Coca-Cola Bottle (a bubbling’ bottle of good times)

Hi again.

I was lucky enough to be asked to paint a Coca-Cola bottle for the World of Coke Museum’s Pop Culture Gallery. I felt luckier than a $2 bill … or is it a $3 bill? Anyway, I am pretty dang happy about it.

I stared at the plain white 4 foot tall Coca-Cola bottle I had picked up on a late winter morning from the Museum’s offices in downtown Atlanta. I stared at it a long time — many days of staring turned into weeks. I felt like I should make something monumental if it was to be on display for over 1 million visitors a year. I felt like I should do something worthwhile if it was to be on display mere feet away from art by Finster, Penley and Sundblom.

I started painting the bottle a couple times and then primed it over. I looked at it. I let it rest. I rotated it slightly. I stared some more. At some point, I painted the background many colors and had a good plan. Then the plan lost its fizz. So, I painted mostly over it as well. I left a little of the previous attempt looking through — a marker of the history we were accumulating. One doesn’t always have to like their history but it is good to acknowledge it is back there… in the distance… adding bits of color to our current world.

I had a headache one afternoon and decided to lay down. I seldom take naps. I tried to sleep but rest eluded me that day. I kept thinking about my Coke bottle to paint. Finally it hit me. I saw a vision in my brain. I saw black tree spirits and organic silhouettes. I saw swirling and undulating faces and happy friends blooming from the base of the bottle — growing upwards as the sparkly bubbles rise from a bottle of freshly opened Coca-Cola. I went downstairs to my studio and began to paint. I was wearing nothing but decided to go paint before I lost my artistic vision. I started creating the ideas that came to me. I was as naked as a I could possibly be— only a brush in hand. As I laughed and painted I knew I now had my plan. It would all be fun and smiles after this point — and it was. The Spirit of Inspiration had blessed me again.

I’m so thankful to have my art once again on display in the World of Coke Museum in Centennial Park Atlanta. Thank you to Craig Lovin and Phil Walker. Thanks to all the others at Coca-Cola for your support. Thank you too to the other 9 artists I am currently on display with, quite an honor —10 Bottles, 10 Artists, 10 years of the World of Coke Museum at Pemberton Place.

Read the official press release here.

world-of-coca-cola-Kyle-Brooks-BlackCatTips-coke-bottle-3-1
coca-cola bottle - kyle blackcattips brooks- ©2017 The Coca-Cola Company BlackCatTips coca-cola bottle kyle brooks art - _9636 BlackCatTips coca-cola bottle kyle brooks art - _9606 BlackCatTips coca-cola bottle kyle brooks art - _9633 BlackCatTips coca-cola bottle kyle brooks art - _9639 kyle-BlackCatTips-brooks-telling-stores-at-coca-cola-museumworld-of-coca-cola_PopCulture-2017_8298
BlackCatTips coca-cola bottle kyle brooks art - _9604

All images ©2017 The Coca-Cola Company

 

see you soon,

Kyle BlackCatTips Brooks



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Paint Love Artist Challenge (face paint makes all the difference)

Last night I completed in a 3 (THREE) hour  painting competition. I was supported by my biggest fan. Actually I have a bigger fan but I left it home in the garage – too big to bring it to town.

Thanks to PAINT LOVE , FABIAN WILLIAMS, LUCHA PINK, CATLANTA, JOE KING, MATTIEL BROWN, WHITE CAT TIPS for painting along side me and all the fine folks who donated to the Paint Love Artist Challenge fundraiser at Ponce City Market.

I really felt good painting last night. Painting makes me feel different than most other things. I could take some pills or get naked and get in a cold creek or slap myself or slide down a long piece of clear plastic stretched out across the back yard with motor oil poured all over me. Those things will make you feel different too. But painting always makes me feel happy and alive. It makes me feel like I am doing the right thing — and last night the donations to buy us supplies to compete all went to Paint Love and their children’s art outreach programs. So that made me feel good too.

kyle-BlackCatTips-brooks-painting-3paint-love-artist-challenge-ponce-city-market-2
kyle-BlackCatTips-brooks-painting-1 paint-love-artist-challenge BlackCatTips-paintign-process BlackCatTips-painted-hand BlackCatTips-kyle-brooks-painting-with-fan

see you soon,
Kyle BlackCatTips Brooks



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Collaborative Crowd Collage (cinco de oh boy)

Friday night was the 5th of May. Some folks celebrated Cinco De Mayo but I (eye) made things with paint and industrial adhesives and cardboard. I created a Collaborative Crowd Collage at the HIGH Museum for their First Friday event.

