Wednesday, March 30, 2011

This Weekend's Rock Star Martyrs...

Joebot has a wild weekend of dead celebrity commentaries in store for you with the anniversaries of the deaths of Marvin Gaye, Rozz Williams, and Rob Pilatus (of Milli Vanilli fame.)  You'll have to check out Rock Star Martyr this Friday to see how I handled drawing Mr. Marvin Gaye but here's the process from linework to finished product of my other two portraits which will be featured with Joe's articles this weekend...
Rob Pilatus of Milli Vanilli (Who won a Grammy for Best New Artist... and had to give it back)
  (06/08/65 – 04/02/98)
Rozz Williams, the shock-rocking front man of Christian Death (15 years before Marilyn Manson)
 (11/06/63 - 04/01/98)

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Straight Outta Compton: Eazy E

Get on by Rock Star Martyr today for a new article from Joebot about Eazy E on the anniversary of his death.  I drew a pop surrealist portrait of the hip hop legend this week just for the article!  

Click HERE for more of my portraits for Joe's macabre and psychosurreal hyperverbal take on the cult of the dead star.
 Inks on Bristol / 2011

Friday, March 25, 2011

Illustration Friday: The Banned Birthday Clown

"The Birthday Clown" inks on bristol / 2010
"Toy" is the theme for Illustration Friday today.  I couldn't resist sharing this illustration from 2010.  I was drawing a series of clowns about this time last year and honestly, they all turned out disturbing and creepy.  Clowns have petrified me since childhood- I can't think of anything scarier.  This clown was the "birthday clown," which would probably make any kid dribble in their shorts.  I chose it in reference to this week's theme because of the hand puppets and the concept of the work.

On social networking sites such as Facebook, I've been in the habit of posting art on my friends' profiles on their birthdays.  The past several months I had been using this particular piece for such a purpose.  Last week, I was suddenly unable to upload this work for posting anymore since it had been flagged as vulgar or obscene.  Apparently somebody got offended by the birthday clown.  Why do ya think?

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Retro TV Night...

Artwork by Loyd Gant
This Saturday night, you'll get a full dose of local pop surrealist art if you drop in at No Egrets Tattoo on College Street here in ClarksVegas.  From the mind and organization of Joe Melanson comes a HUGE exhibit featuring works by artists like Brooke E, Charles Bennett, Jeff Bertrand, Chad Spann, and more.  Clarksville was long overdue for a major group exhibit, so thanks for taking out your trumpet and making the call brother.

The show is FREE and open to the public THIS Saturday night!  I'll see you there with a dozen works, some fan favorites along with never before exhibited work.  Here's your taste of some of them...

Inks on Bristol / 2009

With the theme of "Retro TV Night," many of my Cult of Personality series' works come to mind including my portrait of Alfred Hitchcock.  This illustration borrows it's name from one of the director's famous quotes, "A man cannot live by murder alone."  I grew up with my dad glued to his Nick at Night, which ran Alfred Hitchcock Presents.  The macabre stories and Hitchcock's dry but manic sense of humor were a stable of television in my youth.  The art I created features scenes from Hitchcock's films.  Can you name them all?

Inks on Bristol / 2008

I grew up watching wrestling and my folks had one of those ancient huge satellite dishes which looked like you were communicating with the beyond to anyone who drove by the place.  We'd find obscure channels, especially foreign language ones and watch programs like Lucha Libre Mexican wrestling.  This Topsy-Turvy work is called "Luchadores of the Squared-Circle."

See these and many more works at this FREE exhibit Saturday night, March 26th starting at 7PM!

UPDATE  03/27/2011

Joe Melanson with his Sculpture
First and foremost, a huge thanks to Joe Melanson for bringing an incredibly rich group of artists together for a long-overdue major group event here in Clarksville last night.  Joe and the staff at No Egrets built these huge gallery walls suspended from the ceilings of the warehouse section of the tattoo studio's building to house some of the south-east's wildest low brow artists.  There was installation art, live art, painting, sculpture, found object art, photography, live music, and even a huge cake shaped like a television set.  Joe, you really pulled out all the stops and I certainly hope you have the calling to organize another show this year.
The Artists
Heather Bowker made a custom TV cake for the opening!
Live painting I did with Jeff Bertrand during the show.  Jeff and I have done live art together at several events over the years.
Paul Fly and Brooke E having an academic discussion I probably wouldn't understand.

