Auction Winner Hits Decatur


Arriving around 6pm yesterday, Roger (on the left) and I had engaging conversations over dinner at a local French place and came back to the studio to choose a painting and get in a caricature before it got too late.

Around 1am, it was time to call it. I had a blast and Roger was a highly entertaining guest. It couldn't have worked out better!

Comments (11)

I'm glad it worked out so well for you guys. Your auction was a neat idea. Way to think outside the box. :)


Lucky duck!

Roger Parian:

Dinner with John Cox – the true story.

Actually I arrived at exactly 5pm at John's place in Decatur and John came out to welcome me. After getting to know a little about John’s work, back-ground, and life situation, he showed me some drawing techniques. He explained about his cartooning and how he used the computer in his work. I explored his studio. He taught me about oils, sketching and design elements. John goes a mile a minute and I could tell he loves his work. He offered me a beer and we relaxed on the front porch of his apartment building. After a little more of my questioning back in the studio, we walked a few blocks to have dinner at John’s favorite place, the lovely-cozy Cafe Alsace.

We began with the pleasant and fruity 2001 Pinot Gris and a spread of bread, assorted cheeses, grapes and walnuts while we continued getting to know each other. Salads followed and then the delicious main course arrived. We ordered more of the Pinot Gris from the French speaking waitress who humored me and my poor French. By now John and I were into a serious discussion of Art as in ART ― philosophically and in reality. Was photography art? What was fine art and what other kinds of arts are there? It was intoxicating. I was ready to kiss the waitress’s arm. John is amazing, and like strangers who sit next to each other on a plane and bare all, we shared secrets over the homemade blackberry pie. Forget the diet; this was too great to pass up. After dinner, John walks us to the “Sage on Sycamore” Bistro were John buys me yet another drink ― an after dinner night-cap. The bar mistress offers us a taste of her latest invention. Something like a cucumber gimlet maybe? She pulls out the bowl of sliced cuc’s to prove it. I said she’d be better off putting them on her eyes and not in a drink. That didn’t help further my chances of kissing her arm.

John and I strolled back to his place around 10pm on a pleasant, full-moon evening with the scent of spring flowers in the air. Our discussion of the meaning of art, life and existence continues. I’m bowled over with how much fun this is. If you get a chance, do it with John! You know what I mean, this dinner, and see what the artist does and how he does it. This will be copied, I guarantee it.

John showed and explained more of his paintings than I could have imagined. He demanded that I vote “Yes, possible,” I like it, or “No, not interested” and refrain from explaining why. I couldn’t do it. I had seen many of his works on his website but seeing them live, full-size, and with the artist explaining blew me away. I got it down to eight “Yes, Possible” and three “Absolutely love these”. How do you decide? Did he ply me with liquor? Of course I was high, but I really like a lot of his work. It was tough, but finally I picked the one that was promised as part of the auction (don’t tell the wife but I even picked up two more for a song. God she’s going to kill me… just kidding. No she’s not, but she’ll be jealous I had such a good time without her and without another woman, that’s all).

It’s late but John does this really funny characterization of me and shows me how he works with water colors. Earlier he had gone over oil painting techniques and his processes from substrate to clean-up. John taught me about how some of the masters worked and lived. He showed me the evolution of Rembrandt’s work. I got him to look at the work of William Adolphe Bouguereau and he explained how Bouguereau accomplished his magic.

Around 1am, I book a motel room; John makes a map to get me there, and then helps me load the paintings in my car. We shake and say good night and wish each other well. I’m off and promptly get pulled over for DUI… no, no no, I promptly get lost. But, I don’t care, ‘cause I can hardly sleep with all the new ideas in my head. I replay the evening in my mind as I finally find the motel and get to doze off around 2am.

This “Dinner with John” worked out better than I imagined. John, can you copy-write the idea? You should; you came up with a winner, and I thank you from the bottom of my horny heart. (OMG! Was it better than __? In a weird way, it was.) What a neat visit and great opportunity to enjoy the company of, not only a terrific artist, but also a very funny and interesting guy. Anyone who thinks I am lucky is absolutely correct.

John, this was the greatest idea; even if it did begin as a possible April Fool’s Day joke in your mind. If the joke was on me, I loved it. You ought to offer others the same opportunity, but charge more. I got a steal, no doubt about it. It’s worth a lot more than I paid. You are free to use this recommendation to make it happen again. I wish you success and happiness in all your future projects.

Your old fan and new friend,
Roger Parian


Roger, you look eerily similar to my academic advisor. (Dr. Burke?!)



Roger, you look eerily similar to my academic advisor. (Dr. Burke?!)




Do I see a possible HBO Special in the offing? "A Night With John Cox" would be a good working title.


I look eerily in general but you didn't have to rub it in twice. I'm often mistaken for someone I'm not. Apparently someone is cloning me and one of my clones is your academic advisor; another manages a Piggly Wiggly store somewhere in South Georgia; no telling where there might be more of me. Knowing the real me, Kate, I advise you to get your own PhD and get the heck away from that clone. He's old enough to be your grandfather which only proves that there is still a hazard in the cloning process. At least John makes me look good in our picture. {:>)


You're account was dead on! I believe I was a bit distracted with the possibility of over-loading the "art" thing, but your attitude and enthusiam was infectious. I'm more than happy with the result and I look forward to diung it again. You set the bar pretty dang high, sir. You brought a zeal and an energy that I enjoyed trying to match.

Best part? Realizing and experiencing a new friendship based on the mutual appreciation of excellence and perseverance.

Thanks for bringing all that to the party!

Tom Wms.:

John, Roger:

It looks like you guys had a great evening. Roger, you are right about John being talented and interesting. But, I have know John a few years. We also had dinner the week before you were there, but I had to pay and it was at a dart throwing/pool playing joint in Decatur. I enjoyed the heck out of it.

Thanks for sharing your account of the night, Roger. You've painted it so vividly and made the rest of us envious. It sounds almost magical. :)


I'm with Garandfan, but I would have said, "Lucky Bassett"...or something like that.


John Cox is a painter, cartoonist, and illustrator for hire. For information about purchasing existing work or commissioning new work, contact him by e-mail at john555cox [at] hotmail.com.

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