American Art – Part I of IV: Steven Christopher Seward
Artist Statement: “I was born into a family of artists, my parents having met as students at the Art Institute of Chicago. My father, James E. Seward, a freelance illustrator and historical and portrait painter, worked at home, enabling him to teach me to paint from an early age in an arrangement comparable to the old master/apprentice system. Three of my four siblings also became professional artists.
After high school, I went to a prestigious art school where I learned virtually nothing (!) and dropped out after a year-and-a-half. Then followed a short career teaching community art classes and an even shorter career at American Greetings Corporation, where I was abruptly fired after three months. This apparent set-back, paradoxically, allowed me to concentrate on my first passion, portrait painting, which I have now been doing independently for over 30 years.
I usually prefer to paint people either doing something or in an environment that is significant or reflective of their lives. This may be due to my father’s illustrator’s influence as well as my admiration for 16th Century Flemish painting. This period of art often exhibited vivid coloring and a strong sense of design.”
From the Music Archives – Part I of IV: Lionel Hampton
Died 31 August 2002 –Lionel Hampton, an American jazz vibraphonist, pianist, percussionist, bandleader, and actor.
Indian artist M. V. Renju graduated from Bharathiar Palkalaikoodam in Puducherry.
From the Music Archives – Part II of IV: Jerry Allison
Born 31 August 1939 – Jerry Allison, an American musician best known for being the drummer of The
Crickets and the co-writer of “That’ll Be The Day” and “Peggy Sue.”
Here is one writer describing the background of painter Georgios Kitsos: “Born in Berlin of a Greek father and a German mother, Georgios Kitsos spent part of his childhood in Athens.
He studied painting at the Academy of Fine Arts in Berlin. There he received the highly prestigious Deutsche Studienstiftung Scholarship, a stipend that enabled him to undertake extensive travels in Asia, including a half-year stay in Japan. In 1991 he was Artist in Residence at Colorado College, in Colorado Springs.
Kitsos lives and works in Berlin.”
From “The Department of Wanton Muses”:
“God granted me the privilege of knowing the brilliant works of our time before they left the hands of their creators. And if I was allowed to assist these knights for a while, then my existence is justified and blessed!” – Alma Schindler Mahler Kokoschka Gropius Werfel, Austrian writer, musician, socialite, and harlot, who was married to Gustav Mahler, Walter Gropius, and Franz Werfel, and who had affairs with Oskar Kokoschka, Gustav Klimt, Arnold Schoenberg, Gerhart Hauptman, Alban Berg, Enrico Caruso, Alexander Zemlinksy, Johannes Hollnsteiner, and many other prominent men, who was born on 31 August 1879.
In her later years, this vivacious woman’s salon became an important feature of the artistic scene, first in Vienna, and then – unsurprisingly – in Los Angeles, the City of Fallen Angels and Celebrity Whores.
American Art – Part II of IV: Thomas Blackshear
Thomas Blackshear is a contemporary African-American painter who possesses an extraordinary sense of color, execution, and design. Blackshear calls his style “Afro-Nouveau,” and in his words, it “reflects not only my visions as a black man and the unique visions of black people, it represents visions we all share regardless of the color of our skin. Emotions like hope, love, tenderness, faith, and serenity know no boundaries.”
“There is only one valuable thing in art: the thing you cannot explain.” – Georges Braque, French painter and sculptor who, along with Pablo Picasso, helped develop the style known as Cubism, who died 31 August 1963.
Some quotes from Georges Braque:
“Truth exists; only lies are invented.”
“Reality only reveals itself when it is illuminated by a ray of poetry. ”
“Emotion should not be rendered by an excited trembling; it can neither be added on nor be imitated. It is the seed, the work is the flower. ”
“Nature is a mere pretext for a decorative composition, plus sentiment. It suggests emotion, and I translate that emotion into art. ”
“One has to guard against a formula that is good for everything, that can interpret reality in addition to the other arts, and that rather than creating can only result in a style, or a stylization.”
“Art is made to disturb, science reassures.”
“We must not imitate that which we seek to create.”
“We will never have repose. The present is perpetual.”
Below – “Viaduct at L’Estaque”; “Little Harbor in Normandie”; “Woman with a Guitar”; “Violin and Candlestick”; “The Chair”; “The Echo.”
“Genius is nothing more nor less than childhood recaptured at will.” – Charles Baudelaire, French poet, essayist, art critic, and translator, who died 31 August 1867.
Some quotes from the Work of Charles Baudelaire:
“One should always be drunk. That’s all that matters…But with what? With wine, with poetry, or with virtue, as you chose. But get drunk.”
“Remembering is only a new form of suffering.”
“Life has but one true charm: the charm of the game. But what if we’re indifferent to whether we win or lose?”
“I have cultivated my hysteria with pleasure and terror.”
“What strange phenomena we find in a great city, all we need do is stroll about with our eyes open. Life swarms with innocent monsters.”
“I am unable to understand how a man of honor could take a newspaper in his hands without a shudder of disgust.”
“A multitude of small delights constitute happiness”
“Extract the eternal from the ephemeral.”
“Strangeness is a necessary ingredient in beauty.”
“Evil is committed without effort, naturally, fatally; goodness is always the product of some art.”
“Let us beware of common folk, common sense, sentiment, inspiration, and the obvious. ”
“I set out to discover the why of it, and to transform my pleasure into knowledge.”
And a poem:
Under the overhanging yews,
The dark owls sit in solemn state,
Like stranger gods; by twos and twos
Their red eyes gleam. They meditate.
Motionless thus they sit and dream
Until that melancholy hour
When, with the sun’s last fading gleam,
The nightly shades assume their power.
From their still attitude the wise
Will learn with terror to despise
All tumult, movement, and unrest;
For he who follows every shade,
Carries the memory in his breast,
Of each unhappy journey made.
In the words of one historian, Osman Hamdi Bey (1842-1910) was an “Ottoman statesman, painter and art expert who put forth legislation aimed at regulating finds made by various archaeological enterprises in the Ottoman Empire and preventing the antiquities from being smuggled abroad. As a painter, he became famous while he was alive. He worked on compositions with figures and portraits, and he was the first Turkish artist who painted figures. In his paintings, there are many architectural and decorative details. He frequently appears as the main character; he used photos taken of him in different outfits and poses for his drawings. Today, many domestic and foreign museum collections include his paintings as well.”
Note: Bey’s painting “The Tortoise Trainer” (1906 – the first work shown below) broke a record in Turkey by being sold for 3.5 million dollars in December 2004.
“The sunset caught me, turned the brush to copper,
set the clouds
to one great roof of flame
above the earth.” – Elizabeth Coatsworth, American writer and recipient of the 1931 Newberry Medal for “The Cat Who Went to Heaven,” who died 31 August 1986.
“The Cat Who Went to Heaven” will delight and edify both children and adults.
Some quotes from Elizabeth Coatsworth:
“The magic of autumn has seized the countryside; now that the sun isn’t ripening anything it shines for the sake of the golden age; for the sake of Eden; to please the moon for all I know.”
“I say that almost everywhere there is beauty enough to fill a person’s life if one would only be sensitive to it. but Henry says No: that broken beauty is only a torment, that one must have a whole beauty with man living in relation to it to have a rich civilization and art. . . . Is it because I am a woman that I accept what crumbs I may have, accept the hot-dog stands and amusement parks if I must, if the blue is bright beyond them and the sunset flushes the breasts of sea birds?”
“We who dance hungry and wild…under a winter’s moon.”
“Only of one thing am I sure:
when I dream
I am always ageless.”
According to one art critic, “Japanese painter Ikenaga Yasunari’s serene and soothing portraits of modern women evoke a dreamy nostalgia through their faded golden hues and elegant floating poses. Using a Menso brush, mineral pigments, and soot ink on linen cloth, Yasunari (born 1965) continues the ancient tradition of Nihonga painting while simultaneously bringing modern elements to play, such as present-day clothing styles and floral textile designs. The result is both beautiful and melancholy, capturing the timelessness of the Nihonga style as well as its dimming presence through the years.”
Note: “Nihonga” (“Japanese-style paintings”) are those that have been created in accordance with traditional Japanese artistic conventions, techniques, and materials. While based on traditions over a thousand years old, the term was coined in the Meiji period (1868-1912) of Imperial Japan, to distinguish such works from Western-style paintings.
“I began to imitate nature.
A Greek, passing through my heart, said to me:
‘The only thing that is mysterious is that which exists,
And the only thing that is logical is that which does not.’” –
Nichita Stanescu, Romanian poet, 1933-1983.
“The Golden Age of Love”
My hands are in love,
alas, my mouth loves –
and see, I am suddenly aware
that things are so close to me
I can hardly walk among them
It is a sweet feeling
of waking, of dreaming,
and I am here now, without sleep –
I clearly see the ivory gods,
I take them in my hands and
thrust them, laughing, in the moon
up to their sculpted hilts –
the wheel of an ancient ship, adorned
and spun by sailors.
Jupiter is yellow, Hera
the magnificent shades to silver.
I strike the wheel with my left hand and it moves.
It is a dance of sentiments, my love,
many a goddess of the air, between the two of us.
And I, the sail of my soul
billowed with longing,
look for you everywhere, and things come
crowding my chest, hurting me.
Below – Leonid Afremov: “Candles of Love”
American Art – Part III of IV: Chris Dellorco
In the words of one critic, “Born in Los Angeles, Chris’s initial interest in the interplay between art and architectural history began with a degree in Developmental Economics from U.C. Berkeley. Desiring a more creative field, he switched his focus from academics to art and went on to establish himself as one of the county’s foremost illustrators. Although completely self-taught, his art career has spanned all aspects of illustration while specializing in the film industry, children’s products and children’s books. A true renaissance man, along with a degree in Economics and a successful art career, he has also successfully written and directed an award winning short film, receiving international recognition.”
From the Music Archives – Part III of IV: Bob Welch
Born 31 August 1945 – Bob Welch, an American musician and a member of Fleetwood Mac.
Dutch painter Rein Pol (born 1949) trained at the Groningen Academy of Arts “Minerva” (1971-1976). In the words of one critic, “Each subject painted by Pol is represented in a clear, harmonic composition with particular attention to light, expression of matter, space- and colour-effect. The paintings are not meant to copy the reality around us, but as a representation of his own reality.”
Layla Al-Attar (1944-1993) was an Iraqi painter and Director of the Iraqi National Art Museum whose work was exhibited internationally. Tragically, Layla, her husband, and their housekeeper were killed in a U.S. missile attack on Baghdad which was ordered by President Bill Clinton in retaliation for the attempted assassination of George H.W. Bush by Iraqi intelligence agents during his visit to Kuwait.
From the Music Archives – Part IV of IV: Van Morrison
Born 31 August 1945 – Van Morrison, a Northern Irish singer, songwriter, and musician.
Viktor Sheleg is a self-taught Russian painter whose creative spirit is, in his words, “inspired by chaos” and whose work is “guided by emotions and energy.”
A Poem for Today
By Donald Justice
Lights are burning
In quiet rooms
Where lives go on
The quiet lives
That follow us—
These lives we lead
But do not own—
Stand in the rain
When we are gone,
So quietly . . .
And the last bus
Comes letting dark
Black flowers, black flowers.
And lives go on.
And lives go on
Like sudden lights
At street corners
Or like the lights
In quiet rooms
Left on for hours,
Artist Jennifer McRae is a graduate of Grays School of Art, Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen, Scotland. Her paintings have won many awards.
A Second Poem for Today
By Elizabeth Bishop
I am in need of music that would flow
Over my fretful, feeling finger-tips,
Over my bitter-tainted, trembling lips,
With melody, deep, clear, and liquid-slow.
Oh, for the healing swaying, old and low,
Of some song sung to rest the tired dead,
A song to fall like water on my head,
And over quivering limbs, dream flushed to glow!
There is a magic made by melody:
A spell of rest, and quiet breath, and cool
Heart, that sinks through fading colors deep
To the subaqueous stillness of the sea,
And floats forever in a moon-green pool,
Held in the arms of rhythm and of sleep.
Latvian painter Laine Kainaize (born 1953) graduated from the State Academy of Arts in Riga.
Argentinean painter Diego Gravinese (born 1871) graduated from the Fine Arts School of Prilidiano Pueyrredon in Buenos Aires.
Below – “The Lagoon”; “After the Gold Rush”; “The Method”; “Hercules”; “Colossus”; “Milk Girl”; “Wall Mart”; “Mimesis”; “On the Sea”; “Hot Cakes.”
A Third Poem for Today
“Milton by Firelight,”
By Gary Snyder
Piute Creek, August 1955
“O hell, what do mine eyes
with grief behold?”
Working with an old
Singlejack miner, who can sense
The vein and cleavage
In the very guts of rock, can
Blast granite, build
Switchbacks that last for years
Under the beat of snow, thaw, mule-hooves.
What use, Milton, a silly story
Of our lost general parents,
eaters of fruit?
The Indian, the chainsaw boy,
And a string of six mules
Came riding down to camp
Hungry for tomatoes and green apples.
Sleeping in saddle-blankets
Under a bright night-sky
Han River slantwise by morning.
In ten thousand years the Sierras
Will be dry and dead, home of the scorpion.
Ice-scratched slabs and bent trees.
No paradise, no fall,
Only the weathering land
The wheeling sky,
Man, with his Satan
Scouring the chaos of the mind.
Too dark to read, miles from a road
The bell-mare clangs in the meadow
That packed dirt for a fill-in
Scrambling through loose rocks
On an old trail
All of a summer’s day.
Here is one critic describing the artistry of Romanian painter Nicolae Maniu (born 1944): “Maniu’s conception of art embraces two aspects: on one hand, the elaboration of a three dimensional composition in a Trompe l’Oeil effect, and on the other, the pushing back of boundaries. He uses a hyperrealist technique to show some surrealist images where the real is mixed with the irrational, the logic with the absurd. The spectator is then astonished by this confusing combination, and enchanted by this mastery in creating such unknown territories. Thus the delight of anyone looking at Maniu’s painting will be complete.”
A Fourth Poem for Today
By Robinson Jeffers
The old voice of the ocean, the bird-chatter of little rivers,
(Winter has given them gold for silver
To stain their water and bladed green for brown to line their banks)
From different throats intone one language.
So I believe if we were strong enough to listen without
Divisions of desire and terror
To the storm of the sick nations, the rage of the hunger smitten cities,
Those voices also would be found
Clean as a child’s; or like some girl’s breathing who dances alone
By the ocean-shore, dreaming of lovers.
American Art – Part IV of IV: Adrienne Stein
In the words of one critic, “ From an early age, Adrienne identified within herself a passion for drawing and painting. She subsequently devoted herself to studying the Old Masters and seeking classical training. She perpetually cultivates her skills toward mastery. Her work is the conduit through which she hopes to communicate reverence for all of creation’s inherent value and dignity.
Her paintings are an investigation of light and form and their spiritual symbolism. For inspiration, she looks to the exquisite works of the Dutch Golden Age, the Italian Renaissance, the Pre-Raphaelites, the art of the Ancient Near East and India, as well as the contemporaries with whom she has studied.”
Artist Statement: I am always searching for subject matter that gives a view into the beauty of nature; this beauty can be displayed in landscapes, but also in the figurative expressions of the human form and natural beauty of fruits, vegetables and flowers.
I also recognize the importance of artists as recording history in time. The artwork we create show what a person or place was like in this particular time. As things in life and nature constantly change, the artist is there to record that moment in time as it may never be the same ever again.”
Born 30 August 1866 – Georges Minne, a Flemish sculptor and artist.
