Food for the Spirit and the Soul

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

American Muse: Dave Lucas

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“Suburban Pastoral”

Twilight folds over houses on our street;
its hazy gold is gilding our front lawns,
delineating asphalt and concrete
driveways with shadows. Evening is coming on,
quietly, like a second drink, the beers
men hold while rising from their plastic chairs
to stand above their sprinklers, and approve.

Soon the fireflies will rise in lucent droves—
for now, however, everything seems content
to settle into archetypal grooves:
the toddler’s portraits chalked out on cement,
mothers in windows, finishing the dishes.
Chuck Connelly’s cigarette has burned to ashes;
he talks politics to Roger in the drive.

“It’s all someone can do just to survive,”
he says, and nods—both nod—and pops another
beer from the cooler. “No rain. Would you believe—”
says Chuck, checking the paper for the weather.
At least a man can keep his yard in shape.
Somewhere beyond this plotted cityscape
their sons drive back and forth in borrowed cars:

how small their city seems now, and how far
away they feel from last year, when they rode
their bikes to other neighborhoods, to score
a smoke or cop a feel in some girl’s bed.
They tune the radio to this summer’s song
and cruise into the yet-to-exhale lung
of August night. Nothing to do but this.

These are the times they’d never dream they’ll miss—
the hour spent chasing a party long burned out,
graphic imagined intercourse with Denise.
This is all they can even think about,
and thankfully, since what good would it do
to choke on madeleines of temps perdu
when so much time is set aside for that?

Not that their fathers weaken with regret
as nighttime settles in—no, their wives
are on the phone, the cooler has Labatt
to spare; at nine the Giants play the Braves.
There may be something to romanticize
about their own first cars, the truths and lies
they told their friends about some summer fling,

but what good is it now, when anything
recalled is two parts true and one part false?
When no one can remember just who sang
that song that everybody loved? What else?
It doesn’t come to mind. The sprinkler spits
in metronome; they’re out of cigarettes.
Roger folds up his chair, calls it a day.

The stars come out in cosmic disarray,
and windows flash with television blues.
The husbands come to bed, nothing to say
but ‘night . Two hours late—with some excuse—
their sons come home, too full of songs and girls
to notice dew perfect its muted pearls
or countless crickets singing for a mate.

Below – “Fulton Bottom,” by Thomas Van Auken
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October Offerings – Part XXII: Something to Delight both Head and Heart

American Art – Part I of IV: Kendric Tonn

Artist Statement: “I have always held drawing in a kind of reverence, both as an art form in its own right and as a foundational skill for other arts. When I was trained in the classical tradition of oil painting, it was a touchstone and constant companion–first throughout several years worth of studies in charcoal and pencil, and finally, when my teachers allowed me to begin painting, a question that accompanied each brushstroke: ‘Does this paint I’m putting down improve the drawing in my picture?’
Even now, out of the painting academy and working on my own, I find myself frequently returning to the pure drawing I was taught as a neophyte painter. With these studies of the figure in pencil or portraits in charcoal, I have the chance to concentrate on questions of line, shape, and value–in other words, drawing, the hard skeleton that will give structure to a painting or teach one to produce a subtly-varied line that expresses form with elegance and economy.”
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Australian Art – Part I of II: Magda Vacariu

Artist Statement: “Painting transports me back into a childlike frame of mind because painting was my chief solace as a child. My work gives voice to the child in each of us and explores the buried domain of some deep, instinctive self. It tells the story of something you inhabit – not something outside you, from which you cannot stand apart.
It is all about time and memory. Memory becomes the substitute of reality, it creates a new reality which is more real than the reality. Memory is what confers us real existence. Memory keeps only what is characteristic, striking and essential in the object, memory is the reservoir of preserving the essence.
Memory is inseparable of time. Time changes places and people inevitably, but does not alter the images we have retained of them. These images become true reality in our life.
Particular places can be seen as stores of memories, as archives of the particular instances that help to determine us as singular selves.”
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“No pleasure is worth giving up for the sake of two extra years in a geriatric home in Weston-super-Mare.” – Kingsley Amis, English novelist, poet, critic, teacher, and author of “Lucky Jim,” who died 22 October 1995.

Some quotes from the work of Kingsley Amis:

“Consciousness was upon him before he could get out of the way.”
“The rewards for being sane may not be very many, but knowing what’s funny is one of them.”
“One of the great benefits of organised religion is that you can be forgiven your sins, which must be a wonderful thing. . .I mean, I carry my sins around with me; there’s nobody there to forgive them.”
“Death has this much to be said for it:
You don’t have to get out of bed for it.
Wherever you happen to be
They bring it to you—free.”
“Only a world without love strikes me as instantly and decisively more terrible than one without music.”
“Laziness has become the chief characteristic of journalism, displacing incompetence. ”
“He was of the faith chiefly in the sense that the church he currently did not attend was Catholic.”
“Never despise a drink because it is easy to make and/or uses commercial mixes. Unquestioning devotion to authenticity is, in any department of life, a mark of the naive – or worse.”
“It is natural and harmless in English to use a preposition to end a sentence with.”
“It is no wonder that people are so horrible when they start their life as children.”
“A dusty thudding in his head made the scene before him beat like a pulse. His mouth had been used as a latrine by some small creature of the night, and then as its mausoleum. During the night, too, he’d somehow been on a cross-country run and then been expertly beaten up by secret police. He felt bad.”
“It’s never pleasant to have one’s unquestioning beliefs put in their historical context, as I know from experience, I can assure you.”
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American Art – Part II of IV: Barnaby Whitfield

In the words of one critic, “Whitfield’s works are at once hopelessly romantic and urgently contemporary. His work simultaneously pulls inspiration from Rococo era portraiture and contemporary fashion advertising. He seamlessly weaves cleverly appropriated Old-Master quotations with images sifted spontaneously from Internet sources. The result is works loaded with inside jokes that belong to our twenty-first century psyche. Whitfield’s characters are rendered in gorgeously soft and dreamy pastel, their bodies glowing with eerie internal light, but perversely marred with sickly hues that allude to bruising, rotting, sweltering flesh. Something menacing seems to have a grip on these pastel beauties and the narrative clues are compellingly composed to allow the viewer partial access but ultimate suspense. The indecipherability of Whitfield’s highly personal symbolism begins to breakdown as clues to the artist’s appropriations surface, illuminating the development of his personal artistic vocabulary.”
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Australian Art – Part II of II: Anwen Keeling

In the words of one writer, “Keeling’s beguiling, realist paintings capture suspended moments in fictional lives with a reverence for drama, suspense and elegance. Like film stills from an Alfred Hitchcock thriller, Keeling’s isolated female figures are placed in a series of interiors where the space is either suffused with subtle, refracted light or illuminated by the harsh glare of an electric bulb. A film noir ambience is achieved with chiaroscuro effects and deep shadows which suggest an emotional and psychological undercurrent to the work. Yet the viewer is left to create their own narrative.”
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“Genius is the ability to renew one’s emotions in daily experience.” – Paul Cezanne, French Post-Impressionist painter, who died 22 October 1906.

Below – “The Card Players”; “Still Life with Curtain”; “The Star Ridge with the King’s Peak”; “The Painter’s Father”; “Still Life with a Teapot”; “The Lac d’Annency.”
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“It is an ironic habit of human beings to run faster when they have lost their way.” – Rollo May, American existentialist and humanistic psychologist and author of “Love and Will,” who died 22 October 1994.

Some quotes from the work of Rollo May:

“Many people suffer from the fear of finding oneself alone, and so they don’t find themselves at all.”
“Hate is not the opposite of love; apathy is.”
“The opposite of courage in our society is not cowardice, it’s conformity.”
“Technology is the knack of so arranging the world that we do not experience it.”
“In order to be open to creativity, one must have the capacity for constructive use of solitude. One must overcome the fear of being alone.”
“Finding the center of strength within ourselves is in the long run the best contribution we can make to our fellow men. … One person with indigenous inner strength exercises a great calming effect on panic among people around him. This is what our society needs — not new ideas and inventions; important as these are, and not geniuses and supermen, but persons who can ‘be,’ that is, persons who have a center of strength within themselves.”
“Every human being must have a point at which he stands against the culture, where he says, this is me and the damned world can go to hell.”
“A myth is a way of making sense in a senseless world. Myths are narrative patterns that give significance to our existence.”
“Recall how often in human history the saint and the rebel have be the same person.”
“It is interesting to note how many of the great scientific discoveries begin as myths.”
“Artistic symbols and myths speak out of the primordial, preconscious realm of the mind which is powerful and chaotic. Both symbol and myth are ways of bringing order and form into this chaos.”
“Good art wounds as well as delights. It must, because our defenses against the truth are wound so tightly around us. But as art chips away at our defenses, it also opens us to healing potentialities that transcend intellectual games and ego-preserving strategies.”
“Dogmatism of all kinds–scientific, economic, moral, as well as political–are threatened by the creative freedom of the artist. This is necessarily and inevitably so. We cannot escape our anxiety over the fact that the artists together with creative persons of all sorts, are the possible destroyer of our nicely ordered systems. ”
“Mass communication–wonder as it may be technologically and something to be appreciated and valued–presents us wit a serious danger, the danger of conformism, due to the fact that we all view the same things at the same time in all the cities of the country. ”
“What if imagination and art are not frosting at all, but the fountainhead of human experience?”
“There can be no stronger proof of the impoverishment of our contemporary culture than the popular – though profoundly mistaken – definition of myth as falsehood.”
“One central need in life is to fulfill its own potential.”
“It is dangerous to know, but it is more dangerous not to know.”
“If you do not express your own original ideas, if you do not listen to your own being, you will have betrayed yourself.”
“What genuine painters do is to reveal the underlying psychological and spiritual conditions of their relationship to their world; thus in the works of a great painter we have a reflection of the emotional and spiritual condition of human beings in that period of history. If you wish to understand the psychological and spiritual temper of any historical period, you can do no better than to look long and searchingly at its art. For in the art the underlying spiritual meaning of the period is expressed directly in symbols. This is not because artists are didactic or set out to teach or to make propaganda; to the extent that they do, their power of expression is broken; their direct relations to the inarticulate, or, if you will, ‘unconscious’ levels of the culture is destroyed. They have the power to reveal the underlying meaning of any period precisely because the essence of art is the powerful and alive encounter between the artist and his or her world.” “But there comes a point (and this is the challenge facing modern technological Western man) when the cult of technique destroys feeling, undermines passion, and blots out individual identity. The technologically efficient lover…has lost the power to be carried away; he knows only too well what he is doing. At this point, technology diminishes consciousness and demolishes eros. Tools are no longer an enlargement of consciousness but a substitute for it and, indeed, tend to repress and truncate it.”
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Died 22 October 1972 – Kurt Edzard, a German sculptor.

