What I Wanted to Say …

by John Bloner, Jr. This is my final article as Racine Writer-In-Residence as I will hand off its baton to the next honoree on July 1st. Thank you to ArtRoot, the Osborne & Scekic Family Foundation, Nick Ramsey, and the Racine Literacy Council for their support and encouragement. Over the past six months, the Krazines,…

Mattias and I: A True Story

When I came across Mattias’ work five or six years ago, I became captivated by his highly-populated cityscapes and his rooms stuffed with bric-a-brac and odd technology. This is the kind of art I want to make!, I told myself.

My Kind of Town: Kenosha

don’t get around much anymore. That’s not just a song title or a result of the pandemic, it’s a fact of my life. Long-distance travel doesn’t suit me. I’ve tried to stuff my 6’3 frame into an airline’s economy class seat and found Houdini couldn’t escape from a space that tight. When my family would travel to Yellowstone or other spots when I was young, I was left behind in the care of my aunt. They did not want to be on a car ride with me then, and you don’t want me as a passenger with you today. It’s a good thing I’ve learned to bloom where I was planted: Kenosha, Wisconsin, the fourth largest city in our state, nestled on the shore of the second largest of the Great Lakes, Lake Michigan.

Mixing It Up

Call Me DJ Jazzy Johnny. My younger self could make a pretty cool mixtape, first on cassette and later on CD. I never played them in clubs – I cannot stay up past ten o’clock, and I hate crowds, even in pre-COVID times. Nowadays, I prefer to mix things up on paper or canvas instead.

Stop Fretting and Start Drawing

Author and pigeon-fancier Julia Cameron nearly ruined my life. Almost 30 years ago, I delved into Cameron’s self-help book, The Artist’s Way, following her instructions of writing several pages every morning until I had filled enough notebooks to make my home a fire hazard

Simply Ducky

How often do you think about Donald Duck? Until recently, the Disney character didn’t occupy much of my grey matter. When my daughter was small, she’d roar when I would gargle a rough imitation of Donald’s exasperated, unintelligible, spit-flying, duck-speak. That was a long time ago, though.

Taking the Alphabet for a Walk

What did you want to be when you grew up? Except for a brief period as a young teen when I wanted to race stock cars (despite hating to work with my Dad on the family auto), I loved to write stories and draw pictures.