Archive for the ‘John_Dyess’ Category

This is a photograph of a green paint shape on my porcelain paint palette. I like the shape and texture of this green paint on my palette. I will make a color print from this digital photograph. I think there are many visual images around me to choose from to use as a photograph or painting.
John Foster Dyess


Wood barn on the farm of George Beltz.

Several years ago I visited the property of George Beltz and his wife, in Steelville , Missouri  and took this photo.  The No Trespassing sign on the old barn was visually interesting to me. George was aware of my interest in photography and invited me to to visit his property to take photographs. George was a retired educator and a good,decent person.

Beltz Farm 1

wood shed

Tree bark

Tree bark

This is a detail photo of tree bark that I took in my daughter’s back yard.


wood stick

This is an old tree branch sitting on a well used wood table. I find old things visually interesting.
Check out these websites to see more work by myself and my wife Carolyn and to purchase prints and other items:

blurred flower

My blurred photograph of a flower.

blurred   adjective – unable to see or be seen clearly: blurred vision | the camera caught only two blurred images.not clear or distinct; hazy: the blurred distinctions between childhood and adulthood.
Because I am nearsighted I can relate to these blurred  photographs. Several years ago I had cataract surgery and now I can see clearly without glasses. Thanks for looking at this blog post. John Foster Dyess

Garden of Eden

This is a photograph that I took about a few years ago of a partially eaten apple.

“According to the Book of Genesis, a snake in the Garden of Eden told Eve to eat from the Tree of Knowledge. The Garden of Eden is first mentioned in the Old Testament of the Christian Bible. The Book of Genesis says the Garden of Eden was made for Adam and Eve.”

pedestrian painting by John Foster Dyess

This is a painting based on the pedestrian symbol on a street sign. I wanted to symbolize in a graphic image diversity by showing various colored symbols used in pedestrian crossing signs that represents walking away from racism and intolerance. This painting was purchased by a friend several years ago.
I used enamel paint applied with a putty knife and screwdriver on masonite board to create this painting.
This image is  for sale printed on cups,  shirts, phone cases, and many other things and can be purchased at
Thanks for viewing my blog!
John Foster Dyess

Cosmic Love

Cosmic Love painting by John Dyess

Reproductions of my painting “Cosmic Love” on tee shirts, framed prints, wall art, pillows ,greeting cards, phone cases, apparel and coffee mugs can be purchased on


cover illustration

I illustrated this small book “To Be Free” by Eleanora E. Tate in 2004. The book size is 5.25″ wide by 7.5″ high. There is a full color cover and eleven black and white interior drawings. It is a story about a teenage slave that escapes from a plantation near Beaufort, North Carolina.With the help from a man named Traveler and the Underground Railroad he he is hidden on a sail boat and becomes free when he arrives in Philadelphia. I hired two African Americans to pose for my drawings and used myself as a model for the slave owner.

To Be Free the boat builder

Chapter 1,The Boat Builder

To Be Free old Henry beaten

Chapter 2 Old Henry Beaten

Abram helping Old Henry

Abram helping Old Henry

To Be Free Abram on boat

Abram on the deck of the boat arriving in Philadelphia.

To be Free pencil 3

pencil sketch to show the art director

Abram photo 3

Photo reference of models

When Abram escaped he carried his saw in a poach because he wanted to be a carpenter, when he became free.

Abram and Traveler

Traveler finder Abram on board the ship.

Travis Hartsook

Homeless illustration by Travis Hartsook, a student in my Illustration 2 class at St.Louis Community College at Meramec.

I have been teaching at St.Louis Community College at Meramec for twenty years as an adjunct professor in the art department. I have taught a class called Drawing for Graphics and  Illustration. My last assignment in my Illustration class  was for my students to design a poster that brings awareness to the reasons people become homeless.Below is the assignment that I gave to my students.I will be presenting some my student’s illustrations on Homelessness, and their artist’s statement about their illustration, in future blog posts.

