Food for the Spirit and the Soul

Because the diverse parts of human nature need to be nourished in different ways.

American Muse: John Berryman


“Dream Song 14”

Life, friends, is boring. We must not say so.
After all, the sky flashes, the great sea yearns,
we ourselves flash and yearn,
and moreover my mother told me as a boy
(repeatingly) ‘Ever to confess you’re bored
means you have no

Inner Resources.’ I conclude now I have no
inner resources, because I am heavy bored.
Peoples bore me,
literature bores me, especially great literature,
Henry bores me, with his plights & gripes
as bad as achilles,

who loves people and valiant art, which bores me.
And the tranquil hills, & gin, look like a drag
and somehow a dog
has taken itself & its tail considerably away
into mountains or sea or sky, leaving
behind: me, wag.

Add a comment


July Offerings – Part XXIX: Something to Delight both Head and Heart

American Art – Part I of VI: Jim Zwadlo

Artist Statement: “I paint the urban pedestrian from the aerial point of view.
As a discipline, painting manifests the aura of tradition, and presents a space for its renewal. I see paintings as a part of reality, as real things in themselves, and as having a demonstrable connection with other real things. My paintings can be analyzed in purely formal terms, as abstractions about color, line, form, and space. But I add a representational subject, the urban pedestrian, to make a more complex and engaging painting, to connect the reality of the painting directly with the reality of the world.
I use photographs as a way to reconstruct images from the real world and transfer them to the real painting. For me, photography functions as a catalyst, like a catalyst in a chemical reaction: photographs are instrumental in the process of painting, but they do not appear in the completed painting.”






Born 29 July 1946 – Ximena Armas, a Chilean painter.

Below – “Secrets”; “The Lighthouse”; “Enigma”; “Poles”; “Origins”; “Impressions.”







“The American lives in a land of wonders, in which everything seems to be in constant flux, and every change seems to mark an advance. Hence the idea of the new is coupled in his mind with the idea of the better. Nowhere does he perceive the limits that nature may have imposed on man’s efforts. In his eyes, that which does not exist is that which has not yet been attempted.” – From “Democracy in America,” by Alexis de Tocqueville, French political thinker and historian, who was born 29 July 1805.

Some quotes from “Democracy in America”:

“It would seem that if despotism were to be established among the democratic nations of our days, it might assume a different character; it would be more extensive and more mild; it would degrade men without tormenting them.”
“Nothing is more wonderful than the art of being free, but nothing is harder to learn how to use than freedom.”
“Nothing conceivable is so petty, so insipid, so crowded with paltry interests, in one word, so anti-poetic, as the life of a man in the United States.”
“The religionists are the enemies of liberty, and the friends of liberty attack religion; the high-minded and the noble advocate bondage, and the meanest and most servile preach independence; honest and enlightened citizens are opposed to all progress, whilst men without patriotism and without principle put themselves forward as the apostles of civilization and intelligence. Has such been the fate of the centuries which have preceded our own? and has man always inhabited a world like the present, where all things are out of their natural connections, where virtue is without genius, and genius without honor; where the love of order is confounded with a taste for oppression, and the holy rites of freedom with a contempt of law; where the light thrown by conscience on human actions is dim, and where nothing seems to be any longer forbidden or allowed, honorable or shameful, false or true?”
“I do not know if the people of the United States would vote for superior men if they ran for office, but there can be no doubt that such men do not run.”

29 July 1921 – 29 July 2012 – Chris Marker, French photographer, writer, documentary film director, multimedia artist, and film essayist.

Below – Chris Marker photographs: “Passengers: A Subway Quartet”; “Untitled #197”; “Untitled #14.”






Michelangelo Della Morte is a contemporary Italian painter.







From the Music Archives: Cass Elliot

“I would say the world’s in terrible shape, but I’m afraid the world would say, ‘Look who’s talking!'” – Cass Elliot (born Ellen Naomi Cohen), American singer and member of The Mamas & the Papas, who died 29 July 1974.

Died 29 July 1918 – Ernest William Christmas, an Australian painter.
In the words of one historian, “He was elected to the British Royal British Academy in 1909. In 1910-11, he painted mountains and lakes in Argentina and Chile. He lived in San Francisco around 1900 and again around 1915. He was an avid traveller, but spent the last two years of his life in Hawaii, where he painted landscapes including dramatic volcano scenes.”

Below –“Kilauea Caldera”; “On the Murray River”; “View in the Andes”; “Corner on the Road to Morgan”; “The Drover”; “House by the Bay.”







Nobel Laureate: Eyvind Johnson

“In the world of the present, in our time, we feel that suffering, anguish, the torments of body and soul, are greater than ever before in the history of mankind.” – Eyvind Johnson, Swedish writer and co-recipient (with Harry Martinson) of the 1974 Nobel Prize in Literature “for a narrative art, far-seeing in lands and ages, in the service of freedom, who was born 29 July 1900.

Another quote from the work of Eyvind Johnson:

“And this we should believe: that hope and volition can bring us closer to our ultimate goal: justice for all, injustice for no-one.”

In the words of one critic, Israeli painter Sigal Tsabari (born 1966) “has developed over the years a unique pictorial language, both technically – in her color palette and in the use of various media on one painting – and in her subject matter. Tsabari engages in a sort of pursuit after nature: she follows almost scientifically the development of plants growing in buckets on her balcony, depicting the changing hues of an eggplant and the enlarged shape of the okra fruit, which she doesn’t pick until the fruit dries off and hangs from the branch like a dead appendage. Such arrangements are often juxtaposed with images taken from her personal and family life. The growth of a plant serves as a metaphor for the growth of a person, or the growth of a child in the uterus. Themes of sexuality and motherhood comprise an important aspect of her work, as expressed in images of fertility and growth in nature.”







“There are two things that will be believed of any man whatsoever, and one of them is that he has taken to drink.” – Newton Booth Tarkington, American novelist, dramatist, and author of “The Magnificent Ambersons” (winner of the 1919 Pulitzer Prize) and “Alice Adams” (winner of the 1922 Pulitzer Prize), who was born 29 July 1869.

Some quotes from the work of Booth Tarkington:

“Gossip is never fatal until it is denied. Gossip goes on about every human being alive and about all the dead that are alive enough to be remembered, and yet almost never does any harm until some defender makes a controversy. Gossip’s a nasty thing, but it’s sickly, and if people of good intentions will let it entirely alone, it will die, ninety-nine times out of a hundred.”
“Whatever does not pretend at all has style enough.”
“Some day the laws of glamour must be discovered, because they are so important that the world would be wiser now if Sir Isaac Newton had been hit on the head, not by an apple, but by a young lady.”
“‘I’m not sure he’s wrong about automobiles,’ he said. ‘With all their speed forward they may be a step backward in civilization — that is, in spiritual civilization. It may be that they will not add to the beauty of the world, nor to the life of men’s souls.’”
“There aren’t any old times. When times are gone they’re not old, they’re dead! There aren’t any times but new times!”
“We debate sometimes what is to be the future of this nation when we think that in a few years public affairs may be in the hands of the fin-de-siecle gilded youths we see about us during the Christmas holidays. Such foppery, such luxury, such insolence, was surely never practiced by the scented, overbearing patricians of the Palatine, even in Rome’s most decadent epoch. In all the wild orgy of wastefulness and luxury with which the nineteenth century reaches its close, the gilded youth has been surely the worst symptom.”


“One may have a blazing hearth in one’s soul and yet no one ever come to sit by it. Passersby see only a wisp of smoke from the chimney and continue on the way.” – Vincent van Gogh, Dutch post-Impressionist painter and artistic genius, who died 29 July 1890,

Below – “The Night Café”; “The Red Vineyard”; “Two Peasant Women Digging in a Snow-Covered Field at Sunset”; “Courtesan” (after Eisen); “Wheatfield Under Thunderclouds”; “Self-Portrait with Straw Hat.”







“Ours is a world where people don’t know what they want and are willing to go through hell to get it.” Don Marquis, American novelist, poet, newspaper columnist, playwright, cartoonist, folk philosopher, and creator of archy and mehitabel, who was born on 29 July 1878.

Some quotes from the work of Don Marquis, a man who possessed both keen wit and good sense:

“A pessimist is a person who has had to listen to too many optimists.”
“Bores bore each other too; but it never seems to teach them anything.”
“Fishing is a delusion entirely surrounded by liars in old clothes.”
“Happiness is the interval between periods of unhappiness.”
“Honesty is a good thing, but it is not profitable to its possessor unless it is kept under control.”
“In order to influence a child, one must be careful not to be that child’s parent or grandparent.”
“An optimist is a guy that has never had much experience.”
“Procrastination is the art of keeping up with yesterday.”
“Some persons are likeable in spite of their unswerving integrity.”
“The trouble with the public is that there is too much of it; what we need in public is less quantity and more quality.”


Polish artist Anna Masiul-Gozdecka graduated from the Warsaw Academy of Arts in 2000. In the words of one critic, “She paints realistic and abstract paintings with the technique of acrylic paints and collages. Her works are in collections around the world: Poland, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, Taiwan, Luxemburg, Switzerland, and Singapore.”








“The universe is a continuous web. Touch it at any point and the whole web quivers.” – Stanley Kunitz, American poet and Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress (in 1974 and again in 2000), who was born 29 July 1905.

“End of Summer”

An agitation of the air,
A perturbation of the light
Admonished me the unloved year
Would turn on its hinge that night.

I stood in the disenchanted field
Amid the stubble and the stones
Amazed, while a small worm lisped to me
The song of my marrow-bones.

Blue poured into summer blue,
A hawk broke from his cloudless tower,
The roof of the silo blazed, and I knew
That part of my life was forever over.

Already the iron door of the North
Clangs open: birds, leaves, snows
Order their populations forth,
And a cruel wind blows.


Ukrainian painter Oleg Omelchenko (born 1980) studied at both the Kharkov National Art College and the Kharkov National Design Arts Academy.







From the American History Archives – Part I of II: Olympic National Park

28 July 1938 – Franklin D. Roosevelt signs the bill creating Olympic National Park.







American Art – Part II of VI: Linda Joyce Franks

Artist Statement: “Illusion is familiar terrain to the artist, creating the impression of existence through image – giving dimension to the dimensionless idea. Depth appears on a flat surface. It breathes. That which mimics the fullness of form begs embracing.
Art is a visceral experience. Our preferences are inexplicable. Imagery has meaning to us at a gut level. We are spoken to in terms which we feel deeply and which quite often defy description. Lust and love are this way.
The muse stirs within as the self. Her whispering voice – haunts from darker realms phantastical. From the depths of this strangely beautiful occult netherworld spring images of a tenaciously vital – often tragic archetypal goddess and heroine, found sometimes in the throes of death, always in the throes of passion – sometimes dead to the world, but never never dead to herself.”








