2018: The Year in Covers




December 31, 2018


Photography and Text by Tony Ward, Copyright 2018


As 2018 draws to a close, I would like to thank all of my contributing writers, associates and affiliates for the many compelling articles I’ve had the pleasure of posting over the past year. This gallery of covers represents the diversity of articles and creative talent I’ve had the blessing to work with over the past twelve months, as we converged on a variety of topics ranging from politics to art. The 2018 contributors list includes: Kathryn Brooks, Summer Thomkins, KVaughn, Stanek Gallery, George Krause, Catherine Trifiletti, A.H. Scott, Bob Shell, Mikala Mikrut, Suzaan Talib, Robert Asman, Ed Simmons, Thomcat23, and our newest contributing writer, Katie Kerl.


Happy New Year!



Posted in Art, Blog, Books, Cameras, Early Work, Erotica, Fashion, Film, Glamour, Models, News, Nudes, Photography, Politics, Popular Culture, Portraiture, Store, women

Larry Francis: The City in a New Light


Larry Francis: The City in a New Light


Larry Francis: The City in a New Light

January 4 – 26, 2019

Opening Reception: Friday, January 4, 5 – 7 pm

Gross McCleaf Gallery

127 S. Sixteenth Street


Philadelphia, Pa. 19102



Fishing at Midvale: Oil on Canvas. 36″x30″


My subject is the city, the world outside my door. These paintings are straightforward representations of the things I see. There is a bit of magic in the early morning light on a wall, the cacophony of colorful signs in a shop window, or along a thoroughfare, and the reflections of light sparkling on the river. All these bits of life, and the sense of human habitation within the city, are important to me. – Larry Francis


Many painters have captured scenes of everyday life, however, the paintings of Larry Francis are full of a glowing delight, derived from a fascination with the atmosphere of city life. Philadelphia is a frequent subject of his work, the pieces reflecting the personality of the industrial, yet often quaint, metropolis. Some of his paintings find nooks of the city that are serene; the secluded neighborhoods and parks that visitors do not always get the chance to see. Some are more active scenes; the bustling downtown areas and buildings that are more iconic to Philadelphia and the surrounding areas. Francis uses gouache and oil paint to capture the light of the golden hour of the city with warm, luminous hues. He renders the most beautiful days in Fairmount Park, with crystal clear reflections of the sky on the water of the Schuylkill River. His paintings are refreshingly straightforward – nothing seems to be hidden – yet they often leave the viewer curious to learn more of the story. The joy infused into these works is infectious, and viewers might find themselves feeling nostalgic for a place they have never been. Larry Francis has been showing with Gross McCleaf Gallery since 1982, and is currently an instructor in painting at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, where he studied from 1967 to 1971.


About The Artist:



Portrait of Larry Francis


Larry Francis is a Philadelphia native who has painted on the streets of the city from the early part of his life in art. Larry studied painting at PAFA where he was awarded the J. Henry Schiedt European Traveling Scholarship in 1970. His first big solo show was held at the Peale House Galleries of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in 1979. Over the years, Mr. Francis has received a number of awards; a few are the Julius Hallgarden Prize from the Academy of Design N. Y. in 1972, Mary Butler Award from the Fellowship of the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts 1996, Charles Knox Smith Founders Prize at the Woodmere Art Museum 2002, and a Prize for Painting at Cheltenham Art Center in 2011 and 2018. HIs work is in many public and private collections including the Noyes Museum of New Jersey, Woodmere Museum in Chestnut Hill, Federal Reserve Bank ,Philadelphia and Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts Museum. Mr. Francis shows his work at the Gross McCleaf Gallery, where he has had a dozen solo shows. Larry can be seen in the short film “ Larry Francis: Painting Philadelphia, by John Thornton. Larry teaches Landscape Painting and Drawing at the PAFA.

Posted in Art, Blog, Documentary, Exhibits, News, Popular Culture

A.H. Scott: Crumblin Dice



Crumblin Dice & Codename: Oh No


Commentary by A.H. Scott, Copyright 2018






I bet you know the tune “Accentuate the Positive”, which includes the line of ‘don’t mess with mister in between’. Well, now I want to introduce you to “Mr. Even If”. You know him, he’s the man of orange glow, who denies the rumors and then admits that they might be true; based simply on his admittance of the following: “Even if I did it…..”