I will list things that happened in no certain order:

PEOPLE TOOK PICTURES WITH ME.
LADIES GAVE ME SMALL BOTTLES OF DRINK.
MUSIC WAS SO LOUD I HAVE HEARING DAMAGE.
I ATE THAI FOOD.
I ATE A NUTTER-BUTTER BY A DIFFERENT NAME.
I SPOKE TO A WORKER IN THE KITCHEN AT THE MUSEUM BUT HE DIDN’T SPEAK BACK.
I WAS OVERWHELMED.
I LOADED ALL MY SUPPLIES IN THROUGH THE MAIN DOORS.
I MET A SECURITY LADY NAMED MISS SANDY.
I LOST TRACK OF TIME.
TIME WENT TOO SLOW.
I USED 4 COLORS OF PAINT.
PEOPLE SAID ENCOURAGING THINGS TO ME.
SOME FOLKS WERE CONFUSED.
SOME FOLKS KNEW WHO I WAS.
SOME FOLKS DIDN’T CARE WHO I WAS.
ONE GUY TRIED TO BORROW MY SMALL KNIFE.
ONE LADY SAID SHE THOUGHT I WAS A WOMAN.
I TOLD HER I WAS PRETTY SURE I WAS A MAN.
I ESCAPED BY THE SKIN OF MY TEETH.
THANKS TO SHANNON OF I.C.E.

BlackCatTips collaborative crowd collage painting 4 BlackCatTips collaborative crowd collage painting 3 BlackCatTips collaborative crowd collage painting 2 BlackCatTips collaborative crowd collage painting 1 blackcattips-high-museum-ice-event

see you soon,
Kyle BlackCatTips Brooks



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Thank You (go big happy)

Hi.

I’d like to thank everyone for their support. It has been overwhelming and highly appreciated . I have received so many notes and emails full of encouragement. It will take me a while to get back with you. Thank you so much.

I’ll share that my property is not part of any HOA. We are surrounded by 4 sides green space and no one can actually see my property from any other property. This BIG HAPPY artwork lived for 2 + years in Dekalb county on busy Moreland Ave. It was given back to me and I put it on my property last week. It too was deemed ILLEGAL by the code officer. Same county, same big smile, but now it is a problem.

I just thought it would be nice to get a friendly warning, or be told if my ART was in some sort of violation. Everyone tells me how much ti means to them. They tell me how hoary it makes them when they drive by. They tell me how glad they are I moved to their community. I only wanted to bring good things and LIGHT to this area.

I have 2 sides of my family with roots in south Dekalb County for over 150. I am a part of the soil. I only want good things for this land and the people who live here.

Let’s stay positive and see what we can accomplish. Continue to share with friends. I’m working on legal representation and speaking with the media. Thanks everyone for standing by me and my paint brush. GO BIG HAPPY!!!

big-happy-blackcattips-atlanta

see you soon,
Kyle BlackCatTips Brooks



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I’m A Code Violater (art censorship)

blackcattips-street-folk-art-censorship

Hi. I’m being targeted by Dekalb County, GA.
The lead code enforcement officer told me to my face the items I have built and painted in my yard are not ART. He pointed and said “That is not art!” He told me my self expression on my own property was ILLEGAL. He said there was an anonymous complaint.

I took them down for now, as I am being taken to court with NO Warnings. My court date is May 23.

Can you support me? Can you stand up for self expression and free speech and for the creative spirit? Please share with others if you find this local government censorship offensive.

Email me at BlackCatTips.com if you can help or to share ideas.

We moved to Arabia Mountain USA because it called to me. We moved here because we wanted to make the area even better and be a LIGHT in the community.

Happy Fun Art should not be illegal.

Before I removed my ART I made one more message…

see you soon,
Kyle BlackCatTips Brooks



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WEiRD (talking to kids)

I went and talk to Whitefield Academy high school students last week. I was asked to tell them about my view on living a WEiRD life. I had never spoken to a high school before. I remember a couple men that spoke at my school when I was a high school boy. There was Chuck “tell me a story” Larkin with his handle-bar mustache. There was also a guy who wore boots and told us about how he had been bad and tough and done rough stuff but now had turned it all around. I don’t know if I believed him. I always felt like Chuck Larkin was the real-deal. He had to own that mustache. The other guy could have just bought them there boots.