Below – “Patinated Bronze Figure of a Standing Nude”; “Surprised Female”;
“Related”; “Sleeping Youth”; “The Months.”
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Here is one critic describing the artistry of Swedish painter Patrik Andine (born 1968): “During several years working with drawing and painting Patrik Andiné has never denied that his main interest lies in depicting and constructing realistic pictures.
The different themes in his paintings are many. The pictures sometimes have so many narrative qualities that they almost seem collected from stills out of fiction films.
His specific hues and his distinctive environments suggest influences from early animated fiction films and at the same time he hesitates at being compared to surrealistic art or psychoanalyzing concepts.
In Patrik Andiné’s work the unspoken is the significant.”
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“Judge: ‘Do you swear?’
Curly: ‘No! But I know all the woids!’” – Jerome Lester Horwitz, better known by his stage name Curly Howard, American comic actor and member of the Three Stooges, who was born 22 October 1903.

Born 22 October 1865 – Kristjan Raud, an Estonian painter.

Below – “Under the Stars”; “Kalev Kosjas”; “Kalevipoeg in Front of the Gates of Hell”; “Pesu”; “A Journey to the End of the World.”
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In the words of one writer, “Ilona Romule is a studio artist from Riga, Latvia. She received her Masters of Fine Arts Degree from the Latvian Art Academy. Ilona has international recognition with her self-made plaster model moulds and slip cast porcelain sculptures. Ilona is known for her use of ironic and erotic imagery both in the form of her fine porcelain pieces and also in the surface decoration with the china paints. In ceramics Ilona is interested in the opportunity of three-dimensional expression, using the scope of graphics and painting. Traditionally she works with porcelain. Ilona supplements her sculptural works with fine painting in overglaze technique, thus developing plastically expressive compositions, participated by human, animal and peculiar hybrid figures. In the motives chosen by the artist, figures settle in form and material in the game of symbols and character situations.”
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From the Music Archives: Pablo Casals

“The child must know that he is a miracle, that since the beginning of the world there hasn’t been, and until the end of the world there will not be, another child like him.” – Pablo Casals, Catalan cellist and conductor, who died 22 October 1973.

Here is one critic describing the artistry of Romanian painter Mircea Suciu (born 1978): “Using images culled from 1940′s and 1950′s American advertisements, Mircea Suciu isolates figures, strips away backgrounds and reduces the bold palette of the original Ads to seductive monochromes. In these paintings men and women are presented looking into boxes and windows. Often their backs are turned or their heads are hidden emphasizing the sense of alienation. The paintings explore questions of identity and isolation. The beautifully painted works on canvas inspire a sense of awe and wonder. That a Romanian artist would begin with images from American advertisements, then strip away anything that identifies them as American, is what gives these works their raison d’etre. The images speak subtly about cultures and borders, about what some have and what others may want.”
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Nobel Laureates – Part I of II: Joseph Brodsky

22 October 1987 – The 1987 Nobel Prize for Literature is awarded to Russian writer Joseph Brodsky “for an all-embracing authorship, imbued with clarity of thought and poetic intensity.”

“A Song”

I wish you were here, dear, I wish you were here. 

I wish you sat on the sofa 

and I sat near. 

the handkerchief could be yours, 

the tear could be mine, chin-bound. 

Though it could be, of course, 

the other way around. 



I wish you were here, dear, 

I wish you were here. 

I wish we were in my car, 

and you’d shift the gear. 

we’d find ourselves elsewhere,
on an unknown shore. 

Or else we’d repair 

To where we’ve been before. 



I wish you were here, dear,
I wish you were here. 

I wish I knew no astronomy
when stars appear, 

when the moon skims the water 

that sighs and shifts in its slumber. 

I wish it were still a quarter 

to dial your number. 



I wish you were here, dear, 

in this hemisphere, 

as I sit on the porch 

sipping a beer. 
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t’s evening, the sun is setting; 

boys shout and gulls are crying. 

What’s the point of forgetting 

If it’s followed by dying?

“1 January 1965”

The Wise Men will unlearn your name.
Above your head no star will flame.
One weary sound will be the same—
the hoarse roar of the gale.
The shadows fall from your tired eyes
as your lone bedside candle dies,
for here the calendar breeds nights
till stores of candles fail.

What prompts this melancholy key?
A long familiar melody.
It sounds again. So let it be.
Let it sound from this night.
Let it sound in my hour of death—
as gratefulness of eyes and lips
for that which sometimes makes us lift
our gaze to the far sky.

You glare in silence at the wall.
Your stocking gapes: no gifts at all.
It’s clear that you are now too old
to trust in good Saint Nick;
that it’s too late for miracles.
—But suddenly, lifting your eyes
to heaven’s light, you realize:
your life is a sheer gift.
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Mexican visual artist Jean Picazo was born in Paris, France in 1975.
Artist Statement: “As an artist I am driven by the need to create beauty, emotion and thought-provoking art pieces in form and content, that connect with both art connoisseurs and common people, combining the aesthetics of the present world with those of the old masters.”
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Nobel Laureates – Part II of II: Doris Lessing

“Whatever you’re meant to do, do it now. The conditions are always impossible.” – Doris Lessing, British novelist, poet, playwright, biographer, short story writer, author of “The Golden Notebook,” and recipient of the 2007 Nobel Prize in Literature, who was born 22 October 1919.

The Swedish Academy described Lessing as “that epicist of the female experience, who with scepticism, fire and visionary power has subjected a divided civilisation to scrutiny.”

Some quotes from the work of Doris Lessing:

“Ideally, what should be said to every child, repeatedly, throughout his or her school life is something like this: ‘You are in the process of being indoctrinated. We have not yet evolved a system of education that is not a system of indoctrination. We are sorry, but it is the best we can do. What you are being taught here is an amalgam of current prejudice and the choices of this particular culture. The slightest look at history will show how impermanent these must be. You are being taught by people who have been able to accommodate themselves to a regime of thought laid down by their predecessors. It is a self-perpetuating system. Those of you who are more robust and individual than others will be encouraged to leave and find ways of educating yourself — educating your own judgments. Those that stay must remember, always, and all the time, that they are being molded and patterned to fit into the narrow and particular needs of this particular society.’”
“There is no doubt fiction makes a better job of the truth.”
“There is only one way to read, which is to browse in libraries and bookshops, picking up books that attract you, reading only those, dropping them when they bore you, skipping the parts that drag-and never, never reading anything because you feel you ought, or because it is part of a trend or a movement. Remember that the book which bores you when you are twenty or thirty will open doors for you when you are forty or fifty – and vise versa. Don’t read a book out of its right time for you. ”
“That is what learning is. You suddenly understand something you’ve understood all your life, but in a new way.”
“A public library is the most democratic thing in the world. What can be found there has undone dictators and tyrants: demagogues can persecute writers and tell them what to write as much as they like, but they cannot vanish what has been written in the past, though they try often enough…People who love literature have at least part of their minds immune from indoctrination. If you read, you can learn to think for yourself.”
“Very few people really care about freedom, about liberty, about the truth, very few. Very few people have guts, the kind of guts on which a real democracy has to depend. Without people with that sort of guts a free society dies or cannot be born.”
“As you get older, you don’t get wiser. You get irritable.”
“Do you know what people really want? Everyone, I mean. Everybody in the world is thinking: I wish there was just one other person I could really talk to, who could really understand me, who’d be kind to me. That’s what people really want, if they’re telling the truth.”
“Sometimes I dislike women, I dislike us all, because of our capacity for not-thinking when it suits us; we choose not to think when we are reaching out for happiness.”
“I am sure everyone has had the experience of reading a book and finding it vibrating with aliveness, with color and immediacy. And then, perhaps some weeks later, reading it again and finding it flat and empty. Well, the book hasn’t changed: you have.”
“In university they don’t tell you that the greater part of the law is learning to tolerate fools.”
“For she was of that generation who, having found nothing in religion, had formed themselves through literature.”
“Laughter is by definition healthy.”
“Novels give you the matrix of emotions, give you the flavor of a time in a way formal history cannot.”
“Art is the Mirror of our betrayed ideals.”
“We are all creatures of the stars.”
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American Art – Part III of IV: Cyn McCurry

In the words of one writer, “Cyn works intuitively. She approaches her canvas without preconceptions, allowing the image to emerge and evolve spontaneously. Winding together the strands of emotion and experience into her luminous canvases.
Cyn is a completely self-educated artist, she has passionately painted and drawn from a very young age, selling her first canvases and receiving her first commissions at the age of 11. She has adopted classic techniques as her own, deftly telling the tale of a modern woman in the dialect of another time.”
Artist Statement: “Becoming a Painter seems to have happened to me without conscious intent. It was a natural, primal response to my world. Creating pictures was an act that I could not avoid, rather than an activity that I chose to pursue. Art became a compulsive obsession that I just couldn’t break. Painting sustains me like air, bread and love.
My style and technique have been a natural evolution. I have intentionally avoided formal training, immersing myself in a life long love affair with the great masters of our past. My work is intimate and personal, devoid of the much loved ‘Theory’ of our age. I attempt to produce pure spontaneous images. I honor the beauty of our emotion-saturated flesh…….I paint as I feel…… with a total disregard and disrespect for the Modern Art fashions and trends of our sadly beauty-starved age.
It is my voice. ”
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A Poem for Today

“Three a.m.,”
By Jill McDonough

Our cabdriver tells us how Somalia is better
than here because in Islam we execute murderers.
So, fewer murders. ‘But isn’t there civil war
there now? Aren’t there a lot of murders?’
Yes, but in general it’s better. Not
now, but most of the time. He tells us about how
smart the system is, how it’s hard to bear
false witness. We nod. We’re learning a lot.
I say—once we are close to the house—I say, ‘What
about us?’ Two women, married to each other.
‘Don’t be offended,’ he says, gravely. ‘But a man
with a man, a woman with a woman: it would be
a public execution.’ We nod. A little silence along
the Southeast Corridor. Then I say, ‘Yeah,
I love my country.’ This makes him laugh; we all laugh.
‘We aren’t offended,’ says Josey. ‘We love you.’ Sometimes
I feel like we’re proselytizing, spreading the Word of Gay.
The cab is shaking with laughter, the poor man
relieved we’re not mad he sort of wants us dead.
The two of us soothing him, wanting him comfortable,
wanting him to laugh. ‘We love our country,’
we tell him. And Josey tips him. She tips him well.
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American Art – Part IV of IV: Eric Bowman

In the words of one writer, “Award-winning painter Eric Bowman began his career as a commercial artist in southern California creating original oil paintings for such high profile clients as Coppertone, Nike, GTE, Hallmark, Kellogg’s, Nabisco, Southwest Airlines and the Kentucky Derby.
As a fine art painter, Eric has garnered many awards in juried competitions, showing in national & regional exhibitions in some of the country’s most prestigious galleries. His paintings are in collections around the world, including England, Australia, Canada and Mexico.
Eric Bowman is an artist member of the Oil Painters of America, a Signature Member of the American Impressionist Society and artist member of the Laguna Plein Air Painters Association. He lives with his wife and daughter in Tigard, Oregon.”
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American Muse: Jill McDonough

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“Three a.m.”