From the American History Archives – Part II of II: Ken Burns

“It is the great arrogance of the present to forget the intelligence of the past” – Ken Burns, American director, documentary film producer, and the creative genius behind both “The Civil War” and “Baseball,” who was born 29 July 1953.

“The Civil War” is a masterpiece, depicting with consummate artistry the tragic complexities of a conflict that in some ways is the American equivalent of “The Iliad.”

American Art – Part III of VI: Jeremy Enecio

Artist Statement: “I was born in Ormoc City, Philippines in 1986 and moved to the United States at the age of four. In 2008, I received my BFA in illustration at the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore, Maryland. Currently, I reside in Baltimore City as a freelance illustrator and concept artist at Big Huge Games/38 Studios.”









A Poem for Today

“Love 20 cents the First Quarter Mile,”
By Kenneth Fearing

All right. I may have lied to you and about you, and made a 

few pronouncements a bit too sweeping, perhaps, and 

possibly forgotten to tag the bases here or there,

And damned your extravagance, and maligned your tastes, 

and libeled your relatives, and slandered a few of your

friends, O. K.

Nevertheless, come back.

Come home. I will agree to forget the statements that you 

issued so copiously to the neighbors and the press,

And you will forget that figment of your imagination,
blonde from Detroit;

I will agree that your lady friend who lives above us is not 

crazy, bats, nutty as they come, but on the contrary rather 

And you will concede that poor old Steinberg is neither a 

drunk, nor a swindler, but simply a guy, on the eccentric 

side, trying to get along.

(Are you listening, you bitch, and have you got this straight?)

Because I forgive you, yes, for everything. I forgive you for 

being beautiful and generous and wise,

I forgive you, to put it simply, for being alive, and pardon

you, in short, for being you.

Because tonight you are in my hair and eyes,

And every street light that our taxi passes shows me you 

again, still you,

And because tonight all other nights are black, all other hours 

are cold and far away, and now, this minute, the stars are 

very near and bright.

Come back. We will have a celebration to end all celebrations.

We will invite the undertaker who lives beneath us, and a 

couple of boys from the office, and some other friends.

And Steinberg, who is off the wagon, and that 

insane woman who lives upstairs, and a few reporters,
anything should break.


American Art – Part IV of VI: David Larson Evans

Artist Statement: “I took up oil painting seriously in 2007 as a break from my life as a struggling Printmaker (Intaglio process on zinc plates). Many years were spent sporting ink stained hands in an attempt to master that medium. Now it’s the challenge of ‘Daily Painting’ that bridles my creative drive. Making Art is an essential part of my life and my long-term goal is simple – one day paint something significant.”









A Second Poem for Today

“A Shropshire Lad: 52: Far in a western brookland,”
By A. E. Housman

Far in a western brookland
That bred me long ago
The poplars stand and tremble
By pools I used to know.

There, in the windless night-time,
The wanderer, marvelling why,
Halts on the bridge to hearken
How soft the poplars sigh.

He hears: long since forgotten
In fields where I was known,
Here I lie down in London
And turn to rest alone.

There, by the starlit fences,
The wanderer halts and hears
My soul that lingers sighing
About the glimmering weirs.


American Art – Part V of VI: Stephen Early

Stephen Early studied at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, the Art Students League in New York City, and Studio Incamminati in Philadelphia. He won a Certificate of Excellence at the 10th Annual International Portrait Competition hosted by the Portrait Society of America.”









A Third Poem for Today

“Buckroe, After the Season, 1942,”
By Virginia Hamilton Adair

Past the fourth cloverleaf, by dwindling roads
At last we came into the unleashed wind;
The Chesapeake rose to meet us at a dead end
Beyond the carnival wheels and gingerbread.

Forsaken by summer, the wharf. The oil-green waves
Flung yellow foam and sucked at disheveled sand.
Small fish stank in the sun, and nervous droves
Of cloud hastened their shadows over bay and land.

Beyond the NO DUMPING sign in its surf of cans
And the rotting boat with nettles to the rails,
The horse dung garlanded with jeweling flies
And papers blown like a fleet of shipless sails,

We pushed into an overworld of wind and light
Where sky unfettered ran wild from earth to noon,
And the tethered heart broke loose and rose like a kite
From sands that borrowed diamonds from the sun.

We were empty and pure as shells that air-drenched hour,
Heedless as waves that swell at the shore and fall,
Pliant as sea-grass, the rapt inheritors
Of a land without memory, where tide erases all.


American Art – Part VI of VI: Dean Fisher

Dean Fisher studied at the American Academy of Art in Chicago and engaged in independent study at the Prado Museum in Madrid, The Louvre Museum in Paris, and the National Gallery of Art in London.
Artist Statement: “While normally being inspired to paint or draw just about any form which is bathed in light, I am particularly interested when challenged to arrange a grouping of forms within the format of my canvas or paper to suit my aesthetic needs.
The physical, ‘real’ world is visually fascinating to me; I strive to represent solid forms with fidelity; figure, tree, cup, etc. with a sense of breathable air around them combined with a tactile quality of surface which can bring the viewer closer to the painting and the made by hand process which was employed to make it.
My preference is for suggested color as opposed to saturated color.
I seek an interrelationship and fluidity between the forms represented.
The feeling which is most often repeated in my work is that of equilibrium and balance and occasionally a gentle lyricism.
Most importantly, I purposely try to avoid over explaining my art with the hope that the viewer comes away with her or his own impressions, interpretation or narrative of the work, when that happens naturally I feel the work is serving it’s purpose.”












Add a comment

American Muse: Kenneth Fearing


“Love 20 cents the First Quarter Mile”

All right. I may have lied to you and about you, and made a 

few pronouncements a bit too sweeping, perhaps, and 

possibly forgotten to tag the bases here or there,

And damned your extravagance, and maligned your tastes, 

and libeled your relatives, and slandered a few of your

friends, O. K.

Nevertheless, come back.

Come home. I will agree to forget the statements that you 

issued so copiously to the neighbors and the press,

And you will forget that figment of your imagination,
blonde from Detroit;

I will agree that your lady friend who lives above us is not 

crazy, bats, nutty as they come, but on the contrary rather 

And you will concede that poor old Steinberg is neither a 

drunk, nor a swindler, but simply a guy, on the eccentric 

side, trying to get along.

(Are you listening, you bitch, and have you got this straight?)

Because I forgive you, yes, for everything. I forgive you for 

being beautiful and generous and wise,

I forgive you, to put it simply, for being alive, and pardon

you, in short, for being you.

Because tonight you are in my hair and eyes,

And every street light that our taxi passes shows me you 

again, still you,

And because tonight all other nights are black, all other hours 

are cold and far away, and now, this minute, the stars are 

very near and bright.

Come back. We will have a celebration to end all celebrations.

We will invite the undertaker who lives beneath us, and a 

couple of boys from the office, and some other friends.

And Steinberg, who is off the wagon, and that 

insane woman who lives upstairs, and a few reporters,
anything should break.

Add a comment

July Offerings – Part XXVIII: Something to Delight both Head and Heart

American Art – Part I of III: Vinnie Ream

28 July 1886 – At the age of 18, American sculptor Lavinia Ellen “Vinnie” Ream becomes the first female artist to receive a commission from the United States government. She was hired to create the statue of Abraham Lincoln that now stands in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda. It was dedicated on 25 January 1871.

Below – The statue of Abraham Lincoln; Vinnie Ream; portrait of Ream with a Lincoln bust; Other work by Vinnie Ream: “Sappho”; “Sequoyah”; “Admiral Farragut.”



Ream, Vinnie; SHS#015057, CD172




“Birds are indicators of the environment. If they are in trouble, we know we’ll soon be in trouble.” – Roger Tory Peterson, American ornithologist, naturalist, artist, educator, environmentalist, and creator of the indispensible “Peterson Field Guides,” who died on 28 July 1996.

American Art – Part II of III: Marcel Duchamp

“Anything is art if the artist says it is.” – Marcel Duchamp, French/American painter and sculptor whose work was extremely influential in the first decades of the twentieth century, who was born 28 July 1887.

Below – Paintings: “Sad Young Man in a Train”; “Landscape at Blainville”; “Sonata”; Sculpture: “Rotary Glass Plates (Precision Optics)”; “Bicycle”; “Bottle Drier.”






“Man is always inclined to regard the small circle in which he lives as the center of the world and to make his particular, private life the standard of the universe and to make his particular, private life the standard of the universe. But he must give up this vain pretense, this petty provincial way of thinking and judging.” – Ernst Cassirer, German philosopher, educator, and author of “An Essay on Man,” who was born 28 July 1874.

Two quotes from the work of Ernst Cassirer:

“There is no remedy against this reversal of the natural order. Man cannot escape from his own achievement. He cannot but adopt the conditions of his own life. No longer in a merely physical universe, man lives in a symbolic universe. Language, myth, art, and religion are parts of this universe. They are the varied threads which weave the symbolic net, the tangled web of human experience. All human progress in thought and experience refines and strengthens this net. No longer can man confront reality immediately; he cannot see it, as it were, face to face. Physical reality seems to recede in proportion as man’s symbolic activity advances. Instead of dealing with the things themselves man is in a sense constantly conversing with himself.”
“Though myth is fictitious, it is an unconscious, not a conscious fiction. The primitive mind was not aware of the meaning of its own creations. But it is for us, it is for our scientific analysis, to reveal this meaning — to detect the true face behind these innumerable masks.”

American Art: – Part III of III: Greg Overton

Artist Greg Overton (born 1970) has been working in the Western art genre since he was very young, and he has become especially adept at painting Native American warriors. Many of his paintings are based on historical figures, such as Sitting Bull, Red Cloud, and Geronimo. In the words of one art critic, “Overton does extensive research for each painting to better understand his subjects and maintain proper authenticity. He attends powwows and other Indian ceremonies to fine tune his appreciation of Native American culture, and he is a student of tribal history.” Greg Overton’s paintings are now in private collections all over the United States.








“What would the world be, once bereft
Of wet and wildness? Let them be left,
Oh let them be left, wildness and wet;
Long live the weeds and the wilderness yet.” – From “Inversnaid,” by Gerard Manley Hopkins, an English poet and Jesuit priest, who was born 28 July 1844.

“No worst, there is none. Pitched past pitch of grief.”

No worst, there is none. Pitched past pitch of grief,
More pangs will, schooled at forepangs, wilder wring.
Comforter, where, where is your comforting?
Mary, mother of us, where is your relief?
My cries heave, herds-long; huddle in a main, a chief
Woe, wórld-sorrow; on an áge-old anvil wince and sing —
Then lull, then leave off. Fury had shrieked ‘No ling-
ering! Let me be fell: force I must be brief.”‘

O the mind, mind has mountains; cliffs of fall
Frightful, sheer, no-man-fathomed. Hold them cheap
May who ne’er hung there. Nor does long our small
Durance deal with that steep or deep. Here! creep,
Wretch, under a comfort serves in a whirlwind: all
Life death does end and each day dies with sleep.

