Saturday, December 15, 2012

Kids Murals By An Overgrown Kid

I love children and one of the best and most important parts of my work is creating special and cozy places for them. I love making scenes just for them--images that reflect their hopes and dreams and provide a safe place for them to dream.  I get to paint unicorns, castles, lions, jungles trucks, and a million other fun things. 

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Love Conquers All

Love Conquers All Mural by Robert PhelpsI don't usually sign my murals but if you see a little bird in perched anywhere that's my signature. He's a little hard to see in this one but my little sparrow is in the bottom right corner. I really liked how this one came out and especially the message. Amor Vincit Omnia means "Love Conquers All"

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Ninja Monkeys Protect Newborn Baby!


This was really fun to see. A lovely couple here in St. Petersburg bought some of my ninja monkey decals to dress up their baby nursery. I'm so going to make more of these. They kick ass
Ninja Monkeys attack! 

Robert Phelps Ninja Monkeys are awfully sexy on you! 

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Monster Party Day 4.....Mitt Zombie v. Zombie Obama

Mitt Zombie vs. Zombie Obama....who will win?!
What the what?! I just discovered that you can make dartboards on Zazzle ! I've been having fun tinkering with some new Political Monster designs in my new store. I'm totally gonna make a bunch of these dart boards. Cool! 

I'm hoping the VP debate with stir the pot enough to raise the visibility of my stores Political Poison and my newly opened 2012 Halloween Weirdness portfolio. 





Time to make some dartboards and some new designs......

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Monster Party Day 3

I've decided to have some fun this month. I felt like it would be fun to ride this wave of political zeitgeist with the upcoming elections and make some political designs. Unfortunately this proved too boring....until I started monkeying around with Halloween imagery. I decided that politicians ARE monsters so I might as well reflect them in all their hideous glory

I've been having a blast adding them to a new Zazzle store called Political Poison. The image of my brother dressed as Abraham Lincoln on the top always makes me laugh my ass off. I'm experimenting with new designs daily.  They also make really cool prints


Slap THIS on the ass of your car this election seaon.....

Why does he look more animated as a zombie? 

You can drink coffee, tea or blood out of these. 
Today's monstrous experiment actually made me laugh out loud. The face on my Mitt Zombie design is hilarious in my book. I really had fun putting the blood on the shirt. It's like a new toy I can't stop playing with! 

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Monster Party Day 2

OK, Seriously.....These bags are gonna be awesome for collecting candy
This is a cool design for both Obama lovers n' haters alike
I've decided to have some fun this month. I felt like it would be fun to ride this wave of political zeitgeist with the upcoming elections and make some political designs. Unfortunately this proved too boring....until I started monkeying around with Halloween imagery. I decided that politicians ARE monsters so I might as well reflect them in all their hideous glory. 
Franken Romney.....because he's stiff and boring....get it? 
This is how I see all politicians....mutants! 
I've been having a blast adding them to a new Zazzle store called Political Poison. The image of my brother dressed as Abraham Lincoln on the top always makes me laugh my ass off. I'm experimenting with new designs daily.  They also make really cool prints!

Monster Party Day 1


I've decided to have some fun this month. I felt like it would be fun to ride this wave of political zeitgeist with the upcoming elections and make some political designs. Unfortunately this proved too boring....until I started monkeying around with Halloween imagery. I decided that politicians ARE monsters so I might as well reflect them in all their hideous glory. 


Our Prez as a Zombie on a shirt
I've been having a blast adding them to a new Zazzle store called Political Poison. The image of my brother dressed as Abraham Lincoln on the top always makes me laugh my ass off. I'm experimenting with new designs daily.  


Zombie Prez on a phone case
I made a bunch of designs and have been experimenting with tweaking them. I totally like this Zombie Obama. I happen to like our President but you have to admit he looks pretty cool as a zombie. I think the bloody flag background is a pretty interesting touch. 

