American Art – Part I of III: Iva Morris
In the words of one writer, “New Mexico artist Iva Morris has been making art for over twenty years. After receiving her BA in Art Education at the University of New Mexico in 1981, Ms. Morris taught art and participated in the Artist in Residence program, painting murals with children around the state of New Mexico. She began working with pastels nine years ago and has continued to show both locally and nationally, winning awards for both her prints and pastels. She is a member of the Pastel Society of America and the Pastel Society of New Mexico.”
Nobel Laureates – Part I of II: Anatole France
“The law, in its majestic equality, forbids the rich as well as the poor to sleep under bridges, to beg in the streets, and to steal bread.” – Anatole France, French poet, journalist, novelist, author of “The Crime of Sylvestre Bonnard,” and recipient of the 1921 Nobel Prize for Literature “in recognition of his brilliant literary achievements, characterized as they are by a nobility of style, a profound human sympathy, grace, and a true Gallic temperament,” who died on 12 October 1924, sounding like some current members of the U.S. Supreme Court.
Some quotes from Anatole France:
“Devout believers are safeguarded in a high degree against the risk of certain neurotic illnesses; their acceptance of the universal neurosis spares them the task of constructing a personal one.”
“The average man does not know what to do with this life, yet wants another one which will last forever.”
“All changes, even the most longed for, have their melancholy; for what we leave behind us is a part of ourselves; we must die to one life before we can enter another.”
“An education isn’t how much you have committed to memory, or even how much you know. It’s being able to differentiate between what you know and what you don’t.”
“Until one has loved an animal a part of one’s soul remains unawakened.”
“It is better to understand little than to misunderstand a lot.”
“It is well for the heart to be naive and the mind not to be.”
“I thank fate for having made me born poor. Poverty taught me the true value of the gifts useful to life.”
“The truth is that life is delicious, horrible, charming, frightful, sweet, bitter, and that is everything.”
“Only men who are not interested in women are interested in women’s clothes. Men who like women never notice what they wear.”
“When you want to make men good and wise, free, moderate, generous, you are led inevitably to the desire of killing them all.”
“It is human nature to think wisely and act in an absurd fashion.”
“The whole art of teaching is only the art of awakening the natural curiosity of young minds for the purpose of satisfying it afterwards.”
“A person is never happy except at the price of some ignorance.”
“If the path be beautiful, let us not ask where it leads.”
“Nine tenths of education is encouragement.”
“Innocence most often is a good fortune and not a virtue.”
Of all the sexual aberrations, chastity is the strangest.”
“Wandering re-establishes the original harmony which once existed between man and the universe.”
“If a million people say a foolish thing, it is still a foolish thing.”
“Suffering! We owe to it all that is good in us, all that gives value to life; we owe to it pity, we owe to it courage, we owe to it all the virtues.”
“The books that everybody admires are those that nobody reads.”
“The good critic is he who relates the adventures of his soul among masterpieces.”
“That man is prudent who neither hopes nor fears anything from the uncertain events of the future.”
“Irony is the gaiety of reflection and the joy of wisdom.”
“Without lies humanity would perish of despair and boredom.”
“Religion has done love a great service by making it a sin.”
“An education which does not cultivate the will is an education that depraves the mind.”
“One thing above all gives charm to men’s thoughts, and this is unrest. A mind that is not uneasy irritates and bores me.”
Here is one critic describing the artistry of Spanish sculptor Jesus Curia Perez (born 1969): “While Perez’s interest, the exotic, non-Western individual, lies at the core of his work, he is not wed to the human form – Perez meddles with negative space, relating it to form and object. Working primarily in bronze, Perez removes space from conventionally fleshed out areas of the body. This manipulation of space makes the viewer intensely aware of how one inhabits and interacts with space.”
Nobel Laureates – Part II of II: Eugenio Montale
“I have been judged to be a pessimist but what abyss of ignorance and low egoism is not hidden in one who thinks that Man is the god of himself and that his future can only be triumphant?” – Eugenio Montale, Italian poet, essayist, editor, translator, and recipient of the 1975 Nobel Prize in Literature “for his distinctive poetry which, with great artistic sensitivity, has interpreted human values under the sign of an outlook on life with no illusions,” who was born 12 October 1896.
