Examples of my art, 2017 to 2019

Seven fortune-telling cards commissioned by Creomoir, an aromatherapy and massage spa in Shibuya, Tokyo, Japan.  Please click on the images to enlarge them.


Drawing printed on Creomoir’s catalog cover and canvas tote bag.

Creomoir brochure cover drawing-90 dpi

Illustrations for souvenir ceramic tea mug set and organic cotton bath towel, featuring Amaterasu, the Shinto sun goddess carrying the sun over Mount Fuji, for the Artist Power Bank Music Festival, 2018, Tokyo, Japan.  The double-sided saucer/lid bears a Pagan proverb, “As above, so below.”


Drawing, wording and lettering for 25th anniversary commemorative canvas tote bag for People Tree, a fair-trade fashion and craft import company and chain of stores, Tokyo, Japan.

People Tree Finished Art online

Logo drawing for Miho Ogura’s hula studio, Tokyo, Japan

Art for Miho Ogura-email sized

Illustrations and lettering for Orie Ishii’s cookbook, Rainbow Sweets:  Cover, title page, end papers, chapter headings.


Logo for Orie Ishii’s organic vegan bakery, Rainbow Caravan (used on packaging and website), as printed in her cookbook, Rainbow Sweets:

Rainbow Sweets-bakery logo

Logo and commissioned drawing for AO Birth Clinic, Tokyo, Japan:


New illustrations for the two author introductions to the 2019 Spanish translation of Being of the Sun (Ser Del Sol), hand-lettered by the translator.


Logo and hand-lettering for Good Earth Sandals, Hilo, Hawaii.  Used on signage, stationery, advertising, web site and stamped into the sandals.


Screen Shot 2019-06-28 at 2.59.58 AM

Art for my concert in Joshua Tree, California:

Joshua Tree concert poster drawing

Art for organic garden vegetable seed packets:

Maggie's Garden Seeds packet at 110 dpi-color-websized and cropped

Tokyo Fashion T-shirt printed with Being of the Sun page as fundraiser for 2011 Fukushima Triple Disaster Charity

Aya's fundraising t-shirt-gray.jpg

Tokyo fashion designer Aya Noguchi and I had been collaborating for five years when the earthquake-tsunami-nuclear meldown disaster struck on March 11, 2011. We agreed to collaborate on a garment to raise money for the refugees now stranded in emergency shelters, both of us donating all of whatever we gained from this project.

Aya's fundraising t-shirt-detail.jpg

The jersey shirts are half cotton, half lyocell, a wood pulp fabric, also known as tencel. Aya intentionally made a diagonal hem at the bottom, and blended illustrations and text from Being of the Sun with a newer drawing of a bird from a notebook of drawings she commissioned from me in 2009. She added applique daisies to the finished shirts after silk-screening on the art.

Aya's fundraising t-shirt-black.jpg

2010 Art Collaborations in Japan

Lakshmi for Pre Organic Cotton-cleaned
I did a lot of art collaborating in Japan via internet in 2010, thanks in great part to my art agent, Keisuke Era, who is also the director of Kurkku, an arts and environmental action center in the Harajuku district of Tokyo. Kurkku is funded by Artist Power Bank, a not-for-profit with impressive environmental protection projects like Pre Organic Cotton.

Pre Organic Cotton is an non-governmental organization that approaches cotton farmers in India and offers to support them for the three years it takes to transition from petro-chemical agriculture to organic agriculture, inspect their farms to be sure the soil and plants are chemical-free and healthy, and then buy all the cotton they grow from that time onward. (Major advantage: some villages in India no longer have carcinogens in their water supply and in the air surrounding their cotton fields.)  I was inspired when I first read about this much needed work to draw the Hindu goddess Lakshmi blessing the farmers, the organic cotton, and the people working for Pre Organic Cotton.

Pre Organic Cotton also approaches major clothing manufacturers and sells them organic cotton. Lee Jeans Japan made a line of women’s jeans from Pre Organic Cotton’s cotton this past year, and when they did, I was hired to illustrate a booklet that was attached to each pair of jeans, which explained the work of Pre Organic Cotton, and its value to the planet and the people. Here’s the cover of the booklet:

02-23-10-CA-LA-Lee Jeans Pamphlet cover art.jpg

When Artist Power Bank (aka ap bank) held their annual summer rock festival in 2010, I was hired to design a jacquard towel and a t-shirt drawing as festival merchandise, and, of course, both were made of organic cotton.