Now that's Low Brow Baby!

Charles Bennett (Sick creations from a sick mind.)

Jeff Bertrand's display

Installation Art

I brought a limited edition of 5 Topsy-Turvy: Jax prints to raffle off... one ended up with the DJs.

Ain't no $ in art.

I couldn't resist also sharing a few awesome shots Ash Burress got from this past weekend...

Joey Petrone got some shots of the live painting and was awesome enough to throw this together for me...
(Click to see the time lapse!)

Friday, March 18, 2011

Illustration Friday: Fruit of the Earth

Inks on Paper / 2005
"Cultivate" is the theme for Illustration Friday this week.  Being one of the breadbaskets of the world, we work our land to produce a variety of different foods in our country to supply not only our own needs but other areas of the world as well.  Of all the works I have involving food, I found the most interesting to be that of the magic mushroom in this early illustration from 2005 which is included in my book, Dip and Trip .45.

Dating back as far as we know of human history, man has ingested certain natural plants for a deeper purpose than their nutritional value.  Plants we label with stigmatic names like narcotics and drugs, early cultures used  in religious ceremonies and spiritual quests.  Such substances include coca leaves, peyote, marijuana, and psilocybin mushrooms. There are over 190 species of mushrooms on our planet which can be ingested and induce a state of hallucination.  Shamanic uses of mushrooms have been documented to date back as far as a million years (discovered in ancient African cave art.)  The magic mushroom is a unique drug in the facet that it doesn't cause a buzz or intoxication to the user.  Psilocybin lifts the curtain on reality to expose what's been there the entire time and returns it's host to the wonderment of childhood when everything was new and interesting.  This unique drug experience really sobers one up to reality as opposed to drawing them away from it.

Educate yourself before you seek out and experiment with any drug.  Click HERE for a plethora of information on Magic Mushrooms from The Vaults of Erowid.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Sneak Preview of Randy Rhoads for Rock Star Martyr This Saturday!

This Saturday is the anniversary of the death of Randy Rhoads.  Tune into for another wicked commentary from JoeBot and my finished portrait of this guitar legend from Quiet Riot and Ozzy Osbourne fame.  For now, I'll tease your palate with snap shots of my sketch and line work of Randy playing one of his signature guitars...

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Fred Phelps and The Westboro Baptist Church: Burning Gay

Fred Phelps Burning Gay (inks on bristol / 2011)
Fred Phelps is a guy I've wanted to portray in my work for a very long time and recently got an artistic push via a brainstorming session with my friend and author Zach.  All of the ideas I had toyed with myself were vicious, sexual, and over the top and would have never found an audience here with you.  I guess Fred was getting to me with his hateful rhetoric.  What he was doing was working because what I was experiencing in reaction to The Westboro Baptist Church's actions was hate.  Living in a community housing thousands of Fort Campbell soldiers and families, we are no strangers here in Clarksville to this certified hate group's antics.  Last year some church members scheduled themselves a stop at Austin Peay State University to protest a speaking engagement with Judy Shepard (who's son, Matthew Sheperd was slain for being homosexual back in 1998.) The students handled the situation in a classy way making mock and ridiculous signs to counter-demonstrate the church. 

While hanging out with my buddies Zach and Nick, the subject of Phelps and his "God Hates Fags" campaign came up as did my idea to make him a subject of a drawing. Zach suggested I have Phelps holding one of his signs and sweating with terror in his own little personal Hell- Gay Land (if you will.)  What is this man so afraid of to go to the lengths he does to spread his message of hate?  Rainbows?  Butterflies?  Unicorns?  Or the pink flames of a burning gay apocalypse?

And now for one of my heroes, Michael Moore and his showdown with the WBC...

Al Jaffee: Master of the Fold-In Turns 90!

Fold-In Portrait of Al Jaffee (inks on bristol / 2011)
Today is the 90th birthday of illustrator and MAD magazine staple Al Jaffee..  The magazine made a call for folks to send cards, illustrations, poems, and whatever you like to celebrate this legend today.  Three weeks ago, I framed the portrait you see here and shipped it up to the big guy at the MAD magazine office in New York along with a care package including some of my books and such.