Below (left to right) – “Kneeling Youth with a Shell”; “Bather”; “Man and Woman Kneeling”; “Eve III”; “Mother and Child.”
“Nothing should be overlooked in fighting for better education. Be persistent and ornery: this will be good for the lethargic educational establishment and will aid the whole cause of public education.” – Roy Wilkins, American civil rights activist and a leader of the NAACP, who was born 30 August 1901.
Two quotes from the work of Roy Wilkins:
“President Eisenhower was a fine general and a good, decent man, but if he had fought World War II the way he fought for civil rights, we would all be speaking German now.”
“The talk of winning our share is not the easy one of disengagement and flight, but the hard one of work, of short as well as long jumps, of disappointments, and of sweet success.”
Here is the Artist Statement of South African painter Anny Maddock: “I grew up in Durban in the 50’s and as far back as I can remember, I have always loved drawing and painting. After completing a B.Sc Degree at the University of Kwa Zulu Natal, I moved to Cape Town where I obtained a Diploma in Medical Technology and thereafter worked for some years in the Department of Microbiology at Medical School, Cape Town. My husband and I decided to settle in this beautiful city and after many years of nurturing a young family, I have only recently been able to devote more of my time to painting and art education.
I do not have any formal art training, but am fortunate to have been guided and inspired over the years, by wonderful teachers and mentors, whose knowledge and expertise continues to influence and inspire me.”
Nobel Laureates – Part I of II: Naguib Mahfouz
“You can tell whether a man is clever by his answers. You can tell whether a man is wise by his questions.” – Naguib Mahfouz, Egyptian writer and recipient of the 1988 Nobel Prize for Literature for being a writer “”who, through works rich in nuance – now clear-sightedly realistic, now evocatively ambiguous – has formed an Arabian narrative art that applies to all mankind,” who died 30 August 2006.
Some quotes from the work of Naguib Mahfouz:
“It’s a most distressing affliction to have a sentimental heart and a skeptical mind.”
“It’s clearly more important to treat one’s fellow man well than to be always praying and fasting and touching one’s head to a prayer mat.”
“I defend both the freedom of expression and society’s right to counter it. I must pay the price for differing. It is the natural way of things.”
“Today’s interpretations of religion are often backward and contradict the needs of civilization.”
In the words of one critic, “Miguel Tió, a native of the Dominican Republic, began his painting studies with the artist Elias Delgado while also attending the Escuela Nacional de Bellas Artes in Santo Domingo.
His interest in Publicity and Graphic Design led him into continuing studies at the Universidad Autonoma de Santo Domingo.”
Since 1994, Miguel Tio has lived and worked in New York City.
Nobel Laureates – Part II of II: Seamus Heaney
“I can’t think of a case where poems changed the world, but what they do is they change people’s understanding of what’s going on in the world.” – Seamus Justin Heaney, Irish poet, playwright, translator, lecturer, and recipient of the 1995 Nobel Prize in Literature “for works of lyrical beauty and ethical depth, which exalt everyday miracles and the living past,” who died 30 August 2013.
My father worked with a horse-plough,
His shoulders globed like a full sail strung
Between the shafts and the furrow.
The horse strained at his clicking tongue.
An expert. He would set the wing
And fit the bright steel-pointed sock.
The sod rolled over without breaking.
At the headrig, with a single pluck
Of reins, the sweating team turned round
And back into the land. His eye
Narrowed and angled at the ground,
Mapping the furrow exactly.
I stumbled in his hob-nailed wake,
Fell sometimes on the polished sod;
Sometimes he rode me on his back
Dipping and rising to his plod.
I wanted to grow up and plough,
To close one eye, stiffen my arm.
All I ever did was follow
In his broad shadow round the farm.
I was a nuisance, tripping, falling,
Yapping always. But today
It is my father who keeps stumbling
Behind me, and will not go away.
Born 30 August 1748 – Jacques-Louis David, a French painter in the Neoclassical style.
Below – “The Death of Socrates”; “Oath of the Horatii”; “The Death of Marat”; “Napoleon at the Saint-Bernard Pass”; “Self-Portrait.”
Dutch sculptor Rob van Bergen (born 1952) studied at the Academy of Visual Arts in Amersfoort from 1972 to 1976.
“I like coffee because it gives me the illusion that I might be awake.” – Lewis Black, American comedian, social critic, author, playwright, and actor, who was born 30 August 1948.
American Art – Part II of VI: Robert Crumb
“At least I hate myself as much as I hate anybody else.” – Robert Crumb, American cartoonist, comic artist, and musician, who was born 30 August 1943.
Some quotes from the work of Robert Crumb:
“I felt so painfully isolated that I vowed I would get revenge on the world by becoming a famous cartoonist.”
“Everything that is strong in me has gone into my art work.”
“Killing yourself is a major commitment, it takes a kind of courage. Most people just lead lives of cowardly desperation. It’s kinda half suicide where you just dull yourself with substances.”
“I guess I didn’t enjoy drawing very much. It was like homework.”
“When I come up against the real world, I just vacillate.”
“I moved further and further away from mass entertainment. The sexual element became increasingly sinister and bizarre. Don’t blame me! The bastards drove me to it! They all backed off after that!”
“When people say ‘What are underground comics?’ I think the best way you can define them is just the absolute freedom involved… we didn’t have anyone standing over us.”
“Most of my adult life I had this towering contempt for America.”
“Oh, yes. I knew I was weird by the time I was four. I knew I wasn’t like other boys. I knew I was more fearful. I didn’t like the rough and tumble most boys were into. I knew I was a sissy.”
German painter Silvia Willkens (born 1953) earned a B.A. degree from the Academy of Fine Arts in Stuttgart and an M.A. degree in Art and Design from the Johannes Gutenberg University in Mainz.
“I keep remembering — I keep remembering. My heart has no pity on me.” – Henri Barbusse, French novelist, soldier in the French Army on the Western Front during World War I, and author of “Under Fire: The Story of a Squad,” who died 30 August 1935.
Some quotes from the work of Henri Barbusse:
“I am more sensitive than other people. Things that other people would not notice awaken a distinct echo in me, and in such moments of lucidity, when I look at myself, I see that I am alone, all alone, all alone.”
“They felt that everything was fleeting, that everything wore out, that everything that was not dead would die, and that even the illusory ties holding them together would not endure. Their sadness did not bring them together. On the contrary, they were separated by all the force of their two sorrows. To suffer together, alas, what disunion!”
“Let everything be remade on simple lines. There is only one people, there is only one people!”
Here is how contemporary Tibetan artist Tsherin Sherpa describes some of his paintings: “The group of works which form Golden Child/Black Clouds continues my exploration of our perception of the sacred and mundane in everyday life. Originally, the focus of a previous series, Tibetan Spirit, showed figures that were half human/half deity enjoying the playful discovery of all the beauty and trappings of the modern world. While such hybrid Tibetan Spirits are still witnessing all that is unfolding, in these new works a human child is now placed in the foreground as if he or she should be contemplated like a deity. It is an attempt to look at world events through the eyes of these metaphorical images of Tibetan children.”
American Art – Part III of VI: Casey Krawczyk
Painter Casey Krawczyk (born 1978) has a BFA with a major in Painting from the University of Wisconsin in Superior and an MFA with a major in Painting from the New York Academy of Art in New York City.
“Hard work is damn near as overrated as monogamy.” – Huey Long, 40th Governor of Louisiana, United States Senator from Louisiana, and left-wing populist, who was born 30 August 1893.
Some quotes from the work of Huey Long:
“They’ve got a set of Republican waiters on one side and a set of Democratic waiters on the other side, but no matter which set of waiters brings you the dish, the legislative grub is all prepared in the same Wall Street kitchen.”
“They say they don’t like my methods. Well, I don’t like them either. I really don’t like to have to do things the way I do. I’d much rather get up before the legislature and say, ‘Now this is a good law and it’s for the benefit of the people, and I’d like you to vote for it in the interest of the public welfare.’ Only I know that laws ain’t made that way. You’ve got to sometimes fight fire with fire. The end justifies the means. I would do it some other way if there was time or if it wasn’t necessary to do it this way.”
“I can frighten or buy ninety-nine out of every one hundred men.”
“You will find that you cannot do without politicians. They are a necessary evil in this day and time. You may not like getting money from one source and spending it for another. But the thing for the school people to do is that if the politicians are going to steal, make them steal for the schools.”
“A perfect democracy can come close to looking like a dictatorship, a democracy in which the people are so satisfied they have no complaint.”
“I would describe a demagogue as a politician who don’t keep his promises.”
“We do not propose to say that there shall be no rich men. We do not ask to divide the wealth. We only propose that, when one man gets more than he and his children and children’s children can spend or use in their lifetimes, that then we shall say that such person has his share. That means that a few million dollars is the limit to what any one man can own.”
“God told you what the trouble was. The philosophers told you what the trouble was; and when you have a country where one man owns more than 100,000 people, or a million people, and when you have a country where there are four men, as in America that have got more control over things than all the 120 million people together, you know what the trouble is.”
“Before this miserable system of wreckage has destroyed the life germ of respect and culture in our American people, let us save what was here, merely by having none too poor and none too rich. The theory of the ‘Share Our Wealth Society’ is to have enough for all, but not to have one with so much that less than enough remains for the balance of the people.”
”But in the name of our good government, people today are seeing their own children hungry, tired, half-naked, lifting their tear-dimmed eyes into the sad faces of fathers and mothers, who cannot give them food and clothing they both need, and which is necessary to sustain them, and that goes on day after day, and night after night, when day gets into darkness and blackness, knowing those children would arise in the morning without being fed, and probably go to bed at night without being fed.”
“Not a single thin dime of concentrated, bloated, pompous wealth, massed in the hands of a few people, has been raked down to relieve the masses.”
“We shall have to say right here and now that the hand of imperial finance shall not go farther into its strangulation of the American people and that the hand of imperialistic banking control shall be decentralized instead of centralized in America.”
“We ought to take care of every single one of the sick and disabled veterans. I do not care whether a man got sick on the battlefield or did not; every man that wore the uniform of this country is entitled to be taken care of, and there is money enough to do it; and we need to spread the wealth of the country, which you did not do in what you call the [National Recovery Administration].”
American Art – Part IV of VI: Natalia Fabia
According to one art historian, “Natalia Fabia is of Polish descent and was raised in Southern California, where she graduated from Art Center College of Design in Pasadena. Inspired by light, color, punk rock music, hot chicks, and sparkles, Fabia is fascinated with ‘hookers,’ which fuels her paintings of sultry women.”
“Next time I tell you someone from Texas should not be president of the United States, please pay attention.” – Mary Tyler “Molly” Ivins, American newspaper columnist, author, political commentator, and humorist, who was born 30 August 1944.
Some quotes from the work of Molly Ivins:
“I believe that ignorance is the root of all evil. And that no one knows the truth.”
“When politicians start talking about large groups of their fellow Americans as ‘enemies,’ it’s time for a quiet stir of alertness. Polarizing people is a good way to win an election, and also a good way to wreck a country.”
“What is a teenager in San Francisco to rebel against, for pity’s sake? Their parents are all so busy trying to be non-judgmental, it’s no wonder they take to dyeing their hair green.”
“I dearly love the state of Texas, but I consider that a harmless perversion on my part, and discuss it only with consenting adults.”
“What you need is sustained outrage…there’s far too much unthinking respect given to authority.”
“There is no inverse relationship between freedom and security. Less of one does not lead to more of the other. People with no rights are not safe from terrorist attack.”
“As they say around the Texas Legislature, if you can’t drink their whiskey, screw their women, take their money, and vote against ‘em anyway, you don’t belong in office.”
“Politics is not a picture on a wall or a television sitcom that you can decide you don’t much care for.”
“One function of the income gap is that the people at the top of the heap have a hard time even seeing those at the bottom. They practically need a telescope. The pharaohs of ancient Egypt probably didn’t was a lot of time thinking about the people who build their pyramids, either.”
“It is possible to read the history of this country as one long struggle to extend the liberties established in our Constitution to everyone in America.”
“So keep fighting for freedom and justice, beloveds, but don’t forget to have fun doin’ it. Be outrageous… rejoice in all the oddities that freedom can produce. And when you get through celebrating the sheer joy of a good fight, be sure to tell those who come after how much fun it was!”
In the words of one critic, the paintings of Caribbean artist Antoine Molinero “radiate a tremendous feeling for atmosphere and people.”
A Poem for Today
By John Berryman
The three men coming down the winter hill
In brown, with tall poles and a pack of hounds
At heel, through the arrangement of the trees,
Past the five figures at the burning straw,
Returning cold and silent to their town,
Returning to the drifted snow, the rink
Lively with children, to the older men,
The long companions they can never reach,
The blue light, men with ladders, by the church
The sledge and shadow in the twilit street,
Are not aware that in the sandy time
To come, the evil waste of history
Outstretched, they will be seen upon the brow
Of that same hill: when all their company
Will have been irrecoverably lost,
These men, this particular three in brown
Witnessed by birds will keep the scene and say
By their configuration with the trees,
The small bridge, the red houses and the fire,
What place, what time, what morning occasion
Sent them into the wood, a pack of hounds
At heel and the tall poles upon their shoulders,
Thence to return as now we see them and
Ankle-deep in snow down the winter hill
Descend, while three birds watch and the fourth flies.
Below – Pieter Brueghel, “The Hunters in the Snow” (1565)
American Art – Part V of VI: Richard Piccolo
According to one writer, “Richard Piccolo was born in 1943 in Hartford Connecticut, but has deep roots in Italy, and has made Italy his home since the early 1970’s, with residences in Rome and Umbria, where he has renovated a farmhouse in the rolling hills of Umbertide. He received his BID from Pratt Institute, and studied at the Art Students League before receiving his MFA from Brooklyn College in 1968.
Piccolo is a renowned expert on Italian engraving as well as a respected professor at the various University foreign study programs in Rome, and he was the director of the Pratt Institute Rome Program from 1978 to 1995.”
A Second Poem for Today
By Daniel J. Langton
I was sent home the first day
with a note: Danny needs a ruler.
My father nodded, nothing seemed so apt.
School is for rules, countries need rulers,
graphs need graphing, the world is straight ahead.
It had metrics one side, inches the other.
You could see where it started
and why it stopped, a foot along,
how it ruled the flighty pen,
which petered out sideways when you dreamt.
I could have learned a lot,
understood latitude, or the border with Canada,
so stern compared to the South
and its unruly river with two names.
But that first day, meandering home, I dropped it.
American Art – Part VI of VI: Robert Cottingham
Artist Statement: ‘Printmaking is an alternative art world. For me, it provides a perfect opportunity to escape the solitude of the painting studio. I relish the spirit of collaboration and experimentation of the print shop, the trial and error procedures, the happy accidents, and the inevitably unpredictable results that this process offers. In addition to all this, printmaking makes visual ideas more accessible.”
In the words of one critic, “Robert Cottingham was born in Brooklyn, NY in 1935 and received his B.F.A. from Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, NY. Cottingham is a painter best-known for his photo-realistic depiction of signs, storefront marquees, railroad boxcars, letter forms, and recently, cameras and typewriters.”
Painter Katina Huston has a B.A. (1984) in Fine Art History and Computer Science from New York University and an M.F.A. (1996) from Mills College in Oakland, California.
“I find the great thing in this world is not so much where we stand, as in what direction we are moving – we must sail sometimes with the wind and sometimes against it – but we must sail, and not drift, nor lie at anchor.” – Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr., American physician, poet, professor, and lecturer, who was born 29 August 1809.