Here is the illustration I made for the front of the ap bank 2010 music festival t-shirt.
ap bank fes 10 t-shirt front-both sides-web-sized

Here is the “label” I made for the t-shirt, which was printed on the outside of the back of the shirt, close to the neck:

ap bank fes 10 t-shirt front-back

Here is the 2010 festival towel, designed by Aiko Shiratori of Artist Power Bank, using a drawing she requested from me of a large flower (I made an echinacea blossom).  Keisuke said the festival looked like a field of yellow and blue flowers, so many of the attendees had them wrapped around their shoulders.

10-25-10-Japan-Harajuku-Kurkku-ap bank fes 10 towel.jpg

Kurkku’s merchandise designers, Miyumi Ichikawa and Yoshiko Takeuchi decided to have a traditional tenugui maker in Kyoto print some tenugui for them on Pre Organic Cotton’s fabric, and commissioned a design from me for it. They requested an image of a little girl playing in the woods. Here it is:



Here are my collaborators. The gentleman on the right is Keisuke Era. On the left side, in the red shawl is Kurkku’s Miyumi Ichikawa and, to her right, Yoshiko Takeuchi. Next to them, in very dark blue, is Aiko Shiratori, who designed the merchandise for Artist Power Bank’s festival this year.

This is an information sheet on the tenugui. It explains that the image was printed in four different traditional colors: pine green, the brown of bamboo shoot, the yellow of “silver grass” and pink of a flower called “Sakichiku.”

10-25-10-Japan-Harajuku-Kurkku-tenugui information sheet.jpg

In Which I Illustrate a Pouch and a Shawl for a Major Japanese Pop Star

A few blog posts ago, I promised that when the shawl and pouch I illustrated for Sony artist Yuki’s 2010 tour were available for viewing on line, I would share them with you. So I am happy to say, here they are!

YUKI and pouch photo from website.jpg

This is the artist herself holding on her head a pouch shaped like one of my birds, printed with part of the illustration I made for the shawl that she described and I drew. It’s lined with lavender satin, and embroidered with metallic gold thread.

YUKI STOLE photo from website.jpg

Here she is, wrapped in her own poetry and the images she suggested to me, in a long and lovely natural gauze shawl. The images on the shawl are from the poem (actually a song lyric) which she wrote in English, and which I wrote in my handwriting into the images on the shawl.  As of today, October 26, 2010, the shawl has completely sold out.

I took these snapshots of the upper and lower halves of the paper layout of the fabric print that would appear on the shawl, before numbering and then separating all of the sheets, scanning each one, and sending the scans, along with a numbered chart, to the manufacturer in Japan to be reassembled and then printed on huge pieces of white gauzy cotton:

YUKI SHAWL-upper half photoYUKI SHAWL-lower half photo

I realized tonight that this is the second time I’ve seen my drawings adorn a Japanese pop star.  The first time was in 2007, when the duo Puffy Amiyumi was photographed for the teen fashion magazine Cutie, one of them wearing a Living on the Earth print dress by designed by Aya Noguchi for her Tokyo fashion company, Balcony & Bed.

puffy in ABL dress-web

Here’s a close-up of the Living on the Earth wool jersey fabric print.  There were three color variations, one with a black background (below), one with a brown background (above), and one with a yellow background.

Aya's wool LOTE print

Here I am, modeling the black background print dress with a matching scarf at Aya Noguchi’s house near Hayama, Kanagawa, on May 24, 2007, as part of a fashion shoot by Switch Magazine.  I am holding my Traveler Pro Series Guitar.

05-24-07-Japan-Hayama-Switch mag shoot-ABL at Aya Noguchi's

2010 Japan Tour Schedule

ABL Yukotopia 08-web-sized.jpg

What an amazing 11 weeks that was!  I am resting up and contemplating the joy and wonder of it all.

September 28  8:30 AM Teach art workshop for Fujino Steiner (Waldorf) High School.  (Alas, this workshop was cancelled due to flash flood warnings closing the school system for the day.)

October 3 – 4 PM Concert at Studio M
5-5-14 Maehara-cho,
Koganei, Tokyo 184-0013

The closest train station is Musashi Koganei on the Chuo line.

The house concert was a great success – standing room only!  77 happy attendees.  Here’s how it looked:

10-03-10-Japan-Koganei-Studio M-ABL and audience.jpg

October 15 Concert at Nanso Bunka Hall in Tateyama
With tribal stomp and trance band RabiRabi x Piko, and local percussion band Awa Lion.

