Tuesday, November 29, 2011

BAH-HUMBUG! A Christmas Carol at The Roxy Regional Theatre

Scrooge (inks on bristol / 2011)
I got roped in to do what is now an annual duty I suppose of creating some artwork to go along with one of the productions at The Roxy Regional Theater here in Clarksville.  I've done Frank Sinatra, Julius Caesar, Dracula and this year- A Christmas Carol!  Today I got my work framed by Wolfie and during Thursday Night's Downtown Art Walk, my visions of the characters from this classic tale will be unveiled along with my frequent collaborator and council, Mr. Charles Bennett.  

With my representations of the characters from Charles Dickens' classic story, I wanted to make my pieces in my own pop surrealist style but also hold true to the original imagery used my the author himself in the novella, A Christmas Carol

Here are some Process Pictures and previews of my original illustrations which will open THIS Thursday, December 1st at The Roxy...

Friday, November 25, 2011

Illustration Friday: Sun Mantra

Round is the theme for this week from Illustration Friday. The illustration I chose to share today incorporates a few unique concepts and is called "Sun Mantra." This triptych is from 2008 though I've not displayed or framed it as of yet.
Sun Mantra / inks on bristol / 2008
The tiny peace sign in the middle of the sun you may recognize as my branded symbol made out of bones which you see all over my site. The element found its way into a couple of other works the past couple of years and I drew the peace sign again by itself late last year to begin using as sort of a signature for many of my designs and promotional materials. The strongest element of this composition though is the gradation of the eyes around the inside of the sun. These eyes cycle through a spectrum of grey tones and give much life, movement and visual context to the work.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Killer Queen: A Portrait of Freddie Mercury

Queen was a band which found segways into my life at an early age through both main stream means and later self-discovery. I've seemed to find a deeper appreciation for their music and Freddie Mercury's arrangements and lyrics over the years.  What was a handful of fun songs as a teenager has turned into a journey and wide range of songs with each holding special memories for me.... some with friends, some with school and more recently- some with my wife. Here's a brand new portrait I just finished up this evening of Freddie with imagery from several of the group's songs...
Freddie Mercury / inks on bristol / 2011

I like something a bit different... actually, a like EVERYthing a bit different.... this goes in all walks of life including art, film, literature and especially music.  Freddie was one of a kind and I drew up a unique portrait of him for Rock Star Martyr this week.  I summoned the most flamboyant edges of the Universal Creative Spirit for this one!

Monday, November 21, 2011

In Memoriam: Cujo

I ended up with a very unique commission last week from a co-worker at my day job. Tim called me up from our service department about his German Shepherd, Cujo a couple of weeks back.  Through some unfortunate and cruel actions on the part of a couple of young local soldiers (I live next to Ft. Campbell, KY,) Tim's dog was poisoned here in town.  The guilty parties are being held accountable financially though the military but the loss of Cujo left a large empty space in Tim's life so he explained to me his idea for a memorial to remember the big guy by.  He delivered to me a 200 lb concrete statue of a German Shepherd and asked me to paint it to look like his dog which I was happy to do being a dog lover and understanding what it meant to him.

Here's a picture of Tim with his Cujo memorial as well as some process pictures from where I painted him.  The statue was too big to carry up the stairs at my apartment building so I stayed after work at the office and painted him there.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Propaganda for the Occupy Movement

The greatest of faults is to be conscious of none.

I've joked these past few weeks about being an Occuposer since I work constantly and only voice my approval and admiration of The Occupy Movement though I'm not out in the streets protesting.  This evening I drew up a Guy Fawkes mask in my own surreal style with a bangin' third eye to make a few propaganda pieces and lend my skills!  Feel free to share these around, post them on social networks and even email me if you want a print-sized version to get them made in real life and take it to the streets!  I'm not Jay-Z and I'm not here to make a dime off them, just drop a line to dregstudios@gmail.com.  What you get here are 11in x 17in web quality so let me know if you 'd like a print file you can blow any of them up as large as your imagination and wallet will take you with the help of your local printer.

