Awakening Prison Art

AWAKENING  PRISON  ART  is an opportunity to own original, visionary artwork by an incarcerated spiritual aspirant while helping him afford the basics of a dignified life.

DAISHI  is an American military veteran who served honorably in Vietnam and had a distinguished career as a photojournalist. Now serving a life sentence in a Southern prison, he is a practicing Buddhist deeply dedicated to self-transformation through spiritual study and meditative practice. He has devoted himself to raising rescue dogs through a cooperative program with an outside organization, as well as serving his inmate veterans' group. I have corresponded with Daishi for over a decade. His letters reveal an acute intelligence and a sometimes heartbreaking sensitivity to beauty and human kindness. They tell of his grief over the death of his beloved sister, squalid living conditions in sweltering cells, guards who may be cruel or corrupt, and, always, his determination to find goodness and peace.  

Like many prisoners, especially those who have lost their families, Daishi is indigent. He has no money to purchase such basic necessities as toothpaste, antiperspirant, skin lotion, stamps, envelopes, tea bags, and batteries for the radio that provides contact with the outside world. For some years, he could lose himself in doing artwork, until his artist's materials were arbitrarily confiscated by prison authorities. I encouraged him to start drawing again, even with a ballpoint pen, and offered to make his work available to patrons who could help him support himself honorably. He managed to obtain colored pencils and acid-free paper and resumed drawing. More recently, he has begun to branch out into watercolors and improvised media, including tints on salvaged scraps of fabric. 

DAISHI'S  WORK  evokes new, freer worlds conjured from within his own constricted world. He specializes in imagined bird species and other fanciful beings, rendered in finely worked pencil strokes of vivid color. Their eyes are often particularly striking, gazing from their own realms into ours with determination, skepticism, joy, or apprehension. Other topics include loving portraits of dogs, "Sacred Spaces," abstracted Vietnam reminiscences, the colossal heads of the ancient Mesoamerican Olmec civilization, close-up studies of objects such as a feather or a candy bar, and portraits of characters from other galaxies and dimensions, where the epic Floro Wars take place.

I've tried to make the scans below as accurate as possible, but they often don't fully convey the delicacy of Daishi's line and his nuanced use of shade and color. The dimensions listed are approximate image sizes. Most images are on somewhat larger paper, usually with roughly scallped edges: Daishi is not allowed to have scissors, so he has to cut his paper to size with his thumbnail.  

More works are added to the site as I receive them, so check back often. One hundered percent of proceeds go to the artist. PAY WHAT YOU FEEL TO PAY. People have typically paid around $25–50 for smaller works and around $50–100 for larger ones, but sometimes significantly more or less. It's completely up to you.  

► To purchase a work, please click here.