Our cabdriver tells us how Somalia is better
than here because in Islam we execute murderers.
So, fewer murders. ‘But isn’t there civil war
there now? Aren’t there a lot of murders?’
Yes, but in general it’s better. Not
now, but most of the time. He tells us about how
smart the system is, how it’s hard to bear
false witness. We nod. We’re learning a lot.
I say—once we are close to the house—I say, ‘What
about us?’ Two women, married to each other.
‘Don’t be offended,’ he says, gravely. ‘But a man
with a man, a woman with a woman: it would be
a public execution.’ We nod. A little silence along
the Southeast Corridor. Then I say, ‘Yeah,
I love my country.’ This makes him laugh; we all laugh.
‘We aren’t offended,’ says Josey. ‘We love you.’ Sometimes
I feel like we’re proselytizing, spreading the Word of Gay.
The cab is shaking with laughter, the poor man
relieved we’re not mad he sort of wants us dead.
The two of us soothing him, wanting him comfortable,
wanting him to laugh. ‘We love our country,’
we tell him. And Josey tips him. She tips him well.
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October Offerings – Part XXI: Something to Delight both Head and Heart

American Art – Part I of VII: Ellen Altfest

According to one critic, “Working from life rather than photos, Ellen Altfest’s paintings exude an experiential quality: capturing the transference the impact of looking as it becomes imprinted in memory, she replicates her personal engagement with the objects as a tangible sensation on her canvas. Tumbleweed offers a cosmos of this ethereal state. Stranded between representation and intuitive painterly indulgence, Altfest proposes a vision of quiet contemplation, rendering a bewildering beauty from the study of the simplest things.”
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“What comes from the heart goes to the heart” – Samuel Taylor Coleridge, influential English poet, literary critic, and philosopher, who was born on 21 October 1772.

“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.
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According to one critic, Ecuadorian painter Luis Alfonso Endara (born 1960) “has perfected his art through over 30 years of explorative and passionate work and, by sharing with European masters, has developed a formidable expertise and a polished technique of repeated thin layers of oil paint, as ancient painters used to apply to the canvas. Humans are the axial point of is artistic creation.”
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American Art – Part II of VII: Gary Faigin

In the words of one writer, ”Faigin’s paintings explore his two favorite themes: altering one’s perception of the commonplace and developing mood through intense contrasts of light and dark.
Faigin is the Artistic Director and co-founder of Gage Academy of Art in Seattle. He is the monthly art critic on Seattle’s NPR station, KUOW. A retrospective of his paintings was presented at the Frye Art Museum in Seattle in July and August of 2001.”
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“Biographical history, as taught in our public schools, is still largely a history of boneheads: ridiculous kings and queens, paranoid political leaders, compulsive voyagers, ignorant generals—the flotsam and jetsam of historical currents. The men who radically altered history, the great scientists and mathematicians, are seldom mentioned, if at all.” – Martin Gardner, American scientist, mathematician, skeptic, and author of “Science: Good, Bad, and Bogus,” who was born 21 October 1914.

In addition to being a first-rate thinker and mathematician, Martin Gardner was an aficionado of stage magic and the writings of Lewis Carroll, but his major contribution to the life of the mind was his uncompromising attack on pseudoscience. Intelligent people will be delighted by his ruthless and witty debunking of all manner of crackpottery, including creationism, food faddism, Scientology, UFOs, dowsing, ESP, parapsychology, psychokinesis, homeopathy, and New Age “philosophy.”

Some quotes from the work of Martin Gardner:

“There are, and always have been, destructive pseudo-scientific notions linked to race and religion; these are the most widespread and damaging. Hopefully, educated people can succeed in shedding light into these areas of prejudice and ignorance, for as Voltaire once said: ‘Men will commit atrocities as long as they believe absurdities.’”
“Her constant orders for beheading are shocking to those modern critics of children’s literature who feel that juvenile fiction should be free of all violence and especially violence with Freudian undertones. Even the Oz books of L. Frank Baum, so singularly free of the horrors to be found in Grimm and Andersen, contain many scenes of decapitation. As far as I know, there have been no empirical studies of how children react to such scenes and what harm if any is done to their psyche. My guess is that the normal child finds it all very amusing and is not damaged in the least, but that books like ‘Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland’ and ‘The Wizard of Oz’ should not be allowed to circulate indiscriminately among adults who are undergoing analysis.”
“Biographical history, as taught in our public schools, is still largely a history of boneheads: ridiculous kings and queens, paranoid political leaders, compulsive voyagers, ignorant generals — the flotsam and jetsam of historical currents. The men who radically altered history, the great scientists and mathematicians, are seldom mentioned, if at all.”
“The last level of metaphor in the Alice books is this: that life, viewed rationally and without illusion, appears to be a nonsense tale told by an idiot mathematician.”
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American Art – Part III of VII: James Valerio

James Valerio (born 1938) earned both a BFA (1966) and an MFA (1968) from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
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“What sane person could live in this world and not be crazy?” – Ursula Le Guin, American writer best known for her work in the fantasy and science fiction genres and author of “The Farthest Shore” (which won the 1973 National Book Award in the category of Children’s Books), who was born on 21 October 1929.

Some quotes from Ursula Le Guin:

“The creative adult is the child who has survived.”
“It is good to have an end to journey toward, but it is the journey that matters in the end.”
“I doubt that the imagination can be suppressed. If you truly eradicated it in a child, he would grow up to be an eggplant.”
“If you see a whole thing – it seems that it’s always beautiful. Planets, lives… But up close a world’s all dirt and rocks. And day to day, life’s a hard job, you get tired, you lose the pattern.”
“We are volcanoes. When we women offer our experience as our truth, as human truth, all the maps change. There are new mountains.”
“It had never occurred to me before that music and thinking are so much alike. In fact you could say music is another way of thinking, or maybe thinking is another kind of music.”
“The only questions that really matter are the ones you ask yourself.”
“There are no right answers to wrong questions.”
“To light a candle is to cast a shadow.”
“Morning comes whether you set the alarm or not.”
“Inventions have long since reached their limit, and I see no hope for further development.”
“When action grows unprofitable, gather information; when information grows unprofitable, sleep.”
“There’s a good deal in common between the mind’s eye and the TV screen, and though the TV set has all too often been the boobtube, it could be, it can be, the box of dreams.”
“If science fiction is the mythology of modern technology, then its myth is tragic.”
“I talk about the gods; I am an atheist. But I am an artist too, and therefore a liar. Distrust everything I say. I am telling the truth.”
“My imagination makes me human and makes me a fool; it gives me all the world, and exiles me from it.”
“Great artists make the roads; good teachers and good companions can point them out. But there ain’t no free rides, baby.”
“The only thing that makes life possible is permanent, intolerable uncertainty; not knowing what comes next.”
“As great scientists have said and as all children know, it is above all by the imagination that we achieve perception, and compassion, and hope.”
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Japanese painter Tokuoka Shinsen (1896-1972) graduated from Kyoto Municipal School of Fine Art in 1917. In the words of one historian, “After considerable success as a student and the expectations of him in Nihonga (Japanese-style painting) circles, he was greatly shocked by repeated rejections of his submissions to the Bunten exhibitions. Tormented about his own art, he left the art world in 1919 to live as a recluse in Iwabuchi, on the lower slopes of Mt Fuji. In 1923 he began anew, returning to Kyoto. (His paintings were) highly regarded for their images based on profound introspection and expressed symbolically in simple forms. He became a member of the Japan Art Academy in 1957 and was awarded the Order of Cultural Merit in 1966.”

Below – “Pond”; “Pampas Grass”; “Stream”; “Carp”; “Bellflower”; “Red Lotus”; “Daffodils.”
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American Art – Part IV of VII: Colleen Ross

In the words of one writer, “Colleen Ross was born in Maumee, Ohio and began painting at the age of fifteen. She attended Bowling Green State University, where she earned a B.S. in art education with a specialty in painting. She recently settled in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and daughter after having lived in Mill Valley, California for many years. Colleen Ross’s work has always celebrated the nostalgic, reflecting her love of the classic movies of the ’40s and ’50s. She executes her work with visible, energetic brushstrokes and vibrant, emotional use of color.”
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21 October 1971 – Chilean poet Pablo Neruda receives the Nobel Prize in Literature “for a poetry that with the action of an elemental force brings alive a continent’s destiny and dreams.” Colombian novelist Gabriel García Márquez, himself a Nobel Laureate, called Neruda “the greatest poet of the 20th century in any language.”

Here is part of Pablo Neruda’s Nobel Prize acceptance speech:

“I am a representative of these times and of the present struggles which fill my poetry. You will pardon me if I have extended my gratitude to cover all those who belong to me, even to the forgotten ones of this earth who in this happy hour of my life appear to me more real than my own phrases, higher than my mountain chains, wider than the ocean. I am proud to belong to this great mass of humanity, not to the few but to the many, by whose invisible presence I am surrounded here today.”

And one of his many great poems:

“Clenched Soul”

We have lost even this twilight.
No one saw us this evening hand in hand
while the blue night dropped on the world.

I have seen from my window
the fiesta of sunset in the distant mountain tops.

Sometimes a piece of sun
burned like a coin in my hand.

I remembered you with my soul clenched
in that sadness of mine that you know.

Where were you then?
Who else was there?
Saying what?
Why will the whole of love come on me suddenly
when I am sad and feel you are far away?

