Ramen Noodles In a Bag (on a sidewalk with jim)

I drove up to Nashville to start on an outdoor mural project. The project is called Off The Wall Nashville. It is located at 28th and Charlotte on the west side of the Music City. I had a few issues on the way up from Atlanta, including foreign objects lodged behind my brake pads on the painted van I drive. I had other issues too but those aren’t as worth mentioning. This hunk of metal in the wrong place created a wildly metallic screeching sound. The squeal coupled with the fact that my van is painted in an odd way made for strange and somewhat laughably entertaining and embarrassing ride around West Nashville. I pulled the bill of my yellow ball hat down way low so no one would see me. Now, thanks to some nice Nashvillians, the screech and the squeal have left town together and I am here to paint. I think they rode on out to Memphis bickering with each other on the back of a dirty old semi.

I began this painting project and now am in the midst of it. I always enjoy the midst portion. I have met some nice folks so far. The Nashville Transit Bus Driver stopped and I got into the bus to tell him what I was doing. Two police pulled over a lady Uber driver in front of the wall. I met a traveling family from Philly en route from Oklahoma to take photos and see all the states. Random folks have come by and shook my hand and asked me things like, ” Did you do all of this?!” I said, ” Yes.” Then I get out my dish soap and wash my hands on the sidewalk.

Today I met a man named Jim Anderson. He is 82. He walks a lot and lives in Nashville. He told me he used to deal cards in Las Vegas for 14 years. He used to drink in the old days too but now he laid the bottle down. He laid it plum flat on its side. All the drink ran out. Whether it was Puerto Rican Rum or Siberian Vodka or a fancy type of Rye Whiskey I do not know. But according to Jim, it poured on out and ran down the table leg and across the floor. The Puerto Rican Siberian Rum Whiskey kept on running and tumbling and ended up in a crooked creek and then a swindling stream and now it flows to this day in the Cumberland River. I heard it was laid up on a big sandbar somewheres — just laying out in the sun and taking it easy. What do expect an old bottle of booze to do?

Maybe Jim didn’t tell me all the facts about the lack of drink in his life. Maybe I made that part of the story up. Heck, maybe I need a little drink. Anyway, Jim now goes on two daily walks and writes poetry and songs. Sometimes he finds guys like me painting on the sidewalk. Today as I was painting on my ladder and he came by and we spoke. He recited me one of his writings. I was impressed. We spoke for a while more and then I got out my blue paint and climbed back up my ladder. I sure wish I could have recorded all the words to his poem.

I first saw Jim last night as I was sitting on the sidewalk eating cold ramen noodles and lima beans out of a sandwich bag with my fingers. He came walking down the evening road in my direction. He smiled and told me he liked my hat. Any fella that would be nice to you after they saw you eating ramen noodles and lima beans out of a bag with their fingers must be an okay type of fella.

See you tomorrow Jim.

see you soon,
Kyle BlackCatTips Brooks

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Salvageable Sections (a resting place returns home)

In 2013 I painted The Resting Place, a project with Molly Rose Freeman for the Atlanta Beltline. The outdoor room we built was temporary and lived several lives after the BeltLine installation. Recently it was returned to me, but in sub-par condition.

Today we threw out some of the old and salvaged what we could. I hope to begin to use what is left in new art projects – cut it up and paint over sections. Create something new with the old.

I have some new plans for the salvageable sections. I know we all have some salvageable sections. Sometimes they just take a while to identify and preserve.


See you soon,
Kyle BlackCatTips Brooks





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Connected (wires in a house)

There are things in this world all around us. Miraculous things we can’t understand. Yesterday I got a closer glimpse and it quickly overwhelmed me. I cried and cried as I thought about how we are part of a SPIRIT world that is interconnected , totally amazed by what I experienced. Invisible wires running through the attic of this House we call our world — our Earth — our Home.

How many times do you have to see the fire before you know it will burn you? How many winters before you know the snow is cold? Will you learn before you are too old? I hope you can .

see you soon,
Kyle BlackCatTips Brooks

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Pot Tops (used to cook beans)

Recently I painted some tops of pots — or maybe Pot Tops. They used to help cook bowls of beans but now I think they must cook up Sunshine Stew.

They came over and I stayed out in the garage. I painted with my gas mask on. You don’t want to breathe too much gas. You don’t want to breathe too many fumes. You don’t want to expose yourself to the chemicals too soon.

I like to paint things that smile back at me. I get real upset sometimes. That is why I paint smiles. That is why I paint big happy eyes. I don’t care too much for serious art or serious artists or political nonsense. I just paint simple things I can be happy and content with. I suppose it is all very selfish of me but it helps keep me alive and true to myself.


see you soon,
Kyle BlackCatTips Brooks

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Georgia On My Mind (painted states)

I recently painted a set of Georgia states. I made about 50 of them and I don’t think I will be making anymore like these. They were all unique. All of them were different than each other. I painted them on the last cold night of early 2018. I painted them when it was really hot too. I painted them in my home studio and I painted them in a garage attic near Lake Lanier. I painted them by 3 brown bats and I painted them by 3 tan deer.

