Posts Tagged ‘technology’

Alternative Universe 2

Yesterday I started and finished this image ,which I have titled “Alternative Universe”. It is part of a body of art, I call “Inner Space”, that I have been creating for about two years. This image represents energy and movement. A new universe forming.


oil on canvas print painting by John Foster Dyess

The questions are:? What is an abstract painting? What is a realistic painting?
This image started out as combination of photographs I took of several objects and scans of textures I created that I combined in layers using Photoshop. I began to see various forms in my Photoshop creation and began to enhance these forms using a Photoshop brush. After I had completed my digital image I had it printed on canvas ,and using oil paint  I glazed over the print. I have created shapes and forms like I would if I were painting an object or landscape. The difference is this landscape exist in my brain.
This is from a series of paintings I call Inner space.


Detail 1 of Inner Space 7


detail 2 Inner Space 7


Illustration of pirates by John Foster Dyess,1970.s

I created this illustration while employed as an artist at Maritz Motivation Company. I don’t remember the name of the client. I believe this illustration was created in 1976,or 1977. I had several Maritz artist pose as pirates. The illustration  is  pen and ink and water based paint. The map was printed on a black and white copy machine , hand colored and glued on the illustration.  The pirate chest and money were copied on a color copy machine  from a book, cut out and glued on the illustration. Copy machines in the 1970’s and 1980’s ,for me, were a great tool. Now I would work traditionally on part of the illustration and then add the map, money and chest on a layer in Photoshop.


map detail from pirate illustration


pirate chest and coins detail from pirate illustration.



travel illustration  by John Foster Dyess 1974

For the next few days I’m going to be posting illustrations I created before I began using a computer. Most of these illustrations were created while I was employed as an illustrator at Maritz Motivation Company. I will be talking about techniques I used that were the latest  technology in the 1970’s .
I purchased my first personal computer, a MAC Quadra 650, in April 27, 94. The total cost of the computer, software, printer and cables was $5,975. I think the monitor screen was about 10″.

Screen Shot 2017-04-06 at 9.07.51 PM

Macintosh Quadra 650 was introduced in February 1993.



detail 1 of London Illustration.

I wanted to combine a painting of musicians with a photograph. I painted on a photograph. This was before photoshop which speeds up the process when combining illustrations and photographs.


detail 2 from London illustration

This detail is an example of a technique I used in the 1970’s. I think this was a 3M product. I found images of English history in books and made high contrast black photostats. I sent the photostats to a service bureau  which took the black and white images and using a photo process placed an emulsion of the black and white images on a sheet of clear acetate. This emulsion could be colored with ink. I laid the hand colored acetate over my illustration. My illustration was photographed with the acetate over it by a offset print company. This was used as a poster and on the cover of a direct mail brochure that was  sent to participants of a sales incentive program, for a company called British Leyland


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


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.


“crown of light ” light photograph by John Foster Dyess

My photograph “crown of Light ” was taken with my first digital camera, about twelve years ago. The camera was a Minolta Dimage S414 and was 4 mega pixels.
Taking photographs with a digital camera gave me the freedom to record images I would  not have taken, because of the cost of developing prints from film. This also changed the way I looked at the visual world around me. This was one of the first photos I took of a caustic light.  I saw this image on the living room floor and it came from the brass frame around a fireplace door. After recording this image I began to observe and record light. Not the way light falls on objects,which I have painted many times but light as an object.
I think of these photographs as light poetry.
I have also called this photograph “crown of thorns”.
John Foster Dyess

Detail of Future Time by John Dyess

Today’s post is page 4 of the previous three posts which features written reports by my illustration students at Meramec Community College, on their thoughts about the future of illustration and design twenty years from now.

thoughts about the future by Derek Fultz

Thoughts about the future by Rita Conner

Thoughts about the future by T.E. Thompson



Future Time by John Dyess

On my blog post for October 19,2012, I posted a photograph of my wife and grandson Dominic John. This photograph of Dominic was taken shortly after his birth. The assignment ,for my illustration students at Meramec Community College, was to write a few paragraphs about what they thought illustration and graphic design will be like when Dominic is twenty years old. I will be sharing my student’s papers on this assignment for the next few days.

Firstly, congratulations on the birth of your grandson! I think Dominic John is being born into an exciting time for not just art and design, but for technology in general. Through the internet, inspiration and information are easier to pass from artist to artist than ever before. As Dominic grows up, he will receive tremendous benefits from being reared in a completely digital age. If he aspires to be an artist, he and others like him will have to navigate through the subtle obstacles this creates as well. The flood of information and availability of opinion that the internet brings can be a blessing and a curse. The internet will expose them to exciting and inspiring possibilities, but they will have to learn to recognize it and filter out the rest. In the coming years, the way we receive and digest information and art will change, but I do not believe that our appreciation for traditional technique will become completely obsolete.

Art making is becoming more accessible and cost effective as technology develops. Many traditional techniques can be reproduced digitally in an increasingly convincing way, without a tremendous initial investment. With this in mind, many people believe that, maybe even by the time Dominic John is 20 years old, paper and traditional art will become obsolete. This is especially becoming apparent as the announcement that magazines, such as Newsweek, will be moving forward with a digital only format, abandoning their printed format all together. In many ways this makes sense. The number of people who get their magazines and news online has risen steadily, since devices such as smart phones and tablets made these things readily available at any given moment. 