“At the Threshold ”
Be pleased if the wind that enters the orchard
brings back the surge of life:
here where a dead tangle of memories
sinks and founders,
there was no garden, only a reliquary.
The flapping you hear is not flight
but a commotion in the eternal womb;
you see how this strip of solitary earth
transforms itself into a crucible.
Beyond the sheer wall is rage.
If you proceed, you might bump into—
perhaps you might—the saving apparition:
here the stories are composed, the acts
that the game of the future will cancel.
Look for a broken link in the net
that holds us down, jump out and flee!
Go, I’ve prayed this for you—now my thirst
will be lighter; the rust less bitter. . .
“Bring Me the Sunflower”
Bring me the sunflower so I can transplant it
here in my own field burned by salt-spray,
so it can show all day to the blue reflection of the sky
the anxiety of its golden face.
Darker things yearn for a clarity,
bodies fade and exhaust themselves in a flood
of colors, as colors do in music. To vanish,
therefore, is the best of all good luck.
Bring me the plant that leads us
where blond transparencies rise up
and life evaporates like an essence;
bring me the sunflower sent mad with light.
Here is one critic describing the background and artistry of Canadian painter Mark Lague: “Mark has developed an international reputation and has won numerous awards, both in his native Canada and in the United States. A dedicated painter, Mark Lague was born in Lachine Quebec in 1964 and he has had a fascination with drawing since childhood, a skill he practices constantly, even to this day. Upon graduation from Montreal’s Concordia University in Design, Mark embarked on a 13-year career in the animation industry, working primarily as a background designer and art director. During this time, despite working full time, he began receiving international acclaim for his watercolour paintings through competitions, juried shows, and solo exhibitions. In 2000, Mark switched to oil as his primary medium, and in 2002 made the jump to full time painter. As an artist he is a realist, who is open to virtually all subject matter. What keeps him excited about painting is his endless quest to simplify and get to the essence of whatever he paints. Mark has been featured in numerous national art magazines, and continues to receive international recognition for his distinctive style of painting.”
From the Music Archives – Part I of III: Samuel David Moore
Born 12 October 1935 – Samuel David Moore, an American singer, musician, songwriter, and member of the vocal duo Sam & Dave.
From the Music Archives – Part II of III: Luciano Pavarotti
“You don’t need any brains to listen to music.” – Luciano Pavarotti, Italian operatic tenor and, along with Placido Domingo and Jose Carreras, a member of The Three Tenors, who was born on 12 October 1935.
From the Music Archives – Part III of III: George Harrison
12 October 1987 – George Harrison releases “Got My Mind Set On You.”
Here is one writer describing the artistry Polish painter Angelika J. Trojnarski (born 1979): “A. J. Trojnarski infuses her paintings with a hefty dollop of Middle-European angst and alienation without falling victim to myriad cliches. Her palette may be dank and dreary, but it glows like fog with a diffuse light and establishes a compellingly indistinct space in which figures and structures struggle to define themselves. Everything in Trojnarski’s pictures has an almostness to it, with parts of machines and parts even of people fading from opacity and seeming volume to an almost gossamer transparency. The things occupying Trojnarski’s cityscapes and interiors – and, indeed, the cityscapes and interiors themselves – hover in and out of existence, as if in a dream or a recollection. As Trojnarski reminds us, sight and memory are both grossly faulty modes of perception, but they’re all we have with which to hold the world.”
“I never believed in Santa Claus because I knew no white dude would come into our neighborhood after dark.” – Dick Gregory, American comedian, social activist, social critic, writer, and author of “No More Lies: The Myth and the Reality of American History,” who was born on 12 October 1932.
Some quotes from Dick Gregory:
“We used to root for the Indians against the cavalry, because we didn’t think it was fair in the history books that when the cavalry won it was a great victory, and when the Indians won it was a massacre.”
“I never learned hate at home, or shame. I had to go to school for that.”
