The annual Winter Thaw is just a few weeks away — February 16,17 and 18
Every year, on the long weekend in February, Bev Hogue opens her Beluxe studio/gallery in Fonthill for a special three-day sale.
The annual event — Saturday, Sunday and Monday, from Noon to 6 p.m. each day over the Family Day weekend — is welcome opportunity for established collectors and new followers to purchase Bev Hogue pieces at up to 60% off.
The Winter Thaw weekend sale has become a bit of a tradition for many who combine an art expedition with a weekend tour around Niagara wine country.
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It’s another trip to L.A. but this time with a twist. For the opening at Hive Gallery’s “Secret Art of Animators 2” show on Saturday, Oct. 3, I decided to send a representative in my place — an 11 in. x 14 in. acrylic on canvas painting titled In Your Dreams.
The show highlights the artwork of the movers and shakers of the animation industry. Among the featured guests: Simpsons art director Andrew Brandou, Model maker Tory Bellici (The Matrix) and Mythbusters host and M5 model maker Kari Byron, among many others.
I was asked to submit a piece for the accompanying show that plays on ’90s animation favourites. Ren and Stimpy were too hard to resist. They pose (as still as they can possibly be) American Gothic style, bookending a portrait of one of my blue women. She has the expression of one of my favourites, Deer Prudence.
I like the piece and I hope it goes to a good home.
Some Hollywood set designers took an interest in a few Bev Hogue blue paintings for an upcoming pilot earlier this year.
After some back and forth on the cast of paintings, Suffragette, Boot Camp, Undercover Girl and Passion Flower were chosen to be positioned in the bedroom of actress Natalie Martinez for a TV series called Warrior.
We heard that director Phillip Noyce loved the paintings. I recall how the Australian director brought us to the edge of our seats in the film Dead Calm, the open-ocean thriller that brought Nicole Kidman international attention.
Alas, the series is not to be, but these Bev Hogue paintings got to strut under the lights for a few weeks of shooting in the spring.
It’s not true that these girls are feeling blue. They feel pretty good to have been chosen to appear alongside kick-ass martial arts crime fighter Kai Forrester (Martinez).
A few interesting visitors stopped in at our AirBnB room here at Beluxe HQ. Ian, an actor from NYC was on a Brooklyn-to-Muskoka drive and checked in with his friend Kim. In the morning over coffee, he was asking about my “Blue or Nothing” paintings and remarked that we had a close connection with the colour. Turns out he is the voice of Labatt Blue beer in their American radio spots. Then he goes into full voiceover mode and launches into the bit. Hilarious.
From the first few reviews, the “Crow’s Nest” theme room seems to be well received.
Got an interesting call the other day from Clive and Melleny who saw Bev’s work on Salt Spring Island and wanted to drop by the gallery for a closer look.
Is there an airport nearby? Um, I think so, Bev offered. After a quick bit of deep research, we discovered two airports in Niagara would do the trick if a small plane were looking for a place to land. I could provide the to-and-fro limo service if needed. As it turned out, it was a road trip that brought them to Fonthill.
What a fascinating couple. Clive co-founded animation powerhouse Nelvana and Melleny is the darling of the dance music scene. We talked the afternoon away about art, music, film and the lost art of making tea (Hint: hot the pot) and heard stories about Clive’s British school chum Pete Townshend and Melleny’s EDM collaborations with deadmau5.
After short-listing several paintings and settling on “Boot Camp”, we finished our tea, and guided our guests down scenic Canboro Road, lined by big trees and dotted with fruit stands.
It’s always nice to meet new people, and to see them relax and take in the surroundings. Niagara in the spring is Steinbeck, with long rows of neatly planted fruit and vegetables, Salinas-like in the afternoon sun.
It’s as easy a place as any to sit on the porch and share stories.
I’ve always considered wrist watches an interesting fashion accessory. And as an added bonus — they keep time!!
So, it is an exciting moment for me to see the near arrival of Beluxe/Bev Hogue watches from California’s Modify Watches.
Four of my favourite images — The Great Escape, Agent 99, Cat Burglar and Boot Camp — are now on watch faces and can be ordered shortly. Before the official release, Modify has organized a custom watch giveaway. Win one of two custom Bev Hogue/Beluxe watch designs. Enter daily and share for more chances to win.
When I tired of certain shoes, I recall just getting out a can of paint from my Dad’s garage and painting them. One pair of yellow platforms I even covered with Dole Banana stickers.
It all came full circle recently when a collector asked me to custom paint her leather boots.
My experience designing shoes took a big leap forward when I was asked to contribute to the Soles4Souls event in L.A.
Onto a simple set of platform heels I created my vision of how Beluxe art would translate as an art and fashion piece. Lab Art exhibited my creation, which was featured in Juxtapoz magazine.
My custom heels and the work of other L.A. artists were auctioned off for the international charity.
The next commercial step in Beluxe shoes was a successful licensing deal with L.A.’s Iron Fist , which distributed my Candy Fawn shoes worldwide as part of a larger line of Bev Hogue tees, jackets and tops.
Tura Satana: an actor, force of nature, and now object of art.
When the buxom Hollywood B-movie star died, her many fans mourned but the world awoke to her power and beauty.
Many tributes, including one in L.A. in late 2014, helped tell Tura’s story. At a time in cinema when women were getting slapped around on screen by leading men, her chilling portrayal in the Russ Meyer flic Faster Pussycat Kill Kill! turned the tables and launched the era of powerful ass kickin women. Quentin Tarantino would go on to base his Kill Bill character on Tura.
I was honoured to be invited by Tura’s manager Siouxzan Perry to produce a tribute piece for the December 2014 show. The piece, “Faster Pussycat” was in good company at the show, surrounded by G0-Go dancers and Tura’s on-screen co-stars. At Lethal Amounts gallery I got a chance to connect with fellow artist Johnny Coffin and his partner, musician Linda Kay Parker, and the amazing Siouxzan Perry. Great people, great show!
Bev grew up sketching a full cast of characters in her hometown of Fenwick.
The 1960s TV series Green Acres could have easily been filmed here with corn fields to run through and a 1920s-era gas station at the centre of town. The farming village was a station stop on the Toronto, Hamilton and Buffalo Railway, so it was both connected and disconnected from modern events.
The unhurried pace of the place gave her, and everyone here, freedom to look at the world with an independent eye. Her early observations, captured as sketches and drawings, endure today in the dark humour of the artist’s distinct blue paintings.
After a stint in magazine illustration, Bev caught the attention of the public in 2000 with a series of portraits of fading film stars and other imaginary figures that she called Blue in the Face. Though they shared a monotone acrylic style, each 12 in. x 12 in. canvas had its own story with names like “Mary Tyler Mood”, “East of Ethyl” and “Service with a Smirk.”
The series was a hit with early collectors and set in motion the creation of her trademark Beluxe, new adaptations of lifestyle products based on her images, and the expanding Blue or Nothing collection of original paintings of women and wildlife.
When it came time for Bev to find a location for her permanent studio, it was a no surprise that she chose a gallery space in Fonthill, one winding road away from her beloved Fenwick.