Friday, December 21, 2012


Just a little hint of what we're up to as we printed this year's batch of holiday cards. This one is sort of like a riddle. Jake did the block cut for the fronts of the cards, then I printed a mystery line for the text. When you get one and you figure it out, let us know.

Answer revealed on the website, and I will explain how I was driving Jake crazy with a funny story at the wren and the mistletoe.

For those of you who are in on the secret, don't reveal.

I did the broken arm block cut, just for fun, on the envelopes!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012


"she died of shock" 3 x 3 inches, acrylic on photopaper.

Follows Wife in Death

Dr. Jordan regained consciousness for a brief period Saturday morning. His condition was such that he was not informed of the death of his wife, who passed away in the Dalton hospital about two hours after the accident.

Mrs. Jordan suffered broken arms, broken legs and pelvic fracture and died of shock. Dr. Jordan suffered a broken arm and head injuries and his death was attributed to shock.

source: The Portsmouth Times, Portsmouth, Ohio, Tuesday, January 2, 1940

Sunday, December 9, 2012


"patient at bluefield sanitarium" 3 x 3 inches, acrylic on photopaper.


Miss Katherine Guthrie, Raleigh terrace is a patient at Bluefield sanitarium, under treatment for a broken wrist sustained in a fall, Thursday afternoon.

source: BLUEFIELD DAILY TELEGRAPH, Bluefield, W. Va. Saturday Morning, Jan. 6, 1940.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012


"she was still not out of danger" 3 x 3 inches, acrylic on photopaper.

In this series I will select random photographs and crop out their identities then paint them with an X on their "broken arm". I have done some research and found unconnected but relative stories, which I will be presenting with each painting.

Nebraska Representative Dies After Accident

By United Press

MORRILTON, Ark., Jan. 3 — Representative George H. Heinke of Nebraska died last night of injuries suffered in an automobile collision near here Dec. 28. He was 57 and serving his first term in Congress.

Mrs. Heinke, 51, who suffered a broken arm and fractures of both legs in the accident, was recovering but attendants said she still was not out of danger.

source: El Paso Herald-Post, Jan. 3, 1940

Saturday, December 1, 2012


"mia" 3 x 3 inches, acrylic on photopaper.

"liam" 3 x 3 inches, acrylic on photopaper.

Christmas gifts for my sister-in-law.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012


"kiana" 3 x 3 inches, acrylic on photopaper.

Jacob's Aunt Dolly sent a photo of her granddaughter, Kiana. I cropped it and painted her cute face. I will send it off to Indonesia soon.

Friday, November 23, 2012


"girl with a j necklace" 5.625 x 3.75 inches, acrylic on photopaper.

I did a series of casual, random shots at the state fair with the intention of making some paintings from them. This is the first trying a horizontal format.

Did you know:
In November of 1884, a group of citizens in the territory of Arizona wanted to organize an event with the family in mind. The very first Arizona Territorial Fair was held in Phoenix in late fall, near the Salt River west of Central Avenue. Fairgoers of the day were treated to horse, pony, and mule races along with exhibits including agriculture, home economics, and dairy and beef cattle. Fairs were held here annually until 1891, when the untamed Salt River flooded and destroyed the site's buildings and racetrack.

source: Arizona State Fair website

Wednesday, November 21, 2012


"sticks and stones" 3 x 3 inches, acrylic on photopaper.

Not being sure what I would work on, I started to look for stories of broken arms. I found an account of a riot in Glasgow dated April 25, 1821. It was in anger against the celebration of the birthday of King George the Fourth. After all the merriment and into the dark of night a mob, with extreme violence and force, broke into a riot:

The crowd, persisting in their attack, were ultimately driven back; but they renewed the conflict with sticks and stones, and severely wounded some of the soldiers. The patient forbearance of the Dragoons deserves the greatest praise, every man of this small party was cut and bruised; a serjeant and a private were unhorsed. The Lord Provost and the Head Gaoler were cut on the head. Several gentlemen, near them, were also wounded, more or less. One of the 41st was knocked out of the ranks. After some delay the Dragoons reinforced, advanced, and the crowd made off in various directions. During one of the evolutions of the Dragoons several hundred men, women, and children tumbled over each other. The confusion and cries of terror, as well as the loud lamentations for the loss of hats and shoes were striking. They who endeavored to get away by the wooden bridge soon blocked up the passage, and the first arch, 25 feet in width, broke down with the pressure. It was a terrific crash; the cries which arose from the sufferers were most piercing, and were re-echoed by others, little less fearful, from the spectators. A mingled mass of men, women, and boys were precipitated into the bed of the river. The water was not at the deepest more than 10 inches; but much injury was sustained from the fall and pressure. The police officers assisted the bystanders in carrying out the wounded, but the soldiers were by this time too much irritated to offer any aid. The unfortunate persons were conducted to the Town's Hospital, the Gaol and the Infirmary. Five of the sufferers were carried into the Gaol, four of them had broken legs, and one had a broken arm.
source: the Courier, London, Middlesex

It was good to get to work again after such a long time away.

Monday, November 19, 2012


A broken arm is holding me back from working for a little bit. I am going to try something this afternoon. Let's see how far I get.

Monday, October 22, 2012


Took some photos at the AZ State Fair so that I could do some experimenting with wax and crayons on original images.

Some failures: transferring image onto wax coated board did not work. Same goes for trying an acetone transfer, it was very blotchy. And a heat transfer only took in some spots.

Here I just printed the image from my laser printer and waxed it on a board, then crayoned over, melted some, crayoned more, blew it dry... just testing. Not sure if I like the effect yet, it needs more work. The leggings and her arm are the best areas and look the most painterly.

Will try again.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012


"Ena" 5 x 7 inches, acrylic on canvas.

There are three Rosena McLarnon's in my family. My grandmother, (who was born a McKee), her daughter (my father's sister), and then my sister.

This is my aunt, whom we all called Ena. She was the first in my father's immediate family to be born in the USA. She never married or had children, and treated all of her nieces and nephews with such generosity. I thought she must be so rich, because she would have our presents wrapped at the Macy's gift wrap counter. She took me to the World's Fair once, just me and her, and it was very special.

She died in 2001, even before my dad and her oldest sister.

Sunday, September 30, 2012


"l'amérique du sud" 6 x 4.33 inches, collage on paint chip card

"the country wife" 6 x 4.33 inches, collage on paint chip card

Tuesday, September 25, 2012


Continuing to publish my series on issuu and MagCloud, here is the newest release which can be read online and downloaded for free. If you purchase a printed copy from MagCloud, I donate all the profit to the Tenement Museum in New York City, which preserves the history of the generations of newcomers who settled in and built lives on the Lower East Side, America's iconic immigrant neighborhood.
"letter to earl" 8 x 8 inch, 24 page, saddle stitched book

What's nice about looking at the publication is that you get to see the whole series together and it includes the complete letter from Ida that the work is based on.

This is the introduction:
Patricia Sahertian bought a stack of forgotten letters. They were written to a soldier, Earl J. Pontius, in 1943 by his mother, Ida. After reading them, one in particular stood out because it referenced so many people from back home in Lewisburg, Ohio. From Sahertian’s collection of random old photos she created a casting call, selecting people to play the characters that she imagined to be the folks from Earl’s hometown.
When you get a chance take a look and let me know what you think.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012


"wilma and melvin's clothes go to the fair" 3 x 3 inches, acrylic on photopaper.

Leafing through the archived news pages for 1942 not only did I find a nice little story about the Joplin 4-H club to support the blue dress, but I also found some other interesting tidbits of information. Did you know that a burger in a basket with lots of shoestring potatoes cost 15¢ back then? And look at the wonderful ad for a pair of slacks just like Melvin's (sold by Goodyear).
Wilma Jean Paul, a member of the Stella club who won top honors in a dress revue at the district 4-H club round-up in Mount Vernon August 13, with a handsome blue plaid dress, is going to wear the garment to the state fair this week to compete with 12 other district winners in a dress competition. Newton county also is sending to the fair clothing exhibits from the Fairview, Stella, Hickory Grove, Ritchey and Saginaw clubs: a food preparation exhibit from the Ritchey club, and a canned food exhibit from the Hickory Grove club.
source: Joplin Globe, August 23, 1942, page 20
View complete set on flickr.