Some quotes from the work of Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.:
“What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.”
“What refuge is there for the victim who is oppressed with the feeling that there are a thousand new books he ought to read, while life is only long enough for him to attempt to read a hundred?”
“Man’s mind, once stretched by a new idea, never regains its original dimensions.”
“Many people die with their music still in them. Too often it is because they are always getting ready to live. Before they know it time runs out.”
“The morning cup of coffee has an exhilaration about it which the cheering influence of the afternoon or evening cup of tea cannot be expected to reproduce.”
“A moment’s insight is sometimes worth a life’s experience.”
British Art – Part I of II: Patrick Procktor
Died 29 August 2003 – Patrick Procktor, an English painter.
Below – “Figures at Night”; “Anemones: The Last Day”; “Beneath the Surface”; “Figures by the Sea II”; “A Group of Polish Pilots”; “Three Figures in a Landscape.”
“With my somewhat vague aspiring mind, to be imprisoned in the rude details of a most material life was often irksome.” – Edward Carpenter, English poet, socialist, philosopher, and early LGBT activist, who was born 29 August 1844.
Here is one critic describing Edward Carpenter: “A leading figure in late 19th- and early 20th-century Britain, he was instrumental in the foundation of the Fabian Society and the Labour Party. A poet and writer, he was a close friend of Walt Whitman and Rabindranath Tagore, corresponding with many famous figures such as Annie Besant, Isadora Duncan, Havelock Ellis, Roger Fry, Mahatma Gandhi, James Keir Hardie, J. K. Kinney, Jack London, George Merrill, E D Morel, William Morris, E R Pease, John Ruskin, and Olive Schreiner.”
“So Thin a Veil”
So thin a veil divides
Us from such joy, past words,
Walking in daily life–the business of the hour, each detail seen to;
Yet carried, rapt away, on what sweet floods of other Being:
Swift streams of music flowing, light far back through all Creation shining,
Loved faces looking–
Ah! from the true, the mortal self
So thin a veil divides!
British Art – Part II of II: Eleanor Fein
Artist Statement: “I live in Chiswick, London, by the River Thames, where I have my studio. My paintings reflect my passion for expressing how ordinary objects, such as vegetables and fruit, and everyday household objects can be transformed by the play of light on them. I try to create paintings which embody this fascination, and which create a calm and absorbing atmosphere.”
Summer Haiku – Part I of VI
the jogger’s mouth waters
From the Music Archives – Part I of II: Charlie Parker
“Don’t play the saxophone. Let it play you.” – Charlie Parker, known as “Bird,” American jazz saxophonist and composer, who was born 29 August 1920.
Born 29 August 1780 – Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres, a French Neoclassical painter.
Below – “Achilles Receiving the Envoys of Agamemnon”; “Napoleon I on His Imperial Throne”; “Virgil Reading the Aeneid to Augustus”; “Grande Odalisque”; “Oedipus and the Sphinx.”
Nobel Laureate: Maurice Maeterlinck
“We are alone, absolutely alone on this chance planet: and, amid all the forms of life that surround us, not one, excepting the dog, has made an alliance with us.” – Maurice Maeterlinck, Belgian poet, playwright, essayist, and recipient of the 1911 Nobel Prize in Literature “in appreciation of his many-sided literary activities, and especially of his dramatic works, which are distinguished by a wealth of imagination and by a poetic fancy, which reveals, sometimes in the guise of a fairy tale, a deep inspiration, while in a mysterious way they appeal to the readers’ own feelings and stimulate their imaginations,” who was born 29 August 1882.
Some quotes from Maurice Maeterlinck:
“When we lose one we love, our bitterest tears are called forth by the memory of hours when we loved not enough.”
“All our knowledge merely helps us to die a more painful death than the animals that know nothing.”
“At every crossroads on the path that leads to the future tradition has placed 10, 000 men to guard the past”
“As soon as we put something into words, we devalue it in a strange way. We think we have plunged into the depths of the abyss, and when we return to the surface the drop of water on our pale fingertips no longer resembles the sea from which it comes. We delude ourselves that we have discovered a wonderful treasure trove, and when we return to the light of day we find that we have brought back only false stones and shards of glass; and yet the treasure goes on glimmering in the dark, unaltered.”
“Besides, I myself have now for a long time ceased to look for anything more beautiful in this world, or more interesting, than the truth; or at least than the effort one is able to make towards the truth.”
“Silence is the element in which great things fashion themselves together … Speech is too often … the act of quite stifling and suspending thought, so that there is none to conceal … Speech is of Time, silence is of Eternity … It is idle to think that, by means of words, any real communication can ever pass from one man to another.”
“Can we conceive what humanity would be if it did not know the flowers?”
Summer Haiku – Part II of VI
an undulating pattern
in the man’s tie
Peruvian painter Carlos Zauny-Coronado has lived and worked in Canada since 2003.
From the American History Archives: The First Indian Reservation
29 August 1758 – The New Jersey Legislature creates the country’s first Indian Reservation. In the words of one historian, “The New Jersey Assembly in 1758 established a permanent home for the Lenni-Lenape in Burlington County. It was the first ‘Indian reservation,’ The tribe had relinquished all rights to New Jersey, except for hunting and fishing privileges. About 200 of the ‘original people’ gathered to make their home under the benevolent supervision of John Brainerd. Reverend Brainerd optimistically called the reservation Brotherton in the hopes that all men would be brothers. He was an enthusiastic organizer and devout missionary. He helped them to set up grist and sawmills and encouraged them to adapt to the new way of life. For a while it seemed to be working and the area became known as Indian Mills.”
American Art – Part II of VI: Joe Richards
According to one writer, “Joseph Richards was born in Des Moines, Iowa and studied art at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, the Chicago Art Institute, the American Academy of Art and Mizen Academy, Chicago.”
“The only defense against the world is a thorough knowledge of it.” – John Locke, English philosopher, physician, and one of the most influential Enlightenment thinkers, who was born 29 August 1632.
Some quotes from the work of John Locke:
“So that, in effect, religion, which should most distinguish us from beasts, and ought most peculiarly to elevate us, as rational creatures, above brutes, is that wherein men often appear most irrational, and more senseless than beasts themselves.”
“Reading furnishes the mind only with materials of knowledge; it is thinking that makes what we read ours.”
“I have always thought the actions of men the best interpreters of their thoughts.”
“New opinions are always suspected, and usually opposed, without any other reason but because they are not common.”
“We are like chameleons, we take our hue and the color of our moral character, from those who are around us.”
“Our incomes are like our shoes; if too small, they gall and pinch us; but if too large, they cause us to stumble and to trip.”
“To love truth for truth’s sake is the principal part of human perfection in this world, and the seed-plot of all other virtues.”
“There is frequently more to be learned from the unexpected questions of a child than the discourses of men.”
Spanish painter Pablo Carnero (born 1972) has a degree in Fine Arts from the University of Salamanca.
Summer Haiku – Part III of VI
what did you caress
before cooling me
From the Music Archives – Part II of II: The Beatles
29 August 1966 – The Beatles perform their last public concert at Candlestick Park in San Francisco.
American Art – Part III of VI: Jack Kirby
“Perfectionists are their own devils.” – Jack Kirby, American comic book artist, writer, editor, and co-creator of Captain America, the Fantastic Four, the X-Men, the Hulk, and many other characters, who was born on 29 August 1917. The Jack Kirby Awards and the Jack Kirby Hall of Fame were named in this gifted man’s honor.
From the Movie Archives: Ingrid Bergman
“Success is getting what you want; happiness is wanting what you get.” – Ingrid Bergman, Swedish actress and three-time Academy Award winner best known for her portrayal of Ilsa Lund in “Casablanca,” who was born 29 August 1915.
Summer Haiku – Part IV of VI
a new scarecrow points
at the starlings
American Art – Part IV of VI: Allen Bentley
Here is how American painter Allen Bentley describes some of his work: “Years ago, I made a group of paintings called the ‘Water Series.’ During my first year of marriage, I convinced my young wife to sit, swim, and roll through a cold mountain stream while I painted her from shore. Why water? To me, water is the perfect metaphor for love: all-encompassing and powerful…A fluidity of marks, of movement, of the slippery dynamics of relationship, love. Intimacy and connection have been at the heart of my work for years. In the past I have explored these themes through dancers and wrestlers, couples swing dancing or engaged in a pillow fight: it is all the same to me. We, as people, are bound to the ones we love: we circle one another, we flirt, we pursue, we play, we cry, we want from another. My work has used dancing and playing couples to explore these dynamics.”
“Their relationship consisted
In discussing if it existed.” – Thom Gunn, Anglo-American poet and author of “The Man with Night Sweats,” who was born 29 August 1929.
“The Man with Night Sweats”
I wake up cold, I who
Prospered through dreams of heat
Wake to their residue,
Sweat, and a clinging sheet.
My flesh was its own shield:
Where it was gashed, it healed.
I grew as I explored
The body I could trust
Even while I adored
The risk that made robust,
A world of wonders in
Each challenge to the skin.
I cannot but be sorry
The given shield was cracked,
My mind reduced to hurry,
My flesh reduced and wrecked.
I have to change the bed,
But catch myself instead
Stopped upright where I am
Hugging my body to me
As if to shield it from
The pains that will go through me,
As if hands were enough
To hold an avalanche off.
Below – Jack Brummet: “Night Sweats”
American Art – Part V of VI: Kate Pfeiffer
In the words of one writer, “Kate Pfeiffer graduated with a BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design in 2008. Kate’s work has been shown nationally and internationally and has been featured in several publications.”
Summer Haiku – Part V of VI
the whole ocean becomes
a wishing well
A Poem for Today
By Theodore Roethke
Now as the train bears west,
Its rhythm rocks the earth,
And from my Pullman berth
I stare into the night
While others take their rest.
Bridges of iron lace,
A suddenness of trees,
A lap of mountain mist
All cross my line of sight,
Then a bleak wasted place,
And a lake below my knees.
Full on my neck I feel
The straining at a curve;
My muscles move with steel,
I wake in every nerve.
I watch a beacon swing
From dark to blazing bright;
We thunder through ravines
And gullies washed with light.
Beyond the mountain pass
Mist deepens on the pane;
We rush into a rain
That rattles double glass.
Wheels shake the roadbed stone,
The pistons jerk and shove,
I stay up half the night
To see the land I love.
Summer Haiku – Part VI of VI
a stray bobber afloat
in the galaxy
American Art – Part VI of VI: Megan Bogonovich
Artist Statement: “The sculptures combine naturalistic and abstracted imagery to suggest the possibility of the real and the imagined cohabitating. (I) present scenarios about the comforts and limitations of our personal worlds.”
Mary Sauer earned a BFA in Illustration from Brigham Young University in 2009; since 2011, she has been a student at the Art Student’s League of New York.
Literary Giants – Part I of II: Goethe
“We do not have to visit a madhouse to find disordered minds; our planet is the mental institution of the universe.” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, German writer, statesman, and author of several great and influential works, including “The Sorrows of Young Werther” and “Faust,” who was born 28 August 1749.
Some quotes from the work of Goethe:
“There is nothing more frightful than ignorance in action.”
“Daring ideas are like chessmen moved forward. They may be beaten, but they may start a winning game.”
“If you’ve never eaten while crying, you don t know what life tastes like.”
“You can easily judge the character of a man by how he treats those who can do nothing for him.”
“A man sees in the world what he carries in his heart.”
“To think is easy. To act is hard. But the hardest thing in the world is to act in accordance with your thinking.”
“Nothing shows a man’s character more than what he laughs at.”
“By seeking and blundering we learn.”
“Things which matter most must never be at the mercy of things which matter least.”
“The human race is a monotonous affair. Most people spend the greatest part of their time working in order to live, and what little freedom remains so fills them with fear that they seek out any and every means to be rid of it.”
“There is nothing worse than aggressive stupidity.”
“The world is so empty if one thinks only of mountains, rivers & cities; but to know someone who thinks and feels with us, and who, though distant, is close to us in spirit, this makes the earth for us an inhabited garden.”
“Nothing is worth more than this day.”
From the American History Archives – Part I of II: St. Augustine, Florida
28 August 1585 – The Spanish establish St. Augustine, Florida, the oldest continuously occupied European-founded settlement in the continental United States. For comparison, Jamestown was founded in 1607 and Plymouth Colony in 1620.
Below – St. Augustine City Gate, circa 1861.
German artist Walter Roos (born 1958) studied sculpture before becoming a painter.
Literary Giants – Part II of II: Tolstoy
“Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.” – Count Lev Nikolayevich Tolstoy, Russian writer, philosopher, political thinker, and author of the masterpieces “War and Peace” and “Anna Karenina,” who was born 28 August (O.S.) 1828.
Some quotes from the work of Leo Tolstoy:
“If you look for perfection, you’ll never be content.”
“It is amazing how complete is the delusion that beauty is goodness.”
“Respect was invented to cover the empty place where love should be.”
“Rummaging in our souls, we often dig up something that ought to have lain there unnoticed. ”
“The two most powerful warriors are patience and time.”
“Freethinkers are those who are willing to use their minds without prejudice and without fearing to understand things that clash with their own customs, privileges, or beliefs. This state of mind is not common, but it is essential for right thinking.”
“All the variety, all the charm, all the beauty of life is made up of light and shadow.”
“A man can live and be healthy without killing animals for food; therefore, if he eats meat, he participates in taking animal life merely for the sake of his appetite. And to act so is immoral.”
“Wrong does not cease to be wrong because the majority share in it.”
“A quiet secluded life in the country, with the possibility of being useful to people to whom it is easy to do good, and who are not accustomed to have it done to them; then work which one hopes may be of some use; then rest, nature, books, music, love for one’s neighbor — such is my idea of happiness.”
From the American History Archives – Part II of II: Tom Thumb
28 August 1830 – “Tom Thumb,” the first locomotive in the United States, makes its initial run from Baltimore to Ellicott’s Mill.
Below – A re-enactment of the Tom Thumb locomotive carrying directors from the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad.
Canadian Art – Part I of II: Jacques Payette
In the words of one writer, “A self-taught artist, Jacques Payette was born in Montreal in 1951 and began exhibiting his works in the early 1970’s. Since 1990 he has worked primarily in the technically challenging and unique medium of encaustic (wax), a medium in which he is now recognized as a master. With strong figurative, still life, and landscape works, Jacques Payette always manages to express the duality of man’s nature, reconciling and contrasting the physical with the metaphysical.”
“Childhood is measured out by sounds and smells and sights, before the dark hour of reason grows.” – John Betjeman, English poet, writer, broadcaster, and Poet Laureate of the United Kingdom from 1972-1984, who was born 28 August 1906.
“Five O’Clock Shadow”
This is the time of day when we in the Men’s ward
Think “one more surge of the pain and I give up the fight.”
When he who struggles for breath can struggle less strongly:
This is the time of day which is worse than night.
A haze of thunder hangs on the hospital rose-beds,
A doctors’ foursome out of the links is played,
Safe in her sitting-room Sister is putting her feet up:
This is the time of day when we feel betrayed.
Below the windows, loads of loving relations
Rev in the car park, changing gear at the bend,
Making for home and a nice big tea and the telly:
“Well, we’ve done what we can. It can’t be long till the end.”
This is the time of day when the weight of bedclothes
Is harder to bear than a sharp incision of steel.
The endless anonymous croak of a cheap transistor
Intensifies the lonely terror I feel.