It was a fabulous and eclectic offering.  At one point there was a taiko drum troupe, a belly dancer and an African dancer all performing together.  Here’s the finale piece in RabiRabi x Piko’s set, with the belly dancer and the African dancer on stage with them:

10-15-10-Japan-Tateyama-concert-RabiRabi with Saya, Yasu, Ellie and child dancing2.jpg

October 22 and 23 Concerts at Yukotopia Deadheadsland
Yukotopia is a block from the Umejima train station, which you can reach via the Hibiya line from central Tokyo.  Turn right when you exit the station. It’s right across the street from the Star King Pachinko. The address is:

3-2-18 Umejima
Adachi-ku, Tokyo 120-0816
Tel. 033-886-2996

There will be 4 other acts on before me (I go on last). Yukotopia is a cosy room with lots of psychedelic ambiance and welcoming friendliness.  It has a full bar and offers some inexpensive entrees and snacks. People bring their kids sometimes.  It hosts poetry readings on Saturday afternoons.

Here’s the schedule for Friday, October 22 (5 solo artists):

19:00~19:40 Hiroshi Sawada(Pop music)
19:40~20:20 So Terui (Acoustic)
20:20~20:50 Huga Matsuyama(Acoustic)
20:50~21:30 Roku
21:30~22:30(or longer) Alicia Bay Laurel

10-22-10-Japan-Umejima-ABL sings w Traveler Guitar.jpg

Here I am on October 22, 2010, singing Floozy Tune at Yukotopia.

Here’s the schedule for Saturday, October 23:

19:00~19:50 Tsumugine(Improvisational vocal performance)
19:50~20:50 Shinokuni(Pop music)
20:50~21:50 Howdy Moonshine (former members of Electric Building band)
21:50~22:50 (or longer) Alicia Bay Laurel

10-23-10-Japan-Umejima-Yukotopia-ABL and Roku play Ripple.jpg

Roku, the manager of Yukotopia, and I play “Ripple in Still Water” by the Grateful Dead to close my set.

Happy Flower Seed Party flier 2010.jpg

October 29-31 “Happy Flower Seed Party” (spiritual retreat) at Donto-in, Tamagusuku, Okinawa hosted and lead by Sachiho Kojima. Unplugged Concert with RabiRabi x Piko, Lakita Kudomi, Sachiho Kojima and me on 10/29. I teach an art workshop on 10/31.  Please contact me if you’d like to join us!

A typhoon postponed the outdoor concert at Hamabe No Chaya from 10/29 to 10/31, so we had an unplugged indoor candle light concert at Donto-in on the 29th in addition to the outdoor show on the 31st.  Hamabe No Chaya is a tea house with windows looking out over a calm bay enclosed by a coral reef.  The stage was actually erected on the sand below the high water line, at low tide.  The first act was a wonderful Okinawan traditional singer, next Sachiho played her lyre and sang spiritual songs, then I played guitar and sang original songs, and last RabiRabi played and everyone else danced.

The workshop included Sachiho’s sacred sites of Tamagusuku tour, this time augmented by the presence of Professor Hiroshi Nago, who has researched and written extensively about the Tamagusuku castle ruins, which appears to have been a temple rather than a castle.  He brought a slice of a rare seashell that is found on the outside of the coral reefs in Okinawa, and showed us that the entire structure of the castle is based on the structure of this shell. This shell became a icon for a philosophy of peaceful relations, and bracelets made from it have been found in the tombs of emperors.

I lead the workshop participants in making visualization altars from found objects, including shells we picked at the beach.  I was astonished, when each person shared after building his or her altar, how deeply we were all thinking and feeling after visiting the sacred sites of Tamagusuku.

Cafe Unizon poster 2010-for net.jpg

November 3 Concert at Cafe Unizon in Ginowan, Okinawa, on the closing date of a one-month art show of original drawings from Living on the Earth. Alicia Bay Laurel plus all-woman trance band Amana.

Cafe Unizon’s sophisticated and comfortable room has a big view of Ginowan city, with the ocean in the distance.  They always have an art show installed, lots of great books for sale and excellent food.  Sachiho (on electric bass), Yoko Nema (on harmonium) and I had a great time playing original songs together.  Mingo Kazumi did an improvisational modern dance to my autobiographical song 1966.  Yoko lead a yoga breathing session between the session in which I talked about my art and the session inwhich she and I and Sachiho performed. Mieda-san, the owner, invited me back for next year!