“If they took all the drugs, nicotine, alcohol and caffeine off the market for six days, they’d have to bring out the tanks to control you.”
“I am really enjoying the new Martin Luther King, Jr. stamp – just think about all those white bigots, licking the backside of a black man.”
“Just being a Negro doesn’t qualify you to understand the race situation any more than being sick makes you an expert on medicine.”
“Political promises are much like marriage vows. They are made at the beginning of the relationship between candidate and voter, but are quickly forgotten.”
“In America, with all of its evils and faults, you can still reach through the forest and see the sun. But we don’t know yet whether that sun is rising or setting for our country.”
“When I lost my rifle, the Army charged me 85 dollars. That is why in the Navy the Captain goes down with the ship.”
“And we love to dance, especially that new one called the Civil War Twist. The Northern part of you stands still while the Southern part tries to secede.”
“You know why Madison Avenue advertising has never done well in Harlem? We’re the only ones who know what it means to be Brand X.”
“We thought I was going to be a great athlete, and we were wrong, and I thought I was going to be a great entertainer, and that wasn’t it either. I’m going to be an American Citizen. First class.”
“I’m not a comic. I’m a humorist.”
“If it wasn’t for Abe Lincoln, I’d still be on the open market.”
“I wouldn’t mind paying taxes – if I knew they were going to a friendly country.”
“Riches do not delight us so much with their possession, as torment us with their loss.”
Argentinean Art – Part I of II: Diego Dayer
Here is one critic describing the artistry of painter Diego Dayer: “Dayer is a unique discovery with an extraordinarily promising future. A rising star in the Argentine art world, Dayer creates amazing images with a clarity and mastery seldom seen in such a young artist.
Born in Santa Fe, Argentina in 1979, Diego Dayer is a phenomenally talented young painter who is poised to make his mark in the art world in the United States and the rest of the world.”
“The education of a man is never completed until he dies.” – Robert E. Lee, American career military officer best known for having commanded the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia in the American Civil War, who died 12 October 1870.
Some quotes from the work of Robert E. Lee:
“Never do a wrong thing to make a friend–or to keep one.”
“I cannot trust a man to control others who cannot control himself.”
“It is well that war is so terrible, or we should grow too fond of it.”
“It is easier to make our wishes conform to our means than to make our means conform to our wishes.”
“I like whiskey. I always did, and that is why I never drink it.”
“What a cruel thing is war: to separate and destroy families and friends, and mar the purest joys and happiness God has granted us in this world; to fill our hearts with hatred instead of love for our neighbors, and to devastate the fair face of this beautiful world.”
“A true man of honor feels humbled himself when he cannot help humbling others.”
“ The forbearing use of power does not only form a touchstone, but the manner in which an individual enjoys certain advantages over others is a test of a true gentleman.
The power which the strong have over the weak, the employer over the employed, the educated over the unlettered, the experienced over the confiding, even the clever over the silly–the forbearing or inoffensive use of all this power or authority, or a total abstinence from it when the case admits it, will show the men in a plain light.
The gentleman does not needlessly and unnecessarily remind an offender of a wrong he may have committed against him. He cannot only forgive, he can forget; and he strives for that nobleness of self and mildness of character which impart sufficient strength to let the past be but the past. A true man of honor feels humbled when he cannot help humbling others.”
“My experiences of men has neither disposed me to think worse of them nor be indisposed to serve them: nor, in spite of failures which I lament, of errors which I now see and acknowledge, or the present aspect of affairs, do I despair of the future. The truth is this: The march of Providence is so slow and our desires so impatient; the work of progress so immense and our means of aiding it so feeble; the life of humanity is so long, that of the individual so brief, that we often see only the ebb of the advancing wave and are thus discouraged. It is history that teaches us to hope. ”
“There is a true glory and a true honor: the glory of duty done–the honor of the integrity of principle.”
“Go home all you boys who fought with me and help build up the shattered fortunes of our old state”
“We all thought Richmond, protected as it was by our splendid fortifications and defended by our army of veterans, could not be taken. Yet Grant turned his face to our Capital, and never turned it away until we had surrendered. Now, I have carefully searched the military records of both ancient and modern history, and have never found Grant’s superior as a general. I doubt that his superior can be found in all history.”