I am more fortunate than some... not as fortunate as others.  I join the rest of the 99% grinding through my Six Day work weeks managing a marketing department to come home to a wonderful and loving wife who shares me with my art, which Occupies much of my time aside from sleep and being punched in on someone else's clock.  Like most Americans, despite full-time work- I have no health insurance, I can't afford a house, I owe money with exorbitant interests rates, I've had my wages garnished for student loan debts and I get a fraction of the time off that workers in Communist and Socialist countries get.

Before we can change the way Capitalism has distorted our lives, we have to admit there is a problem.  We have to stop being get-along / go-along.  We have to raise our voice.  The Occupy movement is the most important event in modern history for two reasons: 1) People are bringing attention to the fact that there's not just a problem, there are many; and 2) The past two months of our lives have marked a first in human history- a GLOBAL Protest!  Through the power of the internet, word-of-mouth and despite media blackouts the first few weeks of the sit-ins, the message of the 99% has spread across the entire world with major demonstrations in over 80 countries.

"Every generation needs a new Revolution."  -Thomas Jefferson 

If you didn't realize the scale of these events over the past 9 weeks, its because our Government and Big Business don't want you to know.  They want you to think that there are unemployed drug addicts gathering in parks.  They don't want you to know about the hundreds and thousands of Union Workers, Teachers, Retired Police, Veterans, Unemployed College Graduates, Medical Professionals, Musicians, Actors, Artists and Brilliant Peaceful Folk who are standing up and saying YES- there is a problem.   Research for yourself and read read read.  Power is knowledge and if you spend 15 minutes a day reading about the things you WANT to change, then you can help facilitate that very CHANGE.  15 minutes a day 6 days a week equal 25 books worth of knowledge in a single year.  Just 35 books of knowledge equals an $80,000 MBA education.

"The man who thinks becomes a light and a power!"  -Henry George

Hundreds of people have been arrested over the past two months in cities from Nashville to Denver to Los Angeles to Portland and everywhere in between here in our country.  The same is happening across Canada, much of Europe and Australia on the same large scale.  Over the past week, every Constitutional right of American Citizens has been compromised by the corruption of our Government from the Arms of Big Business and their seemingly infinite reach.  Press members have been arrested, quarantined outside of raids as to not be able to report them- even news helicopters were grounded in New York City.  Pregnant women, elderly women and college students have been gassed, pepper sprayed and beaten in the streets.  Is this the United States we were taught to love by our system?  It is today and we can't be too careful about letting our rights slip further out of our grasp.

"Man's greatest fear is that he can do anything."  -Nelson Mandella

I stand with the 99% and am grateful for each and every person who Occupies the streets of the United States and all over the world.  They are fighting for you and I.  They are standing up for our civil liberties.  They are raising their voices to call for change.  They want you to have health insurance.  They want your children to have affordable education.  They want you to be able to keep your house and know what retirement is.  They want to live in a better and fairer world and not just for one out of every hundred of us.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Gettin' Raw with Ol' Dirty Bastard

The ODB (inks on bristol / 2011)
"I see things from a one-eye perspective and the four-eye perspective. The one-eye perspective is being able to see everything, as clear as my eye can see it."  -ODB

Tomorrow is the anniversary of the death of Wu-Tang Clan founder Russell Tyrone Jones aka Ol' Dirty Bastard.  In tune with Rock Star Martyr, Joebot will be posting a new article over on his website describing the rise, fall, and all that running from the law which made the Dirty one a household name and earned him Platinum status.  Here's the portrait for Rock Star Martyr which I finished up this evening to get your juices flowing for the profound obscenity with is THE ODB.

To give a glimpse of how it's all done, here's a few process pics of my illustration...

Friday, November 11, 2011

Happy Birthday Mr. Vonnegut!

"Sweet Dreams Mr. Vonnegut" inks on paper / 2007
One of the most influential authors of the 20th century was Kurt Vonnegut, who was born on today's date in 1922 in Indianapolis and passed away just four short years ago.  Before becoming a world-famous author, Vonnegut like so many Americans, was called to duty to defend The United States in World War II.  He became a prisoner of war when he was captured by German forces in The Battle of the Bulge on December 19, 1944.  Imprisoned in Dresden, Vonnegut saw the city decimated in a firestorm of attack the following year.  The young soldier along with other prisoners sought refuge from bombings in an underground slaughterhouse meat locker dubbed Schlachthof Fünf (Slaughterhouse Five), which became the inspiration and title of one of his most celebrated novels exposing the absurdity and atrocity of war with his flamboyant and unique commentary. Vonnegut was eventually liberated from capture by Soviet forces and returned to the U.S.

