The Murder Diary a study in madness

Once upon a time I did a 3 part painting. The paintings were to document the slow decent of a nameless murderer into the depths of madness. I wanted a feel to this that would reflect a journal or diary who’s author had decided that writing was not adequate to tell his story. Instead he opted to use a mixture of scribble and doodles. These doodles evolved and took over, much like the voices in the author’s head.

At the time I did these paintings I’d been reading a lot of Stephen King. King had a phrase that I figured would work well with my paintings, the phrase was Dead Lights. King also had a book out called Insomnia. In Insomnia the hero could see a person’s soul connected to their bodies via a thread of light. Perfect! I wanted my mad journalist to show the souls of those whom he’d harvested. The dead lights and Soul Strings would work perfectly! Below is the first evolved entry into what my mad author would call the Murder Diary.

We see our hatchet wielding psycho sitting in an alley, his identity is not really his own any longer. Rather his should is just another Dead Light looking to be released but held in place by life.

Diary Entry 1. 

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Diary Entry 2.

Here we see the subject expressing his fear of his psychiatrist and perhaps a fear of the entire study of the human condition. His doctor is portrayed as a clinical monster who is actually a bit more frightening than the leather clad BDSM practitioner melded to the to it’s body. In the background we see a grasping Soul String reaching out to grab hold of the Doctor’s soul? Or is is it repelled by a soullessness? The author undoubtably wishes he could learn more with his trusty ax.


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Diary Entry 3.

Clearly we see a total breakdown and embrace of madness by the diary’s author. Our hatchet fiend no longer trying to cling to reality. Instead he has become a raging avatar of death swimming in blood. Who is the figure in the upper corner? Is it perhaps an angel who the author feels might save him? Or is the figure at the bottom his savior? There is obviously a separation of the two, we can wee this via the severed Soul String.

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Where does our story go from here? I can’t say, the above entry was the last.


Once again location is Golden!

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Recently I was hired to do a photo that a new client could use as a head shot to go on his business card & for Social Media.

I met with Jamie Campbell at a Starbucks in Murfreesboro, TN. We chatted for a bit to get an idea of what he wanted. Over the next hour we shot at a few decent locations and while we got some workable shots I felt we had not hit the mark yet. I mentioned to my client that I’d like to shoot one more set at a local train depot just off Main St. Jamie was game.

As we drove into the parking lot and I then set up my gear an engine pulled up. Together we walked around to the back of the depot and there we struck gold. My client who’d be a bit restrained during the shoot was all smiles and enthusiasm! We shot that last set and it was a night and day difference! We ended up with some very good shots from that last set and he ended up buying a few extra photos. I honestly feel that the location made my client transform from a guy being photographed to one who was alive in the moment and environment.




Do not mourn too greatly, celebrate the memories of the deceased! Offer up candied sugar skulls, drinks, baubles & more upon the altars of their personage whether those altars are physical of ethereal! Let the Mictecacihuatl, Lady of the Dead take up your offerings and rejoice.

Mictecacihuatl, “Lady of the Dead” series is my offering to all. Enjoy the works of Jerry Winnett’s Grindhouse Photography and Nashville artist Ash Soto. Enjoy and repost this blog for the enjoyment of others!

“The Mexican . . . is familiar with death, jokes about it, caresses it, sleeps with it, celebrates it; it is one of his favorite toys and his most steadfast love.” – Octavio Paz

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All of the above are for sale as individual prints. If you’re interested in purchasing one or more or if you’re interested in hiring Jerry Winnett’s Grindhouse Photography to photograph you or your event email me to hire Ash Soto as a model or for her Make Up services then see her at

The Random and the Purpose…

Sometimes as a designer and photographerI forget that art is not 100% control. When it comes to graphic design, the process may end up looking controlled, like a scientific process but it’s nori. It does not start off that way. In photography control is an illusion. You are either capturing the randomness of life around you, or you’re creating the moment with lights and make up and such. Even when the image turns out pretty much exactly how you wanted it there is still the random to balance and enhance the purpose. I’m working on a painting and in this the random is even more present and it can be at times so very hard to let the random have it’s lead. Still when I do remember it, it’s presence seldom steps wrong.