Posts Tagged ‘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.



34 27My mixed media drawing called 34 27 is based on a photograph that I took of a train car parked on a train siding near a rural Missouri highway.

My mixed media drawing called railbox is based on a photograph of another train car parked with the train car in my drawing 34 27.

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. These train car drawings were in a category called wanderer.
wanderer wordNext to the train boxcar drawings was a sign with the  word wanderer and words from the song I got a name  and the song Railroad Bum Song. and words from You Can’t Go Home Again by Thomas Wolfe

I Got a Name
I’ve got a dream
I’ve got a dream
I know I could share it if you want me to
If your going my way I’ll go with you
Moving me down the highway
Rolling me down the highway
Moving ahead so life won’t pass me by
— lyrics by Norman Gimbel, music by Charles Fox, sung by Jim Croce

Railroad Bum Song

All around the water tank, waiting for a train
A thousand miles away from home, sleeping in the rain
I walked up to a brakeman just to give him a line of talk
He said “ If you got money, boy, I’ll see that you don’t walk”
I haven’t got a nickel, not a penny can I show“
Get off, get off, you railroad bum”
And slammed the boxcar door
He put me off in Texas, a state I dearly love
The wide open spaces all around me
The moon and stars up above
Nobody seems to want me, or lend me a helping hand
I’m on my way from Frisco, going back to Dixieland
My pocket book is empty and my heart is full of pain
I’m a thousand miles away from home just waiting for a train

“Perhaps this is our strange and haunting paradox here in America — that we are fixed and certain only when we are in movement. At any rate, that is how it seemed to young George Webber, who was never so assured of his purpose as when he was going somewhere on a train. And he never had the sense of home so much as when he felt that he was going there. It was only when he got there that his homelessness began.”
-Thomas Wolfe, You Can’t Go Home Again

The show will be open until July 8, 2018, Tuesday through Friday 9:00 am until 3:00 pm.
Webster Groves Christian Church is located at 1320 W. Lockwood Ave. St. Louis, MO 63122. More information about this show can be found at


Rosalie Kollefrath

Homeless Illustration by Rosalie Kollefrath a student in my Illustration class at St.Louis Community College at Meramec.

Thirteen students in my Illustration class at St.Louis Community College at Meramec created poster illustrations that brought awareness of the many reasons that people become homeless.
Large format prints of these posters will be on display in “The Gallery Within” Webster Grove Christian Church. Also in the gallery will be photos taken by and taken of Scott Roy a former art student at Meramec that was homeless for a while when attending Meramec. This show will be hanging from December 19, 2017 until January 7, 2018. Gallery hours are from Tuesday through Friday from 9:00 am until 3:00 pm and Sunday 9:00 am until 12:00 pm
Webster Groves Christian Church ( Disciples of Christ) is located at 1320 W.Lockwood Avenue St.Louis MO. 63122. The gallery entrance is on the West side of the building as you exit the parking lot.  John Dyess
Below is Rosalie’s statement about her poster illustration.

“On a single night in January 2015, there were about 564,708 that were homeless. Homelessness occurs for a variety of reasons to a spectrum of people. It could be due to a sudden lost job, being born into poverty, escaping from domestic abuse, chronic mental health issues, or any other of the many, many other situations that could occur. Homelessness can happen to anyone; there are situations that cannot be prepared for. Unfortunately, resources for the homeless aren’t well funded or easy to apply for. If you are homeless, and have a disability and can’t work, you can’t receive Medicaid because the application requires a permanent address. If you have a medical condition which restricts your diet, food banks may not have any food you can eat safely. Jobs can be more difficult to locate if you are homeless. If you do not have a car, it is more difficult to find a job because many employers want to be assured their employees will have the capability to consistently come in on time. If the only clothes you have are worn and ragged, potential employers look down on that. In order to help homeless people and stop homelessness, we must address both the most common reasons for homelessness, and the issues homeless people have to overcome when getting back on their feet. The Housing First Initiative seeks to bring homeless people in off of the streets and into a safe, clean, house of their own. The idea is that permanent or temporary housing is the first step to self-sufficiency. Studies show that 75-91% of those given housing with this program remain housed for at least a year. Even when homeless, people can still achieve their goals. It’s possible to continue your education through financial aid. Homeless students make use of various services that campuses can provide, such as groceries and food drives. In order to humanize and inspire, I based my illustration on this concept. My boyfriend has been without a permanent home for over a year now, due to various circumstances out of his control. I based my illustration on a photo of him. I wanted to give him hope, as he wants to finish college with a degree in Networking/IT. I used a non-flat vector style, retaining the depth and dimension of the photo. The background is intentionally abstract, with the idea of turmoil being left behind as he graduates.”


“Grocery cart” mixed media art by John Foster Dyess

I have been creating images like my “Grocery Cart” for several years. These images are created using photographs I have taken.
I merge a high contrast black and white conversion of my photograph ,in photoshop, with a scanned texture layer I have created traditionally. The final step is to print these images on canvas and paint over the print with oil or enamel paint.
For me this art represents hunger,and homelessness.
Other art I have created is available as a print and is also available printed on towels,pillows tote bagsT shirts,cups and other items. To view my paintings and drawings please visit


Scott Roy was one of the sixteen artist participating in the Convergence show in the St.Louis Community College -Meramec Gallery . He was a student at STLCC for seven years. He was homeless twice during that time. His photo project was created to let others know that the homeless are people too.

The gallery located in the Humanities East building room 133
11333 Big Bend Road 63122-5720. The gallery phone is 314 984 7632