Monday, July 30, 2012

REMASTERS of the UNIVERSE is Next Saturday!

Next Saturday August 11th, Blackbird Tattoo and Gallery will host REMASTERS of the UNIVERSE curated by Nashville artists (and cohorts in visual obscenity) Brooke E and Jeff Bertrand.  Over 30 regional artists will have work on display recreating classic paintings.  On top of over 50 works of art, you'll get to see Live Painting, Live Music and Sample local food and drinks.

Click HERE to RSVP via the REMASTERS EVENT PAGE on Facebook!

I'll be on hand and presenting two new works of art as I've recreated in my own style and palette Salvador Dali and Pablo Picasso paintings.  Mark down next Saturday evening for an all-star lineup of artwork a midst  everything listed here on the poster!

I'll post some previews of the artwork over the next couple of weeks but for now here are the two paintings I've recreated in illustration form with my pens and markers...

"Guernica" by Pablo Picasso / oil on canvas / 11ft x 25.6ft / 1937

"Soft Construction with Boiled Beans (Premonition of Civil War)" by Salvador Dali / oil on canvas / 40in x 40in / 1936

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Hanging at The Children's Gallery

Artwork by Brandt Hardin and Charles Bennett
For the next three months, you'll be able to see some artwork from myself, Charles "Wolfman" Bennett and Miranda Herrick at the Children's Gallery of the Clarksville-Montgomery County Public Library here in town.  We owe a special thanks to our dear friend Richard Hogan, who helped facilitate the three of us into the public eye once again here locally.

Funny enough, Charles and I had a doozy of a time just creating a couple of original paintings which would be "kid friendly."  We struck success last weekend with two collaborative panels.  Also exhibited are two framed illustrations, both of which were collaborations with Miranda Herrick about five years ago.  I decided to include this very slick Egyptian-inspired illustration from a few year back which I thought blended well.  The drawing seen here with one of Charles' paintings you may recognize from my business card!

Artwork by Charles Bennett, Miranda Herrick and myself can be seen at The Clarksville-Montgomery County Public Library at 350 Pageant Lane here in Clarksville off Madison Street through October.   This afternoon we installed the exhibit so here are pictures of the process and a sneak peek at the art you can see in person starting tomorrow... 

Tuesday, July 17, 2012


As an artist, I'm always eager to answer questions about my work. I often get asked, "What is your favorite color?"  My typical response is, "I'm an artist- I don't discriminate." While this is almost completely true, I have many relationships with color and in matters of art- this is an honest answer. In matters of saaaaay- lingerie, pink wins (a good example of a little color going a long way.) If you've seen my work, you already know I have a bright palette. In matters of business, colors cost money and some I have to replace much more often than others. So there's also an economic answer to the question of my favorite colors which also gives an insight into which colors help to create my style. I made a list of the markers which I have to keep shelling out the cash for and here are my Top 10 Prismacolor Markers (and a couple of honorable mentions.)

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Woody Guthrie Centennial

Woody Guthrie / Inks on Bristol / 2009
Today marks the Woody Guthrie Centennial and the culmination of many celebrations this year in honor of the musician's life and work.  Woody captured the strife, honor and reality of working-class America with his music and lyrics.  A few years back, a friend of mine Jonathan commissioned a portrait of the musician featuring the Socialist Rose to symbolize Guthrie's efforts to further workers' rights in our country throughout his life.  A devout fan, Jonathan traveled to the Woody Guthrie Archives last year and presented them with a print of the portrait which he helped me design.  Today, Jonathan is at WoodyFest in Okemah, OK where he's taken a moment from the five day festival to share with us today...

Today, I’m sitting in a pasture in Okemah, Oklahoma – the town where Woody Guthrie (most famous for writing “This Land is Your Land”) was born 100 years ago today.  Okemah is typically a small, quiet town but the town’s population doubles around this time each year to honor Woody, much like it doubled literally overnight during the oil boom in the 1920s when the musician lived here.  Okemah is where Woody began to learn about the life of the working class as he said in Bound for Glory, it “was one of the singingest, square dancingest, drinkingest, yellingest, preachingest, walkingest, talkingest, laughingest, cryingest, shootingest, fist fightingest, bleedingest, gamblingest, gun, club and razor carryingest of our ranch towns and farm towns, because it blossomed out into one of our first Oil Boom Towns.”  This is also where he first saw the oil boom workers in their miserable shacks which were built for around $10 and apt to catch on fire.  This added to their already hard-working conditions.  He saw these workers as an oppressed people, and he saw that people shouldn’t be oppressed. Woody also saw the working people could overcome these conditions and live.

