Stepping through the back door into the kitchen of the Tull’s compact cottage in Antioch, I could have just as easily been back-timing it into my own home growing up in the ’50’s.
Brian’s body may have first appeared on the scene in the mid-70’s, but it came with a soul formed several decades earlier. And there it remains today. From old clocks, Coca-Cola signs, juicer, stove, countertops, to his great-grandmother’s 1955 formica-topped and aluminum edged kitchen table and chairs - and on through the rest of the house, Brian’s love and respect for this period and its marvelous designs is reflected all around. And from that attraction, his art began and is formed even now. When he walks into the kitchen, where most of his amazingly large works are created, the surroundings take his mind back to that period where he can imagine the story that he wants to tell. The large painting in this photo rests on a small dolly, which allows he and his wife to roll it away from the washer/dryer closet on laundry day. Brian even painted a 7 foot tall piece once in the living room. He had to lay it on it’s side near the Christmas tree and work on it that way. Part of the process occurs outside - he stages scenes with models and period autos and does his own photography. He then uses the prints of the edited shots to begin sketching and painting on aluminum canvasses. The entire image is first painted with acrylics; after drying, a second layer is applied, this time with oils, yielding more depth and a smoother surface. The last step is to take the canvas to west Tennessee, where Brian’s cousin sprays the work with automotive clear coat. After drying, Cuz wet sands and redries. The finished works do not last long at the galleries fortunate enough to represent this important artist.
From the artist: Why does he prefer the style from that period? “Because the designs back then were outrageously beautiful!”