Heard about this guy a few weeks back and thought painting seemed like a great way to try and stay sane in solitary. Well, I wasn’t the only one to hear about him – a deputy attorney general sent the NYT article to prison officials. Donny Johnson has been selling his M&M-on-postcard creations for $500 and now the warden is pissed. Here’s the catch, though – all the money was going to a charity for children of prisoners. Doesn’t that mean he was donating his work, not selling it? Well, the warden is still pissed and might not let him paint anymore….
A prison artist in California who uses the dye from M&Mâs for paint has been disciplined for what a prison official yesterday called âunauthorized business dealingsâ? in the sale of his paintings. The prison has also barred the prisoner, Donny Johnson, from sending his paintings through the mail.
Mr. Johnsonâs work has been on display for the last several weeks at a gallery in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. Twenty of his paintings have been sold, for $500 each.
Mr. Johnson had donated the paintings to the Pelican Bay Prison Project, a charity which says it will honor Mr. Johnsonâs wish that it use the proceeds from the show to help the children of prisoners.
According to a âserious rules violation reportâ? issued by the prison last month, Mr. Johnson ran afoul of a corrections department regulation that prohibits engaging in a business or profession without the wardenâs permission. The regulation defines a business as âany revenue-generating or profit-making activity.â?