Sunday, March 22, 2015

Winter's Went: Artings About

Looking at this blog, it seems that once or twice a calendar year I follow a pattern by which I don't post anything for sometime and then do a bulk purge showing the work I've done over some months. I then spend some time writing a disclaimer about how I don't post enough or yammer off on some bizarre allusion or hyperbolic rant. Well, guess what Jiminy Kricket? This post won't be much different. So here goes;
Frig, I haven't written anything on this stupid wiener blog for like "evs." (that's how cool people say forever, "BTWs") (that's how cool people write by the way) (this is a poor use of parentheses) So I'm like, suuuuper sorry and stuff. Okay?!
Many an exciting thing has been about in my artings, some of which I can officially report on, others I cannot. In good time I will and then rainbows will spontaneously burst from all of your orifices. Enticing? I thought so. Here are some of the things I've been up to at the studio, I hope I've remembered the bulk of it.

 Here are some shots of press sheets I did for a run of business cards earlier this year
If you need an Entertainment & Intellectual Property Law Solicitor, look no further than Kate Henderson.  

Art making often requires the rocking of tunes. Diamond Head does a great job of inspiring and awakening the inner creative spirit. Namaste.

Mr Justin Labine is the heart and soul of Free North Press. Here he is making a whole lot of people proud.

First layer of a poster I designed for a workshop Justin and I taught at Articulations Art Store in the Junction. They have so many great things happening at this place all the time, check it out a-ight?!

Here it is, two layers, complete.

This is a commissioned graphite drawing I did for my old friend Wolfe Wright. I had fun drawing for the sake of drawing again. Thanks Wolfe.  

This is why I bother getting up every day.

Business Cards for Pipemaking Wunderkind Palmer Jarvis. Need a beautifully crafted, hand made pipe? email:

Here are some party invitations I did for my employers at 128 Vine Ave. The illustration is a carved hockey puck. Text is lead type, yummy!

More inspirational music. 

Someone`s getting started.

Here`s a sketch for a new woodcut. Hopefully, it will be completed in the next couple of months
More sketching. This one does not pertain to any series or larger idea yet. Things are bouncing around in the old bouncy castle I call my imagination right now. Know what I mean? Kids crying, wanting to get out, all dirty n stuff too.

A nice studio needs nice infrastructure. So I made a nice etching box and zip tied it to this cart. Take that Red Green!

Details of some new relief work

Here`s a sneak peak at my newest work. The final piece wont be printed with green. Just a day for a daydream, just a day for a day dreaming boy.

Recently Justin and I acquired a small but sturdy etching press. Here is a shot of me fixing it up at my work place, Discreet and Discrete.

And here it is all installed with a new press bed and stop bars to boot

This is the current layout of Free North Press

Recently, Artistic Juggernaut Alex McLeod approached me about printing some business cards for him. Here`s what resulted. If you haven't yet seen his artwork, I implore you to do so. It is fantastic. 

What`s that? Yeah, some of them have rad yellow backs. You`re welcome.

I did some experimenting on some of my own cards. Here I sandwiched in a piece of brown stock. 

These are the backs

These are the fronts

Get ready for lots of updates soon. Some really big exhibition news is pending and I`ll be divulging information about it in the coming weeks. Thanks for dropping by!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

The Dust Settles, Summer fades, Bucket Lists Shorten

Reading this post you may or may not know, but I recently wrapped up my first solo show at Black Cat Gallery in Toronto, ON. Lord knows I've been plugging it as much as I could through "social media."  If you're wondering; yes I feel like a dirt bag, clogging up your news feed with my constant "HEY EVERYONE, LOOK IT'S ME. I'M OVER HERE DOING STUFF" but I guess I have little choice as a creative trying to get my work seen and appreciated.  That being said, as I started to get the work finished and put up, I realized throughout  this process how incredibly blessed I am to have the friends I have. So much support and so much help. I was often overwhelmed and dumbfounded. From everyone who shared and liked my posts, to everyone who came out to see the work, to those who purchased it, class acts all the way. Of course, considering this theme of gratitude and appreciation, I have to name some names. If you find this kind of thing boring, skip the next paragraph. I personally, wouldn't be able to live with myself if I didn't.

