Posts Tagged ‘John Foster Dyess’

to everything sign
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. 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

Nothing Gold Can Stay

Nature’s first green is gold,

Her hardest hue to hold.

Her early leaf’s a flower;

But only so an hour.

Then leaf subsides to leaf.

So Eden sank to grief,

So dawn goes down to day.

Nothing gold can stay. —Robert Frost
Nothing Gold Can Stay

        “Nothing Gold can Stay” ,portrait of my daughter Audrey when she was 11 years old

The poem begins at once in paradox: green is gold . . . leaf s a flower.At once,
common knowledge, precise observation, and the implications of ancient associations are brought into conflicting play. Green is the first mark of spring, the assurance of life;

yet in fact the first flush of vegetation for the New England birch and the willow is not green but the haze of delicate gold. Hence green is a theory or sign of spring; gold is the fact. Gold, precious and permanent as a metal, is here not considered as a metal but as a color. Its hue is described as hard to hold, as evanescent as wealth itself.

Here is Frosts most evocative use of the felix culpa metaphor. The subsidence, the sink– ing, the going down is, by the logic of the poem, a blessed increase if we are to follow the cycle of flower, leaf, bud, fruit, into the full life that includes loss, grief, and change.

from “Frost and the Paradox of the Fortunate Fall.Frost: Centennial Essays. Copyright © 1973 by University Press of Mississippi.

Iris .                                    My painting “Iris” represents flower in life’s cycle

Cabbage 1 .                                  My painting Cabbage 1 represents leaf in life’s cycle
River Rocks .                     My mixed media painting “River Rocks ” represents the fall season of life
and the water stream with rocks represents life’s journey.

This is the horizontal arrangement of my paintings on the gallery wall
To Everything there ias a Seasom

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

Time final

This image I created will be included in a gallery show of my visual art in the Gallery Within Webster Groves Christian Church. It is based on photographs that I took of various clocks.This digital image was created at least five years ago. I recently printed this image on a canvas wrap print and today I started to paint over the print with oil paint. The print is 24″ x 24″. My show opening will be Sunday May 20 4:00 to 6:30pm. I will place quotes and verses from songs on the galley walls next to my painting. I want to create a narrative about life, social justice, diversity and preserving our planet, by the arrangement of my art and the words of others and myself.

To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, a time to reap that which is planted;
A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;
A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
A time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.
Ecclesiastes  chapter 3  verses 2-8  Old Testament

New York Bridge oil on canvas

This painting “New York City Bridge “is based on a photograph that I took while visiting New York City. It started with the photo that I placed in Photoshop and then I made a high contrast black and white image.  I placed this image over a texture layer that I created using a photo of a painters drop cloth. I had the digital image printed on a canvas wrap print and painted over this print with oil, and enamel paint. The size is 24″ high x 30” wide and is in a wood frame. It is for sale for $1200.00

This painting was accepted in a juried show at Art St.Louis. This exhibit it will be hanging in is called “Maturity and Its Muse: Celebrating Artistic Experience”The show opens on April 14-May 24, 2018. Free reception Saturday, April 21,2018, 5-7 pm.
I have created a series in this style of art.