The book fell that always closed at twilight
and my blue sweater rolled like a hurt dog at my feet.

Always, always you recede through the evenings
toward the twilight erasing statues.
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American Art – Part V of VII: Pat Rocha

Artist Statement: “Since childhood, drawing and painting has always been an integral part of my life. It’s a constant reflection of my past experiences. My interest in human nature and the drama of living compels me what to paint. If the mood or moment is strong enough then people can draw their own conclusions. Sometimes real, sometimes imaginary.
Sometimes when I’m looking at an old photograph I’ll stare at the person in the photo and imagine myself in the same room. It’s impossible for me to paint a portrait without having a story to tell behind it. I simply couldn’t pass the time away drawing people or places without meaning. When the story hits me after the initial drawing, I’ll look for additional pictures to accommodate the central theme. Then it begins to take on a life of it’s own.
There is a reason for everything in my paintings. Gradually I understand why I spend so much time alone with one painting. I never stop thinking as long as I keep painting, it’s simply survival of the mind.”
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“All of life is a foreign country.” – Jack Kerouac, American novelist, poet, and author of, among other fine books, “On the Road” and “The Dharma Bums,” who died on 21 October 1969.

Some quotes from Jack Kerouac:

“All human beings are also dream beings. Dreaming ties all mankind together.”
“I hope it is true that a man can die and yet not only live in others but give them life, and not only life, but that great consciousness of life.”
“A pain stabbed my heart as it did every time I saw a girl I loved who was going the opposite direction in this too-big world.”
“Great things are not accomplished by those who yield to trends and fads and popular opinion.”
“Mankind is like dogs, not gods – as long as you don’t get mad they’ll bite you – but stay mad and you’ll never be bitten. Dogs don’t respect humility and sorrow.”
“I had nothing to offer anybody except my own confusion.”
“My fault, my failure, is not in the passions I have, but in my lack of control of them.”
“Offer them what they secretly want and they of course immediately become panic-stricken.”
“Our battered suitcases were piled on the sidewalk again; we had longer ways to go. But no matter, the road is life.”
“Whither goest thou, America, in thy shiny car in the night?”
“It is not my fault that certain so-called bohemian elements have found in my writings something to hang their peculiar beatnik theories on.”
“If moderation is a fault, then indifference is a crime.”
“All our best men are laughed at in this nightmare land.”
“Maybe that’s what life is… a wink of the eye and winking stars.”
“Avoid the world, it’s just a lot of dust and drag and means nothing in the end.”
“Write in recollection and amazement for yourself.”
“My witness is the empty sky.”
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American Art – Part VI of VII: Randy Ford

Realist painter Randy Ford (born 1962) specializes in painting still lifes, roadside signs, and diner imagery.
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A Poem for Today

“Clambering Up Cold Mountain Path,”
By Han Shan (translation by Gary Snyder)

Clambering up the Cold Mountain path,
The Cold Mountain trail goes on and on:
The long gorge choked with scree and boulders,
The wide creek, the mist-blurred grass.
The moss is slippery, though there’s been no rain
The pine sings, but there’s no wind.
Who can leap the world’s ties
And sit with me among the white clouds?
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American Art – Part VII of VII: Joseph Mendez

Artist Statement: “I paint on direct visual perception—an emotion. If I don’t get that emotion while painting, it hinders my ability to communicate to the viewer. That’s why I try not to reason while painting—I just paint! I like to paint more than one subject—be it people, landscapes, cityscapes or a bunch of flowers. I paint what attracts me. There have been many artists known primarily for their work on a particular subject matter. Diversification has been of great interest to me. Capturing the beauty of nature and the play of light on the motifs are my main goals. By diversifying my subjects, I become a master of none, so in essence, I am an eternal student. In pursuit of seeking my “truth” I encounter many difficulties. I may never reach the plateau of perfection, but as an artist I must constantly strive for it. In this business, you almost have to be a masochist or have an extremely large ego. Painting is never easy, but I’m certainly enjoying the trip!”

Below – “Storm Over Wyoming”; “St. Helena Winery”; “Malibu Rocks”; “American Legacy, Mojave: Cedar Canyon Mountain”; “American Legacy, Mojave: Burning Hills”; “Fall Sycamores.”
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American Muse: Thom Gunn

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“A Map of the City”

I stand upon a hill and see
A luminous country under me,
Through which at two the drunk sailor must weave;
The transient’s pause, the sailor’s leave.

I notice, looking down the hill,
Arms braced upon a window sill;
And on the web of fire escapes
Move the potential, the grey shapes.

I hold the city here, complete;
And every shape defined by light
Is mine, or corresponds to mine,
Some flickering or some steady shine.

This map is ground of my delight.
Between the limits, night by night,
I watch a malady’s advance,
I recognize my love of chance.

By the recurrent lights I see
Endless potentiality,
The crowded, broken, and unfinished!
I would not have the risk diminished.
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October Offerings – Part XX: Something to Delight both Head and Heart

American Art – Part I of V: Thomas Wilmer Dewing

Thomas Wilmer Dewing (1851-1938) was trained in Paris, and he was noted for his figure paintings of aristocratic women.

Below – “Lady in Green”; “The Days”; “Summer”; “Woman in Black”; “Lady in Gold”; “In the Garden.”
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According to one critic, Canadian artist “Adrian Baker has been painting and exhibiting her work in galleries since 1980, as well as working as a portraitist, muralist and art teacher. Adrian’s work has been exhibited across Ontario and internationally, in group shows as well as solo exhibitions.”
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“Faith in the possibilities of continued and rigorous inquiry does not limit access to truth to any channel or scheme of things. It does not first say that truth is universal and then add there is but one road to it.” – John Dewey, American philosopher, psychologist, educational reformer, and author of “Democracy and Education” and “Experience and Nature,” who was born 20 October 1859.

Some quotes from the work of John Dewey:

“Education is not preparation for life; education is life itself.”
“We only think when confronted with a problem.”
“Every great advance in science has issued from a new audacity of imagination. ”
“Men have gone on to build up vast intellectual schemes, philosophies, and theologies, to prove that ideals are not real as ideals but as antecedently existing actualities. They have failed to see that in converting moral realities into matters of intellectual assent they have evinced lack of moral faith. Faith that something should be in existence as far as lies in our power is changed into the intellectual belief that it is already in existence. When physical existence does not bear out the assertion, the physical is subtly changed into the metaphysical. In this way, moral faith has been inextricably tied up with intellectual beliefs about the supernatural.”
“Failure is instructive. The person who really thinks learns quite as much from his failures as from his successes.”
“The self is not something ready-made, but something in continuous formation through choice of action.”
“Hunger not to have, but to be.”
“We do not learn from experience…we learn from reflecting on experience.”
“The path of least resistance and least trouble is a mental rut already made. It requires troublesome work to undertake the alteration of old beliefs. ”
“To find out what one is fitted to do, and to secure an opportunity to do it, is the key to happiness.”
“Conflict is the gadfly of thought. It stirs us to observation and memory. It instigates invention. It shocks us out of sheep-like passivity, and sets us at noting and contriving…conflict is a sine qua non of reflection and ingenuity.”
“Art is the most effective mode of communications that exists.”
“The only freedom that is of enduring importance is the freedom of intelligence, that is to say, freedom of observation and of judgment, exercised in behalf of purposes that are intrinsically worth while. The commonest mistake made about freedom is, I think, to identify it with freedom of movement, or, with the external or physical side of activity.”
“Every one has experienced how learning an appropriate name for what was dim and vague cleared up and crystallized the whole matter. Some meaning seems distinct almost within reach, but is elusive; it refuses to condense into definite form; the attaching of a word somehow (just how, it is almost impossible to say) puts limits around the meaning, draws it out from the void, makes it stand out as an entity on its own account.”
“The only way to abolish war is to make peace seem heroic.”
“We always live at the time we live and not at some other time, and only by extracting at each present time the full meaning of each present experience are we prepared for doing the same thing in the future.”
“Like the soil, mind is fertilized while it lies fallow, until a new burst of bloom ensues.”
“Anyone who has begun to think places some portion of the world in jeopardy.”
“Arriving at one goal is the starting point to another.”
“The most important attitude that can be formed is that of desire to go on learning.”
“Forty years spent in wandering in a wilderness like that of the present is not a sad fate–unless one attempts to make himself believe that the wilderness is after all itself the promised land.”
“The ultimate function of literature is to appreciate the world, sometimes indignantly, sometimes sorrowfully, but best of all to praise when it is luckily possible.”
“The goal of education is to enable individuals to continue their education.”
“The deepest urge in human nature is the desire to be important.”
“I feel the gods are pretty dead, though I suppose I ought to know that, to be somewhat more philosophical in the matter, if atheism means simply not being a theist, then of course I’m an atheist.”
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American Art – Part II of V: Mihail Aleksandrov

Russian-American painter Mihail Aleksandrov was born in Vilnius, Lithuania in 1949 and immigrated to the United States in 1980. In the words of one critic, “His paintings pulsate with a vibrant spiritual energy. He never forgets his Russian roots, which shape the mystical framework of his paintings. Aleksandrov’s disdain for trendy art has taken him to the past for inspiration. He believes that art cannot be created out of a vacuum, but instead is the progression of a long heritage. Ancient icons, the Renaissance concept of art and beauty and the Russian Avante Garde movement influence his work. He merges geometric forms and the human body into symbolic configurations of squares, circles and triangles.”
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“Fear is the parent of cruelty.” – James A. Froude, English historian, novelist, biographer, editor, and author of the magisterial “History of England from the Fall of Wolsey to the Death of Elizabeth” (in 12 volumes), who died 20 October 1894.

