Friday, December 25, 2009

Portrait of My Grandfather

My Grandfather passed away just before Christmas three years ago. As a gift this year for my grandmother, I illustrated a portrait of him. This is the first time I've drawn someone really close to me in this fashion... it was like I was hanging out with him as he came across in the initial sketch. I could feel him smiling through the paper with warm and healing acceptance of my rendering.

Thomas Joseph Hardin
inks on paper / 2009

The infinity symbol is made of grapevine. My grandfather would gather grapevine from the nearby woods of our farm and he would weave wreaths and baskets with just the vine and his hands. Sometimes, my grandmother would decorate them with ceramic animals and flowers and they would sell them at flea markets and my father's convenience store. My grandparents provided a crafty atmosphere in there home and always gave me projects to do as a child. This probably played an important role in my early interest in the arts as well as my creative development.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Woody Guthrie

A few months back, my wife and I were fortunate enough to visit the Ryman Auditorium and see The Counting Crows, Augustana, Michael Franti & Sprearhead spend three solid hours on stage and wow us beyond belief. The bands sent out an email before the show warning fans not to show up late expecting an opening act... all three bands would perform together all night. This jam session began with Van Morrison's "Caravan" and ended with a cover of Woody Guthrie's famous tune telling us "This land was made for you and me." I had never expected to see such a song in that sort of context and I developed a relationship with the lyrics since.

At an art opening recently, I was mingling with a friend, Jonathan, who inquired about a portrait of Woody Guthrie. I had no idea what the guy looked like or anything about him aside from this song which came up again and again to me since seeing its inception on stage. Being well schooled in Socialist thought, Jonathan also schooled me on the meaning behind my new lullaby and Mr. Guthrie's roots with Socialism in America as well as his guitar reading "This Machine Kills Fascists."

Beasley buddy, this was a true delight to work on!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Something a little different...

I was wanting to do a work encompassing the idea of the Christian Rapture. This was the result. I've not worked like this before with panels... it ended up kinda like a one page graphic novel of sorts. Hopefully, this concept will bear more fruit next year!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The Sketchbook Project

The Art House Co-op has a Sketchbook Project which I have participated in the past two years. Artists from all over the world are sent a small saddle-stitched sketchbook to fill up any way they see fit. Folks have made crazy pop-up books, graphic novels, mixed media works, you name it!

If you are an artist, I strongly recommend you sign up for a project with them and I promise you won't be disappointed. It is always a rewarding creative endeavor for me.

Check out my entries into previous projects through my PROFILE on Art House Co-op's website!

Here are a few entries of mine from this year's Sketchbook...

Monday, December 14, 2009

"Peace Mantra"

This recent illustration was just selected for The Customs House Museum's Third Biennial Juried Exhibit in January here in Clarksville, TN.

2009 / inks on paper / 11in x 14in


"An Artist Will Do Anything For Money" 2009 / inks on paper (three 2in x 3in panels)

I composed this piece to sorta go along with my Cult of Personality exhibit but this piece will be included in Thumbprint Gallery's (San Diego) SELF PORTRAIT SHOW.  The illustration is very small with three 2in x 3in panels...

Saturday, December 12, 2009


Cult of Personality explores our society's obsession with celebrity. Each drawing illustrates characteristics of some of our most prominent cultural icons incorporating imagery from the subject’s own work and life. These works draw from 20th century celebrities from all ends of the entertainment and art worlds including authors, visual artists, filmmakers, musicians, politicians, and even scientists. Part satire and part homage. 

-MIR Gallery

CULT OF PERSONALITY opened at MIR Gallery (44 Arcade Building / Nashville) last Saturday evening for the Nashville Art Crawl. I'd like to thank everyone who came out to make it a wonderful evening for both myself and the gallery!

My Mother and I and the opening

My Cousin Sam and his Wife Nancy

The Beasleys

Jeff Bertrand

Ben and Bev

Aurora and Shannon