Wednesday, June 27, 2012

The Donnie Series

At an estate sale this past May I found two photographs of a boy.  These photos were the inspiration for what has become the "Donnie Series."  I thought Donnie looked like a rascal and, in no time at all, a story developed around the five photos entitled Innocent?  Since I am into postcard art I made several copies of Innocent? to send to artist friends.  One artist was inspired to create her own card for the series.  It is entitled Donnie Grown Up.  Irene Rafael, the artist, decided that Donnie would take on a sinister life as an outlaw.  I have included Irene's work below.

Innocent? was also created to honor artist Orly Avineri.  I met Orly when I took a postcard creation class from her at ArtFest 2012 in Port Townsend, Washington.  Orly is an inspiring artist and teacher. Her blog may be found at .  Orly has just published her first book and you will find details about ordering it on her blog site.  I am enthralled with Orly's works in her book and on her blog.  Both are a journey well worth taking.

I am hopeful that I have set up this blog correctly so that you may click on the "postcards" allowing them to enlarge so that you can read about Donnie and the other characters in his life.


Donnie's Innocent? inspired Irene Rafael to create Donnie Grown Up.

Donnie Grown Up

DJ, the Outlaw

After I received Irene's card in the mail I was even more inspired.  Thanks Irene.  Ideas just flowed and Donnie's mother's character and more of Donnie evolved.  It seems that when I go to bed at night my mind starts creating Donnie stories.  I wake up around 4:00, if not earlier, and have to start creating.  Ideas just burst forth, problems are solved, and I must get started working on the art and writing the vignettes. Smokin' Donnie just could not wait to be created.  Who doesn't love the photo of Donnie and Rosita?
Smokin' Donnie

Because of Irene's influence, Belle's Dilemma followed next.  Poor Belle is troubled and having a difficult time with Donnie.  Belle and Donnie live in and around Dodge City, Kansas during the height of the wild west. 
Belle's Dilemma
More Donnie stories are in the works.  Wyatt Earp will be making an appearance.  Mrs. Watson becomes a hostage in a bank heist, and Donnie's granddaughter joins Ziegfeld's Follies.  So stay tuned!

What is nice about the Donnie Series, is that stories can evolve and they don't have to be sequential.  Perhaps they will become sequential one day.  Only time will tell.

Over the past months I have come to know several artists who have encouraged me to share my work. Hence, this blog got its' heart and soul.  I want to thank Seth Apter, Brian Kasstle, Orly Avineri, Jill K. Berry, Irene Rafael, Jane Davies, Carla Sonheim and Juliana Coles for their inspirations.  Links to their blogs may be found under Artists Who Inspire Me to the right.   I may have come late to art, but I definitely feel that I am now alive!


Nancy Kelley said...

Love the Blog John - congrats! Especially love the background image :)

Julie-Anne McDonald said...

I just knew it would be great. Happy Birthday and congratulations on attaining your new retirement life.

Cathy Farrell said...

What a great story you've developed from the inspiration of these photos - bravo! Keep 'em coming, John!

Sharon Gorberg said...

This work is fascinating John. Ditto Kathy-- more more!

Gerrie Johnnic said...

Donnie and Rosita! Keep up the art, just love your'll get more comments if you disable the "catcha" words.....I'll do it this time, but we all hate them, thanks

Jane Davies said...

Yes, Donnie and Rosita! Are you sure that Rosita can't talk? My Girls (the chickens) say all sorts of interesting things. Hey, can you put Jane Davies - Collage Journeys in the right margin, just get my name in there somewhere? Or just Jane Davies and link to my blog? THanks. Awesome blog, John. This will keep you busy in your retirement!

Anonymous said...

Yeah, I think Rosita should surprise everyone by starting to talk. That way Donnie's escapades can be revealed in most unusual ways. Perhaps, he should be the only one who doesn't know that about Rosita.
Just brilliant John, how original that is to develop the story on postcards and engage the world in the story that way, and of course on your new blog. So many gifts you got for your birthday, the discovery of your awesome spirited art and Donny (Was Donnie ever Johnny?).
I can see one day a book derived from this story.
I love Irene, so great to have partners 'in crime' scattered around the US.
Much love to you.

Anonymous said...

Oh what a wonderful start you have John! This is a fabulous blog and a wonderful series! Congratulations on your new adventure and your new blog!
I am looking forward to hearing of your new adventures and new Donnie and friends adventures!

Irene Rafael said...

Haha. I love your blog! I love the growing Donnie saga. What a wonderful way to introduce you blog and yourself to the blog world. You are meant to have many wondrous times ahead! Happy Birthday, sweet friend. xxo

Seth said...

Welcome to the world of blogs John. Congratulations! The Donnie series is quite inspired and taking on a life of its/his own. The perfect subject for your first post as now that you are will also be writing a new story for yourself. I look forward to seeing your future posts and watching your journey in the adventure of art!

Jill Berry said...

Donnie also has a brush with Bat Masterson, who happens to be one of my relatives. I can feel our connection. I think he needs a map, he really gets around.
I am glad to know both you and Donnie. I expect to know you forever.

Jill Berry said...

Donnie also has a brush with Bat Masterson, who happens to be one of my relatives. I can feel our connection. I think he needs a map, he really gets around.
I am glad to know both you and Donnie. I expect to know you forever.

john said...

Let's make one! Yes, that is cemented!

pam druhen said...

Great blog...the writing as well as the work...keep it coming! Looking forward to more!

Cathy Farrell said...

I saw that you received a nod over on the Gelli Arts Facebook page "Gelli Arts - Gel Printing Plate" - bravo!

john said...

Yes, GelliArts has been generous.