Alishan 2010 poster.jpg

November 28 3 PM Concert at Alishan Organic Center

Komahongo 185-2 , Hidaka-shi,
Saitama-ken, Japan 350-1251
office phone +81-(0)429-82-4811

Alishan Organic Center is a beautiful building overlooking a river.  It houses an organic food wholesale and retail company owned by Jack Bayles and his wife, Fay, and a cafe and event space, where art classes, healing classes, and other community events are held.  If you shop for organic foods anywhere in Japan, you are likely to find their products.  Alishan is named after a mountainous area in Taiwan, the birthplace of Jack’s wife.

At 11 AM, Liane Wakabayashi will present her fascinating Genesis art workshop at Alishan, and at 3 PM I’ll sing my songs about the natural, organic life that Alishan Organic Center is all about.  For my concert, admission is 1500 yen, and includes a beverage.  Liane’s workshop also has an admission fee of 1500 yen and includes tea service.

Liane and I had a wonderful day together riding to remote Hidaka village on the train and doing our respective events.  I had a standing room only audience, and Mingo Kazumi came all the way from Tokyo to dance for me on the song 1966 again. Jack invited me to come back and perform next year!

LeDeco Gallery Exhibit poster for web.jpgLeDeco Gallery Exhibit poster for web2.jpg

December 1 Opening at Gallery Le Deco, in Shibuya, Tokyo, of a new fashion line by Kaorico Ago owner/designer of Little Eagle and Lotus Heart fashion labels, some printed with drawings from Living on the Earth by Alicia Bay Laurel. The garments are manufactured from organically grown cotton and linen and hand sewn in a fair trade factory in India. The show will also feature framed original drawings from Living on the Earth.  There will be no music on December 1, but the next three nights there will be plenty!

Gallery Le Deco is on Meijidori, about one minute walk from the new south entrance to the JR Shibuya Station, or a five minute walk from the east entrance.  Phone 03 5485 5188.

December 2 show begins at 6:30 PM (18:30) with a hula kahiko halau (group) in performance, followed by a musical performance by Peace-K and Han-chan, and after that, an hour of Hawaiian songs and slack key guitar by Alicia Bay Laurel. Admission is 1200 yen in advance or 1500 yen at the door.

December 3 show begins at 6:30 PM (18:30) with the band Monk Beat, then Peace-K and Han-chan, and then Yammie, the creator of the Yappooo television series for children, will show a video of her latest work.  At the end, an hour of songs about the natural organic life by Alicia Bay Laurel.  Admission is 1200 yen in advance and 1500 yen at the door.

December 4 show begins at 6:30 PM with a modern dance by Shizuno, a dancer based in New York and Hawaii. Next, the wonderful singer/songwriter Yoshie Ebihara will perform.  After Yoshie, Alicia will perform 45 minutes of original music, and finally, the great traditional Japanese vocalist Ikue Asazaki will thrill us with her songs.  Admission is 1500 yen in advance and 1800 yen at the door.

Advance tickets may be purchased at Le Deco Gallery.

This had to have been the most astonishing three days of my life.  Each night the place was packed, and on the last night there were lines in the street of people waiting to come in, including many of my dearest friends.  The staff had to take the potted plants out of the gallery to make room for everyone who wanted to stand.  I can’t take credit for this; the line-up on that night was stellar, and three very famous singers, Ua, Ikuko and Sandii Manumele came and performed in addition to those already on the schedule.

The reason so many great performers came to sing on behalf of Kaorico and her clothing is because Kaorico’s clothes are not just fashion.  They express a philosophy that reveres Native American spirituality, Hawaiian spirituality, the works of Mother Teresa and Gandhi, and my book, Living on the Earth.  All of these are about naturalness and simplicity, loving the earth as our common mother, and seeing all beings as family. Kaorico’s newest line of clothing is called “Loving and Sharing.”

In Which I Illustrate a Tour T-shirt for a Major Japanese Pop Star

Singer/songwriter Yuki, a Sony Japan label artist, released an album this year called The Present, and I was hired to draw and letter a design proscribed by the singer herself, for her 2010 tour t-shirts.

The t-shirts have just been released. Yuki and her staff chose the colors of the drawing and lettering as well as the shirt.  What I found amazing about the this t-shirt is that the design is not printed – it is machine embroidered onto the t-shirt.  Even the handwriting!

Next month Yuki’s staff will release a shawl and matching pouch I illustrated and lettered per their design, also to be offered on Yuki’s tour.  I’ll let you know when they are posted.

The lettering on the shawl is the lyrics to Yuki’s lovely song in which a man and a woman describe what they think and do over the course of 24 hours, which contrast interestingly and become confluent at the end. My illustrations for the shawl feature images from Yuki’s lyrics, including her requested frogs, braids, and roses.

