Thursday, July 28, 2011

New Work

The Absolution of Man. John Coltrane
24x36" $800

Full Blue. J.J. Johnson
44x16" Framed $750

Sad, Old Duke. Duke Ellington
25x31" $800

24x36" $1020

Father Drum. Art Blakey
18x24" $500

 Dreams Courtesy of Bill Evans
12x16" Framed $400

 Far Sight. Bob Marley
20x16" $500

 Buddy Guy
36x24" $600

 Ron Carter
20x20" $550

Corey Harris, Dread inna Delta
16x20" $480

 Devil Music. Robert Johnson
24x30" $888

 Dizzy Gillespie
24x30" $800

36x24" $980

 Strong Arm of Elvin. Elvin Jones
33x21" $730

Fusing. Fela Kuti
18x24" $580

 The Gears of Mingus. Charles Mingus
20x16" $500

 Passing of the Ruler. Gregory Isaacs
20x16" $400

McCoy Tyner and the Rest of Us
27x24" $750

 Miles Away. Miles Davis
16x20" $550

14x23" $530

 Thelonius Geometrics (updated 2011)
24x30" $800

 Queen Nina, Muthaf*ka. Nina Simone
12x12" $300

Screams of the Paper Doll. Billie Holiday
16x20" $400

 BlueBeck. Dave Brubeck
30x24" $580

 Son of the Delta. Son House
20x16" $400

Taj Mahal in Port Townsend
35x20" $800

Painting the Sounds of America
Jesse Joshua Watson

This body of work is part of the story of our music. Just one small part. Though in school we are presented with a history that is much more centered around wars, this history is as vast and intriguing as it is fundamental to our development as a culture. The story of our music is the story of us.

For my part, I did my best to fall into the music and become absorbed by it. I tried to allow problems in to the paintings so that I could adapt and improvise visual solutions, in the same way jazz musicians find sound solutions. I felt myself getting caught up in the moment, that fleeting, timeless instant of ecstasy. 
To purchase artwork, go see the work in person at the Public House in Port Townsend, or you can email Jesse directly:


Thursday, June 30, 2011

Old before the New

This vid was down for some reason this past year, but I just found it up on Youtube again so I am sharing it again.

This video represents a decade of focus on a subject dear to my heart.


Saturday, April 23, 2011

Espwa Pou Ayiti! Finally, a Haitian Kreyol translation of Hope for Haiti

Check it! I am so stoked!

Words are not enough to express my gratitude to the Pearson Foundation, Penguin Young Readers Group, and On My Mind Foundation, for making this happen. I am flying down to Haiti next week to bring kids this translation. I saw the expressions on the faces of the children I showed the English version to. They were like, "Hey! That kid looks like me. Hey! That looks like Haiti!" But they still required someone to translate the book on the spot. But now they get to experience it in a much more personal and meaningful. This could not have happened without Joanis Normil, president of On My Mind Foundation, who has skillfully translated the text into Kreyol.

As I reflect on my career and the twists and turns it takes me down, I admit that it would be nice to sell lots of books and earn royalties so that I can buy food for my kids and pay my bills. But in all truth, it is more important for me to be able to use the book as a tool for change in this world we live in. I am grateful for how my meager talents have been transformed through the work of so many, into a vehicle for hope and change and inspiration. This is collaboration at its best. From the editorial skills of Susan Kochan, the design brilliance of Cecilia Yung, art director of Putnam, and the encouragement and guidance of Rubin Pfeffer, my agent.

I also want to thank all of you, my dear friends, who have donated items or money in support of the trip next week. I will be buying the last of the soccer equipment on Monday and whatever money is left will come down with me and be left with the amazing organizations we work with in Haiti. Your generosity inspires me that not all hope is lost in the world. Not yet, anyhow.

Here are some links. Please support these organizations that strive to bring education and hope to the youth.

We Give Books



Friday, April 08, 2011

Help me bring love to Haiti

Haitian children playing soccer

Hello, my friends. 