Assignment: Homelessness People become homeless for lots of different reasons. There are social causes of homelessness, such as a lack of affordable housing, poverty and unemployment; and life events which cause individuals to become homeless. People can become homeless when they leave prison, care or the army with no home to go to. Many homeless women have escaped a violent relationship. Many people become homeless because they can no longer afford the rent. And for many, life events like a relationship breaking down, losing a job, mental or physical health problems, or substance misuse can be the trigger. Being homeless can in turn make many of these problems even harder to resolve.
“I think good activist art should try to engage rather than shock or alienate,” explains artist Katy Bauer. “It’s easy to shock and alienate. It’s difficult to educate and inspire.”
For this assignment you are to illustrate in a poster style “Homelessness.” Your illustration can be rendered digitally or traditionally in a technique of your choice. Your illustration most be converted to a digital file that fits a paper size of 24” x 42” either in a landscape or portrait format. You should design your illustration to fit in the 24” x 42” format. You can add words to your illustration. I want your illustration to educate and inspire. I consider this activist art. I have attached a document of statements, that I have found online, about the purpose of activist art.
Step by Step Process • Research the reasons for homelessness and illustrate one or more reasons for becoming a homeless person. • Research poster design • Do at least 10 different thumbnail ideas. • Create your illustration

Activist art

Activist art represents and includes aesthetic, sociopolitical, and technological developments that have attempted to challenge and complicate the traditional boundaries and hierarchies of culture as represented by those in power. Like protest art, activist art practice emerged partly out of a call for art to be connected to a wider audience, and to open up spaces where the marginalized and disenfranchised can be seen and heard.
Activist art incorporates the use of public space to address socio-political issues and to encourage community and public participation as a means of bringing about social change. It aims to affect social change by engaging in active processes of representation that work to foster participation in dialogue, raise consciousnessand empower individuals and communities. The need to ensure the continued impact of a work by sustaining the public participation process it initiated is also a challenge for many activist artists. It often requires the artist to establish relationships within the communities where projects take place.If social movements are understood as “repeated public displays” of alternative political and cultural values then activist art is significant in articulating such alternative views. Activist art is also important to the dimension of culture and an understanding of its importance alongside political, economical, and social force in movements and acts of social change. One should be wary of conflating activist art with political art, as doing so obscures critical differences in methodology, strategy, and activist goals. wikipedia

The Artist and Homeless Collaborative is an example of a project that works with strategies of public participation as a means of individual and community empowerment. It is an affiliation of artists, arts professionals and women, children and teenagers living in NYC shelters, the A & HC believe that their work in a collaborative project of art-making offers the residents a “positive experience of self-motivation and helps them regain what the shelter system and circumstances of lives destroy: a sense of individual identity an confidence in human interaction.” The process of engaging the community in a dialogue with dominant and public discourses about the issue of homelessness is described in a statement by its founder, Hope Sandrow: “The relevancy of art to a community is exhibited in artworks where the homeless speak directly to the public and in discussion that consider the relationship art has to their lives. The practice of creating art stimulates those living in shelters from a state of malaise to active participation in the artistic process” wikipedia

“If anything, art is… about morals, about our belief in humanity. Without that, there simply is no art.” Ai Weiwei

I think good activist art should try to engage rather than shock or alienate,” explains artist Katy Bauer. “It’s easy to shock and alienate. It’s difficult to educate and inspire.”

Detail of painting of Don Quixote

Detail of painting of Don Quixote

The image above of Don Quixote is a photo I took of a painting while visiting The Don Quixote Iconographic Museum which is located in Quanajuato ,Mexico.
Lila, is a short film (9 minutes) directed by Carlos Lascano about a dreamer that can’t accept reality as ordinary as she perceives it, so she uses her imagination and her abilities to change it. Click on the name Lila to view this short movie. My friend Denise sent me the link to this wonderful movie,which I will show to my Illustration 1 and 2 students, at Meramec Community College in a few weeks when the Fall semester begins.
The author Leon Felipe described Quixote this way:  “His eyes and his conscience organize the world not as it is ,but rather how it should be.” Lila, in this sense ,is a quixote character.
I think artists can be like Don Quixote when they try,with their art,to express the hope for a just world,
even in the face of the reality of an unjust world.
I will begin, in my next blog post, showing images of Justice, created by students of my Drawing for Graphics 1 and 2, which I taught at Meramec Community College in the Spring of 2015.  John Dyess

Guanajuato,Mexico photo by John Foster Dyess

Guanajuato,Mexico photo by John Foster Dyess

Recently,I visited with my wife and friends, Guanajuato, Mexico, which was an amazing visual experience. Everywhere I looked I saw ideas for paintings and drawings.
graffiti 1

distressed wall 3

distressed wall 3

green and purple

green and purple

posters  number 2

posters number 2

posters number 3

posters number 3