Posts Tagged ‘Illustration’

World War 1

” World War 1″ Mixed media collage montage.

Recently I have been taking an inventory of the visual art I have created during the last 60 plus years.  I will be posting images of many of my drawings, paintings , illustrations and photographs. with a brief description.

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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

Red Flower drawing

I just completed my drawing “Red Flower” on Monday August 20, 2018. This will be included in my body of drawings that I call “A Walk in the Woods” It is based on a photograph that I took at the St. Louis Botanical Garden. I created a black ink drawing on bond paper using a 000 Koh-I-Noor Rapidograph pen. I added the color using liquid acrylic ink.The size is 11″ x 17″ I have been a professional illustrator for over 55 years and have always created personnel art when I am not working on illustration assignments. I am currently adjunct faculty at St.Louis Community College at Meramec, and have taught there since 1997. I have also taught at the School of Art at Washington University, and Jefferson College. I begin teaching an illustration class on Friday August 24 at St. Louis Community College at Meramec.    John Foster Dyess

 

Illustrator magazine

I want to thank Lon Levin for including me in the online magazine the “Illustrators Journal” and for creating a magazine that features  illustration and illustrators. I look forward to seeing future issues.

Here is a link to the issue that features my illustrations. The illustrations he has shown are from the 1970’s. These images represent a period of my career when I was employed at Maritz Motivation Company in St. Louis. This was an exciting fun time in my career. I have moved on from these techniques. My current illustrations and paintings can be viewed on studiodyess.com.

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

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.

Frederick Douglas

This illustration of Frederick Douglas was created for “America Its People and Values” which is a text book published by Harcourt Brace Jovanovich. I created at least 50 drawings of historical Americans for this book. Only five were African Americans.This book was published in 1985 and these were some of the first of many drawings and paintings that I have created of Black history. I have posted many of these images on my blog before. These images were scans from the book. I didn’t get the originals returned. 

Benjamin Banneker

Matthew Henson

Phillis WheatleyCharles Richard Drew

past,chair and drawin board

Like the movie “A Christmas Carol” I will visit my past present and future life as an illustrator in my blog posts. This is a photo of a chair I bought from J.C. Penny during the 1960’s and a drawing board purchased during the 1960’s. Hundreds of drawings, illustrations and paintings were created, by me, using this chair and drawing board. This is the angle of the drawing board that I prefer. On the drawing board is a painting of a model from life that I will complete in the future.

assistant

This is a photo that I took of my assistant Raylan.

future paintings

On the computer screen are three digital paintings that in the future I will print on canvas and paint over with oil paint.

inner space painting

This is a painting from my “inner space ” series that I am presently working on.

painting on easel

This is a “inner space ” painting on my easel that I working on. Many paintings have been on this easel, that my wife Carolyn gave me in the 1980’s. This traditional painting began as a digital painting.

studio gallery 1

Hanging on my studio wall are my paintings and drawings. From the left is a pen and ink drawing of a Paraiba catfish that was created for the National Geographic Museum’s “Monsterfish exhibition. Next is a tempera paint on paper painting of a model. next is a birds eye view of a still life painting. The last image is a print of the painting that the Paraiba drawing was part of.

present and future

Three paintings from models sitting on my studio floor. The paintings on the left and right will be finished in the future. The painting in the middle is finished.

Cartoon County

I am currently reading “Cartoon County” by Cullen Murphy, the son of John Cullen Murphy, who drew the comic strip Prince Valiant . Cullen Murphy was on Fresh Air with Terry Gross talking about this book. I knew I had to ask for this book as a Christmas gift when I heard him talking about his father taking Polaroid pictures of himself and his wife and children to use as reference for his Prince Valiant drawings. John Foster Dyess

I have been an illustrator for fifty years and was part the generation of illustrators that came after the generation of John Cullen Murphy. many of my illustrator friends used a Polaroid camera to take black and white reference photos. I used one until one hour print development started at Fox Photo. Now the camera used to take reference photos  is a smart phone.
I can never thank my family enough for posing for me. Below are a few of my Polaroid photos taken in the 1970’s and 1980’s.
Thank you Cullen Murphy for sharing your experience of being the son of a great illustrator.

john holding glass

That’s me posing holding a glass sometime in the 1970’s

christyposing as a pilgram

This is my daughter Christy posing as a Pilgrim for a textbook illustration.

Carolyn as a cowgirl

This is my wife Carolyn sometime in the 1980’s posing as a Cowgirl ,probably for a comp of a beer advertisement.

I  also thank everyone that comments on my blog posts on twitter and facebook.

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. crissis.org.uk
“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

Homelessness
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.”