The other day I was taking a scheduled break from my Drawing II class. I stepped outside and walked a few steps and looked up into the trees. I noticed these two. It looked like they were having a conversation.
I bought the house two doors down to keep as an investment property AND to use as my art studio!!! Throughout my professional life, I’ve managed to offset my mediocre income with wise real estate decisions. This was only possible because of the money I made from the sale of my loft in Atlanta. Thank you Atlanta Beltline! Hopefully this house is just the latest wise real estate decision. It should be, it really should. This might be the single greatest gift I have ever given myself. It’s not a gift, but I like to think of it as one because I am grateful.
Here’s how it went down. I needed a new workspace. Our new house is fantastic. I love it. However, there is zero space for an art studio. When searching for a home in Chattanooga, finding a house with enough space for an art studio was part of our plan. What we ended up doing was buy a house without space for an art studio but on a lot big enough to build one. Therefore, we planned to build something that would be part art studio and part shed to store our outdoor belongings.
I started sketching what I envisioned the structure to look like and reached out to a series of local contractors. I was having trouble getting interest because my job was too small for most building contractors. While in the middle of this process, I noticed a “For Sale” sign in the yard of the house two doors down from ours. I told Kelli about it, saying almost half-jokingly, that I should buy it. Buy that house instead building something on our property. She said it sounded like a great idea, and I should at least look into it. Look into it I did.
The price was right. I decided to make an offer! The house had been used as rental property for a number of years. It needed some fixing up if it was going to used as a primary residence. However, because it was going to be used as my art studio, it was basically ready to go as is. I’m oversimplifying the process, of course. Bottom line, I bought it. The house is now mine.
I’ve never had more than a spare bedroom for a studio. Now I have an entire two bedroom house for my art studio! I’m so psyched about that. Not only that, this place has a million dollar view and a ton of investment potential. You can see downtown Chattanooga from my front porch.
Add this to the list of major changes in 2021. Geez.
I’m thrilled. I have no regrets. Maybe I’ll rent out some of the space to share with another artist. I’m in no hurry to make a decision about that, and that feels good in itself. I love the fact that I can walk two doors down and be at work in my space. This is now and it’s also the future. As I mentioned earlier, this might be the single greatest gift I have ever given myself.
I’m sure I’ll post more about this at a later date. Meanwhile, here are a few pictures of my new art studio, and the view!
I have fully processed all the changes that have come into my life. The last few years have been a rough ride overall. I have new perspectives on everything. I’m optimistic. I can honestly say that I am very happy. Considering everything, I am happier than at any point in my life.
Artist as Rock & Roll Enthusiast (aka ARE) Post: 30
Did I ever tell you the story of how I missed the concert and got to have a conversation about it with a guy in the band afterward? It’s a great story. One day maybe, I’ll tell you the whole thing. All the hilarious details. In the meantime, here’s the important stuff. It happened in July of 2017. In Philadelphia, at a place called Kung Fu Necktie. The band was the Atomic Bitchwax. The guy was Chris Kosnik, who founded the band in 1992. I was bummed! I was traveling and was excited to see a band I really enjoy. Fortunately, I’ve seen them before at the Masquerade in Atlanta. Turns out missing the show would end up being a much better story.
Inspired again by what came up on shuffle, here is Kiss the Sun, my favorite song from the New Jersey based band, the Atomic Bitchwax (yeah, I love that name too). First up is a super cool live version of the song, filmed on a beach in Sardinia, Italy. The second video is the first studio version, from their self-titled debut album. Wish I could find the second studio version, from the Boxriff EP. I think it’s superior version. Couldn’t find it on YouTube. It must be the only song not to make it to YouTube yet. Those super thick riffs and hooks are ear candy. This song also appears on my list of 500 favorite songs.
We moved to Chattanooga with the intention of getting married. We just didn’t do things in the typical order. Well, we’re not typical people, so everything was just right.
Actually, Brett & Kelli did a few things! Told ya major life changes came often in 2021. Here’s a timeline of all the big stuff:
January 2021: Brett & Kelli are a couple, after being close friends for a few years.
May 2021: After months of discussion, they decide to move to Chattanooga. They buy a house in Chattanooga. Brett puts his loft on the market.
June 2021: Brett, Kelli, and Grace move to Chattanooga. Brett’s loft in Atlanta is sold.
September 2021: Brett & Kelli get engaged, making it official.
October 2021: Brett & Kelli get married at an intimate ceremony on the historic Walnut Street Bridge, located in downtown Chattanooga. Grace and the officiant were the only ones there. The day was ours and it was perfect.
Once I decided to move, I knew I had to have an artwork moving sale. My small, one room studio was jammed with my art. Paintings made and exhibited over the years. So prices were slashed, and deals were made. Paintings were picked up. Paintings were dropped off. Paintings were shipped.
This photo was sent to me by the happy customers. My painting looks magnificent in their spacious home. Love it.
Thank you again for your support.
