Sunday, December 30, 2012

2012: The Year in Review at DREGstudios!

Zombie Self Portrait (inks on bristol / 2012)
This year was a whirlwind of wild creativity for me.  My career as an artist is both a triumph and a tragedy- a catch-22 within itself.  By not relying on my works of art to generate a living wage, I have complete freedom with my content.  On the other hand, I'm still striving to turn an annual profit which I've yet to do since declaring myself the artist I wanted to be seven long years ago.  I try not to make a big deal about it and accept my role as a vessel for the universal creative spirit. I spend more money than I make just to fuel my compulsion to create (and it's worth every red cent.)  Of course dear viewer, all of your constant encouragement also greases the wheels so thank you again and again!  Check out the highlights of the past year here at DREGstudios...

Top 10 Comments of 2012 on!

“People can tell you to keep your mouth shut, but that doesn't stop you from having your own opinion.”
 -Anne Frank

I take delight in folks voicing their opinions here on my site.  Whether slander or praise, blind acceptance or nitpickery, we take all comers.  Here are the Top 10 Rants and Raves visitors have posted here on DREGstudios! in 2012...

“The man who never alters his opinion is like standing water, and breeds reptiles of the mind.”
-William Blake

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Shoot 'Em Up [Hanging on a dOOdle and a Prayer]

Red & Blue Pen on Sticky Note / 2012
Guns have been glamorized since the inception of our country and Johnny came marching.  The enchantment of the firearm was intensified by folklore of the Old West where law and outlaw, hero and anti-hero alike served as endorsers of the pistol and shotgun.  We don't need to reform gun laws in the United States, we need to reform our minds where murder is glamorous and I'm as guilty as anyone...

The MERRIMENT of Christmas!

My brand-spanking new MUNNY to paint (which came with an assortment of toys including a TV and a Banana!  This was one of the coolest gifts I got this year, courtesy of my Ultimate Art Wife!  (Click HERE to see what I got LAST year!)
 In turn, I wanted to give my wife some unique gifts this year, which included Mikey the Motherfuckin' Monkey!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

The SUN Also RISES (at APSU)

  Today some post-apocalyptic painting took place involving myself, Charles Bennett and Jesse Shaw here in Clarksville at APSU.  School is out for Christmas and we've been fortunate enough to have their art building pretty much to ourselves these past two Sundays.  Click HERE if you missed out on WAR and PEACE which we painted last week!  As per our usual routine, we filmed the entire process so keep your third eye peeled later in the week for yet another time lapse journey where you can see hours of painting in minutes!

For now, you can see all fashions of LIVE PAINTING on the DREGstudios! YouTube Page!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

GAWKER dOOdle (Lightning in a Bottle)

Gawker dOOdle (Pen and Highlighter on Cardboard)

"Did ya find a directing sign 
On the straight and narrow highway? 
Would you mind a reflecting sign 
Just let it shine, within your mind 
And show you the colours that are real.  
Someone is waitin' just for you 
Spinnin' wheel spinnin' to 
Drop all your troubles by the river side 
Catch a painted pony 
On the spinnin' wheel ride...HUH!"

-Blood, Sweat & Tears, Painted Pony

Monday, December 17, 2012


I took a quick nod to all which is POP in PhotoShop tonight when I scanned a doodle off my desk...
Digital Arrangement of my Bad Sticky Note Art
Bad Sticky Note Art (Red Sharpie, Highlighter, White Out and Blue Pen on Sticky Note / 2012)

Sunday, December 16, 2012


Today we did a little something different for our Southern Pop Surrealism Sunday as Jesse Shaw invited Charles Bennett and myself to visit Austin Peay State University where he teaches printmaking and illustration locally.  As per our usual process, we started the day out laying down some spray-painted backgrounds outside of the Art Department.  We moved operations indoors to the illustration studio and filmed our painting session, which I'll be working to create a new time lapse video of this coming week.  (Click HERE to see some of our previous work in video form at the DREGstudios! YouTube Page!)  Here are some pictures of what turned into delightfully surreal WAR & PEACE...

