East Atlanta Strut (4th time around)

The East Atlanta Strut was last weekend. This was my 4th time around with this event. Actually 4 years ago it was my very first festival show. Ain’t that something?

These type of shows are a lot of labor but it is always great to talk to people and have a little street party all day long. Parties are good. The parade was really long and loud. I saw no clowns but I heard a few tubas. Boy they “sho can play those drums.” Maria brought me a veggie corndog. The sun came out. I paint bears.

Thanks to all those who came by and took some art home with them. It makes me glad you understand. I hope it makes you happy. Friends are good.

east-atlanta-strut-friends-blackcattips-3 - laura cook photo credit

east-atlanta-strut-friends-blackcattips-4  - carmen ames  photo crediteast-atlanta-street-art-blackcattips-bug















- kyle



Posted in art shows | Tagged , , , , , , | Comments Off

Things I Have Done (since Monday)

  1. Had weird dreams and woke up stressed.
  2. Worried about things. For example: Willl the belts inside the washing machine snap during the spin cycle.
  3. Drove to Snellville, GA.
  4. Got really excited when a new glue mixture worked out.
  5. Washed most everything I owned to get rid of mystery bugs that came back from Ossabaw Island with me.
  6. Was gifted a walking stick.
  7. Climbed up a telephone pole.
  8. Worried about a homeless man who seemed to have some OCD issues. He lives at a closed gas station where I put some art up. He seems to havea lot of papers to organize.
  9. Looked for really big airplanes to fly overhead. Instead I saw a weird airplane shadow projected on the clouds.
  10. I am painting a Kitchen-Aid mixer.
  11. Preparing for the East Atlanta Strut.
  12. Drew a blue bear in a parking lot and bought a burrito from some really strange people.
  13. Got jealous and cussed.
  14. Itched my legs and arms and cussed.
  15. Drew a cool card for Maria.
  16. Cussed.
  17. Realized I can’t see very well at night.
  18. Bought a new grow light for my orchids.
  19. I was gifted a cool hand made knife from a guy in St. Paul named Workerman.
  20. Realized it is cool to paint blue and pink over black.
  21. Listened to Tripper by FruitBats, Lost In The Dream by The War on Drugs, and some old Nirvana and Pearl Jam.
  22. Started painting a large canvas with a lot of neon paint. (you will never catch me until I die/ and then it won’t matter anymore)
  23. Ate a bowl of vegetarian sancocho cooked with love by Yvonne.
  24. Wondered if you and I will be alright in the end. Dear GOD up in the sky will we?

snake-arm-of-truth-blackcattips-street-art drive-thru-bear-blackcattips-2 donkey-food-street-poem-a-blackcattips smile-a-while-friends-blackcattips

- kyle

Posted in current events | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off

Awesome Ossabaw (a Georgia Conservancy Adventure)

ossabaw island trip - 45 - the georgia conservancy - sea gulls

Ossabaw Island—what a unique place in a modern world. I was asked to go last minute by Bryan at The Georgia Conservancy. We had spoken before about me attending one of their trips to beautiful locations around the state. This time everything aligned and we went to join them.

It had been a long time since I slept in a grassy field and woke up looking at the sky. Maria and I set up our tent in a pasture where a plantation used to sit. Wild donkeys walked by. Wood storks and Pileated woodpeckers flew overhead. The place is very ancient and beautiful and has a long and rich history. Modern man has been on the island since early 1700′s at least. Natives lived here for 4,000 years before. Now I walked on for a weekend.

The trip began with a ferry ride across the oyster marshes and tarpon feeding grounds. Twenty or so minutes later we were pulling up to this mystery island. Hello Ossabaw.

The Georgia Conservancy took care of us—fine eating and great conversation with a interesting mix of people. Two days and we were friends with campfires and low country boil to share. The team spent half a day of work in between adventures. We assisted the Ossabaw Island Foundation doing some cleaning and chores around the few buildings on the island. The work was light and fun with happy people. A storm spun off the coast and gave us wind and entertaining sky. The first night the wind blew and we watched as strange balls of glowing lightning in the distance flashed.

