way to contentment is to release the five cravings, which are sex, wealth, fame, lots of sleep, and fancy food. This is an image of me walking away from the five cravings, which are personified here as female water nymphs. I learned here in Florence that female figures are often used to represent abstract ideas and concepts, so I liked the idea of using them here to represent the five cravings. My sister, Jessica Gordon, was kind enough to pose for me for the water nymphs. The title is from the Winnipeg-based band, the Weakerthans, album name, which I was listening to a lot when I did this painting. This is a very small, painterly study. I am pleased with the overall effect, so I intend to paint it full-scale at a later date.

"Self-reflection," oil on panel, 6" x 8"
This is an idea that I had for a twist on the Narcissus theme awhile ago. It's me looking into the water and seeing my reflection. It's a small study to get an idea of how I liked it before moving onto a larger one. Although I do kind of like it, I actually think I found it to be a little "sweet" for my tastes, and probably won't be doing a larger version of it. Still, it was fun to do!

"Piedistallo," oil on panel, 14" x 6.5"
This is a painting that I did at the Bardini Museum here in Florence. It was so fun to go there and have the opportunity to paint pieces of their collection from life, so my friend Kevin Columbus and I went there regularly to paint together!

"Transformation," oil on panel, 7" x 4.5"
This is a self portrait of me holding a poppy. Poppies in art often represent sleeping or dying, so it expresses the way I’ve felt lately, and the title hints towards a change taking place within me. I may paint this painting full size in the future.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Masks and Armour

Hey guys! Thought I would post some of the paintings I've done on the themes of masks and armour since I've been here in Florence. I have become very interested in the influence that culture has on our own life experiences, and living in Italy this past year has given me a deeper understanding of its impact. In both cultures, people develop mechanisms for masking their anxiety, but they do it in very different ways. The cultural observations that I’ve made here have led me towards exploring the themes of personal armour and masks in my work. These themes personify the layers of protection that we build up around ourselves, in the hopes of protecting ourselves. However our personal armour and masks in fact only prevent us from truly experiencing and enjoying our lives. “Sometimes the only way to open a path to soul is the negative way-by noting ways in which we are unconsciously protecting ourselves from the sting of life’s intentions.” (from: Thomas Moore. SoulMates. New York: HarperCollins, 1994.)

I did several studies of myself in armour, after studying the Armour they had at the Bardini Museum, and my favorite is "Self-portrait in Armour IV." It's not the tightest one rendering-wise, but it's my favorite compositionally, so I plan to paint it up larger in the future.

Self-portrait in Armour I," oil on panel, 12" x 8"

Self-portrait in Armour II," oil on panel, 6" x 4"

"Self-portrait in Armour III," oil on canvas, 9" x 7"

"Self-portrait in Armour IV," oil on canvas, 6" x 4"

"Study for Who Am I? The Performance of Everyday Life"
6” x 4,” oil on canvas

This is a self-portrait of myself in holding two masks, a happy one and a sad one. It expresses the changeability in the way that we present ourselves in the world, and the influence that our surroundings have on the self that we show. I actually painted this one up really big as well (80" x 50," but sadly didn't get a good photo of it before shipping it back to Toronto, so I'll post one when I return home this summer!

"The Grownup," oil on panel, 12" x 8"

This subject interested me because I liked the humour in it. My friends here in Florence had come home one night with this strange, pseudo-batman mask, and when I saw it hanging on their wall, I had my friend put it on. He thought he was taking a hero pose, but I like that it reads as scared and protective. I liked the contrast between his defensive stance and the fierce mask, as well as the childlike quality of the mask. This painting embodies the idea that we bring childhood pain and defense mechanisms into our adult experiences, without even knowing that we're doing it.

I'll post more paintings soon!!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Some new paintings

Here are a couple new paintings that I recently finished.

My friend and I have been going to the Bardini Museum and painting in there. It's sooper fun to be allowed to actually paint in a museum! They're all really friendly there, and they pretty much all know us now too, so I don't even feel that weird doing it (anymore;)

"Armour at the Bardini," oil on panel, 12"x 8"

Me working on my next painting in the Bardini

Also, here's a commission I recently finished for a friend.
"Giovanni," oil on panel, 8"x 8"

Friday, February 19, 2010

New Years in Madrid

Okay, so I know New Years was awhile ago now, but I thought you guys might like to see some of the amazing art that I got to see during my holidays in Madrid!

Velasquez at the Prado

Fortuny at the Prado

Crazy beautiful Sorolla at the Prado

Rubens at the Prado

Sorolla paintings at the Sorolla House

There were a bunch of amazing little studies there...

Me and my Mom on New Years in Plaza Sol

(I'll post some of my new paintings real soon;)

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Lovin' Life

I am thoroughly LOVING my time in Italy! A little while ago now I actually moved into a new and improved apt, so I thought you my like to see some pics of my new digs!

Chandelier in the bedroom! (and crazy nice wood beam ceiling!)

Big ol' mirror - good for painting self-portaits!

"the studio" (in my bedroom;)

Sweetest kitchen ever

View from my bedroom window - I can see the Duomo from my window!!!

Oh, and on a side note, Italian hip hop is da bomb!!!