Here is the Artist Statement of Thai painter Daeng Buasand: “Night and day are incomplete without each other. My work is like that: It reflects both the dark and the beautiful; it shows a world that is both evening and dawn.”

“Bad, or good, as it happens to be, that is what it is to exist! . . . It is as though I have been silent and fuddled with sleep all my life. In spite of all, I know now that at least it is better to go always towards the summer, towards those burning seas of light; to sit at night in the forecastle lost in an unfamiliar dream, when the spirit becomes filled with stars, instead of wounds, and good and compassionate and tender. To sail into an unknown spring, or receive one’s baptism on storm’s promontory, where the solitary albatross heels over in the gale, and at last come to land. To know the earth under one’s foot and go, in wild delight, ways where there is water.” – From “Ultramarine,” by Malcolm Lowry, English poet, novelist, and author of “Under the Volcano,” who was born 28 July 1909.

Some quotes from the work of Malcolm Lowry:

“A little self-knowledge is a dangerous thing.”
“Try persuading the world not to cut its throat for half a decade or more…and it’ll begin to dawn on you that even your behavior’s part of its plan.”
“For with another part of his mind he felt the encroachment of a chilling fear, eclipsing all other feelings, that the thing they wanted was coming for him alone, before he was ready for it; it was a fear worse than the fear that when money was low one would have to stop drinking; it was compounded of harrowed longing and hatred, fathomless compunctions, and of a paradoxical remorse, for his failure to attempt finally something he was not going to have time for, to face the world honestly; it was the shadow of a city of dreadful night without splendour that fell on his soul.”
“They were the cars at the fair that were whirling around her; no, they were the planets, while the sun stood, burning and spinning and guttering in the centre; here they came again, Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, Pluto; but they were not planets, for it was not the merry-go-round at all, but the Ferris wheel, they were constellations, in the hub of which, like a great cold eye, burned Polaris, and round and round it here they went: Cassiopeia, Cepheus, the Lynx, Ursa Major, Ursa Minor, and the Dragon; yet they were not constellations, but, somehow, myriads of beautiful butterflies, she was sailing into Acapulco harbour through a hurricane of beautiful butterflies, zigzagging overhead and endlessly vanishing astern over the sea, the sea, rough and pure, the long dawn rollers advancing, rising, and crashing down to glide in colourless ellipses over the sand, sinking, sinking, someone was calling her name far away and she remembered, they were in a dark wood, she heard the wind and the rain rushing through the forest and saw the tremours of lightning shuddering through the heavens and the horse—great God, the horse—and would this scene repeat itself endlessly and forever?—the horse, rearing, poised over her, petrified in midair, a statue, somebody was sitting on the statue, it was Yvonne Griffaton, no, it was the statue of Huerta, the drunkard, the murderer, it was the Consul, or it was a mechanical horse on the merry-go-round, the carrousel, but the carrousel had stopped and she was in a ravine down which a million horses were thundering towards her, and she must escape, through the friendly forest to their house, their little home by the sea.”

Here is one critic describing the background of Italian painter Alessandro Marziano: “Alessandro Marziano was born in 1977. He began painting as a child in his father’s studio. He graduated from the School of Arts in Catanzaro in 1994. He attended the School of Theater in 1992 and became interested in set design. He has since become involved in stage design for plays in throughout Italy, winning the first price at the Theater Festival of Terracina in 2000.”
Alessandro Marziano
Alessandro Marziano
Alessandro Marziano
Alessandro Marziano
Alessandro Marziano

From the Music Archives – Part I of III: Antonio Vivaldi

“Human feelings are difficult to predict.” – Antonio Vivaldi, Italian Baroque composer and violinist, who died 28 July 1741.

“All outward forms of religion are almost useless, and are the causes of endless strife. . . . Believe there is a great power silently working all things for good, behave yourself and never mind the rest.” – Beatrix Potter, English writer, illustrator, natural scientist, conservationist, and author of “The Tale of Peter Rabbit,” who was born 28 July 1866.

Renee Zellweger portrays Beatrix Potter to perfection in the 2006 film “Miss Potter,” directed by Christ Noonan.

Some quotes from the work of Beatrix Potter:

“Once upon a time there were four little Rabbits, and their names were–Flopsy, Mopsy, Cottontail, and Peter. ”
“I remember I used to half believe and wholly play with fairies when I was a child. What heaven can be more real than to retain the spirit-world of childhood, tempered and balanced by knowledge and common-sense.”
“I hold that a strongly marked personality can influence descendants for generations.”
“The place is changed now, and many familiar faces are gone, but the greatest change is myself. I was a child then, I had no idea what the world would be like. I wished to trust myself on the waters and the sea. Everything was romantic in my imagination. The woods were peopled by the mysterious good folk. The Lords and Ladies of the last century walked with me along the overgrown paths, and picked the old fashioned flowers among the box and rose hedges of the garden.”
“There was another story in the paper a week or so since. A gentleman had a favourite cat whom he taught to sit at the dinner table where it behaved very well. He was in the habit of putting any scraps he left onto the cat’s plate. One day puss did not take his place punctually, but presently appeared with two mice, one of which it placed on its master’s plate, the other on its own.”
“With opportunity the world is very interesting.”

Here is the Artist Statement of Australian painter Graeme Balchin: “We live in a time where technology has advanced to the point we no longer need a camera to make a great image. For the commercial world, technology is the future, for it has embraced the new mediums with open arms. With this in mind, I am constantly amazed with the amount of artists who still use traditional mediums and methods simply because they wish to. I am one of those people, who has a compelling desire that borders on an insane obsession, to paint and draw. Painting has been and still is a successful way of recording history, but I feel it is also an integral part of human endeavor, the need to achieve excellence in creation.”

From the Music Archives – Part II of III: Johann Sebastian Bach

“What I have achieved by industry and practice, anyone else with tolerable natural gift and ability can also achieve.” – Johann Sebastian Bach, German composer, musician, and genius of the Baroque period, who died 28 July 1750.

“Somewhere someone is traveling furiously toward you,
At incredible speed, traveling day and night,
Through blizzards and desert heat, across torrents,
through narrow passes.
But will he know where to find you,
Recognize you when he sees you,
Give you the thing he has for you?” – John Ashbery, American poet and author of “Self-Portrait in a Convex Mirror” (which in 1976 won the Pulitzer Prize, The National Book Award, and the National Book Critics Circle Award), who was born 28 July 1927.

“The Picture of Little J. A. in a Prospect of Flowers”

He was spoilt from childhood
by the future, which he mastered
rather early and apparently
without great difficulty.

Darkness falls like a wet sponge
And Dick gives Genevieve a swift punch
In the pajamas. “Aroint thee, witch.”
Her tongue from previous ecstasy
Releases thoughts like little hats.

“He clap’d me first during the eclipse.
Afterwards I noted his manner
Much altered. But he sending
At that time certain handsome jewels
I durst not seem to take offence.”

In a far recess of summer
Monks are playing soccer.

So far is goodness a mere memory
Or naming of recent scenes of badness
That even these lives, children,
You may pass through to be blessed,
So fair does each invent his virtue.

And coming from a white world, music
Will sparkle at the lips of many who are
Beloved. Then these, as dirty handmaidens
To some transparent witch, will dream
Of a white hero’s subtle wooing,
And time shall force a gift on each.

That beggar to whom you gave no cent
Striped the night with his strange descant.

Yet I cannot escape the picture
Of my small self in that bank of flowers:
My head among the blazing phlox
Seemed a pale and gigantic fungus.
I had a hard stare, accepting

Everything, taking nothing,
As though the rolled-up future might stink
As loud as stood the sick moment
The shutter clicked. Though I was wrong,
Still, as the loveliest feelings

Must soon find words, and these, yes,
Displace them, so I am not wrong
In calling this comic version of myself
The true one. For as change is horror,
Virtue is really stubbornness

And only in the light of lost words
Can we imagine our rewards.

Born 28 July 1868 – George Morren, a Flemish painter.

Below – “Bleaching Clothes”; “Young Girl at Her Toillette”; “Dusk”; “Haarlem”; “The Washerwomen’s Field”; “Flowers in a Vase.”

From the Music Archives – Part III of III: Jerry Lee Lewis

28 July 1957 – Jerry Lee Lewis makes his first television appearance on the Steve Allen Show.

British Artist Kathryn Ensall (born 1956) studied art at the Universities of Lancaster, Leeds, and Newcastle.

From the American History Archives – Part I of III: The Memnon

28 July 1849 – After 120 days at sea, the Memnon becomes the first clipper ship to reach San Francisco from New York City.


From the American History Archives – Part II of III: The Metric System

28 July 1866 – The metric system becomes a legal measurement system in the United States. Happily, this transparent attempt to impose One World Government on our Republic failed, and so the metric system in America has remained merely “a” legal measurement system and not “the” legal measurement system. All patriotic Americans should be proud that we have so steadfastly resisted the tyrannical appeals of reason and good sense in this matter. Take a moment to ponder the diagram below, and then imagine our freedom-loving nation oppressed by such obviously socialist principles. As Abraham Simpson so eloquently put the matter, “The metric system is the tool of the devil! My car gets 40 rods to the hogshead, and that’s the way I likes it.”

From the American History Archives – Part III of III: B-25 Crash

28 July 1945 – A U.S. Army B-25 bomber crashes into the 79th floor of the Empire State Building, killing 14 people and injuring 26.

California Landscape Painters, The Pioneers– Part I of III:
Mary Agnes Yerkes

Mary Agnes Yerkes (1886-1921) was a skilled painter and watercolorist. After studying art in Rockford College and the Art Institute of Chicago, she settled in San Mateo, California in 1930, where she lives and worked. While she mostly painted plein-air, Yerkes also worked at home in a studio.

Below – “Mt. Shasta”; “Moon Set and Sunrise Glow”; “Early in the Day in Desert Quiet”; “Blue Boat”; “Arches”; “Cliff Palace”; “After the Fire.”

California Landscape Painters, The Pioneers– Part II of III:
Guy Rose

Guy Rose (1867-1925) was born in San Gabriel, California.
After studying at the Academie Julian in Paris (1888-1889), he worked as an illustrator in New York City during the 1890s. He returned to France in 1900, and from 1904 to 1912 he and his wife lived in Giverny, where he was influenced by his friend and mentor Claude Monet. Rose and his wife moved to Los Angeles in 1912.

Below – “The Blue Kimono”; “Point Lobos Trees”; “Incoming Tide”; “The Green Parasol”; “Monterey Cypress”; “November”; “Laguna Coast”; “Poppy Field.”

