What was I thinking?

I was very young with very little money when I had this big idea of making a coffee table book of artwork done by six musicians. While Joni Mitchell was the first person I thought of, she was the fifth artist to participate in my first book, Starart. It took me a whole year, calling Joni's manager every other week before I finally got a meeting with her. I showed her mock-ups of the first four artists and she immediately said "yes". She wanted to do something with her art and liked the idea of being in a book with other artist/musicians so she wouldn't have to carry all the pressure. Her quick decision (after me waiting a year) was a huge relief and reinforced my belief to 'never give up'.

The process of putting the book began with me taking snapshots (slide film) of all the artists works, doing their portraits, interviewing them for their story and getting captions for the art pieces. I had the film developed and arranged the slides chronologically, picking what I felt was relevant to their artistic journey. Once I knew how the pages for each artist would lay out, I'd size the slides for prints and write/type their biography and the captions, then paste all of the art and text onto paper.

I was fascinated and impressed by her artistic journey, from simplistic small ink drawings during her early folk days to the huge detailed canvases influenced by her complex jazz music. I studied every piece of art Joni created, to the point when it came time to make prints from her slides and was a bit short on funds, I decided to hand draw every piece in her 36 pages.

What was I thinking? Plagiarizing over 50 pieces of Joni Mitchell's art. Knowing that I would have to show her this mock-up and she could decide not to be in the book. Stupid move. I agonized over every piece trying to capture the details and the overall feel. I spent a lot of time on it. I think I was possessed, trying to channel her genius. After all, we were born a hundred apart in Alberta, Canada and both in November (her's on the 7th, mine on the 10th). Seriously, what was I thinking?

I couldn't have been more nervous showing up at her manager's office to meet with her. She had already seen the mock-ups I did on the other artists. You know, the ones with the photo prints of their work. I slowly pulled her mock-up out of my bag, then out of the big envelope and blurted out how, do to unexpected circumstances, I had to draw all of her work. I saw a very brief OMG tinge in her eyes and then an optimistic "wow" out of her mouth. As she leafed through her pages she couldn't believe it. She loved what I had done and said I should print my drawings of her art instead.

I knew she didn't mean that but her thoughtfulness reinforced my purpose to make the most beautiful coffee book I could to showcase their art to the world. To this day I can't believe they trusted me; this very young girl with no track record, no cred -- just an idea in my head and a fear of not following through. To this day, I am beyond grateful to Commander Cody, Klaus Voormann, John Mayall, Cat Stevens, Joni Mitchell and Ronnie Wood. With the loss of so many musicians last year, I am so thankful that these six are still with us. 

Here's a spread of Joni's mock-up:

If you're new to my site, check out the STARART section for photos, art and video of these amazing artist/musicians. And don't forget, you can excel in more than one discipline if your willing to put in the extra work.

HB Ron Wood!

Celebrating Ron Wood's birthday today! How old are you, Ronnie?

RON WOOD

I shot this never-before-seen photograph of Ron Wood while he was signing the Starart Limited Edition books. Which reminds me there is one brand new, still boxed, copy available at a discount for the next couple of days. Grab it while you can.

Cool video of Stay With Me...


HB Klaus Voormann

When the huge outpouring for Prince took over the internet I thought it was a shame that how we feel about the musicians we love is massively put out there after the person dies. I think we should celebrate our icons while they're still here and can feel the love.

This is why I am celebrating the birthdays of musicians I've had the privilege to photograph, and in this case, also publish his artwork in Starart for the world to see.

Today Klaus Voormann turned 78. And it is my hope that he stays around for a long, long time. Check out the video below...it's perfect for today as he's recording and mucking around in the studio with his pal, P. McCartney.

 
 

KLAUS VOORMANN

From Klaus's A Sideman's Journey released in 2009, this video is like a birthday party. Enjoy...

 
 

Pick up your new copy of the trade edition of my first book, Starart.

 
 

Or better yet, the Limited Edition Starart book, signed by the artists.

 
 

And a print of his painting, Tushe, numbered and signed or a straight print.