Some quotes from the work of James A. Froude:

“The essence of greatness is neglect of the self.”
“Instruction does not prevent wasted time or mistakes; and mistakes themselves are often the best teachers of all.”
“A person possessed with an idea cannot be reasoned with.”
“Age does not make us childish, as some say; it finds us true children.”
“As we advance in life, we learn the limits of our abilities.”
“Wild animals never kill for sport. Man is the only one to whom the torture and death of his fellow creatures is amusing in itself.”
“Human improvement is from within outward.”
“Philosophy goes no further than probabilities, and in every assertion keeps a doubt in reserve.”
“The endurance of the inequalities of life by the poor is the marvel of human society.”
“The first duty of an historian is to be on guard against his own sympathies.”
“We enter the world alone, we leave the world alone.”
“You cannot dream yourself into a character; you must hammer and forge yourself one.”
“Science rests on reason and experiment, and can meet an opponent with calmness; but a belief is always sensitive.”
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Here is one writer describing the tradition that informs the artistry of Chinese painter Zou Chuan An: “Chinese painting is one of the oldest continuous artistic traditions in the world. Traditional painting involves essentially the same techniques as calligraphy and is done with a brush dipped in black or colored ink; oils are not used. As with calligraphy, the most popular materials on which paintings are made of are paper and silk. The finished work is then mounted on scrolls, which can be hung or rolled up.”
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“Hail, Hail, Freedonia, land of /Users/neralich/Desktop/aMont1.jpgthe brave and free.” – Margaret Dumont, American comedic actress, who was born 20 October 1882, portraying Mrs. Gloria Teasdale in the movie “Duck Soup.”

Dumont is best remembered as the comic foil to Groucho Marx, who called her “practically the fifth Marx brother.”

Here is one critic describing the artistry of South African painter Kathy Montgomery: “Trained in the Classical Realism tradition, Kathy Montgomery enjoys creating beauty from her everyday surroundings. Her predominate genre is still life and interiors, which allows her to paint from life. Her main concern when painting is the way light defines the forms in the painting.”
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From the Music Archives: Tom Petty

“I’m barely prolific and incredibly lazy.” – Tom Petty, American singer, songwriter, and member of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, who was born 20 October 1953.

Critic William Packer has described British artist Eric Rimmington (born 1926) as “both one of the country’s most distinguished exponents in the field of still life and one of the most particular and distinctive.”
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“I have no country to fight for; my country is the earth; I am a citizen of the world.” – Eugene Debs, American union leader, one of the founding members of the Industrial Workers of the World, candidate of the Socialist Party of America for President of the United States, and author of “Walls & Bars: Prisons & Prison Life in the ‘Land of the Free,’” who died 20 October 1926.

Some quotes from the work of Eugene Debs:

“I am opposing a social order in which it is possible for one man who does absolutely nothing that is useful to amass a fortune of hundreds of millions of dollars, while millions of men and women who work all the days of their lives secure barely enough for a wretched existence.”
“In every age it has been the tyrant, the oppressor and the exploiter who has wrapped himself in the cloak of patriotism, or religion, or both to deceive and overawe the People.”
“Your Honor, years ago I recognized my kinship with all living beings, and I made up my mind that I was not one bit better than the meanest on earth. I said then, and I say now, that while there is a lower class, I am in it, and while there is a criminal element I am of it, and while there is a soul in prison, I am not free.”
“Intelligent discontent is the mainspring of civilization.”
“I may not be able to say all I think, but I am not going to say anything I do not think.”
“I would rather a thousand times be a free soul in jail than to be a sycophant and coward in the streets.”
“Be true to yourself and you cannot be a traitor to any good cause on earth.”
“Too long have the workers of the world waited for some Moses to lead them out of bondage. He has not come; he never will come. I would not lead you out if I could; for if you could be led out, you could be led back again.”
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Born 20 October 1909, Died 20 October 1993 – Yasushi Sugiyama, a Japanese watercolor artist.

Below – “Shimmering Water”; “Mountain”; “Water”; “Scent”;
“Guard.”
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American Art – Part III of V: Kath Girdler Engler

In the words of one critic, “Kath Girdler Engler’s sculptures are appealing both in physical form and through her interpretation of mythical stories. They are the fragments of ancient forms combined with Engler’s own understanding of the human body. Her confidence with the overall form allows her to be playful with the details as she imbeds materials that fit the negative shapes in her sculptures. Paper pulp is an unusual medium and it’s durable nature is the perfect material to distress in imitation of age. But Engler is always able to emphasize the large contour lines that elegantly wrap around surprise materials in crevices and joints of her sculptures.”
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“Poetry operates by hints and dark suggestions. It is full of secrets and hidden formulae, like a witch’s brew.” – Anthony Hecht, American poet and author of “The Hard Hours,” who died 20 October 2004.

“The Dover Bitch”

A Criticism of Life: for Andrews Wanning

So there stood Matthew Arnold and this girl
With the cliffs of England crumbling away behind them,
And he said to her, ‘Try to be true to me,
And I’ll do the same for you, for things are bad
All over, etc., etc.’
Well now, I knew this girl. It’s true she had read
Sophocles in a fairly good translation
And caught that bitter allusion to the sea,
But all the time he was talking she had in mind
The notion of what his whiskers would feel like
On the back of her neck. She told me later on
That after a while she got to looking out
At the lights across the channel, and really felt sad,
Thinking of all the wine and enormous beds
And blandishments in French and the perfumes.
And then she got really angry. To have been brought
All the way down from London, and then be addressed
As a sort of mournful cosmic last resort
Is really tough on a girl, and she was pretty.
Anyway, she watched him pace the room
And finger his watch-chain and seem to sweat a bit,
And then she said one or two unprintable things.
But you mustn’t judge her by that. What I mean to say is,
She’s really all right. I still see her once in a while
And she always treats me right. We have a drink
And I give her a good time, and perhaps it’s a year
Before I see her again, but there she is,
Running to fat, but dependable as they come.
And sometimes I bring her a bottle of Nuit d’ Amour.

“It Out-Herod’s Herod. Pray You, Avoid It.”

Tonight my children hunch
Toward their Western, and are glad
As, with a Sunday punch,
The Good casts out the Bad.

And in their fairy tales
The warty giant and witch
Get sealed in doorless jails
And the match-girl strikes it rich.

I’ve made myself a drink.
The giant and witch are set
To bust out of the clink
When my children have gone to bed.

All frequencies are loud
With signals of despair;
In flash and morse they crowd
The rondure of the air.

For the wicked have grown strong,
Their numbers mock at death,
Their cow brings forth its young,
Their bull engendereth.

Their very fund of strength,
Satan, bestrides the globe;
He stalks its breadth and length
And finds out even Job.

Yet by quite other laws
My children make their case;
Half God, half Santa Claus,
But with my voice and face,

A hero comes to save
The poorman, beggarman, thief,
And make the world behave
And put an end to grief.

And that their sleep be sound
I say this childermas
Who could not, at one time,
Have saved them from the gas.
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American Art – Part IV of V: Douglas Kingsbury

Artist Statement: “I’m an artist living/working in Washington, DC. Medium: primarily oil, plus pencil, charcoal, watercolor. Subject matter: still life, landscapes, figures and portraits. Experience:
1978 – BA in Visual Arts; 1984 – MA in Computer Animation; 1983-2001 – worked as Computer Animator; 2001-present – currently studying Painting at The Atelier Studio Program of Fine Art, Minneapolis, MN.”
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A Poem for Today

“Ode to the Lemon,”
By Pablo Neruda

From blossoms
released
by the moonlight,
from an
aroma of exasperated
love,
steeped in fragrance,
yellowness
drifted from the lemon tree,
and from its plantarium
lemons descended to the earth.

Tender yield!
The coasts,
the markets glowed
with light, with
unrefined gold;
we opened
two halves
of a miracle,
congealed acid
trickled
from the hemispheres
of a star,
the most intense liqueur
of nature,
unique, vivid,
concentrated,
born of the cool, fresh
lemon,
of its fragrant house,
its acid, secret symmetry.

Knives
sliced a small
cathedral
in the lemon,
the concealed apse, opened,
revealed acid stained glass,
drops
oozed topaz,
altars,
cool architecture.

So, when you hold
the hemisphere
of a cut lemon
above your plate,
you spill
a universe of gold,
a
yellow goblet
of miracles,
a fragrant nipple
of the earth’s breast,
a ray of light that was made fruit,
the minute fire of a planet.
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A Second Poem for Today

“The Poem that Took the Place of a Mountain,”
By Wallace Stevens

There it was, word for word,
The poem that took the place of a mountain.

He breathed its oxygen,
Even when the book lay turned in the dust of his table.

It reminded him how he had needed
A place to go to in his own direction,

How he had recomposed the pines,
Shifted the rocks and picked his way among clouds,

For the outlook that would be right,
Where he would be complete in an unexplained completion:

The exact rock where his inexactnesses
Would discover, at last, the view toward which they had edged,

Where he could lie and, gazing down at the sea,
Recognize his unique and solitary home.
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American Art – Part V of V: Maynard Dixon

Maynard Dixon (1875-1946) was a painter whose work focused on the American West.

Below – “In Old Tucson”; “Storm from the Sierra”; “Adobe Town, Tempe, Arizona”; “The Cloud”; “Old Chinatown, Carson City Nevada”; “Old Patio”; “White Butte, Utah
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American Muse: Wallace Stevens

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“The Poem that Took the Place of a Mountain”

There it was, word for word,
The poem that took the place of a mountain.

He breathed its oxygen,
Even when the book lay turned in the dust of his table.

It reminded him how he had needed
A place to go to in his own direction,

How he had recomposed the pines,
Shifted the rocks and picked his way among clouds,

For the outlook that would be right,
Where he would be complete in an unexplained completion:

The exact rock where his inexactnesses
Would discover, at last, the view toward which they had edged,

Where he could lie and, gazing down at the sea,
Recognize his unique and solitary home.
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October Offerings – Part XIX: Something to Delight both Head and Heart

American Art – Part I of V: Rachel Bullock

Rachel Bullock studied painting with Even Richardson in Norway, as well as at the New York Academy of Art in New York City and the College of the Atlantic in Maine.
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“We have just enough religion to make us hate, but not enough to make us love one another.” – Jonathan Swift, Anglo-Irish satirist, essayist, political pamphleteer, poet, Dean of St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Dublin, and author of “Gulliver’s Travels,” “A Modest Proposal,” and “A Tale of the Tub,” who died 19 October 1745.

