Water color illustrations of scenes from the story Heron Dance by Herman Jan Friedericy, John's grandfather.
"The dancer held his arms spread wide like wings. His shoulders were covered by a narrow pale-blue shawl, the tips of which were clutched between the fingers of his outstretched hands. A second pale-blue shawl completely enveloped his head and was kept in shape by a few bamboo sticks on the inside. Illuminated by moon and fire in turn, it created an amazing illusion of the heard of a big bird."
"About an hour later the company come to pay their respects. Wrapped in our blankets, the prince and I were sitting on a mat in front of the headman's house. Before us lay the yard, surrounded by high motionless palms. Part of it was suffused with white moonlight, part was lit by a big woodfire on which our retinue were roasting venison, chatting busily away."
"The leader of the company, who was also their chief drummer, greeted us and then sat down in front of his younger partner on a rattan mat. He was ancient; across his wrinkled brow fell a few locks of grey hair which had escaped from the scarf he was wearing, Buginese fashion, tied carelessly round his head."
"For a moment the drums held their breath. The men by the fire had fallen silent. The moon stood behind a delicate wrought-iron grating. The children, who had laughed at the lame huntsman, now looked anxious. The huntsman had seen the bird, and the bird did not see the huntsman."
A cracking beat, like a shot , sounded from one of the drumskins. The heron struggled to rise on its wings. A few despondent wingbeats hardly moved him. The bird's head, lifted high, turned helplessly from left to right; its great beak half open, the breath coming with difficulty. The wings hung limp. A second shot. The unwieldy bird made one last heart-breaking attempt to rise up. But the drums were almost dumb. They hardly breathed. And the heron, tired, tired sand down in rest."
Medium: Oil on canvas. 4' x 6' c. 1974
John's first formal training in art was as a freshman at University of Virginia under the tutelage of Art Department Chair Robert Barbee.
Public Wedding Ceremony
Tulips and Sweet Peas
Medium: Oil on Canvas. 4' x 6'. 1984
From Flower Series
The Waiting Room
John's family and friends were among his favorite subjects.
Eyes of the City
John's long-time partner Bruce Smithler. Passed in 1995
Bobby and Lisa Wiebro
This is an early student work of John's. The subject is his esteemed mentor Robert Barbee, art professor at the University of Virginia. John's father was on the faculty of UVA and friends with Prof. Barbee and his wife during the 1960's. As a young child John sat in on sketching classes at the university he was to attend as part of the Class of 1977
Back of painting of Robert Barbee
July 8, 1983
I don't know if you remember this painting. It was done in class 8 years ago when the model didn't show up. You took his place!
This craftsmanship is not particularly good, just that of a beginning student, but I think it is rather appropriate that you, my first teacher, should have it.
Thank you again for everything you have given me.
A Study for The Spectators
Breakfast with Bonita
3D and Sculpture
Phoenix and Snake
The Song is a 30 page series of 25 stone lithographs and ????? drawings of an artist's journey. The Song was an important project of the final years of John's life. He was unable to complete the final five panels. more information. Thoughts from Toby.