September Offerings – Part XVIII: Something to Delight both Head and Heart

American Art – Part I of III: Timothy W. Jahn

In the words of one writer, “American born artist Timothy W. Jahn is a representational painter and teacher. He currently lives and paints in Anguilla where he is the head instructor of Ani Art Academies Anguilla.”
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Here is the Artist Statement of Australian painter Linda O’Grady: “After being solely a portrait painter for nearly twenty years, I am currently enjoying the resurgence in popularity of figurative art across the country. There is endless inspiration to be found in the human figure and no shortage of subject matter in our daily lives. I love to paint the nude; the fluidity of flesh in all its forms and am totally absorbed in the burlesque/cabaret scene. Beautifully posed bodies with stunning costumes and a little dose of eroticism! I continue to paint portraits as well, religiously entering all the portrait annual exhibitions I can, but now I have a greater variety of work to show, all still telling some story or other, and what that story is very much depends on what you, the viewer, sees.
I believe art should be available to all and am trying particularly to dispel the myth that real art, and a portrait in particular, is hugely expensive or that you have to sit in a draughty artist’s studio for months on end. I’d like to feel that there is a place for my paintings in any environment.”
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“Kindness is in our power, even when fondness is not.” – Samuel Johnson, English poet, essayist, moralist, literary critic, biographer, editor, and lexicographer, who was born 18 September 1709.

In the “Oxford Dictionary of National Biography,” critic Pat Rogers refers to Samuel Johnson as “arguably the most distinguished man of letters in English history.”

Some quotes from Samuel Johnson:

“The true measure of a man is how he treats someone who can do him absolutely no good.”
“It is better to suffer wrong than to do it, and happier to be sometimes cheated than not to trust.”
“Integrity without knowledge is weak and useless, and knowledge without integrity is dangerous and dreadful.”
“Bachelors have consciences, married men have wives.”
“One of the disadvantages of wine is that it makes a man mistake words for thoughts.”
“Patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel.”
“The return of my birthday, if I remember it, fills me with thoughts which it seems to be the general care of humanity to escape.”
“Almost all absurdity of conduct arises from the imitation of those who we cannot resemble.”
“The use of travelling is to regulate imagination by reality, and instead of thinking how things may be, to see them as they are.”
“Courage is the greatest of all virtues, because if you haven’t courage, you may not have an opportunity to use any of the others.”
“Friendship, like love, is destroyed by long absence, though it may be increased by short intermissions.”
“No man will be a sailor who has contrivance enough to get himself into a jail; for being in a ship is being in a jail, with the chance of being drowned… a man in a jail has more room, better food, and commonly better company.”
“Nothing will ever be attempted if all possible objections must first be overcome.”
“Getting money is not all a man’s business: to cultivate kindness is a valuable part of the business of life.”
“Curiosity is one of the most permanent and certain characteristics of a vigorous intellect.”
“When making your choice in life, do not neglect to live.”
“No man can taste the fruits of autumn while he is delighting his scent with the flowers of spring.”
“Almost every man wastes part of his life attempting to display qualities which he does not possess.”
“The happiest conversation is that of which nothing is distinctly remembered, but a general effect of pleasing impression.”
“What is easy is seldom excellent.”
“It is reasonable to have perfection in our eye that we may always advance toward it, though we know it can never be reached.”
“Knowledge is of two kinds. We know a subject ourselves, or we know where we can find information upon it.”
“Language is the dress of thought.”
“The chains of habit are too weak to be felt until they are too strong to be broken.”
“He who has so little knowledge of human nature as to seek happiness by changing anything but his own disposition will waste his life in fruitless efforts.”
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Turkish painter Samet Dogan (born 1970) studied in the Department of Fine Arts of Dokuz Eyulul University.
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Here is part of the Artist Statement of Vietnamese painter Tran Quoc Vinh (born 1959): “I often paint night scenes, with shimmering lights, moonlight, and early dawn. Only at night do dreams come, and we experience our most private world.”
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Died 18 September 1970 – Jimi Hendrix, an American musician, singer, and songwriter widely considered one of the most influential electric guitarists in the history of popular music.

American Art – Part II of III: Tom Sierak

In the words of one critic, “‘Painting tomorrow’s memories today’… that’s how Tom Sierak likes to describe his pastel paintings. He says, ‘People often talk about the “good ol’ days,” and how nice it would be to return to them. I think the times we are living now are tomorrow’s good ol’ days. Places and things may change around us, but that special bond that exists between children, parents, and grandparents and even pets, never does. I try to convey a message of warmth and emotion, and hope these late 20th century portraits of American life eventually become viewer’s window to the past.’”
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“When I get ready to explain homemade fascism in America, I can take my example from the state capitol of Texas.” – J. Frank Dobie, American folklorist, writer, and newspaper columnist best known for his books depicting the traditions of life in rural Texas during the days of the open range. In the words of one historian, “As a public figure, he was known in his lifetime for his outspoken liberal views against Texas state politics, and for his long personal war against what he saw as bragging Texans, religious prejudice, restraints on individual liberty, and the assault of the mechanized world on the human spirit.”

