posted by Ian Summers on April 8th, 2013


Looking for a good beach read this summer? Every photographer ought to read this amazing fact-filled biography. Learn about the relationship between Leland Stanford who was the richest man in the American West, Railroad tycoon, California Governor, and founder of Stanford University with Edweard Muybridge who invented stop action photography among other things. He was also a real life murderer. I read it on the Kindle app with my iPad. 

I would like to hear your comments when you  have completed this action packed detailed account of the 19th Century wild and wooly west.

From the Backcover:

From Edward Bell, Book Award-winning author of Slaves in the Family, a riveting true life/true crime narrative of the partnership between the murderer who invented the movies and the robber baron who built the railroads. 

One hundred and thirty years ago Eadweard Muybridge invented stop-motion photography, anticipating and making possible motion pictures. He was the first to capture time and play it back for an audience, giving birth to visual media and screen entertainments of all kinds. Yet the artist and inventor Muybridge was also a murderer who killed coolly and meticulously, and his trial is one of the early instances of a media sensation. His patron was railroad tycoon (and former California governor) Leland Stanford, whose particular obsession was whether four hooves of a running horse ever left the ground at once. Stanford hired Muybridge and his camera to answer that question. And between them, the murderer and the railroad mogul launched the age of visual media.
Set in California during its frontier decades, The Tycoon and the Inventor interweaves Muybridge’s quest to unlock the secrets of motion through photography, an obsessive murder plot, and the peculiar partnership of an eccentric inventor and a driven entrepreneur. A tale from the great American West, this popular history unspools a story of passion, wealth, and sinister ingenuity.




posted by Ian Summers on April 5th, 2013

Thanks to Alfred A. Knopf Books you may receive a free poem each day during April as a gift to those who seek food for the soul. You can catch up by visiting Knopf’s Tumblr Site. Some of the poems contain poetry readings.


I have given members of my Think Tank groups a stretch: Find a line of poetry that feeds your soul and create artwork that is stimulated by the reading. Want to play in our sandbox? Send your artwork to me via and I will post it here.




posted by Ian Summers on February 23rd, 2013


I have been busy with several projects I want to share with you. 

The first is an exhibition of my artwork 

created during the past few years in the Lehigh Valley of PA.


Expressions of Easton

A solo show opens on First Friday, March 1st between 6 and 9 pm

and continues through March 31st

Santa Bannon Fine Art Gallery

And you are invited.

I will be presenting an artist’s talk at 7 PM entitled

Where Do Ideas Come From?

Santa Bannon Fine Art  Gallery is located on the first floor of the

Banana Factory

25 West Third Street, Bethlehem PA



Out the Window

62″ X 72″

Enamel and Acrylic on Stretched Canvas

Copyright 2009 Ian Summers 


A talk and demonstration based upon a series called

Conjured Faces

including over fifty finger paintings created on an iPad.

To be presented at the Olympus Digital Imaging Lab

at Artsquest’s Banana Factory 

First Friday Celebration

May 3rd from 6 – 9 PM EST



Conjured Face 179 

Copyright 2013 Ian Summers


Viewers only think they recognize the subjects of these iPad finger paintings. I don’t.  Likenesses are not intentional. However, humans are pattern recognizers. We are hard wired to make associations with abstractions. Perhaps it has something to do with fight or flight reflexes. It is natural to make the strange familiar. It keeps us safe. 

Creating conjured faces comes naturally to me. Making portraits does not. i struggle with likenesses. Yet viewers associate these conjurings with people they know.  When creating these images, I often begin with the nose. While it is not in my consciousness at that phase of the process, i think my internal synthesizer begins to put shapes together craving to take what starts out strange and to make it familiar. The process is very fluid meaning there really isn’t any conscious thought until the subject reveals itself.

This is the opposite of the ways I usually work. My approach has usually been about taking the familiar and making it strange.