Being an artist, even one as unique as me, isn't all strife, starvation and struggle. There are plenty of wonderful moments too. Moments that make you feel like what you do is worthwhile, that it's noticed and appreciated. I thought I'd share some of my highlights along the way. It isn't a list of every great thing that's happened, of course, these are more just the wonderful defining moments, things that significantly shaped my career. It may just encourage a young artist, or it may just make someone smile. Either way, it's fun for me to reminisce:
1. 2011 Showing in Florence, Italy: This was my first international showing, at a Biennale. It was so cool to travel to Europe for the first time. I received a grant from the provincial government to assist with the cost. I really felt like I had finally arrived on the world scene, and in such a wonderfully historic and beautiful city! Could a guy ask for much more?
2. Throwing Off the Shackles, 2014: In early 2014, I hit a crisis point, both in my life and my career. As the Chinese say, they have one word for both crisis and opportunity, and when you think about it, that speaks volumes! I was overweight, unhealthy and dying to experiment in my work, but unsure, and admittedly, a little scared to do so. I took the leap, with some encouragement. I still remember the night; it was in the wee hours of the morning. I was alone in the studio, the rest of the house was fast asleep. I remembered my sweetie's voice telling me, "just paint what you feel", that was novel for me because I had previously relied somewhat on the opinions of others. Well, I put on the tunes and did just that, painted what I felt! It was the birth of spontaneous flow, and of modern eclecticism (I only realized that looking back). The result was the piece you see here, Old City. It was my proudest moment to that time and features in the next highlight.
3. Toronto Show, 2014: In September of 2014, I was accepted to take part in an emerging artists exhibition at Gallery 1313 in Toronto. This was my first showing in a major Canadian city, and it was a resounding success, if I do say so myself! We enjoyed our time in the city, and look forward to more, and my work was well received! I was allowed to have 2 pieces in the show, one of which was Old City. That piece sold even before the show opened. A gentleman happened by the gallery as the exhibition was being hung, hours before opening time and he, or his wife, just had to have the piece. What a boost for an artist! So, there I was, with only one piece really available come opening time. The response was still awesome! The other piece met with whoops and hollers (I'm being literal here, a guy actually whooped and hollered at what he called my use of colour and form) and some pretty awesome reviews. It later sold for it's asking price. Here it is, its called Inner Hall with Lady, Table and Flowers:
4. Media Attention, 2015: Around April, 2015, the news media came a calling. It was in advance of my Paris showing and it was really cool. 2 national news outlets as well as the newspaper came out to interview me. It was nerve wracking as hell! But it was also awesome! I mean, isn't that the artist's dream, to garner attention for what he or she is trying to do? Here's the link to the Global News clip, below:
5. Right Now: I'm feeling more inspired, more focused and more creative than ever, and that can only be a good thing.