“It’s the loneliest feeling in the world-to find yourself standing up when everybody else is sitting down. To have everybody look at you and say, ‘What’s the matter with him?’ I know. I know what it feels like. Walking down an empty street, listening to the sound of your own footsteps. Shutters closed, blinds drawn, doors locked against you. And you aren’t sure whether you’re walking toward something, or if you’re just walking away.”
“All motion is relative. Perhaps it is you who have moved away-by standing still”
Below – General Lee and his Confederate officers in their first meeting since Appomattox, August 1869. This is the only photograph of Lee with his Generals in existence, during the war or after.
Argentinean Art – Part II of II: Mercedes Farina
Mercedes Farina (born 1976) is a graduate of the Fine Arts Municipal School “Rogelio Yrurtia.”
Died 12 October 1694 – Matsuo Basho, the greatest Japanese haiku poet.
Died 12 October 1989 – Jay Ward, an American cartoonist who produced animated series based on such characters as Crusader Rabbit, Rocky & Bullwinkle, Dudley Do-Right, Peabody and Sherman, Hoppity Hooper, George of the Jungle, and Tom Slick.
Jay Ward created television programs that delighted both children and adults, and one of my favorite Ward characters is Super Chicken. With the dubious assistance of both his dimwitted sidekick Fred the Lion and a concoction called “Super Sauce” that would transform mild-mannered Henry Cabot Henhouse III into Super Chicken, this would-be hero muddled his way through many ridiculous adventures, all of them filled with Jay Ward’s trademark puns and running gags.
British Art – Part I of II: Nathan Walsh
According to one critic, “Perhaps the first thing to say about Nathan Walsh’s astonishing photorealist cityscapes is that, for all the seeming influence of photography in their making, it is, paradoxically, their distance from that medium which makes them into interesting paintings. Walking the streets, making complex perspectival drawings that subtly adjust space to make a good picture, a knowledge of art history, Bonnington in particular – Walsh uses all these means to arrive at something much richer and more thoughtful.”
12 October 1979 – Douglas Adams publishes “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy,” the first of five books in the comedy science fiction series.
Some quotes from “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy”:
“Isn’t it enough to see that a garden is beautiful without having to believe that there are fairies at the bottom of it too?”
“Far out in the uncharted backwaters of the unfashionable end of the western spiral arm of the Galaxy lies a small unregarded yellow sun. Orbiting this at a distance of roughly ninety-two million miles is an utterly insignificant little blue green planet whose ape-descended life forms are so amazingly primitive that they still think digital watches are a pretty neat idea.”
“He felt that his whole life was some kind of dream and he sometimes wondered whose it was and whether they were enjoying it.”
“Space is big. You just won’t believe how vastly, hugely, mind-bogglingly big it is. I mean, you may think it’s a long way down the road to the chemist’s, but that’s just peanuts to space.”
“For instance, on the planet Earth, man had always assumed that he was more intelligent than dolphins because he had achieved so much—the wheel, New York, wars and so on—whilst all the dolphins had ever done was muck about in the water having a good time. But conversely, the dolphins had always believed that they were far more intelligent than man—for precisely the same reasons.”
“The ships hung in the sky in much the same way that bricks don’t.”
“There is a theory which states that if ever anyone discovers exactly what the Universe is for and why it is here, it will instantly disappear and be replaced by something even more bizarre and inexplicable. There is another theory which states that this has already happened.”
“Many were increasingly of the opinion that they’d all made a big mistake in coming down from the trees in the first place. And some said that even the trees had been a bad move, and that no one should ever have left the oceans.”
British Art – Part II of II: Michael de Bono
In the words of one writer, “Michael de Bono is a self-taught painter living and working in Cardiff. He was born in Caerphilly, spending his early years among the hills and dales of Llambradach. This harmonious environment fostered an appreciation of the gentle vitality of nature over the frenetic dislocation of the industrialised cityscape. His interest in the elegance and primacy of nature manifests within his beautifully rendered figurative subjects, the intimacy of which invites us to reflect freely upon their narrative context.”
