• Archives
  • Apr22

    Ashley P

    I’ve been chasing down my muse lately in one way or another, from getting tattooed to collecting art prints and books, and basically scouring the web for inspiring images and creations (check out some of my findings on my pinterest feed). I don’t think we ever settle down as artists. Sure, we may hit peaks, and sure we hit rough spots where nobody connects with what we’re doing, but we always strive to keep growing either way. One of the worst things that can happen is that you get so bogged down with work that you forget to play. That can drain your soul quite quickly.

    Don’t get me wrong, shooting anything is better than doing just about any other kind of work for me, but if I go too long capturing other people’s visions, dreams, and desires, I can start to feel the burn out demon creeping up on me. Every once in a while I need to reset my brain to fine tune that creative spark that got me into this mess in the first place. And with every step I climb up of this ladder, I get a better view of what I want to be doing with my photography and where I could take it.

    That brings me to Ashley, who I met via an annual photography event here in Charleston put together by Modstudios. I was hesitant to participate for working reasons (and I did end up passing up a paying gig to do this on Saturday night), but I knew that it would be a no-pressure situation to try something a little different. And, by no pressure, I mean total timing pressure as I lost track of time with my wife at Holy City Tattooing Collective as she got this kick-ass Mehndi-style peacock tattoo by the awesome Margo. Time has a way of disappearing when watching a great artist work. As I rushed to Folly Beach afterwards, I ended up missing a shoot with another cool girl with tattoos (hopefully she understands, I’ll make it up to you Kelsie).

    Amy's Peacock Tattoo

    So, back to Ashley. This girl might have the brightest & bluest eyes in the world. Check this out, here’s Ashley with her natural hair color:

    Ashley P

    And then I pulled out the blue wig and flowers to match that awesome colorful dress:

    Ashley P

    She looked like she stepped out of a painting by Camilla d’Errico. Once the sun started to do it’s thing, we just made some magical images. A beautiful location, a beautiful model, and an onslaught of color to tie it all together. This is the direction my head is going right about now:

    Ashley P

  • Apr6

    The Charleston SC Gallery Art Scene In A Nutshell

    All art has a voice, and sometimes that voice is in some alien language that I can’t understand.

    On Friday I had to park quite a ways away from my destination while doing some work downtown and found myself walking though Charleston’s art gallery district. Now, this isn’t a blanket statement of the Charleston art scene, but there are a plethora of galleries that sell only paintings of Egrets, Blue Herons, & old Charleston buildings. Like most of them. It’s weird, really. A lot of these paintings look like the stuff you get at Hobby Lobby, or the art section of Wal-Mart. Obviously, there’s a huge market for this stuff too, because real estate downtown isn’t cheap and there are a lot of these galleries.

    So, I got to thinking – what if I took one of my shots of a classic doorway of an old house on Church Street and put some birds in there. Maybe an Egret and a Blue Heron. And then, a quick click of the Oil Paint effect in Photoshop and… BAM!!! Mainstream art! Print it out on some matte paper, sign it and add a few artistic embellishments with a paint pen, and then throw it in a metal document frame from Garden Ridge that costs $5.99. Take that bad boy and hang it in plain sight and… Profit?


    Nah… But if you happen to find your self on a “royal” street corner in the next day or two, please help yourself to this fine piece of artwork by yours truly. Maybe someone will sell it to one of the many people who like paintings of birds and houses and give the money to the Center For Birds of Prey.

    If you do happen to see it, please send me a pic of it!

    BTW, I have a lot of friends who love to photograph birds and take photos of classic Charleston buildings, hell, I obviously do on occasion as well (the source material for that masterpiece up top wasn’t stolen – it’s all mine). I don’t mean any disrespect for your love of birds and stuff. Well, that’s not entirely true, I guess. I’m making fun of someone’s art. That’s pretty disrespectful. So screw me, I’m a jerk.

    Just remember the golden rule of art: If everyone likes it, it’s not art.

    OK, the print up above was gone very quickly, so now I’ve put up a new one. This is an iPhone shot of my awesome dog Jackson running through my yard. It’s called “Run Jack Run“. I put it up here while attending Second Sunday on King Street:

    Run Jack Run - Second Sunday on King Street 3.14.2013

    Go get it if you want it!

  • Apr2

    Ink & Art

    Posted in: Inspiration, News

    Rosa Tatiana Suarez Tattoo by Margo

    This photo at the top here is of my newest tattoo and it’s based on a painting by Tatiana Suarez called Rosa. The tattoo was done by Charleston tattoo artist/genius Margo, who currently inks at Holy City Tattooing Collective.

    Check this out – This is the original painting by Tatiana:


    And here is an iPhone shot of the tattoo right after Margo finished:

    Finished New Tatiana Suarez Tattoo

    She interpreted the painting so well, I’m in awe of her skill. To watch her mastery of color and shading as I see the image come alive on my skin – It’s just an inspiring process.

    Getting a New Tatiana Suarez Tattoo

    Margo also recently did this tattoo for me, which is based on a creature from one of Caia Koopman’s paintings. The little guy looks like he’s gonna take out my Patch Whiskey monster tattoo:

    Finished Tattoo!

    This is what Caia’s original painting, entitled “Bad Bee” looks like:


    And the Patch Whiskey tattoo was done late last year by Cristian at The Queens Ink Tattoo in, you guessed it, Queens, NY:

    New Tattoo

    Here’s a shot of the original by Patch Whiskey, which was painted on a vinyl record:


    And here is Cristian Neamtu at work on it:


    The reason for this is not to show off my tattoos, but to show off the artists involved. The Patch Whiskey and Caia Koopman ones are like small little bite size samples of their bigger work, which in Whiskey’s case is usually the whole side of a building, like this:

    Chateau Patch Whiskey Mural

    And Caia’s work is filled with little details that could stand on their own, but are usually part of a larger story involving a pretty woman. The Tatiana Suarez tattoo at the top of this post is the largest tattoo I’ve ever gotten, and it really does capture what I love about her work. Her paintings have such emotion in them and they’re sexy and soft. Her Brazilian and El Salvadorian heritage mixed with American pop surrealism makes for work that I find highly attractive.

    AnyHeadshotI actually have an appointment set for next month to do an even bigger piece featuring another one of Tatiana’s paintings on my forearm, but I got a little too eager and visited Margo on her shop’s walk-in day this past weekend and pretty much monopolized her time. The reason I chose “Rosa” was because it simply reminds me of my wife Amy (and her similar birthmark on her bicep). I’m sure my wife would kill me if I posted a photo of her topless, so you’ll have to look at this lovely head shot instead :p Needless to say, I’m a lucky guy.

    So, if you’re a fan of my Facebook Page, you may have seen a post recently calling for models, designers, & stylists. I’m putting together some ideas for personal work and really want to capture some of the inspiration from my favorite artists and do something on my own terms. I’m excited to meet up with a friend this week who I’ve worked with in the past and bounce some ideas off of her. I’ll be formalizing my plans soon, so come back!

    Now, here’s a concise list of the people involved in this post:

    Tattoo Artists:

    Margo Karolides AKA Margo Venomous
    Holy City Tattooing Collective
    Cristian Neamtu AKA Cristian Zink
    The Queens Ink Tattoo

    (both are kick-ass painters as well)


    Tatiana Suarez
    Caia Koopman
    Patch Whiskey

    Lastly, I’ve got a Lowbrow/Pop Surrealism board on Pinterest that I pin lots of my favorite artwork on. If you’re a Pinterest user, please go ahead and follow it.