He’s done this when musing on his pursuing The Moscow Tower Project and then the later payments to Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal.

THE WASHINGTON TIMES NEWSPAPER – Thursday, November 29, 2018:

Faced with Cohen’s new story, the president offered a new argument of his own. He said there “would have been nothing wrong” if the Trump Organization had struck a money-making deal with the Russians during the campaign.

“Even if he [Cohen] was right, it doesn’t matter, because I was allowed to do whatever I wanted to during the campaign,” Mr. Trump said. “I was running my business. We had a position to possibly do a deal to build a building of some kind in Moscow. I decided not to do it. The primary reason was very simple — I was focused on running for president. There would be nothing wrong if I did do it.”

The president said he has often “joked” about being the only presidential candidate in 2016 who was simultaneously trying to run a business. He said he had to consider the possibility that he might lose the presidential race.

(Source: Dave Boyer at The Washington Times – Thursday, November 29, 2018 –  https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2018/nov/29/donald-trump-says-cohen-weak-person-asserts-he-was/)

2 PRESIDENTIAL TWEETS VIA TWITTER – Monday, December 10, 2018:

(First of 2 tweets)

“Democrats can’t find a Smocking Gun tying the Trump campaign to Russia after James Comey’s testimony. No Smocking Gun…No Collusion.” @FoxNews  That’s because there was NO COLLUSION. So now the Dems go to a simple private transaction, wrongly call it a campaign contribution,…” – 5:46 AM – 10 Dec 2018

(Second of 2 tweets)

….which it was not (but even if it was, it is only a CIVIL CASE, like Obama’s – but it was done correctly by a lawyer and there would not even be a fine. Lawyer’s liability if he made a mistake, not me). Cohen just trying to get his sentence reduced. WITCH HUNT!” – 6:00 AM – 10 Dec 2018

(Source: Twitter @realDonaldTrump – Monday, December 10, 2018)

To me, it’s bad enough that he lies as easily as he breathes. But, what takes it to another level is his vile ability to turn the tables of what’s real upside down with coming right to that edge of justification in saying, ‘even if’. He just has the stones to say that with a verbal shrug, realizing the members of his Republi-Cult will keep their mouths shut, ears closed and minds stilled in fear of retribution by him.

And, as for the Democrats who are taking the majority in January, they seem scattered on what they want to do. I’ll give this to the Republicans (and, it’s sad to acknowledge it), but when they focus on one thing, they move in unison as a fist. I chuckle sometimes for the Democrats who always find a way to try to be fair; even when being fair means coming out on the short end of the stick.

Democrats in the House Leadership shouldn’t be squeamish in bringing up discussion of impeachment.

During Watergate, there were three of five Articles of Impeachment against President Richard Nixon that passed:

Article 1 – Obstruction of Justice

(Cover-up of Watergate break-in)

Article 2 – Abuse of Power

(Improper administration of justice)

Article 3 – Contempt of Congress

(Failure to comply with subpoenas)

In the matter of President Donald Trump, the possibility of the fifth article that failed during the Watergate scandal could possibly pass through committee today:

Article 5 – Failure to pay taxes

(What’s in his tax returns?)

As days pass and the apathy from the Republicans continue, it proves that Richard Nixon ain’t got sh*t on Donald Trump. I bet the Quaker from Whittier is scoffing from his perch in the afterlife at this ongoing travesty.

The breadth of what surrounds the Trump investigation makes the Watergate scandal seem like tiddlywinks, because of one difference; a foreign nation has their hooks into our democratic process. And, for that alone, impeachment should be first, second, and last on the list of things needing to get done from the incoming Congress in January 2018.

To the House Democrats, I have something to say: “If President Trump wants the Wall. Give it to him. USE THE BRICKS OF IMPEACHMENT TO BECOME THE WALL OF JUSTICE!”



Caught with his hand in the cookie jar

He’s Mr. Even If

You know him

Starts off as a denier of truth

Yet, as time shakes the crumbs from his hand, he flips the response again and again

He’s Mr. Even If

That’s what he said

Because, Even If he had done it, it wouldn’t be at all bad

Mr. Even If is a droplet of mercury

Look at him slide

And, he does it with a furious thumb or snickering pride

“No Collusion!” is parroted like a reflex

Tower of proposal brushed with invisible paint

He’s new to this line of work, so don’t hold his feet to the fire

And, his ex-fixer has gotta be a liar

But, Even If he wasn’t, this is just about sex

“No Sex With Them Broads!”