I believe there is a distinction between publications such as Newsweek transitional to a purely digital format and the abolishment of all paper production, though. For many people, their first contact with art will not be digital. It will be at a very young age, making crayon marks on paper and walls. I believe this is a reaction to an almost instinctual drive humans have to just create. For these people, the love of creating art doesn’t just lie in the end result, but in the process. As mentioned before, there are digital means to emulate traditional technique. There are no digital means to manufacture the experience of creating in a traditional style. For this reason I believe, while digital art is on the rise for it’s ease and efficiency, the regular pencil on paper will never be completely.    Kayla Richards


Brooke Weaver 10/18/12

John Dyess Illustration 1

The Future of Illustration

I feel like this is a hard thing to write about with how quickly technology is advancing everything we know. Who really knows what the future could possibly bring the art community. I suppose all I can really hope for is a new technological breakthrough that causes a mass hiring for all types of artists and keeps me gainfully employed till retirement (I can dream!). I suppose a lot of it would have to go with how people are viewing advertising and entertainment; something will continually advance in the TV becoming more of a world to hop into. 

I think that the 3D world will be the continuing advancement. That when we want to play a game we will probably be able to put on a helmet or suit, that gives us full control over our character. Probably have to stand on a special plate or something that will move as to the shape of whatever terrain you are going through in the game. The artist’s job then will be to create that super life like and truly interactive world the gamer jumps into. Also to develop more ways than just seeing the enemy or task in the game, but to also have the other sciences be involved. I hope that’ll be the next step in the artwork. That could be a true accomplishment there! 

Also think that if that advancement was made in gaming or movies what then could be done for an artist having a galleria event. You could come to the art showing, put on the special gear and walk into the artists very world that they made to present their artwork. The art would then be more than canvas, but something you could walk through and interact with. I think that would be an amazing development!

I can’t say for certain that this would happen, or that it’s even possible in 20 years. But in saying that you also have to think that twenty years go there wasn’t a computer in any home, now they are everywhere! There weren’t cellphones available. Now you can call people from your car and even talk through a small blue tooth ear device without even needing to pull your phone from your pocket. Cars park themselves, which never happened before. They actually have TV’s now that can curve to fit a room! So I’m choosing to think big about what there will be in twenty years.

Illustration and Graphic Design are rapidly changing fields incorporating a multitude of styles, and techniques that advance every day. Twenty years from now I believe Graphic Design and Illustration will become closer hopefully and if I had any say in it more experimental. I believe when Dominick is twenty years old, the fields of Fine art, and Applied art may finally be considered the same thing because, you’re using the same techniques of composition and much of the isolation that is involved with most Fine art will be done away with because the internet will have opened most of those Fine artists up to let people see their work online and have more input which can have positive and negative affects.

Applied art to me shouldn’t be separated from Fine art. to me Applied art was started by fine artists wanting to make money in fields where they could use their aesthetics they built up themselves to create their own niche in Applied art. To me Illustration is part of a larger picture which is mainly broken up into Fine art and Applied art that can have effects on anyone and that’s not going change much in twenty years besides broadening up into a larger area that’s more diverse as the years go by and as technology advances.
Daniel Madrigal

I would enjoy reading the thoughts of the future of communications in twenty years by viewers of this blog.













This is my final post of my series about the 1977 Illustrators Workshop.  I have included letters I received during the workshop from my children and letters I received, after I returned, from  friends I had made at the workshop. A few letters I received from friends helped me get through a difficult period of my life.

letter from my daughter Christy 1977

letter from my son Mike 1977

letter from my son Mark

The two letters below are letters from friends from the  1977 Illustrators Workshop. They didn’t realize that their letters helped my self esteem while I was going through a separation and divorce. These letters also contain a small bit of the history of illustration from 1977. I have recently been in touch with Connie Connally through email but lost touch with Julie Alessi. I hope they don’t mind me sharing their letters.

letter from Connie Connally page 1

letter from Connie Connally page 2

I hope Connie’s life wasn’t as hectic while she was creating illustrations for Lear Jet  as my life was while I was creating illustrations for Lear Jet. Connie thanks for the letter.

letter from Julie page 1 1978

letter from Julie page 2 1978

letter from Julie page 3 1978

letter from Julie page 4

Julie spoke of visiting Anita ,which would have been Anita Kunz,who attended the 1977 Illustrators Workshop and became successful and won many awards.She was part of a group of Canadians that attended the workshop. I hope I responded to Julie’s letter but if I didn’t I hope someday she will see this blog post and read this reply to her letter.
Julie,Merry Christmas and Happy Easter and thanks for thinking of me in Jan of 1978. I didn’t move to New York but got representation from Mulvey and Associates during the workshop and have created art for various national magazines. I hope all is well with you and I am sure you had a successful career.
My thanks to these friends from the workshop for sending me samples of their work,Eric Fowler,Bob Brown,Steve McCoy and Paul Gleason.

It is time to return my 1977 Illustrators Workshop folder to the file cabinet. I’m glad I saw it recently and was able to share a small amount  of information about illustration during the 1970’s. I will soon post an epilogue of what happened to me after the workshop.
Thanks to those who have read my posts.