American Art – Part I of III: Craig Mullins
Artist Statement: “I was born in 1964 in California and moved to Ohio at three. At 18 I set off for California and lived in the LA area for many years. I now live in Hawaii and like to play on my tractor. I went to Pitzer College in Claremont, Ca, for two years and then went to Art Center College of Design to study product design. Well, I was better at drawing cars, and that lead to 6 months at Ford in Detroit designing them. My design sense was a little weird to be of any value to anybody in Detroit, so I returned to Art Center to study illustration. There I was as conservative as I was off-the-wall in Industrial Design. I just wanted the academic skills of drawing and painting, no soapbox, please. I finally did graduate in 1990.”
From the Music Archives – Part I of VII: Paul Anka
9 September 1957 – Paul Anka’s song “Diana” reaches number one on American popular music charts.
From the Music Archives – Part II of VII: Bill Monroe
Died 9 September 1996 – Bill Monroe, an American musician and vocalist credited with creating bluegrass music.
American Art – Part II of VII: Frederic Kellogg
According to one critic, “Kellogg is one of a number of artists engaged in the search for what can be called a contemporary realism. Like others, he has been deeply influenced by the work of American realists Edward Hopper and Fairfield Porter, and challenged by the impact of photography as an art form, as well as the innovations of the mid-twentieth-century Abstract Expressionists and their aftermath. ‘Realism has to find a new legitimacy,’ the artist says. ‘It demonstrates what only painting can do in helping people to see what is around them but with new techniques and innovative approaches.’”
From the Music Archives – Part III of VII: Otis Redding
Born 9 September 1941 – Otis Redding, an American vocalist and songwriter.
From the Music Archives – Part IV of VII: Dee Dee Sharp
Born 9 September 1945 – Dee Dee Sharp (born Dione Larue), an American vocalist.
American Art – Part III of III: Daniel Ludwig
Here is one writer describing the background and artistry of painter and sculptor Daniel Ludwig: “Born in September, 1959, in Colorado, Ludwig’s family moved to Lexington, KY in his teens. He received his BA in Sculpture from the Rhode Island School of Design in 1981 and went on to receive an MFA in Painting from the University of Cincinnati in 1986. Ludwig has portrayed the female human figure throughout his career searching for classical purity, influenced by modern masters like Matisse and Diebenkorn.”
From the Music Archives – Part V of VII: Doug Ingle
Born 9 September 1946 – Doug Ingle, an American vocalist, keyboardist, and member of Iron Butterfly.
From the Music Archives – Part VI of VII: David Allan “Dave” Stewart
Born 9 September 1952 – Dave Stewart, an English musician and songwriter best known for his work with Eurythmics.
From the Music Archives – Part VII of VII: John Lennon
9 September 1971 – John Lennon releases the “Imagine” album.
According to one critic, “Born in Saigon, Marc Bourlier spent his youth moving between Africa, South America, and Asia. After watching the light passing through so many landscapes, he developed an eye and appreciation for the colors and textures of the natural world. He first became a painter, admiring the work of Calder, Miró, Braque, and Leger. Even when working with paint, it is said that he has always had a gift for letting the material ‘show its own face.’
After a show in Brussels in 1986, he began a period where he worked exclusively with corrugated cardboard for almost ten years. The style of Bourlier’s work that we see now seems to be the product of random chance: one day in 1995 while sitting on the beach in Normandy, a small piece of driftwood caught his eye, and he used it to make his first driftwood piece. This act of appropriation marked the transition of the artist from color to non-color, and from painting to ‘almost’ sculpture. The only common thread from his previous work to now is the human element at the heart of his approach.”
Here is the Artist Statement of British painter Andrew Newton:
“My paintings represent a snapshot of the real world, as it is and unchanged. My goal in my work is to represent a photographic projection of the banal and mundane of the everyday world.
I paint in high detail, taking the chosen photo I grid the image and paint section by section in high definition to complete the hyper real painting.
I dedicate myself towards the photo as much as I paint the subtleties and imperfections which photography create, i.e. blur, focal depth and insignificant information. As well as intensify the photographic information throughout the canvas.
I enhance these camera illusions from the original source to create something which can’t be seen with the naked eye, but only through photography I get to capture and produce this super realism imagery.
My subjects are based around the human form, and the everyday of what people ‘us’ do in the natural world. This could be while eating, washing, travelling, talking or even sleeping. Literally anything which can be seen as repetitive in our lives and relatable, I find appropriate to paint.
The idea comes from the modern world’s fascination with glamour and the media. I see photography as an important subject matter for my banal snapshot paintings because it’s repelling away from our normal viewing of the magazine, advertisement and the air brushed celebrity look.
It’s that reason why I pose my ultra banal subject matters to the viewer, not to question them, but for them to scan the work as if it was a photo or some kind of advertisement for our own morality.”
9 September 1876 – Sioux Chief American Horse dies during the Battle of Slim Buttes.
In the words of one historian, “American Horse the Elder is notable in American history as one of the principal war chiefs allied with Crazy Horse during Red Cloud’s War (1866-1868) and the Battle of the Little Bighorn during the Great Sioux War of 1876-1877.”
In the words of a second historian, “American Horse the Elder was an Oglala Lakota warrior chief renowned for Spartan courage and honor. American Horse is notable in American history as one of the principal war chiefs allied with Crazy Horse during Red Cloud’s War (1866-1868) and the Battle of the Little Bighorn during the Great Sioux War of 1876-1877. Chief American Horse was a son of Old Chief Smoke, an Oglala Lakota head chief and one of the last great Shirt Wearers, a highly prestigious Lakota warrior society.”