Friday, September 14, 2012


"all for knickers" 3 x 3 inches, acrylic on photopaper.
The closest I came to golf myself, was playing on the football field at my high school for gym class. I only had to think of my gym suit then (yes, we had a special outfit just for gym). I had no idea that golf clothing could stir up such a controversy:


Sarazen Advises Those Who Swing Clubs to Play the Game Not "Dress" it

Coral Gables, Fla. – (UP) – Gene Sarazen, British and American open champion believes golfers should buckle down to playing the game instead of trying to "dress the game".

"It's high time golfers put on their knickers and got to work on the game instead of fussing around the course costumed like a couple of love seats," said Sarazen between rounds on the Miami Biltmore course.

"When Johnny Farrell and Walter Hagen were winning championships," he said, "they were wearing knickers and not blue silk shirts, with matching kerchief and cravat. And you don't see Bobby Jones teeing off in slacks and earrings."


The most controversial subject lately among club members and the gallery is whether it's smarter to wear long pants or knickers. Joe Kirkwood tries both. But Gene Sarazen wishes once and for all that slacks might be conceded to tennis and knickers to golf. He thinks "kangaroos" over six-foot-five, with legs like stilts might be the exception to the knickers rule.

Sarazen believes golfers should dress conservatively, practically and neatly in knickers. He objects to player wearing old, shabby hats, shoes and trousers.

source: Oshkosh Daily Northwestern, March 1, 1933, page 11
Read more about the great Gene Sarazen and Walter Hagen in a very informative article by Tom Clavin.

View complete set on flickr.

Monday, September 10, 2012


"black smock" 3 x 3 inches, acrylic on photopaper.
The black smock is worn by all women who work outdoors, such as street car employees, street cleaners, market women. It is worn by women who sew, make artificial flowers and do similar handwork in shops.
source: Special Correspondent Laura A. Smith, Paris, April 25, 1920
View complete set on flickr.


Go Daddy has been hacked and has temporarily (I hope) taken down my websites and email. here is an alternate email address if you need to get me. Thanks.

Sunday, September 9, 2012


"she detested the orange dress" 3 x 3 inches, acrylic on photopaper.
And why was he always requesting her to wear certain dresses, most of which he had aided in selecting? She detested the orange dress for it was cheap in appearance in spite of its cost.

source: The Queer Mrs. Farnstone, Charleston Gazette, January 10, 1932, page 27
View complete set on flickr.

Saturday, September 8, 2012


"moorhead laundry" 3 x 3 inches, acrylic on photopaper.

As usual I was looking through newspaper archives for something inspiring. I came across a 1933 ad for Moorhead Laundry and thought it would make an interesting "layer" for this composition. Of course I just couldn't be satisfied there. Where was Moorhead Laundry? Was there a picture of it anywhere? Who owned it? Well, I got all my questions answered. Here is the story:
In his native Germany, Bruno Kippels learned the trade of a miller and that of a baker and remained there until the summer of 1880, when he came to this country, landing at the port of Baltimore, August 1. A few weeks later he came on out to Minnesota and located at Moorhead...

Mr. Kippels built the public abattoir in Moorhead and he still owns the same. In October, 1914, he bought the Moorhead laundry and has since owned and operated the same with much success, the excellent character of the work turned out at his laundry having recommended the place widely throughout this section.
Mr. Kippels has put on the market three quite successful inventions, a children's merry-go-round, a clothes hanger and a plaiter.

source: Clay and Norman Counties, Minnesota by John Turner and CK Semling, 1918
So now we know when Mr. Kippels bought the store and who he was. This is his photo, with his bride, Martha Mary Kuppich. His inventions also piqued my interest and I found the US patents for two of them here, the dryer and the plaiter.
Click on images to enlarge:

Mr. Kippels died in 1940, but Moorhead Laundry was still in business in 1944 when this shot was taken:

Detail of "The Moorhead Laundry of Moorhead, Minnesota" in a shot by David Anderson, photographer, 1943/44 when the Red River of the North flooded the area.

source: Photo Gallery of the NDSU Institute for Regional Studies

And maybe, just maybe, this sweater was washed there...

