Tuesday, March 15, 2011

John Harrelson


Examples of John's recent work.

Examples of John's recent work.
Examples of John's recent work.
Examples of John's recent work.
Examples of John's recent work.

It really saddens me to write this; yesterday we lost a great guy and a very talented Stylist, John Harrelson. John was involved in a fatal car accident and tragically lost his life in Calistoga, California enroute to a location.

I first met John only last year in 2010 on my first Crate & Barrel catalog shoot, to my understanding it was his first one also. He and I were on the job for a few weeks in Chicago, which was his hometown, although he did spend half the year in Amsterdam with his partner. John was so gracious and warm; under pressure he was incredibly calm and professional. He really made a huge effort to share info and contacts, which is rare in the competitive world of Prop Styling. He did so unconditionally and with such a generous spirit.

We hung out over the period and had stayed in contact, I enjoyed his regular inspirational posts on Facebook, through them and his work I recognized he was a very passionate creative with a very special eye. Even though our paths only passed recently I am at such a loss with this tragic accident, I send my condolences to his partner, friends and family.

You’re serenity, style and panache will be missed! RIP.

18 comments:

  1. Marcus, I am so sorry for you and your loss of a great and talented friend. And, of course, also my condolences to his partner, family and friends. What a tragic loss for everyone. But, what a deeply profound moment to remember to appreciate the life you have and those you have in it. You and everyone concerned will be in my thoughts and prayers.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thank you for those kind words, Marcus. John was a dear friend and he will be missed terribly by so many. My husband shot the image of the bottles & roses... we're flattered to be included in your tribute to John.

    ReplyDelete
  3. My dear Marcus, Thank you so much for your most gracious tribute to my son John. I shared it with my facebook family and friends and it has brought to many both smiles and waterfalls of tears. John indeed was always willing to share his wisdom and knowledge and as his mom I do not think he ever dreamed of the impact he had on his family and friends. He was indeed humble. Pass on the love, xoxo John's mom

    ReplyDelete
  4. To the family. I am a resident of Calistoga and was on my way to work on Monday morning and was one of the first on the scene of the accident. I was the first to get to John. He did not suffer in his last moments. I am not sure how to say this but I pursued finding out who John was (internet and facebook) and now with this article I can feel closure on his passing. Please know that in the moments that I was with him, I did hold his shoulder and said good bye. That good bye was from all of you. I feel your pain. He did not die alone.

    ReplyDelete
  5. What a tragic loss for us all. I only met John once and he was a classmate of my husband from kindergarten to high school graduation. I just want to let Mary Ella, Gary, Mike & Jeff know that we are both thinking of you as are many other friends here in his home community.

    I still remember what a gracious, friendly person he was when his brother Mike introduced us- I remember that moment as if it happened yesterday. We are so sad to learn of passing, yet we have the faith to believe he's in a good place. May all the family feel the eternal comfort that John has now.
    Brad & Gail

    ReplyDelete
  6. To the resident of Calistoga. John's family is blessed by your act of loving kindness. Thank you for being with our loved one. If you ever feel inclined to reveal yourself to the family, it would be appreciated until that day you will be known as my sons personal angel. Pass on the love, xoxo John's mom

    ReplyDelete
  7. To John's Mom, My deepest condolences and a heartfelt hug! I felt compelled to write this post because I truly felt John was to be a friend and someone in the industry I could truly look up to! I also thank the resident of Calistoga, I too have been there and on that very road for work, Calistoga is a truly wonderful town, Thank you for your act of kindness, I am sure it means so much to everybody who knew John, he will be missed.

    ReplyDelete
  8. To Sonone Mom. I am Gale Sysock and I truly appreciate your words. Perhaps my own Angel guided me to your son that morning. As a father of two young men and a husband to a great wife, I cherish each moment. We have all had losses that are so hard to understand and at this moment our family extends their heart to you and yours.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Marcus, thank you so much for posting this wonderful tribute to John. He was one of the most talented and gifted artists I have ever known. He was a dear friend for many years. I felt grateful that I got to see him last week in San Francisco several times. All of his friends visiting your blog appreciate this glimpse of his work and all the kind comments here.

    And, to Gale Sysock, the Calistoga Angel, thank you beyond belief for your touching comment and kind actions. Knowing you were with John in his last moments brings me more comfort than you'll ever know. When I heard the tragic news of John's death, I hoped he did not suffer and that he was not alone and you answered both by being there with him and letting us all know. May grace always smile on your life and the lives of all your family. You truly are an angel here for all of John's loved ones. Thank you.

