Thursday, December 17, 2020







Above, Lavone Barnett-Seetal with Jeremy White in their band The Blessings; right: she said this was her favorite shot of herself by me. Rest in peace Lavonne Barnett-Seettal, who passed away in this terrible week of cancer. 

She was a gracious lady and a true blueswoman/gospel singer extraordinaire, same vocal league as Lisa Fisher/Merry Clayton/Lisa Kekaula, someone whose emotions and vocal talents are inseparable from their lives. I remember her staring down a violent drunk at The Tearaways show into submission. Our artistic world is always so fragile, as today has proven, it helps to remember the strong ones.

Above, gloriously singing with her band The Blessings, and jamming with Nashville's The Tip, immediately jumping onstage when they covered the Rolling Stones'  "Miss You."

Above, Lavone receiving her birthday cake onstage during a Blessings' gig. As a popular singer in the biz, one also found her backing John Fogerty in his 2019 tour, as member of a few side groups like the Malonettes, and as head choir director and Gospel choir director in a number of universities over the last two decades.  She was also a much loved vocal coach.  Below, so many great, memorable gigs with The Blessings.                                   

Above, last gig in 2020 before
elected officials' civic laws silenced Los Angeles' music, (with too many clubs' signs inevitably changing from "temporarily closed" to "permanently closed") few with concern that it might be forever for personnel and businesses alike.

Friday, December 11, 2020



   How ever did I miss 2006's Art School Confidential the first time 'round? Every single scene in the first half of the movie found me howling with laughter, recognizing every stereotype portrayed (the plot darkens later, mirroring the protagonist's life lessons.) Yay, narrowcasting! Note that strong cast with John Malkovich, Jim Broadbent and Anjelica Huston. Two arty pals of ours, upon my recommendation of this film claimed "we laughed ourselves silly." This is badly needed these days.

  Comic strip panel from "Art School Confidential," Daniel Clowes' comic novel that predated his film of the same name.

During my first week of UCLA art school, here's how I ran the numbers a little differently: 6 self-supporting, full time fine artists in the U.S.; out of any of our art classes of 20 students, only 5 were any good at art, and only 1 of those excelled (and it was usually Phil Savenick, who went on to a successful career in film retro-archives.)  I tried to be 1 of that 5 in every class. I also broadened my goals to art direction as well as photojournalism immediately.
Even though this is based upon art school insider humor, there are
lotsa art school universal truths out there.  As an example, here are art school girls from 1930s Bauhaus School of Design, looking like art school girls any time, any era, anywhere...








Here are pix of  two of my art school assignments, the 6 ft. plaster man holding a spoon completed for a Stanford University sculpture class, and the 6 foot x 6 foot photo-realist oil painting of the Oscar Meyer weinermobile for UCLA. The plaster man was too big to retrieve, and the weinermobile painting was immediately stolen, so no in person evidence remains of these two works. I did illustrations for the UCLA newspaper's entertainment sections like the one below left, ( I later was selected editor of same) and I do retain my 1970 copy of Gustav Klimt's Portrait of Sonja Knipps (to study undercoats) and the 1968 pen and ink wash drawing, both seen below the illustration..

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