California Landscape Painters, The Pioneers– Part III of III:
Granville Redmond

Granville Redmond (1871-1935) studied art while a student at the California School for the Deaf in Berkeley. He then enrolled at the California School of Design in San Francisco, and in 1893 Redmond won a scholarship that made it possible for him to study in Paris at the Academie Julian. In 1893 he returned to California and settled in Los Angeles, where he became friends with Charlie Chaplin, for whom he became an acting coach and who, in turn, collected Redmond’s paintings.

Below – “Malibu Coast Spring”; “Rolling Hills with Poppies and Lupine Flowers”; “Nocturne”; “Coastal”; “Ocean Sunset”; “Coastal Scene.”

A Poem for Today

“Praise In Summer,”
By Richard Wilbur

Obscurely yet most surely called to praise,
As sometimes summer calls us all, I said
The hills are heavens full of branching ways
Where star-nosed moles fly overhead the dead;
I said the trees are mines in air, I said
See how the sparrow burrows in the sky!
And then I wondered why this mad instead
Perverts our praise to uncreation, why
Such savour’s in this wrenching things awry.
Does sense so stale that it must needs derange
The world to know it? To a praiseful eye
Should it not be enough of fresh and strange
That trees grow green, and moles can course
in clay,
And sparrows sweep the ceiling of our day?

Below – The Buffalo River


California Landscape Painters, Contemporary Heirs of the Pioneers – Part I of III: Peter Adams

Peter Adams (born 1952) is known for his landscape and figurative paintings. He is the longest serving President of the California Art Club.

Below – “Twilight Time”; “Tejon Forest”; “High Sierra”; “Early Spring Afternoon Light on Mt. Baldy”; “Winter on Lake Maine, Mammoth”; “Mount Lowe”; “Canyon – Near Batiquitos Lagoon, CA”; “Sillouettes at Dawn, Grand Canyon.”


Adams2 copy

Adams3 copy

Adams4 copy

Adams5 copy

Adams6 copy

Adams7 copy

Adams8 copy

California Landscape Painters, Contemporary Heirs of the Pioneers – Part II of III: Tim Solliday

Tim Solliday (born 1952) is known for his San Gabriel Valley landscapes and his paintings of American Indians and other western subjects.

Below – “California Landscape”; “Tangled Sycamores”; “Winter Woods”; “Looking for Water”; “Sycamore Hillside Near Artist’s Home”; “Serene Pastures”; “Woodland Song.”








California Landscape Painters, Contemporary Heirs of the Pioneers – Part III of III: Armand Cabrera

Armand Carbrera (born 1955) is best known for his landscape art and seascapes.

Below – “Big Sur”; “Fly Fishing on the Carson River”; “Winter Evening”; “San Gabriels Autumn”; “Overcast Light”; “Autumn Vineyards”; “Iceberg Lake.”








Add a comment

American Muse: Richard Wilbur


“Praise In Summer”

Obscurely yet most surely called to praise,
As sometimes summer calls us all, I said
The hills are heavens full of branching ways
Where star-nosed moles fly overhead the dead;
I said the trees are mines in air, I said
See how the sparrow burrows in the sky!
And then I wondered why this mad instead
Perverts our praise to uncreation, why
Such savour’s in this wrenching things awry.
Does sense so stale that it must needs derange
The world to know it? To a praiseful eye
Should it not be enough of fresh and strange
That trees grow green, and moles can course
in clay,
And sparrows sweep the ceiling of our day?

Below – The Buffalo River

Add a comment

July Offerings – Part XXVII: Something to Delight both Head and Heart

American Art – Part I of V: Amy Abshier-Reyes

Artist Statement: “I was raised on the Texas Gulf Coast, in a small farming and ranching community. I moved to Kansas City, Missouri to attend classes at the Kansas City Art Institute, where I received my bachelor’s degree in fine art in 1997. I relocated to Ventura, California in 2001, and my husband and I moved back to Kansas City in the spring of 2005. I’ve done illustrations for books, magazines, and album covers over the years, but I’m really happy doing my own thing these days.
A lot of people ask where I get ideas and inspiration for paintings. The ideas really do come from all over: looking at old photos or costumes or fashion books, conversations (usually overheard–I love eavesdropping. Shameful.), dreams… Sometimes just sitting down and drawing without thinking of anything in particular will produce something cool. Music is definitely something I’m passionate about (my husband and I met working together at a record store), and it plays an important role in my work as well. And I love looking at stuff! Fashion, architecture, art, design, interiors–there’s so much to see and so much to get excited about, just that in itself makes me want to paint.”








From the Music Archives: Leon Wilkeson

Died 27 July 2001 – Leon Wilkeson, American guitarist and bassist of the Southern rock band Lynyrd Skynyrd from 1972 until his death.

American Art – Part II of V: Adam Rhude

Artist Statement: ‘I aim to portray the beauty in everyday life. In recording the familiar, I find things I can connect with. It is my hope these subjects, that carry personal meaning to me, might also offer unique meaning to others.
Some of my earliest artistic influences were golden age illustrators. N.C. Wyeth was a particular favorite of mine whose work inspired me to major in illustration at the Savannah College of Art and Design. Throughout the next few years I was able to accept a wide variety of illustration assignments including editorial, advertising, print, book as well as storyboards.
I moved to New York City with the intention of furthering my illustration career. Ironically, exposure to the cities exceptional art collections changed my course dramatically. I discovered artists such as: Velasquez, Sargent, Sorolla, Chardin, and the Tonalists. I soon abandoned my commercial illustration pursuits in hopes of becoming a fine artist. I was extremely fortunate to have found some of the cities most respected traditional painters offer me a classical art training. I studied most extensively under Jacob Collins, Michael Grimaldi and Ron Sherr.
Having grown up on Cape Cod, I was exposed to lots of working artists and idyllic places to draw and paint. Recently, I have returned to Massachusetts. I look forward to finding these things in my new neighborhood in Boston.”







Died 27 July 1992 – Max Dupain, an Australian photographer.

Below – “Sunbaker”; “Street Scene”; “Sunrise at Newport”; “Chantilly, Paris”; “Lemington Colliery”; “Cane Train Drivers, Queensland”; “‘Eurella,’ North Queensland.”







“We are always the same age inside.” – Gertrude Stein, American writer, poet, art collector, and author of “The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas,” who died 27 July 1946.

Some quotes from the work of Gertrude Stein:

“If you can’t say anything nice about anyone else, come sit next to me.”
“Everybody knows if you are too careful you are so occupied in being careful that you are sure to stumble over something. ”
“Everybody gets so much information all day long that they lose their common sense.”
“There ain’t no answer.
There ain’t gonna be any answer.
There never has been an answer.
There’s your answer.”
“Rose is a rose is a rose is a rose”
“For a very long time everybody refuses and then almost without a pause almost everybody accepts.”
“I do want to get rich but I never want to do what there is to get rich. ”
“A very important thing is not to make up your mind that you are any one thing.”
“You are all a lost generation.”
“You are so afraid of losing your moral sense that you are not willing to take it through anything more dangerous than a mud-puddle. ”
“You are extraordinary within your limits, but your limits are extraordinary!”
“You have to know what you want to get it.”
“America is my country, and Paris is my home town.”
“When I go around and speak on campuses,
I still don’t get young men standing up and saying,
How can I combine career and family?”

Argentinean Art – Part I of II: Karin Godnic

In the words of one critic, “The work of Karin Godnic (born 1977) offers us a fresh and nimble vision of the city, recovering those common areas that are traversed daily by its pedestrians. Godnic captures and collects images, appropriating in her painting those anonymous urban public spaces. Streets, expressways, ports, bridges, and tall buildings are the heterogeneous, noisy stages she chooses. Expressionism defines these scenes of marked color contrasts and energetic brushstrokes. Godnic’s work is a highly perceptive registry of the atmosphere of the city and it inhabitants.”







Argentinean Art – Part II of II: Roger Mantegani

In the words of one critic, “Roger Mantegani (born 1957) has been inspired by the city of Paris with its museums, theaters, buildings, streets, river and people. Also inspiring him is New York where the magical and mysterious coalesce, creating in the same way as his paintings settings with strong visual impact and striking colors. From an early age he has been a tireless collector of objects such as hats, eye- masks, mirrors, photographs, furniture and family souvenirs, which he recreates under new forms, sizes, brilliance and color, thus producing special effects in the composition of his paintings. He has won many awards for his artworks since 1980.”







“Each day of the year
I drink till I slump.

Though you married me
any sot would do.” – Peter Reading, English poet and author, who was born 27 July 1946 (died 2011).

In the words of one critic, “(Reading) is known for his choice of ugly subject matter, and use of classical metres. ‘The Oxford Companion to Twentieth-Century Poetry’ describes his verse as ‘strongly anti-romantic, disenchanted and usually satirical.’ Interviewed by Robert Potts, he described his work as a combination of ‘painstaking care’ and ‘misanthropy.’” It sounds like he was a splendid chap.


“In the old days

you would have been charged

one obolos to cross.

There became so many passengers

That the authorities

Had to lay on more ferries.

Today it will cost you

1,200 euros, £1,000, 1,377 US bucks, 130.380

to achieve the further bank.”

Below – Joachim Patinir: “Landscape with Charon Crossing the Styx”

In the words of one critic, Canadian painter Olaf Schneider “uses color, light, and brushwork to achieve visual harmony. He captures the movement of water, as well as the freshness and clarity of sunlight, which seems to glisten on his surfaces.” In describing his artistry as well as that of other representational painters, Schneider has said, “Each dab is stimulated by the details that I observe; we see what others miss and then make it compelling.”







“I would insist that poetry is a normal human activity and its proper concern all the things that happen to people.” – Michael Longley, Irish poet from Belfast in Northern Ireland, who was born 27 July 1939.


What’s the Greek for boat,

You ask, old friend,

Fellow voyager

Approaching Ithaca –

Oh, flatulent sails,

Wave-winnowing oars,

Shingle-scrunching keel –

But, so close to home,

There’s a danger always

Of amnesiac storms,

Waterlogged words.


Born 27 July 1768 – Joseph Anton Koch, an Austrian painter who was a member of the German Romantic movement.

Below – “Waterfalls at Subiaco”; “Heroic Landscape with a Rainbow”; “The Schmadribachfall”; “Grindewald Glacier”; “The Lauterbrunner Valley.”






From the American History Archives – Part I of II: Electric Tricycle

27 July 1888 – American inventor Philip Pratt unveils the first American electric tricycle. Built in conjunction with engineer Fred Kimball and weighing about 300 pounds, the vehicle’s 10 lead-acid cells created 20 volts to a 0.5 horsepower motor, and it had a top speed of 8 miles-per-hour.


