Ever since I joined Face Book my blog has gone unattended. Sometimes I forget I even have one. Today, remembering my art collection I am taking a look around. The Wysocki sold. I bought some things that need to be photographed. Time to think about renewal. Perfect timing at Easter!
I would like to see my John Hunter Suites in the hands of one or two careful and serious collectors. I do not want to part them out as the recent pieces in the Norton Museum in Pasadena. Please let’s keep them together: 8 original lithographs in one, and 10 in the other. They are priced way under the appraisal.
Hunter’s work is still undervalued to the point of silliness, but one day he will enjoy a huge “discovery” and be highly collectible. I sense this, but I also know it intellectually as a longtime collector where most of my predictions pay off. I realized a thousand percent profit on the Wysocki since I purchased it from only the second exhibit by the artist and knew it would increase in value. There is a time to buy and a time to sell anything.
John Hunter (1932) is from the California Art Movement of the 70s whose most famous member today is Ed Ruscha. It is only a matter of time before he has his turn with fast-rising prices. He is a painter in oils, but is best known for his pristine prints made in the famous workshops of the time.
Please check out John Hunter here in this gallery of fine art and spend some time looking around. Who knows how much longer I will offer my collection here. I have moved out of Hollywood and live in a forest and growing older faster than ever. It soon will be time to divest myself of my treasures. It you like something, please inquire.
“Melrose and Vine” John Hunter. Original signed lithograph. Archival papers and professionally framed by Golden Goose LA.
The Charles Wysocki painting was in my family for fifty years and had become a part of anywhere I lived. Now the place where it hung is bare. It feels like losing a beloved pet, so I have to wait a good while before I hang anything there again.
What is it about art that makes it seep into your skin, heart and mind? What is it that an artist I have never met can seem like a familiar old friend?
I hope that the new owner realizes what a bargain it was, not even a third of its appraised value, and guaranteed to increase in value since there are few if any original oils by Wysocki to be bought and sold. Most collectors of his work are as fond of his work as I have been, but age is pushing me to downsize my art collection and let someone else, much younger enjoy the beauty and happiness it brings. This little wanderer by Berta Hummel is the first piece I ever bought. I could identify with this waif and used my small allowance, carefully saved up, to buy her at the corner stationery store in the 40s. The nineteen forties, not my age. I was 8. This will be the last thing I will let go. NOW since Christmas is coming and no gift can be as ongoing as a work of art. It is time for me to go down into the archives again and see what is left in my gallery that would make a lovely one of a kind present under the tree. I have posted a sample of the artifacts I have collected over many years that I have loved to show you as a sample of what you will find in the pages on this website. for dimensions, etc. go to the page where the item is listed. If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact me. Everything that is framed was done so professionally with archival papers and sturdy frames and non-reflective glass. The prices listed are to make your decisions easier, and include shipping except for overseas where there will be customs fees added.
You may see a change in prices since the items were posted on pages herein, and that is because I am watching the art market and pricing below appraisals in general. This is not a business, but my personal collection that needs to be disseminated to other collectors now that I am downsizing. I am not trying to make a profit, but only to be fair.
I hope you enjoy the visit today. Think about giving someone a very merry Christmas with something that will always make them think of you. Inquiries welcome!
Portrait of Rimbaud by Picasso is an original print signed by the artist in stone. I bought this from a San Francisco gallery over the phone and have owned this famous lithograph since 1964. It is so familiar to me now that I can let it go. ($800) One sold in Cannes recently for 1200. Framed and couched in archival papers and mattes to last another century.
An etching by a man who became the Lord Mayor of London! Pristine condition and beautifully framed in birdseye walnut and gold. (400) it is in perfect condition considering its age, amazing print.
“Homage” An impeccable original lithograph by the American artist, John Hunter (the California School) with a self portrait lower right. (1200 firm) signed and numbered and framed.
The Magdalen Reading
Cornelis Bloemaert, Dutch master and thought to be the teacher of Vermeer. Original etching from the 16th C. Framed in silver. (700 firm).
Original book of Raymond Carver’s first published poetry. (1000 firm) signed twice, once “to Joan”
A Creature by young African-born American artist, Otis Bardwell. original lithograph (1,200) framed.
