It was something else. It was an interesting life. Secret Souls on a journey. They make all the music you have ever heard out of the same few notes. They painted all the pictures out of the same 3 colors mixed up in a bucket in many ways. Stir left then stir right. Magicians of normality. Wizards of the mundane. I try not to smash any bugs. I don’t really want to hurt anybody.
A storm was moving in. I did not know it, as the sky looked blue and it felt more like March or April than early February. I had been real low and confused about things over the past few days. My brain had flipped the switch and I was feeling a little better today.
The sky was still mostly blue. I looked over my shoulder to see the granite outcroppings as I drove. Kind of wished I was out walking over them — looking at the dimorpha soon to bloom.
I stopped at few stores and bought the regulars — groceries, bread, paint and lumber. I then went by a new lumber store with some country boys behind the counter.
I had grown a little weary this weekend, while out in public, of all the stares — So strange the way things work. You do what you want to do and no one stops you but the stares and the glares try to silently tell you you are out-of-line. At least they think you are not in-line with them. Most of the time I don’t care to much but I do notice. I was tired of all the looks so today I wore my regular country boy outfit, except for orange paint-splatterd shoes.
The country boys behind the lumber counter helped me out. I felt obliged to tell them I was needing this lumber not for official home building but for art projects. They smiled slightly as I took notes on delivery prices. I was happy to find some helpful folks that could get me some telephone poles delivered top my new property.
I put up some new street poems along my travel, stopped for coffee and sat in some suburban traffic. I got home about the time it began to rain.
I had not put up any street poems in a little while and I did not want to get rusty. It felt real fine to get back in that street folk saddle. Here we go.
I have always like roadside oddities and signs for Hot Boiled Peanuts — odd monuments and country hand-made signs. I like to ride along and see what all the hubbub is about. Usually the signs are better than what they advertise.
We moved to a new home at Arabia Mountain U.S.A. I have been planning on making some signs for my new property. Some plans work out and some plans take more time. Some times things change and you get new plans in between. One day at a time, they tell me.
This is my first big installation at the new place. It started out as one thing and then became another — which in turn gave me a new idea. So that is a good thing. Ol’ Shiny Top Notch way up high, you see the Earth from out in the sky…
Over Under Below Above. That pretty much sums everything up — and here we are smack dab right square in the middle — fighting’ and cussin’ and scratchin’ and lovin’.
If you see my sign honk your horn. If I see you I will wave.
And don’t worry about me, I will be making more signs soon.
If I had listened to what they told me, or all of those friendly suggestions people send my way, I wouldn’t have:
Grown my beard or Put up signs by the road or Climbed telephone poles or Come up with unique ideas or Started the trends or Let my half-bald head grow long hair or Worked myself silly or Come close to a nervous break down or Yell at those who love me. I wouldn’t go on binges or wild tares. I wouldn’t have met all the people I now know — all the friends I have made and places I have been.
If I had listened to those around me I wouldn’t have painted BEARS over my old paintings or come up with silly poems. I wouldn’t have had a chance to tell my story in front of a crowd. I wouldn’t have moved to Arabia Mountain U.S.A. I wouldn’t have quit my desk job with a regular paycheck. I wouldn’t have started to learn about who I am and how I work. I would not be the ME I am today.
You see if I did what they thought I should do I wouldn’t be me. I would be them. I wouldn’t have started my own hard-living path through life. I wouldn’t touch on eternal hippy-happiness in the afternoon sun. I wouldn’t struggle and cry and almost loose everything I have. I wouldn’t have the highs and the lows-lows. I wouldn’t know the beauty and I wouldn’t be me.
So I better keep doing my own thing and learning from my failures and keep being true to my real self — Deep down inside behind the fears and the shadows and the hollow bird bones and the cloudy endless days.
I am not going to do things because THEY do it. I am going to do what I think I should do and put my efforts toward things that are important — sunshine, happiness, love of those around you. I will be thankful and keep working on my simple calling in this life.
