Banksy Stunt

There is not much known about Banksy except he’s a street artist and political activist who’s face has never been seen and he lives in London. His work has become iconic and has appeared in different cities around the world. He creates visually diverse images ranging from a mouse riding an exactor blade to a bottle of champagne in a carousel. His work has a social economic relevance that leaves us to ponder our perceptions of the world.

His art is stenciled images which are primarily sprayed on surfaces.

Banksy is an original and has managed to keep his identity secure. His art is sought after and copied and stolen all the time.

One thing seems very clear to me, his art is for all people of the world not just the elite.

making your own weather

My favorite saying has always been "make your own weather" Now! what you choose is up to you. If you are having a good day, you can continue to have a good day or you can let it be screwed up by some unhappy person.

It's like those people that can't understand why they have such negativity in their lives.

1- They think something bad is always going to happen.

2. When something great happens they think it will be followed by something bad.

3. They spend their time around so called friends that are negative because they think it goes with the territory.

These are just some observations that are simply changed by "making your own weather."

On the other hand, there are also examples of people with really great attitudes.

Three or four years ago I trained in the same gym as W.W.E Wrestler Bret Hart. I'm not a star struck sort of guy but I have to admit, I was pretty excited to be able to walk up to him and shake his hand. I had grown up, watching him and his brothers wrestle while making a name for themselves. Bret was still a big guy and was being trained by a body builder friend of mine. He had a stroke years earlier which left him unable to wrestle and limited certain exercises he could do.

Occasionally I would talk to him and I found that besides having some great stories, he had a great attitude about life. He wished he could still wrestle but was thankful for being able to come down to the gym everyday. I think he enjoys his fans but he never lead with his ego. He is just a good, down to earth guy that is happy to be alive.

I definitely have my moments and they always seem to come when I am infused with self importance. The truth is, no body cares what I do, and yet they are susceptible to the weather that follows me around. When you start with a smile in your heart, life opens up and gives you great weather.

Forecasting Rain 30x30, acrylic on canvas

Forecasting Rain; the man holding the umbrella is standing behind a group of musicians that are in the midst of a celebration. He can't see the joy of the moment because his umbrella is blocking his view and he is to worried it will rain.

I created this painting to remind me that while I'm Forecasting Rain there are some amazing things going on in my life, right in front of me.

This painting is one of 3 images in the exhibition, Ode to Music, Pumphouse Theatre,  September 13th – December 15th 2018.

You may also see all 3 paintings by going to my cover page at grudart.ca.

 

Flash in the pan

What's the origin of the phrase 'Flash in the pan'?

There's reason to believe that this phrase derives from the Californian Gold Rush of the mid 19th century. Prospectors who panned for gold supposedly became excited when they saw something glint in the pan, only to have their hopes dashed when it proved not to be gold but a mere 'flash in the pan'.

Dictionary: A thing or person whose sudden but brief success is not repeated or repeatable.

 Andy Warhol said "In the future, everyone will be world-famous for 15 minutes".

Of course Andy didn't know the internet would become such sensation. 

The internet is an amazing tool, and at the same time is responsible for people seeking their "15 minutes of fame".

This is the first time in history that the masses have had arm-chair access to platforms for global celebrity.

The thing is,  many artists don't know where to draw the line or don't even know there is a line, and they continue to create art that is either, not their own, or has limited substance. I see exemplified renditions of landscapes by the "Group of Seven" over and over again and I think, WOW! that's boring. That stuff has been done and beat to death years ago, and put simply, has little or no creative impact anymore.

Our world seems obsessed with instant gratification and being the first to generate something new.  Most times, expedited intent produces a poor quality product, with limited longevity, which is responsible for one hit wonders and flash in the pan careers.

I have seen a lot of art, and I have my influences like anyone else, and when I spot something in my work that seems familiar, I question its originality and if I should use it.

Creatives that do well, generally don't look for shortcuts to fame but are focused on their own processes and know how to consistently develop them.

Longevity defines my journey as an artist and in spite of influences and temptation to copy, I have remained true to my own, unique, vision and process for creating art.