Wednesday, December 12, 2012


Red Felt Pen on Cardboard / 2012

“There will be no end to the troubles of states, or of humanity itself, till philosophers become kings in this world, or till those we now call kings and rulers really and truly become philosophers, and political power and philosophy thus come into the same hands.” 

"We are either kings or pawns of men."

Tuesday, December 11, 2012


TOPSY-TURVY: Psycho Santa 2012 Christmas Cards

~ I'm compelled to give the folks at GOT PRINT a plug for an unbelievable turnaround time of less than a week this close to Christmas! ~


"The concept that there is part of you that transcends your ordinary conscious mind may seem questionable; but scientific evidence suggests we do indeed have access to a source of unlimited intelligence we can tap into through our own super-conscious mind and an open third eye."

-Dr. Jill Ammon-Wexler
Third Eye Doodle

Actual Size

Friday, December 7, 2012


What sets YOU on fire?

"The mind is not a vessel to be filled but a fire to be kindled."
-Plutarch (Circa 1st Century)

"The spread of civilization may be likened to a fire; first, a feeble spark, next a flickering flame, then a mighty blaze, ever increasing in speed and power."  
-Nikola Tesla

"Fire is the most tolerable third party. " 
-Henry David Thoreau

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Rock Star Martyr ENCORE [Line Work]

A few weeks back, I gave you a preview of the final 12 portraits I'm working on for the Rock Star Martyr project.  Last January, author Joseph Allen and myself embarked on a macabre journey to confront the deaths of all the dearly departed Gods of Rock.  Next year, we'll have a book full of prose and art immortalizing over 30 icons from the music industry who left our world all too soon.  I have all of my line work finished up amidst the holiday madness and am seeing the light at the end of the tunnel for our epic series.  Here's a few more final previews of what is to come...

Elliott Smith

Keith Moon (Drummer for The Who)

Notorious BIG

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

PSYCHO SANTA is Coming to Town!

I sat down to illustrate my 2012 DREGstudios! Christmas Card this week and ended up whirling about a Topsy-Turvy design from what started as jussssst a Psycho Santa!  I'll be finishing him up for a brand-spanking-new card which will be send out to my mailing list of collectors, friends and loved ones.  If you want on my List, send your snail mail address to  Once you're on my X-mas list, you're always on BUT if you've MOVED since last year and need to update your address with me, drop a line also because Return to Sender Custom Christmas Cards make Baby Jesus sad.  Here's the progress on this year's swag...
"Topsy-Turvy: Psycho Santa"

Sunday, November 25, 2012

LONELY TEARDROPS (Getting the Boot)

Detail of our Collaborative Painting Today

As we were finishing up a collaborative painting session this evening, Jesse Shaw and I were joking with The Wolfman about calling what we do for backgrounds by itself art and giving them pretentious names such as borrowing the titles of classical music compositions.  We'll have to be a bit high brow and borrow "Lonely Teardrops" from Jackie Wilson today since we took turns with the tune stuck in our heads.  Jesse cut some teardrop stencils and the theme was born onto panels. Life inspires art and he also cut some crows out of doilies to have circling the painting as some huge buzzards were circling us overhead while we painted.  Here's some process pics and the final paintings from this afternoon...


A few short days ago, I posted my visual response to Black Friday encroaching upon Thanksgiving this year with mega retailers holding unprecedented Thursday evening sales. (Click HERE if you missed The War on Thanksgiving: One Turkey's Revenge on Christmas.)  Today I've decided to do a bit of encroaching myself by starting the DREGstudios! Cyber Monday Sale just a tad early- RIGHT NOW on the Sabbath!

No kicking, screaming, pushing and stampeding is involved.  All you have to do is visit my ONLINE STORE TODAY or Monday and pick out one of my already-crazylow-priced $10 PRINTS (w/ FREE Shipping!)

