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  • Born in 1947 in Massachusetts. Because my father was in the navy when I was a child our family moved frequently. I grew up all over the country. Then when I left home at 18 I began traveling in earnest, hitch-hiking several hundred thousand miles around North America. Also one time, just for fun, I walked on foot all the way from North Carolina to California. Over the years I worked at a variety of jobs, including three years as a street musician. I graduated from Wilmington College in Ohio in 1976. In 2003 I published a songbook of 88 original songs entitled "700 Miles Of Curves". For the past twenty-five years I have worked as a school teacher in San Francisco. I am now teaching Pre-school, and I teach all of my students to play the open tuned ukulele... one hand method.

    [Mark runs the Pacific Gap Folklore Center in San Francisco, where he teaches music lessons and collects folk songs performed by passers-by. He has compiled many of these spontaneous performances into a series of Pacific Gap Folklore Center Archive Recordings CDs. For more information on how to purchase these, contact him using the email link above.]

Art supplies (detail). Photo: B. Zedan. CC: BY-NC-SA

Mark S. Johnson Art Artillery

"I have friends who are artists. They use pen, pencils, brushes, things like that. Sometimes they refer to these tools as "art artillery". So I just wrote a song about these artists' tools. Because the song counters the normal meaning of "artillery" it is an anti-war song. Woody Guthrie wrote a song called 'Ladies' Auxiliary' which I patterned this song after."

  • While the earliest artists may have used sticks and fruit derived dyes, anything can be an art supply.
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