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"Pictories" are photopaintings that combine words and images to tell stories. Both the words and images are based in truth, but both contain elements of fiction. The pictures begin as photographs, and then I edit them and paint on them with my computer. I frequently combine multiple images, add or remove elements and symbols and change colors and textures. The text is based on stories from people I know or stories from the news. I change the names and dates, and, as with the images, I add or remove elements and symbols, as well as change colors and textures of the text.

Santa and His Dog

Yesterday Gary and his Black Lab Leader Dog, Killer, were hangin' on the corner of Washington and State in Chicago. He's the "Rock 'n' Roll Santa" and he's got the electric guitar, harmonica, tambourine, and red suit to prove it. Time was on his side because he was right under Marshall Field's clock. You know, the one Norman Rockwell painted. And the temp was in the 40s. He was singing "swingin' Christmas carols" like Chuck Berry's "Merry Christmas, baby, you really did treat me nice, bought me a hi-fi for Christmas, now I’m living in paradise." This year he worked the lyrics "Santa, bring me Osama" into "All I Want for Christmas." Click here for the rest of the pictory and to see an enlargement of the print.

Julia is Special

After they digested the concept that they could not conceive, Don and Hannah finally decided to adopt a baby. Their agency found a girl in a crowded orphanage in Siberia where she was never hugged. They booked a flight and began planning their future as a family. And then the pictures arrived. The doctor said she was developmentally disabled. Damaged goods. Their dreams would never come true with this child. Not those dreams. They could have stayed home, but they decided to save this child. So they went over and brought her back. She has made great progress, but she is still very different than her peers. They named her Julia, the jewel. Click here for the rest of the pictory and to see an enlargement of the print.

The Road Not Taken

The last poem Rick memorized was when he was in high school. It's time to memorize another, he decided. He decided that something is wrong when you don't have time to read poetry. Or look at pictures. He started getting such crazy thoughts when he hit 40. When he realized he could not, he should not, work harder than everyone he knew. He finally realized that he will not make it to millionaire. He finally realized that being comfortable will do just fine. His goals are more realistic now: Keep the marriage together and pay off the mortgage. And he has vowed to read more and look more because poetry and pictures are comfortable. Like mashed potatoes. The last poem he memorized was the one about the yellow woods. Frost wrote it when he was 41. Click here for the rest of the pictory and an enlargement of the print.

911 - Homage to Heroes

What is it that allows people to transcend the essential instinct to preserve their own lives so they can run into burning buildings while others are running out? Who are these courageous people who treat strangers as if they were kin? Click here for the rest of the pictory and an enlargement of the print.


Chuck died first. Jane always knew he would go first. All the women in her family outlived their men. She learned how to handle widowhood from them. But when her turn came, she forgot her lessons.

Chuck and Jan always sat close together. Even at parties, when other couples set out in separate directions, they stayed side by side. They were just more comfortable that way. Like sitting in an old chair. Click here for the rest of the pictory and an enlargement of the print.

The Entrepreneur

Standing out from the crowd can be good. Unless you're a turkey.

Click here for the rest of the pictory and an enlargement of the print.

You Drive Me Crazy

Morris was driving Rose to their weekly lunch at Merv Griffin's hotel, the Beverly Hilton. It was something they did almost every week since they first met there, oy, was it really more than 50 years ago? As he turned into the driveway, a truck was blocking it. Click here for the rest of the pictory and an enlargement.

The Struggle

Tamika worked in customer service until last month. She wore Hawaiian shirts, white pants, and sandals at work. Every day. She let her freak flag fly because she knew she was different than the people around her and she needed to show it. Click here for the rest of the pictory and enlargements.

Dialing Down The
Tears Machine

She died and left him with the baby so the first thing he had to do was to hold back the flow of tears. But the rage lasted far longer. First, he was angry at God, but eventually he realized he was also mad at her and the child. Then he was furious enough at God to forsake him as he had been forsaken. This would be harder to staunch. Click here for an enlargement.

The Fan

Pauline knew her daughter was infatuated with Britney. The kid played her music too loud and wore the same clothes. Pauline was peeved that Paulette couldn't find a black woman to idolize. What she did not know was that Jamal dreamed about Britney too. That when he woke up in the morning on his stomach he would move his hips like she did until his underwear was wet. Click here for an enlargement.

Waiting for Bozo

Heather is always waiting for David. She thinks he is trying to manipulate her. Teaching her that he is in charge. She thinks "I'll give him another 15 minutes, and then I'll just pay the damn tab and leave. That's it. I don't care how great the sex is. We are just opposites. God this will be complicated. How will we deal with the landlord? Our parents? Oh jeeze, Mom's gonna be all over me about blowing my chance to marry a rich lawyer. But I deserve better than him. Don't I?" Click here for an enlargement.

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The best way to view images on the internet

The left box above should be pure black, the right box pure white, and there should be distinct but subtle differences between the others. If not, adjust the brightness and contrast of your monitor. AOL Users: Some versions of AOL have an optional setting that compresses graphics for faster viewing also makes them blurry. To see images properly you should turn this off. Click "My AOL" at the top of the page, click "Preferences", click "www", click "Graphics", then uncheck "Use Compressed Graphics".

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