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...

JANUARY was a great kick-off to the year with two separate Super-Hero themed projects!  First I was assigned the theme of "Heroes and Villains" for The Sketchbook Project World Tour where I filled a moleskin book with some of my favorite comic book characters (abd a twist of Southern Pop Surrealism of course!)  Here is a visual voyage through my book which traveled the globe in this unique mobile exhibit from Art House Co-Op!

Nathan Apple at my Multi-Media Display
for My Hero | My Villain
In addition to The Sketchbook Project, I also created some new comic-inspired works for My Hero | My Villain (click HERE for a FULL post and pics from the show!) curated by Joe Melanson at No Egrets Tattoo.  This one night exhibit was a blast and gathered a HUGE local crowd which had fun with my multi-media display.  To accompany four new paintings, my buddy TEADS created four super-hero music tracks which were pumping through headphones under each painting!  Here's a video of some process pictures from my "Transformation of the Incredible Hulk" painting set to the Hulk track TEADS composed...

FEBRUARY brought with the cold a bit of erotic and exotic art as I exhibited in the Detroit Dirty Show curated by Jerry Vile.  This was the third time I've been included in the exhibit and look forward to showing again in 2013 at their annual Valentine's Day event.  My entry was a bit racy even for me so Click HERE for my "Vagina Beard Chart" which is posted on the DREGstudios! Tumblr Page!

Inks on Bristol / 2012
Also from February, I'd like to share with you my favorite commission of the year, which is of Shelbi from Texas.  Shelbi's boyfriend Jon contacted me about creating a unique illustration of his main squeeze and provided me with some extensive information on her interests.  Shelbi loves burlesque and her favorite animal is the lion (her being a Leo.)  The couple were as happy as myself with the results.  Please visit my PORTRAIT PAGE to find out more about getting a custom illustration of you or your loved ones today!  I really enjoy drawing people and finding creative ways in incorporate their passions.  I've drawn folks as zombies, super heroes, monsters- you name it!

MARCH brings about the thaw here in the Mid-South.  Being prone to a bit of seasonal depression myself, I was eager to get back outdoors for some painting sessions and sunshine.   Click HERE to drop by the DREGstudios! YouTube Channel and see much much more with ALL 20 videos I created this year!  In March alone I filmed four separate painting sessions.  Here's a long panel I created with my cohort in paint crimes, Wolfman Bennett...

Inks on Bristol / 2012

APRIL set in and I was beginning to feel the political fires burning inside me with a slew of strange laws being passed here in Tennessee by our Republican representatives.  I've watched as my home state has been used as the testing ground for some of the most extreme conservative agendas in our country.  I utilized some of my art to address laws which this year brought creationism back into the classroom and banned hand-holding in schools among other absurdities.  You can read about these laws and see some more art on these two posts:  Living the Stereotype and Seeing Red in Tennessee as well as The Pulpit in the Classroom: A Biblical Agenda.  

However, my favorite work in April roots from religious material which inspired a collaborative project between myself and author Mike Chambers.  He and I were joking at a birthday party about creating something along the premise of Jesus reclaiming Easter from the Easter Bunny.  I sketched out a thumbnail drawing on a napkin and awoke with this wonderful prompt swimming around my hung-over head.  A week later, our collaboration bore fruit.  Click HERE to read Oschter Haws: An Easter Tale of Calamity and Woe (words by Mike Chambers!

Digital / 2012

MAY was a rewarding month for me in both my personal and professional life.  I was fortunate enough to be sent down to Cancun for a three day all-inclusive trip to the RainSoft International Convention where the company I serve as Marketing Manager for gathered several international awards!  Click HERE for some great pictures I got of the iguanas and Mayan ruins of El Rey!  

One of the more popular internet sensations the past couple of years is the Meme.  Back in May, I took my first stab at creating one myself which has made its rounds to tens of thousands of surfers here on the World Wide Web and sparked some wonderfully interesting debates.  Love it or Leave it- here's my first ever DREGstudios! Meme! 