Your art will ship within 5 days and I'll throw in a MYSTERY PRINT of my own choosing in addition to your purchase.  Of course if you know me, I'm liable to also drop you some DREGstudios! sWaG as well including bookmarks, stickers, buttons, etc!  THIS PRINT SALE EXTRAVAGANZA ENDS CYBER MONDAY AT MIDNIGHT!!!

"Surely there is very real and very convincing data that the planet cannot survive the excesses of the human race: proliferation of atomic devices, uncontrolled breeding habits, the rape of the environment, the pollution of land, sea, and air. In this context, isn't it obvious that "Chicken Little" represents the sane vision and that Homo Sapiens' motto, "Let's go shopping!" is the cry of the true lunatic?"  

-from 12 Monkeys (Dr. Peter played by David Morse)

Thursday, November 22, 2012

The WAR on Thanksgiving: One Turkey's Revenge on Christmas

The first shots of the War on Thanksgiving have been fired.  This civil encroachment of the holidays comes from the aggressor and architect of this manic season of spending- Big Business.  Companies have moved the opening bells of Black Friday to Thursday evening... ON Thanksgiving this year.  Someone has to stand up and defend the last morsel of what is our National Day of Thanks.

Inks on Bristol / 2012 / Brandt Hardin
In the United States, mass consumerism has become both sport and religion.  Bloated companies and retailers demand larger profits year after year.  The climate is such that holding steady profit is poor performance and any loss of financial ground is utter failure.  Men and women in suits find themselves in jobs more stressful than the most labor-intensive work one could ever find.

As with tradition, production and retail workers are under the gun this year with companies vying for record number, bigger sales, and higher turnouts.   Even as an initial concept, a "shopping holiday" held immediately after our day to "give thanks" is woven from pure greed marketing a literal frenzy to the public under the banner of Black Friday.  This annual mania leads to physical assaults and shopper on shopper violence. In several instances, people have been trampled to death (which usually only happens when a crowd is dispersing FROM a building in emergency situations.)  It is a truly odd enigma too see human beings lose their lives in the ultimate quest for... low low prices.

A crusade has begun here in the United States to take back the holidays.  Earlier this year, I brought you the epic tale of Christ reclaiming his day of triumph from the Easter Bunny.  (Click HERE if you missed out!)  The storm is coming as unions and droves of retail workers across the country are threatening to strike and stage walkouts from their stores.  Many of these workers are paid substandard wages with little or no benefits.  Wal-Mart alone has a large percentage of their workforce who collect food stamps... this is called the "working poor."  At the same time, the company's CEO makes in one day what an average worker at one of his stores makes in an entire year.  While retail sales set records, so does the money being funneled to the top 1% as the income inequality in our country is also at an ALL-TIME HIGH.  Workers aren't the only combatants in this- the most dangerous game.  YOU play a role as well by choosing whether or not to buy into the hysteria.  Imagine if every American stayed home Thursday night with their families and the workers left the stores to join their own loved ones.  Visualize a country willing to really stop for one day and give thanks for what they already have.  There was a time this happened once a week... now once a year... but tomorrow will it be never?  How far do we let our own consumerism go when businesses dips their fingers into your Thanksgiving?

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

TOP 10 ALBUMS of the 90's

I was born in 1980 so the 90's were literally my entire teenage experience. I often look back and realize I was fortunate to have grown up amidst a melting-pot of musical genres.  Today, SO much of what is produced is overly-commercialized and branded when just a generation ago, musicians fought AGAINST being sold out.  The 1960's proved the social power of song and the effect it can have on entire classes of people.  The same held true in my high school as music affected fashion, politics, humor and defeat at the loss of Gods such as Cobain.  I specifically remember teachers scolding grunge kids for wearing black ribbons on the anniversary of his death.  Musicians define entire generations now by identifying with youth, lifting them up and opening their third eyes.
Color Pencils on Bristol / 2003 / Brandt Hardin
(Some decade-old nostalgic art to go with our nostalgic themed list!)
Click HERE for MORE about the THIRD EYE

The task of compiling a Top 10 list for albums released in the 1990's was practically impossible.  Honorable mentions could go on forever including Pink Floyd's return (minus Roger Waters) with The Division Bell, blockbuster gangter rap discs like Doggystyle and The Chronic, Sublime, any Nirvana album, any Morphine album, any Tori Amos, Seattle supergroups like Temple of the Dog and Mad Season, The Crow and Spawn soundtracks, Metallica's Black Album... I could go on and on and on.  If I missed one you smoked your tape deck with, drop by the comments section below and share!  HERE are my TOP 10 ALBUMS of the 90's...