Thank you,
Dean

1961 Galaxy Station Wagon #2
4 x 2"
Ink and tint on acid-free pape
SOLD
Admiral Bull Finster — USS
4 x 6"
Colored pencil on acid-free paper
SOLD
Advance Fighter: Dimension 6
3 x 4"
Pencil on acid-free paper
Advance Scout — Capt. Regba
3.2 x 2.5"
Colored pencil on acid-free paper
After the Blast / Ensign Murtah
6 x 3.5"
Colored pencil on acid-free paper
After the Blast #1
2.7 x 3.5"
Tint on acid-free paper
SOLD
Akna Forward Observor
2.3 x 2.4"
Colored pencil on acid-free paper
SOLD
Aleppo . . . The Face of War
5 x 3.5"
Colored pencil on acid-free paper
Alertus Magnificus
2.7 x 3.5"
Colored pencil on acid-free paper
SOLD
Alpha Americans — Genesis Project — The Olmecs #1, 2, & 3
Set of 3, approx. 3.2 x 2.5" each
Tint & colored pencil on acid-free paper
Animas One
2 x 2.8"
Colored pencil on acid-free paper
SOLD
Approaching Perihelion
4.5 x 4.5"
Tint on acid-free paper
Arboreal Melodious
3.5 x 2.8"
Colored pencil on acid-free paper
SOLD
Arboreal Wip-Wip
2 x 2.5"
Colored pencil on acid-free paper
Bahga Omhasum: Holy Man — Floro/D-6
3 x 3.5"
Tint on salvaged fabric and acid-free paper
Baldon Grapho: Hunter — Floro Seas
3 x 2.5"
Tint on salvaged fabric and acid-free paper
Beauty in the Afterlife
3 x 3.5"
Colored pencil on acid-free paper
SOLD
Before the Great Blizzard
3 x 3.5"
Tint and colored pencil on acid-free paper
Before Time — Overseer
4.5 x 3"
Colored pencil on acid-free paper
Breaking On Through to the Other Side
4.5 x 2.7"
Tint and colored pencil on acid-free paper
SOLD
Calixza Illusiva
2.2 x 2.2"
Colored pencil on acid-free paper
Captain Alco Higwing
5 x 8.5"
Colored pencil on acid-free paper
SOLD
Captain Effin Warblow
3 x 6.5"
Colored pencil on acid-free paper
SOLD
Captain Eyeman Hawk
5 x 3"
Colored pencil on acid-free paper
SOLD
Captain Krystal
4 x 3"
Colored pencil on acid-free paper
SOLD
Captain Pacodach
5 x 3"
Colored pencil on acid-free paper
Captain Rivas Shellman
3 x 6.5"
Colored pencil on acid-free paper
SOLD
Carnavoraptor
2 x 3.7"
Tint and colored pencil on acid-free paper
Cleptar Valdon — Elimination Specialist
3 x 3"
Pencil on acid-free paper
Coming Through: A Visitation from Beyond Time and Space
3 x 2.5"
Tint on salved fabric and acid-free paper
Condux Maximus
2.2 x 2.2"
Colored pencil on acid-free paper
Conveyor of Dreams
3 x 5"
Tint and colored pencil on acid-free paper
SOLD
Council of Elders
2.5 x 3.2"
Colored pencil on acid-free paper
SOLD
Customs Specialist Sarma
2.3 x 2.4"
Colored pencil on acid-free paper
Dal Faumook — Zoldar Province
3 x 4.2"
Colored pencil on acid-free paper
Dance Eternal
2.8 x 2.8"
Colored pencil on acid-free paper
SOLD
Dawn / #1
3 x 2"
Tint and colored pencil on acid-free paper
Dawn / #2
2.5 x 2.5"
Tint and colored pencil on acid-free paper
Defane Lostaxis
4.5 x 2.5"
Colored pencil on acid-free paper
Dictyl Tungus
3 x 6.5"
Colored pencil on acid-free paper
SOLD
Discovering God for the First Time on the Field of Mortal Combat
3 x 4"
Tint and colored pencil on acid-free paper
Dog Day Afternoon
3 x 3.5"
HD archival print — ink on acid-free paper (?)
Dominicus Robuskus
5 x 4.2"
Colored pencil on acid-free paper
SOLD
Down Below
2.3 x 3.3"
Tint and colored pencil on acid-free paper
Dr. Jarz Mahndowny — Field Surgeon, Floro Wars
2.5 x 4"
Colored pencil on acid-free paper
Dr. Millerman — Fleet
5 x 4.5"
Colored pencil on acid-free paper
Dream Visitor
2 x 2.7"
Tint and colored pencil on acid-free paper
SOLD
Dust in the Wind
2 x 3"
Colored pencil on acid-free paper
SOLD
D–6/7517.17.23: This Morning I Witnessed . . .
3 x 4"
Colored pencil on acid-free paper
Efstrom Minkus
3 x 4.5"
Colored pencil on acid-free paper
Endanged Oak Beetle Sucker
3.2 x 2"
Colored pencil on acid-free paper
Endangered Monk's Bird
4 x 3"
Colored pencil on acid-free paper
SOLD
Enlightened Moment Field Sketh
2.7 x 3"
