Sunday, April 23, 2017

Rivers and Spires: A Thank You for the Memories and Opportunities

Here in my hometown of Clarksville, TN, The Rivers and Spires Festival has become an annual tradition and one I'll always hold a fondness for.  This year was to be it's 15th and final year, yet the remainder of the weekend was unfortunately cancelled due to inclement weather.  It seems this is a sad note for the community to part ways on so I wanted to extend my own heartfelt thanks and goodbyes.  

Rivers and Spires had been around a few years before I really got serious about art in my mid-twenties.  The festival became a local event where I first broke through some barriers as far as finding ways to display my artwork to the public.  I quickly found my work stuck out like a sore thumb, got funny looks, gasps, laughs, and eventually collectors who would seek me out and even become friends.  At first, I started out sharing booth spaces with other artists and splitting the cost.  This eventually gave me the courage to attend other art fairs outside town and now as of recent years, attend comic and horror conventions as well.

As I developed a relationship with our local festival, I also was honored to win their Poster Contest two consecutive years in 2010 and 2011.  It was a cool feeling seeing my custom artwork displayed on billboards, fliers, t-shirts, and the official festival poster around town leading up to the event!  It's an experience I'll never forget and one which gave me plenty of confidence in my abilities as a growing artist.  

Rivers and Spires began as a celebration of a recently-rebuilt town after the 1999 tornado which destroyed much of Downtown Clarksville.  Over the next couple of years, we'll see many more additions to the downtown area again.  As we feel the swell of ever-expanding Nashville, the city grows and grows.  I'm excited for the changes- a new downtown park which is about to break ground, a new arts center as the Roxy expands, and even a Barnes and Noble bookstore will all be here before we know it.  

The ending of Rivers and Spires will be the passing of a torch to a new Clarksville and I'm hopeful for things to come!   Many thanks to the entire event staff and every single local volunteer who offered their time to make Rivers and Spires a wonderful event each year (rain or shine)!

Thursday, April 20, 2017

End Prohibition NOW!

Happy 4/20 from DREGstudios!  The past several weeks, I've been letting my mind bend and playing with paints like it's 2005 but today got me back to the drawing table!  As a proponent of dancing with Mary Jane, I was compelled to draw a small ganja-inspired tribute to the sweet leaf today.  Here's the finished illustration along with some process pictures!

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Top 10 Movie Picks of 2016

Movies take us all to different places and I for one enjoy the escape when I can grab a couple of hours, buckle up, and take a voyage which (more often than not) costs millions of dollars to create. Cinema is one of the reasons we live in the most magnificent time in the history of the arts.  Each year, I compose my own Top 10 list of the films which I found to be my own favorites from the previous year.  It's a way to share my love of film and hopefully give you some suggestions on what to watch when you too have a few hours and are ready to escape.  Making my annual list is never short task.  First I keep a running list throughout the year of the films which I think have a chance of winding up on this post. Mulling over these notations around Oscar season, I get to relive their impressions on me as I revisit them in my mind and decide which I'd like to write about.  I always try to fit in a few I hope you haven't heard of, a few which may be awards contenders, and perhaps even a couple of summer blockbusters.  Here are my favorite flicks of 2016...

Monday, December 5, 2016

After Diego

"After Diego" 
(Pen & Marker on Bristol Board / 2016 / 4in x 5in miniature)

Diego Rivera was a Mexican artist in the early 20th century and is one of my favorite painters. As both a sensual and political artist, he lay some of the footsteps which I aspire to follow on my own artistic journey.  This illustration I created over the weekend was a passion project and reprieve from confines I've felt in my work as of late.  The drawing is based on Rivera's "El Vendedor De Alcatraces" but with my visionary twist of course!  Musing with this painting yesterday morning, I was inspired by the themes of devotion, accomplishment, burden, and strength.

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Stand with Standing Rock

The Native America Sioux Tribe along with protesters and now a fleet of military veterans have dug in and set up camp to protest the building the Dakota Access Pipeline in North Dakota.  The site has become a cultural and political standoff which will be penned in history despite its outcome this week.  The protest camp is schedule to be cleared in the coming week so the this fossil fuel pipeline may be completed and run under the Missouri River, which is the main water source for the Standing Rock Native American Reservation whose people began to protest months ago. Despite claims by Big Oil their pipelines don't leak, 185,000 miles of pipeline leak every single day in the United States.

For centuries, the Native American peoples have fought to protect their land.  Their culture inherently understands the sacred balance between man and nature.  A balance which has become terribly skewed the past century. A platform for alternative energy is decades overdue and Standing Rock today is Ground Zero for the issue at hand. This week I completed an illustration, simply titled as the cause, Stand with Standing Rock to help lend voice to this pinnacle fight for a culture, nature, and the future of energy in our county.