A few quotes from J. Frank Dobie:

“I rate censors, particularly those of church and state, as low as I rate character assassins; they often run together.”
“The average PhD thesis is nothing but a transference of bones from one graveyard to another.”
“Conform and be dull.”
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Spanish painter Antonio Gadea (born 1965) studied Fine Arts at the Polytechnic University of Valencia.
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“It’s complicated, being an American,
Having the money and the bad conscience, both at the same time.
Perhaps, after all, this is not the right subject for a poem.” – Louis Simpson, Jamaican-born American poet, who died 18 September 2012.

“To The Western World”

“A siren sang, and Europe turned away
From the high castle and the shepherd’s crook.
Three caravels went sailing to Cathay
On the strange ocean, and the captains shook
Their banners out across the Mexique Bay.

And in our early days we did the same.
Remembering our fathers in their wreck
We crossed the sea from Palos where they came
And saw, enormous to the little deck,
A shore in silence waiting for a name.

The treasures of Cathay were never found.
In this America, this wilderness
Where the axe echoes with a lonely sound,
The generations labor to possess
And grave by grave we civilize the ground.”
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Here is one critic describing the artistry of Sibylle Peretti: “In all aspects of her work – her wall panels, dome compositions and her cast busts – Peretti acknowledges that while childhood and a flower’s bloom are fleeting, our draw to nature’s mysteries, its power to heal and its potential for beauty are always tied to our own dreams and wishes and ultimately our survival.
Sybille Peretti was born in 1964 in Mulheim-Ruhr, Germany. She was trained as a glass designer at the School for Glass Making in Zweisel, Germany. She received her MFA in painting and sculpture from the Academy of Fine Arts in Cologne, Germany.”
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“The past is never where you think you left it.” – Katharine Anne Porter, American journalist, essayist, short story writer, novelist, political activist, and recipient of both the 1966 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and the 1966 National Book Award for “The Collected Stories,” who died 18 September 1980.

Some quotes from Katherine Anne Porter:

“There seems to be a kind of order in the universe…in the movement of the stars and the turning of the Earth and the changing of the seasons. But human life is almost pure chaos. Everyone takes his stance, asserts his own right and feelings, mistaking the motives of others, and his own.”
“I shall try to tell the truth, but the result will be fiction.”
“I get so tired of moral bookkeeping.”
“Love must be learned and learned again; there is no end.”
“Trust your happiness and the richness of your life at this moment. It is as true and as much yours as anything else that ever happened to you.”
“Death always leaves one singer to mourn.”
“The road to death is a long march beset with all evils, and the heart fails little by little at each new terror, the bones rebel at each step, the mind sets up its own bitter resistance and to what end? The barriers sink one by one, and no covering of the eyes shuts out the landscape of disaster, nor the sight of crimes committed there.”
“It is a simple truth that the human mind can face better the most oppressive government, the most rigid restrictions, than the awful prospect of a lawless, frontierless world. Freedom is a dangerous intoxicant and very few people can tolerate it in any quantity; it brings out the old raiding, oppressing, murderous instincts; the rage for revenge, for power, the lust for bloodshed. The longing for freedom takes the form of crushing the enemy – there is always the enemy! – into the earth; and where and who is the enemy if there is no visible establishment to attack, to destroy with blood and fire? Remember all that oratory when freedom is threatened again. Freedom, remember, is not the same as liberty.”
“The whole effort for the past one hundred years has been to remove the moral responsibility from the individual and make him blame his own human wickedness on his society, but he helps to make his society, you see, and he will not take his responsibility for his part in it.”
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Greek Art – Part I of II: Irini Iliopoulou

In the words of one writer, “Irini Iliopoulou was born in Athens. From 1977-1981 she studied at the Athens School of Fine Arts. She continued her studies in Paris at the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts in the studio of Leonardo Cremonini.”
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Greek Art – Part II of II: Christos Pallantzas

Here is one writer describing the background of Christos Pallantzas: “He was born in Larissa, Greece in 1962. He studied (1983-1989) at the Highest School of Fine Arts in Athens, Greece. He took Painting, Byzantine Icons’ Technique, Fresco, History of Art, History of Architecture and Rhythmology. With the scholarship of the French Government he continued with post-graduate studies at the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux Arts de Paris (1990-1992), Atelier de la Peinture of Mr. Pierre Carron.”
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A Poem for Today

“The Unborn,”
By Sharon Olds

Sometimes I can almost see, around our heads,

Like gnats around a streetlight in summer,

The children we could have,

The glimmer of them.



Sometimes I feel them waiting, dozing 

In some antechamber – servants, half-

Listening for the bell. 



Sometimes I see them lying like love letters

In the Dead Letter Office



And sometimes, like tonight, by some black

Second sight I can feel just one of them

Standing on the edge of a cliff by the sea 

In the dark, stretching its arms out 

Desperately to me.
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American Art – Part III of III: Elizabeth Allen-Cannon

In the words of one writer, “Elizabeth Allen-Cannon was born in 1988 in Kansas City, Mo. While attending the Rhode Island School of Design, she was chosen for the European Honors Program to study abroad in Rome, Italy, and completed a fellowship at the RISD Museum of Art in Art Conservation. After completing her BFA, she moved back to Kansas City and was accepted into Charlotte Street Foundation’s Urban Culture Project residency. In 2012, she was selected to be a participating artist in the Kansas City Collection II.”
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