Colored pencil and tint (?) on acid-free paper
Essence of Joy
3 x 3"
Tint on acid-free paper
SOLD
Evidence of Nocturnal Visitation
3 x 5"
Colored pencil and tint on acid-free paper
SOLD
Extinct Kinesiorhea
2.5 x 4"
Colored pencil on acid-free paper
SOLD
Eyeman Rictor Six-One-Zero
2 x 2.5"
Pencil on acid-free paper
Face Before Time
3.3 x 4.5
Colored pencil (?) on acid-free paper
Falco Gate / Dimension Six
2.7 x 2.7"
Colored pencil (?) on acid-free paper
Falconus Robinicus
3.7 x 4.2"
Colored pencil on acid-free paper
SOLD
Field Sketch: Bonnie
2.5 x 5"
Ink on acid-free paper
Field Sketch: Boomer
3.5 x 2.5"
Ink on acid-free paper
Field Sketch: Illusive Condormax
3.5 x 3.5"
Colored pencil on acid-free paper
Field Sketch: Seemorian Scout
3.5 x 6"
Pencil on acid-free paper
Field Sketch: Sly
2.5 x 4"
Ink on acid-free paper
Field Sketch: Tao of the Hound
2.5 x 4"
Ink on acid-free paper
Forward Observor
3 x 4"
Colored pencil on acid-free paper
SOLD
Forward Observor #1
2.7 x 4"
Colored pencil on acid-free paper
SOLD
Gabron Gate / Dimension Six
3.2 x 2.5"
Colored pencil and tint (?) on acid-free paper
Galaxy of the Mind — Harmony Sector
5.2 x 5.2"
Tint on acid-free paper
SOLD
General Cha Wa Wa / Planet K-9 Security
3.8 x 5.5"
Colored pencil on acid-free paper
SOLD
General Klawman . . .
3 x 3.5"
Colored pencil on acid-free paper
General Zen — Party Central
3.7 x 4.8"
Colored pencil on acid-free paper
SOLD
Ghost / Floro Highlands
2.5 x 3"
Colored pencil on acid-free paper
God of the Air
4 x 4"
Colored pencil on acid-free paper
Ground Zero
2 x 4.5"
Tint on acid-free paper
Guardian of the Dark
4 x 5.5"
Colored pencil on acid-free paper
Guardian of the Royal Monolith — Floro Plain
2 x 3"
Colored pencil on acid-free paper
Here Is Buddha
2 x 2.5"
Tint on acid-free paper
Hotak Mumblus
3 x 2.5"
Colored pencil on acid-free paper
Illusive Floro Spartanicus
3.7 x 2.5"
Colored pencil on acid-free paper
Illusive Grippus
2.2 x 1.3"
Colored pencil on acid-free paper
In the Beginning . . .
3 x 3"
Tint on acid-free paper
Indigo Castaways / Stella
3 x 3"
Colored pencil on acid-free paper
SOLD
Indigo Castaways / Toby #1
3 x 2.3"
Colored pencil on acid-free paper
SOLD
Indigo Castaways: Hint of Paris
3 x 3"
Colored pencil on acid-free paper
Indigo Outcasts / Hazel
3.5 x 2.5"
Colored pencil on acid-free paper
SOLD
Indigo Outcasts / Toby #2
2.5 x 2.5"
Colored pencil on acid-free paper
Into the Eye of God
3 x 4.5"
Tint on acid-free paper
SOLD
Involution
3 x 3"
Tint on acid-free paper
SOLD
It's Just a Cookie
2 x 2.5"
Colored pencil on acid-free paper
Jeramiah
2 x 2.5"
Water color on acid-free paper
Just Below the Surface
2.5 x 2.5"
Colored pencil on acid-free paper
SOLD
Kiva Dweller
5 x 8.5"
Colored pencil on acid-free paper
SOLD
The Last Apple
2.5 x 3.3"
Colored pencil on acid-free paper
Life Still
3.2 x 3.2"
Colored pencil on acid-free paper
SOLD
Lives Beneath Teddy's Bed
3 x 3"
Colored pencil on acid-free paper
Looking for Alice
1.7 x 2.5"
? on acid-free paper
Looking Up
2.2 x 2.3"
Pencil on acid-free paper
SOLD
Lt. Anka Dorsi
2.5 x 6"
Colored pencil on acid-free paper
SOLD
Lt. General Skitterning — Intelligence
2.5 x 2.8"
Colored pencil on acid-free paper
Lt. Souk De — Recon — Floro Wars
2.5 x 3"
Colored pencil on acid-free paper
Lunch . . .
2 x 4"
Pencil on acid-free paper
LZ / Hill 130 #1
2 x 1.5"
Tint on acid-free paper
LZ / Hill 130 #2
2 x 1.5"
Tint on acid-free paper
Magic Moment
2.5 x 2.5"
Colored pencil on acid-free paper
Major Zekhat / Floro Grand Council
3 x 3"
Colored pencil on acid-free paper
Mary Alice-Zenga
2.2 x 1.3"
Colored pencil on acid-free paper
SOLD
Meryalise Pat / Combatant Sisterhood of the Indigo Underworld — Seas of Floro
4.5 x 3"
Colored pencil on acid-free paper
Mid-Day in April
2 x 2.3"
Water color (?) on acid-free paper
A Moment Ago
3.5 x 2"
Colored pencil on acid-free paper
