Tuesday, 8 March 2016

What's New in This Neck of the Woods (A Year in Review)

    A couple of years ago when Cat and I decided to pre-tire from our jobs and take up this incredible journey, we only had an inkling as to how we would go forward with this dream.  We had short falls and stumblings... but we also had fortuitous moments of success! We've cemented our mandate to this...To provide and grow local art and artisans. Without trying to sound like an Ontario's west-coast tourism advertisement, we are proud to call Huron our home and want to showcase all that it and its people have to offer.
Huron County Winner!!!!
    I thought I'd provide you a run-down of what's been going on around here. We haven't been idle this winter... in fact, things at times were down right heck-tick! 
    Firstly... and I'm sure that I've probably mentioned this already; I'm excited to announce that in late October, I was the winner of the Huron County Art Show! The work these artists bring to these shows is fantastic! I was in great company... very much humbled by the experience.

    Here's what else we Wonky Frogs have been up to!

October/ November 2015

We were invited to attend the Blyth Theatre's annual Gala-ween charity event and had so much fun hobnobbing with other local theatre supporters. We even dressed for the occasion with Cat was dressed as "Death on vacation" (see pic) and I taking a more minimal approach (see pic)... was awarded an honourable mention.
creepy! See how scared I am!
Cat's jack? Jack's cat?
the stick-man cometh!
Randy's pumpkin
Randy, Cat, and Susanne
We donated one of my prints for the silent auction and Cat was to be one of the local "celebrity" pumpkin carvers. Guests were encouraged to bid on the Jack o' lanterns with the hope of winning a hidden $1000 prize. Cat's "Jack" was auctioned off for a resounding $500 and, wouldn't you know it, had the secret "big-bucks" cheque in it! Of note-worthy interest...one of the other carvers was none other than our good friend and illustrator, Randy Jones! 
    It was a wonderful time had by all and we even walked away with a few collectibles ourselves! The gala was also the scene for the unveiling of the new season's artwork....done by none other that our friend and colleague Greg Sherwood.  Monies raised went to the theatre and we were proud to support such a worthwhile cause!
Country living seating
Yes, the ladybug is painted on!
    The gala also  provided me the chance to get involved, artistically speaking, in a local charity to raise funds for the arts in schools. My neighbour Linda gave me an old wooden chair and asked me to put my own spin on it. The chair would later be auctioned off. It was a fun project and I was able to complete it in record time!

December 2015

Me... trying hard to look professional
Symphony in Red Minor 16 x 20
Betty Blue 16 x 20
December started full of potential and, for me, a wee bit of panic! Though I was thoroughly excited about my upcoming show, I was a tad bit apprehensive as to whether or not I would have enough works to fill the allotted 25 foot wall space! I only had 10 pieces which I thought was pretty good for a self-professed "slow-poke" painter but I wasn't sure if there would be enough coverage. It seems I worried for nothing as there was a wonderful turn-out and I managed to fill out the space pretty well. I even managed to sell three of them and they've moved into private collections! Cat was particularly sad about the loss of "Betty Blue!" Personally, I'm grateful for the sales but was sad to see them go. I feel, I'd left a little piece of myself in each one. I was also awarded a commission from a client...my 1st milk-can!
Mellow yellow #1 10 x 12

Delhome Farms Milk-can
    About 3 weeks before Christmas, brought a lot of people out of hibernation. Workshops were booked and people were just starting to realize that shopping locally was better than shopping Walmart! Money was coming in and Cat had a steady stream of workshop items to fire and complete. Then........disaster struck! Not one...but both of our kilns decided to call it quits. After sobbing for about 10 minutes...we calmed down and I got on the phone with a technician and we both came to the same conclusion; It was the relays. I ordered up a set, received them in couple of days, then changed them out. Kiln #1 was up and that was enough the help Cat get her orders out in a timely manner. Crisis averted!!

January 2016

    January brought some bitter winter and, sadly, some bitter reality. Winter usually brings the the crowds of workshop hordes....we count on it. This year, however although we put funding into advertising, the figures didn't catch up to what we had projected based on last years numbers. 3-2-1 PANIC!! 
    All was not lost, though.

