Saturday, October 20, 2012

Not Forgotten

Not Forgotten (approx. 8ftx5ft, aerosol, 2012)

True Bboy (8inx10in, watercolour, ink, acrylic, 2012)

Rest in Power to Jarrett Bortscher, a member of Edmonton's breakdancing community. I didn't ever have the pleasure of meeting him, but he was well known for bringing mad game and energy every time he danced. The Bboy community in Edmonton is pretty tightly knit, thanks in particular to the Cypher Wild crew, and cats like Lunacee, Jeff Poppin' Fresh, and Creeasian ('The DJ Creeasian who just won back to back Redbull 3Style competitions in Edmonton, and plays Fridays and Saturdays at the Backroom, you ask?' Yes.) Jarrett had Asperger's, which is on the autism spectrum, but was not the type of person to let anything stop him from doing what he loved. A true Bboy, as well as a friend and inspiration to many, Jarrett will be missed and not forgotten. Creeasian got at me to create something for Jarrett's family, and True Bboy is the piece I created. I was inspired by the stories of Jarrett's breakin' abilities and commitment to bringing high energy and flavour to every cypher. Working on this piece got me thinking about loss, and how it can be a bitter, tragic part of the human experience we all share. For me at least, sometimes communicating helps; sharing the weight of a loss can often be cathartic. Just after I'd finished Not Forgotten at the legal wall up here, a lady walked up behind me, sobbing, and said she'd just lost a close friend and basically didn't feel like sticking around anymore, and the piece meant something to her. I really didn't know what to say at all, I said something corny like "I'm glad it meant something, I hope you feel better" and by the time I could muster anything more intelligible she'd walked on. Wow, I didn't mean for this to be a depressing post at all, so let's just enjoy the hell out of all the people we like. I should have just said that right off the bat!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012


Geordie LaForge (approx 8ft x 7ft, aerosol on wall, 2012)
(photo by the homie Nutly)

(in progress)
(photo by Nutly)

What's crackin? Here are a couple aerosol portraits I knocked out over the weekend up here in Edmonton. Above is a portrait of LeVar Burton as Lieutenant Commander Geordie LaForge from Star Trek: The Next Generation that I painted last sunday. You already know I'm a nerd like that. I chose LeVar Burton because he was one of the cats I looked up to as a kid. His character Geordie on Star Trek: TNG was unlike any other Black character I'd seen on TV — well-respected, tech-savvy, professional, and an integral part of the team on the Enterprise. What a boss! I'm proud of how this piece came out; I've been working hard on my portrait game, but this one was definitely a challenge, especially with a bit of wind and limited colour selection. By no means did it end up perfect, but I feel like I'm getting better! 

 Lots of people have been asking me lately if I use stencils or markers or an airbrush or anything like that, especially for the more realistic looking stuff — just to set the record straight, it's all free handed with spray paint only, it's more just about practice, thinking in layers, and understanding the medium. The LeVar Burton portrait took me about 5 hours to paint, and the one below took me about three and a half.

 Portrait Demo #1 (8ft x 4ft, aerosol on board, 2012)
(photo by Tiffany aka Zombiffany)

(in progress)
(photo by Maigan van der Giessen)

The black and white portrait above was created for an aerosol demo I did at Colours Art & Supply on the south side here in Edmonton last Saturday. The piece iteslf will be moving between Colours art stores, likely every few months. I learned a lot while doing both of these portraits, hopefully conveyed some knowledge, and happened to get a lot of props from passers by as well — thanks for all the love Edmonton! 

Monday, October 15, 2012


 One World (60x48in, aerosol on canvas)
(photo by nutlydotnet)

Politic Live (60x36in, aerosol on canvas)

Yo! I'm back with a few blasts from the recent past — above are the two pieces I painted at the Alberta Culture Days Block Party this year, followed by a snapshot of the Nexen event I worked in Calgary. The top photo is of a piece I painted as a demonstration during part of the Block Part event, which celebrates family, diversity, and the local arts scene. Shoutout to Nutly getting some record of the piece in the low-light situation as I had to hand it over to the event organizers right away. The second photo is of the piece I painted live onstage while Politic Live played their set. It was just over 45 mins from start to finish, so my concept was to paint important words and phrases from the group's extensive history as the fill for the letters. PoliLive was backed by a full band, Quordal Fusion, who were killin it too, and the whole stage was shaking as I painted this! Peep their jam Throwback, grip the new album Ellipsis on Itunes, and go check them out when they're in your city! The third image is a bunch of shots taken by my man WiserOner at a Nexen/United Way event in Calgary. Myself and eight other artists were hired to run around encouraging about 300 employees in white plastic coveralls to paint each other. We started by lining up about 20 employees shoulder to shoulder, then painting a big piece across the front of them that read 'YOUNITED', which is a current United Way tagline. We had about 10 minutes or so to paint it, so we worked pretty efficiently as a team to set all the letters up and paint all of the (often awkward) nooks, crannies, and folds of the suits on our human canvasses... Then, we ran through the crowd getting them stoked about painting each other, usually by painting them first. It ended up being a fun and hilarious event, and I met a bunch of sick local artists I hope to see again hella soon. Peace to Wiser and Léa, Angel, Cody and Kai from Light&Soul, Matt, Toner, and Cendrine! 

Next, below you'll see the eight collaborative pieces we came up with for the Kaleido festival's Exquisite Corpse event in September. During the event, we each had an hour to paint 1/4 of each piece using ink, water, and only 3 brushes. We couldn't see what anyone else was painting until the end of the event, so before we switched canvasses to do the next quarter, the co-ordinator came and covered up what the last person just did. It was a fun project, and meeting and working with Kristen, Adam, and Kris was all good times! I think my favourites are the last two. I've been painting non-stop all weekend so I've got many new things to show very soon, but for now I've gotta run out and start a big halloween themed production with the homies Kurls and Demer. Stoked!!