Here is the Artist Statement of Colombian painter Alexandre Monntoya (born 1974): “Painting is a way of expression, a constant internal search and from the moment I began to paint I have used several landscapes of colour. At first I expressed myself with the typical colouring of a tropical climate, then I was plunged into the chaos of not knowing where to go, I was inside a world of greys and from that basis I have been giving way to the warmth, the colours and the shapes that I show today.
I wish to show an everyday moment in a sweet manner, which is natural and full of passion and sensuality.
From a personal view point I also look for the merging of two energies, two opposites, two forces, the good and the bad, light and darkness, which when united, create a balance, a balance that gives way to shapes and spaces thus allowing you to glance at an instant of feelings and beauty.”








From the American History Archives – Part II of II: Bugs Bunny

27 July 1940 – Bugs Bunny debuts in “A Wild Hare.”

American Art – Part III of V: Mabel Alvarez

In the words of one critic, “Mabel Alvarez (1891 – 1985) “was an American painter. Her works, often introspective and spiritual in nature, and her style are considered contributing factors to the Southern California Modernism and California Impressionism movements.”

Below -“In the Garden”; “The Italian Model”; “Herman”; “The Figure at the Window”; title unknown; “Carmen”; “Hawaiian Boy”; “Self-Portrait.”









American Art – Part IV of V: Louie Metz

In the words of one critic, “The recent works of Louie Metz have earned him a special distinction among the Los Angeles art community, where he has had numerous shows. Louie is a prolific artist, casting local Los Angeles personalities to model as his intense survivors. His subjects are usually offset by anthropomorphic landscapes: a suburban backyard, and apartment courtyard, a sweeping vista, all rendered in a way that reflects the subject’s inner psychological reality. ‘Luckily the models are usually going through some kind of psycho drama,’ he says, ‘which makes it interesting.’ There is a traditional aspect to Louie’s work that reflects a deep interest in the work of the old masters; however, Louie conveys a classicism without investing the work with a classical style. ‘I don’t usually like contemporary art that looks pretentiously Old Masterish as I find that its a prevailing tendency for figurative painters to stylize their paintings with too many jokey pop-cultural references and self conscious chiaroscuro.’
Complexity and straight forwardness, tradition and personal vision, beauty and brutality; are issues that conflict in life and art, yet because of their importance to the painter they must be dealt with and synthesized in his work.”










Louie Metz

Louie Metz


Died 27 July 1996 – Ivan V. Lalic, Serbian poet whose work has been translated into more than twenty languages. In her obituary of him, Celia Hawkesworth spoke of “the central place in his work of memory: fragile in the face of the collapse of civilisations, but all we have. Memory allows the poet to recreate brief instants of personal joy as well as to conjure up a sense of the distant past. It allows each of us, as individuals condemned to solitude, to connect with a shared inheritance and feel, for a moment, part of a larger whole.”

“Places We Love”

Places we love exist only through us,
Space destroyed is only illusion in the constancy of time,
Places we love we can never leave,
Places we love together, together, together,

And is this room really a room, or an embrace,
And what is beneath the window: a street or years?
And the window is only the imprint left by
The first rain we understood, returning endlessly,

And this wall does not define the room, but perhaps the night
In which your son began to move in your sleeping blood,
A son like a butterfly of flame in your hall of mirrors,
The night you were frightened by your own light,

And this door leads into any afternoon
Which outlives it, forever peopled
With your casual movements, as you stepped,
Like fire into copper, into my only memory;

When you go, space closes over like water behind you,
Do not look back: there is nothing outside you,
Space is only time visible in a different way,
Places we love we can never leave.

Below – Barbara McCauley: “Woman Walking Away”

Polish painter Monika Detkos studied in the Sztuk Pieknych Academy in Gdansk.








A Poem for Today

“The Light By The Barn,”
By William Stafford

The light by the barn that shines all night
pales at dawn when a little breeze comes.

A little breeze comes breathing the fields
from their sleep and waking the slow windmill.

The slow windmill sings the long day
about anguish and loss to the chickens at work.

The little breeze follows the slow windmill
and the chickens at work till the sun goes down–

Then the light by the barn again.

Below – Brooke Korter: Photograph of barn in Victor, Idaho.

American Art – Part V of V: Raina Gentry

In the words of one critic, “Raina’s artwork incorporates her studies in printmaking, life drawing, collage, and painting, and is heavily influenced by her education at Prescott College. She views each canvas as a playground for her psyche – each piece evolving naturally and intuitively, with little structure or expectation about the final outcome. Through this organic approach to art-making, Raina believes that she taps into, and expresses universal themes that many people can identify with. Through complex layering of various media, with a focus on the human form, and nature, she creates meaningful, evocative works that draw her viewers in.”









Add a comment

American Muse: William Stafford


“The Light By The Barn”

The light by the barn that shines all night
pales at dawn when a little breeze comes.

A little breeze comes breathing the fields
from their sleep and waking the slow windmill.

The slow windmill sings the long day
about anguish and loss to the chickens at work.

The little breeze follows the slow windmill
and the chickens at work till the sun goes down–

Then the light by the barn again.

Below – Brooke Korter: Photograph of barn in Victor, Idaho.


Add a comment

July Offerings – Part XXVI: Something to Delight both Head and Heart

American Art – Part I of IV: Cassandra Gillens

In the words of one critic, “Cassandra Gillens is a self-taught artist, residing in the Low Country of South Carolina, an area she cherishes. Born and educated in Boston, Massachusetts, her earliest memories are drawing with colored chalks on the sidewalks of Roxbury, Massachusetts. The memories remained a part of her when she began to paint images depicting her early childhood years in South Carolina. Upon her return, she was moved to paint her visions of the Low Country’s comforting southern culture.
Cassandra is closely connected with the people and culture in this beautiful and historic land; her paintings depict some of her fondest memories as a child, and also of good old southern living and images of various life styles found on the Sea Islands. Her paintings show that love with vivid saturated color and simplification of forms keeping her true to the style of fauvism.” 
“It has been said that idleness is the parent of mischief, which is very true; but mischief itself is merely an attempt to escape from the dreary vacuum of idleness.” – George Borrow, English writer of novels and travelogues, and author of “Lavengro: The Scholar, The Gypsy, The Priest,” who died 26 July 1881.

Some quotes from the work of George Borrow:

“Translation is at best an echo.”
“There’s the wind on the heath, brother; if I could only feel that, I would gladly live for ever.”
“Youth is the only season for enjoyment, and the first twenty-five years of one’s life are worth all the rest of the longest life of man, even though these be spent in penury and contempt, and the rest in possession of wealth, honors, respectability.”
“Two great talkers will not travel far together.”
“I am invariably of the politics of the people at whose table I sit, or beneath whose roof I sleep.”

Died 26 July 2011 – Margaret Olley, an Australian painter.

Below – “Still Life with Leaves”; “Chinese Screen and Yellow Room”; “Backbuildings”; “Homage to Manet”; “Portrait in the Mirror.”






“Books, I found, had the power to make time stand still, retreat or fly into the future.” Jim Bishop, American journalist and author, who died 26 July 1987.

Some quotes from the work of Jim Bishop:

“At 19, everything is possible and tomorrow looks friendly.”
“Watching your daughter being collected by her date feels like handing over a million dollar Stradivarius to a gorilla.”
“Golf is played by twenty million mature American men whose wives think they are out having fun.”
“It is difficult to live in the present, ridiculous to live in the future and impossible to live in the past. Nothing is as far away as one minute ago.”
“Archaeology is the peeping Tom of the sciences. It is the sandbox of men who care not where they are going; they merely want to know where everyone else has been.”
“Nobody understands anyone 18, including those who are 18.”
“The future is an opaque mirror. Anyone who tries to look into it sees nothing but the dim outlines of an old and worried face.”

American Art – Part II of IV: Diane Arbus

Died 26 July 1971 – Diane Arbus, American photographer and writer known for her black-and-white square photographs of, in the words of one critic, “deviant and marginal people (dwarfs, giants, transgender people, nudists, circus performers) or of people whose normality seems ugly or surreal.” Arbus was born in 1923.

Below – “Child with Toy Hand Grenades in Central Park”; “Eddie Carmel, Jewish Giant, at Home with His Parents”; “Jack Dracula”; “Teenage Couple on Hudson Street, New York City”; “Boy with Straw Hat Waiting to March in a Pro-War Parade, N.Y.C. 1967”; “Identical Twins, Roselle, N.J.”; “A Family on Their Lawn One Sunday in Westchester, N.Y. 1968.”








Nobel Laureate: George Bernard Shaw

“Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.” – George Bernard Shaw, Irish playwright, co-founder of the London School of Economics, literary critic, essayist, novelist, journalist, socialist, vegetarian, short story writer, and recipient of the 1952 Novel Prize in Literature “for his work which is marked by both idealism and humanity, its stimulating satire often being infused with a singular poetic beauty,” who was born 26 July 1856.

Some quotes from the work of George Bernard Shaw:

“A life spent making mistakes is not only more honorable, but more useful than a life spent doing nothing.”
“Make it a rule never to give a child a book you would not read yourself.”
“Animals are my friends…and I don’t eat my friends.”
“When two people are under the influence of the most violent, most insane, most delusive, and most transient of passions, they are required to swear that they will remain in that excited, abnormal, and exhausting condition continuously until death do them part.”
“The reasonable man adapts himself to the world: the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.”
“Those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.”
“The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.”
“My way of joking is to tell the truth. It’s the funniest joke in the world.”
“‘I am enclosing two tickets to the first night of my new play; bring a friend … if you have one.’ – George Bernard Shaw, to Winston Churchill
‘Cannot possibly attend first night; will attend second, if there is one.’
— Winston Churchill’s response.”
“There are two tragedies in life. One is to lose your heart’s desire. The other is to gain it.”

British Art – Part I of II: Edward Poynter

Died 26 July 1919 – Edward Poynter, a British painter, designer, and draughtsman.

Below – “Cave of the Storm Nymphs”; “Corner of the Marketplace”; “Mercury Stealing the Cattle of the Gods”; “The Bells of St. Mark’s, Venice”; “Psyche in the Temple of Love”; “On the Terrace”; “Mrs. Langtry”; “The Fortune Teller”; “The Visions of Endymion”; “The Nymph of the Stream.”

Corner of the marketplace  *oil on canvas  *53 x 53 cm *signed bl.r.: 18EJP87

(c) Walker Art Gallery; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation






(c) Bristol Museum and Art Gallery; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation


“There is only one corner of the universe you can be certain of improving, and that’s your own self.” – Aldous Huxley, English writer, humanist, pacifist, satirist, and author of “Brave New World” and “The Doors of Perception,” who was born 26 July 1894.