A small original print “The Wandering Artist” by John Hunter (350). Numbered and signed, framed in archival material.
Original print of Robert Louis Stevenson at a book signing from early 20th C. framed. (150).
“Talk” original signed by Davey of Carmel. (350) and “Hooked” by LA underground artist, ceramic with antique Victorian paper background. (400) firm.
photograph (Vermont) by Ronald Wilson (American) signed on back with certification of authenticity. (500 firm) framed.
A Suite “The Life Cycle” of rare lithographs by John Hunter. you will find the others in major museums that bought them early on. (7,000 firm) Each print is signed by the artist.
Original oil painting of St. Paul by Cotti. carved wood frame. (500)
Daumier original newspaper print. The flight of Icarus. (400.) Very rare!
Artist’s Proof “Janis” by Susan Dysinger (California). signed. (500).
A Collection of Broadsides by renowned poets: Stafford, Bly, and five others. (40 each of all for 200). Rare collectibles. All signed by authors.
If you have looked this far, I should add that the artwork you select will be shipped 7 days after your check arrives. I pay taxes, the 10% to the artist’s estate, and shipping expenses (except customs fees). The work here represents more that I have in the same genre or by the same artist. There is much to be found on the further pages of this website. Happy visiting!
Small, intimate writing days and weekends in the beautiful woodland of the San Bernardino National Forest.
Joan Eyles Johnson, M.A. with forty years of teaching in college writing programs, has moved to the mountains above the hustle of southern California to provide a place of quiet retreat for other writers. Please send for a brochure: Summit/P.O.Box 36 Crestline, CA 82325. Plan a writing session at a cozy pinewood cabin in the woods where you can enjoy complete serenity without interruptions except for a catered gourmet lunch.
Check out the website for a 2017 schedule of upcoming quiet days, weekend seminars and amenities, including a one week residency in the resort ski area of Lake Arrowhead, a four season resort in the alpine region high above the traffic where the air is always fresh among the 50+ trees on the property, called “Dorothy’s Home” in honor of the heroine who learned there’s no place like home. A writer’s paradise in lovely gardens.
Joan Eyles Johnson, M.A., proprietor, mentor, playwright, poet and winner of the 2016 Ernest Hemingway Prize for Short Story: “The Night Packet” Fiction Southeast Journal.
It’s a strange story. Well, not that I won the prize for a story that will be published online with an audio version as well, but the story behind the story, the one about how it came to be. Enough to make anyone believe in Karma.
I was in my last year of teaching at a Los Angeles private university where my Dean had a serious dislike for me for reasons never stated. It started almost the first semester she was put in place as my boss. I won’t list the humiliating accusations she leveled against me from the start always a brouhaha signifying nothing. Threats by this dean were always aimed at causing me panic, but they were never about anything real.
I enrolled at my own expense in an online writing class at Stanford, a short story course taught by the novelist Lewis Robinson. It was fairly expensive for a part time instructor, but I was excited about hearing what this young new novelist had to teach me about my craft. The class lasted 10 weeks and about seventeen of us, were visited weekly by Robinson via Skype. On the last day of the class, it was my turn to hear his evaluation of the work I had produced during the semester.
It was my day off, and since I did not have WiFi in my little Hollywood apartment, I brought my laptop to my cubby hole cubicle and was at my desk totally engaged awaiting my turn for final discussion of my stories. The instructor filled the Skype window with a strip of “live” students across the top. At the very moment when my turn came, the Dean barged into my little spot, her assistant dean close behind, saying in an excited and angry tone, “You are in serious trouble!” Despite my begging her to allow me to continue my last online class on my own time on my day off, she continued to berate me and told me I was to be at a meeting at 7:30 the next morning where I would be faced with a committee of faculty and the student who said I wrongly accused her of plagiarizing her final paper for a class, and that she was bringing an advocate, an “alum” to speak on her behalf and I was in real trouble. This played out in front of eighteen witnesses watching my tongue-lashing threats- on my laptop. Needless to say, the distress and embarrassment this caused me set my heart racing, and that was the end of my interaction with Lewis Robinson. It was a distressing, frustrating, inconclusive ending to the class.