After some anxious moments, I decided to jump in with both feet! I am moving from Atlanta to Chattanooga. This is absolutely, one of the biggest decisions I have ever made. I’m moving to Chattanooga with my girlfriend (and future wife) and her daughter. My loft in Atlanta is in a hot area of town. Time to cash in and invest in a new future with Kelli and Grace in Chattanooga. Now that I’ve decided this is what I’m doing, my anxiety has lowered and I feel excited. I feel good about this.
I’ll miss my place on Wylie Street (and it’s view of my street art) and a lot of people in Atlanta. I lived in Atlanta for 15 years, and in this location for the last seven. The next chapters of my life will be in Chattanooga.
Major life changes came often in 2021. They played a big part in my extended absence from this blog. Here are a few photos from moving day.
In my opinion, there’s too many one-trick ponies in the Atlanta street art scene. Making the same old shit over and over again. The same drawing a million times. Greg Mike is just Atlanta’s most well known. THIS is what provided the initial spark that led to the creation of the Not so good sticker.
By placing these stickers here, I was taking my concept full circle. This was also a way to cover his work (just a little bit) after he had covered mine. Small time revenge haha. I’m sure these stickers were gone within two weeks. I don’t know because it was literally one of the very last things I did before leaving Atlanta. True story. I proceed to get two flat tires a moment later which delayed my dramatic high tailed exit out of town. Had to call on a friend for help, and left Atlanta the next day. This is why life is a comedy.
Another true story. I told a couple of friends how I wanted to make a sticker that said “Not So Good” and slap it on all the mediocrity surrounding me. The idea grew to be much bigger than my simple personal critique of the Atlanta street art scene. It was universal and could be applied everywhere.
Ok, ok. I said I was done, but I changed my mind.
Here’s more documentation of the devolution/evolution of the LIES street galleries. The final visual report of the destruction and regeneration and further destruction.
One of my favorite places is Bonaventure Cemetery in Savannah, GA. It’s a beautiful place. The last time I was there, was the first time there at golden hour, the most beautiful time of the day. Thought I’d share a few pictures of the memory.
I told ya I’d do something with this idea. Finally went ahead with it. Included it into the LIES Brand as well.
Not so good is the answer. Within our current cultural environment, not so good, is the answer to almost anything.
Not so good is also the perfect message for a sticker you can place anywhere.
Yeah, I got big timed. Greg Mike covered it up with some of his work. Guess, he liked the location too. Since I live nearby and could see what was happening, I walked up to him and introduced myself when he was painting his work over mine.
Nothing wrong with Greg Mike, Greg Mike is alright. He has as much right to put his work up there as I do. However, it’s not that simple. Here is a great spot that many people used over the last few years. Now it is changed. Because he’s a known commodity, the spot is now basically his. Others artists will now be reluctant to cover it up, even though they should.
This episode is all from the unwritten rulebook of Atlanta Street Art culture. I don’t belong. It’s OK. I’ve never fit into any club anyway.
“A man cannot be comfortable without his own approval.”
Even though I have hundreds of photos documenting the devolution/evolution of this artwork, this is the final set of photos I’ll post. However, I make no promises.
Here is the fourth visual report of the destruction and regeneration and further destruction of the LIES street galleries.
Here is another visual report of the destruction and regeneration and further destruction of the LIES street galleries. There are some moments of brilliance in this devolution/evolution.
Another visual report of the destruction and regeneration and further destruction of the LIES street galleries.
The images below are a visual report of the destruction and regeneration and further destruction of the LIES street galleries. The slow destruction of this type of work is beautiful and has amazing mixed media potential. This documentation will be used in a future mixed media artwork series.
Artist as Rock & Roll Enthusiast (aka ARE) Post: 29
This song a definitive example of simple beauty. I love it. Basically, it’s a tribute to growing up listening to, loving, and being influenced by, rock and roll radio. This is a topic I can relate to. Growing up listening to rock and roll radio is something I remember fondly and have joyous memories of. It’s something I have often reflected upon.
Black Mountain is a Canadian psychedelic rock band based in Vancouver. They’ve been one of my favorite bands since their inception in 2004. I own pretty much everything they’ve ever recorded. I see them in concert every opportunity I get. This track is tough to get a hold of. You can find it as a B-side on the Stormy High EP.
I’m not kidding when I say I could listen to this song over and over. I truly could. I love a lot of songs, but I don’t say that about many of them. Listen to it now. See if you want to hit repeat. For the record, I did. It came up on shuffle but I’ve now played it three times in a row. So good.
More details from the latest version of the LIES Brand large scale paste up installations.
For months, I continued adding posters in these two locations on Wylie Street on a regular basis. Then I’d sit on my patio and people watch. During daylight hours, there’s a steady flow of people here on the Atlanta Beltline biking and walking path. These locations became my LIES street galleries and I had a lot of eyes on my artwork.
I documented their destruction extensively too. I plan to be use those images in a future series of mixed media paintings. See the visual report posts for details.
Street art in a space like this will get tagged, and should get tagged. It’s a part of the public space. No one expressing themselves creatively can claim ownership of these spaces. The slow destruction of this type of work is normal. In my opinion, the weathering and tagging adds to the visual appeal of the medium overall. I think it’s beautiful and has amazing mixed media potential. Makes the creative gears in my mind turn.