JUNE carried on more and more art adventures for me as I continued with a few live painting sessions and set up shop at the annual Nashville PRIDE Festival (click HERE for tons of pics of the colorful folks who dropped my by booth!)  Amidst all the fun of the summer setting in, I also reached a HUGE milestone of finishing my Zombie Walk of Fame series which had been in progress for nearly two years.  In 2013, you'll finally see in book form the 101 zombie portraits of stars off of the Hollywood Walk of Fame in all their gory glory! 
This is ONLY HALF of the Zombie Illustrations for my epic series!

Inks on Bristol / 2011

JULY was a sweltering inferno here in the Bible Belt.  We hid indoors, wore sunscreen and chewed down as much of the thick Tennessee air as we could to stay alive.  

My dear friend Jonathan took a trip of religious proportions with his wife to Woody Fest in Okemah, Oklahoma in the middle of the month.  2012 marked the centennial of folk music pioneer Woody Guthrie's birthday.  Johnathan commissioned a portrait of the musical legend for me to draw a couple of years back.  This year, we had a run of prints made, from which he took a stack to distribute at this Mid-Western festival.  You can Click HERE to read the article Jonathan wrote about Woody's legacy which I published here on!

AUGUST turned out to be my favorite month of the year.  So much happened just over four short weeks!  I got some more politics out of my system with my article on The Privatized Police State as well as Holy Rollin' Poultry on the Cross, my visual and verbal response to the Chick-Fil-A public relations debacle/triumph.  Both articles and works of art were internet sensations and got quite a bit of attention.  Just days later, I was involved with ReMasters of the Universe at Blackbird Tattoo and Gallery in Nashville (curated by Jeff Bertrand & Brooke E) where I recreated Pablo Picasso's Guernica and a Salvador Dali painting for the show.  Click HERE for 10 Glimpses of Guernica (some process pictures of my ReMaster!)

My work and my Mug at ReMasters of the Universe (inks on bristol / 2012)
August didn't stop there as my wife and I took a much needed vacation to St. George Island off Florida's Forgotten Coast.  Click HERE for some Exquisite Corpse drawings I did with the Wolfman and Aimee Davidson while we were nesting in the beach house!

SEPTEMBER is a month I'm particularly partial to since it involves my birthday!  With turning the big 3-2 this year, I posted a list of my Greatest 32 Coming of Age Movies for my readers.  One of my personal favorite works of the year was a painting I actually started with by spraying a background down on St. George Island in August.  We never quite found the time to finish it so the Wolfman and I packed up our gear and took the panel out to Cross Creeks, a nearby Wildlife Refuge.  Here's the video of the entire process from Florida to Tennessee...

OCTOBER crept in on us along with one of my favorite exhibits, Untitled Nashville's GLOW SHOW.   This annual event hosts blacklight and self-lit artwork created by artists from all over the region.  I try each year to submit work and attend this unique show.  B.B. King's of Nashville served as the venue for the colorful and psychedelic night. Here's yet another collaboration with The Wolfman which we entered into the show...

Untitled Nashville's GLOW SHOW: An Illuminated Art Event
If you like feeding your brain with my Top 10 Lists, Click HERE for the Top 20 Horror Movies of ALL TIME which I posted on Halloween this year along with the Top 10 Satanic Performances of All Time!

NOVEMBER brought about our Presidential Election here in the good old U-S-of-A.  Of course, I got in my verbal and visual two cents with these portraits of the candidates which garnered much praise and equal backlash from the interwebs...

Inks on Bristol / 2012

November is also the host of everyone's favorite encroached-upon holiday, Thanksgiving.  There are no sacred cows (or turkeys) here at DREGstudios!  Click HERE to see One Turkeys' Revenge upon Jolly Old St. Nick as he loses his scalp for stepping on the toes of Harvest!

DECEMBER closes out one heckuva year for me and my artwork.  Finding time for all of this visual bedlam around working full time makes my hours precious.  Hopefully my creativity continues to be as fruitful in 2013!  The last thing I'll share with you for our Year in Review is the most recent Live Painting I filmed last weekend at Austin Peay State University.  Jesse Shaw, the American Printmaker himself, teaches at the University and has been kind enough to let the Wolfman and I paint and film at the Art Department while classes are our for Christmas.  Here's the WAR and PEACE panels we painted in time lapse fashion- four hours in four minutes!


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