Monday, May 30, 2011

Wishing you PEACE on Memorial Day from DREGstudios!

With all the hatred we experience in the world on a daily basis, I want to wish everyone PEACE in their lives today.  As it is Memorial Day, we remember those lost as a token in the cost of WAR- wars both just and unjust- those for pride and those for profit.  The most fitting and thoughtful memory you can have for those memorialized today is one of purpose and progress.  As life is a wild of a ride, we get too caught up in the ups and downs of our everyday struggle to think about tomorrow nevertheless the state of the world for future generations to come. Never forget, we're in this together whether we like it or not (and I don't mean both sides of the isle, I mean the entire human race.)
"Sacred Texts:  We the People" inks on pages from The Holy Bible (2007)
    Wars have been waged and raged throughout the entire history of man (over love, over territory, over food and fire... none of which can be held in context today for cause of war as far as much of the free world is concerned.)  Today, the stakes are raised much higher as WAR is now BIG Business with natural resources and profiteering on the table.  As a people, we can continue to allow this to escalate or stand and lend our voices. The money spent on war (nevertheless that made from it) could be used to create renewable energy to power the entire world.  Trying to gain a military stranglehold on what's left of our petroleum and ignoring the fact that it's gone in less than half a century is insane.  The cost of war is not only composed of our abstract idea of money, but the cost of LIFE (hundred of thousands and over time- millions.)

Memorialize your entire world today- rich and poor, left and right, all class, all creed, all shade.  There is room for all of us, enough sun for all of us, and enough fun for all of us.  Give and get.


Go to south America and ask the indigenous tribes
You'll find when you get there, that only a few have survived.
Ask them if they have gotten that promised paradise
Ask them is it too late to fall for those religious lies
Go to Australia and ask the aborigines
How it feel for people to come and take their land 
and do as they pleze.
While you're on the subject of invading nations
and putting folks on reservations
ask the native Americans, who's truly the Indians?
or go to Gaza strip and ask the Palestinians.
Go to Europe to Belarus, where their populace is socialist
and ask them about that myth of a future that don't exist
Go to the Darfur region of Sudan
and ask the one point two million refugees
dying of starvation in the sand
Go across the globe, or go next door
Ask any body should there be war
War no more  No more war
War no more  No more war

Friday, May 27, 2011

Flashed Photography (Collaborations with Chad Spann)

This Saturday night, No Egrets Tattoo is hosting another spectacular group exhibit, Flashed Photography.  Another brain child of Joe Melanson, this event will feature over twenty regional photographers and artists (including myself) displaying their work for the public.  This event is absolutely FREE and will have entertainment from three DJ's providing the house music.  You're also in for a treat with another themed cake from Heather Bowker.  If you didn't see her Television Cake from the last show at No Egrets, Retro TV Night, Click HERE for my post about the show to check out all the fun and get an idea of what you're in for THIS Saturday night!

So what's the big idea?  How am I in a Photography exhibit?  No, I didn't suddenly take to the streets with my trusty camera and try to conquer another art form.  I have enough illustration and painting projects to keep me busy for the next year!

Chad Spann is one of my favorite photographers, and not just because he can hold his alcohol and make me dribble in my pants with obscene laughter every time I hang out with him.  Chad has a real eye for the world and capturing the macabre and beautifully surreal things he sees.  Chad's gift is that when he takes his shot, you can see what he saw and take that trip with him every time.

"Cheers" Mixed Media / 2011 (Brandt Hardin and Chad Spann)
"Get Your Funnel Cake" Mixed Media / 2011
Chad and I had been toying with the idea of some mixed media collaborations all year.  We wanted to
take my illustration and digitally incorporate it into some pics that Chad would take.  The idea sat on the back burner, making it's own gravy until this exhibit surfaced to provide us with a forum for our new-found idea.

For the exhibit Saturday night, we'll have eight collaborations just like these to unveil to the public.  Pics include some shots Chad took from Waffle House, a Skate Park, and a Carnival!  Of course, I went in and illustrated figures into the works.  This was a new experimental process for me, not only by adding my drawings to photos, but digitally coloring most of them as well.

The show kicks off at 7PM Saturday night, May 28th at No Egrets Tattoo (1128 College St / Clarksville.)  The exhibit is FREE and OPEN to the Public!

"Silverware at Dinner" Mixed Media
 UPDATE 05/29/2011
Here are some great pics Aurora got of our one night exhibit at No Egrets Tattoo...

Myself and Chad Spann unveiling our new series!

Subject matter varied from zombies to comics to panties...

Some great stencil work on the evolving walls at No Egrets

Another themed custom cake from Heather Bowker!
Myself and Jeff Bertrand laying down some free-style acrylics...

