What I do

Born in 1975, the only option I have to remember the 1930’s through ‘50’s, is through my imagination. I let my mind visit the people, their era, stories and photographs, then I translate my own narrative through painting. Headlights on a two-lane highway, sun rays through trees, trains on a rainy night. They come from small towns and large towns. I see paintings in folk songs from the ‘30’s, passersby on the streets, and in the gospel the preacher talked about on Sunday morning. Ideas for my paintings come from the past and present, from all things nostalgic.

My strategically cropped paintings in oil and acrylic are sometimes confrontational and often feature the female figure as protagonist, giving you a subtle glimpse into the characters’ lives. Usually leaving you wondering what or who is beyond the edges, you might find yourself squinting to see what’s being reflected in the gleaming chrome in some of my pieces. More hints about the setting might be found by studying a car in the painting, or a woman’s dress, shoes, or jewelry; the color of her lipstick. My compositions can range from graphic-oriented realism with images rich in unmixed color and bound by hard edges, to true photorealism using original, staged photographs as source material. Staging the photograph for the painting reference is essential, as I rarely change anything throughout the painting process. Everything must be period correct.

Why I do it

I’m pulled to photorealism because it allows the viewer to notice things they wouldn’t notice in real time, especially with my detailed, large-scale works. A painting freezes movement, reflections. Photorealism is a well-suited vehicle for capturing moments that occur with little notice, but are nonetheless revealing in their narrative. My painting process forces me as the artist to look beyond the subject matter; to just let a face be a series of objects, or an object simply a block of color. In the end, the story will be seen and told.

My paintings are about making the acrylic, oil and brushes work. They’re about me constantly improving technique with an interest in composition, narrative, and technicalities. For you, realize the people and objects in my paintings are real; the stories they tell are up to you. Inspired by life, completed by faith.


March 28, 1975


2018 (group), Souvenir, Robert Lange Studios, Charleston, SC
2018 (group), The New Real III, Tinney Contemporary, Nashville, TN
2016 (group), Art Market San Francisco, Fort Mason Festival Pavilion, San Francisco, CA
2016 (group), 10th Anniversary Show, The Haen Gallery, Asheville, NC
2014 (group), The New Real 2: Figure-Focused, Tinney Contemporary, Nashville, TN
2014 (group), Second Time Around: The Hubcap as Art, Museum of the Shenandoah Valley, Winchester, VA. Part of the Landfill Art Project (An Artist Reclamation Project). http://themsv.org/exhibitions/second-time-around-hubcap-art
2013 (group), Workspaces: Artists’ Studios II, The Arts Company, Nashville, TN
2013 (group), Upon Reflection, Quidley & Company Fine Art, Boston, MA
2012 (group), The New Real, Tinney Contemporary, Nashville, TN
2011 (group), Winter”s Ebb, The Haen Gallery, Asheville, NC
2010 (group), ReTune Nashville, Soundcheck, Nashville, TN
2010 (group), Landfill Art Project [An Artist Reclamation Project], International
2010 (group), “Summer Sampling” The Haen Gallery, Asheville, NC
2009 (group), “A Wintry Mix”, The Haen Gallery, Asheville, NC
2009 (group), “Summer Sampling”, The Haen Gallery, Asheville, NC
2007 (solo), “Of Time”, Gallery One, Nashville, TN
2006 (solo), Warner Brothers Records, Nashville, TN
2006 (group), Watkins College Of Art & Design Benefit, Nashville, TN
2006 (group), Gibson Guitartown, Nashville, TN
2002 (group), University Of North Alabama Artist Alumni, Florence, AL
2000-2008 annually (juried group), Arts Alive, Florence, AL
2000-2008 annually (group), Chairish The Kids, Nashville, TN
2000 (group), Hanging Around Gallery, Nashville, TN


Brian’s work is included in many private, corporate, and institutional collections, including:

Ohio: Pizzuti Collection of the Columbus Museum of Art, Columbus, Ohio
California: Music Voyager, Los Angeles
California: Quintess Resorts, Palm Springs
Florida: Gaylord Palms Resort, Kissimmee
Illinois: ACME Hotel Company, Chicago
Nebraska: OBI Creative, Omaha
Pennsylvania: Landfill Art Project, an artist reclamation project, Wilkes-Barre
Tennessee: CAA (Creative Artists Agency) Nashville office, Nashville
Tennessee: ASCAP, Nashville
Tennessee: Gibson Guitar, Nashville
Tennessee: Hunters Custom Automotive, Nashville
Tennessee: Tennessee State Museum, Nashville
Tennessee: YMCA of Middle Tennessee, Nashville


Professional Achievement Award, McNairy Regional Alliance, 2014
Southeastern Branch Library Art Selection Panel for $150,000 budgeted art project, Metropolitan Nashville Arts Commission, Nashville, TN, 2013
Inducted into the McNairy County Music Hall Of Fame for my work on the music-themed Rockabilly Highway Mural and Rockabilly Highway Mural II, Selmer, TN, 2013
Music Voyager, painted guitar case for Music Highway, Tennessee episode, Nashville, TN, 2012
Community Enhancement Award, Rockabilly Highway Mural, McNairy Regional Alliance, Selmer, TN, 2009
Key To The City Of Selmer, Rockabilly Highway Mural, Selmer, TN, 2009
First Place Award – Juried Gallery, Kennedy Douglas Center, Florence, AL, 2008
Merit Award – Juried Gallery, Kennedy Douglas Center, Florence, AL, 2006