Here is the brief Artist Statement of Italian sculptor Emilio Casarotto: “I am a Vicentino sculptor, born in Fimon, in the valley of the Mills. Well, I should have become a miller; however, I almost immediately chose ceramic and terracotta art, training initially at the School of Art and Crafts in Vicenza and then at the Milan School of Art.”
Note: The colorful ceramic pieces below are made from pulverized Italian Carrara marble.
“The possession of arbitrary power has always, the world over, tended irresistibly to destroy humane sensibility, magnanimity, and truth.” – Frederick Law Olmsted, American landscape architect, conservationist, journalist, social critic, public administrator, and co-designer (with Calvert Vaux) of New York City’s Central Park, who died 28 August 1903.
Below – Frederick Law Olmsted, oil painting by John Singer Sargent, 1895; Central Park, New York City.
From the Music Archives: Richard Wagner
28 August 1850 – Richard Wagner’s opera “Lohengrin” premieres at Weimar, Germany.
American Art – Part II of III: David Mueller
Artist Statement: “I like to create renderings that capture the essence of simple, yet profound, aesthetics. The current focus of my work is primarily figurative paintings, many including some kind of decorative element. I strive to create ‘timeless’ images. My style is aimed at finding a happy medium between classical realism and impressionism. I also love to plein air paint to try to capture the essence of natural landscape.”
28 August 1845 – “Scientific American” magazine publishes its first issue. In the words of one historian, “Scientific American” is an American popular science magazine. It has a long history of presenting scientific information on a monthly basis to the general educated public, with careful attention to the clarity of its text and the quality of its specially commissioned color graphics. Many famous scientists, including Albert Einstein, have contributed articles in the past 168 years. It is the oldest continuously published monthly magazine in the United States.”
From the Movie Archives: John Huston
“You walk through a series of arches, so to speak, and then, presently, at the end of a corridor, a door opens and you see backward through time, and you feel the flow of time, and realize you are only part of a great nameless procession.” – John Huston, American film director, screenwriter, and actor, who died 28 August 1987.
John Huston directed many great movies, including “The Treasure of Sierra Madre,” “Key Largo,” “The African Queen,” and, of course, “The Maltese Falcon.”
American Muse – Part I of II: Rita Dove
“Being true to yourself really means being true to all the complexities of the human spirit.” – Rita Dove, American poet and recipient of the 1987 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry, who was born 28 August 1952.
“Teach Us to Number Our Days”
In the old neighborhood, each funeral parlor
is more elaborate than the last.
The alleys smell of cops, pistols bumping their thighs,
each chamber steeled with a slim blue bullet.
Low-rent balconies stacked to the sky.
A boy plays tic-tac-toe on a moon
crossed by TV antennae, dreams
he has swallowed a blue bean.
It takes root in his gut, sprouts
and twines upward, the vines curling
around the sockets and locking them shut.
And this sky, knotting like a dark tie?
The patroller, disinterested, holds all the beans.
August. The mums nod past, each a prickly heart on a sleeve.
Canadian Art Part II of II: Vivian Thierfelder
Artist Statement: “In choosing the subjects for my latest works, I have concentrated on the linear aspects of flowers and still life, allowing colour and form to emerge with the use of strong natural light and often employing elements of chiaroscuro. Contrast heightens the impact for the viewer and reveals the objects – flowers, glass or metallics to their best advantage. I have a fascination with light playing on various textures (petals, leaves, cloth), reflective surfaces (brass, steel) and densities (water, glass). A secondary motif that I explore at times is colour-related borders “imposed” on the works, creating a kind of window, adding energy and an element of mystery. I find it quite magical – the manner in which a brush, pigments and paper can create a ‘reality’: the illusion of three dimensions in two. I hope you enjoy these works and feel the same sense of wonder that I did in creating them.”
American Muse – Part II of II: William Stafford
“I have woven a parachute out of everything broken.” – William Stafford, American poet and pacifist, who died 28 August 1993.
“The Way It Is”
There’s a thread you follow. It goes among
things that change. But it doesn’t change.
People wonder about what you are pursuing.
You have to explain about the thread.
But it is hard for others to see.
While you hold it you can’t get lost.
Tragedies happen; people get hurt
or die; and you suffer and get old.
Nothing you do can stop time’s unfolding.
You don’t ever let go of the thread.
Below – Lachesis, one of the Three Fates in Greek mythology, measuring the thread of life for an individual human being.
Here is one critic describing the artistry of Russian-born painter Dima Dimitriev: “Dmitriev’s paintings represent forms of ‘visual paradise.’ He describes this as the process of extracting the color, light, and texture from real places and distilling these onto his canvases as idealized worlds. Dima rarely uses a brush. His preferred tool is the palette knife. Dmitriev also adds depth and color saturation to some of his works by starting with black, rather than the traditional white, canvas. Dima’s Impressionistic composition and style combined with his mastery of the palette knife create oil paintings that are vibrant and sculptural. His works often include themes of childhood, nature and the sea.”
A Poem for Today
“On The Death Of Friends in Childhood,”
By Donald Justice
We shall not ever meet them bearded in heaven
Nor sunning themselves among the bald of hell;
If anywhere, in the deserted schoolyard at twilight,
forming a ring, perhaps, or joining hands
In games whose very names we have forgotten.
Come memory, let us seek them there in the shadows.
American Art – Part III of III: Henry W. Dixon
In the words of one writer, “Henry W. Dixon paints predominately in watercolor, and is a realist painter in style, and his subjects are people, places and things, i.e., figures, landscapes and still lifes. His figures are mainly those of children and the elderly, whose actions and demeanor seem unpretentious and natural. He enjoys capturing his figures as they really are.”
Timothy Norman earned a BA degree from the University of Dallas in 1994.
“What experience and history teach is this—that nations and governments have never learned anything from history, or acted on principles deduced from it.” – Georg William Friedrich Hegel, German philosopher, who was born 27 August 1770.
Some quotes form the work of Georg William Friedrich Hegel:
“To be independent of public opinion is the first formal condition of achieving anything great.”
“Education is the art of making man ethical”
“Everybody allows that to know any other science you must have first studied it, and that you can only claim to express a judgment upon it in virtue of such knowledge. Everybody allows that to make a shoe you must have learned and practiced the craft of the shoemaker, though every man has a model in his own foot, and possesses in his hands the natural endowments for the operations required. For philosophy alone, it seems to be imagined, such study, care, and application are not in the least requisite”
“We may affirm absolutely that nothing great in the world has been accomplished without passion.”
“The length of the journey has to be borne with, for every moment is necessary.”
Here is one critic describing the artistry of Spanish painter Carlos Ygoa (born 1963): “The study of western European old masters has been at the core of his formation as an artist, and he has always derived inspiration especially from Spanish and Italian Renaissance and Baroque painters, as well as 19th century artists and the realists of the 20th century.”
From the Music Archives – Part I of II: Sonny Sharrock
Born 27 August 1940 – Warren Harding “Sonny” Sharrock, an American jazz guitarist.
American Art – Part II of IV: Claudia Olds Goldie
Here is one critic describing the artistry of sculptor Claudia Olds Goldie: “Claudia Olds Goldie portrays mature women with candor. In one, the figure wears gym gear and has lifted, with little effort, a barbell satirically bedecked with the accoutrements of the modern ‘superwoman’: cellular phone, computer keyboard, teddy bear, frying pan, dog bowl, paintbrush, books. Another exposes a tired, plump swimmer wearing an old-fashioned swim cap. Goldie’s ‘girls’ are whimsical but not a bit funny. While once we judged women primarily by their sexuality, the criterion has shifted, but is no less harsh, Goldie suggests. The haggard lifter is the antithesis of the celebrated male athlete, who even in pudgy retirement is paid to tout cars or comment on televised sports events.”
American Comedy – Part I of II: Gracie Allen
“They laughed at Joan of Arc, but she went right ahead and built it.” – Grace Ethel Cecile Rosalie “Gracie” Allen, American comedienne and comic foil of her husband George Burns, who died 27 August 1964.
Here is one critic describing the artistry of Colombian painter Nicolas De la Hoz (born 1960): “In his compositions, we can see two or three juxtaposed areas of different geometrical shapes, visually balanced. Daily elements, animals and anonymous people take their place inside them. In this way, De la Hoz suggest us an unexplainable interaction of realities. Nicolás develops his artistic work mainly with the technical resources of the easel painting. Color and organic textures play a fundamental role in integrating the structures of his designs.”
From the Music Archives – Part II of II: Stevie Ray Vaughan
“What I am trying to get across to you is: please take of yourselves and those that you love; because that is what we are here for, that’s all we got, and that is all we can take with us. Are you with me?” – Stevie Ray Vaughan, American blues musician, singer, songwriter, record producer, and influential electric guitarist, who died 27 August 1990.
British Art – Part I of II: Emma Mount
Artist Statement: “I think my colourful oil portraits combine inspiration both from the influences of my youth, and from my many years working as a designer for a major cosmetics company in London. I have had a lifelong love of fashion, glamour, kitsch, pin-ups as well as all things ghoulish. Having worked as a designer I am very much caught up in the excitement of creation, and I love the endless creative possibilities that come from painting, and making a canvas come to life.”
American Comedy – Part II of II: Paul Reubens
“I’ve always felt like a kid, and I still feel like a kid, and I’ve never had any problem tapping into my childhood, and my kid side.” – Paul Reubens (born Paul Rubenfeld), American actor, writer, film producer, game show host, and comedian best known for his character Pee-wee Herman, who was born 27 August 1952.
British Art – Part II of II: Paul James
In the words of one critic, “Essentially self-taught, Paul James began painting professionally in 1986. It was the haunting beauty of the nearby Charnwood forest that greatly influenced his early atmospheric landscapes (a trade mark that continues on). Paul has become renowned for this together with his animal portraiture and has perfected a style of his own. The originality of his compositions along with the attention to detail means that his works take time and Paul dedicates himself to each piece with a passion rarely seen in today’s commercial art world.
Paul insists on the freedom to paint the subjects he chooses which allows him creative flexibility. It is this freedom that keeps his work fresh and current. Although Paul continues to paint in fine detail he has recently given his pieces a more humorous edge, experimenting with perspective and size, thus creating a more contemporary feel.”
“Art is the stored honey of the human soul.” – Theodore Dreiser, influential American novelist, journalist, and author of “Sister Carrie” and “An American Tragedy,” who was born 27 August 1871.
A few quotes from the work of Theodore Dreiser:
“How true it is that words are but the vague shadows of the volumes we mean.”
“The most futile thing in this world is any attempt, perhaps, at exact definition of character. All individuals are a bundle of contradictions – none more so than the most capable.”
“A thought will color a world for us.”
27 August 1883 – The volcano Krakatoa, west of Java, explodes with a force of 1,300 megatons and kills approximately 40,000 people. In the words of one historian, “The 1883 eruption of Krakatoa in the Dutch East Indies (now Indonesia) began on August 26, 1883 (with origins as early as May of that year) and culminated with several destructive eruptions of the remaining caldera. On August 27, two thirds of Krakatoa collapsed in a chain of titanic explosions, destroying most of the island and its surrounding archipelago.”
Below – A lithograph of the eruption, circa 1888; an eruption of Krakatoa in 2008.
Here is one critic describing the artistry of Miguel Avataneo (born 1962): “Avataneo is one of the brightest talents in Argentina’s art world. He is a painter of images that combine a love of classicism with the South American tradition of magical realism. His images are rooted in the real world of European classicism but are infused with a naturally fantastical element, with exquisitely drawn figures placed in dreamlike environments.
Avataneo’s imagery is sensual and evocative and employs a luxurious use of color and detail that give his canvases a luminous quality that is mesmerizing.”
“They say that every snowflake is different. If that were true, how could the world go on? How could we ever get up off our knees? How could we ever recover from the wonder of it?” – Jeanette Winterson, British writer, broadcaster, lesbian activist, and author of “Sexing the Cherry,” “Oranges are Not the Only Fruit,” and “Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal?,” who was born 27 August 1959.
Some quotes from the work of Jeanette Winterson:
“What you risk reveals what you value.”
“‘You’ll get over it…’ It’s the clichés that cause the trouble. To lose someone you love is to alter your life forever. You don’t get over it because ‘it’ is the person you loved. The pain stops, there are new people, but the gap never closes. How could it? The particularness of someone who mattered enough to grieve over is not made anodyne by death. This hole in my heart is in the shape of you and no one else can fit it. Why would I want them to?”
“When I look at my life I realise that the mistakes I have made, the things I really regret, were not errors of judgment but failures of feeling.”
“I have a theory that every time you make an important choice, the part of you left behind continues the other life you could have had.”
“I seem to have run in a great circle, and met myself again on the starting line.”
“‘Do you fall in love often?’
‘Yes often. With a view, with a book, with a dog, a cat, with numbers, with friends, with complete strangers, with nothing at all.’”
“To be ill adjusted to a deranged world is not a breakdown.”
“It’s hard to remember that this day will never come again. That the time is now and the place is here and that there are no second chances at a single moment.”
American Art – Part III of IV: Jeremy Plunkett
Artist Statement: “When we as humans stop to self reflect, we pause. If for only a split second or a prolonged period, this pause brings us to reconsider the condition of our surroundings –the notion of what seems familiar conjoined with the present. I work with the idea that light cast into a space and upon specific characters within familiar places triggers self reflection, triggers that ‘pause.’
By using subtractive approaches within my work, I am able to more vividly create a sense of light through erasing. This is important because this eradication mimics the effects of cast light, specifically the intensity of its source. Light owns the capacity to eradicate space as well as maintaining the ability to shape, bend, and depict. The more detailed and realistically light is depicted, the more light becomes something of abstraction, lending itself to its beauty and daunting nature. I believe this character, in conjunction with monumentally scaled interiors, touches upon the sublime –a feeling made evident when viewing contrasting notions of reality, the real beside illusion.
My work is meant to represent various different pauses, activated by a moment of the sublime (the daunting beauty of light’s interaction with space, the real and the non-real, the mark and the non-mark).”
A Poem for Today
By James Wright
The moon drops one or two feathers into the field.
The dark wheat listens.
There they are, the moon’s young, trying
Between trees, a slender woman lifts up the lovely shadow
Of her face, and now she steps into the air, now she is gone
Wholly, into the air.
I stand alone by an elder tree, I do not dare breathe
The wheat leans back toward its own darkness,
And I lean toward mine.
By William Stafford
It is time for all the heroes to go home
if they have any, time for all of us common ones
to locate ourselves by the real things
we live by.
Far to the north, or indeed in any direction,
strange mountains and creatures have always lurked-
elves, goblins, trolls, and spiders:-we
encounter them in dread and wonder,
But once we have tasted far streams, touched the gold,
found some limit beyond the waterfall,
a season changes, and we come back, changed
but safe, quiet, grateful.
Suppose an insane wind holds all the hills
while strange beliefs whine at the traveler’s ears,
we ordinary beings can cling to the earth and love
where we are, sturdy for common things.
Below – Camille Pissarro: “Women Planting Pea Stakes”
American Art – Part IV of IV: Bev Doolittle
In the words of one critic, “Bev Doolittle is one of America’s most collected artists. Her camouflage art is loved by art collectors around the world. Through sheer force of talent and dedication, has achieved a status in the art world few contemporary artists even dream of. Crowded with intricate visual detail, haunted by presences seen and unseen, her paintings captivate the viewer on many levels.”
In the words of one writer, “Ann Marshall grew up in Atlanta, Georgia and earned her BFA from School of Visual Arts in New York City. She has worked in a gallery, illustrated an award winning children’s book on the Holocaust, and traveled nationally and internationally as an ethnographer and consumer anthropologist . Her fine art work has been exhibited in New York City’s Gallery at Lincoln Center. She now works as a portrait and fine artist.”