No photograph of American Horse the Elder is known to exist.
Dutch Art – Part I of II: Herman Smorenburg
According to one critic, “The world according to Herman Smorenburg is full of imagination and vision. His interest in mysticism and esoteric philosophy and a classic education at the Amsterdam School of Art have evolved into a gifted idiosyncratic artist, who manages to touch upon the depth of life in his oil paintings.
Herman S. was born in Alkmaar in the north of Holland in 1958. After his formal training he studied the classical painting technique of applying transparent oil glazes on a monochrome underpainting resulting in the subtlety of colour and delicate hues of light and shade which have become characteristic of his work. In his subject matter he concentrates on mythology and visionary landscapes, sometimes with architectural structures from Antiquity or a long gone era. Female figures inhibit the world of his dreams. They invite the viewer to come along and enjoy the serenity of the scene. They function as mediators between heaven and earth, living in a timeless dimension.
Herman’s paintings, just as any poem or symphony, may function as a channel: he encourages us to open our hearts and feel the truth of his message inside.”
“We are not all born at once, but by bits. The body first, and the spirit later… Our mothers are racked with the pains of our physical birth; we ourselves suffer the longer pains of our spiritual growth.” – Mary Hunter Austin, American nature writer of the American Southwest, author of “The Land of Little Rain,” and a masterful prose stylist, who was born 9 September 1968.
Some quotes from “The Land of Little Rain”:
“Probably we never fully credit the interdependence of wild creatures, and their cognizance of the affairs of their own kind.”
“People would be surprised to know how much I learned about prayer from playing poker.”
“This is the sense of the desert hills, that there is room enough and time enough.”
“Man is a great blunderer going about in the woods, and there is no other except the bear makes so much noise.”
“The manner of the country makes the usage of life there, and the land will not be lived in except in its own fashion.”
“The country where you may have sight and touch of that which is written lies between the high Sierras south from Yosemite—east and south over a very great assemblage of broken ranges beyond Death Valley, and on illimitably into the Mojave Desert. You may come into the borders of it from the south by a stage journey that has the effect of involving a great lapse of time, or from the north by rail, dropping out of the overland route at Reno. The best of all ways is over the Sierra passes by pack and trail, seeing and believing. But the real heart and core of the country are not to be come at in a month’s vacation. One must summer and winter with the land and wait its occasions. Pine woods that take two and three seasons to the ripening of cones, roots that lie by in the sand seven years awaiting a growing rain, firs that grow fifty years before flowering,—these do not scrape acquaintance. But if ever you come beyond the borders as far as the town that lies in a hill dimple at the foot of Kearsarge, never leave it until you have knocked at the door of the brown house under the willow-tree at the end of the village street, and there you shall have such news of the land, of its trails and what is astir in them, as one lover of it can give to another.”
Dutch Art – Part II of II: Rieke van der Stoep
In the words of one critic, “For pictorial artist Rieke van der Stoep, artistry is a way of life. To her, sculpting is a sublime utterance of what she experiences in her inner self. Even though she chose to become an artist in her later life, as a child she also engaged in artistic pastimes. She worked with textiles, designing and making clothes, acting, painting, drawing, designing decors. Her attention was drawn to graphics and she owned a graphic design company for some years. Artistic dynamic coach and glassblowing training illustrate her many-sided creativity.”
“The issue is not whether people are ‘good enough’ for a particular type of society; rather it is a matter of developing the kind of social institutions that are most conducive to expanding the potentialities we have for intelligence, grace, sociability and freedom.” – Paul Goodman, American novelist, playwright, poet, psychotherapist, anarchist philosopher, social critic, and author of “Growing Up Absurd” and “The Lordly Hudson” (one of my favorite poems), who was born 9 September 1911.
“The Lordly Hudson”
“Driver, what stream is it?” I asked, well knowing
it was our lordly Hudson hardly flowing.
“It is our lordly Hudson hardly flowing,”
he said, under the green-grown cliffs.”
Be still, heart! No one needs
your passionate suffrage to select this glory,
this is our lordly Hudson hardly flowing
under the green-grown cliffs.
“Driver, has this a peer in Europe or the East?”
“No, no!” he said. Home! Home!
Be quiet, heart! This is our lordly Hudson
and has no peer in Europe or the east.
This is our lordly Hudson hardly flowing
under the green-grown cliffs
and has no peer in Europe or the East.
Be quiet, heart! Home! Home!
Here is the Artist Statement of Irish painter Ronan Goti (born 1978): “My paintings attempt to show humanity in harmony with nature and also try to capture a balance that exists when the natural world is left to itself. My work reflects my views about how I would like the world to be. I observe the beauty around me and try to capture that in my paintings, so that others may experience what I see and feel.”
A Poem for Today
“Men at Forty”
By Donald Justice
Men at forty
Learn to close softly
The doors to rooms they will not be
Coming back to.
At rest on a stair landing,
They feel it
Moving beneath them now like the deck of a ship,
Though the swell is gentle.
And deep in mirrors
The face of the boy as he practices trying
His father’s tie there in secret
And the face of that father,
Still warm with the mystery of lather.
They are more fathers than sons themselves now.
Something is filling them, something
That is like the twilight sound
Of the crickets, immense,
Filling the woods at the foot of the slope
Behind their mortgaged houses.