 "just washed" 3 x 3 inches, acrylic on photopaper.

View complete set on flickr. 

Friday, August 31, 2012


"thank you, jimmy stewart" 3 x 3 inches, acrylic on photopaper.

Sometimes I have no other motivation but to create a painting. Today, I just liked the suit jacket and the hat so much. After i finished with it, I thought, I wonder if I can find an article that has the content "he wore a brown suit"? To my surprise I found this: Oscar Winner Trades in $3000-a-week Movie Check for a Year as Buck Private at $21 Monthly.

Lanky James Stewart rolled out of bed this morning at an hour when many of his movie colleagues were just rolling in, and went off the join the army... The tall actor carried a brown suitcase. For his last day in "civies" he wore a brown suit, brown slouch hat, blue shirt and brown shoes.  
The Abilene Reporter-News, Sunday, March 23, 1941.

How perfectly this story fit with my little painting.

note: this is not Jimmy Stewart's actual suit 

View complete set on flickr.  

Monday, August 27, 2012


"house dress" 3 x 3 inches, acrylic on photopaper.

Click on article for better legibility.
Source: The Daily Chronicle, Saturday, October 25, 1958, Centralia, Washington

View complete set on flickr.  


"bad boy" 4.75 x 2.5 inches, collage on paint chip card.

When I was little my grandparents lived in Greece and my grandfather would write me letters. They came in airmail envelopes on onion skin paper, so light, so as not to cost too much in postage. Intrigued by getting this wonderful foreign mail, I wanted more letters, and I signed up with an international pen pal group. Not satisfied by having one pal, I signed up for more. At one point I had a dozen pen pals from all over the world. I used to send drawings of my clothes, and favorite cartoon characters. It was all so much fun.

Now I have a few friends that I regularly exchange snail mail with, it's mostly collage. Sometimes it is just going around the block, but I put it in the mail all the same. There is something so wonderful in getting a piece of mail that is made just for you. Today I got something from Shari, so this one is for her.

Thursday, August 23, 2012


"captain henri rochard" 3 x 3 inches, acrylic on photopaper.
I am an alien spouse of female military personnel en route to the United States under public law 271 of the Congress.
View whole series on flickr. 


"bride and prejudice" 3 x 3 inches, acrylic on photopaper.

Broadway success story: Lois Wheeler is being implored by her folks in California to come home and forsake Broadway. Lois has been in only three plays... The first was "The Innocent Voyage." In it she was seduced by the pirate crew... Her second was "Pickup Girl" which dealt with sin and "VD"... Now she is in "Trio," playing a lesbian... Her family thinks it's time for her to quit.
Source: Kingsport News, February 17, 1945, page 4

View whole series on flickr. 

Wednesday, August 22, 2012


"clann one" approx. 1.6 x 1.6 x 0.7 inches, antiqued copper plated box with framed glass door hinge, featuring handmade accordion book.

So many choices – can I make anymore iterations of these series? I sure hope so. I plan on making at least one of these accordion books for each of the painting series I have been doing lately.

See different views of each one on etsy.

"clann reading lesson 43" approx. 1.6 x 1.6 x 0.7 inches, antiqued copper plated box with framed glass door hinge, featuring handmade and collaged accordion book.

This one includes collaged strips of the first stanza of The Barefoot Boy. When I was in early grammar school, it was one of the poems we had to memorize. I never really thought about it, just would say it back by rote. When I found it in my collection of children's readers I just had to include it in the book. Its meaning is quite different to me now.  

The Barefoot Boy (read the whole poem here)
by John Greenleaf Whittier

Blessings on thee, little man,
Barefoot boy, with cheek of tan!
With thy turned-up pantaloons,
And thy merry whistled tunes;
With thy red lip, redder still
Kissed by strawberries on the hill;
With the sunshine on thy face,
Through thy torn brim’s jaunty grace;
From my heart I give thee joy,—
I was once a barefoot boy!
Prince thou art,—the grown-up man
Only is republican.
Let the million-dollared ride!
Barefoot, trudging at his side,
Thou hast more than he can buy
In the reach of ear and eye,—
Outward sunshine, inward joy:
Blessings on thee, barefoot boy!