“A great many people think they are thinking when they are merely rearranging their prejudices.” – William James, American philosopher, psychologist, and author of “The Varieties of Religious Experience,” who died 26 August 1910.
Some quotes from the work of William James:
“We are like islands in the sea, separate on the surface but connected in the deep.”
“If you can change your mind, you can change your life.”
“Seek out that particular mental attribute which makes you feel most deeply and vitally alive, along with which comes the inner voice which says, ‘This is the real me,’ and when you have found that attitude, follow it.”
“I am done with great things and big things, great institutions and big success, and I am for those tiny, invisible molecular moral forces that work from individual to individual, creeping through the crannies of the world like so many rootlets, or like the capillary oozing of water, yet which if you give them time, will rend the hardest monuments of man’s pride.”
“Our view of the world is truly shaped by what we decide to hear.”
“Human beings are born into this little span of life of which the best thing is its friendships and intimacies … and yet they leave their friendships and intimacies with no cultivation, to grow as they will by the roadside, expecting them to ‘keep’ by force of mere inertia.”
“If merely ‘feeling good’ could decide, drunkenness would be the supremely valid human experience.”
“Good-humor is a philosophic state of mind; it seems to say to Nature that we take her no more seriously than she takes us. I maintain that one should always talk of philosophy with a smile.”
“To perceive the world differently, we must be willing to change our belief system, let the past slip away, expand our sense of now, and dissolve the fear in our minds.”
“The great use of life is to spend it for something that will outlast it.”
Australian artist Anne Smerdon earned a Bachelor of Architectural Design degree from the University of Queensland.
“What is the difference between unethical and ethical advertising? Unethical advertising uses falsehoods to deceive the public; ethical advertising uses truth to deceive the public.” – Vilhjalmur Stefansson, Canadian-American Arctic explorer and ethnologist, who died 26 August 1962.
Died 26 August 2001 – Louis Muhlstock, a Canadian painter best known for his depictions of the Great Depression.
Below – “Backyards”; “Winter Landscape”; “Welder at Defense Industries Ltd., Montreal”; “Yellow Still-Life”; “Sainte-Famille Street, Montreal”; “Early Spring, Mount Royal.”
“I have seen the science I worshiped, and the aircraft I loved, destroying the civilization I expected them to serve.” – Charles A. Lindbergh, American aviator, writer, inventor, explorer, and author of “The Spirit of St. Louis,” which won the 1954 Pulitzer Prize, who died 26 August 1974.
Some quotes from Charles A. Lindbergh:
“I realized that if I had to choose, I would rather have birds than airplanes. In wilderness I sense the miracle of life, and behind it our scientific accomplishments fade to trivia. Real freedom lies in wildness, not in civilization.”
“From now on, depressions will be scientifically created.”
“Whether outwardly or inwardly, whether in space or time, the farther we penetrate the unknown, the vaster and more marvelous it becomes.”
“The financial system has been turned over to the Federal Reserve Board. That board administers the finance system by authority of a purely profiteering group. The system is private, conducted for the sole purpose of obtaining the greatest possible profits from the use of other people’s money.”
“Science is insulating man from life – separating his mind from his senses. The worst of it is that it soon anaesthetizes his senses so that he doesn’t know what he’s missing.”
“I owned the world that hour as I rode over it. free of the earth, free of the mountains, free of the clouds, but how inseparably I was bound to them.”
Iranian painter Pooneh Oshidari studied at both the Academy of Art University and Tehran Art University.
From the Music Archives: Laura Branigan
Died 26 August 2004 – Laura Branigan, an American singer, songwriter, and actress.
American Art – Part II of III: Michael Manley
In the words of one critic, “Mike Manley was born in Detroit, Michigan and has been drawing and working in comics and commercial art since he was 15. He has been a working comic book professional since the age of 23. His powerful and expressive drawings, dynamic inks and strong story telling skills, have made him an in-demand artist for some of comic’s top titles for all of the major publishers.”
“Life is not so bad if you have plenty of luck, a good physique and not too much imagination.” – Christopher Isherwood, English writer, novelist, and managing editor of “Vedanta and the West,” who was born 26 August 1904.
Some quotes from the work of Christopher Isherwood:
“A few times in my life I’ve had moments of absolute clarity. When for a few brief seconds the silence drowns out the noise and I can feel rather than think, and things seem so sharp and the world seems so fresh. It’s as though it had all just come into existence.
I can never make these moments last. I cling to them, but like everything, they fade. I have lived my life on these moments. They pull me back to the present, and I realize that everything is exactly the way it was meant to be.”
“Fear, after all, is our real enemy. Fear is taking over our world. Fear is being used as a tool of manipulation in our society. Itʼs how politicians peddle policy and how Madison Avenue sells us things that we donʼt need. Think about it. Fear that weʼre going to be attacked, fear that there are communists lurking around every corner, fear that some little Caribbean country that doesnʼt believe in our way of life poses a threat to us. Fear that black culture may take over the world. Fear of Elvis Presleyʼs hips. Well, maybe that one is a real fear. Fear that our bad breath might ruin our friendships… Fear of growing old and being alone.”
“For other people, I can’t speak – but, personally, I haven’t gotten wise on anything. Certainly, I’ve been through this and that; and when it happens again, I say to myself, Here it is again. But that doesn’t seem to help me. In my opinion, I, personally, have gotten steadily sillier and sillier – and that’s a fact.”
“Waking up begins with saying am and now. That which has awoken then lies for a while staring up at the ceiling and down into itself until it has recognized I, and therefrom deduced I am, I am now. Here comes next, and is at least negatively reassuring; because here, this morning, is where it has expected to find itself: what’s called at home.”
Artist Elvira Pyrkova was born in Russia in 1970, and after extensive studies in her homeland, she moved to Mexico for eight years. She currently lives and works in London.
“What you don’t necessarily realize when you start selling your time by the hour is that what you’re really selling is your life.” – Barbara Ehrenreich, American writer, political activist, and author of “Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America,” who was born 26 August 1941.
Some quotes from the work of Barbara Ehrenreich:
“When someone works for less pay than she can live on — when, for example, she goes hungry so that you can eat more cheaply and conveniently — then she has made a great sacrifice for you, she has made you a gift of some part of her abilities, her health, and her life. The ‘working poor,’ as they are approvingly termed, are in fact the major philanthropists of our society. They neglect their own children so that the children of others will be cared for; they live in substandard housing so that other homes will be shiny and perfect; they endure privation so that inflation will be low and stock prices high. To be a member of the working poor is to be an anonymous donor, a nameless benefactor, to everyone else.”
“No matter that patriotism is too often the refuge of scoundrels. Dissent, rebellion, and all-around hell-raising remain the true duty of patriots.”
“Of all the nasty outcomes predicted for women’s liberation…none was more alarming than the suggestion that women would eventually become just like men.”
“I was raised the old-fashioned way, with a stern set of moral principles: Never lie, cheat, steal or knowingly spread a venereal disease. Never speed up to hit a pedestrian or, or course, stop to kick a pedestrian who has already been hit. From which it followed, of course, that one would never ever — on pain of deletion from dozens of Christmas card lists across the country — vote Republican. ”
“I do not write this in a spirit of sourness or personal disappointment of any kind, nor do I have any romantic attachment to suffering as a source of insight or virtue. On the contrary, I would like to see more smiles, more laughter, more hugs, more happiness and, better yet, joy. In my own vision of utopia, there is not only more comfort, and security for everyone — better jobs, health care, and so forth — there are also more parties, festivities, and opportunities for dancing in the streets. Once our basic material needs are met — in my utopia, anyway — life becomes a perpetual celebration in which everyone has a talent to contribute. But we cannot levitate ourselves into that blessed condition by wishing it. We need to brace ourselves for a struggle against terrifying obstacles, both of our own making and imposed by the natural world. And the first step is to recover from the mass delusion that is positive thinking.”
“But the economic meltdown should have undone, once and for all, the idea of poverty as a personal shortcoming or dysfunctional state of mind. The lines at unemployment offices and churches offering free food includes strivers as well as slackers, habitual optimists as well as the chronically depressed. When and if the economy recovers we can never allow ourselves to forget how widespread our vulnerability is, how easy it is to spiral down toward destitution.”
“I grew up hearing over and over, to the point of tedium, that ‘hard work’ was the secret of success: ‘Work hard and you’ll get ahead’ or ‘It’s hard work that got us where we are.’ No one ever said that you could work hard – harder even than you ever thought possible – and still find yourself sinking ever deeper into poverty and debt.”
“In matters of the heart as well, a certain level of negativity and suspicion is universally recommended. You may try to project a thoroughly positive outlook in order to attract a potential boyfriend, but you are also advised to Google him.”
“Human intellectual progress, such as it has been, results from our long struggle to see things ‘as they are,’ or in the most universally comprehensible way, and not as projections of our own emotions. Thunder is not a tantrum in the sky, disease is not a divine punishment, and not every death or accident results from witchcraft. What we call the Enlightenment and hold on to only tenuously, by our fingernails, is the slow-dawning understanding that the world is unfolding according to its own inner algorithms of cause and effect, probability and chance, without any regard for human feelings.”
Born 26 August 1899 – Rufino Tamayo, a Mexican painter and one of my favorite artists.
Below – “Moon Dog”; “Watermelons”; “Spinning Woman”; “Two Dogs”; “Women of Tehuantepec”; “Carnival”; “Heavenly Bodies”; “Animals”; “Lion and Horse”; “Moon and Sun.”
A Poem for Today
“Traveling Through The Dark,”
By William Stafford
Traveling through the dark I found a deer
dead on the edge of the Wilson River road.
It is usually best to roll them into the canyon:
that road is narrow; to swerve might make more dead.
By glow of the tail-light I stumbled back of the car
and stood by the heap, a doe, a recent killing;
she had stiffened already, almost cold.
I dragged her off; she was large in the belly.
My fingers touching her side brought me the reason—
her side was warm; her fawn lay there waiting,
alive, still, never to be born.
Beside that mountain road I hesitated.
The car aimed ahead its lowered parking lights;
under the hood purred the steady engine.
I stood in the glare of the warm exhaust turning red;
around our group I could hear the wilderness listen.
I thought hard for us all—my only swerving—,
then pushed her over the edge into the river.
A Second Poem for Today
“Spirit of Place: Great Blue Heron,”
By William Stafford
Out of their loneliness for each other
two reeds, or maybe two shadows, lurch
forward and become suddenly a life
lifted from dawn or the rain. It is
the wilderness come back again, a lagoon
with our city reflected in its eye.
We live by faith in such presences.
It is a test for us, that thin
but real, undulating figure that promises,
“If you keep faith I will exist
at the edge, where your vision joins
the sunlight and the rain: heads in the light,
feet that go down in the mud where the truth is.”
A Third Poem for Today
“Climbing along the River,”
By William Stafford
Willows never forget how it feels
to be young.
Do you remember where you came from?
Even the upper end of the river
believes in the ocean.
Exactly at midnight
yesterday sighs away.
What I believe is,
all animals have one soul.
Over the land they love
they crisscross forever.
American Art – Part III of III: Tim Okamura
Tim Okamura earned his MFA from the School of Visual Arts in New York City. His works have been widely exhibited in New York.
Carolyn Pyfrom (born 1971) has studied painting at Obirin University, Troy University, and the Florence Academy of Art.
Here is one writer describing the artistry of New Zealand artist Paul Jackson: “Paul Jackson’s paintings present a distorted realism, utilising his considerable skills in precision painting and the grisaille technique to depict imagined subjects and still life scenes. He uses symbolism and historical referencing to express wider concepts, such as his concern for the land and customary rights of Maori and the history of human interaction in New Zealand. Now resident in Sydney, Jackson won the 2006 People’s Choice Award for the Archibald Prize for Portraiture.”
From the Music Archives – Part I of II: Walter Williams
Born 25 August 1943 – Walter Williams, American singer best known for his work with the O’Jays.
Uruguayan painter Pablo Santibanez Servat (born 1972) earned a BA degree from Pontifical Catholic University of Chile.
From the Music Archives – Part II of II: Elvis Costello
Born 25 August 1954 – Elvis Costello (Decian Patrick Alyosius MacManus), an English singer-songwriter.
American Art – Part II of IV: Mark Chatterley
In the words of one writer, “Mark Chatterley creates larger-than-life ceramic figures with lava-like glazes. Seeming to have emerged from the earth’s crust, the creations of a fire god millions of years ago, his sculpture possesses a primordial presence that transcends time and geography. One might expect to find a silent grouping of his work on a South Pacific island, in an African savanna, or perhaps atop an Irish knoll. The figures are not ‘pretty,’ and they sometimes have an edge of intensity. Yet, their power is expressed through an astonishing, primitive grace. After building a kiln to accommodate his seven-foot tall, one-piece, free-standing figures, he set himself free to explore ‘the archetypal images that go beyond culture and time that Jung wrote about.’
Chatterley has emerged as one of the strongest ceramic sculptors of our time. He has contributed to the force taking ceramics from the level of craft to that of high art. In recent years, he has cast several of his large works in bronze.”
“Sometimes people don’t want to hear the truth because they don’t want their illusions destroyed.” – Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche, German philosopher, philologist, cultural critic, poet, composer, and author of “The Birth of Tragedy” and “Thus Spoke Zarathustra,” who died 25 August 1900.
Some quotes from the work of Friedrich Nietzsche:
“And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music.”
“The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself.”
“When we are tired, we are attacked by ideas we conquered long ago.”
“The snake which cannot cast its skin has to die. As well the minds which are prevented from changing their opinions; they cease to be mind.”
“In individuals, insanity is rare; but in groups, parties, nations and epochs, it is the rule.”
“The surest way to corrupt a youth is to instruct him to hold in higher esteem those who think alike than those who think differently.”
“Faith: not wanting to know what the truth is.”
“Every deep thinker is more afraid of being understood than of being misunderstood.”
“Thoughts are the shadows of our feelings — always darker, emptier and simpler.”
“There are no beautiful surfaces without a terrible depth.”
“The higher we soar the smaller we appear to those who cannot fly.”
“A thinker sees his own actions as experiments and questions–as attempts to find out something. Success and failure are for him answers above all.”
“There are two different types of people in the world, those who want to know, and those who want to believe.”
“Art is the proper task of life. ”
“You must have chaos within you to give birth to a dancing star.”
In the words of one writer, “Chris Bennett is an Australian artist currently living in Hobart, Tasmania. He completed his Bachelor of Fine Art in 2006, and continued in 2007 to obtain first class honours at the Queensland College of Art in Brisbane. Chris has been developing his current series over the last five years, focusing on themes of urban alienation, entropy and social decay, and the slow death of personal aspiration.”
American Art – Part III of IV: Christyl Boger
Here is one writer describing the artistry of ceramicist Christyl Boger: “As an artist I have always been interested in the strange balancing act performed by the human animal; in our ongoing struggle between impulse and control, personal and communal agenda, and the desires of the animal body overlaid by a veneer of cultural constraint. Finding a physical form for these thoughts has involved two additional parameters, the first a concern for issues of representation and the second a commitment to the contemporary possibilities of clay as a medium. My intent has been to explore areas where these concerns intersect, and has involved confronting the complex historical associations of both ceramics objects and figurative sculpture.”