Loyd Gant got involved with all three of us painting at once.
Our curator, Joe Melanson has ways of collecting his commissions you don't want to know about.

Illustration Friday: Nod Off

"Topsy-Turvy: Nod Off" inks on paper / 2006
"Asleep" is what Illustration Friday gave us artists loyal to their themed gauntlet today as a topic of artist endeavor.  Here is another illustration from my Topsy-Turvy series, in which all the works can be hung either side up.  This dude is from waaaaay back in 2006 when I was still experimenting with the series around the time of my first exhibit of such work.  This illustration never made the cut for either show so I thought I would share it with you today seeing as it struck me as fitting the theme since the figure looks as if he's falling asleep through the progression of faces.

I have bouts of insomnia myself so sleep is very precious.  Just looking at this guy makes me want to nod off since I was up painting a skate deck last night.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Rock Star Martyr: Bradley Nowell

inks on bristol / 2011
Tomorrow is the 15th anniversary of the passing of a unique and talented musician in Bradley Nowell.   Like too many other musicians over the past 40 years, the frontman of Sublime succumbed to his own addictions with a heroin overdose at the age of 28.  Sublime's self-titled debut from any major label was released posthumously after Nowell's death and has become a staple of alternative music with it's unique blending of genres.

For my portrait, I included Brad's trusty companion, Lou Dog.  His dalmatian was a mascot of sorts for Sublime and would roam the stage as the band played.  Louie even got a few lines about himself written in a couple of the band's songs.  Of course, the poppies in the foreground with Lou are included as the element leading to the musician's fall.

Tomorrow, Joebot will commemorate Nowell with a new article on his site at Rock Star Martyr.  Be certain to swing by and lend your ear.  

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Top 10 Zombie Movies of ALL TIME with Dan & Colleen

"The Zombie Marshalls" Inks on Bristol / 2011
My buddy Dan and I have talked and debated movies for a very long time now.  The man loves some gore and all that goes with the horror genre, especially when it comes to zombies.  Several years ago, he met the love of his life, Colleen with an equally insatiable appetite for the living dead.  Two years ago today, they married and even had a zombie wedding cake!  This year for their anniversary gift, I've drawn up a portrait for them as the zombie versions of their selves. 

(Feel free to visit my Portrait Page to see how you can commission a drawing of you or your loved ones as well!)

As part of this very special post on their 2nd Anniversary, I asked the undead couple to give me a list of their Top 10 favorite zombie movies of all time.  Some of the titles were even gorefully fulfilling enough to make BOTH of their lists!  We'll start with Mrs. Marshall's list...

This may be a top ten list, but I am a person who cannot really say what is number 1 , 5 or 10. The positions change with what mood I am in. But these are the most loved.   -Colleen

Both of these guys had a tough time narrowing their favorites down to just 10!  Colleen starts her list off with a few honorable mentions...

Friday, May 20, 2011

Illustration Friday: Floundering

It's Illustration Friday again this week and we have the theme of "Soaked."  This stone age painting is from waaaaay back in 2005.  At the time, I was doing some very low brow painting aside from my illustration.  The panel was exhibited at The Alter Gallery here in Clarksville.  It was always fun painting on found wood, and just laying down some colors to see what happened.  The process took an entire 30 minutes I believe...  After making the first broad brown strokes on my white background, I decided I had an angel underwater.
"Floundering" acrylic and metallic marker on found wood panel

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Rock Star Martyr: Ian Curtis

Joebot just loves Ian Curtis's big puppy dog eyes and will be putting him down in the registry at Rock Star Martyr tomorrow on the anniversary of his death.

The front-man of Joy Division took his own life in the year of my birth in 1980.  Here is the portrait I made for the article on Curtis.  This talented singer was prone to fits of epilepsy, which where known to occur while he was performing.  He even started acting them out while dancing on stage, taking inspiration from the affliction. I wanted to represent this within my illustration, which brought out Ian's brain and the multiple sets of eyes.  The broken heart represents the song, "Love Will Tear Us Apart."

If you're just tuning in, I've been creating visual stimulations for Joebot and his online publication over at Rock Star Martyr.  Click HERE to see more portraits here at DREGstudios!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Illustration Friday: In Egypt

Today, the artists of Illustration Friday have been prompted to go on a "Safari."  This theme immediately brought me to a series of works I started in 2008 where I was really getting into Egyptian art.  My goal was to do an entire series based around works inspired my imagery from their art and culture.  Among my favorite and most inspirational artist cultures are the Egyptians, along with Indian and Native American design. I only ended up with a few works of this style, one of which has been exhibited and you may recognize from my business cards!  However, the featured illustration today has never been exhibited or shown, so soak it up with fresh eyes and let me know what you think!
Inks on Bristol / 2008

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

In Memoriam: Bob Marley

On tomorrow's date exactly 30 years ago, Bob Marley died at the age of 36, succumbing to cancer.  I was 8 months old.  Today, Legend, the posthumous collection of the musician's work is Diamond Platinum (having gone Platinum ten times in the U.S. and selling over 25 million copies world-wide.)  There are very few voices in music, past or present, who can even begin to shed the same emotions as Marley did in his short lifetime.  This classless and world-embracing music has followed me my entire life and will live far beyond myself for even more generations to come with messages of peace, hope, and revolution.  There is so much to still be learned from this one man's lyrics if we only open our hearts, ears, and minds...

"Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery-
None but ourselves can free our minds."
-"Redemption Song"

"We're sick and tired of your ism-skism game -
Die and go to heaven in Jesus' name, Lord.
We know when we understand:
Almighty God is a living man.
You can fool some people sometimes,
But you can't fool all the people all the time.
So now we see the light (What you gonna do?),
We gonna stand up for our rights!"
This portrait will be featured tomorrow on Rock Star Martyr with an article from my buddy Joebot on Bob Marley for the anniversary of his death.  Be sure to drop by, bookmark him, and check out his articles for which I've been composing portraits of music icons.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy Mother's Day Weekend (with bats, comics, Einstein's wedding and recycled art!)

My mother and I at Sacred Texts
Coming off a mother of a weekend, I thought I'd share some of our shenanigans with you here from DREGstudios!  I just had a fantastic sushi dinner with my own mother just an hour or so ago.  The least I can do is buy the gal some flowers and dinner once a year for spitting my huge melon of a head into existence to paint the universe as I see it.  I'm not sure she's come completely full circle with all my subject matter, but she has supported me with my decisions to follow my lifelong dream of simply being an artist.  Thanks for all you do Mom!

Our pet bat for a day...
Of course, the day before before Mother's Day, Saturday held one of the most important holidays across the nation for it's legions of worshipers- Free Comic Book Day.  Ironically, on my way out the door of our apartment in the morning, I noticed a visitor in the breezeway, of which my wife got some pics.  My favorite comic hero is Batman and I took this as an omen.  Aurora and I stopped on our way in to Nashville at The Great Escape to make good on the industry's promise.  We made out like bandit's with our grab bags.  My wife score a run of Spider-Man comics through Marvel's Civil War line.  I got a bag of random Superman issues with some dating back to the 70's.

Here are some cool pics Aurora got of some of the fans who showed to collect their bounty and celebrate the most glorious day of the year!
A whole legion of Ghostbusters!

These guys are getting married in a few months!
Miranda with "Hide" (cereal box type recyclables)

Our main purpose for going to Nashville Saturday was actually for the Art Walk and to see the last exhibit to ever be held at MIR Gallery.  For it's finale, owner and curator Miranda Herrick displayed collected works of her own- REDUCED, REUSED, RECYCLED.  I gave Miranda some of my free Superman comics since she's one of the biggest fans I know. I was lucky enough to exhibit my own work at MIR Gallery with my Cult of Personality series in 2009 as well as other group opportunities.

"Rocket Science" (sewn Starburst wrappers)
Design from Cherry Dr. Pepper Cans

A lot of Miranda's work including her illustration, involve and evoke strong and intricate patterns and designs.  With these works, she used recycled post-consumer materials to make art.  She displayed one of her rugs crocheted out of plastic shopping and newspaper bags.  Other works included panels with cut-up aluminum cans arranged in beautiful kaleidoscope looking patterns.

"I must first gather the dozens, or hundreds, of shapes and remove them from their original designs before crafting my artwork.  The ease of this accumulation serves as a more evident reminder of the vastness of our culture's consumption than the consumer's flippant toss of a can into the recycling bin or -egad!- the garbage can."

-From the Artist

At the show, I delivered a commission piece for Miranda to give to her own mother, Barbara, for Mother's Day.  These zany gals were having a funny conversation about who Miranda wanted to be her daddy.  Among the top contenders was none other than Mr. Albert Einstein.  Miranda employed me to make this a reality for her mother with this wedding portrait!  Barb is also an artist herself and I even traded her for one of her mixed media works as a gift for my mother a few years back. 

The real religion of the world comes from women much more than from men - from mothers most of all, who carry the key of our souls in their bosoms.  ~Oliver Wendell Holmes

Friday, May 6, 2011

Illustration Friday: Break an Egg

"Break an Egg" inks on bristol / 2008
 Each week, Illustration Friday draws a theme out of the hat as a prompt for artists.  This year, I'm trying to meet their theme with an existing work of art from my catalog.  Today's prompt is "Beginner."

Every thing we tackle in our lives begins somewhere.  Whenever we start something new, we're bound to break a few eggs trying to accomplish it, which brought me to this illustration from 2008..... enjoy!