February 2016
The group of Eight (Ate...yummy)
    Les, at the Queen's Bakery, and I had been in talks for awhile about putting up some of my paintings in his coffee shop. I thought it'd be a good idea to showcase some of my work at another local establishment as our shop doesn't really have enough wall space to exhibit my larger paintings! 
    It turns out, a group of local artists were going to have a group show at Queens. They saw the paintings that I had on display and invited me to take part. How exciting!! We then became "Phinias Fishburger and the Flaming Thunder Twonks!"
Just kidding....we became "The Group of Eight!" I believe Les said that "The Group of Seven" was already taken.
Checking out the competition
    It was a fabulous time and, as usual, Anne and Les were the perfect hosts! I was even interviewed by a local paper called....wait for it...."The Paper!" I haven't read it yet, but I'm hoping that it'll be a great review!
    As February started winding down, Cat and I started the ball rolling on our new logo. Cat will be finalizing the typesetting and I'll be fleshing-out our mascot...the lemur leaf frog. We also thought it'd be a great idea to advertise some kind of contest to help celebrate this. And before you ask no...I will not be saying anything else about it because... I'm sketchy on the details at best.  You'll just have to stay tuned to find out more!

March 2016

Ortona 16 x 20
We're entering into March with a lot hope for spring coming sooner than later. Cat's looking forward to making more pottery and jewelry to place in other retailers. They've been asking, ever since we moved in! Myself, I'm looking forward to more exhibitions and the chance to get out with my camera and take some more photos.
Morning Glory 10 x 12
Here's a selection of some more of the paintings I finished this winter.

Awaiting Spring 8 x 16
Keep an eye out on our Facebook page for any newer completed pieces or works in progress. We're constantly updating to keep our viewers happy! If you have any comment, let's hear it! We love to hear from you!

Monday, 30 November 2015

I'm Famous?

I really trying to plug the hell out of this....ask my friends and family how much of a pain in ass I've been this last past week! Go ahead ask. I'll wait................................See!?

So what's all this stuff that I'm plugging? Well, see there's this awesome co-op gallery in Goderich aptly named "the Goderich Co-op Gallery. Huh? Huh? Anyways..........they contacted me asking if I wanted to do a spot as a guest artist in November. At first, I was honoured that anyone could think of my work as having enough merit to show.....then I was intimidated and thought "OMG......they're gonna find all kinds of stuff wrong in my paintings!!!!!" ....then I was horrified that I probably didn't have enough paintings to show! Suzanne, my contact, said she didn't want me to feel pressured and moved it up to December. *insert teeny-tiny ever so slight sigh of relief*

You lookin' at me?
I did finally manage to get afew painting together for this show all made up of blood, sweat, and tears..............mostly tears! With that said and great deal of side-tracking on my part, I would love to see as many people as can be to come to my show December 5th, 2 - 4 pm at the Goderich Co-op Gallery (google it......it exists!) The show will run until December 31st (but I will not be there...just sayin'" I hope everyone can make it!

For more information go to www.gcgallery.ca


Friday, 16 October 2015

New Stuff!!

Betty Blue
 So... I thought that it would be prudent to let everyone know what new things were going here at Wonky Frog! Firstly, I've entered "Ole Faithful" into the Huron County Art Show! While winning first prize would be awesome and probably foremost in my mind...Being new to the area, I really think the exposure would also be awesome. Just having a couple of paintings in the community art show here in Blyth opened up a lot of opportunities to me... which brings me to my second announcement.
Mellow Yellow #2
 I've been given the opportunity to be a guest artist at the Goderich Co-op Gallery! I'm hoping creativity and inspiration hits me upside the head as I'm pretty certain that I don't have nearly enough to fill the space they've offered me. I'm shooting for at least 10 paintings but I'm  sitting at about half that number. I didn't really want to include any of my old paintings but I might have to if I can't get my minimum. Whatever I have when the time comes is gonna have to be good enough. It's unfortunate that I'm a horribly slow painter.
Mellow Yellow #1
A work in progress

Symphony in Red Minor

The show will be in December and I hope everyone can come out and visit. When I get more information, I'll post it so everyone can mark there calendars! Here's a sample of some of the works that'll be included in the show.
 I'd like to add as well that, in store, we have now added select works by local artist Cindy Matthews! Cindy brings a humorous and fun aspect to her frog paintings that need to be seen in person to be completely enjoyed! We welcome Cindy and her work to our eccentric family!

Tuesday, 11 August 2015

What Are We All About?

 I am all too aware that Wonky Frog Studio is a unique shop with an unusual name. How we came up with it is a story for another day. What a lot of people expect when they walk through our doors isn't at all what they see. We're very proud, Cat and I, of the products and services we provide.

 First, let me say....we are MORE than just pottery. I've decided to focus on fine art and Cat on pottery but both Cat and I  are visual artists and able to complete any commissions you may offer us.

