Posts Tagged ‘thoughts’

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



CHA Country doctor

Country Doctor
This is one of three illustrations created for the 1992 Annual Report of Christian Health System. The client wanted to show a Model T Ford going down a country road. Each illustration had to depict the moon and an American flag. 

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
wanderer word
Wanderer is one of the categories and contains a story that I wrote in 1970 about the trips my family took to visit  relatives in Louisiana. Country Doctor was one of the images in this category.

Small Town

My first long trip, traveling in a four door 1936 Chevy. My Dad always owned Chevys when I was a boy.Reading Burma Shave signs as we traveled through Illinois, Arkansas, Tennessee, Mississippi: M-IS, S-I-S, S-I-P-P-I. A jingle my brother and I sang .As our ‘36 drove down that never ending two lane highway. Movin’ me down the highway. Through flooded roads, winding through small southern towns.

Headin’ for Looseanna.

Looseanna – Spanish moss, Pine trees, Huey Long, frog giggin’, cotton mouths, Boy, Yankees, slot machines at every restaurant and grocery store. Aunt Ada and Uncle Rudy’s filling station and grocery store.Outside the store, oil cans, bottle caps, hundreds!Reading comic books, Shazam and the Katzenjammer Kids. The old gas pumps. Why did they change those pumps -progress?

Million dollar road. A one and a half lane road, Gravel covered, dust clouding our way to Aunt Minnie and Uncle Urah’s house,In Covington, Louisiana.Never changing, ever changingGeneration after generationSmall town. —John Dyess circa 1970

My father was born in Covington, Louisiana in 1910. He drove a Model A Ford to St. Louis around 1932. He had a limited education, but by studying at night was able to become a radio engineer at WTMV in East St. Louis, Illinois. He married my mother in 1933 when she was just 17 years old.
Homeward Bound 1
This painting ,which is in the category Wanderer,  is based on a photograph that I took of a highway while driving home after teaching an art class at Jefferson College in Missouri about ten years ago. I named this painting Homeward Bound. This is a scene my father would have seen while driving to St.Louis from Louisiana around 1931.

Sophia's whale drawing

This drawing was created by my granddaughter Sophia the same day that she drew a “cat wearing a hat, that I shared on my previous blog post of January 17. My wife is a graphic designer and I am a illustrator/painter/photographer, and I ofter share my visual images and my wife’s designs and personal art. My blog posts are mostly about visual art and artists. The name of my blog “journal of seeing” describes what my posts are about.
Thanks for stopping by and viewing my post about Sophia’s drawing.

Hannah Jones Have you ever felt invisible

Homeless illustration by Hannah Jones, a student in my illustration class at St.Louis Community College at Meramec

Below is Hannah’s statement about her Homeless poster.

“When tasked with making a poster about homelessness, I wanted to first understand more about it and why people become homeless. I found a variety of reasons but what stuck out to me most is how homeless people are treated. Whether intentional or not, homeless people tend to be ignored or avoided. They need help but there is so much stigma against homeless people that people are either afraid to help or just don’t care. They are basically invisible to a world that has left them in this situation. I wanted to represent that concept on my poster by having a homeless person blending into the background with others passing by not caring. A lot of times people become homeless and they can’t get out of it because no one is willing to help them, they would rather ignore.” Hannah Jones


Homeless illustration by ToQuyen Tonnu a student in my illustration class at St.Louis Community College at Meramec.

This is the statement on ToQuyen’s poster illustration.

“Never think that what you have to offer is insignificant;
there will always be someone out there that needs what you have to give.
Visit for more information on what you can do to help.”

On Christmas Eve my hope is that there is a room for those that are homeless.
John Dyess

Homeless Project Young Print

Homeless illustration by Bradley Young 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 Bradley’s statement about his homelessness poster illustration.

While doing research for political posters I found mostly world war two era political posters. This in particular gave me the idea to do something that had to do with homeless veterans. While panning through the images on google I found an Uncle Sam poster. I figured everyone knew this iconic figure and that gave me the idea to do a homeless Uncle Sam. I personally find it nerve racking that solders come back home and become homeless. If not angry just generally confused on why homelessness is so common among veterans. Sadly, veterans do not get the help they need if going though PTSD (post dramatic stress disorder) or other ailments. This generally leaves some veterans to believe that they should be out on their own no because no one knows truly what they have been through. This is just one possible thing that could make a veteran a homeless person.

With the information I researched, I decided to do a poster that instead of just pointing out what is happening with homelessness, I rather would focus on homeless veterans. As a result, I believe that the message is that this could happen to you if you join a branch of military. Veterans are out there and need help. With this in mind I decided to change the words on the poster and made sure that “help a veteran near you” was on it. I felt that this not only gave the sense of this could happen if you join, but to also help if it has.
Screen Shot 2017-12-23 at 10.48.07 AM

DCF 1.0

This is the photograph that began my search for interesting and unusual reflections and refractions of light. I captured this reflection with my first digital camera over ten years ago. The only enhancement of this photo, in the software Photoshop, was to increase the contrast.This was a reflection of light bouncing off the brass doors of our fireplace, that appeared on our living room floor. For me, the important thing about taking this photo is that I “saw” this image and recorded it. I’ve shown this image several times on my blog “Journal of Seeing”.I have previously named this photo “Crown of Thorns” and now I think a better title is “Crown of Light”. 

Screen Shot 2017-10-22 at 4.45.32 PM

I began the Journal of Seeing blog on October 19,2010 with a photograph of my older brother Ronald and I  sitting outside on the steps of our house. I was about five years old. I have decided to repost some of the images I have posted during the last seven years. They are photographs I have taken and art I have created. This first image is a photograph that I took of a lamp’s shade and shadow in my living room. I enhanced the image in photoshop. using the unsharp filter. The title I gave to this image is “triangles and rectangles”


Inner Space 14 by John Foster Dyess

This is a digital painting that is one of a series called Inner Space ,that represents my subconscious vision of life,space and time.


Inner Space 1 by John Foster Dyess

After decades of creating illustrations and paintings that have represented what I see outside my body through my eyes; I have been creating a new series of digital paintings that I have titled Inner Space.This series represents nothing that I see through my eyes.
I have enjoyed creating this series.