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Saturday, September 04, 2010


FINAL UPDATE at the bottom.

Last night I received a surprising email from a complete stranger - John Sowley.
It was vaguely threatening, but not frightening.
I get grumpy emails from time to time, and for the most part I can understand why some of my drawings might upset people.
I could see from my sitemeter where the fellow was viewing my blog from, and using his email found out who he was.
I present the correspondence in order below.
Any spelling or punctuation errors have been retained.
If I hear from him again, I'll include his remarks at the bottom.

John Sowley:
go back to austrailia and cut off your hands.

Elliot Cowan:
I will if you give me a good reason.
What's your beef?

I received no reply to this, so I sent another email the next day.

Elliot Cowan:
Hello again John.
How're you?
I'm still hoping to get a response to your email from yesterday.
I'd really like to resolve this somehow.
Obviously I've drawn or said something to upset you (I'm sure we've never met. I'm in NYC and you're in Florida).
And I'd like to know what it is.
I don't get threats very often so I treat them with importance.
Please let me know in simple plain terms what I can do to lessen your anger so you sleep peacefully and I don't have to worry about calling the police.
Cheers and thanks,

John Sowley:
Hi Elliot: I am sorry Iwas blunt. I am very impressed with your acting career and wonder why you have gone into those scribblings you have posted on Peculiar Circus. As far asI am concerned, I cannot call that crap ART. It just makes me mad. Sorry. |John Sowley @Fine Art in America. I also am with Artid, com. John
With this email, John attached several scans of his work. Several of them can be found here.

Elliot Cowan:
An apology?
How entertaining.
I haven't a clue what you're talking about.
I've posted nothing on anything called Peculiar Circus.
Perhaps you could provide me with a link I'd be curious to know what you've seen.

John Sowley:
Wow! Did I screw up? When I sent the original email I had had 2 Martinis. |I'll get back to you...

Elliot Cowan:
Please look into it asap.
I'd like to sort this out.

John Sowley:
In Peculiar Circus there is a hartblog and hatpad. down the right is a list of names. If you click yours--yours, you get Elliot Cowans Sandwich Bag with the email address of Is this you? or are there 2 elliot Cowans.

Elliot Cowan: is my webpage, yes.
Sandwichbag is the name of my blog.
There is another Elliot Cowan, an English actor, to who I am not related.
I'm assuming you're upset with some of my drawings and I should care to know which ones.

John Sowley:
I don't know what to say. I have surfed your site and am impressed with the amount of work. Ihave no idea how to do any of the technical things necessary to produce your work..To do cartoons and animated figures for advertisements and tv products is of course is a purpose, but otherwise how are they of any use. I can' imagine spending time sitting at the PC to view your work.
I was born and raised in NY and lived and worked in the Village off and on. Anyway, consider my emarks due to my age. I am 87 and hanging in there,,,so far..

Elliot Cowan:

I suspected we were heading in this direction.
I have to thank you.
Your brand of high grade idiocy has provided myself and a large number of talented friends amusement all afternoon.
We have been impressed with both your misspelled and badly punctuated emails and your comical high school style daubings.
I do not consider your "emarks" to be due to your age.
That would be insulting to several incredibly talented people I know who are older than yourself.
I consider your "emarks" to be due to the fact that you are a ridiculous, untalented old clown.
You should be painting your face instead of your canvases.
Enjoy your waning years.
I look forward to never hearing from you again.

John Sowley:


roconnor said...


Anonymous said...


Liesje said...

I think Richard speaks for everyone.

When living abroad, there was a particularly good Greek restaurant (one of the only Greek restaurants) we would go to whenever we were in Tokyo. Great little hole-in-the-wall place run entirely by a elderly Greek and his Japanese wife. The walls were covered in paintings that remind me of ol' John's. His subjects, however, were limited to half-naked prostitutes and JFK, sometimes in the same painting. They were wonderful to gaze at over some ouzo and moussaka

Unknown said...

Thank you for sharing this. Made my evening! Cheers

Nancy said...

I'd say that this old fart's command of the language is just as good as his painting.

Elliot Cowan said...

Thanks all.
I can see that John has been back to my blog several times since all this to nosey about.

Nancy said...

This is probably the most attention this hack will ever have paid to him.

Unknown said...

Wow!!I am a member of ArtId and I promise you, not all our members are like John. We have some pretty honest artists but John's remarks are martini soaked babbling. It would make the exchange entertaining if it wasn't so pathetic.

Elliot Cowan said...

Hey there Mary.
Thanks for taking the time to comment.
I am sure there are lots of lovely people at ArtId, or at least they're about 643 times more talented than John.
Your own work is lovely.
As for martini soaked babbling - this is not an excuse for acting like a threatening prick.
I wonder how you heard about this crazy correspondence?

Unknown said...

I am the Director of Internet Marketing at ArtId and I noticed a spike in inbound links from your site. I was consumed with curiosity and I'm glad I found this "discussion". We need to know when our members are being jerks. In some cases we can delete them.

Elliot Cowan said...

I'll let you know if anyone else is causing trouble : )

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