We took a trip to the beach. As the gull flies, it was only a couple miles away, but it took us about an hour or bumpity-bump on the back of a pick-up truck through the craziest forests I have ever seen. The trail we followed has stone mile markers which have been in place since the early 1700s. We rode over swamp and glade, through old forested dunes and towering live oaks draped with gray Spanish moss. The beach was totally uninhabited and there was a lot to see and search around for. Over the weekend we saw many birds including an American Avocet and White Iibis.  We also spotted armadillos, alligator, crabs, cicadas, deer, wild hogs, feral donkeys, and dolphins feeding in a unique formation called strand feeding.

I could go on but I will just say that you should check out all The Georgia Conservancy does for the natural areas of Georgia. I highly suggest you take advantage of their stewardship trips.  They make it easy to interact with all the wild beauty around us. They can show you places you might never venture. All of our needs were metfood, shelter, and friendship. It sure was a wonderful time.

Thanks to Bryan Schroeder for making this happenBen and Foster too. You got me to step away from my painting for a few days and be refreshed by the wild. I thank you for that as well as your generous spirit. Also thanks to our hosts Elizabeth and Mark who help keep the island maintained. You should read more about the history of the island and the 101 year old lady who still lives there after many many years. Her tale is an interesting one.

It was quite a weekend and I am glad I went. As one of the group said before we left, “You gotta go home so you can come back.See you next time Ossabaw.

ossabaw island trip - 170 the georgia conservancy lucky sand dollar beachossabaw island trip - 105 live oak forest the georgia conservancy ossabaw island trip - 380 - golden isles - the georgia conservancy ossabaw island trip - 605 the georgia conservancy - good morning donkey ossabaw island trip - 550 the georgia conservancy fresh cicadaossabaw island trip - 40 ferry ride ossabaw island trip - 490 the georgia conservancy feral ossabaw donkey

ossabaw island trip - 565 the gerorgia conservancy stewardship trip welcome committee

ossabaw island trip - 200 the georgia conservancy boneyard beach ossabaw island trip - 365 the georgia conservancy ossabaw island trip - 265 the georgia conservancy resurrection fern ossabaw island trip - 250 resurrection spanish moss palms oak ossabaw island trip - 240 marshes the georgia conservancy ossabaw island trip - 225 the georgia conservancy ossabaw island trip - 65 blackcattips painted bucket - the georgia conservancy ossabaw island trip - 30 the georgia conservancy coastal salt marsh- kyle

Posted in inspiration, travel essay | Tagged , , , , , , , | Comments Off

Strongest Man Winner


We were on the way back. Hot outside and humid. Inside pretty hot too. Always humid. I was in a bad mood. Sweating and cussing. The pavement was hot. Cracked and dirty. We waved at them from the 285 bridge. 17 sports cars in a row, mainly red, all sleek. She made it to the center of the bridge and I was too slow. Hot and sluggish. They laughed and waved.

On the way back north I said I would make a sign. Pull off the road. Plans on hold. Painting on the ground. Painting on the dirt. Up up up the ladder. Make a sign. Talk to the people. Strange communications. Laugh a lot. People come back. U-turn and flip around. She knew them and now me too. Talk about cats. Talk about the sun. Talk about their street. Then we go after I won the STRONGEST MAN contest. Fun can happen but especially if it does. Those are the best times.



- kyle

Posted in street folk | Tagged , , , , , , , | Comments Off

A Cow and A Pig (Fox Bros Mural)


(A) I painted a little mural at Fox Bros Bar-B-Q. I started early in the morning. I painted without coffee or my music. Maria helped me the first two sessions. I ate no BBQ. I ate no sauce. I had no fries. I had no Texas Toast. I just painted. I painted the pig and I painted the cow. They made me smile. Thanks Justin for asking me. “You a good ol boy.”

(B) I can get up early or I can sleep till noon. I can paint for a day non-stop. I could get up and walk straight to Richmond, Virginia. I could ride a canoe 50 miles at midnight. I could jump in the ocean and I could hide in a hole. But, I can’t control my mind. It wanders and drifts and sometimes angers me to no end. I like the pink sunset.