 
 

Don't Miss Him

I am so bummed that I wasn't at John Mayall's New York shows at The City Winery last night and tonight. I was supposed to be there and looking forward to taking pictures of him again. Every time I've seen him live he was amazing.

Check out the rest of his tour and if you're anywhere near where he's playing, GO AND SEE HIM! And tell him I say Hi! He's one of the great bluesmen. And responsible for the success of so many famous musicians. He may have turned 82 last December but when he's on stage he's rockin' closer to 30.

I shot this one a few years back at the Topanga festival...

Oh, and did I forget to mention he's one of the six artists in my first book, Starart? I took this photograph when we were working on the book. Great musician, great artist and we are so lucky he's not retiring any time soon.


You can own a signed print of Joni's Favorite, by John Mayall, and a copy of Starart where you will see 36 pages of John's work. All of his artwork was destroyed when his Laurel Canyon house was burned to the ground just a few months before the book came out.

John Mayall

Celebrating John's 82nd birthday today! And he's still rockin', or should I say bluesin'. 

I've shot John on many occasions. Most recently was in NY at Iridium a couple of years ago (you can find it on my Facebook page in the photos) and before that I shot this photo at the Topanga Memorial Day Festival in 2011.

 
JMayall_7699.jpg
 

I also shot him at the Starwood back in the day (I need to scan some of those) and at his house when I was working with him on his section of Starart. This is the portrait we put in the book.

 
 

A couple of months after Starart was finished printing, John's Laurel Canyon home burned to the ground. He lost everything. Thankfully we had preserved many of his art pieces in the book.

John is still playing all over the world - check out his tour this Spring on his website - and I know I'll be checking him out (and hopefully shooting) in March at City Winery in NYC. Seeing a John Mayall concert should definitely be on your bucket list!

 
 

Check out John's art in Starart.

#tbt with Merv and Friends

This goes way back to when my first book came out. Not bad for a young girl who just self-published her first book (Starart) and managed to get herself on The Merv Griffin Show, with such illustrious guests. The feet on the far left belong to Melissa Manchester. I remember walking on the set and pretty much running into the glass coffee table trying to get to my chair.

I'm proud that my younger self was braver than she was scared. 

 
Bob Mackie, Merv Griffin, Cheryl Ladd, Jay Leno, Me

Bob Mackie, Merv Griffin, Cheryl Ladd, Jay Leno, Me

 

There's a bit of my appearance in this Starart footage...

 
 

I only have a handful of Starart books left.
If you would like to own a copy of this collectible book, now's the time.
The price will increase end-of-day tomorrow.

Prints and Limited Edition books are also available for purchase.
There is only one LE copy of the book available at the current price.
It will increase by $500 to $2500 after the next one sells.
Grab it now!

How It Used To Be

I had been in Los Angeles for less than six months when I came up with the idea of doing a coffee table book of musicians who were also excellent fine artists.

 
Photos by Marian or Maria

Photos by Marian or Maria

 

And this one too. 'How am I going to get Joni Mitchell?'

 
I got this t-shirt from Shelly Siegel of Mushroom Records. They released Heart's first two albums.

I got this t-shirt from Shelly Siegel of Mushroom Records. They released Heart's first two albums.

 

That little idea became Starart. A coffee table book focused on the art of Joni Mitchell, Klaus Voormann, John Mayall, Cat Stevens, Ron Wood and George "Commander Cody" Frayne.

As it turns out, nothing has really changed since 'How It Used To Be'...well, maybe I'm a few years older. But I am still creating projects as an artist (photography, filmmaking and writing). There are several in the works.

First thing tomorrow I will be launching a very special Go Fund Me page that I'm putting together for a friend of mine. We just finished the video seconds ago. If you are on my mailing list you will be getting notification no later than tomorrow morning. Watch for it.

Ronnie Barron

Today I am remembering Ronnie Barron. I caught this picture of him when he was touring with Paul Butterfield's Better Days band. He was also playing with John Mayall so I saw him around when I was working with John on my Starart book.

 
 

RONNIE BARRON
10/9/43 - 3/20/97

It's hard finding Ronnie Barron videos...this isn't the best image quality but the music is great. Fast forward to the 1:20 mark if you want to skip the introductions.