I can see myself at the end of my life holding 2 or 3 brushes in one hand, and one in my teeth while I paint my next original.

My work is about engagement; If I feel engaged then I know others will.

Having a showcase online like my website and Instagram is a great way to engage my viewers. There is still nothing like being in the same room with one of my paintings.

I have upcoming shows like "Inglewood Friday Night Market" Sept 15/2018, where I will have paintings and drawings exhibited plus, 4 paintings showing in Edmonton Jubilee and Calgary Jubilee from August to Dec 2018, Click here for details.

Subscribe to my monthly Newsletter by clicking here and filling in the form. While you are at it, take a look around my website Grudart.ca.

I always love to get comments, so feel free.

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The most prolific artist in the world

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Pablo Picasso (1881-1973) of Spain was the most prolific of all professional painters in a career which lasted 75 years. It has been estimated that Picasso produced about 13,500 paintings and designs, 100,000 prints and engravings, 34,000 book illustrations and 300 sculptures and ceramics. His oeuvre has been valued at £500 million (US$788millon). Picasso was a masterfully erratic pioneer with a hand in every art movement of the century. 

There is no doubt in my mind that Picasso was a machine when it came to his art and he was driven by something unseen and unheard and that was his true vision.

I think I found my vision this year and it is driven by interminable persistence.

From October 2017 to present, I have created 34 paintings and in excess of 350 drawings, and that is the greatest number, and most consistent work of my career thus far.

The work is expansive and evolving and I am moving towards larger, more creative, and technically challenging projects.

What has changed?

A movement away from limiting beliefs, into the land of, "what would happen if I tried this"

I have had several VIP previews, and a couple group shows this year, and am looking forward to "Evidence of Paint"  and the Inglewood Market this month.

Join me

Grudart.ca

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People in my mind?

 Sharpie on self help book, 6x9 in.

Sharpie on self help book, 6x9 in.

I don't know where this is going or where it came from, but it just started with one.

Who are these people? Do you recognize any of them? where do they live? what do they do?  I could draw a thousand more, and I still won't know who they are.

Maybe they're all me!

Sometimes I feel like a passenger in my own car.

 

The journey or the destination?

 Britania, 30x30, acrylic on canvas

Britania, 30x30, acrylic on canvas

Pure Presence
The question: What is more important, the end product or the process. Obviously, without the process of making art, the art can’t exist. More importantly, how can an artist be consistently creative without being true to their own process?
Jackson Pollock knew that truthful art could only be generated profoundly “I deny the accident” Pollock said. An exceptional end product is not an accident, in fact, it’s a process of self-discovery.
Artists who try to think their way through a project may have a consistent result but won’t arrive at a higher level of intuitive inspiration. Intellect disconnects us from our intuition leaving us to over-think and even mistrust our instincts as people.

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If you try to remove thought from the process you just end up replacing it with another thought.
The key is; stop worrying about outcomes all together, and use your ideas as points of departure. Let your intuition take over and your mind and body will follow.
You have arrived at pure presence when everything falls into place and you "HAVEN'T TRIED"; just let whatever happens, happen.
I am not sure if these are results of pure presence, but the images I create, come from a process that is intuitive by nature.

Check out some more

 

Canada Day

One of the first paintings of my Urban Culture series.

If somebody asked me what Canada Day means to me, I would say, "it's a painting about celebration.

July 1st, 1867, we hockey lovin, beer drinkin, parka wearing CANUCKS became united into a single Dominion within the British Empire called Canada. 

Okay, there may not have been a lot of hockey back then, but I am sure there were some alcoholic beverages and a celebration.  It's July! so no damn parkas.

I wasn't thinking about 1867, when I created this painting. It was October and I just wanted to make a painting.

Felt pen in my hand, confusion in my mind and perfection in my heart, I started drawing. The felt pen soon converged with a brush, which in turn began the spreading of paint. 

I don't really know what this whole thing was about,  I felt a sort of defeat, maybe even betrayal by this process I had always trusted.

I tossed my brushes into the cleaning jug and went to bed.