If you bought one of them I hope they bring you many smiles. I am thankful to you.


see you soon,
Kyle BlackCatTips Brooks

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A Crow & A Cat (a new mural at Mary Lin)

A concrete valley. A crow perched high up upon a towering fireplace. The winds swooped down around the summer clouds and blew a hot breeze past me and my supplies. I closed my eyes and imagined I was near a sandy beach — A tropical watering hole that when I walked closer was only a janitor’s closet. It was very hot seven days at Mary Lin elementary school.

I worked over the course of a week on a new mural on a unique concrete wall — under an overpass and up a set of stairs — I felt it was a unique location to create art. I painted giant chicken totems and a janky leg cat and rockets and birds and a talking tail tip beside a crooked smiling tree. I wanted to give the school children plenty to think and talk and dream about. I wanted to paint something that would cause them to create funny names and stories for the creatures I painted.

Thanks to Julie for asking me to paint and all the afternoon picnics and assistance. Thanks to Ethan for your help too. Thanks to the black crow for keeping me company while I painted in the desert.

Photo by Reid Childers

Photo by Bryan Schroeder

Photo by Reid Childers

see you soon,
Kyle BlackCatTips Brooks

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Clumpies Ice Cream Co. (3 murals about ice cream in 5 days in south chattanooga)

  1. We drove up to Chattanooga with our new baby boy.
  2.  The van broke down when we rolled into town.
  3. I got some rides from nice folks.
  4. I found several good spots for coffee and breakfast.
  5. I talked to Uber drivers about Alice Cooper and Third Eye Blind and how “they don’t get good concerts.”
  6. I stayed in an old motor inn on the side of Lookout Mountain.
  7. We saw many deer and turkeys across the river.
  8. I painted everyday for the new Clumpies Ice Cream Co. across from the famous Chattanooga Choo-Choo.
  9. People saw me walking down the street and wrote me on social media to let me know.
  10. I met some artist friends like Kate Roebuck, Addie Chapin and Johnny from Stray Dog Studios.
  11. An Uber driver named Fred loaned me a pair of headphones.
  12. Teddy, our baby boy, attended his first block party.
  13. I had long talk with the owner of See Rock City.
  14. I saw a sign in the woods about a skirmish with Cherokee Indians and the white settlers. The Cherokee won. They hid behind the same boulders I was standing by when I read the sign.
  15. We went to a Sculpture Fields at Montague Park and I was amazed by a giant 65 foot tall concrete sculpture.
  16. A lady with green fingernails at the car fix it place called me Honey and Baby.
  17. I painted 3 sections of the new ice cream store — a main wall, a banana wall and a wall of ice cream cones.
  18. Before we left town we toured See Rock City. I must return and spend more time betwixt the ancient stones.
  19. I really felt good about South Chattanooga and would like to go back.
  20. Thanks to Blue Grass Grill, Mean Mug, the nice folks from Humanaut, Conga, Frothy Monkey, See Rock City, Clumpies Ice Cream Co., Sluggos,  Maxi Auto, Mad Priest Coffee, The old Sky Harbor Inn for the bed, the breakfast the pretty flowers and the lovely view of the Tennessee River.

” Many cones upon the wall, friendly desserts, I’d eat them all. Scoops and straws and cups of cheer. Milkshakes, cookies they’re all here. A banana with a hat, a pile of fluffy cream, tasty sugar crisps, a cherry and a dream. Lookout Mountain, a choo-choo train, friends along the street. Tasty ice cream from Clumpies store and all the folks you can meet.”

see you soon,
Kyle BlackCatTips Brooks

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Peach Dish (blue alligator boxes)

peach dish atlanta partners with kyle BlackCatTips brooks

Photo by Kate Blohm for PeachDish

About  year ago I was asked to create an art postcard for Atlanta company PeachDish to use as a friendly note to customers. We went through a few options and they decided to go with a blue alligator and a slightly nervous peach.

Later I was asked to help transition the 5 inch postcard art into a giant version which would cover a large delivery truck.  I also hand wrote a bunch of words with my ink and brush for them to use in their designs.

Now the postcard alligator has been transformed into very unique shipping boxes which Peachdish will now use to send out all of their meal shipments every week.

I am very honored they have embraced me and my art to use with their company and new branding initiative.

Last week I visited PeachDish. We did a live webcast on social media and took some questions from folks online. I told them that the blue alligator was not going to eat the little peach. I reminded them that the peach had no legs and so he had worked a deal with the alligator to get him down the street for an important lunch meeting with a few strawberries.

After an interview and some photos with the new boxes, they had me climb up on the delivery truck for a few more pictures. I enjoyed it but I did request a little help getting back down. You should always be a little cautious on top of an alligator truck.

