Painting Story

Sublime-with-Rome-Album-Sirens-cd-cover-art-by-Drew-Brophy-2015Photo: Sublime with Rome Sirens Album Cover Art

In 1996 Sublime’s music was a big part of my life.  That was the year when my life  as an artist changed dramatically; I had just moved to California from Hawaii and was painting surfboards for Lost.  It’s also the year that I met Maria.

At that time, Bradley Nowell’s lyrics and music impacted all of us; at our parties Maria would play Sublime’s self titled CD over and over again.

That’s why we were so stoked when Maria got a call from Sublime with Rome’s record company in May.  They asked if I would want to create the art for their new album.   She said “Hell Yeah!”

I’ve always been a fan of Opie Ortiz, the artist who created art for Sublime’s albums, including his iconic burning sun for the 40 oz. to Freedom album.   That art will live on forever.

It felt good to know that my work has progressed enough to be in the same company and to be able to work with talented people like SWR’s Eric Wilson, Josh Freese and Rome Ramirez.

We had a super tight deadline, I had only 10 days to get it done.  Sometimes deadlines force you to do your best work.

Sublime with Rome Original Artwork for SIRENS album in Drew Brophy Art StudioI wanted the art to be authentic.   I spent a lot of time on the phone with Rome, feeling him out, picking up the vibe and listening.  One of the things I’m really good at is soaking up someone’s energy and then putting it into the art.   Rome’s whole spin-off was about sirens going off; the world’s a crazy place.  I had to put that into the art somehow.

I listened to the new album for inspiration.  It helped me come up with ideas for the art.  No doubt we’ll be listening to these songs for years to come, they are so good.  One fan of SWR said it best about Rome continuing the music that inspired so many – read that at the bottom of this post.

After gathering my ideas, I drew my first concept sketch and sent it to the band for feedback.  Rome e-mailed me back with “WTF! You’re killing it!”Sublime CD Album Art Sketch by Drew Brophy

We nailed it on the first sketch.  It’s cool when projects go down like that; it just kind of happens, no dragging on.  I started the painting right away.

I painted two 36” x 36” paintings on canvas; one with the art and one with the hand-drawn lettering.  That way I could use the artwork, without the lettering, for limited edition art prints.  The band agreed to sign 100 of the art prints for me, which is awesome.

THE ARTWORK:  (Click here to see in-progress photos of the work or watch the video of it being painted here)

There’s a lot of elements in the art and each piece has meaning to it.  Here’s just a few:

The little skeleton guy; I pictured the old WWII air raids when they had to crank the siren.

The mushroom is a spin-off of Opie’s mushroom from the original Sublime art.

The heart represents Rome singing his heart and soul out on the stage.

The depiction of Long Beach is the pile of rubble they’re sitting on.  It’s getting ready to be hammered by a giant wave.  There’s an off-ramp to the 710 freeway to LA, which is shaking as a big earthquake comes through.  The cop car in pieces is all that’s left of the cops.

The sexy siren is an omen, a ghostly premonition.

The psycho garibaldi fish is a throw-back to the Bad Fish lyrics.  I’ve been drawing this fish forever and wanted to include it.

There’s a tribute to Bradley in there, I’ll leave that up to the viewer to figure out what it is.  (Share in the comments what you think it is.)

This painting came together quick and easy, it just flowed.  I’m happy with how it turned out, I hope everyone else is, too.

The new album is called SIRENS, it released on July 17th.  You can buy it here.

Josh Freese Rome Ramirez siging Drew Brophy Art Prints Sublime with Rome Sirens artwork

Rome Ramirez and Josh Freese, signing 100 art prints

Also, there are limited edition prints of the artwork available; 100 of them are signed by the band members.  You can order them here while they last!

Life is Good,

Drew

Sublime with Rome and Drew Brophy photo by Jonie Millhouse July 2015

Sublime with Rome’s Rome Ramirez, Eric Wilson and Josh Freese Photo by Jonie Millhouse

 

 

 

 

Sublime and SWR fan Fan Manny Gonzales said it best (on a Facebook comment on Rome’s FB Page):

Sublime is my all time favorite band. All the music that Brad created with Bud and Eric will forever be entwined with my soul. I know every word to every song that they made. If it wasn’t for Sublime, I would be lost in a dark abyss of depression self loathing.