As the morning came and I rose to still exhaustion,  a faint curiosity and blanket of excitement rolled over me.

I said to myself "relax" don't go into the studio yet, it's just a painting and probably a piece of crap anyway.  I took my time, I brushed my teeth, I shaved and washed my face until my curiosity got the better of me.

Its exactly 4 paces to the door of my studio, from the bathroom.

 Cursive writing is quickly becoming a lost art; I charish it and will continue to preserve it through my art.

Cursive writing is quickly becoming a lost art; I charish it and will continue to preserve it through my art.

Detail top right side

I gotta be honest, I was blown away by what I saw. There was texture, lines of different lengths, sizes, shapes and colour and figures and a still life. Under the still life which is sideways on the canvas I noticed writing, cursive writing.

The pièce de résistance on the top left corner was the Canadian flag flapping in the wind behind 2 performers.

A celebration, wouldn't you say.

Honestly, I didn't have a definitive recollection of painting any of it. 

The painting introduced it's self to me as "Canada Day". It seemed obvious to me because it's about a party, a big party with a Canadian flag.

Canada Day has since evolved into a bit of a statement about Canadians; their sense of community, tolerance, and love for the brave people that have traveled halfway across the world to live here, with us, and to share their cultures and world vision. 

To them, I say,

Happy Canada Day!

"Canada Day" is one of 4 paintings that will be exhibited in the Jubilee Auditoriums in Calgary and Edmonton. I am so pleased Visual Arts Alberta (CARFAC) saw the value of this work and I am proud to be part of their "Evidence of Paint " Exhibition.

 

If you would like an opportunity to see this painting live, then please subscribe to my monthly Newsletter.  I will also be posting upcoming dates on social media and my Upcoming Shows page, as the exhibition gets closer.

Newsletter and inquiries

I don't do landscapes

The "Group of Seven" did landscapes, and I have nothing against landscapes, I just don't do them and I can prove it.

I just think there is more to our Canadian identity than beer, hockey, the "great white north", and landscapes. 

Why talk about beer when you can drink one, why talk about hockey when you can drink a beer and why would you paint a landscape when you can step out of your door and stand in the middle of the "great white north", and have a beer.

Here is proof that I don't paint landscapes.

If this doesn't convince you then go to grudart.ca,  and see for yourself.

A revelation of painting, the continued saga.

One day I was walking down Stephen Avenue Mall, it was a warm day and I spotted a busker, A big man with a big red beard playing the harmonica while making a little wooden puppet clog dance.

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As I approached him he turned to me and nodded. He was dressed in fringed cow hide jacket with trousers to match.

I asked him if I could take his picture, he said  ”yes”.  I took the picture and thanked him and asked him how life was. He simply replied, “ I love doing this, what more can a man do?

I went home that night and made a drawing and a small 16x20  painting, and left it sitting where I could see it every day.

Here I am Oct 02, 2017, I've had a couple of martinis, and I walk into my studio, pick up a brush and start smearing paint on a fresh canvas.

This is the moment, I realized what I was missing, it was "where I live" creatively, literally, and metaphorically.

I knew what I should be painting now.

Someone I deeply respect, once said to me,  "a good artist pays attention to his environment, then paints his experiences".

I had been searching a long time for the very thing I already had.

“Urban Culture” is where I live, it is where I feel most comfortable and uncomfortable at the same time, it amuses me and annoys me, but most of all it keeps me engaged as a person and an artist.

It started with that one street performer and have expanded my vision to include a whole world of performers and narratives about the people, places, and events that make up our urban centres around the globe.

My images come from many places, and yet there is a common energy among them.

The very nature of my process as a painter is not static, so it is that vital energy of the inner city that drives my creativity and transforms my canvases.

It astounds me, that after living among such profound,  diverse energies, we as human beings are still looking outside our selves for ways to generating it.

Whenever I begin taking inner city life for granted, I witness some wild and crazy spectacle, that I  embrace and make part of my work.

Everything I paint has a relationship to my life and the inner city, I express it as "urban culture",  a living experience that is nothing short of a cultural smorgasbord.