I was first introduced to Slaughterhouse Five through my Senior English teacher Mrs. Greenfield in High School.  Taking an interest (as opposed to the disdain of others) in my radical and warped nature, she turned me on to many great authors including Huxley, Camus, Burgess and others.  I found this first novel from the author to be my gateway into his world and to other great works including my favorite, Cat's Cradle.  Upon hearing of Kurt's passing in 2007, I was compelled to illustrate his image which I've shared with you today on what would have been his 89th birthday.  After finishing the portrait, I was compelled to pull out an old typewriter and add to the work, "Sweet Dreams Mr. Vonnegut."

"Someday, someday, this crazy world will have to end,
And our God will take things back that He to us did lend.
And if, on that sad day, you want to scold our God,
Why go right ahead and scold Him.  He'll just smile and nod."

-Cat's Cradle

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Cycloctopus (LIVE Painting Installation!)

Live Painting 11/03/2011
Joe Melanson has curated a couple of fantastic exhibits this year at No Egrets Tattoo Studio here in Clarksville.  The venue is great because it's an open warehouse adjacent to the shop and we pretty much have free reign to do whatever with the walls constructed inside.  Joe really put us to work this past week with his new project, The Installation Show.  Upping the ante with local artists, Joe asked us all to paint and decorate a portion of the walls to hang our work on.  This ONE-NIGHT Only Exhibit was held  Saturday, November 5th and featured several local talents!

Last Thursday morning, I got some devastating news about my dear friend Ryan passing away.  Ryan was one of my best friends and it shook me up as to call out of my day job with my boss, who was understanding.  After many phone calls and online communications with friends about what had happened, I realized I was also scheduled to paint my installation at No Egrets that evening.  I channeled my energy and went through with my plans to freestyle a gigantic octopus, who would hold up the panels I had recently mounted with watercolors and illustrations for the show.  It was the right decision seeing as what turned out was off the chain! Check it all out in this brand-spanking new time lapse video!  The installation took about 3 hours but you can ride along here in just 3 minutes...

Here's a slew of pictures of the process AND the ONE-NIGHT EXHIBIT!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Illustration Friday: Flies

"Stripes" is the theme for Illustration Friday today as I continue in my endeavor to submit to their site EVERY Friday of 2011!  So far, so good and today I've got an illustration from my Scraps & Motives (S&M) Exhibit at Cafe Coco in Nashville back in the summer of 2008.  This drawing is actually a very small work (about 5 inches tall) and is a crowd favorite.  The look on his face was my own response and outlet for being overrun with house flies at the time I drew the piece.  I hate flies, they make me crazy and I'm sure it's a sight to see a grown man jumping up and down in victory every time one feels the wrath of my swatter. I'm not sure why, but folks seem to like my characters the more they look like they should be wearing a helmet.  Why do you think my viewers are drawn to the deranged?

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Day of the Dead Coffin

Gangster de Muerto mixed media / 2011
Dia de los Muertos (The Day of the Dead) is a National Holiday in Mexico and celebrated in different forms around the world.  The day of prayer and dedication to the dearly departed is November 1-2 coinciding with All Saints' Day and All Souls' Day, Catholic holidays.  

Every year about this time, a slew of art shows pop up across the country with themes based around The Day of the Dead.  One in particular stood out to me last year at Young Blood Gallery in Atlanta with their unique concept for an annual group event.  The gallery actually constructs a limited number of wooden coffins to distribute to artists who paint, forge, illustrate, sculpt and otherwise construct their deadicated art.  Painlessly enough, through an inquiry with the gallery, they were all too happy to ship a coffin to me gaining me entry into this intriguing exhibit.  On Halloween Monday, my coffin for this year's exhibit arrived safe and sound in ATL and will be on display starting this Saturday, November 5th for their annual Day of the Dead exhibit.  I'll be rubbing my gorilla glued paws together in anticipation for next year's show and a third coffin but in the mean time, check out these process pictures and what I did this year...