I spent this week working for INIT USA at the APTA Expo. The convention was held at the Georgia Worlrd Congress Center in Atlanta. I saw many trains. I saw many buses. I saw many things that revolved around the world of public transit. But they had no horse or mule or buggy exhibits.
I rode 38 escalators, 7 elevators, climbed stairs and drank 17 coffees. I had 2 buckets of water and 8 cups of paint and I painted the 3 days of the event. I had a fun time and I got to paint while standing and sitting on 1 fluffy green carpet.
Thanks to Ann, Paulina and the rest of my helpful friends at INIT. See you at the bus stop.
This week I have been downtown this week painting for Elevate 2017. Every day many people make comments or say things that make me laugh. Some say things that make me scratch my head and wonder what they meant. Some ask me if I can paint their studio or paint a Falcons logo on their apartment wall. One lady asked if her 14 year old daughter could help. She said she was related to Andre 3000. I get many requests and everyone is very serious about it. One man asked if I could paint for his Halloween Party. Everyone wants me to help them paint something. I appreciate that.
Yesterday a man rolled up to me on a bike and mumbled a mouth full of words. I couldn’t understand him so I asked him to try again. Still no good. A lot of mumbled words. Hmmmm. I did pick out a few words and realized he was asking if I had any white paint. I think he also said he “wanted to paint his belt.”
At the moment I was having a somewhat tense situation with my wife and our elderly dog. My wife was upset and I didn’t know why. My dog was old and kooky and I kind of know why. I told the man on the bike with the mumble mouth that perhaps he could come back later. He rolled away.
A little while later the mumbling man showed up again. I found out his name was Reggie. Reggie was an older skinny tall fella, nicely dressed but in need of a fresh painted belt. I stopped what I was doing and helped him realize his dreams. It was kind of a fun moment— a special moment.
We got out the glossy white paint and some cardboard scraps. I laid it all out on the dirty dusty ground. I handed him a brush. He went right work. The next thing you know we had fresh white belt! I told him to hang it from the tree to dry.
Reggie seemed to have plenty of flexibility in his schedule and it was very hot in the afternoon sun so I figured this would be a quick fix. Just a little while and all would be dry. Suddenly he announced that he had to go! He asked if I had a plastic bag to put the wet white painted belt in. I found him one in the back of our van and soon he was riding away. Reggie and his fresh belt had left the scene. Bye Reggie.
You sure have some interesting interactions when you paint on a concrete wall along the downtown city street.
Last weekend I spent Saturday and Sunday at SunTrust Park. Saturday was for Mizuno at their Mizuno Experience Center. Sunday was for Xfinity and the Braves.
Saturday I painted in-store for at the Mizuno Experience Center. It is the only Mizuno store in North or South America. I had created art for them which made its debut on a nice t-shirt they were selling. I was in store for the afternoon painting on baseballs and baseball bats and drawing for people. I took pictures and told jokes. We had a good time. Painting smiley baseballs is a pretty nice job. I even painted on a wild little girl’s balloon. Then she let it go.
Thanks to Reid Harper and the gang for making this opportunity happen. They gave us a couple pairs of fancy Mizuno running shoes. I have been wearing them with my overalls to paint in downtown for my current mural. Makes a nice cushion for hours standing on concrete. Thanks Mizuno!
Photos by Axel Martinez
Sunday we went back to the ballpark for the last Braves home game. This time we were with Xfinity in their Rooftop Lounge high above SunTrust Park. I had created a really nice quality ball hat with Xfinity and we were handing them out during the game. I signed many hats and shook many hands. It was enjoyable for me but a little overwhelming when I looked at the long line of folks waiting —Take deep breath and start talking. I only messed up my signature once — the woman grumbled, “I don’t want that one.” Luckily, we had a whole box full. Whew… that was close.
Next we walked to the Xfinity Store Grand Opening down the street at The Battery where we sat at a table and talked to more nice people. Xfinity had created some really fresh t-shirts with my Elephant Party art on it for their flagship store’s grand opening weekend. I felt honored to be there and they treated me really great.
Thanks to Walker Anderson, Stephen Clark, my helpful team at Gloss Marketing, and all the nice folks at the new Xfinity store. It was an amazing and invigorating weekend. Then I came home and laid down.
A while back up in the foothills of the BlueRidge I drew on a couple smooth rocks. Earlier in my life I had painted a big round rock that used to sit on my grandpa’s driveway. Now it rests in my parents front yard surrounded by ferns.