Al Jaffee got his start with MAD 56 years ago, making him their longest running contributor.  To take the cake, there has only been one issue of the magazine published in that time without new content from him.  Al got his career started working under the likes of Stan Lee at Timely and Atlas comics (before Marvel was brought into fruition) before finding his home with MAD in 1955.

In 1964, nearly a decade into his career at MAD, Jaffee created his first Fold-In, a full page illustration which could be folded in over itself to reveal a hidden image.  This feature turned out to be his longest-running contribution to the publication and largely, what he has become famous for.  These works serve as the main inspiration for my portrait (which could be folded in on itself to make the birthday cake, peach (Jaffee was born in Georgia,) and of course, the "90."  The peace sign is a reference to "Hawks and Doves," a Jaffee comic strip ran in MAD during Vietnam where a soldier, Private Doves tags peace signs all over a military base amidst his run-ins with his commanding officer, Major Hawks. 

Never done a Fold-In?  Click here for a New York Times interactive feature where you can drag some of Jaffee's illustrations and fold them with your mouse!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Illustration Friday: Grinner Repitition

"Grinner Repetition" inks on paper / 2006
Illustration Friday wants some creations under the theme of "Stir" this week.  Here's another work from my Topsy-Turvy series where you can stir, turn, twist, and rearrange the works on the wall to get a fresh look at the art...

Remember to stop by each Friday for my weekly entry for Illustration Friday, keeping us slacker creative types on our toes to share our work with the world!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Trade and Barter

I'm an art lover- I have been since I was young, which is probably one of the oldest driving forces behind my creativity.  I own dozens of artworks from everywhere you can imagine.  Most of the artwork and prints I have come from trading my art for something I fall in love with.  Here's some of the great creative works which have found a home with me through trade...
Jeff Bertrand is a low brow artist out of Nashville who paints on all sorts of wild surfaces including guitars, found wood, light switch covers and flasks.  Recently, I lent my graphic design skills by designing his new business cards.  In return, I got a flask featuring one of my favorite authors, Charles Bukowski!
Here is a really sweet book from printmaker Jesse Shaw.  I traded some of my own art books with him for it.
Of course, his is much cooler because it's completely hand made.
Jesse cut out detailed portions of his prints and bound them with a patterned page in the back to provide a background as you lay it behind the pages of the book.  Each page is hand printed from wood blocks and lino blocks
Jesse explained that these were really repurposed works because it was scrap prints so to speak.  If a print had a bad spot, he hated to just throw it away so he cut out the good parts for these books.  Each book is unique with different pages.
This low brow painting was shipped to me by Unka Chuck of the Amazing Hancock Brothers.  After seeing their macabre style and mix of printmaking with low brow, I just had to have something.  These guys gut out old mattresses and print on the casings and do all sorts of wild work.

I emailed both brothers and Chuck hit me back, expressing his equal enthusiasm for a trade.  He even went as far as to let me know he'd have something in the mail for me to paint.  What arrived was a box similar to the one he painted and printed on for me.  I did a portrait of Chuck and his brother as one of my siamese faces which he had complimented in our digital conversations.

Here is what I turned out to ship back to Texas before getting "Strutter" in return...
The brothers are known to wear shriner hats at their shows and openings.  I put shriner hats on the little power animals on their shoulders as well.  On the other side, John's hand is holding a gun.
I'm a junkie for the creativity of others... I love to trade prints and even original work so if you are a creative spirit as well, hit me up at and make me an offer I can't refuse.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Illustration Friday: Bad Pig, No Donut

Inks on Bristol / 2009
"Warning" is the theme for this week's Illustration Friday entries- something I wish more coppers would do in our police state.  In a capitalist country, nothing is free and everyone has a quota including our police forces town to town and state to state.  "I'll let you off with a warning," is a phrase which has practically disappeared over the past couple of decades.  It's all about the money, kids.  Lawyers, court fees, fines, probation fees, even racking up a daily tab by being imprisoned by the state are all forms of government fund raising. 

My illustration for this week is "Bad Pig, No Donut," which comes from a small series I made for the 2009 Southern Low Brow Extravaganza show [click here for more about the show.]