I had never in over forty years of teaching been brought before a grievance committee, and the first meeting the following morning was an ad hoc meeting with the accusing student, her advocate, (a former student I had once failed for plagiarism), the Supervisor of the English Department, the Dean, Assistant Dean, and other faculty I cannot remember due to the anxiety I felt in the hot seat at a conference table. The two students were allowed to stand and harangue me, insult, and threaten me with petitioning my termination, saying they were going to the dorm after the meeting to get student signatures to “swear” I was prejudiced (the students were Hispanic. I am not.) and berated me for being a bad teacher and worse than that a “bad person.” The personal diatribe went on so long that eventually my supervisor felt it had gone too far and stopped the meeting. It was without a doubt the most horrible experience of my long career as a teacher with many awards, e.g., Future Teachers of America for encouragement and support, Faculty of the Year award by students from two campuses, and an ISAE award for service to students.
In the grievance committee meeting the following week. I was interrogated by the head of the committee and the Art Department, and one other faculty member from yet another department; my immediate supervisor was present although when asked said nothing in my defense. I felt so much anxiety and sharp pains in my chest that I knew I had to rush to the hospital immediately when the ordeal was over.
The irate accusing student had said in the first meeting with her advocate that I had not checked her paper on Turnitin (a corporation that checks electronically for plagiarism), or any other technology and therefore had no proof it was plagiarized. So, I agreed, in the Grievance meeting to allow them to put the paper through the Turnitin site for an electronic check. The committee sent it to the IT specialist who managed Turnitin at the university and it came back 99 % plagiarized. I was vindicated. It was all another much ado about nothing accusation against a veteran teacher who could, by now, tell a student’s authentic voice.
I drove to the hospital immediately out of the meeting to have an MRI that proved I would have been dead in a short while had I not gone to the doctor. It was not my heart, but a silent thyroid growth that was about to choke off my windpipe. The physician told me if I had not come in that day I would have died very soon with a sudden inability to get my breath.. So, the whole trial saved my life. The student received an F for the course. Her advocate was exposed as a graduate who couldn’t get a job in her field after being fired because she could not write proper English. Not only was I exonerated, the dean was dismissed from administrative duties and sent back to teaching, and my life was saved.I retired.
As for the unhappy ending of the Stanford writing course, I don’t remember the prompt that resulted in the short story I sent off to Fiction Southeast Literary Journal. The judge was the young writer,David Galef. There were five finalists. He picked my story, “The Night Packet.” This year I am the winner of the Ernest Hemingway Prize in Short Fiction. I have another short story online at Foliate Oak, a student run literary journal in Arkansas, and a poem coming up in May in Orchards Poetry Journal, and on April 24th a professional theater group directed by Dr. Sharon Carnicke of USC is giving me a lovely honor, presenting an evening of three of my one act plays on April 24th in Los Angeles.
Sometimes it just works out that justice is served! I am happily retired from a plethora of “bosses” and run my own silent retreats and seminars high in the California alpine village of Crestline where we never have more than 6 writers at a time. We also take mindfulness walks down by my lake in the forest with gluten-free, vegan brown bag lunches on sunny days of anxiety-free creative writing.
Check it out! No pressure, not one mean person in sight. Only peace, quiet, and creativity.
http://www.foliateoak.com “A Pigeon’s Life” Flash fiction (February)
http://www.scribeaway.org Summit Seminars
Later this month First place Ernest Hemingway Prize https://fictionsoutheast.org
In May: a poem, “Grief” hhtps://orchardspoetry.com
An Evening of Joan Eyles Johnson: “Odile” “Dancing to the Epistle”and Hislop’s Fables” Three one act plays. The Stanislavsky Studio in Echo Park.
Search the pages for this impeccable original print “Retired from the Sea”in our gallery.
This very large beautiful original print, Susan Dysinger’s artist’s proof of young Janis Joplin is for sale unframed (700) or framed by Grey Goose in Los Feliz, Los Angeles (1,200).