Last September I travelled to Haiti and many of you helped me bring gifts for some of the kids I encountered. And let me tell you, those kids were really excited to get a brand new soccer ball and pump! It may sound like a trivial matter, but for kids who have missed out on much of the childhood they deserve to enjoy, a soccer ball can become an invaluable resource. Play is powerful. Imagination and hope are kept alive and vital by play. It is what we do to elevate our minds from difficult times, and Haiti has had plenty of those. 

Click on the Paypal button below and donate whatever you would like. I will buy the equipment right before I go down on April 28, and anything left over in the account will go to the organizations that are running the schools we will be visiting. 

Thank you. 

Haitian children playing soccer

Haitian children playing soccer

Header image

Use Paypal to donate money for sporting equipment that I will be delivering to kids in Haiti. Here are average prices for items I will be buying. You can choose to give whatever you like. Like my last trip, I will purchase all of the equipment shortly before leaving, allowing for the maximum amount of time for donations to be raised. Any money left over after the purchase will go to the groups I visit in Port au Prince.

Soccer Ball $15 -25
Ball Pump $9
Soccer Cleats $25-55

Thank you for doing something to make the lives of Haitian kids a little brighter. Your generous support means so much to me. Thank you.

Join me in support of Haitian children

Join me in supporting the children in Haiti through the non profit organization,

ON MY MIND Foundation!

Providing Hope to Children Through Playful Learning

Mission Statement: Our mission is to fight despair and illiteracy in children through playful and alternative learning in areas of need around the world.

Purpose Statement: ON MY MIND Foundation deploys a simple yet globally replicable program that clearly demonstrates the IMPACT of imaginative education on the real lives of children struggling for survival against all odds.

Our Tactics
  • ON MY MIND Foundation provides in-kind support and financial resources to teachers, called F.I.R.E. Starters™ and schools dedicated to alternative education.
  •  We are committed to creating a world-wide inventory of replicable models in “field-adapted” educational curriculum and to providing regular reports to the public via multi-media channels on our successes and challenges.
  •  OMM instructors, F.I.R.E. Starters, teach in accord with the core philosophy of the OMM Foundation, restoring play and hope in broken children by focusing on fun through literacy, music, arts, and athletics.
  •  Current programs are being developed in Haiti with expansion in other countries expected in 2012.
For more information visit or find us on Facebook (On My Mind Foundation).

Saturday, March 26, 2011


WATCH this vid, please. If you don't have long, skip into it about 7 minutes.

Thanks to Ben Hodson for the link!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Haiti standing with Japan

A friend posted this video by David Darg of Haitian kids who lived through one disaster, feeling for those living through this new disaster. It is a beautiful glimpse into the hearts of kids who are connected well beyond the physical and cultural borders. This is what we should all feel whenever we find out our brothers and sisters are suffering, no matter where. One world. One love.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

DIE HAPPY! part two

above: Pay to Play. Ink, Acrylic on Canvas. ~16" x 20"
For a long time, the only way you could ride these was if you took the poor man's chairlift. 

above: Out of the Pipe. Ink, Acrylic on Antique drawer w/ brass handle.  ~16" x 20"
The speed required to really get up out of the pipe is crazy. Especially the big half pipes. 

above: Damien! Ink, Acrylic on Canvas. ~24" x 18"
In high school one of my best friends was Damien Sander's younger brother. So, inevitably, I ended up idolizing the dude. He tweaked so hard the earth tilted. I remember going to little skate contests he put on for local kids. First air I ever pulled on a skateboard was on his ramp. Scared the hell out of me but landing it was an epiphany.

above: Arc. Ink, Acrylic on Canvas. ~48" x 24"
Tricks come and go. This is forever. The arc.

above: Uplift. Ink, Acrylic on KAPAbloc. ~20" x 16"
I have not skied in a long time, but I still appreciate the ninja like style of these airs.

 above: Take Off. Ink, Acrylic on Linen. ~30" x 24"
It is all about the search for boostables along the way.

above: Hawaiian Air. Ink, Acrylic on Canvas. ~24" x 36"
In Washington, come winter, we have a winter paradise. But wouldn't you know it? That's when the tropical itch kicks in.

above: Deep Meditation. Ink, Acrylic on Panel. ~32" x 22"
At the end of the day, a good powder run can do more good than six months on a shrink's couch.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011


Here is maybe one third of the new show. I am still finishing up and shooting the rest. Forgive the poor quality of the shots. I figure I will get em shot for real when my main man photog is back in town, but for now this should give the eyes a preview. 