You can see the full portfolio of product designs HERE and the gallery of prints HERE

Happy Halloween, weirdos! 

Thursday, October 4, 2012

You Don't Know Jack!.....

Detail of Jack the cat
painting by Robert Phelps
My cat Jack is a son of a bitch. Not literally, of course, because he's a cat but he is one of those furry monsters who loves to tear up furniture and knock things off shelves at all hours of the night. He's a relentless flirt and will cuddle up to anyone who promises to pet him. My little kitteh needs constant affection is always climbing on the keyboard while I'm typing.
Jack the master of napping with his come hither eyes....
In the middle of the night he finds noisy things to bat around for hours. If he wants you to get up in the morning he will rattle the wooden shades repeatedly until you can't stand anymore. He eats anything that will fit in his mouth and I often find rubber bands, small bits of plastic or string in the litter box. He will chew and scratch your hands to shreds for shits n' giggles. Some mornings I'm greeted with a series of soggy piles of cat puke he's left around the house--filled, usually with leaves of houseplants he decided to turn into salad. Other times I find mountains of shredded toilet paper strewn around the bathroom.
THIS is how you nap!
Still....he is the nicest cat I've ever met. He's impossible to resist. Look at that little face. Jack has taught me innumerable lessons in charm and persistence. He never stops going for what he wants and he never takes no for an answer. With the determination of Alexander the Great crossing the Hindu Kush Jack will get his cuddles! It is literally impossible to be mad at him for more than a microsecond. How does he do that?
I made the mistake of leaving a kitchen drawer open. Jack found my catnip stash and chewed through the bag.  He then proceeded to have an epic drug orgy in my living room.
Whodunnit?
So, I decided to paint him. Not too shabby if I do say so myself. I was inspired to pay homage to Van Gogh's "Starry Night" in the background after staring at Jack's black coat for hours. In the end I think it does capture some of his spirit. You can see prints of him HERE, products with his furry mug HERE and a large, detailed picture of him HERE.
Catching ZZZZZs on daddy's knees........

I have a dream....

Nathan Alexander, espresso master!
I love when people follow their dreams. I just had a ridiculously yummy sample of some ice cold, handmade rosemary lemonade (sounds like the name of a psychedelic album from the 60's). I followed it up with a perfectly-blended vanilla latte. What makes it so yummy? The secret ingredient is TLC. 
Rosemary Lemonade 
The owner, my friend Nathan, left a dreary job path to embark on a new business close to his heart. His new espresso bar called Rocket Coffee is located 2141 4th Street North here in St. Pete, FL.  He's taken over the once-abandoned coffee corner in our bustling Rally station near downtown. It's nice to see this oasis of handmade treasures gleaming among all the plastic-wrapped convenience store goodies.
Mmmmm.....espresso
I used to visit Nathan when he worked in another coffee shop on Beach Drive. He's one of those good souls that soften the the harsh edges of modern life. Always friendly, gentlemanly and light-hearted, he takes coffee pretty seriously but not in an obnoxious, snooty way. He cares for his craft with an intensity and elegance that reminds me of a master brewer in one of Italy's classic cafes. 
Keepin' it fresh and local!
I wish Nathan the best and will be visiting Rocket Coffee often. He's an old soul with a childlike exuberance and ninja-level mastery of the beans n' brew....and you can't beat that. Shine on you crazy diamond!    ;-) 
Cool logo too!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Rescued by the Princess...

Some weeks my job is ridiculously hectic and challenging. The project I wrote about in my recent post is a good example of this. Tight deadlines, cumbersome materials, and technically challenging work can make even this upbeat artiste extraordinaire cranky. With no option but to roll up my sleeves and put my head down I feel a bit like Sisyphus with his bumbling boulder. In the end it's worth it. The client is happy, I'm in a little better shape and usually I've learned a thing or two....sometimes the hard way. 