“Did you ever, in that wonderland wilderness of adolescence ever, quite unexpectedly, see something, a dusk sky, a wild bird, a landscape, so exquisite terror touched you at the bone? And you are afraid, terribly afraid the smallest movement, a leaf, say, turning in the wind, will shatter all? That is, I think, the way love is, or should be: one lives in beautiful terror.” – Truman Capote (born Truman Streckfus Persons), American writer, playwright, screenwriter, and author of “Other Voices, Other Rooms” and “In Cold Blood,” who died 25 August 1984.
Some quotes from the work of Truman Capote:
“Failure is the condiment that gives success its flavor.”
“Good luck and believe me, dearest Doc – it’s better to look at the sky than live there. Such an empty place; so vague. Just a country where the thunder goes and things disappear.”
“Life is difficult enough without Meryl Streep movies.”
“I love New York, even though it isn’t mine, the way something has to be, a tree or a street or a house, something, anyway, that belongs to me because I belong to it.”
“The brain may take advice, but not the heart, and love, having no geography, knows no boundaries: weight and sink it deep, no matter, it will rise and find the surface: and why not? any love is natural and beautiful that lies within a person’s nature; only hypocrites would hold a man responsible for what he loves, emotional illiterates and those of righteous envy, who, in their agitated concern, mistake so frequently the arrow pointing to heaven for the one that leads to hell.”
“But we are alone, darling child, terribly, isolated each from the other; so fierce is the world’s ridicule we cannot speak or show our tenderness; for us, death is stronger than life, it pulls like a wind through the dark, all our cries burlesqued in joyless laughter; and with the garbage of loneliness stuffed down us until our guts burst bleeding green, we go screaming round the world, dying in our rented rooms, nightmare hotels, eternal homes of the transient heart.”
“Let me begin by telling you that I was in love. An ordinary statement, to be sure, but not an ordinary fact, for so few of us learn that love is tenderness, and tenderness is not, as a fair proportian suspect, pity; and still fewer know that happiness in love is not the absolute focusing of all emotion in another: one has always to love a good many things which the beloved must come only to symbolize; the true beloveds of this world are in their lovers’s eyes lilacs opening, ship lights, school bells, a landscape, remembered conversations, friends, a child’s Sunday, lost voices, one’s favourite suit, autumn and all seasons, memory, yes, it being the earth and water of existence, memory.”
“Life is a moderately good play with a badly written third act.”
Ernest Proctor (1886-1935) was an English designer, illustrator, and painter.
A Poem for Today
By Matthew Shenoda
For those of us young
we will face the mourning of our elders.
Bury them beneath
And for those of us
who believe the living
we will stand by the graves of our teachers
and know that we
like those we’ve buried
are living ancients.
Below – Edward Manet: “The Funeral” (This painting depicts the funeral of Manet’s friend, the writer Charles Baudelaire.)
A Second Poem for Today
“Love the Wild Swan”
By Robinson Jeffers
“I hate my verses, every line, every word.
Oh pale and brittle pencils ever to try
One grass-blade’s curve, or the throat of one bird
That clings to twig, ruffled against white sky.
Oh cracked and twilight mirrors ever to catch
One color, one glinting flash, of the splendor of things.
Unlucky hunter, Oh bullets of wax,
The lion beauty, the wild-swan wings, the storm of the wings.”
—This wild swan of a world is no hunter’s game.
Better bullets than yours would miss the white breast,
Better mirrors than yours would crack in the flame.
Does it matter whether you hate your…self? At least
Love your eyes that can see, your mind that can
Hear the music, the thunder of the wings. Love the wild swan.
American Art – Part IV of IV: Josh George
In the words of one critic, “Josh George has always been attracted to the urban landscape. ‘It holds a different kind of beauty,’ says the artist. ‘The decaying masonry work of time tested dwellings and the dismal skies that surround them. Quilt like patterns are revealed when you view through these arrangements. Shadows that cast on withered walls display individual windows where people go about their routine lives.’ The people in Josh George’s paintings are engaged in static acts of everyday locality. They drink coffee, they smoke or stare at beer. They stroll about town hearing the urban world, but not quite listening. Everyone simply exists. ‘I use a barrage of materials to record these scores and a lot of fat paint knifed over torn strips of wallpaper and ugly product labels. The piece is finished with a delicate brush to define a street sign or a highlight on someone’s wine bottle.’”
Next month I am going to visit my youngest son in San Francisco, and during my stay I will go to the de Young Museum to see the exhibit “J.M.W. Turner: Painting Set Free.” I have posted below five paintings from this wonderful show.
“The Sun of Venice Going to Sea”; “Fishermen on the Lagoon, Moonlight”; “Rainbow Among Purple and Blue Clouds”; “Venice: Santa Maria della Salute, Night Scene with Rockets”; “Snow Storm – Steam-Boat off a Harbour’s Mouth.”
In the words of one writer, “William F. Shepherd was born (1943) and raised in Casper, Wyoming. After graduating from the University of Wyoming in 1976, he stayed in Laramie for a few years, then moved to Santa Fe, New Mexico, preferring to remain in the West rather than settle in a major city. His career as a professional artist began while he was still in college, when he began selling his landscape paintings through a gallery in Denver, Colorado.
Shepherd’s early landscapes were vistas of Wyoming. Over time, his work evolved into large-format paintings of tumbled stones and streambeds. After several decades of landscape painting he decided he needed a change and began painting still lifes. As a young man, he had been fascinated by the Indian regalia and Western accoutrements he saw in the homes of his ranch friends, and these became natural subject matters for his new focus.”
Russian painter Eduard Anikonov (born 1966) attended both the Fine Arts College of Sverdlovsk and the School of Graphics of St. Petersburg Repin Academy of Art.
“They tell you that you’ll lose your mind when you grow older. What they don’t tell you is that you won’t miss it much.” – Malcolm Cowley, American novelist, poet, literary critic, and journalist, who was born 24 August 1898.
Some quotes from the work of Malcolm Cowley:
“Everywhere was the atmosphere of a long debauch that had to end; the orchestras played too fast, the stakes were too high at the gambling tables, the players were so empty, so tired, secretly hoping to vanish together into sleep and … maybe wake on a very distant morning and hear nothing, whatever, no shouting or crooning, find all things changed.”
“(B)ut you drank your black coffee by choice, believing that Paris was sufficient alcohol.”
“Going back to Hemingway’s work after several years is like going back to a brook where you had often fished and finding the woods as deep and cool as they used to be.”
“The late 1920s were an age of islands, real and metaphorical. They were an age when Americans by thousands and tens of thousands were scheming to take the next boat for the South Seas or the West Indies, or better still for Paris, from which they could scatter to Majorca, Corsica, Capri or the isles of Greece. Paris itself was a modern city that seemed islanded in the past, and there were island countries, like Mexico, where Americans could feel that they had escaped from everything that oppressed them in a business civilization. Or without leaving home they could build themselves private islands of art or philosophy; or else – and this was a frequent solution – they could create social islands in the shadow of the skyscrapers, groups of close friends among whom they could live as unconstrainedly as in a Polynesian valley, live without moral scruples or modern conveniences, live in the pure moment, live gaily on gin and love and two lamb chops broiled over a coal fire in the grate. That was part of the Greenwich Village idea, and soon it was being copied in Boston, San Francisco, everywhere.”
Here is the Artist Statement of Italian painter Fabio D’Aroma:
“I am fascinated by the transcendental qualities associated with figurative painting. Derived from the study of the Old Masters, I set my figures against background made up of concrete and textural fragments. The narrative thread of each painting dictates the method, which includes interrupted handwriting, spray paint, collage and textured acrylics.
I am interested in presenting time as an entity that is simultaneously fixed and fluid. Vividly clear and static memories constantly seek to engage the chaos of the present and that chaos seeks form in an unformed idea of the future.”
Japanese painter Rojin Matsuki (born 1927) worked during the late twentieth century.
24 August 79 – Mt. Vesuvius erupts, burying Pompeii and Herculaneum, and killing an estimated 16,000 people.
Paleontologist Charles Pellegrino has written a fascinating account of the Vesuvius eruption and its aftermath – “Ghosts of Vesuvius.”
Below – John Martin: “Destruction of Pompeii and Herculaneum.”
American Art – Part II of IV: Dorian Vallejo
In the words of one writer, “Born in New York City on March 1, 1968, Dorian Vallejo’s passion for drawing came at an early age. Inspired by his father, the fantasy artist and illustrator Boris Vallejo, Dorian had pencil in hand by the age of three and was working as a professional illustrator before reaching college age, regularly producing covers for Marvel Comics and numerous paperback novels. Today, he is one of the country’s most accomplished and versatile portrait painters creating everything from traditional commissioned oil portraits and sketches to pencil drawings and intimate life portraits.”
From the Music Archives: Alexandre Lagoya
Died 24 August 1999 – Alexandre Lagoya, a Greek-Italian classical guitarist.
In the words of one writer, Canadian painter “Kristy Gordon is an internationally exhibiting fine artist. Born in Nelson, British Columbia, she has earned numerous awards, including the Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation Grant, a Merit Award from Daniel Greene in the Salon International 2009, Third Prize at the Portrait Society of Canada International Portrait Competition, Best of Show in the National Art Premier, Illinois, and was a Top Finalist in the Art Renewal Center’s International 2008/2009 ARC Salon. She currently resides in Toronto, Canada.”
Bulgarian painter Ivan Madzharov (born 1986) graduated from the Department of Fine Arts of St. Cyril and Methodius University.
“Reading makes immigrants of us all. It takes us away from home, but more important, it finds homes for us everywhere.” – Jean Rhys, Dominica-born British writer and author of “Wide Sargasso Sea,” a novel written as a “prequel” to Charlotte Bronte’s “Jane Eyre,” who was born 24 August 1890.
Some quotes from the work of Jean Rhys:
“I hated the mountains and the hills, the rivers and the rain. I hated the sunsets of whatever colour, I hated its beauty and its magic and the secret I would never know. I hated its indifference and the cruelty which was part of its loveliness. Above all I hated her. For she belonged to the magic and the loveliness. She had left me thirsty and all my life would be thirst and longing for what I had lost before I found it.”
“My life, which seems so simple and monotonous, is really a complicated affair of cafés where they like me and cafés where they don’t, streets that are friendly, streets that aren’t, rooms where I might be happy, rooms where I shall never be, looking-glasses I look nice in, looking-glasses I don’t, dresses that will be lucky, dresses that won’t, and so on.”
“There are always two deaths, the real one and the one people know about.”
“But they never last, the golden days. And it can be sad, the sun in the afternoon, can’t it? Yes, it can be sad, the afternoon sun, sad and frightening.”
“When you are a child you are yourself and you know and see everything prophetically. And then suddenly something happens and you stop being yourself; you become what others force you to be. You lose your wisdom and your soul.”
Chinese Art – Part I of II: Wei Shaodong
In the words of one critic, “Wei Shaodong(born 1971) takes inspiration from classical master painters, both Western and Chinese, from eminent Chinese historical figures and from the Chinese landscape painting tradition. He depicts icons of modern times, such as aircraft, firearms and electronica, against a background of the lush tropical foliage of his native land. This surreal amalgam of technology and the natural world is then incorporated into a classical setting, thus creating striking and thought provoking images.”
Chinese Art – Part II of II: Luo Wenjong
Luo Wenyong graduated from the Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts in 1998, and he is now a member of the China Artists Association and the Committee of Chinese Painting and Calligraphy.
“If I had a large amount of money I should certainly found a hospital for those whose grip upon the world is so tenuous that they can be severely offended by words and phrases and yet remain all unoffended by the injustice, violence and oppression that howls daily about our ears.” – Stephen Fry, English writer, comedian, actor, and social activist, who was born 24 August 1957.
Some quotes from the work of Stephen Fry:
“The only reason people do not know much is because they do not care to know. They are incurious. Incuriousity is the oddest and most foolish failing there is.”
“Language is my whore, my mistress, my wife, my pen-friend, my ry check-out girl. Language is a complimentary moist lemon-scented cleansing square or handy freshen-up wipette. Language is the breath of God, the dew on a fresh apple, it’s the soft rain of dust that falls into a shaft of morning sun when you pull from an old bookshelf a forgotten volume of erotic diaries; language is the faint scent of urine on a pair of boxer shorts, it’s a half-remembered childhood birthday party, a creak on the stair, a spluttering match held to a frosted pane, the warm wet, trusting touch of a leaking nappy, the hulk of a charred Panzer, the underside of a granite boulder, the first downy growth on the upper lip of a Mediterranean girl, cobwebs long since overrun by an old Wellington boot.”
You are who you are when nobody’s watching.”
“When you’ve seen a nude infant doing a backward somersault, you know why clothing exists.”
“If you know someone who’s depressed, please resolve never to ask them why. Depression isn’t a straightforward response to a bad situation; depression just is, like the weather.
Try to understand the blackness, lethargy, hopelessness, and loneliness they’re going through. Be there for them when they come through the other side. It’s hard to be a friend to someone who’s depressed, but it is one of the kindest, noblest, and best things you will ever do.”
“It’s now very common to hear people say, ‘I’m rather offended by that.’ As if that gives them certain rights. It’s actually nothing more… than a whine. ‘I find that offensive.’ It has no meaning; it has no purpose; it has no reason to be respected as a phrase. ‘I am offended by that.’ Well, so fucking what.”
“Choking with dry tears and raging, raging, raging at the absolute indifference of nature and the world to the death of love, the death of hope and the death of beauty, I remember sitting on the end of my bed, collecting these pills and capsules together and wondering why, why when I felt I had so much to offer, so much love, such outpourings of love and energy to spend on the world, I was incapable of being offered love, giving it or summoning the energy with which I knew I could transform myself and everything around me.”
“Stop feeling sorry for yourself and you will be happy.”
“The English language is like London: proudly barbaric yet deeply civilised, too, common yet royal, vulgar yet processional, sacred yet profane. Each sentence we produce, whether we know it or not, is a mongrel mouthful of Chaucerian, Shakespearean, Miltonic, Johnsonian, Dickensian and American. Military, naval, legal, corporate, criminal, jazz, rap and ghetto discourses are mingled at every turn. The French language, like Paris, has attempted, through its Academy, to retain its purity, to fight the advancing tides of Franglais and international prefabrication. English, by comparison, is a shameless whore.”
“I like to wake up each morning and not know what I think, that I may reinvent myself in some way.”
Died 23 August 1996 – John Christopherson, a British painter.
Below – “Landscape with Harvest Moon”; “Bottle and Melon”; “Endgame”; “Blue Gates, Charlton Village”; “Hill Farm”; “Dwellings.”
From the American History Archives: Territory of Alaska
24 August 1912 – District Alaska becomes an organized incorporated territory of the United States. In the words of one historian, “The Territory of Alaska or Alaska Territory was an organized incorporated territory of the United States that existed from August 24, 1912, until January 3, 1959, when it was admitted to the Union as the State of Alaska. The territory was previously the District of Alaska, created on May 17, 1884.”
Here is the Artist Statement of Irish painter Bairbre Duggan : “My trajectory to becoming an artist has been a circuitous one – initially disillusioned by what the art schools had to offer, I became an art historian, an interaction designer, an editor and a yoga teacher, before finally coming full circle and pursuing my initial ambition which was to make images with paint. Having moved to the Netherlands, I found the school that could teach me what I wanted to learn, and some other stuff of course that I needed to learn. I graduated from the Ruudt Wackers Academie in 2009, under the mentorship of Sam Drukker.”
Bairbre Duggan lives and works in Amsterdam.
“To be hopeful in bad times is not just foolishly romantic. It is based on the fact that human history is a history not only of cruelty, but also of compassion, sacrifice, courage, kindness.
