Jon, 42

Jon, 42

Meet Jon…

In a place known for death and destruction, I found life and meaning. Along the way I have found my voice and discovered my academic abilities that are now leading me towards a whole new future.

Jon, 42
Incarcerated: 6 years
Housed: San Quentin State Prison

This photo means everything to me, my mom is my biggest support, love and motivation. She lives in Mexico but comes and visits, and also brings my son. I am sharing with HoSQ to give back and hopefully share some smiles, positivity, and inspire others. Never give up! With patience and peace good things will find you. You are worth it. 

“Quentin Crumbles”

Walls crumble like hourglass sands, 

Time melts away desperate past love, 

Lost hugs of Mother, Father, Brother, Son. 

Breaking the hearts of chained memories, 

Bars hold me behind the day’s light. 

My soul free to roam in only dreams, 

Reality what can be once was will always, 

Remain hidden seeking to find meaning. 

Solar views under darkened skies, 

stars diluted in light polluted pain, 

Planets below moon beam Horizons, 

Setting mountains of hate filled minds, 

dissolving into walls of truths forgiveness, 

controlled but never held back, 

steps etched in sand filled shoes blowing through. 

Beaches of crumbled walls and broken chains

as Quentin crumbles.

I am in San Quentin somewhere I never imagined life would lead me. In a place known for death and destruction, I found life and meaning. Along the way I have found my voice and discovered my academic abilities that are now leading me towards a whole new future. I found passion in psychology and self-help. Prison gave me a chance to take inventory and change things about my life I have always been less than proud of. 

Robert’s Gallery

Robert’s Gallery


Artist Robert, 45

Robert, 45

Incarcerated: 26 years

Robert’s three paintings above will be for sale along with 41 pieces painted by people inside SQ. 👀for our auction. If you can, please stop by our office to see them in person!

Artwork descriptions:
Hope Nots (Heart Strings)
I believe when someone gives you their heart, there’s a connection that time and distance can not separate. In my “Hope Nots’ ‘ painting I made that connection visible with string. This painting reminds me of how much I miss Holland.

Giraffe (Stand Tall)
The Dirty Heads have a song called “Stand Tall”. It’s one of my favorites and got stuck in my head while I was sketching the giraffe.

64 Impala (Sunset)
What’s my motivation? Someday I’ll be out there sitting on the hood of a 64 watching a beautiful sunset…… right after I learn how to drive.

George’s Gallery

George’s Gallery


Artist George, 76

George, 76

Incarcerated: 21 years

We had just completed servicing our work orders and taking advantage of our down time, we produced a hit of window pane acid. I’d been around drugs most of my life, but had never tried acid. We headed to my third tier cell, and having divided the sheet of acid, we stepped out on the tier, waiting for the drug to kick in, not knowing what to expect. We noticed there was a commotion brewing on the second tier across from us. There was a new officer panicking and not knowing what to do. He ran to the front desk seeking help. There was a Mexican dude hanging from his cell’s vent still kicking. A small crowd had formed and saw that he was dead or dying. A few went into his cell and removed his belongings, clothing, shoes, canteen and family photos – I couldn’t understand ~ why did they steal his photos. I guess my sorrow over shadowed my acid high because this was the first suicide I had to witness. To add more misery to that day, there was an incident which set off an alarm. Two guys were racing across the yard, one with a knife or shank in his back, and the other chasing him, attempting to retrieve his knife. After the incident, I decided it was time to turn my tools in and lock myself in my cell for we had our own individual key to our cell. That was 1969, I was housed in Soledad Prison in California. Both incidents have stayed locked in my mind for 50 plus years. Today at 76, I have seen enough darkness. I know this darkness can only be dissipated by the light of truth and love. 

George has donated two pieces of artwork, to our cause to raise funds, and here is his description: 

The bodysuit was a concept I saw almost fifty years ago. 

Faces: I gain inspiration from other artists and events that I use as a theme. This one involves human nature and the conflicts we experience, such as the anguish we endure after receiving a lengthy denial from the parole board. My father was an artist who worked with oil, and although I’ve worked using all mediums, I prefer pastels.

Both of George’s paintings will be for sale, look for our auction and please stop by our office to see them in person!

Paul’s Gallery

Paul’s Gallery


Artist Paul, 64

Artist Paul, 64

Incarcerated: 21 years

I first began oil painting in 1978, shortly after I was discharged from the army at the end of 1977. I then took a couple of classes at Fullerton Community College. My painting instructor told me to paint whatever I felt like painting, however I felt like painting it. I was hooked. Then I met a girl, fell in love and was persuaded to leave painting behind. I was told by my new in-laws, “No one makes a living painting.” So I worked in sales and left painting behind. Many years later, in 2010, I attended a painting class at San Quentin, taught by Patrick Maloney. I discovered that my life wasn’t quite over. Pat had the same teaching philosophy as my first instructor. For me, it clicked. Since I do not have the benefit of viewing things in the real world then painting them, I rely on my imagination. Sometimes I use photo references to guide me. I have painted recreations of some of the great masters: Vermeer, Monet, Marguerite and others. I change them slightly to make them my own interpretation. I am ashamed to be known as a convicted murderer who paints. That’s why I don’t promote my work. But beauty often grows out of ugliness.

I believe people have forgotten the importance and beauty of the small things. My example for my two paintings would be the birds and the bees, without the birds and bees we would have no food to eat and be inundated by insects. Without plankton, algae and coral there would be no environment to produce the air that we breathe. Everything seems to be about what we can attain and secure, rather than gratefulness for what we have. The birds and bees are a symbol for me of the circle of life.The small things in life are often neglected, the beautifully simple, necessary building blocks of life. Without the birds and bees, there would be no life. We always look toward the Colossal for what is meaningful, but what if what is truly profound is so found within the minuscule creatures that are under-appreciated. Chaos is only a heartbeat away, but even within chaos, order can be found. Nothing is truly random. Look closely, from a distance.