Monday, November 19, 2012

Fear and Loathing on HIGHWAY 13

Sunday morning, Chad Spann and I set out to begin a collaborative journey which will be entitled HIGHWAY 13.  I have a long and sordid history with a patch of this highway running through my old stomping grounds.  There's been an idea for a visual project utilizing the length of this Tennessee trail in my head for a while now.  Chad lent his photography skills to capture our journey which stretched from the Kentucky border here in Clarksville to the Alabama state line.  The day turned macabre and surreal by the moment as the story for our project shaped while shooting the backgrounds I'll be working with.  Chad's photographs will be used to create a graphic novel by drawing a yet-unnamed character into the visual trek we've documented.  In essence, it will become the character's own strange trip mirroring our own.  Ten hours of driving turned into more than we could bargain for with a deerpocalypse, a wild boar carcass, burning fields, burnt houses, decapitated barns, shotgun shells, exploded trailers, farm equipment and other surreal oddities we found along our jaunt through the breathtaking Tennessee scenery.  Of course, this is the first baby step in the project but here are a few take-aways of the day from the eye of Chad Spann...

Sunday, November 18, 2012


"Sunday Trucker" Red Felt Pen Doodle on Chipboard

"Sometimes the light's all shinin' on me;
 Other times I can barely see.
 Lately it occurs to me 
 What a long, strange trip it's been."

 -Grateful Dead, Truckin'

On Sundays I get religious... about art.  Most of my time lapse videos you see here on the interwebs are filmed on Sundays.  Making purpose of the Sabbath, I often commune with other artists to see what tune we can evoke together channeled to the creative spirit.

Today, I'm on the road with Chad Spann- professional photographer, amateur unrinator and vigilante artist out of a beer can.  I've had a certain project rattling around the nebulas storming my third eye since I was a teenager.  I've always wanted to travel the length of Highway 13 here in Tennessee from the Kentucky to Alabama state lines and document the journey.  Chad and I have decided to elevate this idea as he will be shooting our trip today to create the backdrop for a story I'll be illustrating over the photographs!  I have a sordid history with Highway 13- an almost entirely rural road running from the north to south borders of the state.  I've been left dead drunk in a ditch, set off fireworks and guns out of moving vehicles, experimented heavily with any number of substances and made sweet love along this staple stretch of my youth.  However, I've never experienced a run of the entire highway as we're in route for at this very moment.  Safe travels to you and yours on your Sunday...

Thursday, November 15, 2012


I received my sketchbook this week to participate in Art House Co-Op's 2013 edition of The Sketchbook Project.  Next year will be the fourth time I've filled a collection of pages for this very unique event.  Artists from all over the world are send Sketchbooks to complete and send back for a traveling library which calls the Brooklyn Art Library it's home!  I have until mid-January to fill this bad boy up and no real starting point. Maybe I'll tell a story.  Maybe I'll make chaos.  The beauty of the blank page...
The possibilities are endless!

Here's a VIDEO of my ENTIRE Sketchbook for the 2012 WORLD TOUR, where I was assigned the theme of "Heroes and Villains..."

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Rock Star Martyr ENCORE

Sketch of Mamma Cass
In six short weeks, it will be two years since Joebot and I started our downward spiral into the abyss of dark lore which is Rock Star Martyr.  As struggling creatives working to pay our way through the worlds of literature and visual arts, we've fully understood the path of martyrdom and sacrifice to the creative Gods.  Next year, we'll be unleashing this ENTIRE series of articles and art based on the lives of the dearly departed icons of all that is ROCK in book form!  I've recently been laying out the sketches for the last round of illustrations to complete our series.  Here's a few more sneak peeks of what's to come...

