I am stoked to be the resident Fantasy Artist at Wentworth Gallery, based out of Miami Florida.

But Wentworth are more known for representing literal rock stars (who paint). Like Paul Stanley from Kiss, Rick Allen from Def Leppard, Brian Wheat from Tesla, Charlie Benante from Anthrax- in other words some pretty Metal dudes!

And being a metal head from way back when, this gallery feels like home! As if everything I loved in my youth led me to their doors.

Jump in a time machine with me… there was a moment in 1989 where I faced two paths- I knew a musician named Bret (Not that Bret!) who had record label connections- the kind of guy who A&R reps would take out to dinner, etc. He thought there was a good chance of getting a deal if he got a band together. He wanted me to play bass. I also had just been accepted into Savannah College of Art and Design, where I could finally get the training to be an illustrator- a dream since 4th grade.

It was a fork in the road. I could go to LA and try to be a rockstar OR go to SCAD to be an artist. So I asked my mother what I should do, and shockingly she said, “Well son, if you think this guy really has a chance to get a record deal, you should go for it!” Not what I was expecting! The shock of having permission made me say, “What are you crazy mother! It’d be totally irresponsible to try to be a Rock Star. No way man, I am going to SCAD!” (Cause you know, art is a much more secure path, lol!! (Though I am sad to report, Bret never got his big break.))

Fast forward to last summer- after decades of making art, and now inspired by being in a Gallery with my Rock -n- Roll heroes, I began a series of ‘Rock ‘n Roll Fantasy’ paintings (where I paint Rockstars with a Fantastical twist) Wentworth totally dug them! Christian, the gallery president, called and asked, “Hey Scott, you want to go on the Monsters of Rock cruise with us in 6-months?”

“Umm… For the love of all that is METAL, YES!” was the reply.

Makes sense, right? Because the gallery represents rockstars, of course they would set up a boutique gallery on a cruise with nothing but rockstars and their fans, for a week. Brilliant! And as we’ve talked about here on Muddy Colors, there is a long history of Fantasy art on Heavy Metal album covers. Heck Frazetta’s cover for Molly Hatchet, ‘Flirtin With Disaster’, just sold for over 6 million! The gallery thought I’d be an excellent fit, even though I did not have any actual Rock Star cred.

Fired up, I kept cranking out the Rock and Roll Fantasy paintings. I managed to get 4-finished by the time the boat launched. Jimi Hendrix, Joan Jett, Jimmy Page, and the White Duke himself, David Bowie.

But I had to go one more level with it. This is Rock -n- Friggin Roll dudes. The bands were insane. Tesla, Queensryche, Faster Pussycat, George Lynch (From Dokken), Michael Schenker – the list literally went on and on.

I even got to hang out with the Mean Man himself Chrish Holmes of WASP! (And he was the nicest dude actually.)

But one band I was extremely excited to see were Extreme. I’d never seen them back in the day. Their guitar player, Nuno Bettencourt, is one of my all time guitar heroes. And he just so happens to have a signature guitar with Washburn called the Nuno N4. It would be an expensive canvas, but I had to buy one and paint on, it in the off-chance I could meet the man himself and show him the guitar!

I went straight in with oil based enamel paint, the kind hot rod pin-stripe artists would use. Watch me ‘Lay it down’. (<- The metal amongst you will know that reference from RATT! And Stephan Pearcy, the lead singer, was on the boat!)

Final shots:

The plan worked! Sure enough, Lara, who bought the guitar, saw Nuno at one of the bars, and he agreed to sign the guitar for her! So we grabbed that axe and raced down and got the picture! Still feels like a dream. Nuno was totally cool. Seemed to dig the art a lot, and even joked about swapping different pickups in and playing it live! (If only!!)

And I am happy to report, the galleries instincts were right. I felt totally at home in that crowd. Like a lost tribe. Ever go someplace and feel like you know everyone, but you actually know nobody? That was the vibe!

I was a stranger in a strange land, and nervous to meet people- so I did what I did in highschool, and I just started drawing in a sketchbook, the most METAL SH!T I could think up. And it worked like a charm. Anytime that sketchbook came out st the bar, people started talking to me. Most of whom had see the art in the gallery, “Oh shiiiiit, you are the dragon artist!” (Turns out there is much love for dragons amongst the Metalheads. No shocker there!)

The fans were huge lovers of fantasy art. And the rock stars were too, lol! We sold a bunch of fantasy paintings including three R&R Fantasy pieces.

The teenage metal-head in me was over the moon. Get this, there were only three artists in the Gallery. Brian Wheat from Tesla. Rick Allen from Def Leppard. And me.

And here is the surreal thing… In this photo I am hanging with the guys, Brian Wheat from Tesla (standing by column) and Rick Allen from Def Leppard who’s behind the desk. (And the freakin’ fabulous Wentworth crew of course.)

Now, jump in the time-machine with me again, and set the dial to the late 80’s. Just about the time I would have to make that decision whether to pursue art as a career, of chase my rock star dreams- we fly into Washington DC, we are approaching the Capitol Center, there is a huge crowd, a massive concert is about to go down. It is the freakin Def Leppard ‘Hysteria’ tour! And who is their opening act? Why, it is Tesla! And there I am. Booking long hair (If you can believe it!) and a ticket in hand. I had to sit in the nose bleed seats, but the show was epic. And I was thinking to myself, someday…

I could get use to this rock star life. Even if I got to it through the back door of ART!

Here is to you folks!

HAPPY 4TH OF JULY! (Though I think I had my fireworks on that boat!)