Take a look through my gallery and you will see that common thread of energy, it's in every piece, including my drawings.

Let me know what you think in the comment section below, or by clicking contact.

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The first and final step, saga

In 2006 after a pretty severe motorcycle accident, something had changed.

My passion for painting was gone and yet I continued to paint, knowing that I really didn’t care anymore.

My part-time job allowed me a reprieve for 18 months but my head and heart did not carry me forward.

 My first good banjo, I bought for $400. with change I saved in a one gallon mayonaise jar.

My first good banjo, I bought for $400. with change I saved in a one gallon mayonaise jar.

In 2009  I picked up my banjo for the first time in years and realized, in-spite of my previous efforts to learn to play  I was now motivated.

I practiced and practiced and started to reacquaint my self with friends that were musicians and  I attended living room concerts plus I was frequenting pubs and events, anything that revolved around music.

I was involved in a songwriting seminar when I realized, songwriting was a creative endeavor not unlike painting. The only difference being that I was not nearly as skilled at music and songwriting as I was at Art.

No matter, I dug it and I did it.  I found myself among people that were passionate about their music.

#Work #Work #Work #Work #Work

During this time, I was still working part-time and even though I had a great job, I found my self, floundering with dissatisfaction. I felt a disconnection to what I thought was important and set out plans to leave my job behind forever.

The question was, what should I do?

Was music the road not taken, that was spurring me on to bigger more creative things. What about my art? my painting, this thing I had invested most of my life in.

A quandary, what a quandary, my life was impassioned, nothing coming in and nothing going out.

Time to go to bed and sleep for ten years.

What happened next was a living revelation, that changed everything.

 

 

Stay tuned everyone, this will be continued tomorrow

 to be continued

From a drawing

When you draw something you may lose something from the original idea or gain something.

 Grudman with Grudman

Grudman with Grudman

I call drawings studies because they represent the best and the worst of my point of view as an artist. The best is hardly definable and the worst is sometimes necessary to create cohesion between the concept or completed composition.

How do I know what to do and how to do it?  I don't, it just happens and it either feels right or it doesn't. That doesn't mean I won't use the drawing or at least pieces of it for a painting, but making a painting is another story.

The best way to illustrate my process is to use one of my pieces as an example. 

I just completed a self-portrait which is about 7 feet tall. I traditionally haven't done a lot of self-portraits but have found this to be a great way to upgrade my design skills.

The materials I used for this piece are black felt markers and wide cap, white, butcher paper.

I start the drawing by creating a one-line drawing, not lifting the marker from the page until all elements are in place, this takes only a few minutes and leaves me with an outline, more or less.

Proportions are then adjusted by moving my lines around,  lengthening, shortening and changing the angle and placement of my lines.

 Larger than life drawing of Grudman  7x5 Ft

Larger than life drawing of Grudman  7x5 Ft

It is at this point my self-portrait begins to come alive with dimension, form, and space, It's at this point, I start adding dark and light with layer upon layer of squiggly line, straight line, and contours.

Layers are the foundation of my work, and whether it's in my drawings or my paintings, it is the process of layering that gives my art depth and richness.

I have just added a new section to Grudart.ca, called "Drawings" and you can find it under Collections.

Drawings are being added regularly and will soon be available as, one of, originals.

Check out my paintings in my Gallery and don't forget to subscribe to my monthly newsletter, its free and you simply have to fill out the form on my contact page.

My first newsletter will be sent out this month, May 2018 and will include upcoming shows, events and give you a sneak preview of a very cool project I'm working on.

 

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9 Days

 I think most people would agree that walking down the street is a relatively benign activity.  The crazy thing is,  there is a lot of shit going on, all the time, everywhere, that most of us don't pay any attention to it.

 9 Days, 9-12x12 canvas panels

9 Days, 9-12x12 canvas panels

When I decided that I was going create art every day, back in Oct 2017,  I simultaneously began to pay attention, I mean really pay attention, to what is going on around me. It turns out there is a ton of stuff that is worthy of a painting.