Patsy Cline and Curtis Mayfield

Notorious BIG  and Johnny Thunder

Wednesday, November 7, 2012


The Wolfman and I got together this past Sunday with The American Printmaker Jesse Shaw for another live painting session, the results of which were nothing short of epic.  Conjured for the scene were amputee chickens, a very macabre catfish vomit, a blues angel and the devil himself!  We recorded the entire experience which I've edited for you dear viewer in time lapse fashion!  Chad Spann was even on hand to get some great pics of us throwing down all afternoon.

The video begins with a blooper reel of sorts as Charles and I attempt to make children's art for our local library.  This panel was abandoned a few months back and used in this diptych painted with Jesse.  Click HERE to see the actual art we ended up making for the kiddies and the Montgomery County Library's Children's Gallery.  NOW, here's four hours of painting in four minutes...

Here's more great pictures of the painting session...

Wednesday, October 31, 2012


TOPSY-TURVY: Horrorfest (inks on bristol / 2010)
With a week of costumes and a month of pumpkin everything comes the annual onslaught of Scary Movies to set the tone for Halloween.  As a special treat here at DREGstudios, I decided to count down my own personal Top 20 Horror Movies of ALL TIME for your consideration.  I hope I turn you on to some new frightful delights!  Shut down the lights and enjoy...

Tuesday, October 30, 2012


"The World's Smallest Violin" inks on paper
The Devil takes many forms here on Earth and also in the realm of imagination.  The high art of cinema has offered us many incarnations of Satan throughout decades of movie magic. Tonight is Devil's Night USA and we're celebrating here at DREGstudios with my own personal Top 10 Satanic Performances which have graced the big screen.  

SPOILER ALERT:  In a few of these flicks, it is a plot twist that the Devil is even a character so fair warning.  

Monday, October 29, 2012

Coloring Pages for G.H.O.S.T.

One of my co-workers at the day job, Amber volunteered some of her time as a student a Austin Peay State University yesterday for their annual G.H.O.S.T. (Great Halloween Options for Safe Trick or Treating) event.  She asked me a few weeks back if I'd donate some time and my skills to create a few coloring pages to pass out to thousands of local kids!  Here's what I came up with...

Feel free to DOWNLOAD and PRINT these for anybody to color... they're FREE!!!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

DEVIL'S NIGHT is Coming...

Red Pen on Card Stock
 DEVIL'S NIGHT (the Eve of Halloween) became infamous from annual waves of vandalism and arson in Detroit rooting back to the 1970's.  What started as pranking in the form of dozens of wasted eggs and rolls of toilet paper began as early as the 1940's  grew into a much more macabre celebration.  The past 20 years have seen lighter times but I'm here to fire it up for you this Tuesday with some devil-themed artwork and a new Top 10 list of the Greatest Satanic Performances of All Time!

The past couple of years, I've counted down to Halloween with previews from my Zombie Walk of Fame series.  I was delighted to be asked by several followers this month what I had in store this year.  The zombie series is FINISHED I'm beyond elated to say!  The 101 zombie portraits are now in the infant stages of becoming a book which will be available for download and paperback purchase next year!

Get spooky with me Tuesday for a special Devil's Night post and on Halloween Day, I'll also countdown my Top Horror Movies of All Time!  For now, here's a couple of recent Doodles to warm you up...

Thursday, October 25, 2012


Since his first day in office, President Barack Obama has been a patsy for the after-effects of a Bush Administration who pillaged the economy of the United States in less than a decade since the Clinton Era surplus.  Just weeks before taking office, a fever pitch of patriotism surrounded this man who gave a new voice to the working class.  Finally a candidate wanted to see Americans have access to Heath Care without a crippling financial burden.  Finally a candidate wasn't afraid to talk about Green Energy.  Finally a candidate asked Wall Street why they aren't taking responsibility and helping out.  Much of the heightened support for these ideas wore down quickly as families sought relief from being left with the tab for two wars. Meanwhile the rich are running a muck on Wall Street by privatizing profits and socializing losses to the tax payer.  The blame game began with buckets of mud and slop being flung from the same far-side of the isle, fertilizing a bed of dissent taking advantage of post-9/11 fears.  The questions and accusations seeded during the election campaign took root and thrived in the muck.  Is Obama a Socialist?  Is Obama a Muslim?  Is Obama a Communist?  Is Obama the Antichrist?  Is Obama a Terrorist?