Some quotes from the work of Jonathan Swift:

“May you live every day of your life.”
“When a great genius appears in the world you may know him by this sign; that the dunces are all in confederacy against him.”
“Vision is the art of seeing things invisible.”
“Books, the children of the brain.”
“Blessed is he who expects nothing, for he shall never be disappointed.”
“I never wonder to see men wicked, but I often wonder to see them not ashamed.”
“Laws are like cobwebs, which may catch small flies, but let wasps and hornets break through.”
“It is useless to attempt to reason a man out of a thing he was never reasoned into.”
“Every man desires to live long, but no man wishes to be old.”
“No wise man ever wished to be younger. ”
“For in reason, all government without the consent of the governed is the very definition of slavery.”
“Undoubtedly, philosophers are in the right when they tell us that nothing is great or little otherwise than by comparison.”
“You should never be ashamed to admit you have been wrong. It only proves you are wiser today than yesterday”
“And he gave it for his opinion, “that whoever could make two ears of corn, or two blades of grass, to grow upon a spot of ground where only one grew before, would deserve better of mankind, and do more essential service to his country, than the whole race of politicians put together.”
“We of this age have discovered a shorter, and more prudent method to become scholars and wits, without the fatigue of reading or of thinking.”
“I have been assured by a very knowing American of my acquaintance in London, that a young healthy child well nursed is at a year old a most delicious, nourishing, and wholesome food, whether stewed, roasted, baked, or boiled; and I make no doubt that it will equally serve in a fricassee or a ragout.”
“The best doctors in the world are Doctor Diet, Doctor Quiet, and Doctor Merryman.”
“The latter part of a wise person’s life is occupied with curing the follies, prejudices and false opinions they contracted earlier.”
“Happiness is the perpetual possession of being well deceived.”
“Coffee makes us severe, and grave and philosophical.”
“Satire is a sort of glass wherein beholders do generally discover everybody’s face but their own; which is the chief reason for that kind reception it meets with in the world, and that so very few are offended with it.”
“As blushing will sometimes make a whore pass for a virtuous woman, so modesty may make a fool seem a man of sense.”
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Australian painter Lucy Turnbull graduated with a Bachelor of Visual Art, Honors Degree from Adelaide Central School of Art.
Artist Statement: “My brothers have been a major focus of my artistic practice. Previously they appeared as sculptures or painted figures, tender portraits of human relationships.”
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American Art – Part II of V: Peter Max

Born 19 October 1937 – Peter Max, a German-born American illustrator and graphic artist known for the use of psychedelic shapes and colors in his work.
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“Rise and demand; you are a burning flame.

You are sure to conquer there where the final horizon

Becomes a drop of blood, a drop of life,

Where you will carry the universe on your shoulders,

Where the universe will bear your hope.” – Miguel Asturias, a Guatemalan poet, novelist, playwright, journalist, diplomat, author of “Men of Maize,” and recipient of the 1967 Nobel Prize in Literature “for his vivid literary achievement, deep-rooted in the national traits and traditions of Indian peoples of Latin America,” who was born 19 October 1899.

“The Indians come down from Mixco”

The Indians come down from Mixco
Laden with deep blue
And the city with its frightened
Streets receives them
With a handful of lights
That, like stars, are extinguished
When daybreak comes.

A sound of heartbeats
Is in their hands that stroke
The wind like two oars;
And from their feet fall
Prints like little soles
In the dust of the road.

The stars that peep out
At Mixco stay in Mixco
Because the Indians catch them
For baskets that they fill
With chickens and the big white flowers
Of the golden Spanish bayonet.

The life of the Indians
Is quieter than ours,
And when they come down from Mixco
They make no sound but the panting
That sometimes hisses on their lips
Like a silken serpent.
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Belgian painter Christiane Vleugels completed two years of study at the Royal Academy of Antwerp.
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From the Music Archives – Part I of II: Richard Wagner

19 October 1845 – Richard Wagner’s opera “Tannhäuser” premieres in Dresden.

American Art – Part III of V: Gregory Gillespie

In the words of one critic, “Gregory Joseph Gillespie (1936–2000) was an American magic realist painter.
Gillespie became known for meticulously painted figurative paintings, landscapes, and self portraits, often with a fantastical element. Many of his early works were made by painting over photographs cut from newspapers or magazines, transforming the scenes through photographic collage and by adding imaginary elements. In his later work he abandoned his early fascination with creating hyper-realized realistic imagery, instead focusing on a looser and more expressive style. He often combined media in an unorthodox way to create shrine-like assemblages.”
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From the Music Archives – Part II of II: Son House

Died 19 October 1988 – Son House, American blues singer and guitarist. During the 1960s, House rose from obscurity to become a successful and influential blues musician, and “Death Letter Blues” is one of his best compositions.

Born 19 October 1882 – Umberto Boccioni, an influential Italian painter and sculptor.

Below – “The Morning”; “Synthesis of Human Dynamism”; “Three Women”; “Unique Forms of Continuity in Space”;
“Dynamism of a Soccer Player”; “Self-Portrait.”
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“A day spent without the sight or sound of beauty, the contemplation of mystery, or the search of truth or perfection is a poverty-stricken day; and a succession of such days is fatal to human life.” – Lewis Mumford, American historian, sociologist, philosopher of technology, literary critic, and author of “The City in History” (which won the 1962 National Book Award for Nonfiction), who was born on 19 October 1895.

Fifty years ago, the prescient Mumford expressed his distrust of both the financial industry and an increasingly intrusive political structure, fearful that these hegemonic institutions were not fostering local community culture. Further, one of Mumford’s great contributions to the history of ideas came in his book “Technics and Civilization” (1934), in which he argues that technology has a two-fold character: “Polytechnic,” which enlists many different modes of technology, providing a complex framework to solve human problems, and “Monotechnic,” which is technology for its own sake, and which oppresses humanity as it moves along its own trajectory.

Some quotes from Louis Mumford:

“The way people in democracies think of the government as something different from themselves is a real handicap. And, of course, sometimes the government confirms their opinion.”
“Traditionalists are pessimists about the future and optimists about the past.”
“Every generation revolts against its fathers and makes friends with its grandfathers.”
“Forget the damned motor car and build the cities for lovers and friends.”
“Our national flower is the concrete cloverleaf.”
“A certain amount of opposition is a great help to a man. Kites rise against, not with, the wind.”
“Life is the only art that we are required to practice without preparation, and without being allowed the preliminary trials, the failures and botches, that are essential for training.”
“A man of courage never needs weapons, but he may need bail.”
“However far modern science and techniques have fallen short of their inherent possibilities, they have taught mankind at least one lesson: nothing is impossible.”
“Restore human legs as a means of travel. Pedestrians rely on food for fuel and need no special parking facilities.”
“New York is the perfect model of a city, not the model of a perfect city.”
“It has not been for nothing that the word has remained man’s principal toy and tool: without the meanings and values it sustains, all man’s other tools would be worthless.”
“The chief function of the city is to convert power into form, energy into culture, dead matter into the living symbols of art, biological reproduction into social creativity.”
“Without fullness of experience, length of days is nothing. When fullness of life has been achieved, shortness of days is nothing. That is perhaps why the young have usually so little fear of death; they live by intensities that the elderly have forgotten.”
“War is the supreme drama of a completely mechanized society.”
“The artist does not illustrate science (but) he frequently responds to the same interests that a scientist does.”
“One of the functions of intelligence is to take account of the dangers that come from trusting solely to the intelligence.”
“Today, the notion of progress in a single line without goal or limit seems perhaps the most parochial notion of a very parochial century.”
“Today, the degradation of the inner life is symbolized by the fact that the only place sacred from interruption is the private toilet.”
“Nothing is unthinkable, nothing impossible to the balanced person, provided it comes out of the needs of life and is dedicated to life’s further development.”
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Here is one critic describing the artistry of Spanish painter Goyo Dominguez (born 1960): “Goyo is one of those very few, enviable characters who very early in life realize that haste and noise are the principal enemies of happiness. He soon chose, both in his life and in his art, the road of wisdom; taking him far away from sterile competition and useless ambition, from false gods and passing glory. This is the way he found the peace and quiet that stimulate his soul.”
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“Set the foot down with distrust on the crust of the world—it is thin.” – Edna St. Vincent Millay, American poet, playwright, and recipient of the 1923 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry for “The Harp-Weaver and Other Poems,” who died 19 October 1950.

“The Ballad of the Harp Weaver”

She sang as she worked,
And the harp-strings spoke;
Her voice never faltered,
And the thread never broke.
And when I awoke,—

There sat my mother
With the harp against her shoulder
Looking nineteen
And not a day older,

A smile about her lips,
And a light about her head,
And her hands in the harp-strings
Frozen dead.

And piled up beside her
And toppling to the skies,
Were the clothes of a king’s son,
Just my size.

“Departure”

It’s little I care what path I take,
And where it leads it’s little I care;
But out of this house, lest my heart break,
I must go, and off somewhere.

It’s little I know what’s in my heart,
What’s in my mind it’s little I know,
But there’s that in me must up and start,
And it’s little I care where my feet go.

I wish I could walk for a day and a night,
And find me at dawn in a desolate place
With never the rut of a road in sight,
Nor the roof of a house, nor the eyes of a face.

I wish I could walk till my blood should spout,
And drop me, never to stir again,
On a shore that is wide, for the tide is out,
And the weedy rocks are bare to the rain.

But dump or dock, where the path I take
Brings up, it’s little enough I care;
And it’s little I’d mind the fuss they’ll make,
Huddled dead in a ditch somewhere.

“Is something the matter, dear,” she said,
“That you sit at your work so silently?”
“No, mother, no, ’twas a knot in my thread.
There goes the kettle, I’ll make the tea.”

“Love Is Not All”

Love is not all: it is not meat nor drink

Nor slumber nor a roof against the rain; 

Nor yet a floating spar to men that sink 

And rise and sink and rise and sink again; 

Love can not fill the thickened lung with breath, 

Nor clean the blood, nor set the fractured bone; 

Yet many a man is making friends with death 

Even as I speak, for lack of love alone. 

It well may be that in a difficult hour, 

Pinned down by pain and moaning for release, 

Or nagged by want past resolution’s power, 

I might be driven to sell your love for peace, 

Or trade the memory of this night for food. 