Clare Hope Brown; the rock through this whole thing. Every time I got discouraged and threatened to stop making art all together, you calmed me down and set me straight. On top of that, doing the lion's share of the work taking care of our sweet baby Maelle; am I lucky or what?! I said it once and I'll say it again, you make me feel like I won the lottery, and the all time jackpot at that. Woo Tek Yang, the maestro of P.U.P Contemporary and a dear friend. You organized the work, cataloged the art, framed the entire show, and did a heck of a job selling and promoting the exhibit. You are fantastic! Justin Labine, also a dear friend as well as my studio/house mate and idea junkie. You did a superb job setting and printing type for the poems in the show, awesomeness becomes you.  Michael Uytenbogaart, the best clean hands in town, throwing paper onto the press for me after working all day, you are nothing short of a saint in my eyes. Sean Kosonic, my work buddy at Discreet and Discrete, you helped install the work like a champ, high fives. Esenguel Oenal, with such little notice you came to the gallery and sat while I ran errands and then tended the bar at the opening, you're friggin great. Dirk Teunissen, you came into the studio and turned an hour of  hanging out at the studio into the sweetest promo video for the exhibition, you're a magician! The Morals, who lent their song for said video, your band rules! All of the Näf-Mathews clan; whether it's Ofir who ran me downtown to get frames, Ima asking me why my art has no colour, Joni and Daizy getting me pumped up or Ayla blaming her fart on me, mishpacha keeps me going! The Whittaker-Brown clan too, always present and always supportive, so generous and thoughtful, I love you guys. These words thrown into the ether can only do so much, but I can`t say it enough: THANK YOU! A dream of mine was fulfilled and enjoyed.

Frig, enough of all this sentiment, let`s take a stroll through the experience via some words and pictures, okay? Sorry but I don't have any pictures of the opening itself. I was a touch busy and nervous that night to focus on anything else other than not freaking out. I hope this will suffice.

This is the were-kitty I drew in chalk on the board in the space. As the gallery only got busy after 3pm most days, I had a couple of hours upon arrival to read and add to this thing every day.


more perspectives

and more

There was a beautiful stained glass window that caught the sunlight around 4-5pm and shot a nice rainbow beam into the space all Care Bears style

more light phenomena

This piece is called Bananarama: A Reprise, It's the synthesis of all the ideas in the show that I've been writing about about in this blog over the last couple of years. Here all of the others works are represented either through characters or symbols. I will be posting a high quality image of the piece in the coming days on my official website  so look for that if you feel so inclined. If not, throw on some Night Court, eat some cheetos, and laugh at the witty banter. This photo shows the rainbow projected onto the artwork proper. I felt it an ethereal experience and documented it eagerly. 

With an incredible stroke of luck, most of Dundas was obscured by construction after the second we opened. Thank the Heavens! I'm not bitter or being sarcastic at all right now by the way. I'm just having a mild episode of sorts, most of my face feels normal. 

Sidewalk view

This is what the store front looked like. 

Here's a panorama I shot in the space. It goes around in a circle. Circles are cool. They don't have corners. I hope you enjoyed visiting with me in this virtual setting, do have a lovely day.

Hugs and kisses,


Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Spring Sprung Special: Spiders, Space and Soooo Much More

It seems every couple of months I write a new blog post here and begin writing about all the new things that have been happening in my life and then introduce some new art work I've recently completed. Throw in some ridiculous hyperbolic rambles and boom, a new post. Well, this post won't be too much different.

Now our daughter Maelle is 6 months old, cute as all heck, and keeping both Clare and I extremely busy (Mostly Clare though)
It's a wonder we get anything done, what with all the pooping and crying and laughing and cooing and crying and pooping and cellphones and the internet and frozen food entrees, we manage and get by, and I make some art in the meantime.