If interested, email for dimensions and order professional archival framing. firstname.lastname@example.org
Questions: An Essay
At this moment in our history we are seeing an ever-increasing epidemic of drug deaths, again among the famous, infamous and wannabe famous victims of addiction. From news broadcasts, politicians, teachers and parents, come scary statistics, the alarming numbers of drug-drenched towns and cities, the waste of lives and parental hopes while huge numbers of young people decide, knowingly or not, to check out, to cut the cord to the future, whether it is fear or doubt about the future, or pain so deep it cannot be assuaged by any balm or comfort, only total oblivion, or whether it is copycat behavior due to mentally tortured artists who gain world fame and burst into flames to remain “forever young.”
As we old folks know, it takes courage to take on old age, but it is oh so worth it; just ask those of us who have outlived our wildest passions and have successfully dealt with memories of traumatic events and universal meanness by the monsters in our world, the lucky among us who have endured long enough to live long lives, gain peace of mind and sometimes even prosper.
I hear often that our young generation suffers from unspoken guilt about their debts to credit cards and to the old folks in their families.Guilt is a terrible engine that drives anyone but a psychopath to emotional turmoil. there is a slogan in the twelve step program: “Guilt sucks.” I personally know a faithful attendee of meetings who even sponsors others but has never made any kind of serious amends, one of the central steps of the program. Guilt mixed with deception is a toxic blend and may be a reason to seek liberation from any emotions at all. Who knows? A suicide meant to hurt others, an act of revenge, a way to put the guilt on others is not uncommon.
This portrait (Look at the eyes) asks a painful question. Think about the appropriate answer. Think about Hemingway, Plath, Woolf, and so many more towering artists who took their own lives, and join those of us who love life with all its pain and are angered by those who opt out on drugs. Think about David Foster Wallace and ponder the question. How many aspiring wannabes will be in love with death now because of his famous” example? There is always one more on that dusty road with a longing to be remembered in any way possible, albeit by causing grief.
I lived in Hollywood for over 20 years and very often drove by the small motel where Joplin partied herself to death, the hotel where Belushi ended his life in front of his girlfriend, the sidewalk where River Phoenix gave up the ghost after a night “on the town.” In fact there is an entrepreneur who has a company called Graveline Tours and a limo that takes you to all the places where short-lived famous people continue to attract fans in death.The license tag reads, “I C ded ppl.” There is even a Museum of Death on the Boulevard. The cult of dead “stars” grows daily. I didn’t know Joplin’s music, but someone I loved knew it and copied her style, became a fan-atic in town and bleached her life with drugs. It was and is a tragedy. I bought this lithograph with Joplin’s beautiful persona to remind me of that girl, and to remember that every drug-addled thief of time was once an innocent child.
Nobody has developed a tour of places where famous people who died of old age lived, who worked, prayed and served others. I am thinking of the niche dedicated to St. Therese of Lisieux in the magnificent Church of The Blessed Sacrament on Hollywood Boulevard, given to all who visit or worship there as a gift of Irene Dunne. There are beautiful places where seekers who were also famous practiced lovingkindness, like the Zen monastery on Mount Baldy where the “elder” late Leonard Cohen sat zazen as a monk for five years. It is a life-giving alternative to drugs, a spiritual path. A life-saving path, as any 12 step follower will tell us “if they work it” and don’t just “talk the talk.” (God save us from these ubiquitous people.)
Some ex-heroin addicts preach almost continuously using social media like a pulpit, like true fan-atics of Christ, but privately they are still full of the hatred, resentment, and trauma that made them zone-out in the first place. (“The devil quotes scripture.”) Here perhaps only therapy or true conversion to love and forgiveness and gratitude can help, as it has for many who hide behind a curtain of deception.A person, of any age, who doesn’t practice the great commandment to “love thy neighbor as thyself” is not a Christian. Privately some who claim to be “saved” are secretly still “lost.”
Freedom is not “just another word for nothing left to lose.” Freedom is a word for something very sacred to everyone with a soul to cherish when found; it is only the soul-sick who think it means only escape. Alas. How paradoxical that addicts think drug highs are liberating if only for a moment, when they are the road to total prison and slavery and often an early death-before-life.