The other evening we received our first PeachDish meal delivery and I found myself looking at the box we had designed sitting by my driveway gate. It was a happy sight — and the food was really nice too. My wife and I cooked the Sweet & Tangy Tempeh Sandwich with Carrot-Apricot Slaw . They put quite a lot of effort into each shipment to make it a nice experience. We enjoyed our dinner.

I admire PeachDish’s entrepreneurial spirit as well as the warmth and happiness I have felt working with them and visiting their headquarters in Atlanta. Thanks again to my new friends at PeachDish for using my art. I think everyone that sees the blue alligator delivery truck in traffic will smile a little bit.

Here is an article from The Post and Courier out of Charleston, South Carolina about the new boxes.

peach dish atlanta partners with kyle BlackCatTips brooks peach dish atlanta partners with kyle BlackCatTips brooks peach dish atlanta partners with kyle BlackCatTips brooks peach dish atlanta partners with kyle BlackCatTips brooks

All photos by Kate Blohm for PeachDish

see you soon,
Kyle BlackCatTips Brooks

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Streets Alive Spring 2018 (pogo stick fish)

I was a new father — only two days deep into this thing called Fatherhood. Soon after we came back home with our new baby I began to feel funny. Then they sent me to the doctor and I tested positive for Influenza A. They locked me away upstairs. It was no good. I could see fear in their eyes. They quarantined me. I laid there and looked toward the west at the big water oak out the window. My mother-in-law cooked me food and left it around the corner in the hall. Knock-knock. I didn’t mind so much but the bad part was the new baby son was kept away from me. I did not want him to get sick. He was so new and small.

When I was finally allowed to go downstairs and then outdoors I realized I was a little slow in mind and body. I was a little down and thinking I had lost all my skills. I had taken a blow to my whole being.

Shortly after, I was asked to make a design to use for Streets Alive Atlanta spring event T-shirt. I thought this would be something to get me going again creatively — To wake up my senses. Like a lot of projects, I almost quit in the middle of the things. I became frustrated. Things slowed to a crawl. Late one evening I felt a breeze of inspiration blow by me. I had an idea. I quickly sketched out a few characters. I then retraced them on a a really old light table which used to be property of the EPA. I knew this would be good.

The final design is happy and really shows what Streets Alive is about — community, fun, exercise, and alternate forms of transportation.

Streets Alive is the Atlantan version of Ciclovía, a walking -biking – pogo sticking – street festival like I encountered in Bogota, Colombia last September. While these events are similar, I bet there won’t be any homemade carts with loud speakers selling used books, bicycle parts, homemade fried items or mobile phone parts. Colombian Ciclovía was authentic and beautiful even if you don’t want the fried mystery meats for sale. It was a  showcase of life in a city.

I had happened upon Ciclovía while in Bogota with friends who now live in Cabbagetown, Atlanta. They own an apartment there in the neighborhood of Galerias. We had walked to breakfast on a Sunday morning and then were in search of cold pills for my aches and sneezes. In the middle of our walking journey we merged in with the street festival. The rest of the day was fun and quite an adventure. We saw all kinds of people and ways to travel without motorized assistance — it seemed like we walked for miles. We visited my friend’s brother at a flea market I bought a strangely fascinating portrait of Elvis Presley. I was told they would negotiate the deal as I, the tall red-bearded gringo would pay top dollar.  We even happened upon a large crowd in the park doing some sort of dancing aerobics — a man in silver suit— others in fun costumes. I forgot about my ailments. Maybe the trip to the tienda adjacent to the flea market helped — strange versions of potato chips and Colombian beer and very lively conversations in Spanish. It was a beautiful day and a chance to see a different side of the capital city.

At the time I didn’t realize Atlanta’s Streets Alive was a descendant of the Ciclovía — but now I do. I saw many things — things I had never considered before. I enjoyed life in a bustling city at 9,000 feet in elevation. I ate amazing foods. I even missed seeing Papa Francisco (the Pope) by just a few seconds as his procession whipped around the corner.

Atlanta is a mere child when compared to Bogota — but we all grow up sometime. When you really think it over, you realize people all around the world just want to have a sunny-smiley-day and a good tasty breakfast and to pet a dog on the head. We all want to be respected and the chance to have nice life — time to share with those we love and be happy. Hopefully events like Streets Alive and Ciclovía can give us another reason to do so.

I will try to be happy if you will too.

see you soon,
Kyle BlackCatTips Brooks

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3 Weeks (formed in space)


Teddy turns 3 weeks old today… guess I better bake him a tiny cake with tiny candles.

He came to us from outer space a look of wonder on his face. I can’t quite fathom, how he was formed, but somehow this young child was born. He makes me think a million things. My mind loops and races, swirls and swings. I’ll treasure our baby, our tiny son. We better care for him, cause he’s our only one.

21 days of life in a small body. All of us inside of one another. Flying through space and time in parallel tubes which are sometimes translucent enough to see through. I can see, when the light is right, into your path. We all travel together even if separated by dreams and woven silvery dream matter. Tubes transporting our S.P.I.R.I.T.S. — all holding hands.

see you soon,
Kyle BlackCatTips Brooks

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