Saturday, December 11, 2010

Vance with Kathleen Edwards in Malibu

Dear Ms. Haynes:

I only just heard of Vance's passing... I am so sorry for your loss.

Vance was a character...a unique personality that one never forgets! He and I were sweethearts for a short period of time when he lived in Woodland Hills, and in Malibu, CA. I thought you might enjoy having this picture of him with me, taken outside a Gallery in Malibu...

My condolences to you and your family...


Kathleen, "Kathie," Edwards

KB Edwards

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Portraits of Vance

We currently have information that there are at least three portraits of Vance.

The first portrait is an unsigned and undated pastel (dimensions TBS). According to Vance’s older daughter Athena Samuel and her mother Cynthia Samuel, it was painted by John Miller in New Orleans, when Vance was a portrait artist there in the late 1970’s. Vance framed this portrait and kept it in his possession until he died, after which it went to the collection of our mother, Shirley Lockwood, in Minneapolis. It was on display at Vance’s memorial art show and ceremony in Arizona in March of this year. We hope to soon post a photograph of this portrait on this blog, and will appreciate any additional information about it.

A second pastel portrait, of similar appearance, was painted by Vance in 1980, and is signed and dated. This portrait is owned by me, and I have uploaded a photograph of it on this blog. I remember Vance working on it when he was in Alexandria in 1979 and 1980, during which time he also painted portraits of my husband, Gen. Haynes, and me.

We have also received information that there is another self-portrait of Vance in his older daughter Athena's possession. We look forward to getting a photograph and information about this portrait.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Happy Birthday Dear Brother

Among my dearest memories of Vance were when he lived in Olde Town, Alexandria in 1979 and 1980. This self-portrait was from that period. When I visited him there he was often playing chess with Bill Paren, a collector of his art, and listening to Tomita's Debussy.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Sing the Song

A song from Vance's collection...

"Sing the Song"
From the Crusaders' album, Rural Renewal

Where do the hours go?
All the things that I love so—
I reach out,
They’re no longer there.

Life is the song I sing,
Flies away on silver wing,
Sing the song,
While the song is there.

Please somebody tell me,
When do I go there?
Please somebody tell me,
Nobody knows,
Nobody knows.

So I take every day,
Hold it ‘till it flies away,
Holding on,
‘Till the days are gone.

So I will sing my song,
Knowing it won’t be here long,
Sing the song
‘Till the song is gone.

And there’s you and there’s me,
And there’s what will be will be,
And if we open up our souls,
Maybe we’ll see,

Through the day, through the night,
I keep looking for the light,
Sometimes I think it’s just my soul
That sets me free.

So life is the song I sing,
Flies away on silver wing,
Sing the song,
While the song is there...

Sing the song
While the song is there.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

New Chronology Page

We have added a Chronology Page to this blog. It will be updated as we receive additions, clarifications, corrections, and other information from people who knew Vance. You can upload this under "Comments" below, or email your information to
We appreciate your input. Thank you.

From Kermit Breyer, Centennial, Colorado

March 01, 2010
I met Vance on June 15, 1996 at the Alfred Packer's Festival in Littleton, Colorado. From that time on we became good friends and he spent several summers in Colorado where he participated in many art shows and "camped out" at my house. He was a very generous person with a heart of gold. I, and several others in Colorado, will miss our summer get-togethers and have many memories of our friend. He is and will be missed.
Kermit Breyer,
Centennial, Colorado

Friday, April 30, 2010

Letters from Vance

Note the new page on this blog, "Letters from Vance." I will be periodically posting letters from my collection, which date back to 1970.

This letter from Vance he sent on our 54th birthday, June 2005.
The "new hunk" he is referring to is my good friend, NY artist Walter Gurbo.
Along with this letter Vance sent a crystal "Gemini" paperweight. He is comparing it to the crystal photographs of Masaru Emoto.


Monday, March 29, 2010

A Special Valentine from Sandra May Stevens

February 15, 2010

YESTERDAY, I planned to send a Valentine to you to say how often I think about you during the year, How much I miss you. That I hope your life is full of love and whatever feels successful to you, whatever feels like prosperity and wealth.

And I waited to call a friend until yesterday, but, in the morning his family called to say that he had passed away, departed the earth, alone in his bed a few days before and found on the 14th.

I had made my Valentines for you of ribbons and bows with glitters and feathers at his house in AZ in years past. My thoughts of Valentines, and messages slipped away as I thought of him and his life. He wasn't sure about an after life, uncertain about spirit enveloping us with a profound continuation of our essence when we depart this earth to experience more than we can see from this side of the veil.

