shadow photograph by John Foster Dyess

I will be describing the process of deconstructing a photograph that I took of chairs and shadows and reconstructing it as an abstract design.

chair photo cropped

chairs and shadows cropped


In photoshop I used the filter Threshold on the cropped photograph and then inverted


I began to add color with a brush in photoshop


more color added


I added a a section of a wicker chair and a section of a clock from anther photograph that I had taken.


I copied the image in the upper right hand corner,flipped it horizontally and vertically and place it in the lower left hand corner


More color added in photoshop


“Chair Shapes” by John Foster Dyess

This is the final reconstructed design of the photograph


“vegetable salad” photograph by John Foster Dyess


“vegetable salad 2” photograph by John Foster Dyess


“vegetable salad” 3 photograph by John Foster Dyess

These are three photographs of a still life of vegetables, placed in a cardboard box with a light shining through a hole cut in one side of the box. These photographs are from my series titled “In a Box”


“Found in a kitchen drawer” photograph  by John Foster Dyess

This photograph is from my series called “In a Box”.For this series  I placed objects in a small cardboard box and cut a hole in in one side of the box. I placed a light outside of the box near the hole which was the light source for the objects. The camera was placed near the open side of the box.


“Tin Snips” photograph by John Foster Dyess

In 2006 I took photographs of objects, I found around my house, set up inside a cardboard box . This photo combines a tin snip and a can of ginger-ale that I cut with the tin snips.


collage art titled “special” by John Foster Dyess

This is another example of my collage,”copy machine art” titled “special” which is 8.5″ wide x 14.5″ high
My focus for this  design was circles and horizontal and vertical lines.


This is the black and white copy machine copy of   the original collage design.


I glued the copy onto mount board and at this stage had begun to paint using liquid acrylic paint.


This is a photo of my drawing board , my butcher tray palette,acrylic paint and brushes,sitting on my work table.


More paint has been added to the black and white copy. When the painting process was competed, I scanned the art and worked on the digital file in Photoshop.


“Go ON • NO Joy collage art by John Foster Dyess

This is a collage constructed using various scraps of textures created on a black and white copy machine. I tear these textures into ragged edge shapes and glue them on mount board. I make a black and white copy of the torn shape collage  on a copy machine.
I mount that copy on illustration board and then color the mounted copy using liquid acrylic paint.


The go and the on words were torn out of a local newspaper and then burned on the edges. The word joy was created on my computer,printed and then enlarged several times on a copy machine to create the texture within the letters.


This is the final black and white copy which was painted with liquid acrylic paint. The ON and the NO are the same except inverted . These words created a frame that contain the Go and the Joy words. The final size is 11″ wide x 17″ high




“cutting edge” by John Foster Dyess

I like to create visual art by using objects found around my house,and I used a pair of scissors for the subject of “cutting edge”.


I placed a pair of scissors on the glass of a copy machine and made a black and white copy. A lot of detail was lost which I preferred.


I inverted the copy machine image which made the background black and the scissors white. I glued the inverted copy on illustration board and then used sandpaper and an x-acto knife to scratch white texture into the black background. I colored the black and white copy using liquid acrylic paint.


“puzzle? ” a digital collage design by John Foster Dyess

I have been a professional illustrator for over fifty years creating illustrations for corporations,design studios, magazines and text books.I have been a adjunct teacher at
Washington University from 1975 until 1980 and since 1997 I have taught at St.Louis Community College at Meramec.  For the past 15 years I have been creating art
that is not for a client or even to sell, but for the joy of creating.
Here is the step by step process  that I took to create”puzzle”.


I have a collection of things that I save to use in traditional and digital collage designs. This project started out with this crossword puzzle that I found in local newspaper. I had also saved a sticker page after my grand children had used all of the stickers that were in a circle format.


I liked the circle shapes that remained after the stickers were removed. I had an idea to create a design using the squares of the crossword puzzle and the circles of the sticker page.


I scanned the crossword puzzle and the sticker circles and placed them on layers in the software Photoshop. I added this texture from a file of textures I have created to use in collage designs. I placed this in the document that I had originally titled “circles and squares”.


I merged the crossword puzzle and circles and selected words from the puzzle to highlight in color using the brush in photoshop. I combine words when I look at the design,and I hope you chose your own words to make a phase. This design has more meaning to me with what is happening in the United States recently than it did when I created it in 2012.

In 2012 I was signing my personal art with the name JoDye.


Japanese Bobtail cat Kuniyoshi Yukai-Kami

I have attached the words my wife Carolyn said about our pet cat Yukai, after her death on Monday. She had sent this sad news plus photos of Yukai to her friends, that also have Japanese Bobtails.

Hi all,
I am really sad to report the loss of my 16 yr. old mi-ke to squamous cell carcinoma. She was a sweet and loving girl. She didn’t take too well to the show hall although she endured 2 shows as a youngster. She was one of Bruce Spurling’s Kuniyoshi babies. Kuniyoshi Yukai-Kami (Yukai). She was my snuggle buddy and loved napping with me. She was brave to the end carrying on with eating, washing and talking like she didn’t have this terrible huge ulcer on her chin. We had it removed in Dec. but it came right back and she was being treated with a chemo pill. She was poised and dignified always. She loved meal time and was known to steal a pork chop off of the table. She was a talker up to the end even though her voice was getting weaker. Loved so much, my Yukai, good-bye.

Carolyn Dyess


Yukai sitting on the light-box as I draw. She was a kitten then and enjoyed the warmth of the light-box .


Yukai laying on a heating pad, on our bed,with her best friend and half brother Neko. Neko died about three years ago.

Yukai was shy, and preferred being with my wife,myself and her Japanese Bobtail cat friends, Neko and Toshi. She was always sweet and affectionate. I will miss  her being with us. John


“light bird” photograph by John Foster Dyess


“bottle light” photograph by John Foster Dyess


“I can’t name this” photograph by John Foster Dyess