DIE HAPPY! is a show that has been simmering for a while. Crock Pot style. I started some of these pieces over a year and a half ago and have finally found the end of the tunnel on this show and am thrilled it is now coming into the light. Clearly this show is inspired and born of the surf art I have done. Same technique: coagulated ink and acrylic on various surfaces. The figures, for the most part, are shadowy memories, fantasies, or apparitions of either myself or you. There are a few exceptions where I had someone in particular in mind, but mostly, these are the dreams of a caged mind. 

DIE HAPPY! may sound all black makeup and angry faces, but I assure you, it is not. It is about the bliss that is right here at your fingertips. To pass up the pleasures of life when they are just waiting for you to indulge seems such a waste. More sad than dying. And what for? So that you can spend your time chasing stuff? Worrying about tomorrow? Hell, we all gotta go, right? 

The iconic image that shares the same name as the show is of a couple embracing, right off the slopes and cliff, and into eternity. The moment I touched the brush to the canvas I knew it would carry the banner for the entire show, and for my deep desire for you and for me. That desire? I do not know what awaits us after the final dawn, but I would hate to squander the precious minutes I am given to enjoy right here, right now. 

As far as the subject matter, this is just another example of painting what I love. I love the snow. I love to ski and snowboard and have since I was a pup, but it is expensive. And my knees are thrashed, so even if I had the dough, I would have to take it easy and go just a few times a season. So, I have been away for a long time. I see cars with boards pass by and I long to be arcing through deep powder. And I hope I can again soon. But until then, this show will suffice. 

I hope you enjoy. Enjoy the art. Enjoy your lives. Do not waste them. If you find yourself halfway through a wasted life, it is not too late. Today is today. Tomorrow can figure itself out.

You want one for your wall? Comment or email me: if you are interested. I am intending to exhibit the entire show at a big gallery somewhere, but until that falls into place, my studio can be your gallery. You want bigger or better shots of any piece, just let me know. I am happy to show more. And, when the rest are up, I will post them as well. 


above: DIE HAPPY! Ink, Acrylic on Linen. ~36" x 36"
If I fall tomorrow, may I run today. May I fly.

above: Morning Promise. Ink, Acrylic on Canvas. ~24" x 30"
The ferry over at dawn is always full of the promise of a sick day.

above: 401K. Ink, Acrylic on Linen. ~24" x 30"
For me, the real investment lies in experiences like this one. Hazy brained on a chairlift, feeling at one with the universe. 

above: Back Nine. Ink, Acrylic on Board. ~28" x 12"
I carry such a vivid memory of hitting the backside of Steven's after a huge dump of powder. Best day on the mountain ever. No comparrison.

above: Tracking the Boundless Mind. Ink, Acrylic on Panel. ~30" x 30"
All that remains are the impressions. So much like life.

 above: Withdrawal. Ink, Acrylic on Cork. ~19" x 10"
I'll take air over cash any day. 

above: HIGH. Ink, Acrylic on driftwood. ~24" x 20"
I wanna get high, so high. Boosting over the foolishness of a mad world. 

above: Life Insurance. Ink, Acrylic on KAPAbloc. ~10" x 20"
There is no such thing as life insurance. Other than insuring that you live it to the fullest!

above: Mars Rovers. Ink, Acrylic on Some weird surface. ~24" x 10"
Exploration. First tracks. Ah. Nothing better.  

above: Pathfinder. Ink, Acrylic on Panel. ~12" x 38"
Making a way through the ancient ones. What would they tell you? Bloom where you are planted. 

above: Ron's Palace. Ink, Acrylic on Canvas. ~24" x 30"
My buddy Ron on his mountain mansion. 

above: Tastes Like Another. Ink, Acrylic on Birch. ~30" x 30"
Like my bro Matt always says (about beer). The last run is hard to find. Mostly because it always tastes like another. 
One more, baby. I promise.....