Some quotes from the work of Aldous Huxley:

“The real hopeless victims of mental illness are to be found among those who appear to be most normal. Many of them are normal because they are so well adjusted to our mode of existence, because their human voice has been silenced so early in their lives, that they do not even struggle or suffer or develop symptoms as the neurotic does.” They are normal not in what may be called the absolute sense of the word; they are normal only in relation to a profoundly abnormal society. Their perfect adjustment to that abnormal society is a measure of their mental sickness. These millions of abnormally normal people, living without fuss in a society to which, if they were fully human beings, they ought not to be adjusted.”
“Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored.”
“An intellectual is a person who has discovered something more interesting than sex.”
“There are things known and there are things unknown, and in between are the doors of perception.”
“Experience is not what happens to a man; it is what a man does with what happens to him.”
“Chronic remorse, as all the moralists are agreed, is a most undesirable sentiment. If you have behaved badly, repent, make what amends you can and address yourself to the task of behaving better next time. On no account brood over your wrongdoing. Rolling in the muck is not the best way of getting clean.”
“Every man’s memory is his private literature.”

British Art – Part II of II: Alison Coaten

Here is one critic describing the artistry of British sculptor and ceramicist Alison Coaten: “Alison works from her studio at home in Lincolnshire, hand building figurative sculpture in stoneware, finished with slips, glaze lustre and glass. She graduated from Loughborough in 1994 with a first in Fine Art Sculpture. After working in mixed media for her degree Alison returned to clay preferring its immediacy and flexibility.
Alison’s work is often narrative and her influences range from religious icons to folklore and idolatry. A sense of familiarity is derived from early Flemish and religious art, this imagery is reworked using secular, mythological and personal iconography.”








From the American History Archives – Part I of II: Sam Houston

“All new states are invested, more or less, by a class of noisy, second-rate men who are always in favor of rash and extreme measures, but Texas was absolutely overrun by such men.” – Sam Houston, American politician and soldier best known for his role in bringing Texas into the United States as a constituent state. He was also the only American to be elected governor of two different states (Tennessee and Texas) and the only Southern governor to oppose secession – an act for which he was removed from office. Houston died on 26 July 1863.

Some quotes from the work of Sam Houston:

“I would give no thought of what the world might say of me, if I could only transmit to posterity the reputation of an honest man.”
“The benefits of education and of useful knowledge, generally diffused through a community, are essential to the preservation of a free government.”
“I preferred measuring deer tracks to tape – that I liked the wild liberty of the Red men better then the tyranny of my brothers.”
“To secede from the Union and set up another government would cause war. If you go to war with the United States, you will never conquer her, as she has the money and the men. If she does not whip you by guns, powder, and steel, she will starve you to death. It will take the flower of the country — the young men.”
“I am aware that in presenting myself as the advocate of the Indians and their rights, I shall stand very much alone.”

Francis Picabia (1879-1953) was a French artist and poet who experimented with a variety of painting styles.










From the Music Archives – Part I of II: Mick Jagger

Born 26 July 1943 – Mick Jagger, an English singer, musician, songwriter, actor, and the lead vocalist and a founding member of the Rolling Stones.

From the Music Archives – Part II of II: Roger Taylor

Born 26 July 1949 – Roger Taylor, an English musician, singer, and songwriter best known as the drummer of Queen.

Mexican painter Monica Fernandez (born 1972) studied in the Academy of Fine Arts in San Miguel de Allende.







“The remarkable thing about Shakespeare is that he really is very good, in spite of all the people who say he is very good.” – Robert Graves, English poet, scholar, translator, and author of “Good-Bye to All That” and “The White Goddess,” who was born 26 July 1895.

Robert Graves wrote his autobiography “Good-Bye to All That” when he was thirty-four, stating in the prologue that, “It was my bitter leave-taking of England.” In the course of his narrative, he reveals the immense disparity between lofty patriotic rhetoric and the grim actualities of modern warfare. He also describes how, along with millions of human beings, Victorian social norms and British optimism died in the trenches of the Western Front.

Some quotes from the work of Robert Graves:

“There’s no money in poetry, but there’s no poetry in money, either.”
“In love as in sport, the amateur status must be strictly maintained.”
“The function of poetry is religious invocation of the muse; its use is the experience of mixed exaltation and horror that her presence excites.”
“Poetry is no more a narcotic than a stimulant; it is a universal bittersweet mixture for all possible household emergencies and its action varies accordingly as it is taken in a wineglass or a tablespoon, inhaled, gargled or rubbed on the chest by hard fingers covered with rings.”
“Because the world is in a sick condition and we are all somehow infected, against our will, even if we think we are whole in mind and soul and body.”
“‘Genius’ was a word loosely used by expatriate Americans in Paris and Rome, between the Versailles Peace treaty and the Depression, to cover all varieties of artistic, literary and musical experimentalism. A useful and readable history of the literary Thirties is Geniuses Together by Kay Boyle-Joyce, Hemingway, Scott Fitzgerald, Pound, Eliot and the rest. They all became famous figures but too many of them developed defects of character-ambition, meanness, boastfulness, cowardice or inhumanity-that defrauded their early genius. Experimentalism is a quality alien to genius. It implies doubt, hope, uncertainty, the need for group reassurance; whereas genius works alone, in confidence of a foreknown result. Experiments are useful as a demonstration of how not to write, paint or compose if one’s interest lies in durable rather than fashionable results; but since far more self-styled artists are interested in frissons á la mode rather than in truth, it is foolish to protest. Experimentalism means variation on the theme of other people’s uncertainties.”
“Cuinchy (a city in northeast France) bred rats. They came up from the canal, fed on the plentiful corpses, and multiplied exceedingly. While I stayed here with the Welsh, a new officer joined the company… When he turned in that night, he heard a scuffling, shone his torch on the bed, and found two rats on his blanket tussling for the possession of a severed hand.”
“Poets can’t march in protest or do that sort of thing. I feel that’s against the rules, and pointless. If mankind wants a great big final bang, that’s what it’ll get. One should never protest against anything unless it’s going to have an effect. None of those marches do. One should either be silent or go straight to the top.”


Here is one critic describing the artistry of Russian painter Nikolay Prokopenko (born 1945)” “(He) creates within the framework of modern art, but the source of his inspiration is an ancient call – a sense of his native land.”







“We owe to the Middle Ages the two worst inventions of humanity – gunpowder and romantic love.” – Andre Maurois, French author, who was born 26 July 1885.

Some quotes from the work of Andre Maurois:

“In literature as in love, we are astonished at what is chosen by others.”
“Often we allow ourselves to be upset by small things we should despise and forget. We lose many irreplaceable hours brooding over grievances that, in a year’s time, will be forgotten by us and by everybody. No, let us devote our life to worthwhile actions and feelings, to great thoughts, real affections and enduring undertakings.”
“Happiness is never there to stay … Happiness is merely a respite offered by inquietude.”
“The reading of a fine book is an uninterrupted dialogue in which the book speaks and our soul replies.”
“Two human beings anchored to one another are like two ships shaken by waves; their carcasses collide with one another and creak.”
“Conversation would be vastly improved by the constant use of four simple words: I do not know.”
“Every ten years you should delete from your mind a few ideas that your experience has proven to be false, dangerous.”
“The art of reading is in great part that of acquiring a better understanding of life from one’s encounter with it in a book. ”
“Yet had Fleming not possessed immense knowledge and an unremitting gift of observation he might not have observed the effect of the hyssop mould. ‘Fortune,’ remarked Pasteur, ‘favors the prepared mind.’”
“Old age is far more than white hair, wrinkles, the feeling that it is too late and the game is finished, that the stage belongs to the rising generations. The true evil is not the weakening of the body, but the indifference of the soul.”
“Smile, for everyone lacks self-confidence and more than any other one thing a smile reassures them.”

From the American History Archives – Part II of II: William Mitchell

Died 26 July 2004 – William Mitchell, an American chemist and the inventor of Tang, Cool Whip, and Pop Rocks.


Greek artist Christos Bokoros (born 1956) studied painting at the National School of Fine Arts in Athens.









“Traveler, there is no path.
The path is made by walking.

Traveller, the path is your tracks
And nothing more.
Traveller, there is no path
The path is made by walking.
By walking you make a path
And turning, you look back
At a way you will never tread again
Traveller, there is no road
Only wakes in the sea.” – “XXIX, from “Border of a Dream: Selected Poems,” by Antonio Machado, Spanish poet, who was born 26 July 1875.

Some quotes from the work of Antonio Machado:

“Last night as I was sleeping,
I dreamt — marvelous error! —
that I had a beehive
here inside my heart
And the golden bees
were making white combs
and sweet honey
from my failures.”
“My philosophy is fundamentally sad, but I’m not a sad man, and I don’t believe I sadden anyone else. In other words, the fact that I don’t put my philosophy into practice saves me from its evil spell, or, rather, my faith in the human race is stronger then my intellectual analysis of it; there lies the fountain of youth in which my heart is continually bathing.”
“Death is something we shouldn’t fear because, while we are, death isn’t, and when death is, we aren’t.”
“Don’t trace out your profile–
forget your side view–
all that is outer stuff.

Look for your other half
who walks always next to you
and tends to be who you aren’t.”

“I Have Walked Down Many Roads”

I have walked down many roads
and cleared many paths;
I have navigated a hundred oceans
and anchored off a hundred shores.

All over, I have seen
caravans of sadness,
pompous and melancholy men
drunk with black shadows,

and defrocked pedants
who stare, keep quiet, and think
they know, because they don’t
drink wine in the neighborhood bars.

Bad people who go around
polluting the earth . . .

And all over, I have seen
people who dance or play,
when they can, and work
their four handfuls of land.

If they turn up someplace,
they never ask where they are.

When they travel, they ride
on the backs of old mules,

and don’t know how to hurry,
not even on holidays.

When there’s wine, they drink wine;
when there’s no wine, they drink cool water.

These are good people, who live,
work, get by, and dream;
and on a day like all the others
they lie down under the earth.”
Pictures in the News: Balkh, Afghanistan

American Art – Part III of IV: Michael Lynn Adams

Artist Statement: “My goal is to show that commonplace objects are any­thing but ordinary. Using light, texture and composition, I hope to cre­ate work that is full of warmth and spirit.”








A Poem for Today

“Song of Quietness,”
By Robinson Jeffers

Drink deep, drink deep of quietness,
And on the margins of the sea
Remember not thine old distress
Nor all the miseries to be.
Calmer than mists, and cold
As they, that fold on fold
Up the dim valley are rolled,
Learn thou to be.

The Past—it was a feverish dream,
A drunken slumber full of tears.
The Future—O what wild wings gleam,
Wheeled in the van of desperate years!
Thou lovedst the evening: dawn
Glimmers; the night is gone:—
What dangers lure thee on,
What dreams more fierce?

But meanwhile, now the east is gray,
The hour is pale, the cocks yet dumb,
Be glad before the birth of day,
Take thy brief rest ere morning come:
Here in the beautiful woods
All night the sea-mist floods,—
Thy last of solitudes,
Thy yearlong home.

American Art – Part IV of IV: George Catlin

Born 26 July 1796 – George Catlin, an American painter who specialized in portraits of Native Americans in the Old West.