It well may be. I do not think I would.
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American Art – Part IV of IV: Patricia Boyd

In the words of one critic, “Patricia Boyd took a trip to Africa that transformed her life. While there she saw how the people lived in joy without the material-ness of American society. She noticed that they used every bit of anything they had. Nothing goes to waste. She listened to their stories, and when she returned home, she knew she had to share what she experienced through her art, the way she knew she could express these inspirations the best.”
Artist Statement: “I see gourds like individual fingerprints. As earth’s original vessels, each grows in its own unique form.
I want my work to tell a story and speak to your heart.
“I see a potential in almost every gourd because there is so much you can do as you allow your imagination to be free.”
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A Poem for Today

“1-800-FEAR,”
By Jody Gladding

We’d like to talk with you about fear they said so
many people live in fear these days they drove up
all four of them in a small car nice boy they said
beautiful dogs they said so friendly the man ahead
of the woman the other two waiting in the drive I
was outside digging up the garden no one home I said
what are you selling anyway I’m not interested I
said well you have a nice day they said here’s our
card there’s a phone number you can call anytime
any other houses down this road anyone else live
here we’d like to talk to them about living in fear

Below – “Cycle of Terror and Tragedy: September 11, 2001, by Graydon Parrish.
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American Art – Part V of V: Logan Maxwell Hagege

In the words of one critic, “Logan Maxwell Hagege is a talented artist who excels in depicting the figure and landscapes. Serious study in art started for Logan when early interest in animation sent him to a local art school, Associates in Art. His interest quickly moved from animation to fine art while attending life drawing classes, and later the Academy`s Advanced Masters Program, which was modeled after the old time French Art Schools where students spent more than six hours per day studying from live models. Logan also studied privately under
This artist has drawn inspiration for his subjects from his native Southern California as well as by traveling extensively to view various landscapes in the American Southwest and the Northeast Coast of the U.S.”
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American Muse: Jody Gladding

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“1-800-FEAR”

We’d like to talk with you about fear they said so
many people live in fear these days they drove up
all four of them in a small car nice boy they said
beautiful dogs they said so friendly the man ahead
of the woman the other two waiting in the drive I
was outside digging up the garden no one home I said
what are you selling anyway I’m not interested I
said well you have a nice day they said here’s our
card there’s a phone number you can call anytime
any other houses down this road anyone else live
here we’d like to talk to them about living in fear

Below – “Cycle of Terror and Tragedy: September 11, 2001, by Graydon Parrish.
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October Offerings – Part XVIII: Something to Delight both Head and Heart

American Art – Part I of IV: Susan Crouch

Artist Statement: “I work primarily in transparent watercolor because its character allows for a wonderful blending of spontaneity and control. As a result, my paintings are a fusion of realistic and interpretive elements. Most projects begin with preliminary sketches to determine composition, value pattern, and colors. Once these initial decisions are in place, I follow where the watercolor leads me.
I enjoy painting a variety of subjects including flowers, figures, wildlife, and landscapes. My primary focus is always on the light and its ability to transform the ordinary into the extraordinary. But the longer I paint, the more I realize – it’s all pretty extraordinary.”
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Born 18 October 1894 – Harold Lenoir Davis, an American novelist, poet, and recipient of the 1936 Pulitzer Prize for the Novel for “Honey in the Horn.” In the words of one critic, “‘Honey in the Horn’ is a novel about life in the homesteading days of Oregon, 1906-1908. It is about the coming of age of an orphan boy named Clay Calvert, but it is also the about the trials of the pioneers who came to Oregon following the American Dream. Through the characters that Clay meets along the way, the author introduces the readers to the various occupations of the settlers of that era.”

“Stalks of Wild Hay”

I can shake the wild hay, and wet seed sticks to my hand.
The white lower stalks seem solid. Yellow flowers
Grow in the sun, with dog fennel, near apple trees.
White petals carry to this water. So plants breed.
But I, the man who would have put up his life
Against less pleasure than yours, against your black hair
And your deep mouth, ask that no man my friend
Find me in this wild hay now or tonight
To remind me how worthless this was which was so dear.
It is late for me to see grass-stalks my first time,
And for this trouble of spirit to come to an end.
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Here is one critic describing the artistry of Ukrainian painter Katya Gridneva (born 1965): “Katya Gridneva works mainly in oils, pastels and charcoal, focusing on figurative subjects. Her very skillful, characterful and attractive compositions are painted from life. Her work not only captures the flow of light across her subjects, but also exhibits her in-depth knowledge of the anatomical structure of the human body. She takes a special delight in painting the working bodies of dancers, capturing their grace and elegance.”
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“The idea of the future, pregnant with an infinity of possibilities, is thus more fruitful than the future itself, and this is why we find more charm in hope than in possession, in dreams than in reality.” – Henri Bergson, French philosopher, author of “Creative Evolution,” and recipient of the 1927 Nobel Prize in Literature “in recognition of his rich and vitalizing ideas and the brilliant skill with which they have been presented,” who was born 18 October 1865.

Some quotes from the work of Henri Bergson:

“To exist is to change, to change is to mature, to mature is to go on creating oneself endlessly.”
“Think like a man of action, act like a man of thought.”
“The eye sees only what the mind is prepared to comprehend.”
“The pure present is an ungraspable advance of the past devouring the future. In truth all sensation is already memory.”
“But, then, I cannot escape the objection that there is no state of mind, however simple, which does not change every moment, since there is no consciousness without memory, and no continuation of a state without the addition, to the present feeling, of the memory of past moments. It is this which constitutes duration. Inner duration is the continuous life of a memory which prolongs the past into the present, the present either containing within it in a distinct form the ceaselessly growing image of the past, or, more profoundly, showing by its continual change of quality the heavier and still heavier load we drag behind us as we grow older. Without this survival of the past into the present there would be no duration, but only instantaneity.”
“Europe is overpopulated, the world will soon be in the same condition, and if the self-reproduction of man is not rationalized… we shall have war.”
“Fortunately, some are born with spiritual immune systems that sooner or later give rejection to the illusory worldview grafted upon them from birth through social conditioning. They begin sensing that something is amiss, and start looking for answers. Inner knowledge and anomalous outer experiences show them a side of reality others are oblivious to, and so begins their journey of awakening. Each step of the journey is made by following the heart instead of following the crowd and by choosing knowledge over the veils of ignorance.”
“Laughter is the corrective force which prevents us from becoming cranks.”
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Canadian painter Fabian Jean is a graduate with distinction from Concordia University’s Studio Arts program and a grant recipient from the Ministry of Cultural Affairs, Quebec.
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“Life is a series of collisions with the future; it is not the sum of what we have been, but what we yearn to be.” – Jose Ortega y Gasset, Spanish philosopher, essayist, and author of “The Revolt of the Masses,” who died 18 October 1955.

Some quotes from the work of Ortega y Gasset:

“Romantic poses aside, let us recognize that ‘falling in love’ is an inferior state of mind, a form of transitory imbecility.”
“Tell me what you pay attention to and I will tell you who you are.”
“Living is a constant process of deciding what we are going to do.”
“Our firmest convictions are apt to be the most suspect; they mark our limitations and our bounds. Life is a petty thing unless it is moved by the indomitable urge to extend its boundaries. ”
“We do not live to think, but, on the contrary, we think in order that we may succeed in surviving.”
“In their choice of lovers both the male and the female reveal their essential nature. The type of human being we prefer reveals the contours of our heart. Love is an impulse which springs from the most profound depths of our beings, and upon reaching the visible surface of life carries with it an alluvium of shells and seaweed from the inner abyss. A skilled naturalist, by filing these materials, can reconstruct the oceanic depths from which they have been uprooted.”
“The metaphor is probably the most fertile power possessed by man.”
“The characteristic note of our time is the dire truth that, the mediocre soul, the commonplace mind, knowing itself to be mediocre, has the gall to assert its right to mediocrity, and goes on to impose itself where it can.”
“Thinking is the desire to gain reality by means of ideas.”
“Every life is, more or less, a ruin among whose debris we have to discover what the person ought to have been.”
“Tragedy in the theater opens our eyes so that we can discover and appreciate the heroic in reality.”
“Just because of its promise of unlimited possibilities, technology is an empty form like the most formalistic logic and is unable to determine the content of life. That is why our time, being the most intensely technical, is also the emptiest in all human history.”
“There are, above all, times in which the human reality, always mobile, accelerates, and bursts into vertiginous speeds. Our time is such a one, for it is made of descent and fall. ”
“Persistent ill-humour is all too clear an indication that someone is living contrary to his intended purpose.”
“To remain in the past means to be dead.”
“To be surprised, to wonder, is to begin to understand.”
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American Art – Part II of IV: Christina Wyatt

Artist Statement: “Florida is my native home. After growing up in Miami I lived for four wonderful years in Caribou Maine beginning my formal education in fine art at the University of Maine at Presque Isle. I then relocated to Richmond Virginia. It was there where I raised my son while earning my BFA in Painting and Printmaking from Virginia Commonwealth University School of Fine Art. Later,I returned to South Florida to live and work full time on my art.
My paintings are my poetry. They are inspired by grace found in the natural world and by the reverence inherent in the sanctuary of peace. I take refuge in the making of my art…it’s my intention to create for the viewer a connection to that place ‘Where dreams live and poets speak.’”
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French artist Lortiwa is a contemporary figurative painter.
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“Perhaps all our loves are merely hints and symbols; vagabond-language scrawled on gate-posts and paving-stones along the weary road that others have tramped before us; perhaps you and I are types and this sadness which sometimes falls between us springs from disappointment in our search, each straining through and beyond the other, snatching a glimpse now and then of the shadow which turns the corner always a pace or two ahead of us.” – Evelyn Waugh, English writer of novels, biographies, letters, and travel books, and author of “Brideshead Revisited” and “The Loved One,” who was born 18 October 1903.

