Early California Painters – Part I of III: Arthur F. Mathews
In the words of one historian, “Arthur F. Mathews (1860–1945) was an American Tonalist painter who was one of the founders of the American Arts and Crafts Movement. Trained as an architect and artist, he and his wife Lucia Kleinhans Mathews had a significant effect on the evolution of Californian art in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.”
Early California Painters – Part II of III: Xavier Martinez
According to one writer, “Xavier Martínez (February 7, 1869 – January 13, 1943) was a California artist active in the late 19th and early 20th century. He was a well-known bohemian figure in San Francisco, the East Bay, and the Monterey Peninsula and one of the co-founders of two California artists’ organizations and an art gallery. He painted in a tonalist style and also produced monotypes and etchings.”
Early California Painters – Part III of III: Henry Percy Gray
According to one writer, “Gray was born into a San Francisco family endowed with a broad literary and artistic background. He studied under Arthur Frank Mathews at the San Francisco School of Design and later under William Merritt Chase. While he had some early Impressionistic tendencies, his primary expression was under the Tonalism Mathews had brought back from Paris. He is known for his extraction of beauty from the Northern California landscape.”
“Put your ear down close to your soul and listen hard.” – Anne Sexton, American poet and recipient of the 1967 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry (for “Live or Die”), who died 4 October 1974.
By the first of August
the invisible beetles began
to snore and the grass was
as tough as hemp and was
no color—no more than
the sand was a color and
we had worn our bare feet
bare since the twentieth
of June and there were times
we forgot to wind up your
alarm clock and some nights
we took our gin warm and neat
from old jelly glasses while
the sun blew out of sight
like a red picture hat and
one day I tied my hair back
with a ribbon and you said
that I looked almost like
a puritan lady and what
I remember best is that
the door to your room was
the door to mine.
According to one writer, “Nen Wang was born in Jiangxi, in 1955. He graduated from the Fine Art College, Anhui Normal University. He is now a member of the Chinese Artists Association.
His works have been shown at exhibitions at home and abroad and some collected by the National Museum and overseas collectors.”
“Profits, like sausages… are esteemed most by those who know least about what goes into them.” – Alvin Toffler, American writer, futurist, and author of “Future Shock,” who was born on 4 October 1928.
Some quotes from Alvin Toffler:
“One of the definitions of sanity is the ability to tell real from unreal. Soon we’ll need a new definition.”
“The illiterate of the future will not be the person who cannot read. It will be the person who does not know how to learn.”
“Change is not merely necessary to life – it is life.”
“Future shock is the shattering stress and disorientation that we induce in individuals by subjecting them to too much change in too short a time.”
“You’ve got to think about big things while you’re doing small things, so that all the small things go in the right direction.”
“You can use all the quantitative data you can get, but you still have to distrust it and use your own intelligence and judgment.”
“Parenthood remains the greatest single preserve of the amateur.”
“Man has a limited biological capacity for change. When this capacity is overwhelmed, the capacity is in future shock.”
“It is better to err on the side of daring than the side of caution.”
“The Law of Raspberry Jam: the wider any culture is spread, the thinner it gets.”
“Knowledge is the most democratic source of power.”
“The next major explosion is going to be when genetics and computers come together. I’m talking about an organic computer – about biological substances that can function like a semiconductor.”
“Technology feeds on itself. Technology makes more technology possible.”
“Most managers were trained to be the thing they most despise – bureaucrats.”
“Our technological powers increase, but the side effects and potential hazards also escalate.”
“Try to put well in practice what you already know; and in so doing, you will in good time, discover the hidden things which you now inquire about. Practice what you know, and it will help to make clear what now you do not know.” – Rembrandt van Rijn, Dutch painter and etcher, who died 4 October 1669.
Rembrandt is generally considered one of the greatest painters and printmakers in the history of European art, and because of his empathy for the human condition, Sir Kenneth Clark called Rembrandt “one of the great prophets of civilization.”
Janis, we hardly knew ye.
4 October 1970 – Janis Joplin, American singer-songwriter, dies of a drug overdose at age 27.
“I hope I will have achieved something lasting.” – Graham Chapman, English comedian, actor, and member of Monty Python’s Flying Circus, who died on 4 October 1989.
American Art – Part I of V: Robin Siegl
Artist Statement: “While rowing in between and around the looming hulls of these vessels I contemplate the worn weightiness of the structures and marvel at how they float on the wiggly water. Painting with oil on canvas-wrapped panels, I interpret the shapes, marks and colors observed. The act of painting and the rich feel of the materials are just as seductive as the strange beauty viewed from the rowboat.”
