I met Bruce during my years painting LIVE at Calgary’s Gorilla House. Bruce was a fixture there because he settled into a studio where, every Wednesday night, I would go and have a short gab and look at his work in progress. I never left his space without a belly laugh, although sometimes I had to sort out the kind of humour that was forever-floating around his space. More than not, I was laughing at things that weren’t funny…it was the delivery that was stellar. I think that Bruce is a bit of a wordsmith. He plays with words and as a result you are left, most of the time, not knowing what the heck he is saying. He is laughing all the while.
An example would be found on the banner of his own website. The guy was born in Jamaica. Who knew? And his introduction reads like this…
What did I tell you? Right?
I wrote a short post about him in 2013 because he was celebrating a solo show at Gorilla House. There was something so special about those years…painting together, sharing in long conversations and celebrating art, but especially art-making.
In 2015, I purchased a little piece by Bruce out of his studio. I had seen Bruce’s funtastical art going out the door every Wednesday night at auction, for as long as I could remember, but the opportunity to bid and win hadn’t happened for me. I loved this whimsical little piece, Think Outside the Fish.
Do you know what you discover when someone is super funny? You discover that maybe they’re a little shy…just like you are. I think that’s the way with Bruce Robertson. Over time, I’ve learned that I’m an introvert who is functioning as an extrovert…does that make sense? I think that Bruce is just that way…however, we haven’t ever spoken about it, mostly because we’re feeling the same way. lol But…none of that matters. Let’s get on with the story.
This guy was born.
To this family.
And…it had come time to think about my Grandson’s first Christmas. I’ve always been a collector of art and I wanted to set this young man on the path of also being a collector. I thought if I was to commission an artist, who would it be? Well…in pondering that magical world of the womb and the discoveries to be had once leaving that nest, I very much thought about a song that I enjoyed as I considered my first-born, Little Seahorse by Bruce Cockburn.
As well, Erin and Doug had made a playlist for Erin’s birthing day and in the collection was the Beatle’s tune, An Octopus’s Garden. Second to that, in my Grandson’s first eight months, he has wound down for sleep time, reading the story, Raffi’s Baby Beluga, illustrated beautifully by Ashley Wolff.
Insert Music Here.
Putting all of this together, I wanted an artwork that reflected an undersea world that would include a portrait of my Grandson…something that would grow with him through every age…something that would be of modest size and might travel with him as his world becomes larger.
The artist for the job…Bruce Robertson! I contacted Bruce, realizing full-well, that I knew very little about him, apart from the magical characters that he created in his work, his fearlessness and his inclusion of text. I messaged him via his Instagram account, mgbrobertson.
HE SAID HE’D DO IT! YEAH!!
We met in a grocery store parking lot…we exchanged hugs and I realized how perfect this man was. I’m so excited that he helped make the magic for our sweetheart’s first Christmas. I’m hoping that one day Bruce will take my grandson mountain biking (Who better to teach him about the trails?)…it would be such a fantastic manifestation of magic! We’ll see how it all plays out.
I’ve ripped off a screen shot of Bruce’s website’s ABOUT section. I hope that if my readers need something amazing done…website? painting? collage? or if you want to discuss some other creative project, you will be in touch with him! Bruce’s late interests are in 3D modelling and animation. A combination of software is used: After Effects, Photoshop, Blender 3D, Maxon Cinema 4D Lite, etc. Self-taught in Blender 3D and Cinema 4D Lite by taking online courses at uDemy.com.
Another good friend of ours, Red Dot’s photographer, Aaron McCullough, did the photograph.
Thank you, Bruce for being such a wonderful part of Christmas 2017!