Up until the pandemic, I was touring as a singer/songwriter/guitarist/storyteller, with eight critically acclaimed, self-produced music CDs, one all-original psych folk, one Hawaiian (half original, half historic), one jazz/blues(10 original and 2 standards), one Americana/spiritual folk/world music (eleven songs and medleys, of which I wrote two), one of solo instrumental guitar medleys (Americana, blues, psych folk, protest songs and Hawaiian songs), one remastered 1973 archival recording of Ramon Sender Barayon and me performing our original music from our collaborative book, Being of the Sun, a second all-original album of mostly psych folk, with some swing tunes and blues waltzes for extra color, and a live performance album from my 12 concert tours in Japan.
For the first two years of the pandemic, I used my quarantine time to publish new editions of my early books, make book trailers for them both, upgrade my website and online store, and release a movie. Since then, I’ve designed the graphics for a vinyl album, completed other commissioned artworks, and developed future projects, mostly books.
In addition to producing commissioned artworks and license existing artworks as a freelance illustrator, I design original graphic/literary/musical items for manufacture, and manage the online store attached to this website, where many of these items can be found (just click on “Shop”). If you are interested in commissioning or licensing an artwork, please click on “Contact” at the top of the page, and tell me what you have in mind.
I am best known for my first book, Living on the Earth (Bookworks, 1970; Vintage/Random House, 1971; Soshisha, Ltd. [Japanese edition] 1972; Villard/Random House, 2000; Gibbs Smith, Publisher, 2003; Small Seed [Korean edition] 2005, Kachina Ediciones [Spanish edition] 2017; Echo Point Books, 2021; and Editions Ulmer [French edition], 2022), a DIY guide to self-sufficient outdoor living, bohemian style, that I created at Wheeler Ranch commune in northern California in the late 1960s.
Besides its utility as a craft, gardening, construction, herbal remedy and recipe book, Living on the Earth documents the artisanal life of the utopian rural communes of the late 1960s and early 1970s, from which today’s Global Ecovillage Network is descended (college libraries stock it).
It’s also a seminal book design with a recognizable (and much imitated) illustration style, which I have dubbed “naive surrealism.” My illustrations continue to appear on fashion and other merchandise, particularly from Japan, but in the USA and Spain as well.
For some people, Living on the Earth is a source of spiritual inspiration, since it demonstrates living joyously without the pursuit of money and consumer goods, while seeing one’s self as one with nature, one with humanity, and one with all that is.
In 2012, Living on the Earth was chosen as one of the 101 most influential American cookbooks of the 20th century.
In 2016-2017, during the 50th anniversary of the Summer of Love events, Living on the Earth was displayed in, and sold at, three museum exhibitions focussed on different aspects of the bohemian counterculture:
You Say You Want a Revolution: Records and Rebels 1966-1970
Victoria & Albert Museum, London
BAMPFA (Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive at University of California at Berkeley)
The Hippies (history and memorabilia from the open land communes of Sonoma County in the late 1960s and early 1970s) at Sonoma County Historical Society’s West County Museum in Sebastopol, California
To date (2022),I’ve illustrated nine other books, five of which I also wrote or co-wrote.
Being of the Sun, my collaboration with composer/philosopher Ramón Sender Barayón, first published by Harper & Row in 1973, was released by Echo Point Books on October 1, 2021. In between then and now, Being of the Sun has done yeoman duty, providing instruction for ceremonies in the wild, chants, drone music and music theory, celebratory craft projects, healing practices and freedom from dogmatic concepts, to wiccans, pagans, Druids and unnameable other free-spirited beings for decades. It’s also been in print in Japanese from Soshisha Ltd from 1974 to 1980 and 2007 to the present.
Please click here for a complete list of my published works.
In this photo of me, taken by artist Sofuku Lee on September 2, 2018 in Shibuya, Tokyo, Japan, at Sison, the art gallery of fashion designer Aya Noguchi, I am standing in front of a wall-sized spontaneous line drawing I had just completed as part of “Dancing With Nature,” a multi-decade solo exhibition of my paintings and drawings.
If you’d like to peruse my books, CDs, musical downloads, wearable and wall art, souvenirs, and more, here’s a link to my online store. You can also access it by the link at the top of every page that says “Shop.” Once you’re in, it’s easier to find things if you click on “Shop by Category” instead of “Browse All Products.” You can also find recordings by, and t-shirts featuring, my long-time partner, avant-jazz legend Joe Gallivan
If you’d like to read a more detailed account of my life and work, click here, or on the link that says “Bio” at the top of each page. If you’d like to view the movie I made with documentary filmmaker Luis Olano of my storytelling and music performance, Living on the Earth – The Musical, please click here.
If you want to email me, please click the “Contact” button at the top of the pages of my website.
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