mlk with words final 2

I created this image of Martin Luther King Jr. that was used to promote an event at Webster Groves Christian Church, honoring Martin Luther King Jr. on Monday January 21st ,2013 ”  An art opening in “The Gallery Within” Webster Groves Christian Church featured the storytelling art of four nationally recognized illustrators living in the St. Louis area. I was one of the illustrators. There was also talk by writer Patricia Mckissack. This image will be part of my one man show in this gallery which will include the portraits I created of many of inductees into the International Civil Rights Walk of Fame Museum in Atlanta Georgia. My portraits were created for a traveling exhibit sponsored by Anheuser Busch that featured the inductees. Also included in this show will be illustrations that I created about the history of African Americans for various textbooks. I will also be showing other paintings and drawings , many that have a message about social justice. This opening will be at 4:00 pm on Sunday May 20, 2018.
The mission of  The Gallery Within -located in Webster Groves Christian Church aspires to play a role in the presentation of ideas through the visual arts and thus foster conversations about diversity, inclusiveness, activism, acceptance and social justice. We offer a presentation space for artists to challenge thinking around preconceptions surrounding those who are most marginalized in society. Our visions. Visitors will see artwork in various media including painting, works on paper, sculpture, fiber, and three dimensional works presented in a secure and attractive exhibition gallery with additional space for symposia, workshops, talks, readings and openings that allow artists to express their perspectives. Topics such as racism, poverty, health and wellness, justice and oppression will be explored in this gallery as we dialogue around the greater community in an ever-changing world. The Gallery Within was founded in 2010 under the direction of artists John Dyess and Carolyn Dixon Dyess.
The Gallery Within is located at 1300 W. Lockwood Avenue, St. Louis , Mo 63122.


cosmic textures

This image “Cosmic Textures” started as a scan of a banana peel. I worked on the scan using Photoshop filters and brushes. Many of my Inner Space images started as photos or scans of textures. Leonardo Da Vinci said…”It should not be hard for you to look at stains on walls , or  the ashes of a fire, or the clouds ,or mud, and if you consider them well you will find marvelous new ideas, because the mind is stimulated to new inventions by obscure things” – from the book Leonardo Da Vinci by Walter Isaacson  

bannana skin004

Banana peel scan

purple palette scan

I also added a scan of oil paint on a paper palette.

purple palette scan inverted cropped

I inverted the paint palette scan an combined with the banana peel scan.

Rosa Parks

Rosa Louise McCauley Parks ( February 4,1913 – October 24, 2005) was an activist in the Civil Rights Movement. On December 1,1955, in Montgomery, Alabama, Parks refused to obey bus driver James F. Blake’s order to give up her seat in the “colored section” to a white passenger after the Whites-only  section was filled.

In May of 2007 I was given the assignment to illustrate 51 inductees into the International Civil Rights Walk of Fame that would be used in a traveling exhibit sponsored by Anheuser- Busch. I have shown many these portraits in the past and for those that may not have seen them I will show a selection of these portraits.  The average size of these portraits was 10″ x 14″ and were drawn in pencil and colored with liquid acrylic paint.

Dick Gregory

Richard Claxton Gregory was an African-American comedian, civil rights activist, social critic, writer, entrepreneur, conspiracy theorist, and occasional actor. My portrait of Dick Gregory was a combination of a photo given to me by AB which was combined with a photo of my hand and arm.

Ralph Abernathy

Ralph David Abernathy Sr. (March 11, 1926 – April 17, 1990) was a leader of the Civil Rights Movement, a minister, and a close friend of Martin Luther King.

John Lewis

John Robert Lewis is an American politician and is a prominent civil rights leader. He is the U.S. Representative for Georgia’s 5th congressional district, serving since 1987, and is the dean of the Georgia congressional delegation. In 2001, the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation awarded Lewis the Profile in Courage Award “for his extraordinary courage, leadership and commitment to civil rights.”

Henry Aaron

Henry Louis Aaron, nicknamed “Hammer” or “Hammerin’ Hank”, is a retired American Major League Baseball right fielder who serves as the senior vice president of the Atlanta Braves. n 1999, MLB created the Hank Aaron Award, to commemorate the 25th anniversary of Aaron’s surpassing of Babe Ruth’s career home run mark of 714 home runs and to honor Aaron’s contributions to baseball.

I will show more inductees during the next week. This was a great assignment to illustrate.

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

graffiti 1

While walking the streets of Guanajuato, Mexico several years ago ,I noticed this graffiti on the exterior wall of a building, and took this photograph. This is one of a series of photographs of textures found on buildings and streets in this city. Additional images of my paintings ,drawings and photographs can be found on my website and fine art prints can be purchased at


 While walking the streets with friends in Guanajuato, Mexico I photographed this scene of a green weed growing next to a distressed purple wall. I like the idea of an old broken wall next to a new growing plant.