I have empathy for those left behind, the real victims of this epidemic, this cult of the dead that has grown exponentially with the loss of spirituality. There can only be pure grief; that is all that is left when someone we love has chosen a broken-off life.
Ah! Back to Art.
To some artists, e.g., the very young and dying of disease, John Keats, art, the senses and nature combined form a higher high than reality and is “oblivion” enough. (Time to closely read Ode to a Nightingale again.) Life is enough. Love is enough. Nature and Art and the Senses are enough. Thank God. This starkly beautiful portrait of Janis asks a painful question. Think about the appropriate answer. to the question, What is ever not enough? Dickens knew this when Oliver asked for “more.” Hunger is more than physical.
Then, ask yourself how and why so many musicians are so prone to escape rather than seeking the spiritual? Maybe the Pied Piper really was an evil kidnapper? I am thinking, again, of Bob Dylan, recently awarded the Nobel Prize? (my question mark) Thinking of Joyce Carol Oates who dedicated a pied piper story of the real monsters of our world to Dylan. “Where are You Going, Where Have You Been?” You can Google it by writing in “text” before the title. Beware, it’s a tale you will never forget.
I once, long ago, had a friend who asked if his son could visit me for a week before going into the army during the Vietnam War. I was a mom with a tiny infant. I met him at the airport where he arrived long-haired, wearing knee high fringed suede boots, and hippy-like clothes, a guitar with attached harmonica (Dylan style). On the way from the airport a cop pulled us over with my infant in a car seat in back and me, dressed like the suburban housewife I was. After a thorough inspection of my car and trunk, we were told to go on….Shocking! Was it the clothes of my young guest that aroused the officer and caused the search? To this day I still remember that question. My guest never left my house the whole week, but lay on his bed, guitar and harmonica singing more like wailing at all times. This was my first introduction to Bob Dylan who was obviously his compelling inspiration, but to me a total departure from what I called music. The constant loud droning was nerve-wracking, but I submitted knowing his near-future would be harrowing and tried to understand the “music” and its guru who my young guest obviously adored.
One day I had all the fixings for fruit cakes I was going to make for Christmas gifts in my kitchen and I had to go shopping. On my return, my guest told me he had made my cakes and he had put something “special” in them to enhance their effect. My husband threw it all out. (This was the 1960’s after all.)
The boy came home from the war a year later and, I was told, out of his mind on drugs. He had been stationed in a psych hospital as a private first class, and one day close to home, high on PCP he ran from his car head-on into oncoming traffic and was killed instantly. He was 21 years old.
Wherever we live now there are so many drug-addled walking zombies on street corners, in gutters, slums and luxurious couches and expensive Hollywood hideaways. Every minute someone buys a first “fix” from a greedy purveyor of greed for “more” to the never-to-be-satisfied.Question: Why?
Final question: How can lost people get on the right path, the ancient quest so honored and understood by so many artists, writers, philosophers, and spiritual leaders, the search for peace of mind, that pearl of great price, the only real liberation that cannot be bought for any price? I believe that inside every human being lies the answer to every question, but it takes time and hard work, legendary courage, and patience to get them. For some of us, maybe even a long, long life.
Many years ago I bought this lovely portrait in an art gallery in Santa Clara that was having an exhibit of Dysinger’s work. Check out her website to see her most recent art for sale and you’ll see how surprised I was when I asked the owner if he had any “specials” in the back room. (always ask about what is in the back room for wonderful surprises.) No matter the real woman, the portrait of this unusual Janis Joplin has caused me much to think about over the years. .I didn’t know Joplin’s music, but someone I loved very much knew it and adopted her style, was a fan-atic in my town and bleached her life of potential singing-success with drug addiction. It was, and is. a tragedy. I bought this lithograph with Joplin’s beautiful persona to remind me that every drug-addled thief-of-time was once an innocent youth with wasted potential.Now it is time for me to pass it on to someone else who will love it as much as I have all these years. To see more of the art from this (Laguna Beach, California) artist’s work, go to her website: http://susandysinger.com
Susan Dysinger. Limited edition prints: Lady Day, Georgia String Band, Chet Baker, Aretha B..B. King, and Duke Ellington at his piano.
|Georgia String Band
B. B. King