It sure isn’t easy but it is worth it and something I am going to keep working on.
Oh yea, I still love you but I’m not gonna listen to you anymore.
After several missed attempts at an appearance, A week or so ago I attended the ABV Gallery “Drink-n-Doodle” event. I drew for 4 hours while many people watched myself and a dozen others make art on paper. It was very loud and I did the best I could to hear my fellow neighbor drawers.
Baby Bones, Baby Bones You will always be a part of me.
Thanks to Nick and Janice for purchasing my drawing.
This week has been one of the strangest, oddest and saddest weeks of my life. This week I turned 43 and this week my wife and I have dealt with some very sad news. We are still dealing with it all and wondering how to move forward. In the middle of it all I was lucky enough to be featured today on the cover of the Sunday edition of the AJC (Atlanta Journal Constitution)
I have long thought about how the darkest shadow is always closest to the brightest spot in the sun. Sometimes the best of days are smack-up against the darkest saddest ones. We are blessed with sunshine a day after a winter storm. Come to think of it, last week on this day it was 15 degrees and now I can go outside in my t-shirt.
I don’t understand life, I am just rolling with it and trying to make notes to learn by. I want to treat those around me better and be nice to my wife and family. I want to be better to my ancient little dog named Pup. It is all a process. I am trying. In the middle of it all I make colorful art that makes me feel better. I trying to get a better grip on peace and love and how it resides inside of my old soul.
I am very thankful to good ol’ Adam Kincaid who wrote the article about me and my journey. Thank you to Suzanne Van Atten who is the editor of the Personal Journeys AJC series. Thanks so much to my new friend Curtis Compton who shot the photos and video. I appreciate the opportunity to have worked with y’all.
I’ve been waiting a few years to see this creature bloom. Last year was an almost but an accident chopped off the bloom spike mid-growth. It has a beautiful brain somewhere in there — guiding its development. This year it looks like it surely might happen.
This Mule Ear Oncidium was found in amongst many plants on my mother-in-law’s mother’s back porch several years ago. It was growing tossed in between a bunch of other plants. I was told to take it and care for it so I brought it back to Georgia from central Florida. I had no clue what type of orchid it was at the time. I built a little basket for it to grow in.
Nature is a mysterious wonder. God made me smart enough to know He is all around but my smart enough to understand it all. I am easily amazed, but this is amazing to me.
This weekend I painted these words “Father Father Holy Father” and then I put them on the barn.
Today I wrote a poem to go along side them— To go between the screws holding it to the barn— To go between the paint strokes and the brush marks— To lie underneath and support the letters. To make it all just a little bit more…
Father Father Holy Father.
Shall we go any farther?
You know me and where I been.
But I just don’t remember when.
I felt so down and I felt so out.
I looked around I looked all about.
Holy Sunshine Holy Moon.
I let go of your hand, almost too soon.
But I grasped and I held and I pleaded with all my might.
I wanna do good, but I don’t ever do right.
So listen Holy Father.
Hear my ragged plea.
Help me to do right. Help me to be free.
Show me a path. Show me a way.
Tell me what to do and Tell me what to say.
Just use my self, however is okay.
Father Father Holy Father.
Thanks for taking me a little bit farther.
Last weekend I wrote a poem and then painted it for an event for The Streets magazine. The poem discusses how we all flow down these everyday roads together, yet seldom talk… but sometimes the “streets” talk back to us. If you listen. If you can see.
I painted the words out of sequence — so the onlookers did not know how it would read and flow until I was finished. I figured it would be to easy and predictable to start at the beginning and finish at the end.
The Streets magazine is a online magazine celebrating street art, culture and fashion. Saturday’s event was held at Spalding Nix Fine Art. It was to celebrate the print edition of the last 3 issues.
Thanks to Meredith and Spalding for having me paint for you.
If anyone is in the market for a swingin’ door with a story you should write me. I know a guy.
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.