Below – “Buffalo Bull, a Grand Pawnee Warrior”; “Prairie Meadows Burning”; “Buffalo Hunt under the Wolf-skin Mask”; “Ball-play of the Choctaw – Ball up”; “Brick Kilns, Clay Bluffs 1900 Miles above St. Louis”; “Four Bears, Second Chief, in Full Dress” (Mandan); “Buffalo Bull’s Back Fat, Head Chief, Blood Tribe” (Blackfoot); “Comanche Feats of Horsemanship”; “Woman with Her Child in a Cradle” (Ojibwe/Chippewa); “Interior View of the Medicine Lodge, Mandan O-kee-pa Ceremony”; “Black Hawk, Prominent Sac Chief”; “The Watchful Fox, Chief of the Tribe” (Sac and Fox); “Black Drink, a Warrior of Great Distinction” (Seminole); “Scalp Dance, Sioux”; “Little Bear, Steep Wind, The Dog; Three Distinguished Warriors of the Sioux Tribe.”















Add a comment

American Muse: Robinson Jeffers


“Song of Quietness”

Drink deep, drink deep of quietness,
And on the margins of the sea
Remember not thine old distress
Nor all the miseries to be.
Calmer than mists, and cold
As they, that fold on fold
Up the dim valley are rolled,
Learn thou to be.

The Past—it was a feverish dream,
A drunken slumber full of tears.
The Future—O what wild wings gleam,
Wheeled in the van of desperate years!
Thou lovedst the evening: dawn
Glimmers; the night is gone:—
What dangers lure thee on,
What dreams more fierce?

But meanwhile, now the east is gray,
The hour is pale, the cocks yet dumb,
Be glad before the birth of day,
Take thy brief rest ere morning come:
Here in the beautiful woods
All night the sea-mist floods,—
Thy last of solitudes,
Thy yearlong home.


Add a comment

July Offerings – Part XXV: Something to Delight both Head and Heart

American Art – Part I of VIII: Katy Unger

Artist Statement: “My recent paintings are about personal space. They are a window into those intimate moments that from the viewpoint of the observer can only be left to the imagination.
Absorbed in moments of creation and reflection, the individuals exist for themselves, unaware that they are being watched. The subject of my work is not so much the individuals that I paint, but the dialog between themselves and their surroundings.”








Painter Mariana Kalacheva (born 1977) is a member of the Union of Bulgarian Artists.

From the Music Archives – Part I of III: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

25 July 1788 – Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart completes his Symphony No. 40 in G minor.

American Art – Part II of VIII: Jane Frank

Born 25 July 1918 – Jane Frank, an American artist.

Below – “Crags and Crevices”; “Plum Point”; “Night Landings, Sambura”; “Ledge of Light”; “Winter Windows”; “Aerial Series – Ploughed Fields, Maryland.”

From the Music Archives – Part II of III: Jim McCarty

Born 25 July 1943 – Jim McCarty, an English musician best known as the drummer for the Yardbirds and Renaissance.

Here is part of the Artist Statement of Argentinian painter Marco Ortolan: “A painting must be universal, otherwise it would be very monotone. Venice and the female figure captivate me completely and, luckily, both have had a good reception with the public and collectors.”


From the Music Archives – Part III of III: The Beatles

25 July 1964 – The Beatles’ album “A Hard Day’s Night” reaches the number one spot on the Billboard Hot 100 and remains there for fourteen weeks.

Died 25 July 1967 – Konstantinos Parthenis, a Greek painter.

Below – “Hydra”; “Landscape”; “Scene on the Beach”; “Music”; “View of Corfu”; “Self-Portrait.”

Here is the Artist Statement of painter Josephine Ryan: “I’m a self-taught Norwegian artist, born in 1989. I primarily do pencil portraits, but also a bit of digital art, metalwork, and other things.
I started drawing portraits in 2000, and had my first solo exhibition at Galleri Midtstuen in Norway in 2009.”

“Lack of education is an extraordinary handicap when one is being offensive.” – Josephine Tey, Scottish writer best known for her mystery novels and author of “The Daughter of Time,” who was born 25 July 1896.

Some quotes from the work of Josephine Tey:

“It’s an odd thing but when you tell someone the true facts of a mythical tale they are indignant not with the teller but with you. They don’t want to have their ideas upset. It rouses some vague uneasiness in them, I think, and they resent it. So they reject it and refuse to think about it. If they were merely indifferent it would be natural and understandable. But it is much stronger than that, much more positive. They are annoyed.
Very odd, isn’t it.”
“If you think about the unthinkable long enough it becomes quite reasonable.”
“He knew by heart every last minute crack on its surface. He had made maps of the ceiling and gone exploring on them; rivers, islands, and continents. He had made guessing games of it and discovered hidden objects; faces, birds, and fishes. He made mathematical calculations of it and rediscovered his childhood; theorems, angles, and triangles. There was practically nothing else he could do but look at it. He hated the sight of it.”
“The light died on the window-sill as the last survivor of a charge dies on the enemy parapet, murdered but glorious.”
“One would expect boredom to be a great yawning emotion, but it isn’t, of course. It’s a small niggling thing.”
“That is why historians surprise me. They seem to have no talent for the likeliness of any situation. They see history like a peepshow; with two-dimensional figures against a distant background.”
“She would go away deep into the green and white and yellow countryside, and smell the may and lie in the grass and feel the world turning on its axis, and remember that it was a very large world, and that College griefs were mild and bitter but soon over and that in the Scale of Things they were undeniably Very Small Beer.”
“She put her cup down and sighed again with pleasure. ‘I can’t think how the Nonconformists have failed to discover coffee.
‘Discover it?’
‘Yes. As a snare. It does far more for one than drink. And yet no one preaches about it, or signs pledges about it. Five mouthfuls and the world looks rosy.’”
“The truth of anything at all doesn’t lie in someone’s account of it. It lies in all the small facts of the time. An advertisement in a paper, the sale of a house, the price of a ring.”

Here is one critic describing the artistry of Chinese painter Zhang Zhenggang: “Zhang was born in Shanghai (in 1953). He attended the Refresher Course of Lecturers of Oil Painting Department at Central Academy of Fine Arts in 1982. He graduated from the Fine Arts Department of Art College of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army in 1987. Now he is a painter of Shanghai Oil Painting and Sculpture Institute, member of Chinese Artist’s Association, director of Chinese Oil Painting Association. His work has won the Silver Award in the 2nd National Art Exhibition of Young Artists in 1980. He has won the Excellence Prize in Military Subject Art Exhibition in 1986 as well as the Merit Prize in 60th Anniversary of Chinese Army: National Art Exhibition in 1987. In 1989, he won the Bronze Award in the 7th National Art Exhibition. In 1992, he won the Award of Creative Work in Shanghai Art Exhibition. And in 1994, he was awarded with the Chinese Oil Painting Art Prize in the 2nd Chinese Annual Oil Painting Exhibition. For many years, he has won numerous prizes and his works are collected in the National Art Museum of China.”

“After the first glass of vodka
you can accept just about anything
of life even your own mysteriousness
you think it is nice that a box
of matches is purple and brown and is called La Petite and comes from Sweden
for they are words that you know and that is all you know words not their feelings or what they mean and you write because you know them not because you understand them because you don’t you are stupid and lazy and will never be great but you do what you know because what else is there?” – Frank O’Hara, American poet, writer, and art critic, who died 25 July 1966.


Oh! kangaroos, sequins, chocolate sodas!
You really are beautiful! Pearls,
harmonicas, jujubes, aspirins! all
the stuff they’ve always talked about

still makes a poem a surprise!
These things are with us every day
even on beachheads and biers. They
do have meaning. They’re strong as rocks.

German painter Heiner Altmeppen (born 1951) studied art in Hamburg, Rome, and Venice.

“Absolute faith corrupts as absolutely as absolute power.” – Eric Hoffer, American longshoreman, moral and social philosopher, and author of “The True Believer: Thoughts on the Nature of Mass Movements,” who was born 25 July 1902.

Some quotes from the work of Eric Hoffer:

“Every great cause begins as a movement, becomes a business, and eventually degenerates into a racket.”
“Disappointment is a sort of bankruptcy – the bankruptcy of a soul that expends too much in hope and expectation.”
“Rudeness is the weak man’s imitation of strength.”
“We lie the loudest when we lie to ourselves.”
“In times of change, learners inherit the earth, while the learned find themselves beautifully equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists.”
“We are told that talent creates its own opportunities. But it sometimes seems that intense desire creates not only its own opportunities but its own talents.”
“The hardest arithmetic to master is that which enables us to count our blessings.”
“People who bite the hand that feeds them usually lick the boot that kicks them.”
“When people are bored, it is primarily with their own selves that they are bored.”
“When people are free to do as they please, they usually imitate each other.”
“It is the individual only who is timeless. Societies, cultures, and civilizations — past and present — are often incomprehensible to outsiders, but the individual’s hungers, anxieties, dreams, and preoccupations have remained unchanged through the millennia.”
“Nonconformists travel as a rule in bunches. You rarely find a nonconformist who goes it alone. And woe to him inside a nonconformist clique who does not conform with nonconformity.”
“Our frustration is greater when we have much and want more than when we have nothing and want some. We are less dissatisfied when we lack many things than when we seem to lack but one thing.”
“Our greatest pretenses are built up not to hide the evil and the ugly in us, but our emptiness. The hardest thing to hide is something that is not there.”
“It still holds true that man is most uniquely human when he turns obstacles into opportunities.”
“Far more crucial than what we know or do not know is what we do not want to know.”
“The remarkable thing is that we really love our neighbor as ourselves: we do unto others as we do unto ourselves. We hate others when we hate ourselves. We are tolerant toward others when we tolerate ourselves. We forgive others when we forgive ourselves. We are prone to sacrifice others when we are ready to sacrifice ourselves.”
“You can never get enough of what you don’t need to make you happy.”
“To be fully alive is to feel that everything is possible.”
“It has often been said that power corrupts. But it is perhaps equally important to realize that weakness, too, corrupts. Power corrupts the few, while weakness corrupts the many. Hatred, malice, rudeness, intolerance, and suspicion are the faults of weakness. The resentment of the weak does not spring from any injustice done to them but from their sense of inadequacy and impotence. We cannot win the weak by sharing our wealth with them. They feel our generosity as oppression.”
“You can discover what your enemy fears most by observing the means he uses to frighten you.”
“The greatest weariness comes from work not done.”
“Man staggers through life yapped at by his reason, pulled and shoved by his appetites, whispered to by fears, beckoned by hopes. Small wonder that what he craves most is self-forgetting.”
“Passionate hatred can give meaning and purpose to an empty life.”
“A man is likely to mind his own business when it is worth minding. When it is not, he takes his mind off his own meaningless affairs by minding other people’s business.”
“An empty head is not really empty; it is stuffed with rubbish. Hence the difficulty of forcing anything into an empty head.”

