Brian Kappel

I draw. I paint. I design. I tinker.

It defines who I am. There is no other way for me to be. It’s like asking water why it’s wet, or fire why it’s hot, or cows why they are’s just the way it is. I am only truly happy when I am up to my cranium in an idea. I grew up on B-movies, sci-fi, twilight zones and Saturday morning cartoons. Give me a sketchbook, a stack of oatmeal raisin cookies, and a Godzilla marathon and I will fall into a state of bliss filled euphoria not commonly seen without outside narcotic influences. If the ideas are flowing, any and all subjects are in play, robots, landscapes, monsters, still lifes, or a convoluted combo of all of them. Basically if I can step back from a piece, and chuckle, I have achieved success. To get a chuckle out of someone else on the same piece is divinity. A smile cast in the direction of something that I have created is the connection I strive for.

It’s fun. There are no deep brooding meanings, no ethereal symbolism in my work, no divine purpose, no manifest destiny, no political messages. I create a fictional realism, my pieces are based in reality, but pumped full of imagination. Sometimes they fall off the “reality” side of things, but I have found that is where the real fun begins. My father is somewhat of a pessimistic hard worker, and my mother was a passionate optimist from them I became chock full of duality, and an optimistic pessimist (or able to see the best in the worst possible situation).

I enjoy using all manner of disciplines of art and design in the work that I do. I hand sketch everything, sometimes leading to an incorporation of typefaces, sometimes leading to a fully hand painted piece, it all depends. I am trained in watercolor, but have recently found a “niche nirvana” working in wood. The character of the wood grain gets me excited, not in a creepy way, I just think that it adds a depth and voice to the work that I could not achieve on a canvas or paper. Adding stain, and the wonderful drips of a clear coat, help round out a look that feels very aged, very authentic, very cool. Growing up in a house filled with antiques, I learned to appreciate patina. I now strive to achieve that level of “tooth” in my work, when things are messed up, sanded down, and clear coated they truly feel done.

As long as I am walking this earth, and not a zombie, I will continue to create via traditional methods, or by creating some new methods of my own. These last years