Yuki specifically requested that the drawing for the back of her t-shirt look like the illustration on the back cover of my book Living on the Earth, only with braids, roses and frogs – all elaborated in embroidery.

Another World, a novel by Yoshimoto Banana, with drawings by Alicia Bay Laurel

When I met Yoshimoto Banana in September 2009, I asked her if she’d like my illustrations for her next book. It turned out, she did. Here it is, published on May 30th, 2010, with one of my drawings on the cover and one opposite the title page (the drawing below).

The assignment was this: an ink line drawing of a woman, a cat and a plant. I made nine of them and send them all for consideration. Banana-san and her publisher chose two. Here are some of the out-takes.

The novel is not translated into English yet, but gist of the story, as I understand it, is this:

A young woman falls in love with an artist who is grieving his departed wife. The artist keeps drawing pictures of the wife, who was not really a human, but a cat in human form. His wife cared only about other cats, and thought the kind of things cats think. Eventually, though, he does come to appreciate the young woman and return her love. Along the way we also get an environmental message about making a better world. The title of the work is “Another World.”

Banana-san wrote in the afterword of her book:

It is my feeling that the difficult times we are facing now will continue for a while.

We should trust in our intuitions and instincts and not lose sight of ourselves. Otherwise, we’ll find it too hard to keep living in this world. In such times, I hope this novel of mine will stay close to the reader as a useful tool to overcome such difficulties, even if for a little while. You don’t have to follow the same lifestyle as the characters in the novel. It’s just my wish that you will at least read and feel their emotions that constantly vibrate in sympathy with Nature.

This series of novels titled “Kingdom” has been written during a peculiar period of my life. It has been hard work, but I do adore my characters.

Also, this is going to be the last novel that my father had read with his own declining eyes, because he has lost his eyesight now. He has seen the sceneries of this novel with his heart; I will hold this fact in my arms for the rest of my life.

Since my childhood, I have admired Alicia Bay Laurel, the author of “Living on the Earth”. I always wished that someday I would also be living in a forest like she does. The reality is that I am still living in Tokyo as an author. Even so, that wish is still there, just like in those long ago days.

When I met Alicia, she told me once that she could draw a picture for the cover of my book. I was so overwhelmed with joy, I didn’t know what to say. In my mind I was pinching my cheek to make sure that I was not dreaming.

She has no equal when it comes to drawing the most appropriate picture for this novel. She is the person who has cast a most beautiful spell on this novel. And I thank her for that.

I Meet Yoshimoto Banana

September 29, 2009

I come to Kurkku’s complex in Haragyuku for an interview by Switch Magazine, that will be a conversation between me and Japan’s beloved novelist Yoshimoto Banana (last name first is customary here, and her first name is pronounced BAH-nah-nah.)

In spring 2008, Kurkku hosted the first of what became four art shows of the original drawings and page layouts of Living on the Earth. I was delighted to hear that Banana-san had purchased my self-portrait that appears on the epilogue page of the book. She’s 15 years younger than I am, and the book was a favorite of her childhood. So, she said, she felt almost in a dream to purchase this drawing she had gazed upon so long ago.

Fujii-san, a rock and roll producer who is a friend of Banana-san’s and a friend of Keisuke Era’s (he’s the director at Kurkku) offered to introduce me and Banana-san, and Switch Magazine offered to document this event. So, here we are: Takeshi Fujii, Yoshimoto Banana, me, Miho Kawaguchi (writing for Switch), Kaori Miyagi (translating for me) and Kengo Tarumi (taking photos for Switch).

OMG! We showed up wearing the SAME EXACT T-SHIRT! It’s the Being of the Sun illustration licensed by Aya Noguchi (fashion designer and owner of Bed and Balcony) last year for her summer line.

But that wasn’t the only coincidence. After the interview was over, Banana went out to the street and there stood our dear friend in common – Sandii Manumele, vocalist extraordinaire and hula teacher of hundreds of Tokyo students, including Banana. Sandii rushed upstairs to see me and we had a happy group hug.

I had last seen Sandii at a huge rock concert memorial for Donto in Okinawa City in 2006. She danced and sang in the show, and I sang one of my songs, too. We became instant friends.

Sandii choreographed the hula for Donto’s classic song “Nami,” which women all over Japan love to dance. I just recorded “Nami” on my recent CD, Beyond Living, both in the original Japanese lyrics, and also in a Hawaiian and English translation. I was happy to present both Sandii and Banana with signed copies of my new CD.