Recently I was asked by House of Current, an Atlanta based agency, to create 100 smiling stone folks to hand out to attendees of an event. The event was the groundbreaking for a new development on the Atlanta BeltLine called Edge. Edge is a creation of North American Properties. I had worked with them before — as they own Colony Square, where I also have painted.
Unfortunately, the rain created muddy roadside floods but we had a good event under a big fancy tent. After a little bit of talking and celebration, no one minded the rainy day wash-outs anyway.
The other day I was approached by Bill Kaelin Marketing . They also asked me to create 100 happy rock faces for a similar event. This was to be the grand opening of a new development called MillWorks. There was no rain at this painted stone giveaway but there was a band, music, food, drinks and lots of happy folks. I enjoyed all the conversations explaining what I was doing there with 2 tables covered in smiling stones. Actually some rocks were not smiling as I made a few smirks and sneers but you can’t please everyone all the time.
Thanks to my wife Maria for helping me with these projects. Also, a big thanks again to Bill Kaelin Marketing and House of Current for hiring me for these unique jobs. Handing out hundreds of happy rocks for a living is an interesting and unexpected concept, but I will take it.
A long time ago I was going to make giant BlackCatTips BEAR to go on a stainless steel beer brewing tank — a BlackCatTips Beer Bear to overlook the interstate. After I purchased the magnetic material I was told on the phone by my friend at the brewery that magnets do not stick to stainless steel! Oh. Now you tell me. Dang. Through our trials we will become all the wiser.
I did find other uses for my magnetic material. I made all kind of things and then I bought some more. Recently I decided I would like to make some round magnet faces — similar to my paint lid can men I make. I have created 17 that I will release for sale this Wednesday August 9, at noon Atlanta, Georgia time.
You will give an ARTISTTALK to a crowd of people in an auditorium. You will stand on a stage and tell about yourself and the things you make out of a part of your mind you don’t completely understand. You will speak of your inspirations and feelings. I will ?! Yes…. you will. So I did.
Last Wednesday July 26th I gave a talk in conjunction with my current show at Spalding Nix Fine Art. I spoke to a room full at ADAC. I even played a little harmonica.
I enjoy talking to folks. I enjoy telling little stories and jokes. Sometimes it is difficult for me to wrangle in all my thoughts into a presentable speech — but I usually enjoy the presentation portion and interacting with a crowd. I think it helps to speak about something you know well and something that is close to you heart and soul.
Big thanks to Reid Childers of Eyesome Productions. He filmed and edited this event into a really nice video. He even told me some crazy stories. I am very thankful to him and his time.
So take a little time here and there, and watch your ol’ pal BlackCatTips talk about his thoughts and his paintings he started while on an art residency at Hambidge in North Georgia.
Recently, I was lucky enough to meet a couple fellas down in the swamps of the Doll’s Head Trail. I was just down there looking across the water for birds and turtles. These guys in black outfits walked up and told me their names were Zach and Matt. They said they ran a little store called Williams Street Swap Shop. They even said they didn’t believe in money. Now who says a thing like that?!
Zach and Matt asked for my help in finding their lost keys. I didn’t have much better to do at the time, so I walked along with them and told them a few stories. We spoke about grandpas and geese and bears. We talked about a lady in an elevator. Something about those guys was a little off, but I decided to help them out anyway. By the time we were finished looking, they gifted me a saw — The finest saw I ever seen!
I had a big day yesterday at SunTrust Park as the Atlanta Braves defeated the Arizona Diamondbacks. I signed autographs in the Xfinity Rooftop lounge for all the folks who waited patiently for the new BlackCatTips // Atlanta Braves T-Shirt. This event was part of the new Xfinity Atlanta Artists Series.
I have been working several months on the artwork and it was great to see it all come together. Big thanks to Walker Anderson for making this all happen. Thanks also to those who made the event run so smoothly — all 500 shirts were handed out and lots of BlackCatTips baseball cards. Yesterday was my first visit to the new stadium. It was all so fresh and new. I was even interviewed up on the giant 120′ wide jumbotron screen over outfield. Now that was a pretty crazy thing to see!
Now… if I could have only shown them my long slow wind up and my killer fastball.
What is a BlackCatTips?
A BlackCatTips is a painter and muralist. A BlackCatTips is a poet and a thinker— a teller of tales. A BlackCatTips is Kyle Brooks, a street folk artist from way down in the American South.
In addition to his studio and mural work, Brooks creates street poems and whimsical roadside art installations. With his brush, bright colors and a few found materials, he paints the world happy.
Brooks lives in Arabia Mountain U.S.A., Georgia with his wife and old dog. He also likes hot drinks, biscuit houses and growing orchids.