Posts Tagged ‘advertising’

Buy your Joy

A better Tomorrow

After all our shopping, and wrapping, and giving, let’s take time to think
about those  who are hungry and homeless.


“What’s the cost of living?”

This image contains a Polaroid photo from the 1960’s ,which I took as
reference for a commercial illustration assignment, a bar code from a
food can, newspaper advertisement and black enamel paint applied with a
For me the empty grocery cart, in this image I created, represents hunger and homelessness.

Grocery Cart

Grocery Cart by John Dyess

Does the subject of a painting or lack of a subject change the value of a painting? I’ve created illustrations professionally since I was 22 years old. My illustrations have always had a subject in them and usually a story to tell. Creating illustrations with a subject has provided me with an income to buy things, and pay taxes. My illustrations were created for clients to sell a product, educate children, inform, and tell stories.
Now I create paintings to please myself. My paintings still have a subject and sometimes tell a story.
Grocery Cart is one in a series of paintings that I call “Black shapes and textures”.
My painting Grocery Cart is based on a photograph that I took in a grocery store parking lot.  This Polaroid photo was taken many years ago to use as reference  for a commercial illustration assignment. Recently I was sorting through old Polaroid photos and found this photo. I scanned it into my computer and added a texture that I had painted. Now for me this image of an empty  grocery  cart represents hunger and homelessness.
I have included in this post a comment my friend “Dev”  made about my blog post “What’s the value of a painting”  page 1. Thank you Dev, your comment means a lot to me.

“It allows you to express something inside you – like what you saw when you looked at the fruit. Maybe it was a sense of awe, maybe you were struck by the color or the arrangement or the shadow and light but the art reflects that inner experience. Or perhaps you use the fruit as a metaphor for abundance or what have you. For me the viewer, I can experience what you did by “seeing through your eyes” or I can recall fruit from my past that had meaning for me. I also can just enjoy the beauty of the work, or sense the emotion, or find my own meaning.
At any rate because you chose to paint this and I saw it we connected at some level and shared an experience. I think that is what art does (and a whole lot more but I won’t continue to fill the page!) Now I’ll read page 2.  Dev

Like Janis

And you measure for wealth by the things you can hold
And you measure for love by the sweet things you’re told
And you live in the past or a dream that you’re in
And your selfishness is your cardinal sin

I had an art gallery opening “to Everything there is a Season ” of my paintings and drawings on May 20,2018 at the Gallery Within- Webster Groves Christian Church.
I arranged the 77 images of my art into 14 categories to explore themes of freedom, wonder, nature, and more ,accompanied by complimentary lyrics, poetry, literature and scripture. This collage titled “Grocery Cart” is in  a category called What’s the Cost Of Living


For me, “Grocery Cart” represents hunger, and homelessness. The image of the grocery cart was a Polaroid photo that I had taken for an illustration assignment in the 1960’s. I scanned the Polaroid photo, enhanced it in Photoshop and printed a copy. I glued it in a collage along with a bar code, a price torn out of a newspaper and a ledger page. Between glued layers I added enamel paint textures



A better Tomorrow

                                                         A Better Tomorrow

My collage image represents advertisements trying to convince you to buy products that will make “a better tomorrow” for you and result in happiness. My illustration commissions were part of that business for a number of years. Later in my career I preferred editorial story illustrations.



Teddy Roosevelt

I was employed as an illustrator at Maritz Motivation Company from 1969 until 1980 and had a great opportunity while working there to create many illustrations. In 1971 I illustrated, using markers and white paint, a series of portraits of famous Americans. These illustrations were for Heinz and were used on mailers sent to their employees to motivate them to encourage their customers to stock Heinz products. They won award points for each item stocked.

Marker layer for Teddy art

My process to create these illustrations started with using “Magic Markers” on tracing paper to create an abstract design. I sprayed the marker drawing with Crystal Clear fixative, which created a texture of spots. I placed a pencil outline drawing of “Teddy” Roosevelt under the tracing paper then applied the markers.

acetate overlay

I laid the pencil drawing of Teddy under clear acetate and painted with Pro White paint the structure of his face. When I was finished with the white painting on acetate I laid it over the marker painting. The offset printing company took a photo of the acetate over the marker painting and  positioned it with the type. A few thousands of the announcement mailers were sent by mail to the employees of Heinz. This was before computers were used to create art and print.

Today I created category tags, using a similar technique, to hang with my paintings for my one person show on Sunday May 20, 4:00pm until 7:30 pm in the Gallery Within-Webster Groves Christian Church. Below is one of the category tags.
wanderer with texture


Before the internet most illustrators collected reference images ,usually cut from magazines, which were put in categories. I have five five drawer file cabinets of reference folders of many things. I started this reference collection in the 1960’s. I’m beginning to throw these cut out images away. I decided to share some of these images on my blog. This page contains magazine advertisements from the 1960’s that showed women working in an office as a secretary before computers.I was an illustrator at a Maritz Motivation Company in the 1970’s. I remember scenes like this. I think when I started working at Maritz in 1969 there were two woman artists and one African American male artist.


The latest technology in the 1960’s-1970’s


This is a “clip art” drawing of a secretary from the 1960’s. I have never liked this style of illustration. I think it has come back into favor .

hair dryer002

Before the internet most illustrators  collected reference images ,usually cut from magazines, which were put in categories. I have five five drawer file cabinets of reference folders of many things. I started this reference collection in the 1960’s. I’m beginning to throw these cut out images away. I decided to share some of these images on my blog. This page contains magazine advertisements from the 1960’s.

Magnavox portables

children watching tv

This add was for a company that made insulation for mobile homes.

wash machine

Edward B. Cook drawing

Yesterday my wife and I went to the memorial service for Edward B. Cook who was the husband of my high school art teacher, Jeannine Harriss Cook. Ed was a real “Mad Man” ,working in advertising for decades.

Ed received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Washington University School of Fine Arts. He served in the United States Naval Air Corps from January 1953 to January 1955. He then entered the field of advertising working first at Scruggs, Vandervoort & Barney, then relocating to Chicago with Charles A. Stevens & Co. as Art Director. Returning to St. Louis in 1963, he was Art Director for FamousBarr Co., Gardner Advertising Co., and later went on to become a Senior Art Director at D’Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles, Inc. In retirement he was a part-time instructor in graphic design at Meramec Community College and the University College at Washington University.

a better tomorrow mixed media painting by John Dyess

This image is a mixed media collage I started several years ago and this week I continued working on it. It may or may not be finished. I used images, I found in my paper reference files, from the fifties, sixties, seventies and eighties. I thoughts on things we just had to buy during this time period.

detail 1 from a better tomorrow

detail 2 from a better tomorrow

detail 3 from a new tomorrow

I wanted to show texture and a distressed look in this painting to show how soon those bright shinning things we need fade away and become obsolete.

Announcement for Mad-aders Ball

In 1986 I received a letter of invitation to  be a part of an art event for and about creative people in the St.Louis advertising community.I attended the first meeting and agreed to be chair of a committee to create a mural of the tea party in “Alice in Wonderland” which would be created by 16 illustrators from St.Louis

Invitation letter to illustrators to attend planning meeting

Letter to illustrations about Alice in Wonderland mural

The second letter was sent out to get six additional illustrators to create panels for the Alice in Wonderland mural. Tomorrow’s post will show the mural and describe the process.

Quietly Brilliant

I’ve been taking photos of architecture and signage,while traveling in various cities, for about five years. This is the first of a series of black ink and watercolor paintings using these photos as reference. This size of this art is 9.25″ high by 14.5″ wide.