American Muse – Part I of IV: Paul Engle
“All poetry is an ordered voice, one which tries to tell you about a vision in the un-visionary language of farm, city, and love.” – Paul Engle, American poet, editor, teacher, literary critic, novelist, playwright, and long-time director of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, who was born 12 October 1908.
I have heard the horn of Roland goldly screaming
In the petty Pyrenees of the inner ear
And seen the frightful Saracens of fear
Pour from the passes, fought them, brave in dreaming.
But waked, and heard my own voice tinly screaming
In the whorled and whirling valleys of the ear,
And beat the savage bed back in my fear,
And crawled, unheroed, down those cliffs of dreaming.
I have ridden with Hannibal in the mountain dusk,
Watching the drivers yell the doomed and gray
Elephants over the trumpeting Alps, gone gay
With snow vivid on peaks, on the ivory tusk.
But waked, and found myself in the vivid dusk
Plunging the deep and icy floor, gone gray
With bellowing shapes of morning, and the gay
Sunshaft through me like an ivory tusk.
I have smiled on the platform, hearing without shame
The crowd scream out my praise, I, the new star,
Handsome, disparaging my bloody scar,
Yet turning its curve to the light when they called my name.
But waked, and the empty window sneered my name,
The sky bled, drop by golden drop, each star
The curved moon glittered like a sickle’s scar,
The night wind called with its gentle voices: Shame!
I have climbed the secret balcony, on the floor
Lain with the lady, drunk the passionate wine,
Found, beneath the green, lewd-smelling vine,
Love open to me like a waiting door.
But waked to delirious shadows on the door,
Found, while my stomach staggered with sour wine,
Green drunkenness creep on me like a vine,
And puked my passion on the bathroom floor.
I have run with Boone and watched the Indian pillage
The log house, fought, arrow in leg, and hobbled
Over the painful ground while the warrior gobbled
Wild-turkey cry, but escaped to save the village.
But waked, and walked the city, vicious village,
Fought through the traffic where the wild horn gobbled,
Bruised on the bumper, turned toward home, hobbled
Back, myself the house my neighbors pillage.
I have lain in bed and felt my body taken
Like water utterly possessing sand,
Surrounding, seething, soothing, as a hand
Comforts and clasps the hand that it has shaken.
Here is one critic describing the background of Dutch ceramicist Hermien Buytendijk: “Hermien Buytendijk was born in Groningen in 1948. She spent the bigger part of her youth in Heerlen. Her study of clinical psychology was briefly interrupted by drawing and painting lessons she got from the artist Harry Koolen (1904-1985). After successfully completing her studies she took etching lessons at the Vrije Academie of The Hague from 1975-1979. She got her first baking oven for making ceramic art in 1988. Soon this hobby turned into her daily work.”
American Muse – Part II of IV: Robert Fitzgerald
“Poetry is at least an elegance and at most a revelation.” – Robert Fitzgerald, American poet and translator of Greek and Roman classics, who was born 12 October 1910.
Deep and soft and far off over country
A train whistle is explaining something strange
To the cool night, so long, sweet, far away.
In your dark rooms under the elm branches,
Stir, O sleepers in the country towns,
Auburn, Divernon, Chatham, Jacksonville . . .
This is the ebb and weary hour of night.
From the American Old West: Tom Mix
Tom Mix: “Wyatt, is that really the way it was?”
Wyatt Earp: “Absolutely. Well, give or take a lie or two.”
Died 12 October 1940 – Thomas Edwin “Tom” Mix, American film actor and star of many early Western movies. Tom Mix appeared in nearly 300 movies, all but nine of which were silent features. In the words of one critic, “He was Hollywood’s first Western megastar and helped define the genre for all cowboy actors who followed.”
American Art – Part II of III Peter Taylor Quidley
According to one critic, “The first thing you notice about Peter Quidley’s oil paintings is the shimmering, lustrous character of the light which seems to radiate from the inside out, as if each picture is infused with its own individual incandescence.
