Friday, August 7, 2015

Rebel Yell: The Sound of Terrorism


Race relations in the United States have reached a fever pitch as of late.  While the melting pot simmers and the media await a boil, many of us find ourselves choosing sides as if it were 1861.  One of the issues pushing these boundaries is over the Rebel Flag, which has served as a symbol of terrorism to African Americans and minorities since before the phrase was coined.

  Webster’s defines terrorism as “the use of violent acts to frighten the people in an area as a way of trying to achieve a political goal.”  Armed with torches, the Ku Klux Klan infamously adopted the Rebel Flag as their standard in the late 1860’s following the end of the Civil War.  Their main aim was to overthrow the United States government during the Reconstruction.  Of course their methods included lynching African Americans and burning their churches to the ground- all in the name of calling for new southern revolution.  These anti-governmental plots would surely land such folks on a government watch list today where they would be labeled domestic terrorists.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Floppy Eyed Topsy Turvies

The sub-tropical Tennessee death heat has set in here in the mid-south the past couple of weeks.  This has brought about a thriving plethora of allergens which have wreaked havock on my eyes.  I have a severe dry eye condition which is aggravated by my allergies.  In extreme cases, I have to tape my left eye shut for a few days so it can heal and stop burning.  While hiding in doors and fearing the air itself like Bubble Boy, I've found myself drawing the past few days.

I attacked a black piece of chipboard with some silver sharpies late last week.  I freestyled an addition to my neverending Topsy Turvy series where the finished artworks can be hung in multiple directions on the wall.  This left me wanting more so Aurora helped me spray paint some backgrounds on wood panels and I've been going wild with those silver sharpies ever since!  All of the these were created with one eye taped shut... can't wait to see what they look like with BOTH eyes!  For now, you enjoy them for me...

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Misty Mountains and a Clear Head

For the past few days, Aurora and I have been making our way through the scenic trails of the mountains in the Great Smoky Mountain National Park here in East Tennessee.  The first time I brought my wife to Gatlinburg, we only had time to travel the route straight up to Clingman's Dome (the highest point in the mountains.)  This time, we were fortunate enough to have time for more.  After some browsing in Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg, we drove Little River Road yesterday.  This awesome road twists through the mountains along the side of a river, switching back and forth from side to side.  We also visited Cades Cove, a one way loop around some flat fields tucked away in the mountains with horses, cabins and old farmhouses along the way.  We ended the day taking some nice shots of the ranges from the Foothills Parkway running along the edge of the park.  The scenic driving and misty mountains was just what the doctor ordered for some brief R&R!

Friday, July 3, 2015

The Fury of Burgess Falls

This weekend Aurora and I are at Fairfield Glade over in East Tennessee for the Frey Family Reunion.  On the way out here, we stopped by Burgess Falls for a quick hike Thursday morning.  The Cumberland Plateau has experienced a bit of rain the past few days so we got more than we bargained for.  The parking area was streaked with mud.  The trails were crossed with streams from the watershed.  The Falls were absolutely roaring amidst the flash floods and we got some neat pics of the fury of Mother Nature!  The mist alone barreling out of the falling water was blowing the treetops like a hurricane!

It's a 50% chance of more rain our entire trip to the plateau and mountains over the next week.  The weather will keep the subtropical death heat at bay and we'll be ducking in and out with the sun!  Hopefully there are more scenic shots to come from our planned adventures.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

An Overdue Dose of Southern Pop Surrealism

This past Sunday, I got together with the Wolfman, Joey Melons and Mike McKelvey to crank out a series of paintings and soak up some perfect Tennessee weather.  The past few months have been a transitional period for me in my professional life hence my absence from DREGstudios.com and the easel and drawing table themselves.  In our long over-due painting session, we had one helluva art jam!  Here are the collaborative paintings we created...

Charles Bennett, Brandt Hardin and Joe Melanson collaboration