Thursday, August 16, 2012


"mrs. crandall later got a job as a nanny" 3 x 3 inches, acrylic on photopaper.
As the old saying goes "truth is stranger than fiction," then this story is well suited.

Source: Indiana Evening Gazette, February 17, 1934

View whole series on flickr. 

Friday, August 10, 2012


"What kind of camp is this?" 3 x 3 inches, acrylic on photopaper.

post script: new york times magazine article this past weekend: what's so bad about a boy who wants to wear a dress?

View whole series on flickr.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012


"frankie loved lipstick" 3 x 3 inches, acrylic on photopaper.

 View whole series on flickr.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012


"who saw you coming?" 3 x 3 inches, acrylic on photopaper.

I found a very interesting article explaining the relatively new idea of gender specific clothing colors. Here is an excerpt:
For example, a June 1918 article from the trade publication Earnshaw's Infants' Department said, “The generally accepted rule is pink for the boys, and blue for the girls. The reason is that pink, being a more decided and stronger color, is more suitable for the boy, while blue, which is more delicate and dainty, is prettier for the girl.” Other sources said blue was flattering for blonds, pink for brunettes; or blue was for blue-eyed babies, pink for brown-eyed babies, according to Paoletti.
Smithsonian: When did girls start wearing pink? by Jeanne Maglaty
View whole series on flickr.

Saturday, July 28, 2012


Escape Artist web addendum page starts with Norris H. Pyron

I have decided that I want to make my work accessible on several platforms. So I am creating what I call "web addendums". The first one will highlight the painting series PRISONERS

When I started researching these prison photos and was looking for a story I was drawn to the image of Roy Gardner. I looked in and found he was a notorious train robber from the early 1900s and a tricky escape artist. I started reading and downloading more articles. There was a connection between him and some of the other photos that I had seen. Hmmmm, a very interesting thread was forming.

Little did I know that if I had only googled him in the first place that I would have come up with a lot of information, all condensed, without having to have spent hours reading old papers. Oh, I am not complaining, mind you, I really love doing all that research. Also, it gave me a chance to see how the American press was covering other stories, like Irish Independence in the 1920s.

Because some of the info I found was worth repeating, I am presenting the Escape Artist web addendum, using a parallax scrolling web function, through a montage of film stills, book pages and their actual portraits painted by myself. It is about the connection between a counterfeiter, a train robber and two rapists: Norris H. Pyron, Roy Gardner, Lawardius Borgart and Evert Impyn, respectively, McNeil Island prisoners numbered 3800, 3806, 3824 and 3825.

Now available new 8" X 8" magazine of PRISONERS on issuu and MagCloud. Free digital downloads!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012


"i can't believe mother let you go out like this" 3 x 3 inches, acrylic on photopaper.

View whole series on flickr.

Monday, July 16, 2012


"who's your daddy?" 3 x 3 inches, acrylic on photopaper.

View whole series on flickr.


"genevieve" 6 x 6 inches, acrylic on canvas.

This is the final painting of Genevieve on canvas. I use the sketch as a transfer to the canvas. Then using the original photo and the sketch as reference I work on the portrait.

(3 x 3 on photopaper)
(original photo converted to B/W)

Sunday, July 15, 2012


"switched at birth" 3 x 3 inches, acrylic on photopaper.

View whole series on flickr.


"genevieve" 3 x 3 inches, acrylic on photopaper.

Commissioned by my friend, Kristin Shears, owner of Willo North Gallery, to paint her daughter. This is the preliminary sketch for her approval. Then on to a 6 x 6 canvas.

Thursday, July 12, 2012


"would you have liked me better if..." 3 x 3 inches, acrylic on photopaper.

This series will explore the ideas of expectations, roles and socially acceptable stereotyping. It holds a personal meaning for me and my daughter. It's not gender specific. Expectations from society can put a lot of pressure on anyone. And it can be very hurtful.

View whole series on flickr.