Woody continued to see the workers’ connection with each other and their sense of community as they struggled during the Great Depression in the Dust Bowl.  He lived it and saw the dust which he described as being so thick that a light bulb at noon looked like the end of a lit cigarette at midnight.  He saw the dust bowl refugees turned away at the California border by the LAPD.  Seeing the mistreatment of workers led Woody to fight for workers’ right to unionize and to fight back against oppression.  Throughout his travels and experiences, Woody never gave up hope, which we can see in the more than 3,000 songs he wrote.  As he said, “I hate a song that makes you think that you're not any good. I hate a song that makes you think that you are just born to lose. Bound to lose. No good to nobody. No good for nothing. Because you are either too old or too young or too fat or too slim or too ugly or too this or too that ... songs that run you down or songs that poke fun of you on account of your bad luck or your hard traveling. I am out to fight those kinds of songs to my very last breath of air and my last drop of blood.”  Woody wanted his music to uplift the people who listened, to take away a small part of their hardship for a few moments, and to give them hope.  Even though he suffered many tragedies throughout his life, Woody held on to his hope until he died of Huntington’s disease in 1967.

-Jonathan Beasley  

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Monday, July 9, 2012


Shrinky Dink Topsy-Turvy!
My wife Aurora and I had quite the tour de force of the rolling hills of Kentucky this weekend surrounded by our dearest of friends.  Saturday we started off at a moving outdoor wedding near Russellville (Congratulations Chris & Donna!)  We soon moved on for a pit-stop in Elizabethtown to get a laugh from Stacey who I met well over a decade ago during my one semester stint at an art school in Nashville.  Our ultimate destination however was Lexington, where we met up with my sister, Becca.  She was staying over for the weekend with her friend Meg in route to her new job and home in Baltimore.  Meg and her husband were nice enough to entertain us and had a special treat Sunday when we arrived to a creative session of SHRINKY DINKS!

So what the Hell is a Shrinky Dink? Truth is I didn't know.  Apparently the rage began back in 1973 when two Wisconsin housewives created this culture phenomenon, rooting from a Cub Scout project with their sons.  These crafty gals found that if you take certain types of plastic, cut 'em up, draw all over them and pop them in the oven, they shrink up all craaaaaaazy-like!  Soon, four major toy companies where selling sheets of clear plastic and folks went bananas for the Dink!    I too have now been indoctrinated by the shrinky wonders and I'm certain I'll own a stack of this intoxicating plastic by week's end.  Here's some pictures of the Shrinky Dinks we created...

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

TOP 10 Movies of ALL TIME About FREEDOM

Today mark's America's annual festival of freedom to celebrate the signing of the Declaration of Independence.  Not just a federal holiday, today is THE National Holiday of our country. As a people, generations of Americans have gone on to define freedom in its many forms and fight in defense of it.  The Declaration of Independence, adopted on July 4, 1776 was the groundwork for our Constitution and Bill of Rights, defining our freedoms of speech, assembly, press, religion and right to bear arms.  Today, many minorities and social classes in all ends of the Earth strive to attain equality still.  Film is one of the highest art forms of our Brave New World.  As a special 4th of July post, here are 10 Movies which celebrate Freedom in one capacity or another...

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

In Memoriam: Andy Griffith

Inks on Bristol / 2009
Growing up in a rural southern household, broadcasts like reruns of The Andy Griffith Show were a staple around my extended family.  The opening theme of the classic sitcom is as embedded in my mind as any nursery rhyme sung sung to me as a small child.  The whimsical whistle of it all is calming, nostalgic and uplifting.  My father at one point even had a pair of parakeets who had committed the tune to memory as well (to the aggravation of anyone living around them for an extended period of time.)  This zany depiction of small town America was a fictional model of Griffith's own hometown and found it's winding country trail into the hearts of the American public.

Andy's blue collar Baptist upbringing formed a man with a unique blend of manly character and humor which found its way onto everyone's small screen at one point or another in nearly over the past half-century.  From beginning on stage with comedy on the Steve Allen and Ed Sullivan shows in the 1950's to a television career spanning decades after, the actor's smile has been broadcast to infinity.  This morning, the actor passed away at the age of 86 after a long career and several awards including a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and the Presidential Medal of Freedom. 

The portrait depicting Andy Griffith (and Don Knotts) was created for my Cult of Personality exhibit in 2009.  Entitled the "Bad Boys of Mayberry," this pop surrealist depiction of the television characters draws from an old Dirty Harry poster as a reference photo for Griffith  Yes, I know Andy didn't carry a weapon... this was a commentary of mine own device for the show.  What happens when things get a little colorful and serious in Mayberry and the guns have to come out?

"If you think and feel what you're supposed to think and feel hard enough, it'll come out through your eyes and the camera will see it."  -Andy Griffith

Sunday, July 1, 2012

A Sweltering Mid-South Inferno (The Pinko Liberal Threat Exposed)

Click HERE for Prints of the Sun

Folks here in Tennessee just aren't used to it being over 100 degrees in June and July.  We're adeptly programmed to humidity so thick, one must chew the air 10 times before swallowing but a dry heat wave has left us scratching our heads.  Drought? Yella Grass?  Conserve Water? Conserve Air Quality? No fireworks even though you can by them on every corner?  It's a pinko left-wing conspiracy to promote a socialist agenda of the absurd lies of Global Warming.  I'm certain in more than one Southern Baptist Pulpit this morning, President Obummer is lying at the center of this heat wave conspiracy but I say rejoice and disassociate your blame!  Fry some country bacon off the railing of your porch and keep you feet in the beer chest- it's summer kids! Happy Heat Wave from DREGstudios!

Heat Index Calculation by the DREGstudios Wagon