"Bamboozling Obama"  inks on paper / 2012
The Far Right of this country have polarized and distorted our political system in a fast food age of headlines and sound bytes.  The Left have been drawn to the Middle for the most part in an attempt to move us forward to a new age of logical policy on what should be common-sense issues.  The problem is many of the elected officials of the Republican Party are not there to represent their constituents but rather to disrupt progress.  Wall Street will do everything in their power to keep obscene wealth privatized and many companies won't go out of their way to create jobs for a President wanting them to pay their fair share.  In the new Citizens United age, candidates are sponsored, bought and paid for with special interests.

How can a political group take an affront on Green Energy Policies which create sustainability and put America at the forefront of an alternative energy revolution? Because they make obscene profits from the last century's energy sources which have created Global Warming and Polluted our drinking water.

How can one side of the isle deny the GLBT community basic civil rights?  Because the majority of their voters are polarized by religious-based dogma.

How can Republicans not want Americans to have access to Health Care which ensures their financial stability in a time of medical crisis?  Because they have invested interests in insurance and medical practices which base your level of care on your credit score.

What does the far right have to say about a man who wants to make these things happen and advance our society by creating a better, healthier, more stable life for the Middle Class?  A Socialist, a Muslim, a Communist, an Antichrist, a Marxist and a Nazi.

In our brave new world, many weapons are being used to wage war 24 hours a day / 7 days a week against the President.  The Right endlessly attempts to niggardize Obama through indoctrination.  In the court of law, a reasonable doubt can set a man free.  In the court of public opinion, a reasonable doubt can bury a man.  For one voter, it's the monkey cartoon indulging his bias.  For another voter, it's FOX News keeping them company at night with balanced coverage of political issues (such as questioning the American President's citizenship.)  For another, it's the pulpit on Sunday morning where words like terrorist and brimstone are used in the same sentences.  It takes a village of many hands to paint the President's Blackface.  We live in a society where Fear is power and those powers are at play.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

LEGALIZE NATURE (Earth's Essence)

Cannabis has been utilized by humans for holistic and spiritual use for thousands of years.  This year, nearly ONE MILLION Americans will be arrested for possessing or consuming this harmless plant.  We live in a society where Big Pharma reports obscene profits year after year while creating the pharmaceuticals which now kill more people than any other unnatural cause.  Marijuana has not claimed one human life by using it.  In fact, a person would have to smoke hundreds of joints in a sitting to even die from the smoke (which would cause carbon monoxide poising.)  It would be like overdosing on turnip greens... not happening in this reality.  Raise your voice to lend your own mind to change.  The Prohibition of the 1920's was a failed policy which was easily overturned.  The Prohibition of our generation has a much harsher consequence ending with more prisoners than any other country in the world.  The War on Drugs FAILED over a TRILLION DOLLARS ago!  Tell the government you want the money pit of failed drug policies to end and give the public free market access to this age-old medicinal plant.

Acrylics and Spray Paint on Wood / 2012 / Brandt Hardin and Charles "Wolfman" Bennett

Saturday, October 20, 2012

GLOW: An Illuminated Art Event

Untitled Nashville put on another stunning exhibit at B.B. King's in Nashville Friday night with their annual fundraiser, GLOW.  Artists created self-lit and black light art which was on display at this one-night-only event.  I made it for the tail end and last couple of sets of music after work.  It was awesome to see all the work lit and full of psychedelia!  Here's some pics Aurora got of the show (which was more difficult than you would think under black lights!)