SOLD
A Moment Between Space and Time
6 x 2.5"
Colored pencil on acid-free paper
SOLD
Morning Recon — 1970
1.5 x 1.5"
Tint on acid-free paper
Muse in the Looking Glass
3 x 3"
Colored pencil on acid-free paper
Native Inhabitant — Floro Plains
4 x 2.8"
Colored pencil on acid-free paper
Native Snipsock . . .
3.5 x 4.2"
Colored pencil on acid-free paper
SOLD
Navigator Danyell — Wee Fleet
3 x 5"
Colored pencil on acid-free paper
Newton's Orb
2.8 x 2.8"
Colored pencil on acid-free paper
Northern Perspective
2 x 2.5"
Colored pencil on acid-free paper
Old Growth
3.5 x 4"
Pencil on acid-free paper
Only a Moment Ago . . .
3.3 x 3.3"
Pencil (?) on acid-free paper
Opposition Forces: First Generation Battlebot
4.7 x 3"
Colored pencil on acid-free paper
Outcasts / Jethro
2.3 x 2.8"
Colored pencil on acid-free paper
Outcasts / Toby #3
1.5 x 3"
Colored pencil on acid-free paper
P-Tero Speciphicus
3.7 x 2.2"
Colored pencil on acid-free paper
Patriot Bird
3.7 x 3.5"
Colored pencil on acid-free paper
SOLD
Phatmos Springloch
2.5 x 4.5"
Colored pencil on acid-free paper
SOLD
Pheral Tagalong: Floro Plains
3 x 4"
Colored pencil on acid-free paper
Princess Akna
2.3 x 1.5"
Colored pencil on acid-free paper
Proto Zebex
2.3 x 2.4"
Colored pencil on acid-free paper
SOLD
A Question of Balance
4 x 6"
Water color on acid-free paper
SOLD
Remember Me
2 x 5"
Colored pencil on acid-free paper
Renée's Dogs
5 x 7"
Tint and colored pencil on acid-free paper
SOLD
The Revelation of Truth on the Last Moment
2.5 x 5.5"
Colored pencil on acid-free paper
Rock Hound Roo
3.5 x 3.5"
Pencil on acid-free paper
SOLD
Roo
3.5 x 3.5"
HD Archival Print #2 Pencil
SOLD
Sacred Place: Chippewa Hill
2.5 x 2.5"
Pencil on acid-free paper
SOLD
Sacred Places #1
3 x 4"
Ink and pencil on acid-free paper
SOLD
Sacred Places: Gateway
2.5 x 3.5"
Colored pencil on acid-free paper
Sacred Places: Sanger's Hogback
2.5 x 2.5"
Colored pencil on acid-free paper
SOLD
Sacred Places: Singing Rock Canyon
2.7 x 4"
Colored pencil on acid-free paper
SOLD
Sacred Places: Spencer's Ridge
2 x 2"
Colored pencil on acid-free paper
Sacred Places: Two Sisters Butte
2 x 2"
Colored pencil on acid-free paper
Saigon Matrix
3 x 1.5"
Tint on acid-free paper
Saigon: Saturday Night / July 1970
4 x 4"
Tint on acid-free paper
Sands of Mars
2.3 x 3"
Water color (?) on acid-free paper
Satrapes Domestica
2.0 x 4.0"
Colored pencil on acid-free paper
Satrapes Troglodactyl — Extinct
3.2 x 2.5"
Colored pencil on acid-free paper
Seeing Beyond Space and Time
2 x 2.5"
Colored pencil on acid-free paper
Sgt. Fowlmuth — Customs / Incoming
2 x 3.5"
Colored pencil on acid-free paper
Shadows on the Wall
2 x 3.8"
Colored pencil on acid-free paper
SOLD
Shadows on the Wall #2
3.5 x 3.5"
Colored pencil on acid-free paper
SOLD
Shadows on the Wall #3
2 x 6"
Colored pencil on acid-free paper
SOLD
Sky Over Podkamennaya Tunguska
2.8 x 2.8"
Tint on salvaged fabric and acid-free paper
Snake Heron
2.2 x 1.3"
Colored pencil on acid-free paper
Sunny and Bright
4.5 x 5.5"
Colored pencil on acid-free paper
SOLD
Supreme Dulex
2.0 x 2.5"
Colored pencil on acid-free paper
Suzanne with a "Z"
2 x 2.5"
Colored pencil on acid-free paper
Too Much
2.5 x 4.5"
Water color and ink on acid-free paper
Tribal Memory
3.7 x 4"
Ink and colored pencil on acid-free paper
The Ultimate State of Inert Uniformity of Krystal Moon
4 x 5"
Colored pencil on acid-free paper
V/Stol
3 x 3"
Tint on acid-free paper
SOLD
Valdor Doxis
2.5 x 2.5"
Colored pencil on acid-free paper
Vision Six
2.2 x 2.2"
Colored pencil on acid-free paper
SOLD
Why?
2 x 4.3"
Pencil on acid-free paper
Wize One
4.5 x 7.5"
Tint on acid-free paper
SOLD
X3Y2 / Terminator Prime
3.5 x 4"
Colored pencil on acid-free paper
Yeti Observation
3.5 x 6"
Colored pencil on acid-free paper
Zendorax Supremus
2.5 x 2.5"
Colored pencil on acid-free paper