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Ron Mann visit; Clio, Michigan

Ron Mann; Clio, MI 2012 (a)












Ron’s dedicated page

Ron insisted that he and Donna move to his camper (at his sister’s house) while we stayed the two nights at his apartment.  He thinks of the two of us as a couple little boys getting together once a year to play in his psychedelic sandbox: with slide projections of his paintings onto his paintings, himself, and his models.  The cover of post-modern ‘appropriation’ allows me to shamelessly steal his ideas and techniques, and I hung a black cloth over the window to extend the sessions into the daytime.  Donna took Cheryl out shopping for the day while the boys got down to business.  Previously I had done digital copy pictures of the paintings, and it was (is) still possible to have the files made into 35mm film slides.  Ron shoots in a fast/intuitive way, while I work slowly and pedantically– using a tripod, fill-flash, and long exposures.  Needless to say, Ron gets superior results– he turns his paintings into expressionistic stained-glass.  Two of Ron’s paintings on paintings [©Ronald Mann] projection photos:

Ron Mann image #1 Ron Mann image #2

Read more…

30 Jul 2012

Day trip to Niagara Falls, New York

Prophet Isaiah Robertson; Niagara Falls, NY 2012

work of Prophet Isaiah Robertson; Niagara Falls, NY 2012Prophet Isaiah Robertson had called to say that he was finished with quite a bit of concrete, stone, and some wood re-painting, and the unusually hot July weather finally cleared on a day I could make the trip.  In addition to general views, I’m working on documenting many of the individual symbols and recording his explanations– everything has meaning, there is no pure decoration.  During my previous visit in May, Prophet Isaiah’s vivacious wife (I call her “Ms. Gloria”) had spoken to my wife Cheryl on the cell and announced that next time she wanted to send back a homemade pie of Cheryl’s choosing (no doubt as a gesture of sympathy between a pair of unfailingly upbeat, but long-suffering wives).  Sure enough, despite the sweltering heat, a few hours after I arrived, Ms. Gloria came out to announce that Cheryl’s peach pie was in preparation, and later, fresh from the oven, Prophet Isaiah carried it out on an extra heat-absorbing plate.  (Ms. Gloria’s peach pie is highly recommended, and represents a professional breakthrough for me– there is precedent— from this much loftier perch on the compensation scale, I can now demand food for work) Read more…

8 Jul 2012

Columbus, Ohio

A overnight roadtrip to visit James Beoddy, meet and photograph two Lindsay Gallery artists, and see their two-person show at the gallery.  Thanks very much to Duff Lindsay for arranging the photo shoots.

I had seen single Morris Jackson drawings twice at the Ohio State Fair (in 2008 and 2011), and was interested to see more of his somewhat bewildered-looking, but whimsical figures make their way through the world Morris has created around them.  After seeing my website, Morris ‘warned’ me that he is a pretty normal-looking fellow, living in a pretty conventionally-decorated house, but to me showing a seeming disconnect between the artist/environment and their work is just part of the documentary process.  Morris Jackson’s Lindsay Gallery page.

Morris Jackson, Columbus, OH 2012
Morris Jackson conjures up his drawings from a desk in the bedroom. Read more…
1 Mar 2012

Bill Brady; Centerville, PA visit

Several of Bill Brady’s new sculptures hanging in his step-mother Kathy’s livingroom. Brady house

Bill and I did some video of him working on a new piece in his skylit bus studio, and some copy shots of some early sculptures in the livingroom window:

Bill Brady "McEnroe" Bill Brady sculpture
“McEnroe” ca 1980’s (one of the first sculptures) ca 1970’s



Bill Brady sculpture Bill Brady sculpture
“Golden Girl” ca 1970’s “Walking the Dog” ca 1970’s


Bill Brady’s dedicated pages

Previous Bill Brady post

18 Feb 2012

John Culver painted tables


John Culver’s insatiable urge to cover surfaces with paint has spread to the furniture!  John sent me these snapshots from his recent painted tables series:            (photos and artworks © John Culver)

John Culver table 2012 John Culver table 2012

John Culver’s dedicated page

14 Feb 2012

Willie Jordan The Passage North installation update

Willie Jordan in his installationSince it opened in August 2011 at the Erie Art Museum, the installation has changed  and evolved with the seasons.  Willie has given the figures scarves and sweaters for the winter cold, puts change in their pockets so they are not penniless, and for example, has added dried flowers and berries as a new season might provide. He usually stops by for a few visits every week, and has become a sort of gardener to his ever changing and growing installation.  Recently, he’s added shelves that display symbolic artifacts from the  journey to freedom.



Willie Jordan's The Passage North Installation Willie Jordan's The Passage North Installation detail
the new shelf noose and victim in the lower left corner


Willie Jordan installation detail Willie Jordan's The Passage North Installation detail
plantation with barbed-wire perimeter (center left) slave quarters made from workplace scraps


Willie Jordan installation detail Willie Jordan in his installation
tortoise shell for trade on the journey Willie in November 2011


Willie at the installation Opening

Willie at the Opening in August 2011.  Sister Luke and Father John in the background.

click here for previous post on Willie Jordan’s installation The Passage North

5 Feb 2012

Visit with Frank Novel; Erie, PA

January 2012 update:

Through Lee Steadman, director of Erie’s City Center Arts, I was able to make copy photos and scans from 32 of Frank’s notebooks: 


notebook of Frank Novel click here for  60 examples from Frank’s notebook pages







Frank Novel; Erie, PA 2011

Frank lives in a low income apartment building in downtown Erie.  We missed seeing him in person before Christmas when Stairways Behavioral Health had their annual art sale, but purchased a 3×4 inch etching of his.  It shows “Gretta Groupie,” a recurring character in Frank’s work whom he told me comes from a comic strip in Circus, a 70’s rock and roll magazine.  That era seems to have been a formative influence, and Frank has vintage cassette tapes of himself reciting poetry and playing guitar.  Music is an animating force for his art-making, and he talks about music playing in his head while he often draws in silence.  He also likes to attend outdoor concerts (especially Erie’s annual Blues and  Jazz Festival), and draw to the live music.  I found an old issue of Circus [July 1970 issue], and here (I hope under “fair use”) is the original Gretta, and our etching purchase from last year (middle row right), and three Grettas from Frank’s notebooks:

Gretta Groupie comic 1970 work of Frank Novel
© Circus Magazine/ G Mallard all other images © Frank Novel
work of Frank Novel work of Frank Novel
work of Frank Novel work of Frank Novel


click here for previous post on Frank Novel

18 Jan 2012

Goblinhood 2012 is here!

Goblinhood 2012







James Beoddy’s underground comic book Goblinhood 2012 is available to be read full screen:



Publish at Calaméo or browse the library.



James Beoddy’s dedicated pages

1 Jan 2012

Leonard Knight Salvation Mountain update

December 20 update from the Imperial Valley Press:

More bad news, the death of Kevin Eubanks, Leonard’s caretaker in the video update below.


Regrettable  news about a wonderful man.

Leonard Knight; Niland, CA 2009 (b)







(from my 2009 visit)

Gratitude to Narrow Larry Harris for sending this link.

9 Dec 2011

Willie Jordan’s Installation at the Erie, PA Art Museum

Museum website with my video on Willie and the installation


Willie Jordan's Erie Art Museum installation 2011 Willie Jordan Erie Art Museum Opening
Willie Jordan installation The Passage North 2011
At the Opening August 2011


Willie Jordan; Erie, PA 2011 Willie Jordan's Erie Art Museum site
Preparing for the installation. summer 2011 Planning the installation, April 2011
26 Aug 2011