I saw a guy the other day with half a beard and that is not the first time i saw him. I saw the same guy with the same half a beard about a year ago. I'm not even interested why he looks that way, I just thought it was interesting.

Can you imagine what cops see on a daily basis?  WOW!!!

"9 Days", is a collection of 9-12x12, canvases, that have been created as a visual journal. Each panel is based on actual people, places, and events.

The image of the woman with the yellow hair and the red face was based on an African Canadian. She is very beautiful, tall, and elegant, and was standing by a door smoking a cigarette. When it came time to paint her, I took the opportunityto paint her with a few injected contrasting colours, which I felt related to the juxtaposition of her features,  to where she was standing, and what she was doing at the time.

The cowboy in the red truck isn't a real cowboy, he is a BLING cowboy,  he looked like he should be in a parade, maybe that's where I saw him.

The bold colour and design of these pieces work well together or as stand-alone images.

There is a playfulness to these paintings that made me want to organize them, change their order, stack them up or even line them up on the wall.

The colours are bold because that is how I see Calgary. There is definitely going to be more of these because each day is a painting unto its self and can be sold as one, or combinations of several.

Each 12x12 canvas is priced very affordable at $300. so you can create your own collection.

Drop me a note in the comments below or contact me via my contact page, I'd really like know what you think. 

 Inquire

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Tis the Season

Is there art for a particular season?

I think colour is what we need after experiencing so much white this winter. As the days continue to get longer and brighter, so does my desire to have some eye candy

There are lots of ways to treat your self and one of them is art. big, bold, colourful paintings with dynamic personalities, vying for attention.

 Summer Vacation, 24x24, acrylic on canvas

Summer Vacation, 24x24, acrylic on canvas

The thing is, paintings can be hung, leaned, stored, carried, exchanged, filed, sold, delivered, hidden, shown, kept, promoted, photographed, reproduced or lost and yet they always seem to find their way onto some one's wall, someplace, somewhere.

A good piece of original art is like a vacation of a lifetime, with a difference, a painting is a vivid, tangible, reminder of the day you treated yourself to something you really love.

Isn’t it the season for art when you find your self in front of that one exquisite painting, that speaks to you.

Take a trip to Grudart.ca for your spring splash of colour.

 

 

 

Happy spring everybody, Yahoo!!!

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Canada Day

Did you ever do something that took you down a road you never expected, then inspired you to do something you never set out to do in the first place?

That is what happened with this painting, in fact that happens all to often with my work.

Being a painter is not a straight forward journey, but rather a plunge into the abyss.

There were all these pictures on my studio floor, some were drawn , some were torn out of old magazines and some were downloaded from my broken down Mac.

  Canada Day , 36x36 Acrylic on canvas

Canada Day, 36x36 Acrylic on canvas

Felt pen in my hand, confusion in my mind and perfection in my heart, I started drawing. The felt pen soon converged with a brush, which in turn began the spreading of paint. 

I don't really know what this whole thing was about,  I felt a sort of defeat, maybe even betrayal by this process I had always trusted.

I tossed my brushes into the cleaning jug and went to bed.

As the morning came and I rose to still exhaustion,  a faint curiosity and blanket of excitement rolled over me. I said to myself "relax" don't go into the studio yet, it's just a painting and probably a piece of shit anyway.  I took my time, I brushed  my teeth, I shaved and washed my face until my curiosity got the better of me

Its exactly 4 paces to the door of my studio, from the bathroom.

 Detail top left corner

Detail top left corner

I gotta be honest, I was blown away by what I saw. There was texture, lines of different lengths, sizes, shapes and colour and figures and a still life. Under the still life which is sideways on the canvas I noticed writing, cursive writing.

The pièce de résistance on the top left corner was the Canadian flag flapping in the wind behind 2 performers.

A celebration, wouldn't you say.

Honestly, I didn't have a definitive  recollection of painting any of it. 

The painting  introduced it's self to me as "Canada Day". It seemed obvious to me  because it's about a party, a big fucking party with a Canadian flag.