Thanks to Brad I know what it’s like to be waiting for my ruca, I know that loving is what I got and for motherf**kers to remember that, and if I’m drunk by noon it’s ok, cuz I’ll be president someday. But sadly I was never able to see Brad perform live.  

And I never dreamed I would be able to hear his music come to life on stage. Until you (Rome) came along.

I have had the privilege of attending two of the Sublime with Rome concerts in El Paso. And they were both amazing!
Now I’m glad to say that thanks to you if been able to tell a girl to take it or leave it, I understand that lovers change like the seasons, and my world is a little bit safer. I can’t wait for the new album to drop, I already pre-ordered it. I just hope you know, Bradley would be proud. Keep up the good work man. Much love from the biggest Sublime fan I know.
P.S. I know every word to your songs too

Video below shows the drawing and painting of the artwork:

Drew Brophy painting Sublime with Rome Album Cover May 2015

FLOWER OF LIFE by Drew Brophy 2014 Sacred Surfboard SeriesSACRED SURFBOARDS VINTAGE SURFBOARD RE-PURPOSE PROJECT – Re-purposed 1970’s Classic Surfboards, painted using old-school airbrush techniques; mint condition, collectible, limited edition pieces of art and craftsmanship.  (Email info@drewbrophy.com for pricing.)

One of my most fun projects this year was painting six vintage, re-purposed surfboards brought to me by collector Jeff Eilers.  (SEE PHOTO SLIDE SHOW AT THE BOTTOM OF THIS POST, OF ALL THE SURFBOARDS.)

Jeff and his business partner, Erwin Spitz, had the idea to breathe new life into vintage, worn-out-beyond-repair surfboards, creating up-cycled pieces of art.

Jeff and Erwin have a process where they skin the fiberglass from old boards, repair the dings in the foam, and gently clean up the original shape.  For some of the boards, they even enlisted the glassing expertise of master shaper, glasser and artist Roger Hinds of Seal, Beach, CA.

It is an extreme amount of work to repair them but in the end they came out so well that they wanted to do something extra special with them.  Jeff and Erwin had a vision for these boards to reflect the time period they originally came from, the glory days of surfing during the late sixties and early seventies.

In the 1970’s I was just a little kid introduced to surfing for the first time, so my art has been greatly influenced by artists of that era.

With my recent studies of sacred geometry and the Unified Field Theory, I was excited to get my hands on these boards and explore what I could do with these new concepts.

Many people do not know that I got my start as an artist painting production surfboards in factories for some of the best surfboard makers in the world.

In those early years I had to master the craft of spraying boards with air guns and airbrushes.  It is a more technical job than artistic and in some ways very limiting.  I wanted to express my art more fully, and so I found a better way to paint surfboards by developing techniques using water based paint pens on top of glassed surfboards.

I soon became known for bringing a new style of painting to the surfboard market which was painting on the glass by hand with Uni Posca paint pens.  It changed the way surfboards were painted forever.  These techniques allowed me more creativity and gave others the ability to paint their own surfboards as well.

All of these years later, with the knowledge of tens of thousands of boards painted in every way possible, I was excited to revisit and improve upon my own airbrushing style.

This surfboard project was the perfect catalyst to do something really special, up-cycle old surfboards and keep them out of the landfill.  Cool old surfboards grace the ceilings of surf shops and surfers’ garages all over, but what about the ones that are just too beat up and ugly to care about?

Using all of my years of experience, I committed myself to painting something authentic and over the top for this project.  I created hand-made stencils for every board, incorporating symbols that speak to me these days; such as sacred geometry, chakras, om, yin-yang and the flower of life.

The boards are now completely re-purposed, in mint condition.

All six of these Sacred Surfboards turned out amazing; they came out better then we even dreamed of.  Each one tells a story and is reborn as a unique example of craftsmanship and art that will live on.

The first 6 of the series are released for sale today; if you are interested in adding a Sacred Surfboard to your vintage surfboard collection, email info@drewbrophy.com for pricing, or call 949-678-8133.

If you miss out on this first round, we are taking pre-orders and you can commission your own from our upcoming 2015 Sacred Surfboard Series.

Please, let me know what you think of the art in the comments below.

Life is Good – Drew

SEE ALL PHOTOS OF SURFBOARDS HERE:  Sacred Surfboard Art Surfboards

Scott SMallin photo of his Drew Brophy SATURN CUBES painting April 2014SATURN CUBES 36” x 24” mixed media on canvas.