Here‘s Banana-san’s blog about the same meeting (in Japanese).

I design a t-shirt and towel for the 2009 Artist Power Bank music festival in Japan – and have another art show

May 18, 2009

I’m having another art show in Japan of the original drawings for Living on the Earth, opening right now. It’s at the Birdo Flugas Gallery in Sendai. Here are some photos on Flickr of the framed drawings hanging in the gallery.

The show was set up by Keisuke Era of Artist Power Bank in Tokyo, an environmental activist arts organization. We’ve been collaborating on projects over the past few years. The latest is a couple of souvenir items for Artist Power Bank’s annual outdoor rock festival. Above is my drawing on their 2009 festival t-shirt.

I also adapted a drawing of a sea turtle I made for a yet unpublished book for their souvenir towel. Here are both sides of the towel.

This is from the festival web page that sells the towel.

ap bank fest-girls in turtle towels-websized.jpg

Here are two children at the festival wearing the towels as shawls!

One thing I encounter over and over in Japan is the request that I explain what I am attempting to communicate with my art, music and books. “What is your message?” After receiving the art, Keisuke sent me a questionaire on that very subject:

Hi Alicia-san, Would you give your messages to ap bank fes audience? It will be on web shopping site with your T-shirts and Towel graphics.

Question 1. Please tell us the concept of the design.

The swimming sea turtle shows that the ocean is healthy. Sea turtles die from drift nets and from choking on plastic bags (which look like food to them). We must stop polluting the ocean and using drift nets. In Native American and East Indian myths, the turtle is said to hold up the earth. The sea turtles slow circular movements make waves in the water, which I drew in the design.

The t-shirt design shows the divine energy all around us coming forth as life (the tree grows out of emptiness). The tree of life expresses its energy as love (leaves like hearts). The bird is the joy of making music. The rabbit is the sweetness of innocence and connection to the earth. The sun’s smiling face is the divine energy of compassion for all.

Question 2. What do you believe for making the environment better?

In our own daily lives, we need to do many small things that help. Take public transportation instead of drive a car when we can. Turn off lights we are not using. Insulate our buildings. Buy foods from farms near where we live. Try to use less packaging. Use recycling services.

In the bigger, political world, we need to elect leaders and vote for laws that stop industry from polluting and from killing wild animals, and from manufacturing things that pollute. This takes organizing. This is difficult, but it must be done in every country in the world.

Question 3. Message to ap bank audience please!!

Thank you for caring about the earth and for caring about each other. You are creating the future. Enjoy the music and the festival!

In Which My Drawings are Featured in a Coffee Table Architecture Book

spaced out-cover

I neglected to write to you last spring about the publication of Alastair Gordon’s SPACED OUT, Radical Environments of the Psychedelic Sixties (2008, Rizzoli). A gorgeous coffee table architecture book about the wiggy shelters my friends built back in the day, for us, it’s more like a family album. It’s an absolutely fun read/look.

“If you don’t have recourse to memory or the spaces themselves, Alastair Gordon’s crucial new book, Spaced Out, will bring you closer to a time when architecture was expanding its horizons…Architects today have a lot to learn from these hippies.”– Metropolis Magazine (6/18/08)

I was thrilled to have my work included in the book, and curious to see which drawings Alastair would choose include. This color page is from Being of the Sun (Harper & Row, 1973), which I co-wrote with Ramón Sender Barayón and illustrated and designed myself. The illustrations on the facing page are from my first book, Living on the Earth (Bookworks, 1970, Random House 1971 and 2000, Gibbs Smith, Publisher, 2003, Echo Point Books and Media, 2021).

Alastair wrote about Living on the Earth with a waggish smile in his voice.

I was honored to be in the august company of environmental-activist designers like the folks at Drop City, an early Colorado artists’ commune, whose geodesic domes made of sheet metal recycled from roofs of cars at the wrecking yard became their signature visual.

I met Paolo Soleri, the architect who designed and was building Arcosanti, back in the 1960s when he did a fundraising talk and slide show at my mom’s house in L.A. As a result, I wrote about Arcosanti in Living on the Earth.

Here’s an interior photo of Soleri’s semi-subterranean home and studio, Cosanti, in Scottsdale, Arizona.  I made a pilgrimage to both of Soleri’s architectural wonders in November 2000, during my epic 8 month book tour for the 30th anniversary edition of Living on the Earth and the release of my first CD, Music From Living on the Earth.