Where do you think all of the content came from?

 Detail right side vertical

Detail right side vertical

How could it not be premeditated?

I can only imagine the spectacle of this piece as something 4 times larger.

Original art is so special because every piece is a finger print, a unique experience followed by a unique finale', something that starts from nothing and arrives at inspiration.

 Detail bottom left corner

Detail bottom left corner

I hope you get a chance to see this piece, live, because it's truly an original with a multitude of layers and experience.

By the way, this is the first painting of my series "Urban Culture" which has over thirty paintings in it now.

Take a look in my Gallery for more treasures and let me know what you like or don't like.

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More than just selling art

O.K. tomorrow is the launch of my new website Grudart.ca.

I have been pushing to market this launch and generate some exposure for my paintings daily for the last week.

Nothing wrong with that, most people would say and yet something about this whole thing was missing.

It got me thinking!

What is the underlying purpose of creating exposure for my work?

Having pursued this art thing for more than 40 years, I have been fortunate to meet some  incredibly talented and creative people,  many of which have never had there work seen.

Is it because their work never appeared in front of the right people? I think that is true but another truth is, many people have a limited view of the value of owning a piece of original art.

Being a collector and owning an original piece of art is like being in possession of part of the artist's life. It seems hard to put a value on it and yet we do.

So last night it occurred to me, that this new website was about generating exposure for original "Fine Art" not just for myself but for those artists who have taken pride in creating, some for as long as I have, creating originals from scratch, from inception to a drawing to the final product.

I am really excited and proud to be part of the global art community.

I will continue to promote my work but now with the hope it will bring greater attention to the legacy Fine Art and artists are creating, through hand made pieces of art we make for everyone to enjoy,

Please go to Grudart.ca tomorrow and  when you subscribe, know that you are part of the continuing a legacy for Fine Artists around the globe.

Thanks everybody

Dave

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The Launch

I case you didn't here I'm launching my new website April 5th. Grudart.ca

If you think you're annoyed now, just wait until you see this announcement every day for a week.

My new site is full blown with around 30 paintings, some of which haven't been uploaded yet. There are new blogs some of which haven't been written yet and a new commissions page, some of which haven't been seen yet.

The new work is bold, dynamic and colourful , so be prepared, it's not for the faint of heart.

You can check out everything (next Thursday)  April 5th  for the official launch of grudart.ca and when you're there, don't forget to  Subscribe because  that will hook you up with my monthly Newsletter which will give you an exclusive sneak peek at upcoming events, shows, paintings and giveaways.

Thanks everybody

Dave Grudniski

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Don't Stop

You can't stop, you can't relax or take what you do for granted, if you want to be successful. Keep trying new things and pushing the parameters. Get help, the kind of help, that will teach you and don't forget to give back.

These are cliches, and for a reason because they are true. We all say them maybe even mean them and from time to time, try to follow through with them.

The sinister thing about these sayings, cliches, what ever we call them, is as soon as we try to make them into something tangible, they fall by the wayside, leaving a wake of undesired outcomes.

The secret is, Don't Stop. 

O.K. I know what your thinking, this is no big revelation.

The thing is, most people don't get any forward momentum before they stop.

That is why New Years resolutions don't work for most us.

My approach to not stopping is a unique combination of desire and shame.

I have a desire to continue to do what I love, at all costs but don't know what hardships lye ahead of me. Shame on the other hand is about letting myself down, yet again and having my life become an exercise in futility.

The stopping point has come upon me, this past week, reeking it's havoc on my well being and most of all, on my comfort zone. I haven't blogged or posted much in this past week and I feel a compromise to my desire.

Maybe just words but here are some people's desires.

 David Choe– Muralist/Graffiti Artist

Began spray-painting on the streets in his teens- Choe is now an American painter, muralist, graffiti artist and graphic novelist of Korean descent. He achieved his world success with his “dirty style” figure paintings.

Casey Neistat, Video/Vlogger

 My Invisible Friend, 30x30 acrylic on canvas

My Invisible Friend, 30x30 acrylic on canvas