This was painted for South Carolina photographer Scott Smallin.

We hire Scott to photograph my projects when we are in the South.  As a thank you for the excellent work he does, I offered to create an original painting for him.

Scott said that he wanted a robot destroying a city  I pondered this idea, of a robot destroying a city, with a mushroom cloud or transformers.  But that didn’t feel right to me.

So I asked myself “What is something that is real that is destroying the world?  What if there is an ideaology and a secret that is really destroying it?

I took this idea deeper.

The painting shows the battle between good and evil, with many symbols; the robot is a black cube, controlling all of the material world, spreading evil until it self-destructs into a mushroom cloud.

It’s the death of the material world, which ultimately has no effect on the spiritual world.  The spiritual world has infinite power for good.

The water represents good extinguishing evil. This painting is about the battle over information throughout time; it is about control over the information of who we really are.

The light beings show that we are pure energy. Our hearts are the engine that makes the electrical connection to everything.  It’s what holds us here in space and time. 

My passion is in ancient cultures.  I study that along with sacred geometry and the meaning behind ancient symbols and new theories in physics.

The reason I chose Saturn and the Cubes as evil, is because my research shows that this is something that people in the ancient worlds were worshipping.  They couldn’t even see Saturn; how did they know it was there?

The reason the symbol is a cube is because there is a cube shape on the Northern pole of Saturn.

Another ancient symbol is the ring of Saturn; some speculate that the “all seeing eye” is what Saturn looks like during an eclipse.  They said that Saturn is the timekeeper and that you’re trapped in a prison of time and space.

I view the world differently than most people.  Some don’t want to see it the way I do, because it’s scary.

We are born into a system that is controlled by power and greed and information.  The average person has a very hard time bucking the system.  Essentially, we are all born a slave.  Most people that are a part of the system don’t even realize that they are. 

Some people don’t know that they don’t have to do what they are doing.  They don’t have to live where they grew up; they can leave!  They don’t have to keep that job they hate; they can quit.  They don’t have to do anything that is toxic to them.

I believe that in ancient times we had it right; people knew how to live with joy and happiness.  At some point we lost that and the darkness came.

Now, things are changing again.  I see people waking up and rediscovering what’s really important and who they really are.

The world is experiencing a positive transformation right now.  I see it in myself, too.

Life is Good,

Drew

PS:  You can buy a print reproduction on canvas of this piece – go to http://store.drewbrophy.com/saturn-cubes-giclee-canvas-print-36-x-24/ to order.

THE SWEET LIFE Painting by Drew Brophy for Nectar Sunglasses April 2014A majority of my business is painting commissions for collectors and companies.

This painting, titled THE SWEET LIFE, was painted for Nectar Sunglasses.   Painted on gallery-wrap canvas, sized 15″ x 45″, with Uni Posca Paint Pens.

The Sweet Life artwork is inspired by my love of  a quiet beach, big surf and the idea of living a laid back lifestyle; peaceful and getting back to nature.

I’ve painted a lot of images of the lone surfer on a beach with a surf shack in the sand.  It’s what many people dream of, a more simple way of living.  I guess that’s why every time I paint a scene like this, it gets a lot of attention.

I hope you like it!  Feel free to share this image online, just be sure to include this notice:  Artwork (c) Drew Brophy.

And if you want your own surf hut on the beach, email info@drewbrophy.com!

Life is good -Drew

Rough sketches before painting

Rough sketches before painting

First Color on the Canvas
First Color on the Canvas

Painting the Sweet Life

Painting the Sweet Life

 

 

Lighthouse by Drew Brophy Nov 2013HATTERAS LIGHTHOUSE paint pen on canvas board sized 11″ x 14″, Medium:  Uni Posca Paint Pens.

The lighthouse in Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, was a part of my life as a young surfer.

I lived in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, a six hour drive south from Buxton, NC at the time, and in Myrtle Beach, the waves are small.

So, when the waves got big in Hatteras, my friends and I would make the drive north.

We had many great surf sessions in front of this lighthouse in Buxton.

Since then, the lighthouse was moved off the sand to another spot.

This painting reflects my memories of back in the day, when the lighthouse was a beacon to all surfers when the waves got big.

This painting went to a couple who have a house in Buxton.  I hope they love it.

Life is Good,

DrewDrew Brophy Painting the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse for Buxton Couple Nov 2013