BlackCatTips-speaking-whitefield-academy-2 BlackCatTips-speaking

Photos by Allen Bell.

I enjoyed talking to the crowd of kids and teachers even though I couldn’t see much past the lights. Now I know what they mean when they said my future was bright. I told them some stories and showed them some of my Street Poems I had made over the last few years. They got a chance to laugh at me after Mr. Principal made them behave before I took the stage.

At the end of my talk I gave them a chance to ask some questions. They waited a minute then a boy hollered out,” Hey, how much do you weigh?!” “Is your wife weird too?” another one asked me. These weren’t quite the inquiries I had imagined but they sure did make me laugh. I hope one day one or two of them will remember that long-beard guy in his polka dot overalls as someone that made them smile and made them think things over in a different light. We can all have hopes and dreams. Some might have just walked out and mumbled to each other,” What a WEiRDO” … and thats OK with me too :)

Thanks to Allen Bell and Joanne Fitzgerald for asking me to visit.

see you soon,
Kyle BlackCatTips Brooks



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Tree Spirits (jellybeans and in-betweens)

PEOPLE BREAKING UP. PEOPLE BREAKING DOWN. FIRE. STORMS. FRIENDS. HARD LABOR AND CAT SCRATCHES. POLLEN AND DUST AND UNSEEN DANDER. MUSIC AND BEANS AND A PLATE OF YELLOW RICE. A PILE OF VINES IN THE GREEN GRASS FIELD.

I TOOK MY PAINTS AND LEFT SOME ON THE WALL IN VARIOUS PATTERNS. YOU MIGHT SEE A TREE SPIRIT. YOU MIGHT SEE SOMETHING I DON’T SEE. I PUSHED THE PAINTS WITH BRUSHES. I BROUGHT SOME PAINT BACK HOME. GOOD SONGS AND BAD SONGS AND DIVERSIONARY TACTICS. EAR MUFFS.

CREATING IS A BEAUTIFUL STRUGGLE. PEOPLE WATCH YOU AND SOME ASK YOU. SOME PEOPLE ACT LIKE THEY ARE NOT LOOKING. SOME PEOPLE ACT LIKE THEY UNDERSTAND. I MIGHT NOT UNDERSTAND.

FRENCH FRY THIGHS AND A TANK OF PINK PAINT. RUBBER DUCKS AND SAUSAGES.

A STORM WHOOPED UP LAST EVENING AND I HEARD THE HOWLING WIND. CRACK OF LIGHTNING. SAY IT AGAIN. I SCREAMED AND RAN. SCARED DOG. WIFE WAS WASHING. BLEW DOWN PART OF THE BARN. A FRIEND TOLD ME IT NEEDED TO COME DOWN ANYWAY.

THE WIND DOESNT ASK PERMISSION.

THANK YOU CLAY.

french-fry-thighs pink-paint painting-a-mural-blackcattips Spirit-trees-at-fellinis-atlanta-art-blackcattips-mural Spirit-trees-at-fellinis-talkin-jelly-beans-kyle-brooks-blackcattips Spirit-trees-at-fellinis-blackcattips-mural Spirit-trees-at-fellinis--blackcattips

see you soon,
Kyle BlackCatTips Brooks



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A Time At Hambidge (painting during the last grips of winter while in a mountain studio)

I was left alone on the side of a hill in a cabin called Fisher Studio. It was a cold two weeks with everything from some snow to a violent thunderstorm that split a tree into many woody spears due to a fiery ribbon of lightning. I loved my time at Hambidge — The sun on my bare feet as I ate my vegetable soup on the porch overlooking the property. I loved the mix of solitude and nature. I loved being able to focus on my work without knowing anyone would interrupt me. I also liked when we could convene for wonderful thoughtful meals and share our experiences with the other artists and writers currently living and creating at Hambidge. It is interesting how quickly a group can bond under the right circumstances and wonderful meals.

I worked mainly on set of paintings for an upcoming solo show at Spalding Nix Fine Art in Atlanta. I feel I was influenced by the Spirit of the Woods— The tree spirits and the unique dark shapes i kept encountering on my walks and in the nature I encountered. All of this made by God the Great Creator but highly mysterious and sometimes bizarre and not to be understood. I did not know exactly what direction my painted creations would take. I believe the woods and the night spirits of the hills spoke to me. Being around artists with other disciplines was very eye-opening as well.