However, the other side of this dirty little coin gleams like fresh moonbeams bouncing off a magic lake. Dream clients! On the tail end of the aforementioned sign project I was fortunate to have a fantastic pet portrait commissioned by some really amazing people. The lovely couple had already bought one of my paintings on behalf of the Florida English Bulldog Rescue charity auction. 

To make matters even more fun my liaison for this project was another one of my favorite clients--a lovely woman who commissioned this painting for her husband. And for the hat trick of awesome circumstances the subject, Pippa was absolutely adorable and friendly. She's an adorable little girl who gnaws and mangles her favorite chew toy as seen in the picture. It got even better--the clients already had a perfect reference photo to use (Usually I work from a myriad of sample pictures which is pretty difficult) so the sailing was smooth from the get go. 

 This project was the exact opposite of the week before. The couple were in no rush so there was no deadline to speak of. They were really positive, upbeat, friendly, patient and enthusiastic--all of which really put me at ease. Instead of tight, exacting letter painting I was luxuriating in loose, colorful brushstrokes. I really enjoyed the unique tawny tones and patterns of Pippa's fur. It was a fantastic way to spend the week. Painting, listening to podcasts, and sipping coffee.  

As per usual I did make myself a little crazy obsessing over details but that is part and parcel of the whole painting experience for me.  I'm working on simplifying my technique so I don't end up in an institution. 

I've added the lovely Pippa to my online stores in the form of GICLEES and PRINTS and a VARIETY of other products too good not to share. If you'd like to see the up close and personal version of Pippa just click HERE
Hello, Pippa!


Pippa, the English Bulldog by Robert Phelps

Sunday, September 16, 2012

This Job is For the Birds.....

This was a fun project from a few months back. One of my clients absolutely LOVES birds and spends her days taking beautiful pictures of Florida sea birds. Her work is amazing. She is always brimming over with passion for the coastal creatures and knows most of their habits intimately. 

Not being nearly as knowledgeable on the topic of Florida birds as she, I was a bit nervous to undertake the mural she had commissioned me to do in her bedroom. It was to be of a rookery loaded scenes of local birds and their mating rituals. Fortunately for me she was very forthcoming in the details she wanted and even provided me with several great reference pictures.

The hardest part actually was rendering the subtle details on a fairly textured wall. I tried my best but it was like trying to paint on a gravel road! It can be very frustrating to say the least. In the end, however, all was well. My client glowed with praise and happiness when all was said and done.   Good times ;-) 
BEFORE
AFTER
Ta Da!

Bird Island! 
As a bonus I got to see some gentle giants up close during my lunch break. Look at these guys! 








Saturday, September 15, 2012

Signs, Signs, Everywhere There's Signs.....


A few weeks ago I found myself driving straight into the heart of darkness. An early AM delivery to the Tampa Museum of Art required that I navigate the treacherous labyrinth of the RNC in Tampa. Streets were awkwardly blocked by cement barricades. All traffic was funneled into bumbling parades of confused locals and even more confused visitors. Threatening fences sprouted up at every turn and were manned by grim-looking police. It was a huge mess to say the least.

To make matters worse, I was on a tight deadline. My precious cargo had to be delivered at 8 on the nose. As a directionally-challenged citizen, I found this particular mission especially daunting. Fortunately my Irish stubbornness prevailed and I navigated the treacherous maze and made the delivery right on time. Getting out of the maelstrom was another matter entirely. It took me several twists, tumbles and turns to find my way to freedom.

Once loose and sailing coolly along the highway I promised myself a celebratory afternoon of coffee and loitering for a job well done. And a job well done it was! For 8 days I worked dawn til midnight sanding, buffing, painting, aging, crackling, distressing a series of twelve vintage signs. I think I went a little crazy toiling all by my lonesome in the studio. Fortunately I had the Adam Carolla, the Film Vault and Joe Rogan podcasts to keep me company. I definitely could not have done it without them. 

The good news is...mission accomplished! I'll let the pictures tell the story ;-)