Getting the work out there has been the focus of a lot of time as of late. Recently, I've been scouring the city with my great friend Tek Yang, searching for a venue to show the etchings that keep popping up in this blog. I'm excited to announce that we have found a space and come this September we'll be showing the work at the Black Cat Gallery on Dundas West. The show will be from the 3-10th of September and will have a more formal invite/announcement in the coming months. Another showing of the work might be in the works for earlier in the summer. As well, I'll be participating in this year's print sale at the Idea Exchange in Cambridge this May, selling my complete inventory. Fun, no?

Getting back to the etchings, I've titled the series Unmöglicheskunstarbeitvorlautradierungen: Reveries of the Absurd. Translated to English from German it means Impossible art work silly etchings. Of course I slammed all these words together as Germans do because it's funny and they do it all the time. Refer to this online article and tell me I'm wrong.
The show will feature 10 etchings, 8 of which are now completed and 2 that are drawn and now being put to the plate. The artwork will be accompanied by short poems and will be tied together through a loose narrative. I've designed the last works to sum up and incorporate some of the previous characters and ideas together.
This etching is called Destiny and Charles. As you see it features a goat who has the ability to shoot a laser from it's eye, and a pregnant lady archer. They find themselves in a futuristic landscape, in a planet system that is plentiful to say the least. You may also notice a tiny figure standing in the background under the cliff, it's meant to be the same figure from "Die Katzen Meister," one of my earlier etchings. After having showed it to a friend at the studio, they asked "So I guess the goat is named Destiny and the chick with the bow and arrow is Charles?" At first I thought, you got it backwards, dip-sh#t; but reneged my emotions and thought, does it matter? That's why I call the narrative "loose." I provide some words and music (pictures and prose), it tells a part of a story and hopefully there is a good enough mix of mystery and intrigue left for the viewer to make up the rest. Essentially, they are dream enticers. I hope it works.
Here is the etching titled "Spider Hotel." I re-worked and re-designed the composition twice before this third manifestation.  I even had the last version on plate with line work etched and 3 layers of aquatint complete when I decided to abandon the piece. I simply didn't like it, what can I say. Luckily, I can just go to a scrap yard and get my money back for the copper. In the image you see Amelia Earhart (who was depicted in the second part of this series) opening the curtains in her room, a massive spider with it's legs spewing out of the room's door and window, a busted up sedan and a gentleman entering his room. You may notice that all around the car are foot prints, crushed cans and a set of skid marks. I would love to inform you of what it all means to me, but that would contradict what I previously wrote here. Come to the exhibitions and we'll talk about it, K?
After listening to a CBC radio 1 interview with New Yorker Cartoon Editor and contributor, Bob Mankoff, I was inspired to pick up my pen and draw some funnies. The etching series I just finished blabbing about, I initially envisioned to be some unholy mix of Gary Larson and Rembrandt; so the impetus behind a lot of my work is humor and in this format it is galvanized. About seven drawings spilled out of me in a flurry of activity over last weekend. I know somewhere deep down in the deep dark depths of my soul, I can rock out a boat load of these and will attempt to do so in the next couple of months. I might even set up a sub-blog-website just for these. Here I've shared the one I liked the most from this first clump of work. If you don't think it's funny, let me know and I will write your name down in a book titled "Stupid Dum Dums With No Brains And No Brains For Humour." So there.
Here is a drawing for a multi-colour woodblock I just started working on. I can't tell you much about it conceptually as I just started drawing in my sketchbook, blacked out and woke up 5 minutes later in just my underwear, books strewn about the apartment, 13 black candles lit around me, on top of a pentagram dusted out with paprika with this completed on the page. I figured, it's a sign, I'll use it!
I was looking over some old work and came across this drawing. I did a lot of work in this drawing style up until my second year at OCAD. It's a portrait of my dear friend Emily Rose Smegal while she enjoyed a book and some tea one morning on our trip with my brother in Switzerland in 2005. I have a bunch of old work that isn't horrible or embarrassing that I'll be sharing in future blog posts. Well, I've been writing a lot, I'm tired of it now and am chomping at the bit, excited to get back to the studio. Bye for now.
Hugs and Kisses,
Giddleberry Finn