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.
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.
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.