American Art – Part III of VIII: Ellen Eagle

Artist Statement: “I paint portraits in pastel. My portraits evolve slowly, during a series of sittings. I don’t like to talk much when I work. I like my model to almost forget I am there. Inevitably, during the course of the sittings as the model drifts deeper into his or her own thoughts, he or she experiences deeply felt emotions. And though I respond to the body’s genuine expression of those emotions, I am aware that he or she is engaged in private thoughts to which I am not privy.
I strive to express my response through acute observation. Fidelity to my subject’s particular qualities is very important to me. Of course, I see through the filter of my own temperament.
I always work in natural light. The most exquisite expression of light I have seen is in the radiance of flesh. The timeless and fleeting human subject as seen in the eternal and ever-changing natural light.”
Ellen Eagle

Here is one critic describing the artistry of Australian painter Melissa Hartley: “Melissa Hartley is an artist, graphic designer, cat lover, tea drinker, Francophile, movie and music lover with a terrible sweet tooth. She graduated from the University of Western Sydney with a BA (Distinction) in design, minor in illustration.
Her compositions vary from simple still-life studies, to confrontation figures against undefined backgrounds, in a dream-like state. Others highlight the turbulent relationship man has with nature. Each subject is attractive yet somehow disturbing.
She desires to create images of beauty and mystery that allow the viewer to find their own personal significance in them.
She lives in Sydney with her husband and two cats, Ludwig and Wolfgang.”

“When the war ended, I don’t know if I was more relieved that we’d won or that I didn’t have to go back. Passchendaele was a disastrous battle and thousands and thousands of young lives were lost. It makes me angry. Earlier this year, I went back to Ypres to shake the hand of Herr Kuentz, Germany’s only surviving veteran from the war. It was emotional. He is 107. We’ve had 87 years to think what war is. To me, it’s a license to go out and murder. Why should the British government call me up and take me out to a battlefield to shoot a man I never knew, whose language I couldn’t speak? All those lives lost for a war finished over a table. Now what is the sense in that?” – Harry Patch, former British soldier and the last surviving combatant to have fought in the trenches of the First World War, who died on 25 July 2009, at age 111 years, 38 days.

Above – Harry Patch (highlighted) in the trenches, circa 1917.
Below – Harry Patch at age 109 in Prior Park Landscape Garden; Harry Patch.

American Art – Part IV of VIII: Alexander Rummler

Born 25 July 1867 – Alexander Rummler, an American artist best known for painting murals for the Works Project Administration.

Below – “Dredging for Oysters”; “Wooded Path”; “Apple Harvest”; “Calf Pasture Beach”; “Dairy Farm – Grade Herd”; “Self-Portrait.”

“No mind is thoroughly well-organized that is deficient in a sense of humor.” – Samuel Taylor Coleridge, English poet, literary critic, philosopher, and, with William Wordsworth, founder of the Romantic Movement in England, who died 25 July 1834.

“Kubla Khan”

Or, a vision in a dream. A Fragment.

In Xanadu did Kubla Khan
A stately pleasure-dome decree:
Where Alph, the sacred river, ran
Through caverns measureless to man
Down to a sunless sea.
So twice five miles of fertile ground
With walls and towers were girdled round;
And there were gardens bright with sinuous rills,
Where blossomed many an incense-bearing tree;
And here were forests ancient as the hills,
Enfolding sunny spots of greenery.

But oh! that deep romantic chasm which slanted
Down the green hill athwart a cedarn cover!
A savage place! as holy and enchanted
As e’er beneath a waning moon was haunted
By woman wailing for her demon-lover!
And from this chasm, with ceaseless turmoil seething,
As if this earth in fast thick pants were breathing,
A mighty fountain momently was forced:
Amid whose swift half-intermitted burst
Huge fragments vaulted like rebounding hail,
Or chaffy grain beneath the thresher’s flail:
And mid these dancing rocks at once and ever
It flung up momently the sacred river.
Five miles meandering with a mazy motion
Through wood and dale the sacred river ran,
Then reached the caverns measureless to man,
And sank in tumult to a lifeless ocean;
And ’mid this tumult Kubla heard from far
Ancestral voices prophesying war!
The shadow of the dome of pleasure
Floated midway on the waves;
Where was heard the mingled measure
From the fountain and the caves.
It was a miracle of rare device,
A sunny pleasure-dome with caves of ice!

A damsel with a dulcimer
In a vision once I saw:
It was an Abyssinian maid
And on her dulcimer she played,
Singing of Mount Abora.
Could I revive within me
Her symphony and song,
To such a deep delight ’twould win me,
That with music loud and long,
I would build that dome in air,
That sunny dome! those caves of ice!
And all who heard should see them there,
And all should cry, Beware! Beware!
His flashing eyes, his floating hair!
Weave a circle round him thrice,
And close your eyes with holy dread
For he on honey-dew hath fed,
And drunk the milk of Paradise.

American Art – Part V of VIII: Maxfield Parrish

“There are countless artists whose shoes I am not worthy to polish – whose prints would not pay the printer. The question of judgment is a puzzling one.” – Maxfield Parrish, an American painter and illustrator, who was born 25 July 1870.

Below – “The Dinky Bird”; “The Lantern Bearers”; “Daybreak”; “Stars”; “Winter Sunrise”; “Winter Dusk.”

Nobel Laureate: Elias Canetti

“All things one has forgotten scream for help in dreams.” – Elias Canetti, Bulgarian-born Swiss and British novelist, playwright, memoirist, essayist, and recipient of the 1981 Nobel Prize in Literature “for writings marked by a broad outlook, a wealth of ideas, and artistic power,” who was born 25 July 1905.

Some quotes from the work of Elias Canetti:

“Whenever you observe an animal closely, you feel as if a human being sitting inside were making fun of you.”
“There are books, that one has for twenty years without reading them, that one always keeps at hand, that one takes along from city to city, from country to country, carefully packed, even when there is very little room, and perhaps one leafs through them while removing them from a trunk; yet one carefully refrains from reading even a complete sentence. Then after twenty years, there comes a moment when suddenly, as though under a high compulsion, one cannot help taking in such a book from beginning to end, at one sitting: it is like a revelation. Now one knows why one made such a fuss about it. It had to be with one for a long time; it had to travel; it had to occupy space; it had to be a burden; and now it has reached the goal of its voyage, now it reveals itself, now it illuminates the twenty bygone years it mutely lived with one. It could not say so much if it had not been there mutely the whole time, and what idiot would dare to assert that the same things had always been in it.”
“I cannot become modest; too many things burn in me; the old solutions are falling apart; nothing has been done yet with the new ones. So I begin, everywhere at once, as if I had a century ahead of me.”
“Most religions do not make men better, only warier.”
“Travelling, one accepts everything; indignation stays at home. One looks, one listens, one is roused to enthusiasm by the most dreadful things because they are new. Good travellers are heartless.”
“It is always the enemy who started it, even if he was not the first to speak out, he was certainly planning it; and if he was not actually planning it, he was thinking of it; and, if he was not thinking of it, he would have thought of it.”
“A head full of stars, just not in constellation yet.”
“The act of naming is the great and solemn consolation of mankind.”

American Art – Part VI of VIII: Rob Zeller

American painter Rob Zeller was born and grew up in New Orleans, and although he has resided in New York City for thirteen years, the surrealistic and baroque quality of his birthplace permeates his art. In the words of one critic, Zeller’s aesthetic philosophy is to employ “traditional techniques with the flexibility to be creative and engage contemporary culture.”
Rob Zeller
Rob Zeller
Rob Zeller

“A vast silence reigned over the land. The land itself was a desolation, lifeless, without movement, so lone and cold that the spirit of it was not even that of sadness. There was a hint in it of laughter, but of laughter more terrible than any sadness-a laughter that was mirthless as the smile of the Sphinx, a laughter cold as the frost and partaking of the grimness of infallibility. It was the masterful and incommunicable wisdom of eternity laughing at the futility of life and the effort of life. It was the Wild, the savage, frozen-hearted Northland Wild.” – From “White Fang,” by Jack London

25 July 1897 – Jack London sets sail on the SS Umatilla to join the Klondike Gold Rush, from where he would write his first successful stories.

“He was mastered by the sheer surging of life, the tidal wave of being, the perfect joy of each separate muscle, joint, and sinew in that it was everything that was not death, that it was aglow and rampant, expressing itself in movement, flying exultantly under the stars.”
“I would rather be ashes than dust!
I would rather that my spark should burn out in a brilliant blaze than it should be stifled by dry-rot.
I would rather be a superb meteor, every atom of me in magnificent glow, than a sleepy and permanent planet.
The function of man is to live, not to exist.
I shall not waste my days trying to prolong them.
I shall use my time.”
“There is an ecstasy that marks the summit of life, and beyond which life cannot rise. And such is the paradox of living, this ecstasy comes when one is most alive, and it comes as a complete forgetfulness that one is alive.
This ecstasy, this forgetfulness of living, comes to the artist, caught up and out of himself in a sheet of flame; it comes to the soldier, war-mad in a stricken field and refusing quarter; and it came to Buck, leading the pack, sounding the old wolf-cry, straining after the food that was alive and that fled swiftly before him through the moonlight.”
“But especially he loved to run in the dim twilight of the summer midnights, listening to the subdued and sleepy murmurs of the forest, reading signs and sounds as a man may read a book, and seeking for the mysterious something that called — called, waking or sleeping, at all times, for him to come.”
“He was sounding the deeps of his nature, and of the parts of his nature that were deeper than he, going back into the womb of Time.”

American Art – Part VII of VIII: Edward Minoff

In the words of one writer, “Edward Minoff (born 1972) graduated from the Tisch School of the Arts in New York and, after starting his own animation company, joined the Water Street Atelier and later journeyed to The Florence Academy of Art in Italy. He is an artist with serious and dedicated interests sure to succeed in his painting career. His subjects range far and wide, including still lifes, figures, landscapes and drawings. In addition to these genres, Minoff has also produced a number of breathtaking seascapes.”

A Poem for Today

“Still Life,”
By Katie Ford

Down by the pond, addicts sleep
on rocky grass half in water, half out,
and there the moon lights them
out of tawny silhouettes into the rarest
of amphibious flowers I once heard called striders,
between, but needing, two worlds.
Of what can you accuse them now,


American Art – Part VIII of VIII: Paul Stone

Artist Statement: “My surroundings, my experience and my respect for the world as it is… these are the things from which I gain my subjects and drive my inspirations. My paintings carry with them no messages; they are complete unto themselves and speak for themselves. Beyond this, they may be said to reflect a human presence in nature.
I try to respond to the weight of character with which events have endowed the places that I paint.
Sometimes the people give me clues, sometimes the structures do and sometimes the spirit of the place speaks.”
Paul Stone_paintings
Paul Stone_paintings
Paul Stone_paintings
Paul Stone_paintings
Paul Stone_paintings
Paul Stone_paintings

Add a comment