Ain’t you heard what he done said

Yet, then again, Mr. Even If flips it off one more time

Even If he paid ‘em off, he said that ain’t no crime

Crumbs on his fingers

Crumbs on his soul

Crumbs on the resolute desk are getting out of control

Mr. Even If is playing his role

“CODENAME: OH NO” might fit his name

But, the truth is that his tongue is staked by another in the global game

Ladies and gentlemen, let me introduce you to Dazhe Yesli

This is “CODENAME: OH NO’s” proper moniker

Google Translate will show you the way

With Mr. Even If, what’s real and fake is in constant shift

Now let the crumbs of obfuscation make your intelligence drift


About The Author: A.H. Scott is a poet based in New York City and frequent contributor to Tony Ward Studio. To read additional articles by A. H. Scott, go here: http://tonywardstudio.com/blog/a-h-scott-piddler-on-the-roof/

Posted in Blog, News, Politics, Popular Culture, women

Katie Kerl: New Year Sexploration




Text by Katie Kerl, Copyright 2018


Photos Courtesy:

The Kink Shoppe. Copyright 2018


Caff Adeus. Copyright 2018. Instagram linkhttps://instagram.com/cvffvdeus?utm_source=ig_profile_share&igshid=yoz6ylh74fdv




It’s the end of 2018 and it hit me , I’m going to be 35 in a few months . Previously I talked about some serious life issues, but now for some fun. Thinking back on it, I’ve pretty much brought to life anything I’ve ever wanted to do sexually. Sex is so much better in your thirties than in your twenties . People are more open with who they are, what they want, and ASK FOR IT. 

I’ll never understand couples who do not talk about what gets them off. How can you marry someone that does not turn you on, or make you orgasm? The longer you’re in a relationship the more interesting it should get. Sex is all about trust. Telling someone you like to be choked almost to the point of death isn’t exactly something you reveal on a first date. It does come out eventually. 

When talking to someone about what they like I always wonder why? I think personality  has so much to do with our sexual preference. Someone in a higher level of employment under a lot of stress often likes to be dominated. They are telling people what to do all day and don’t want to do it when they get home . 

Extroverts have the try anything once attitude . They are not afraid of threesomes  , being bi-curious , sex in adventurous places,  and are playful . They communicate exactly what they want and get it. An introverts dream if they need someone to bring them out of their shell. 

The narcissist, now they are killers. They tend to have no boundaries when it comes to satisfying their own sexual needs. Even if you’re in a relationship. They will cheat and not think anything of it. Narcissistic people think the world wants to F*ck  them and take every opportunity that comes their way. Usually the good, bad, and ugly. Just because they can. 

People that can’t get out of their own head also like to be dominated, tied up , & choked. If you’re cutting off someone’s air supply, they are forced to focus in the moment and enjoy it. It also makes sensation better when they let go of the grip . 

Philadelphia is a very sexually accepting city. Some of the best places to eat are in the gayborhood . If you’re looking to dance all night you will absolutely have a good time. There are many nice adult stores that do classes and demos for interested couples trying to spice it up. Recently, I heard of a suspended bondage demonstration at KINK SHOPPE,  an upscale adult store in Old City.  Obviously, I needed to see what this was all about.  I’m not going to say I didn’t need a bit of liquid courage to get tied and hung up, but it was a lot of fun! 



Kink Shoppe: Old City, Philadelphia.


After happy hour I stopped by the shop. It was free to watch and $5 to be tied up and suspended. PhillySir was the one who ran the demo. My name was called and I stood as he proceeded to tie me up. A few pulls later I was hanging in front of a group of strangers watching me spin around this holiday decorated contraption. 



Kink Shoppe: Old City, Philadelphia


Upside down I was trying to imagine what it would be like at home. It was fun to do something completely different after work on a Friday PhillySir runs his own dungeon and from the sounds of it he is pretty busy with clients. I do not think I’d take my curiosity to the dungeon, but at home for sure. 