Nashville Scene (Nashville, TN), “Crawl Space: October 2018: October’s First Saturday Events Celebrate The High Point Of The Gallery-Going Season”, Joe Nolan, October 4, 2018
Tennessean (Nashville, TN), “First Saturday Art Crawls Usher In A Colorful Fall Art Season”, Melinda Baker and Michael W. Aldrich, Special to Nashville Tennessean/USA Today Network–Tennessee, Oct. 3, 2018
Mercury Manufacturing Company Promotional Video, Dime City Cycles, Cale Glendening, Producer,www.mercurymfgco.com/makers-shakers, 2015
Nashville Arts Magazine (Nashville, TN), Karen Parr-Moody, “Recreating The Real, Five Artists Bring Photorealism To Tinney Contemporary”, p. 72–75, August 2014
Nashville Scene (Nashville, TN), “Group Shows A Sure Sign Of Summer At August’s Art Crawl Events”, Joe Nolan, p. 38, August 6, 2014
Transylvania Times (Brevard, NC), “Artist Explains Mural”, February 3, 2014
Nashville Arts Magazine (Nashville, TN), Rebecca Pierce, “Small Town, Big Mural”, p. 14, January 2014
Nashville Arts Magazine (Nashville, TN), Sara Lee Burd, “The Inspiration Is Free, The Clothes You Have To Pay For”, p. 40, December 2013
Beautiful Bizarre Magazine, Issue 003, December 2013, http://beautifulbizarre.net/2014/01/29/76/
ACME Hotel Company website feature, “Art Rocks”, http://www.acmehotelcompany.com/art-rocks.aspx
The New York Times (New York) (Featured The ACME Hotel Company Mural), “Hotel Review: ACME Hotel Company In Chicago”, Bonnie Tsui, June 19, 2013
www.artistaday.com, feature, June 12, 2013
Creative License, Rockabilly Highway Mural and Rockabilly Highway Mural II
Nashville Arts Magazine (Nashville, TN), Stephanie Stewart-Howard, cover, feature article p. 29–32, February 2013
Nashville Scene (Nashville, TN), “Crawlspace”, Joe Nolan, p. 31, August 2, 2012
Nashville Arts Magazine, “The New Real”, p. 42, July 2012
Nashville Scene (Nashville, TN), “The July Art Crawl Brings The Heat”, Joe Nolan, p. 29, July 5, 2012
Independent Appeal (Selmer, TN) “Tull Mentors Next Generation Of McNairy County Artist”, Emily Pitts, August 3, 2011
Independent Appeal (Selmer, TN) “Rockabilly Revival To Bring Improvements To Selmer”, Emily Pitts, May 31, 2011
Tennessee Department Of Tourist Development, Tennessee Trails & Byways “Walking Tall Tour” brochure cover (Rockabilly Highway Mural), 2011
ABC Network, “Extreme Makeover Home Edition: The Nashville Build”, November 2010
Sherwin Williams Professional Painting Contractor Magazine, “Rockabilly Highway Mural”, p. 31, Summer, 2010
Independent Appeal (Selmer, TN), “A Piece At A Time”, Russell Ingle, January 27, 2010
Independent Appeal (Selmer, TN), “Before The Clock Strikes Midnight And 2010 Begins, A Look Back At An Eventful 2009”, Russell Ingle, December 30, 2009
The Jackson Sun (Jackson, TN), “Brian Tull Brings Rockabilly To Mural”, Donna Miller, June 24, 2009
The McNairy County News (Selmer, TN), “Rockabilly Highway Revival Is A Big Success”, June 18, 2009
Independent Appeal (Selmer, TN), “Rockabilly Revival – Hot Rods, Slugburgers, and Swing Take Downtown Selmer Back In Time”, Russell Ingle, June 17, 2009
Independent Appeal (Selmer, TN), “Rockabilly Revival This Weekend”, Russell Ingle, June 10, 2009
The McNairy County News (Selmer, TN), “Rockabilly Highway Revival”, June 4, 2009
Independent Appeal (Selmer, TN), “Rockabilly Revival Nears”, Staff Reports, June 3, 2009
WBBJ-TV, ABC (Jackson, TN), Interview, June 2009
The Tennessee Magazine, “Recognizing McNairy County”s Musical Heritage”, p.18, 19, Beverly Lambert, May, 2009
Arts In McNairy newsletter, “The Rockabilly Highway Revival is Coming – Schedule Announced!”, Shawn Pitts, May 29, 2009
The Jackson Sun (Jackson, TN), “101 Great Things to Do (No. 17)”, Jacque Hillman, Karen Boothby, Lisa Meals, May 25, 2009
The Jackson Sun (Jackson, TN), “Mural In Downtown Selmer Highlights Rockabilly Roots”, Mariann Martin, May 11, 2009
WBBJ-TV, ABC (Jackson, TN), Interview, May 2009
Daily Corinthian (Corinth, MS), “Art Along The Trail”, L.A. Story, March 15, 2009
Daily Corinthian (Corinth, MS), “Recognizing Rockabilly”, L.A. Story, March 8, 2009
Independent Appeal (Selmer, TN), “Rockabilly Wall”, Russell Ingle, February 25, 2009
The Jackson Sun (Jackson, TN), “This Is One Big Guitar To Carry”, photo, October 2, 2007
Nashville Arts Magazine, photograph, p. 37, October 2007
The City Paper (Nashville, TN), “Authenticity Drives Vintage-Looking Art”, Alexa Hinton, September 28, 2007
The Tennessean (Nashville, TN), “Paintings Capture More Than Nostalgia”, Jonathan Marx, September 14, 2007
Independent Appeal (Selmer, TN), “On Display”, Russell Ingle, September 12, 2007
The Jackson Sun (Jackson, TN), “Nashville Photorealist Featured In Show”, Donna Miller, September 5, 2007
Nashville Arts Magazine, photograph, p. 31, September 2007
Nashville Arts Magazine, photograph, p. 16, March 2007
“The Tennessean, FYI – A Guide To Nashville And Surrounding Areas” (Nashville, TN), cover photograph, September 17, 2006
“Nashville”s Guitar Art”, Gibson Guitar Corporation, p. 13, 2005
Rainbow Media, (New York, NY) “The Gibson Guitartown Auction Preview”, Interview, 2005


Tinney Contemporary, Nashville, TN
Quidley & Company, Naples, FL