    John's mom, Mary Ella, my love and prayers to you. Thank you for bringing one of the dearest souls to the world, so we all could love him. I will forever recall with great joy the times I was able to spend with John. What a wonderful person he was and so funny and gentle. He loved you so very much. Know that all his friends send you our thoughts of comfort and support. We will miss him so.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Mary Ella, we feel as if we lost one of our own family. I remember John as a boy and young adult. Such a caring and talented young man to have blessed all of our lives. I still have the pen and ink portraits of our boys hanging in the bedroom, as well as several of the hand made Christmas gifts that show his talent and caring. Although, we have not seen John for years, we all --Dick, Rich, David, and I will miss him. I guess God needed his love and skills in heaven. Our prayers and thoughts are with you and your family.

    ReplyDelete
  11. I was on the photo team John was scheduled to work with this last week. It would have been my first time working with him and I had heard such great things about him and his work. Of course instead we were all thrust into the surreal tragedy. On location in Calistoga we pulled together as a team trying to make sense of it all, shedding tears, taking personal time and hugging a lot. Some had worked with him before, some like me were looking forward to meeting him for the first time. The news was impossible to process and we stumbled forward numbly, through the week, appreciative of the open hearts and sensitivity of each other - there's really no right way to deal with something that makes so little sense, and we all held him dear in our hearts, never going long without turning to each other to talk and connect about him.

    Obviously what we experienced was nothing like the loss to those closest to him, and yet we're all a family in one way or another, especially in this tight-knit photo community. On Thursday evening we visited the accident site and placed a bouquet of flowers in the crook of a tree by the side of the road with a message to John, and spent some time trying to take it all in - a desperate attempt to commemorate the loss. After a while we became aware of the dramatic beauty of the spot - low fog hugged the ridges and trees shrouded in mist disappeared into the grey skies. Vineyards spread out before us in row after row, and we were all struck by how beautiful the spot was... majestic. and peaceful. A powerful moment for sure.

    I know I speak on behalf of the whole team he was to have shared the week with in expressing our deepest sympathies to his family and loved ones. Our hearts and thoughts are with you...

    ReplyDelete
  12. John was a gifted and thoughtful man. We worked together with so many other talented folks at Petterse several years ago. The work Jon did inspired me every day. He made magic out of the most simple things and never said no to any request.

    Reading these comments reminds me of how lucky so many of us have been to work with such a great man and to know him as great person.

    To his family and partner, I am so sorry for your loss. Please know how much he inspired us all and how much he will be missed.

    ReplyDelete
  13. I, too, worked with John at Pettersen in Chicago over 10 years ago, and then just a couple of years ago, I had the pleasure of working with him again at Kohl's in Milwaukee. His inspired talent was undeniable, and I'm so proud to have a few of our collaborations showcased in my portfolio. As big as his talent was, it's his sweet disposition that I'll remember more. In an industry that has its share of big egos and difficult personalities, John was the antithesis of that. He was such a joy to work with, and, without question, he was one of the most genuinely genial people I've ever known.

    My heart goes out to his partner, mom and the rest of his family. I am so very sorry for your loss. Please know that you are constantly in my thoughts and prayers.

    ReplyDelete
  14. It has been more than 10 years since I worked with John, also at Pettersen. It has been just as long since I had seen him, but was saddened to hear the news. He was a pleasure to work with and was so nice to all of us, even the assistants! He was just so calm and friendly and very talented.
    My heart is saddened at the loss of such a great man and goes out to his family and Partner and am thankful to read that he was not alone in the end.
    It is so heartwarming to hear about the kindness of strangers. Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
  15. Lisa Smith @ TargetMarch 25, 2011 at 7:42 AM

    Please know that the Target team was devastated to hear the news about John. We all loved working with him. He was always on the top of the list for stylists and if an art director wasn't able to get him, boy would the art buyers hear about it. It was often a competition to see who would be able to book him first.

    He was always a pleasure, grace under fire and could make anything look so beautiful with his touch.

    We are deeply saddened and know that he will be missed by us dearly.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Dear Marcus,
    Such a beautiful and such a sad post - thanks for sharing John's work and wisdom. It sounds like John left a great legacy, he and his wealth of work will not be forgotten.

    I'm thinking of you at such a sad time.

    Lots of love,
    lexi

    ReplyDelete
  17. Although I now live in California, I grew up in the same little town as John, Milton, Iowa, and know his whole family. He was someone our community could really be proud of. I recently reconnected with John and his mother via Facebook, and was so happy to see how successful John was and how happy his personal life had turned out. I know he will be sorely missed. My sincere condolences to his partner and his family.

    ReplyDelete
  18. While I never met John my other half worked with him for the past few years. What a beautiful tribute this is, he is really missed.

    ReplyDelete