The US has incarcerated over 1/2 Million more of it's citizens every decade since 1980 and the rolling out of the War on Drugs.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

VERSUS at MIR Gallery

This Saturday night from 6-9PM, over twenty of the wildest pop surrealist, fantasy, and low brow artists of the Mid-South converge in this no holds barred, kick-in-your-teeth group art event.  This will also be the first exhibit I have curated in a couple of years and from the looks of all the works, every last artist brought their A -game and a brutal, bloody and fantastic outcome to the simple theme I threw at them...
Each artist has one work of art displayed following along with the title of the show, VERSUS.  Creators pitted forces of nature, elements of architecture, cartoons, celebrities, and icons against one another (and in a few instances against even themselves.)  Every single artists represented their craft with beautiful execution, pushing my theme to the limit.

The artists choose the combatants and you get the front row seat during Nashville's Downtown Art Crawl!  Click on the flier to get the full lineup and check out the sneak previews below to get a taste of what you're in for!  VERSUS kicks off at 6PM this Saturday night, March 5th at MIR Gallery (44 Arcade Building / Nashville, TN)

Here are some process pics from the creation of my own entry for the show, Cyborg Steve Jobs VERSUS Cyborg Bill Gates!

Initial Sketch


Monster and Zombie Artist Extraordinaire, Billy Tackett's Frankenstein Vs. The Cube
Erin Lord's Earthworm Jim - "Worm vs. Self"  Groovy indeed
Thomas Payne's "Battle of the Cosmos"
Siamese Twins Bugs Bunny and Mickey Mouse by Brooke E
Brooke is a very talented up and coming artist who is getting pop surrealism on lock down with her own unique style.  If you like it as much as I do, good news is there's more at!
The Dragon vs. The Man of Steel by Roly Viruez (oils on canvas)
 Roly is already an award-winning tattoo artist after only a few years pushing ink.  He can be found at Tattoo Technique on Madison Street here in Clarksville.  I don't know how long he's been slinging oils but he has a masterful control of the medium and also paints some verrrrrrrrrry nice pinup girls.
American Religion II by Jesse Shaw (layered woodcut prints)
See much more of Jesse's intensely political creations at his website, guy has an ethic like no other when it comes to his craft.  Each work is a few feet tall and takes a month or more to hand carve out of wood blocks and print.  You can stare at this one for hours.

[Click HERE for an interactive map of the Art Crawl including shuttle routes, where to park, and participating galleries]

 UPDATE 03/06/2011

Last night's opening reception for VERSUS was one of the most entertaining nights of my life.  Every artist who participated in this group exhibit really knocked it out of the park with our theme.  There is a tremendous group of visual artists right here in the south making some outrageous and stunning artwork and we got a full dose of them.  I need to offer a very special thanks to Miranda Herrick (MIR Gallery) for hosting our event and trusting my vision for the show.  We had the perfect number of hand picked visionary creators who blew us away with what they came up with.  Hundreds of Art Crawlers (thank you too for braving the cold rain!) converged through the Arcade galleries and provided many of the artists with energetic and insightful feedback on their works.  I saw people pointing, jumping up and down, laughing, arguing their sides, and giving us a full range of emotional response to our artwork.  The crowds at MIR Gallery on first Saturdays never disappoint.  I found myself talking about each and every piece as the night progressed amidst the bedlam of VERSUS!

My finished Cyborg Steve Jobs vs. Cyborg Bill Gates.  I chose a slick brushed silver frame for it that kinda looks like static along with a purple and black double matte. 

My wife, Aurora doesn't take any flack from the likes of me, nevertheless from a joker like El Hombre!

Charles Bennett (El Hombre last night) with his work, "Spoils."  This is another addition to his Hug Life series where men dressed in stuffed animal costumes battle to the death.  Charles really brings the gore and hilarity of it all to life with his watercolors!

Dustin Dirt! with his painting Man vs. Self.  Dustin's hot rod west-coast inspired style is getting him all over the place. 

Aurora with Miranda (MIR Gallery)
Brooke E and Anjeanette Illustration
Dustin Dirt!
Jeff Bertrand
Miranda Herrick
Randy McQuien Jr

Michelle Duckworth makes some beautiful works on wood using a variety of inks and stains.  I'm anxious to add one to the collection myself!
My buddy Dan with El Hombre!
We moonlight as security for any event.  Contact me today for rates and details.