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.

 
 

#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.

Klaus Voormann

Happy Birthday, Klaus!

Klaus Voormann turns 77 today. I had the pleasure of working with Klaus on my book, Starart. Not only was he one of the musician/artists in the book, he was also kind enough to give me a place to stay at his house when my sublet was ended prematurely and he contributed the art for the cover of the book. And let's not forget the Grammy he one for best album cover art for Revolver.

This is a portrait I took of Klaus for his section in Starart.

As a musician he played bass with John Lennon and was the bass player for George Harrison's Concert for Bangladesh. He was also played bass with the Manfred Mann Band and is the one playing the flute on The Mighty Quinn. So glad I found this video!

 
 

Blind Pick #1

Sometimes I have no idea what to post on here. Or I run out of ideas. Or I am too tired to come up with ideas. That's when I do a Blind Pick.

Currently, my slides and negs are in a state of disarray. The are in negative and slide sheets, all mixed up in manila envelopes. And for some, not identified. Anyway, this evening I decided to blindly reach into an envelope and pull out a slide. No idea what it was going to be.

Thankfully, it was web appropriate. However, it is a personal photograph. Not something I would normally post. Not my best photo but sometimes content (especially vintage) trumps photographic quality. Oh well, here we go.

 
 

On the left, is Michael Georgiades. I met him backstage at a Linda Ronstadt concert. He had a band with former Eagle, Bernie Leadon and they had just released their album, Natural Progressions (it's really good and you should buy it). They were the opener for Ronstadt. Michael and I became good friends, and while he didn't leave the top of his mountain very often, one night I got him to come over for dinner.

At this point, I was working on my first book, Starart, and staying in the basement of Klaus Voormann's house. Yes. that is Klaus on the right. Musician and artist extraordinaire. If you don't know him, please click his name to learn more.

I took this photograph after dinner when they decided to have a little after dinner jam in Klaus's work area. I'm thinking this was the first time that Michael met Klaus. Eventually, Klaus and some other great players ended up recording a bunch of demos at the studio Michael built at his house on the mountain. I'm thankful that I had a small part in facilitating that. And now I need to find out if any of that music is still around.

Stay tuned for more blind picks in the future.

Back to the Archives

Last night I started the on-going task of re-organizing my archives. As in all the photographs I took a million years ago that were not needed for my book, Everybody I Shot Is Dead.

After finding a few slides of Rufus with Chaka Khan (I hope I find more), I decided it would be nice to see the slides in this box...

 
 

...and was expecting some lovely shots of the city.

Um, no such luck. Instead, I found the box filled with photographs of me. They were shot at Klaus Voormann's house and I think were taken by his girl, Cynthia. I needed them for the gallery shows for my other book, Starart and also for some bookstore window displays.

Here's one I like that wasn't used. When I get a chance to scan it, you'll probably see it as my profile picture on Facebook.

 
 

Time to dig back into the slide boxes!