Some quotes from the work of Evelyn Waugh:

“Punctuality is the virtue of the bored.”
“I should like to bury something precious in every place where I’ve been happy and then, when I’m old and ugly and miserable, I could come back and dig it up and remember.”
“Sometimes, I feel the past and the future pressing so hard on either side that there’s no room for the present at all.”
“The trouble with modern education is you never know how ignorant people are. With anyone over fifty you can be fairly confident what’s been taught and what’s been left out. But these young people have such an intelligent, knowledgeable surface, and then the crust suddenly breaks and you look down into depths of confusion you didn’t know existed.”
“I felt that I was leaving part of myself behind, and that wherever I went afterwards I should feel the lack of it, and search for it hopelessly, as ghosts are said to do, frequenting the spots where they buried material treasures without which they cannot pay their way to the nether world.”
“For in that city [New York] there is neurosis in the air which the inhabitants mistake for energy.”
“My theme is memory, that winged host that soared about me one grey morning of war-time. These memories, which are my life—for we possess nothing certainly except the past—were always with me. Like the pigeons of St. Mark’s, they were everywhere, under my feet, singly, in pairs, in little honey-voiced congregations, nodding, strutting, winking, rolling the tender feathers of their necks, perching sometimes, if I stood still, on my shoulder or pecking a broken biscuit from between my lips; until, suddenly, the noon gun boomed and in a moment, with a flutter and sweep of wings, the pavement was bare and the whole sky above dark with a tumult of fowl. Thus it was that morning.”
“All this fuss about sleeping together. For physical pleasure I’d sooner go to my dentist any day.”
“[Change is] the only evidence of life.”
“Oxford, in those days, was still a city of aquatint. In her spacious and quiet streets men walked and spoke as they had done in Newman’s day; her autumnal mists, her grey springtime, and the rare glory of her summer days – such as that day – when the chestnut was in flower and the bells rang out high and clear over her gables and cupolas, exhaled the soft airs of centuries of youth. It was this cloistral hush which gave our laughter its resonance, and carried it still, joyously, over the intervening clamour.”
“I did not know it was possible to be so miserable and live but I am told that this is a common experience.”
“Where can we hide in fair weather, we orphans of the storm?”
“My unhealthy affection for my second daughter has waned. Now I despise all my seven children equally.”
“But I was in search of love in those days, and I went full of curiosity and the faint, unrecognized apprehension that here, at last, I should find that low door in the wall, which others, I knew, had found before me, which opened on an enclosed and enchanted garden, which was somewhere, not overlooked by any window, in the heart of that grey city.”
“When we argue for our limitations, we get to keep them.”
“Instead of this absurd division into sexes they ought to class people as static and dynamic.”
“The langour of Youth – how unique and quintessential it is! How quickly, how irrecoverably, lost! The zest, the generous affections, the illusions, the despair, all the traditional attributes of Youth – all save this come and go with us through life…These things are a part of life itself; but languor – the relaxation of yet unwearied sinews, the mind sequestered and self-regarding, the sun standing still in the heavens and the earth throbbing to our own pulse – that belongs to Youth alone and dies with it.”
“Evelyn Waugh: How do you get your main pleasure in life, Sir William?
Sir William Beveridge: I get mine trying to leave the world a better place than I found it.
Waugh: I get mine spreading alarm and despondency and I get more satisfaction than you do.”
“You spend the first term at Oxford meeting interesting and exciting people and the rest of your time there avoiding them.”
“Her heart was broken perhaps, but it was a small inexpensive organ of local manufacture. In a wider and grander way she felt things had been simplified.”
“The human soul enjoys these rare, classical periods, but, apart from them, we are seldom single or unique; we keep company in this world with a hoard of abstractions and reflections and counterfeits of ourselves – the sensual man, the economic man, the man of reason, the beast, the machine and the sleepwalker, and heaven knows what besides, all in our own image, indistinguishable from ourselves to the outside eye. We get borne along, out of sight in the press, unresisting, till we get the chance to drop behind unnoticed, or to dodge down a side street, pause, breathe freely and take our bearings, or to push ahead, outdistance our shadows, lead them a dance, so that when at length they catch up with us, they look at one another askance, knowing we have a secret we shall never share.”
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German Art – Part I of II: Peter Handel

The paintings of Peter Handel have appeared in exhibitions in Germany South Korea, and the United States.
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“When traveling is made too easy and comfortable, its spiritual meaning is lost. This may be called sentimentalism, but a certain sense of loneliness engendered by traveling leads one to reflect upon the meaning of life, for life is after all a travelling from one unknown to another unknown.” – Daisetsu Teitaro Suzuki, Japanese scholar, writer, and author of “An Introduction to Zen Buddhism,” who was born 18 October 1870. In the words of one historian, “(Suzuki’s) books and essays on Buddhism, Zen and Shin were instrumental in spreading interest in both Zen and Shin (and Far Eastern philosophy in general) to the West. Suzuki was also a prolific translator of Chinese, Japanese, and Sanskrit literature. Suzuki spent several lengthy stretches teaching or lecturing at Western universities, and devoted many years to a professorship at Otani University, a Japanese Buddhist school.”

Some quotes from the work of D. T. Suzuki:

“The right art is purposeless, aimless! The more obstinately you try to learn how to shoot the arrow for the sake of hitting the goal, the less you will succeed in the one and the further the other will recede.”
“The truth of Zen, just a little bit of it, is what turns one’s hum drum life, a life of monotonous, uninspiring commonplaceness, into one of art, full of genuine inner creativity.”
“Technical knowledge is not enough. One must transcend techniques so that the art becomes an artless art, growing out of the unconscious.”
“Copying is slavery. The letter must never be followed, only the spirit is to be grasped. Higher affirmations live in the spirit. And where is the spirit? Seek it in your everyday experience, and therein lies abundance of proof for all you need.”
“Zen Makes use, to a great extent, of poetical expressions; Zen is wedded to poetry.”
“The intuitive recognition of the instant, thus reality… is the highest act of wisdom.”
“When mountain-climbing is made too easy, the spiritual effect the mountain exercises vanishes into the air.”
“We teach ourselves; Zen merely points the way.”
“Modern life seems to recede further and further away from nature, and closely connected with this fact we seem to be losing the feeling of reverence towards nature. It is probably inevitable when science and machinery, capitalism and materialism go hand in hand so far in a most remarkably successful manner. Mysticism, which is the life of religion in whatever sense we understand it, has come to be relegated altogether in the background. Without a certain amount of mysticism there is no appreciation for the feeling of reverence, and, along with it, for the spiritual significance of humility. Science and scientific technique have done a great deal for humanity; but as far as our spiritual welfare is concerned we have not made any advances over that attained by our forefathers. In fact we are suffering at present the worst kind of unrest all over the world.”
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German Art – Part II of II: Dirk Dzimirsky

Artist Statement: “I want to capture and describe a person’s presence and specific inner self. Similar to what a detailed writer might employ in their analysis of an individual, I portray not only the physical attributes, but more importantly the subject’s inner presence of life. It’s not too obvious as my work appears most detailed, but I understand my approach as both representational and lyrical, using marks like words and textured areas like paragraphs, all parts of a whole, telling a story about a human being. I choose drawing over painting as this allows me to create many layers over layers of lines and dots which react to each other in order to create a vibrant texture with directions and movement. Personally, I view the practice of drawing as reminiscent of scratching on a surface to observe what’s hidden underneath, whereas the nature of painting projects more the inverse, covering and hiding details and forms that might have contributed to a sensuality of a work. I use photos as references for my drawings but I am not after a perfect reproduction at all. I use a photo very loosely once the proportions are established.”
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“For man, autumn is a time of harvest, of gathering together. For nature, it is a time of sowing, of scattering abroad.” – Edwin Way Teale, American naturalist, photographer, writer, and author of “North With The Spring: A Naturalist’s Record of a 17,000 Mile Journey with the North American Spring” and “Wandering Through Winter: A Naturalist’s Record of a 20,000 Mile Journey Through the North American Winter” (which won the 1966 Pulitzer Prize for General Non-Fiction), who died 18 October 1980.

Some quotes from the work of Edwin Way Teale:

“Our minds, as well as our bodies, have need of the out-of-doors. Our spirits, too, need simple things, elemental things, the sun and the wind and the rain, moonlight and starlight, sunrise and mist and mossy forest trails, the perfumes of dawn and the smell of fresh-turned earth and the ancient music of wind among the trees.”
“It is morally as bad not to care whether a thing is true or not, so long as it makes you feel good, as it is not to care how you got your money as long as you have got it.”
“Reduce the complexity of life by eliminating the needless wants of life and the labors of life reduce themselves.”
“Those who wish to pet and baby wild animals ‘love’ them. But those who respect their natures and wish to let them live normal lives, love them more.”
“How strangely inaccurate it is to measure length of living by length of life! The space between your birth and death is often far from a true measure of your days of living.”
“Nature is shy and noncommittal in a crowd. To learn her secrets, visit her alone or with a single friend, at most. Everything evades you, everything hides, even your thoughts escape you, when you walk in a crowd.”
“It is those who have compassion for all life who will best safeguard the life of man. Those who become aroused only when man is endangered become aroused too late. We cannot make the world uninhabitable for other forms of life and have it habitable for ourselves. It is the conservationist who is concerned with the welfare of all the land and life of the country, who, in the end, will do most to maintain the world as a fit place for human existence.”
“The long fight to save wild beauty represents democracy at its best. It requires citizens to practice the hardest of virtues–self-restraint. Why cannot I take as many trout as I want from a stream? Why cannot I bring home from the woods a rare wildflower? Because if I do, everybody in this democracy should be able to do the same. My act will be multiplied endlessly. To provide protection for wildlife and wild beauty, everyone has to deny himself proportionately. Special privilege and conservation are ever at odds.”
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In the words of one critic, “John Meyer is one of South Africa’s leading contemporary realists. Born 1942, Meyer has put his indelible stamp on the genres of landscape, portraiture and narrative art. Meyer became a professional painter in 1972. Since then he has travelled extensively, painting landscapes from Nevada to Norway. He has exhibited consistently in the United States, Europe and South Africa, developing an international profile that few South African artists have achieved.”
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Happy Alaska Day

In the words of one historian, “Alaska Day is a legal holiday in the U.S. state of Alaska, observed on October 18. It is the anniversary of the formal transfer of the Territory of Alaska from Russia to the United States which occurred on Friday, October 18, 1867.”

Below – Aurora Borealis in Fairbanks; Anchorage; Hope; Denali;
Matanuska Glacier; the State Dog – the Alaskan Malamute; the Forget-me-not is the state’s official flower that has the same blue and gold coloring as the state flag; the Flag of Alaska.
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American Art – Part III of IV: James Brooks

Born 18 October 1906 – James Brooks, an American painter.

Below – “Boon”; “Festival”; “Sull”; untitled; “Hoobin”; “The Destroyer.”
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A Poem for Today

“Now that You Too Must Shortly Go,”
By Eleanor Farjeon

Now that you too must shortly go the way
Which in these bloodshot years uncounted men
Have gone in vanishing armies day by day,
And in their numbers will not come again:

I must not strain the moments of our meeting
Striving for each look, each accent, not to miss,
Or question of our parting and our greeting,
Is this the last of all? is this—or this?

Last sight of all it may be with these eyes,
Last touch, last hearing, since eyes, hands, and ears,
Even serving love, are our mortalities,
And cling to what they own in mortal fears:—
But oh, let end what will, I hold you fast
By immortal love, which has no first or last.
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American Art – Part IV of IV: Jennifer Meanley

Artist Statement: “The characters within my paintings often appear to be captured in moments of intimate self disclosure. In this way, they live the suspended existence of people held in that mental space in which the sensation of making discoveries is born or forms. This constitutes the objective ‘seeing’ of the self in relation to the subjective context.”
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