What we choose to emphasize in this complex history will determine our lives. If we see only the worst, it destroys our capacity to do something. If we remember those times and places—and there are so many—where people have behaved magnificently, this gives us the energy to act, and at least the possibility of sending this spinning top of a world in a different direction.
And if we do act, in however small a way, we don’t have to wait for some grand utopian future. The future is an infinite succession of presents, and to live now as we think human beings should live, in defiance of all that is bad around us, is itself a marvelous victory.” – Howard Zinn, American historian, writer, professor, playwright, social activist, and author of “A People’s History of the United States,” who was born 24 August 1922.
Some quotes from the work of Howard Zinn:
“I’m worried that students will take their obedient place in society and look to become successful cogs in the wheel – let the wheel spin them around as it wants without taking a look at what they’re doing. I’m concerned that students not become passive acceptors of the official doctrine that’s handed down to them from the White House, the media, textbooks, teachers and preachers.”
“There is no flag large enough to cover the shame of killing innocent people.”
“If the gods had intended for people to vote, they would have given us candidates
“Civil disobedience is not our problem. Our problem is civil obedience. Our problem is that people all over the world have obeyed the dictates of leaders…and millions have been killed because of this obedience…Our problem is that people are obedient all over the world in the face of poverty and starvation and stupidity, and war, and cruelty. Our problem is that people are obedient while the jails are full of petty thieves… (and) the grand thieves are running the country. That’s our problem.”
“History is important. If you don’t know history it is as if you were born yesterday. And if you were born yesterday, anybody up there in a position of power can tell you anything, and you have no way of checking up on it.”
“We don’t have to engage in grand, heroic actions to participate in the process of change. Small acts, when multiplied by millions of people, can transform the world.”
“If those in charge of our society – politicians, corporate executives, and owners of press and television – can dominate our ideas, they will be secure in their power. They will not need soldiers patrolling the streets. We will control ourselves.”
“The challenge remains. On the other side are formidable forces: money, political power, the major media. On our side are the people of the world and a power greater than money or weapons: the truth.
Truth has a power of its own. Art has a power of its own. That age-old lesson – that everything we do matters – is the meaning of the people’s struggle here in the United States and everywhere. A poem can inspire a movement. A pamphlet can spark a revolution. Civil disobedience can arouse people and provoke us to think, when we organize with one another, when we get involved, when we stand up and speak out together, we can create a power no government can suppress. We live in a beautiful country. But people who have no respect for human life, freedom, or justice have taken it over. It is now up to all of us to take it back.”
“The prisons in the United States had long been an extreme reflection of the American system itself: the stark life differences between rich and poor, the racism, the use of victims against one another, the lack of resources of the underclass to speak out, the endless ‘reforms’ that changed little. Dostoevski once said: ‘The degree of civilization in a society can be judged by entering its prisons.’
It had long been true, and prisoners knew this better than anyone, that the poorer you were the more likely you were to end up in jail. This was not just because the poor committed more crimes. In fact, they did. The rich did not have to commit crimes to get what they wanted; the laws were on their side. But when the rich did commit crimes, they often were not prosecuted, and if they were they could get out on bail, hire clever lawyers, get better treatment from judges. Somehow, the jails ended up full of poor black people.”
“Nations are not communities and never have been. The history of any country, presented as the history of a family, conceals the fierce conflicts of interest (sometimes exploding, often repressed) between conquerors and conquered, masters and slaves, capitalists and workers, dominators and dominated in race and sex. And in such as world of conflict, a world of victims and executioners, it is the job of thinking people, as Albert Camus suggested, not to be on the side of the executioners.”
“What struck me as I began to study history was how nationalist fervor–inculcated from childhood on by pledges of allegiance, national anthems, flags waving and rhetoric blowing–permeated the educational systems of all countries, including our own. I wonder now how the foreign policies of the United States would look if we wiped out the national boundaries of the world, at least in our minds, and thought of all children everywhere as our own. Then we could never drop an atomic bomb on Hiroshima, or napalm on Vietnam, or wage war anywhere, because wars, especially in our time, are always wars against children, indeed our children.”
“What most of us must be involved in–whether we teach or write, make films, write films, direct films, play music, act, whatever we do–has to not only make people feel good and inspired and at one with other people around them, but also has to educate a new generation to do this very modest thing: change the world.”
American Art – Part III of IV: Carin Gerard
Carin Gerard has attended Bowling Green State University, the Charles H. Cecil Studios in Florence, the Seattle Academy of Fine Art, and the New York Grand Central Academy of Art.
A Poem for Today
“What I Learned From My Mother,”
By Julia Kasdorf
I learned from my mother how to love
the living, to have plenty of vases on hand
in case you have to rush to the hospital
with peonies cut from the lawn, black ants
still stuck to the buds. I learned to save jars
large enough to hold fruit salad for a whole
grieving household, to cube home-canned pears
and peaches, to slice through maroon grape skins
and flick out the sexual seeds with a knife point.
I learned to attend viewings even if I didn’t know
the deceased, to press the moist hands
of the living, to look in their eyes and offer
sympathy, as though I understood loss even then.
I learned that whatever we say means nothing,
what anyone will remember is that we came.
I learned to believe I had the power to ease
awful pains materially like an angel.
Like a doctor, I learned to create
from another’s suffering my own usefulness, and once
you know how to do this, you can never refuse.
To every house you enter, you must offer
healing: a chocolate cake you baked yourself,
the blessing of your voice, your chaste touch.
American Art – Part IV of IV: Michael Paul Miller
Artist Statement: “I am fascinated by perseverance and find this primordial instinct and necessity of life to be ennobling and suspect, especially when the path is perilous and end is bleak.
My work explores the sublimity of existence through a post-apocalyptic environment emblematic of death, disaster, and desolation, without abandoning subtle indications of hope and beauty. This deconstructive setting is a harrowing and plausible circumstance that allows for an open-ended inquiry into the bewildering human condition, and enables the subject matter to address an extensive range of contemporary issues.
I take refuge in the power and versatility of oil paint on canvas. I have deep respect and appreciation for its immediacy, history, and its transformative capability to depict the authentic. I use traditional glazing, scumbling, and impasto techniques with a dark and rich color palette to create the subdued tones and distressed atmosphere associated with destruction. In selective areas I apply bright cautionary cadmiums that break through the darkness to present an alarming beauty.
The imagery I create and manner in which I work comes from a variety of sources including a grand tradition of studio painters. I feel indebted to the artistic accomplishments of many, though the works of Goya, Turner, Géricault, and Homer often come to mind. As for other sources of creation, I rely upon symbolism, ingenuity, intuition, knowledge, and happenstance. I am intrigued and often mystiﬁed by the wonder and awe of personal experience and its relationship to consciousness, delusion, and purpose. I seek out the gray and am delighted when my paintings raise open-ended questions that are subject to different interpretation.
In which direction does the road lie? We seek answers to the many questions of life and are seldom pacified. An apocalypse is inevitable and when this moment arrives will we finally know. As conscious beings we have emerged from infinite mystery, and into mystery we’ll return. In the end we may find that mystery is all there is. Until then, may these paintings be an enduring reminder.”
In the words of one writer, “Glennray Tutor (born 1950 in Kennett, Missouri) is an American painter who is known for his photorealistic paintings. He is considered to be part of the Photorealism art movement. His paintings are immersed with bright colors, nostalgic items, metaphor, and with a complete focus on detail. Tutor is a graduate of the University of Mississippi where he received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Art and English in 1974 and his Master of Fine Arts degree in Painting in 1976.”
French painter Carole Bressan (born 1973) is a graduate of the University of Visual Arts in Rennes.
From the Music Archives – Part I of IV: Rudy Lewis
Born 23 August 1936 – Rudy Lewis (born Charles Rudolph Harrell), an American rhythm and blues singer known for his work with The Drifters.
German art – Part I of II: Alfred Eisenstaedt
“When I have a camera in my hand, I know no fear.” – Alfred Eisenstaedt, German photographer and photojournalist, who died 23 August 1995.
Below – “Albert Einstein”; “Children at Puppet Theater”; “Winston Churchill”; “The Opera de Paris Ballet School Rehearsing for Tchaikovsky’s ‘Swan Lake’”; “Drum Major and Children”; “Robert Frost”; “Marlene Dietrich.”
German Art – Part II of II: Simone Bingemer
Here is the Artist Statement of German painter Simone Bingemer: “Resemblance lies in the eye of the viewer. There is no such thing – an exact similarity between image and model. Portraits are therefore always interpretations.”
Spanish artist Celia Pais Mateos (born 1971) is a self-taught painter.
From the Music Archives – Part II of IV: Keith Moon
“To get your playing more forceful, hit the drums harder.” – Keith Moon, English musician best known as the drummer of the Who, who was born 23 August 1946.
American Art – Part II of V: Holly Fischer
Ceramicist Holly Fischer earned a BA in Studio Art (Sculpture Concentration) from Meredith College in Raleigh, North Carolina and an MFA in Studio Art (Ceramic Concentration) with a minor in Women and Gender Studies from the University of Texas, Austin.
Turkish artist Zuhal Baysar (born 1976) earned a BA, MA, and Ph.D. from the Department of Fine Arts in Hacettepe University, where she now works as a lecturer in the Painting Department.
“To this generation I would say:
Memorize some bit of verse of truth or beauty.” – Edgar Lee Masters, American poet, biographer, dramatist, and author of “Spoon River Anthology,” who was born 23 August 1868.
In the words of one critic, “‘Spoon River Anthology’…is a collection of short free-form poems that collectively narrates the epitaphs of the residents of a fictional small town of Spoon River, named after the real Spoon River that ran near Masters’ home town.” The first poem in the anthology – “The Hill” – serves as an introduction:
Where are Elmer, Herman, Bert, Tom and Charley,
The weak of will, the strong of arm, the clown, the boozer, the fighter?
All, all are sleeping on the hill.
One passed in a fever,
One was burned in a mine,
One was killed in a brawl,
One died in a jail,
One fell from a bridge toiling for children and wife —
All, all are sleeping, sleeping, sleeping on the hill.
Where are Ella, Kate, Mag, Lizzie and Edith,
The tender heart, the simple soul, the loud, the proud, the happy one? —
All, all are sleeping on the hill.
One died in shameful child-birth,
One of a thwarted love,
One at the hands of a brute in a brothel,
One of a broken pride, in the search for heart’s desire,
One after life in far-away London and Paris
Was brought to her little space by Ella and Kate and Mag —
All, all are sleeping, sleeping, sleeping on the hill.
Where are Uncle Isaac and Aunt Emily,
And old Towny Kincaid and Sevigne Houghton,
And Major Walker who had talked
With venerable men of the revolution? —
All, all are sleeping on the hill.
They brought them dead sons from the war,
And daughters whom life had crushed,
And their children fatherless, crying —
All, all are sleeping, sleeping, sleeping on the hill.
Where is Old Fiddler Jones
Who played with life all his ninety years,
Braving the sleet with bared breast,
Drinking, rioting, thinking neither of wife nor kin,
Nor gold, nor love, nor heaven?
Lo! he babbles of the fish-frys of long ago,
Of the horse-races of long ago at Clary’s Grove,
Of what Abe Lincoln said
One time at Springfield.
American Art – Part III of V: Kent Williams
In the words of one critic, “Primarily a figurative painter, Williams’ work explores, in both bold and subtle ways, and often through a suggestion of narrative and woven symbolism, the thread of life that ties us together as human beings. Embracing our virtues while not shying away from our faults, he shows us portraits of ourselves, intense and penetrating.”
Here is one critic describing the artistry of Russian painter Victor Kinus (born 1957): “Victor Kinus is an accomplished Russian painter who has created a considerable body of work with musical themes. His cubist inspired paintings contain intertwined elements of representationalism and symbolic abstraction that capture the multidimensional way in which we experience music. The listener watches the performer and hears with their ears, their hearts, their memory and their dreams all at the same time.”
Italian painter Sergio Turle lives and works in Milan.
From the Music Archives – Part III of IV: The Beatles
23 August 1963 – The Beatles release “She Loves You” in the United Kingdom.
Died 23 August 1903 – Paul Gabriel, a Dutch watercolorist, painter, draftsman, and etcher.
Below – “Polder Landscape”; “In the Month of July”; “Farmhouse in an Open Field”; “Mill on a Lake”; “A Watercourse at Abcoude.”
From the Music Archives – Part IV of IV: Ringo Starr
23 August 1964 – Ringo Starr first mentions publicly (on a British radio program) that he wrote “Don’t Pass Me By.” The song was recorded 5 June 1968 and released 22 November 1968.
Born 23 August 1922 – Paul Gauvreau, a Canadian painter.
Below – “Intention Put to Flight”; “The Sky Was Crying Tears of Nothingness”; “When Space Wants to Be The Word”; “Green Root of Generous Futures”; “Masked Tenderness.”
Scottish Art – Part I of II: Hannah Frank
Born 23 August 1908 – Hannah Frank, an artist from Glasgow, Scotland.
Below – “Garden”; “Spirit of Delight”; “Our Sweetest Songs”; “And if the Wine”; “The Flower Once Has Blown.”
Scottish Art – Part II of II: Graham Little
Scottish painter Graham Little (born 1972) studied at Goldsmiths College, London.
“Insanity — a perfectly rational adjustment to an insane world.” – R. D. Laing, Scottish psychiatrist and author of “The Politics of Experience,” who died 23 August 1989.
Some quotes from the work of R. D. Laing:
“The range of what we think and do is limited by what we fail to notice. And because we fail to notice that we fail to notice, there is little we can do to change; until we notice how failing to notice shapes our thoughts and deeds.”
“Life is a sexually transmitted disease and the mortality rate is one hundred percent.”
“Madness need not be all breakdown. It may also be break-through. It is potential liberation and renewal as well as enslavement and existential death.”
“Few books today are forgiveable.”
“There is a great deal of pain in life and perhaps the only pain that can be avoided is the pain that comes from trying to avoid pain.”
“In a world full of danger, to be a potentially seeable object is to be constantly exposed to danger. Self-consciousness, then, may be the apprehensive awareness of oneself as potentially exposed to danger by the simple fact of being visible to others. The obvious defence against such a danger is to make oneself invisible in one way or another.”
“The condition of alienation, of being asleep, of being unconscious, of being out of one’s mind, is the condition of the normal man. Society highly values its normal man. It educates children to lose themselves and to become absurd, and thus to be normal. Normal men have killed perhaps 100,000,000 of their fellow normal men in the last fifty years.”
“We live in a moment of history where change is so speeded up that we begin to see the present only when it is already disappearing.”
“Attempts to wake before our time are often punished, especially by those who love us most. Because they, bless them, are asleep. They think anyone who wakes up, or who, still asleep, realizes that what is taken to be real is a ‘dream’ is going crazy.”
“We all live under the constant threat of our own annihilation. Only by the most outrageous violation of ourselves have we achieved our capacity to live in relative adjustment to a civilization apparently driven to its own destruction.”
“We are all murderers and prostitutes – no matter to what culture, society, class, nation one belongs, no matter how normal, moral, or mature, one takes oneself to be.”
“Even facts become fictions without adequate ways of seeing ‘the facts.’ We do not need theories so much as the experience that is the source of the theory. We are not satisfied with faith, in the sense of an implausible hypothesis irrationally held: we demand to experience the ‘evidence.’”
“Human beings seem to have an almost unlimited capacity to deceive themselves, and to deceive themselves into taking their own lies for truth.”
“Human beings seem to have an almost unlimited capacity to deceive themselves, and to deceive themselves into taking their own lies for truth.”