Symphony in Red Minor
 It seems that I might have contracted an illness as it seems I've got...TRACTOR FEVER!!! No worries! It's not debilitating though it is up for contention whether or not it's contagious! I've done a number of tractor and mechanical painting and it doesn't look like I'll be letting up soon. I've just started on some preliminary drawing on a John Deere combine. I don't have a lot of details to share on that at the moment as I haven't decided if I'm gonna go with new or old though, I have to admit, I have a soft spot for the older tractors as I believe they have more "soul".
Ole Faithful

 We also have quite the selection of hand-made jewellery...beautiful to behold and different healing properties depending on what stones you select. If you want more information on the healing property of stones, Cat will gladly "talk your ear off" on the subject and help you choose the right stone for you!

 Recently, we've been carrying t-shirts and ball caps. We're very proud of the village that we live in and love to show and share the little knowledge we have about the area. I'm pretty sure we'll also be adding more unique designs as we go forward. 
  I would be remiss if I didn't add that Cat is working hard on trying to create new beautiful and functional items for the store...all the while satisfying the the hordes of people who want to enjoy our fun Wonky Workshops. We can do custom pieces if you're looking for that special piece and we are working hard to fill those general inquiries about goblets, mugs, and plates so please be patient.

 You might not realize it but not everything we have is made by us. We are proud to sell and display creations by local artists. Both Cat and I believe it is important to support local "talent" and get the word out. We were pleasantly surprised by large number of local artists and artisans here in Huron county.

 Finally, I'd like to add that we are great talkers and would love to hear from you. Are we doing a good job? If not, how can we improve? What would you like to see us do? Well, that's it for me.... let's hear some feedback!


Friday, 19 June 2015

Much Needed Update #2

  What can I say? Living in the country leaves hardly any down-time for updating blogs!

  Firstly, there are a few new things happening around here that I would like everyone to know about. I've put up one of my new paintings in the Bainton's Gallery....that's the local "in town" gallery for those not in the know. The feedback I got was amazing! Everyone loved it!....... that included Randy Jones! Just "google" him............................................... 
Go ahead, I'll wait................................. Eh?!
  The positivity given was varied but everyone seemed to agree...I need to do a green one next! People here do love their John Deeres!

  Another new thing for us is that we have joined the garden tour. Our garden space is quite large and the extra visitors is a potential boon to our little shop. Grant would say, "It mean mes get extra pettins' fromb da peoples!!" Besides Grant and his adoring fans, here's just a sample of surprises you can discover in "Wonky Gardens!"

  With the summer in full swing, we needed to work on the outside of the Wonky Frog Studio. Cat, the avid gardener that she is, is a super willing participant in our delightful Eden. Me?...........not so much. My inability to grow anything has left me with not only black thumbs but black toes as well! Grant on the other hand takes after his mother in that respect. Who would have thought that he'd love helping out in the garden? I'm thinking of lending him out to the local farmers to help till the soil!

  We still have some garden maps to post up at the gates but that'll come in time. We've already come to the conclusion that we can't do it all in one year. There's so much to do but we'll get to it ..............eventually!

  Just a reminder to everyone you can catch us on www.facebook.com/wonkyfrogstudio. Both Cat and I (and occasionally Grant) do numerous updates on what's going on here in Blyth and in the studio. Also, we now have a page where you can purchase our wares or contact us if you want to order something custom. Go to www.shophuron.ca and type in Wonky Frog Studio in the search bar and "Bob's your uncle!"
And finally, we'd love to hear from you! If you have any ideas as to what you want to see on the blog or on Facebook or you just wanna say "Hi!", you can contact us at wonkyfrog@tcc.on.ca


Sunday, 2 November 2014

A long Needed Update!!

So much to do…so little time!

Well, what's new. We've moved our operations from Mississauga, Ontario to Blyth, Ontario. "WHERE?", I hear you all cry. It's a small town in south western Ontario…just east of Goderich. It's a nice sleepy little town that really supports the artistic community. We really love it here and want to give as much as we can back to the community that so graciously accepted us with open arms! We moved about 2 months ago and there was a whirlwind of activity that went on. I think we're both still in that state of "How did we get here?"

Firstly, we've opened an actual physical shop in the town and we've added pottery to our menu of artistic endeavours. We've started workshops now and I have to say, if you're interested, book now as spaces are limited in the studio. It's kinda small and only about 5 people max can fit.
The orders have started piling up so I've had to put some of my painting aside and help catch up in the pottery studio. That means doing what Cat tells me and staying outta the way! Wish me luck!

Here's a sample of what's new.

And don't forget to check us out on www.shophuron.ca  and like us on facebook. We have extra information and photos there.