Willard Mike Dixon

Interview with Mike Dixon

Mike's artist name is Willard Dixon - that's his art web site.


Cuke Audio Podcast with guest Mike Dixon🔊

April 30, 2022 - Mike's show of new sky paintings

Here's his Facebook page with more art

from Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind at Forty   - annotated version

Thanks to Mike Dixon for going over all this with me recently and also for drawing the fly on page 69 of ZMBM. He drew a new one for the new edition in 2000 because the original art was lost I guess. Mike did the cloud paintings at Greens Restaurant.

Mike was married to Trudy Dixon by Shunryu Suzuki around 1965. After Trudy died he married Pam. " Trudy and I had 2 kids Annie now 56 and Will, now 54.  Pam and I had 2, Ezra and Sophie."

ZMC Benefit Art Exhibition and Sale poster - First use of Shunryu Suzuki's famous enso.
for a fundraiser organized by Mike in 1966

He's not only a wonderful artist but gifted musician as well. He's in a jazz group that sounds as good as it gets to me. His quintet is called Studio Five. consists of sax, bass ,drums ,piano,and guitar. He plays the sax. - dc  "Studio 5 has played some gigs together but now the individual members just do separate gigs. We try to play once a week, been doing it for 10-12 years or so. I play alto and baritone, both Eb horns."

Page for Trudy Dixon - couple of photos there with Mike next to Trudy.

Mike with Shunryu Suzuki SF airport c. 1963


Suzuki      about 4' x 4'  early 1970s

Mike Dixon's portrait of Shunryu Suzuki which hangs SFZC City Center ground floor at central stairwell.

Mike has done a series of portraits one can see at his Willard Dixon website.

Suzuki          38’’x 38’’     Oil on canvas    2013

Go to this page to download a high resolution scan or get a signed archival giclée print of this portrait of Shunryu Suzuki.

Mel     57’’x 54’’        oil on canvas    2010
Mel Weitsman

Ed        40’’x 43’’      oil on canvas   2009
Edward Brown

Dan       37’’x 41’’      oil on canvas      2009
Dan Welch

David     40’’x 37’’     oil on canvas     2010
David Chadwick

This is the 2nd picture of me by Mike. The other he did at dinner his wife Pam and Elin and me at our home in Gertle Park in 1994 or so. It was a quick sketch while we were talking of me on a bicycle. I've still got it in my archives but it got water damage and partially eaten by rats where I lived in John Tarrant's barn. I bought a painting of Mike's in a fundraiser for Tassajara. It was of a tidepool beach, ocean and clouds, with a painter's isle with painting in the scene. Ten years later when I moved in with Liz Tuomi in Bolinas I realized that it was a painting of the beach down below her house. When I moved out I left it with her. She would frequently mention to me when I visited that I should take it and I'd always say it should stay here with you. She died six years ago and it's still on the way there in the studio of the house where we lived and where her son Ethan and his wife Catharine live. Wrote a song for it when it hung in my room at 340 Page. St. next to the City Center called The Painting on the Wall (#327 on the list of all songs with links to audio and words). - dc

landscape and Rothko

Mike Dixon painting I thought I bought from him in a 1966 art show/sale to benefit the purchase of Tassajara but maybe it was an early 70s show - for $300. In his Cuke Audio Podcast he said that that's a Rothko painting in the painting. I didn't know. Then I learned the name of the painting. Later, in 1976 March or so, I moved in with Liz Tuomi in Bolinas. Her home was directly above where this painting depicts - Agate Beach - and directly above this part of it. In 1978 I wrote a song for the painting called The Painting on the Wall.  You can hear it, read the word, at that link. The painting is still on the wall in the studio where Liz and I slept and did a lot of music for nine wonderful years. Her son Ethan Okamura lives there and took this photo. See Ethan Okamura Photography online.