“The Lotus opens. Movement from earth, through water, from fire to air. Out and in beyond life and death now, beyond inner and outer, sense and non-sense, meaning and futility, male and female, being and non-being, Light and darkness, void and full. Beyond all duality, or non-duality, beyond and beyond. Disincarnation. I breathe again.”
American Art – Part IV of V: Carol O’Malia
In the words of one writer, “Carol O’Malia’s paintings depict ordinary objects and places we have seen and experienced. The subject matter is intentionally serene. The human presence is never far away.
These familiar objects and places summon ephemeral moments and feelings that are often forgotten in the rush of our everyday lives.
Carol was born in Boston and is a native New Englander. She earned a BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design and an MFA from the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth. When not in her studio, she can often be found wandering in and around the woods and lakes of New Hampshire and Maine.”
A Poem for Today
By Jane Hirshfield
It is foolish
to let a young redwood
grow next to a house.
Even in this
you will have to choose.
That great calm being,
this clutter of soup pots and books–
Already the first branch-tips brush at the window.
Softly, calmly, immensity taps at your life.
American Art – Part VI of VI: Max Ginsburg
In the words of one critic, “Max Ginsburg’s paintings are about people, the people one finds on the streets of New York. Simply put, he finds beauty in unglamorous reality. His paintings explore the range of daily human life, concerned as much with life’s ironies and social injustices, as with its many joys. He paints people that he can identify with, real people with regular lives.”
Artist Statement: “Art, for me is not only a means of self-expression, but a means of self realization and personal growth. I strive to express the eternal qualities of humanity that transcend our individual differences – the archetypal truths of love, peace and beauty that touch all of us. The greatest meaning I’ve found in my life resides within these basic truths and because of this, I want to convey them through my art.
There are times that I lose self-consciousness and just watch my hand moving in response to my oneness with the subject; that’s when magic happens, and I know that forces beyond me are working through my brush… these are the moments that I live for as an artist.”
Italian painter Roberta Serenari (born 1957) lives and works in Bologna.
From the Music Archives – Part I of IV: Claude Debussy
Born 22 August 1862 – Claude Debussy, a French composer.
Here is one critic describing the artistry of South African painter Floris van Zyl: “His subject is rendered in blocks and dabs of colour often built up layer upon layer achieving his intention of, “creating images that work at a distance but become even more rewarding at close range.
He explores these combinations of natural and man-made shapes in his portraits and figure studies where the human form is sometimes set against rigid formal structured shapes.
Inspiration comes from many sources: ‘I am influenced and inspired by my own life, also by observing the lives of other people,’ he says.”
‘Much of my work is expressive so there is always something new for the viewer to notice and discover, even after long inspection. My work is an ongoing process of self-challenge and evolution, I don’t like to get stuck on a recipe. I want to give people the opportunity to enjoy and interpret my work largely for themselves.’”
From the Music Archives – Part II of IV: Delmar Allen “Dale” Hawkins
Born 22 August 1936 – Dale Hawkins, American vocalist, songwriter, and rhythm guitarist.
Here is the Artist Statement of German painter Marc Taschowsky: “All of my paintings are related to the world of media. The original pictures are taken from the Internet, TV, newspapers, or magazines. From these types of media we all know celebrities like politicians, actors, rock stars or even comic book characters. Their faces seem to be omnipresent and are part of our everyday life. Their images have been burnt into our collective archives. I’m not interested in this phenomenon as a sociologist or concept artist but as a painter. My work doesn’t mean copying and repeating media by simply depicting their pictures in paint. When painting I reflect on the translatability of well-known icons into painting. What do I need, what can I delete? It’s a process of abstraction consisting of layers and shapes that often lead to an unforeseen result. Therefore you wouldn’t be able to compare my approach with that of a portrayer. Not the personality of people and their individual or outstanding qualities are in my focus but simply their outer appearance and their recognition value.”
The person itself is not at all interesting to me; it’s rather finding a mode of painting, searching its practicability. In fact there are people that I’m not able to paint in my particular way, even though they might be very well known. If so, the outlines of the depicted person dissolve and change into somebody else. Then I repaint the canvas with the other celebrity. Neither politics, status, ethicality, nor personality influence my choice.
I take each painting as an individual piece, thus decisions about painting technique and composition are always taken for each individual canvas and are never related to other works of art. Nevertheless I like exhibiting these portraits in blocks or lines. I have a lot of them and I paint a lot of them and presenting them in that way implies that they are all of equal value to me. Also in the media you find this way of presentation. Here you find a celebrity and there on the next page you are confronted with a comic book character. I pay equal attention to all of them: Miss Piggy gets as much attention as Mrs. Merkel does. Presenting them in abundance I can show that it’s not the individual portrait that is important to me. Personalities are secondary. As commodities of the mass media they are mere material for my painting.”
From the Music Archives – Part III of IV: The Supremes
22 August 1964 – The Supremes’ “Where Did Our Love Go” reaches #1 on popular music charts.
British painter James McDonald completed both his undergraduate and post-graduate studies at the Edinburgh College of Art.
From the Music Archives – Part IV of IV: The Beatles
22 August 1969 – The Beatles record a video for “The Long and Winding Road.”
Iranian painter Katayoun Rouhi (born 1965) has lived and worked in France since 1985.
“But the beginning of things, of a world especially, is necessarily vague, chaotic, and exceedingly disturbing. How few of us ever emerge from such beginning! How many souls perish in its tumult! The voice of the sea is seductive; never ceasing, whispering, clamoring, murmuring, inviting the soul to wander for a spell in abysses of solitude; to lose itself in mazes of inward contemplation.
The voice of the sea speaks to the soul. The touch of the sea is sensuous, enfolding the body in its soft, close embrace.” – Kate Chopin, American novelist, short story writer, and author of “The Story of an Hour” and “The Awakening,” who died 22 August 1904.
Some quotes from the work of Kate Chopin:
“Perhaps it is better to wake up after all, even to suffer, rather than to remain a dupe to illusions all one’s life.”
“The bird that would soar above the level plain of tradition and prejudice must have strong wings. It is a sad spectacle to see the weaklings bruised, exhausted, fluttering back to earth.”
“She was becoming herself and daily casting aside that fictitious self which we assume like a garment with which to appear before the world.”
“There were days when she was very happy without knowing why. She was happy to be alive and breathing, when her whole being seemed to be one with the sunlight, the color, the odors, the luxuriant warmth of some perfect Southern day. She liked then to wander alone into strange and unfamiliar places. She discovered many a sunny, sleepy corner, fashioned to dream in. And she found it good to dream and to be alone and unmolested.
There were days when she was unhappy, she did not know why—when it did not seem worth while to be glad or sorry, to be alive or dead; when life appeared to her like a grotesque pandemonium and humanity like worms struggling blindly toward inevitable annihilation.”
“She turned her face seaward to gather in an impression of space and solitude, which the vast expanse of water, meeting and melting with the moonlit sky, conveyed to her excited fancy. As she swam she seemed to be reaching out for the unlimited in which to lose herself.”
Spanish Art Part I of II: Gabriel Moreno
Illustrator, engraver, and painter Gabriel Moreno graduated from the Department of Fine Arts in the University of Seville. He lives and works in Madrid.
Spanish Art – Part II of II: Isaac Cordal
In the words of one critic, “Spanish artist Isaac Cordal has an unconventional approach to public art. While most street artists seek to work on an increasingly larger scale, painting the facades of buildings with the aid of cherry pickers, Cordal builds miniature sculptures that he hides in unexpected places. A critique of capitalism (in Cordal’s native country, the world-wide economic recession hit especially hard), Cordal’s work focuses on the mass-produced quality of today’s society. Miniature businessmen in suits are found in forgotten corners of urban sprawl. Cordal uses his environment to stage poignant scenes with the sculptures as his protagonists.”
“Man is unique not because he does science, and he is unique not because he does art, but because science and art equally are expressions of his marvelous plasticity of mind.” – Jacob Bronowski, Polish-English mathematician, biologist, historian of science, poet, dramatist, inventor, and author of “The Ascent of Man” (both the book and the BBC television documentary series), who died on 22 August 1974.
Some quotes from Jacob Bronowski:
“Man masters nature not by force but by understanding. This is why science has succeeded where magic failed: because it has looked for no spell to cast over nature.”
“Dissent is the native activity of the scientist, and it has got him into a good deal of trouble in the last years. But if that is cut off, what is left will not be a scientist. And I doubt whether it will be a man.”
“Has there ever been a society which has died of dissent? Several have died of conformity in our lifetime.”
“It is important that students bring a certain ragamuffin, barefoot irreverence to their studies; they are not here to worship what is known, but to question it.”
“To me, being an intellectual doesn’t mean knowing about intellectual issues; it means taking pleasure in them.”
“No science is immune to the infection of politics and the corruption of power.”
“That is the essence of science: ask an impertinent question, and you are on the way to a pertinent answer.”
“Science has nothing to be ashamed of even in the ruins of Nagasaki. The shame is theirs who appeal to other values than the human imaginative values which science has evolved.”
“The values by which we are to survive are not rules for just and unjust conduct, but are those deeper illuminations in whose light justice and injustice, good and evil, means and ends are seen in fearful sharpness of outline.”
“You will die but the carbon will not; its career does not end with you. It will return to the soil, and there a plant may take it up again in time, sending it once more on a cycle of plant and animal life.”
Chilean Art – Part I of II: Gustavo Schmidt
Artist Statement: “I use representation of ordinary elements as symbols, chosen from a psychological context thus causing a sense of tension, intrigue and dialogue among them. When staging still life my preference is to use objects arraigned as if in altars or theatre, distorting or placing elements in unexpected areas, to set a juxtaposition statement of my own perceptions and experiences. In intending to transfer the sensations left from my dreams or meditations, I maximize the use of personal painting methods of the classical oil on linen traditional techniques. I create my own mixture of Flemish, Renascence and French methods, using layers of glazing wet and dry over impastos, giving a special treatment to the textures of the objects, lights and shadows, by which the paintings will achieve their three dimensional quality. I am doing this in order to create a contradiction between what is real and what’s not. With this thematic concept but avoiding the ‘Trompe L’oeil,’ I carry a premeditated intention as to induce the viewer into a deeper sense of reflection, a meta-language, a non verbal form of awareness, a passive, contemplative silent state of presence, in which reality is used to create unreal or improbable scenarios.”
Chilean Art – Part II of II: Boris Correa
Artist Boris Correa (born 1981) studied painting at the Academy of Fine Arts in Chile, and then continued his studies in London.
“You don’t have to burn books to destroy a culture. Just get people to stop reading them.” – Ray Bradbury, American writer of fantasy, science fiction, horror, and mystery and author of “Fahrenheit 451,” “The Illustrated Man,” and “Dandelion Wine,” who was born 22 August 1920.
Some quotes from the work of Ray Bradbury:
“Stuff your eyes with wonder, he said, live as if you’d drop dead in ten seconds. See the world. It’s more fantastic than any dream made or paid for in factories.”
“If we listened to our intellect we’d never have a love affair. We’d never have a friendship. We’d never go in business because we’d be cynical: ‘It’s gonna go wrong.’ Or ‘She’s going to hurt me.’ Or, ‘I’ve had a couple of bad love affairs, so therefore . . .’ Well, that’s nonsense. You’re going to miss life. You’ve got to jump off the cliff all the time and build your wings on the way down.”
“Everyone must leave something behind when he dies, my grandfather said. A child or a book or a painting or a house or a wall built or a pair of shoes made. Or a garden planted. Something your hand touched some way so your soul has somewhere to go when you die, and when people look at that tree or that flower you planted, you’re there.
It doesn’t matter what you do, he said, so long as you change something from the way it was before you touched it into something that’s like you after you take your hands away. The difference between the man who just cuts lawns and a real gardener is in the touching, he said. The lawn-cutter might just as well not have been there at all; the gardener will be there a lifetime.”
“With school turning out more runners, jumpers, racers, tinkerers, grabbers, snatchers, fliers, and swimmers instead of examiners, critics, knowers, and imaginative creators, the word ‘intellectual,’ of course, became the swear word it deserved to be.”
“Learning to let go should be learned before learning to get. Life should be touched, not strangled. You’ve got to relax, let it happen at times, and at others move forward with it.”
“Don’t think. Thinking is the enemy of creativity. It’s self-conscious and anything self-conscious is lousy. You can’t ‘try’ to do things. You simply ‘must’ do things.”
“A good night’s sleep, or a ten minute bawl, or a pint of chocolate ice cream, or all three together, is good medicine.”
“The books are to remind us what asses and fools we are. They’re Caesar’s praetorian guard, whispering as the parade roars down the avenue, ‘Remember, Caesar, thou art mortal.’ Most of us can’t rush around, talking to everyone, know all the cities of the world, we haven’t time, money or that many friends. The things you’re looking for, Montag, are in the world, but the only way the average chap will ever see ninety-nine per cent of them is in a book. Don’t ask for guarantees. And don’t look to be saved in any one thing, person, machine, or library. Do your own bit of saving, and if you drown, at least die knowing you were headed for shore.”
“If you hide your ignorance, no one will hit you and you’ll never learn.”
“I still love books. Nothing a computer can do can compare to a book. You can’t really put a book on the Internet. Three companies have offered to put books by me on the Net, and I said, ‘If you can make something that has a nice jacket, nice paper with that nice smell, then we’ll talk.’ All the computer can give you is a manuscript. People don’t want to read manuscripts. They want to read books. Books smell good. They look good. You can press it to your bosom. You can carry it in your pocket.”
“We are cups, constantly and quietly being filled. The trick is, knowing how to tip ourselves over and let the beautiful stuff out.”
American Art – Part II of III: Virginia Derryberry
In the words of one critic, “Virginia Derryberry’s work is shown regularly in exhibitions throughout the United States in such venues as the Carnegie Museum of Art, Forum Gallery, NYC, the London Institute of Art, the Federal Reserve Board in Washington, DC, the Gelb Gallery at Phillips Academy, MA, the Museum of Contemporary Art of Georgia, the Morris Museum of Art, the Erie Museum of Art, and the Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art.”
A Poem for Today
“Boats in a Fog,”
By Robinson Jeffers
Sports and gallantries, the stage, the arts, the antics of dancers,
The exuberant voices of music,
Have charm for children but lack nobility; it is bitter earnestness
That makes beauty; the mind
Knows, grown adult.
A sudden fog-drift muffled the ocean,
A throbbing of engines moved in it,
At length, a stone’s throw out, between the rocks and the vapor,
One by one moved shadows
Out of the mystery, shadows, fishing-boats, trailing each other
Following the cliff for guidance,
Holding a difficult path between the peril of the sea-fog
And the foam on the shore granite.
One by one, trailing their leader, six crept by me,
Out of the vapor and into it,
The throb of their engines subdued by the fog, patient and
Coasting all round the peninsula
Back to the buoys in Monterey harbor. A flight of pelicans
Is nothing lovelier to look at;
The flight of the planets is nothing nobler; all the arts lose virtue
Against the essential reality
Of creatures going about their business among the equally
Earnest elements of nature.
American Art – Part III of III: Chelsea Gibson
Artist Statement: “I observe human forms and relationships with fascination, awareness, empathy, and frustration. The human figure allows me to use my painterly hand and see more abstract forms – making it possible to paint with other issues in mind. A bunch of triangles becomes an arm; wallpaper becomes scribbles; a knee a line. Objectivity creates intimacy and distance simultaneously. Seeing subtle formal phenomena and having a very accurate imagination play a large part in my painting how a person is. My hope is that even a stranger can become intensely known to the viewer.”