the down side of optimism

OK, I admit there is a downside to optimism at times, take the roof I just spent two hours shoveling snow off of, right now it's right back where I started last week. I guess to any negative there is a positive; I now know that my heart can handle doing a lot of work without my life ending in a heart attack, that's good isn't it??? I also now have a little bit better of a body for my wife to admire and I guess if Sonya had her say I'd be out on that roof shovelling snow on a daily basis. Well that's all for tonight, it's getting late and to the worker go the spoils;)



Bad, Bad Rodney

Ok, I've been told I'm a "bad" blogger; apparently the frequency with which I blog is unacceptable so I'm going to try to change.

What to say, what to say.

Well I'm sure you will all be very interested in the way I spent the afternoon today. I decided to get out on the roof of my studio and shovel the snow off of the building before the big melt comes (hear great optimism in my voice there) because last year I ended up on the roof because water was in fact running down the wall of my studio (not the nicest feeling in the world.) Spending a few hours up on the roof watching the world below you function is actually quite interesting; but far more interesting by far will be the aches and pains I feel tomorrow when the physical work I've just endured comes to say Hi again!!

On a completely different note the studio was featured in Winnipeg's weekly papers this last week; we were thrilled to have the media attention and they seemed to think that the work we were doing here at the studio was both unique and worth telling the city about. Thank you to Canstar and all of it's community papers for the article, we have to do it again very soon.

Well that's all for today folks, talk to you again soon.


More on Michelangelo

Hello again, back to Michelangelo; I was really amazed at the depiction of this amazing artist. Michelangelo was arguably the greatest artist in history and yet he was so driven to be better that it just about killed him. Not only was Michelangelo a great sculptor, which was his chosen art, he was also one of the greatest painters to walk the earth, not by choice though, he only painted because the Pope challenged him and his pride was at stake. Can you imagine the Sistine Chapel (I haven't been there yet!) without the artwork in it, it would be just another beautiful church.

Alright where am I going with this, as artists we need to be constantly learning new and wonderful ways of enhancing our craft. Learning to draw made me a better photographer, spending the first weekend of February going to an intense photoshop course has further enhanced my artistic abilities.

Back to Michelangelo, later on in his career he was hired to do a very large project that was cancelled three years after being started. His employer (the city I believe) said that it was costing too much money and that he should bill them for the costs up until then. Michelangelo was so upset he said something like this "How can I bill them enough for what they have stolen from thier citizens and from the whole future of humanity? I was creating the greatest piece of artwork in history, how can I bill them for stealing that from the future?" Wow, if only we as artists saw the impact of our work in the same way as he did his.

Sometimes people ask me why I have such "Big" portraits up on the walls of my studio and home. The question is actually quite an interesting one, and the answer I have is simple: if the Sistine Chapel was a series of 8x10 portraits on the walls and ceiling would they be truly appreciated no matter how good they were?? If Michelangelo were doing a portrait of you would you find it adequate if he pulled out an 8x10 piece of canvas for the image?? I find myself constantly striving to better my art and I am so honoured when my clients appreciate it enough to say we want to have that as a feature piece in our home. Art is meant to be seen and appreciated for generations to come.

Well thanks for looking into my mind and listening to my muses about art and artists, I'll be back soon. Until then, "All the best in Love and Laughter!" Enjoy this family day if you are in the parts of the world that celebrate it and enjoy a beautiful day wherever you are.



Sweets to the Sweet

Just want to thank all our clients for allowing us to be part of your lives. It is an honour. And if any of you who were at the grand opening were wondering how to recreate those amazing cheesecakes in your own home, here are the secret recipes. Okay, so they won't be a secret any more. They're really quite simple to make.

No-Bake Toblerone Cheesecake

Prep 20 min. Total: 3 hours 20 min. (incl. refrigerating)

1 1/4 cups Oreo Baking Crumbs
2 pkg. (250 g each) cream cheese, softened
1 cup smooth peanut butter
1 cup sugar
2 bars (100 g each) Toblerone Swiss Milk Chocolate, divided
1 1/2 cups thawed whipped topping

Mix crumbs and butter; press firmly onto bottom of 9-inch springform pan. Refrigerate 10 min.

Beat cream cheese, peanut butter and sugar with electric mixer on medium speed until well blended. Chop 1 bar of the chocolate; stir into cream cheese mixture. Gently stir 1 cup of the whipped topping in. Spoon over crust. Refrigerate 3 hours.

Microwave remaining 1/2 cup whipped topping and 1 bar chocolate in small microwaveable bowl on High 1 min. until chocolate is melted and mixture well blended; cool slightly. Pour over cake. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Makes 12 servings.
How-To: to quickly soften cream cheese, place unwrapped packages of cream cheese in microwaveable bowl. Microwave on High 30 sec.

Decadent Chocolate Cheesecake

1 c. chocolate crumbs
2 tbsp. sugar
3 tbsp. melted butter

500 g cream cheese, softened
1 c. sugar
3 eggs
1/3 c. frozen OJ concentrate, thawed, undiluted
6 oz. bittersweet or semi-sweet chocolate, melted (I use semi)
1/2 c. sour cream (I use Astro plain yogurt 2%, 3% or 6% m.f.)

Icing: (optional)
4 oz. bittersweet or semi-sweet chocolate
2 tbsp. butter
1/2 c. sifted icing sugar
1-2 tbsp. frozen OJ concentrate, thawed, undiluted

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Base: Combine crumbs, sugar and butter until moistened. Press into bottom of 8-inch springform pan (or use a bit more for 9-inch). Place in freezer while preparing filling.

Filling: With electric mixer, beat cream cheese and sugar until smooth. On low speed, beat in eggs, one at a time. Beat in OJ, then chocolate until smooth. Blend in sour cream. Pour mixture into prepared pan and bake 50 to 60 minutes or just until centre is barely set. Remove from oven and let stand for 10 min. Carefully run a knife around edge to loosen, let cool on rack (whatever), then cover and refrigerate overnight.

Icing: Melt chocolate. Stir in butter until melted and smooth. Add icing sugar and enough OJ to make spreadable. Place cheesecake on a serving plate with waxed paper strips under bottom (this is the hardest part). Spread glaze over top and sides. Chill until set, remove paper.

Happy Valentine's Day!


Well how the time does fly right by eh??(I'm truly Canadian if you didn't know that by now) I was just thinking about art and was reminded of some of the TV specials I have watched in the last few months with family members especially the two on Michelangelo; wow he was amazing and driven. I'm afraid the intro is all you will get today, you will hear more on the subject in my next post.

Have a great night.