One views his paintings and sees his ability to unravel a narrative in his work. Taking the harsh realities of being a combat photographer in Viet Nam and filming news in Boston, Florida, and Saudi Arabia, he has molded his own unique technique of telling a story – some of mystery, some of mischief, some of simple innocence. Whether it is a landscape, a still life, a marine piece, or two women interacting, each painting is permeated with meaning and emotion.”
American Muse – Part III of IV: Bruce Weigl
“Apparition of the Exile”
There was another life of cool summer mornings, the dogwood air and the slag stink so gray like our monsoon which we loved for the rain and cool wind until the rot came into us. And I remember the boys we were the evening of our departure, our mothers waving through the train’s black pluming exhaust; they were not proud in their tears of our leaving, so don’t tell me to shut up about the war or I might pull something from my head, from my head, from my head that you wouldn’t want to see and whoever the people are might be offended.
From the green country you reconstruct in your brain, from the rubble and stink of your occupation, there is no moving out. A sweet boy who got drunk and brave on our long ride into the State draws a maze every day on white paper, precisely in his room of years as if you could walk into it. All day he draws and imagines his platoon will return from the burning river where he sent them sixteen years ago into fire. He can’t stop seeing the line of trees explode in white phosphorous blossoms and the liftship sent for them spinning uncontrollably beyond hope into the Citadel wall. Only his mother comes these days, drying the fruit in her apron or singing the cup of hot tea into his fingers which, like barbed wire, web the air.
American Muse – Part IV of IV: Bruce Weigl
“Her Life Runs Like a Red Silk Flag”
Because this evening Miss Hoang Yen
sat down with me in the small
tiled room of her family house
I am unable to sleep.
We shared a glass of cold and sweet water.
On a blue plate her mother brought us
cake and smiled her betel-black teeth at me
but I did not feel strange in the house
my country had tried to bomb into dust.
In English thick and dazed as blood
she told me how she watched our planes
cross her childhood’s sky,
all the children of Hanoi
carried in darkness to mountain hamlets, Nixon’s
Christmas bombing. She let me hold her hand,
her shy unmoving fingers, and told me
how afraid she was those days and how this fear
had dug inside her like a worm and lives
inside her still, won’t die or go away.
And because she’s stronger, she comforted me,
said I’m not to blame,
the million sorrows alive in her gaze.
With the dead we share no common rooms.
With the frightened we can’t think straight;
no words can bring the burning city back.
Outside on Hung Dao Street
I tried to say good-bye and held her hand
too long so she looked back through traffic
towards her house and with her eyes
she told me I should leave.
All night I ached for her and for myself
and nothing I could think or pray
would make it stop. Some birds sang morning
home across the lake. In small reed boats
the lotus gatherers sailed out
among their resuming white blossoms.
A Poem for Today
“My Autumn Leaves,”
By Bruce Weigl
I watch the woods for deer as if I’m armed.
I watch the woods for deer who never come.
I know the hes and shes in autumn
rendezvous in orchards stained with fallen
apples’ scent. I drive my car this way to work
so I may let the crows in corn believe
it’s me their caws are meant to warn,
and snakes who turn in warm and secret caves
they know me too. They know the boy
who lives inside me still won’t go away.
The deer are ghosts who slip between the light
through trees, so you may only hear the snap
of branches in the thicket beyond hope.
I watch the woods for deer, as if I’m armed.
American Art – Part III of III: Daniel Pollera
In the words of one critic, “Rambling coastlines, sun washed decks and romantically shaded porticos come to life under the brush of Daniel Pollera. Inspired by such artists as Edward Hopper, Winslow Homer and Andrew Wyeth, Daniel’s paintings express a mood of tranquility and peaceful solitude evoking a sense that ‘all’s right in the world.’
Using oils, working in a warm palette on board and drawing from life experience, he lures the viewer in with his crisp photographic quality and magical realism.
Daniel was born and raised on Long Island, New York and lives on the water in one of its coastal towns. Much of his imagery comes from these surroundings and that’s helped to make him one of the most respected and successful painters of coastal landscapes.”