(I won’t let you leave my love behind)  – H. Nilsson

fox-brothers-mural-yellow-mushrooms-blackcattips-bbq in-progress-mural

fox-brothers-mural-blackcattips-cow fox-brothers-mural-yellow-mushrooms-blackcattips fox-brothers-mural-sad-cloud-man-atlanta-pig-blackcattips fox-brothers-mural-2-atlanta-pig-blackcattips

- kyle

Posted in mural | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Comments Off

Biker Guy (and friends)

I drew Biker Guy monday. My new friend Harrison told me he was buying a bicycle yesterday so I sent him my new drawing. He then posed for this version with his new shiny ride. It makes me real happy.

Just remember… Biker Guy Likes to Bike.

biker-guy-and-friends-harrison-rogers-blackcattips-bicycle drawing

- kyle

Posted in illustration | Tagged , , , , , | Comments Off

Wandering Home (the book is out)


I am happy to announce that the book project I have been working on this year is now published. The book is Wandering Home, by Tom Roddy.

I painted the exterior and interior art and Maria designed the book from scratch. She helped me all along the way and for that I am thankful. It is good to have someone advise you in the right direction — snip snip trim trim. Do this! Don’t do that! Thanks to my friend Allen Bell for asking me to be part of this project and to Dick Parker of Looking Glass Books.

You can see more about Tom Roddy and his book here. Wandering Home is a collection of 30 years of his writings edited into the four seasons of the year. I hope I did his decades of work justice.

Check it out thru Acapella Books or listen to the iTunes audiobook version (warmly read by actor Tom Key.)

wandering-home-hardback--tom-roddy-interior-credits wandering-home-hardback-tom-roddy

(left to right) Sound Engineer, Allen Bell, Author - Tom Roddy,  Tom Key, Kyle Brooks, Maria

(left to right) Vincent Caputa – sound engineer, Allen Bell, Tom Roddy – author, Tom Key, Kyle Brooks & Maria




- kyle

Posted in book cover, illustration | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off

A Trip To Summerville (in the summer)

Yesterday we drove up to Summerville, Georgia to look at the crazily obsessive art in a yard of a man named Finster. I had never been to Paradise Gardens. It reminded me a lot of my grandpa. The little notes here and there—the look of things. Finster was an artist and my grandpa was not but there were some interesting strings connecting them.

Peter and Alicia told me I should visit. I am glad they spurred us to get on up the road and take it all in. It was a nice drive. I saw many spots along the country highway I would like to live and set up shop. I see myself working in a little cinder block building by the road. I saw barns to paint and signs to repair. I didn’t bring any paint and I regretted it. I saw a perfect spot. We also saw a lot of towering and impressive clouds. We ate some snacks. It was a good afternoon.

Along the way I left some bears—here and theres.

blackcattips-bear-folk-stickers-georgia blackcattips-bear-hi-street-folk-georgia-folk georgia-map sweet-potato-santa-finster howard-finster-paradise-gardens-wood-cut-out howard-finster-paradise-gardens-cadillac

- kyle

Posted in bears, folk art | Tagged , , , , , , , | Comments Off

Go Out – Do Stuff

It was hot outside but I wasn’t feeling so hot today. I don’t feel so well now. But I had a little unexpected art adventure that made me forget about my silly sufferings.

Jonathan Mushroom was stopping by to pick up a painting. He had some free time and I got a call from the BeltLine asking if I could cover up some tags on my old mural. Jonathan and I delieverd some of his produce and took the paint. Next thing I knew I was painting mustard yellow, talking to folks on bikes and looking at fancy bike seats for babies. Angel stopped by—so did Patti and her friend. On the way back home we installed some street folk.

My mushroom growing friend is gone on his way now but it made me feel better to get out (doors) and get up (ladders.) Thanks to happy neighbors and friends.


old-soul--street-art-blackcattips the-can-man-blackcattips


- kyle



Posted in creation process, street folk | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off

BlackCatTips (A New Film)

Earlier this year I spent a couple days with Ben Rollins and a class from the Portfolio Center in Atlanta. They filmed me talking and painting and climbing ladders. We had a good time.

After a few months the little film is ready. They really did a nice job and I feel pretty dang excited about it. In addition to Ben and Co. I want to thank to John Song for his editing and music. I am really excited about showing it to you. Here you go!

- kyle

Posted in art documentary, blackcattips | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off