Katie Kerl: At Home



Katie Kerl: At Home


 If you’re in a stale relationship, try talking to your partner. They may be just as frustrated. Talking to who you love shouldn’t be. I think having open lines of communication is really the goal. It’s not going to be half as bad as you’re thinking. Even if they tell you something they have hidden from you. Realize sex is personal and there is no normal. They were just afraid of being judged. You both may laugh in the end being afraid to communicate  your needs. Take some photos and have a boudoir session. Buy some toys and dress up. After all, Tis the season to be naughty! 


Happy Holidays  to you all! 


About The Author

Katie Kerl. Born 1984. Raised in Drexel Hill,  Pennsylvania. 
Attended Drexel University for Behavioral  Psychology .
Occupation : commercial/ residential  design 
Philadelphia resident since 2011 . 
Hobbies include  : Foodie, whiskey drinker,  fitness , cooking  , tattoos , & house music lover . 
Instagram:  @beatz_eatz_n_freaks 
To access additional articles by Katie Kerl, click here: http://tonyward.com/katie-kerl-family-till-death-do-we-part/



Posted in Art, Blog, Documentary, Erotica, Fetish, Models, News, Nudes, Photography, Popular Culture, Portraiture, women

Bob Shell: The Evolution of Photography



Louise Daguerre



Bob Shell: Letters From Prison #30


Letters by Bob Shell, Copyright 2018




When and where was photography invented? The standard story you will find in books on photographic history is that a Frenchman named Daguerre first fixed an image on a silver plated metal surface. The negative/positive process that became the standard for so many years is credited to William Henry Fox Talbott, an eccentric Englishman. Those are the standard stories.

Long before photography artists were using the camera obscura (literally dark room), a device which projected an image onto a surface. Someone had observed that in a darkened room with a hole in the wall an upside down image of the world outside was projected onto the wall opposite the hole. Fitting a lens into the hole allowed focusing of the image and made the image sharper. Fixing that image became an obsession of many, but none succeeded. Artists at first just tacked a sheet of paper to the wall and drew the scene. Later, the lens was mounted on the front of a portable wooden box with the glass plate at the other end. The artist would put his paper against the glass and observe and draw the image seen through the paper. At some point it was discovered that a mirror could be mounted in the box at a 45 degree angle to the lens axis and the glass plate moved to the top of the box. This made the image upright, but left to right reversed. This worked great outdoors so long as the artist was in the shade or had an assistant holding an umbrella (literally little shadow). Some brilliant person invented a leather or wood hood that surrounded the glass and blocked off excess light. I’m not sure at what point it occurred to someone to mount the box on a tripod, but the whole apparatus was then nicely portable. Thus, by the time of Leonardo most of the elements of a photographic camera already existed. The camera obscura revolutionized perspective in art and we begin to see paintings like those of Jan Vermeer that look remarkably like photographs. Although there’s no proof, I’d put money on Vermeer’s use of the camera obscura. Before photography, the camera obscura also became a popular attraction. There is a beautifully preserved Victorian one at Hove/Brighton on the Sussex coast. It is a round building with a big lens on top that projects a wonderful panorama of the surrounding. landscape onto a big bowl-shaped screen that you walk around and look down into. If you’re in the area, it is well worth seeing.

Who solved the problem of capturing the projected image chemically rather than artistically? In Russia you will be told that photography is a Russian invention. In Brazil you will hear that it is a Brazilian invention. And in China … And so on. maybe a lot of folks got the idea. I’ve seen pictures of ancient Chinese plates that have images on them looking for all the world like photographs, so maybe photography is much older than we’re taught in class. It wouldn’t surprise me if someone found photographic images in an Egyptian tomb. There’s an old saying: There’s nothing new under the sun.


About The Author: Bob Shell is a professional photographer, author and former editor in chief of Shutterbug Magazine. He is currently serving a 35 year sentence for involuntary manslaughter for the death of Marion Franklin, one of his former models. Shell was recently moved from Pocahontas State Correctional Center, Pocahontas, Virginia to River North Correctional Center 329 Dellbrook Lane Independence, VA 24348.  Mr. Shell continues to claim his innocence. He is serving the 11th year of his sentence. To read more letters from prison by Bob Shell, click here: http://tonyward.com/bob-shell-family-of-photographers/


Posted in Art, Blog, Cameras, Documentary, Early Work, Film, Men, Photography, Popular Culture, Portraiture