4 October 1915 – Congress establishes Dinosaur National Monument in Colorado and Utah.
Contrary to what my sons claim, Dinosaur National Monument was not named in my honor, it is not my home address, and I am not one of its “traveling exhibits.”
American Art – Part II of V: Laura Krifka
Another reason to dislike San Francisco and all who live there:
4 October 1926 – After a unanimous vote by the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, the Dahlia becomes the official flower of the City by the Bay. Following the vote, Mayor James Rolph made the following declaration:
“WHEREAS, the Dahlia has reached its highest perfection in and about San Francisco, and because Dahlias originated in San Francisco are grown in gardens all over the world; and
WHEREAS, the Dahlia partakes essentially of the character of our beloved city, in birth, breeding and habit, for it was originally Mexican, carried thence to Spain, to France and England in turn, being changed in the process from a simple daisy-like wild flower to a cosmopolitan beauty. It has come back to San Francisco like the sophisticated world traveler it is, to find its favorite home here, where it thrives in the cool summers and the moist air of our fog-swept, sandy gardens by the sea;
WHEREAS, it is a robust flower, generous and able to thrive in any reasonable soil, so long as it is not too dry, and has the primitive strength of our pioneer ancestors, together with the gayety and color that no other city nor flower can hope to equal, going, like our artists and poets, to carry color and beauty into far climes, but blooming best in our own gardens out of doors in our cool even climates;
WHEREAS, in its versatility, its beauty, its infinite variety of color and form, it is the very symbol of San Francisco life and of the spirit of her people; therefore, be it
RESOLVED, That the Dahlia be and it is here designated the official flower of San Francisco.”
American Art – Part III of V: Jolene Lai
In the words of one critic, “Jolene Lai is a Los Angeles-based artist and illustrator born and raised in Singapore. After studying painting at Lasalle-SIA College of the Arts in Singapore, Jolene studied graphic design at UCLA and spent a year working at movie-poster design house, The Refinery Creative, before returning to focus on fine art.
She works primarily with oil on canvas or mixed media on watercolor paper. With bold use of color, shape and intricate detail, she creates images with a seductive aesthetic and subject matter that weaves in emotions of whimsy, melancholy, irony and absurdity.
Lai seeks to engage her audience in works that are approachable, newly imagined spaces that the viewer is invited to explore on their own terms.”
“Tragedy is a close-up; comedy, a long shot.” – Buster Keaton, American comic actor, who was born on 4 October 1895.
Along with Charlie Chaplin and Harold Lloyd, Buster Keaton was one of the great physical comedians in the history of cinema. Here’s “The Great Stone Face” in action:
American Art – Part IV of V: Robert Lange
Artist Statement: ”I’ve come to understand that painting is a basic medium, all you need are canvases, paint and brushes; with these minimal means you can achieve a maximum effect. As a painter you decide what effect you want to have and for me, I believe there is providence in sharing optimism through art. I paint simple, yet heightened moments from the memories of my life. These memories, so picturesque and free from clutter, when made into paintings create a special kind of history, a visual journal of not only that specific moment but also what that moment could be.”
Two Poems for Today – Part I: William Carlos Williams
“This Is Just To Say”
I have eaten
that were in
you were probably
Two Poems for Today – Part II: Kenneth Koch
“Variations on a Theme by William Carlos Williams”
I chopped down the house that you had been saving to live in next
I am sorry, but it was morning, and I had nothing to do
and its wooden beams were so inviting.
We laughed at the hollyhocks together
and then I sprayed them with lye.
Forgive me. I simply do not know what I am doing.
I gave away the money that you had been saving to live on for the next ten
The man who asked for it was shabby
and the firm March wind on the porch was so juicy and cold.
American Art – Part V of V: Frederic Remington
“I knew the wild riders and the vacant land were about to vanish forever… and the more I considered the subject, the bigger the forever loomed. Without knowing how to do it, I began to record some facts around me, and the more I looked the more the panorama unfolded.” – Frederic Remington, painter, sculptor, illustrator, and writer who specialized in depictions of the Old American West, who was born 4 October 1861.
Below – “Cowpuncher’s Lullaby”; “Dismounted: The 4th Troopers Moving”; “The Coming and Going of the Pony Express”; “Indians Simulating Buffalo”; “Aiding a Comrade”; “Arizona Cow-boy”; “Shotgun Hospitality”; “The Scream of Shrapnel at San Juan Hill”; “A Dash for the Timber”; “The Smoke Signal”; “The Broncho Buster”; “The Scout: Friends or Foes?”; “Cowboy”; “The Outlier.”