I sent him my love, as I send to you now. And I send my need for you to know how you have touched my life, and that I would be less without our past. That I long for more of you in my future. That I hope and pray your days and nights are full of love, joy, that you never feel alone, or lonely.

I treasure our friendship and your thoughts of me yesterday and always!

With loving sparkles,
Roshan/Sandra May

From Tamera Lindsay

Hi, Valerie-
wanted to thank you (and all involved) for the great memorial party for Vance at Herold's. I so much enjoyed meeting you again and seeing so many of Vance's family and friends there. I just know that he was there smiling and dancing.

Vance did, indeed, live his life to the fullest and I was very grateful to have been able to reconnect with him in Arizona before he left this earth. He was my first mentor in the arts, having been just a teenager when I met him in Alexandria in 1979-80. I have to thank him, also, for being my first mentor of the Tarot, a great gift in my own and many others lives.

Bruce Swift mentioned that you are writing a book about him and his work. Feel free to contact me for any help that I may be able to impart. Thanks for being such a great sister.

Hoping your day is sunny and springlike--

Sunday, March 28, 2010

From Sydne Schinkel, Cave Creek AZ

Dear Valerie,
Wow! What a great site! Love your poems, and of course I've always loved Vance's art. He was truly one of the best fine artists ("real" artists) we ever knew. I seem to remember Vance mentioning that you were doing a book with your poems and his art, and I hoped to see it when it was finished. This website is wonderful and I am so glad you are doing it.

You might have wondered what it was that we had with Vance, besides arguing with him about whether or not there was an after life, which I trust he found out does exist. :-) We felt like family, as you know, and he used to confide things to us I don't think he told other people. When we first met him, he used to do and say things that were meant to shock us, but because we accepted him and didn't become shocked by what he said or did, we became good friends. I was brought up by artists and there were some very "weird" stories about my "wild" grandfather when I was growing up, so Vance was just a true artist to me. It was expected that he was different. His art was absolutely amazing!

Some of the most cherished memories Thom and I have, of the times we spent with Vance over the years we knew him, were the times we went over to his house and sat there with him all night watching him paint or do pastels! He loved to work at night, and we loved watching him create art. We'd put some music on the stereo and he'd work on a painting for a few hours and then switch to another one, and it was always SO awesome to witness his freedom of expression and the spontaneity with which he attacked the canvas. The beauty he created on the canvas was magical. We learned so much from him about creating abstract art and he was the inspiration for many of my ceramics works. He used to visit my studio and critique my ceramic art, and show me how to "loosen up" the application of oil colors which I applied to some of my large vessels. He loved Thom's and my work, and he was our best friend for many years.

After Thom became sick from the hormones and antibiotics in beef, we stopped accepting Vance's invitations to come over for one of his famous barbecued steak dinners, and there started to be a gap in our relationship. He started hanging around with different people and got his first illness right after that. We spent numerous hours trying to explain that he had to change his diet, but your brother had his own ideas, bless him, and would agree with us in person and then eat everything he wanted to again after we'd gone.

We visited him a few times while he was in the hospital the first time, and then we went to Belize for about 5 or 6 weeks, and when we returned, we couldn't find him. He had been forced out of his beautiful home, and we heard he lived in an apartment in Carefree someplace. His cell phone had been changed, so we couldn't phone him. Thom went looking for him at some of his favorite haunts, and finally asked the bartender at Harold's to let Vance know we were looking for him. A couple of weeks later, we got a call from him, and he told us of the bad news that the doctors had given him. Thom tried to get him to go to a healing center in Mesa, but he wasn't interested. His friends had changed and our relationship had become very polite and distant. - We loved Vance and I know he loved us, so it was very sad that we lost touch with him towards the end. I know we will see him again in the big after-life party, so I am happy about that. :-)

And I am very glad you are making such a wonderful site for his work and embellishing his art with your poems. I am sending the site url on to some other friends who knew him.
If you would like a photo of the pastel that we have, let me know and I will take a digital photo and send it to you. I am glad we are staying in touch.

Much love and many blessings,

Friday, March 26, 2010

Running As Free As The Wind

This pastel is the companion piece to Catch Your Dreams Like Thunder. Both were painted during Vance's California period. Prints were made of both works, and they were often sold together.

Vance A. Larson Biographical Site Launched

We are very pleased to launch this new blog dedicated to collecting biographical materials--stories, photopraphs, and videos--of Vance A. Larson.