I kept an animal and a bird list. I wrote about each day I was there and the weather around me in a little journal. I stared at the night sky. I was blinded by the darkness of the cold late starry night.

I wished I could have spent a month — which at the onset seemed like eternity.

I am thankful for all of the time I was able to devote to my art and the refreshing of my mind. I hope I will take that new energy and share it with others through my paintings.

– or –

I went to the woods. No one around. At night there was hardly a sound — other than the drip drip of dew on the tin roof. A couple times I thought it must be a bear or at least a raccoon at my door making noises. Nonesuch luck for me — but I did see 7 deer together lots of fresh work by beavers and an up close encounter with an otter.

At night it was dark and there were no lights to be seen. Zero light except for a lamp in my window. I stayed in a nice lit warm-feeling studio but thinking of all the others that stayed there and used the kitchen and the bathroom and slept in the bed and then expecting myself to paint things worthy of such a place.

I walked into North Carolina on a mountain ridge. I got lost and found my way (I don’t think you can ever really be lost) Go downhill, follow a creek, enjoy the nature around you, take a deep cold breath. I went downhill and found an old logging road and a new trail and an unmarked trail and a hollow tree and then I could see the road and soon I was exactly where I was trying to end up from the start.

I planned on not working for a few days. I just wanted to relax and read. But the first day I began painting. It made me happy. Then I would become unhappy with my work. Then later I might be happy again. Then I hid my paintings in the bedroom against the wall and worked on new ones. Don’t look at me.

I took a plastic Santa Claus and a rinky-dink string of Christmas lights to make me feel happy inside— strung them haphazzardly in the window.

Hambidge was a place to work, relax and show reverence. I reserve reverence for special places and things that have happened —Things in history that you are walking over an around on a later date — Civil War battlefields, lost graves, historical spots in old photos and all the important spots you never have heard of. Hambidge made me feel that way. I thought about how long before Mary Hambidge had bought the land, it had been many things. I hoped it had been an Native American camp, along Betty Creek. The beavers tried to tell me. Reverence.

So leave me alone to work and paint. Leave me alone with lost dead haunts. Leave me alone to do my thing. I’ll think and flounder and turn a ring. Leave me alone and I’ll paint it new. Ill make myself feel better— paint for me and you.

– or –

Between cars, down on my knees the hillbilly man a starin’ at me. Writing on the ground with people all around my black marker made a squeaky sound. I left Hambidge and headed home. I liked being by myself but tired of being alone. I miss you.

(Thanks to Mason for making this all happen. 2 +3+2-8=6)

hambidge--kyle-brooks-blackcattips-fisher-studio

Photo by Dayna Thacker

hambidge-cool-mountain-streams-blackcattips mid-march-snow-at-hambidge-center

Photo by Maria B.

tree-spirits-hambidge Hambidge-spring-house tree-spirits-blackcattips-kyle-brooks-hambidge-center Hambidge-jolly-horse-seamonster-and-billy-mcsmeet-blackcattips
Hambidge-betty-creek-beaver lightning-strike-tree
Hambidge-29 Hambidge-fisher-studio Hambidge-betty-creek-rabun-county

see you soon,
Kyle BlackCatTips Brooks



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Meeting Good Folks (the magic tree)

I get to meet a lot of great and inspiring people doing what I do. For that I am thankful. Some of the most inspiring are folks who have made a business and a life out of nothing. I always am so intrigued by “how they have done it.”

Kevin Blackwell is one of those people. This weekend Kevin, who owns FrenchMill Studios, brought me some lumber from an old barn his family had torn down. I enjoyed talking to him. The property where his barn was located also has a small cemetery of about 20 burial graves. I thought that was real interesting.

I showed him around our new place and where I have been painting — Told him about some plans and ideas I have. When he left he took this photo of me and my Magic Tree. I waved bye. Then he saw a whole truckload of carpeted cat castles while riding up the interstate.

I hope you have a real Sunny Day.

blackcattips-magic-tree

see you soon,
Kyle BlackCatTips Brooks



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It Was Something Else (an interesting life)

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.

BlackCatTips-painting-the-pointy-people

 

see you soon,
Kyle BlackCatTips Brooks



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