October Offerings – Part XVII: Something to Delight both Head and Heart

American Art – Part I of IV: Christy Astuy

Painter Christy Austy (born 1956) has studied art in Vienna, Paris, and Rome.
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Canadian Art – Part I of III: Autumn Skye Morrison

Artist Statement: “My purpose is to create. In that process I find stillness and rhythm, my teacher and passion. I believe that art can be a life shaking experience, or an intimate rendezvous. For me it is both.

 I place intention in what I create. Either through words, actions, thoughts, or artwork, I aim to share honesty and awakening. To celebrate this fantastic adventure. To inspire and be inspired.

 I begin with planting seeds of ideas, and intuitively progress through the piece. I go on a journey with each painting; evolving together. I am constantly surprised and inspired by what is translated by my imagination and hands.

 Thereafter, your story is whispered. A reflection of light and shadow of your human beauty, your geometric perfection, and your ancient divinity.”

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From the Music Archives – Part I of IV: Frederic Chopin

Died 17 October 1849 – Frederic Chopin, Polish-French pianist and composer.


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“The two most common elements in the world are hydrogen and stupidity.” – Arthur Miller, American playwright, essayist, and recipient of the 1949 Pulitzer Prize for Drama (for “Death of a Salesman”), who was born 17 October 1915.

Some quotes from the work of Arthur Miller:

“Don’t be seduced into thinking that that which does not make a profit is without value.”
“Maybe all one can do is hope to end up with the right regrets.”
“Everything we are is at every moment alive in us.”
“A small man can be just as exhausted as a great man.”
“If a person measures his spiritual fulfillment in terms of cosmic visions, surpassing peace of mind, or ecstasy, then he is not likely to know much spiritual fulfillment. If, however, he measures it in terms of enjoying a sunrise, being warmed by a child’s smile, or being able to help someone have a better day, then he is likely to know much spiritual fulfillment. ”
“A good newspaper, I suppose, is a nation talking to itself.”
“If you believe that life is worth living then your belief will create the fact.”
“I believe in work. If somebody doesn’t create something, however small it may be, he gets sick. An awful lot of people feel that they’re treading water — that if they vanished in smoke, it wouldn’t mean anything at all in this world. And that’s a despairing and destructive feeling. It’ll kill you.”
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American Art – Part II of IV: Janet McKenzie

In the words of one writer, “Janet McKenzie is a native New Yorker, born in Brooklyn and raised in and around New York City. She now lives in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont.”
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Canadian Art – Part II of III: Amy Friend

Artist Statement: “I grew up on the outskirts of Windsor, Ontario, Canada where the Detroit River meets Lake St. Clair. For a few years I studied at the Ontario College of Art and Design before embarking on intermittent travels through Europe, Morocco, Cuba and the United States. I returned to my studies and received a BFA Honours degree and BEd degree from York University, Toronto, as well as an MFA from the University of Windsor, where I received a Social Sciences and Humanities Grant, as well as an Ontario Graduate Scholarship.”
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From the Music Archives – Part II of IV: Shinichi Suzuki

“Music exists for the purpose of growing an admirable heart.” – Shinichi Suzuki, Japanese violinist, teacher, and inventor of the international Suzuki method of music education, who was born 17 October 1898.

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“Their boredom becomes more and more terrible. They realize that they’ve been tricked and burn with resentment. Every day of their lives they read the newspapers and went to the movies. Both fed them on lynchings, murder, sex crimes, explosions, wrecks, love nests, fires, miracles, revolutions, war. This daily diet made sophisticates of them. The sun is a joke. Oranges can’t titillate their jaded palates. Nothing can ever be violent enough to make taut their slack minds and bodies. They have been cheated and betrayed. They have slaved and saved for nothing.” – Nathanael West, American writer, satirist, screenwriter, and author of “Miss Lonelyhearts” and “The Day of the Locust,” who was born 17 October 1903.

Some quotes from the work of Nathanael West:

“At college, and perhaps for a year afterwards, they had believed in literature, had believed in Beauty and in personal expression as an absolute end. When they lost this belief, they lost everything.”
“He smoked a cigarette, standing in the dark and listening to her undress. She made sea sounds; something flapped like a sail; there was the creak of ropes; then he heard the wave-against-a-wharf smack of rubber on flesh. Her call for him to hurry was a sea-moan, and when he lay beside her, she heaved, tidal, moon-driven.”
“But whether he was happy or not was hard to say. Probably he was neither, just as a plant is neither.”
“He felt as though his heart were a bomb, a complicated bomb that would result in a simple explosion, wrecking the world without rocking it.”
“Her sureness was based on the power to limit experience arbitrarily.”
“Crowds of people moved through the streets with a dream-like violence.”
“Betty took him for a walk in the zoo and he was amused by her evident belief in the curative power of animals. She seemed to think that it must steady him to look at a buffalo.”
“He sat in the window thinking. Man has a tropism for order. Keys in one pocket, change in the other. Mandolins are tuned G D A E. The physical world has a tropism for disorder, entropy. Man against Nature…the battle of the centuries. Keys yearn to mix with change. Mandolins strive to get out of tune. Every order has within it the germ of destruction. All order is doomed, yet the battle is worthwhile.”
“Only those who still have hope can benefit from tears. When they finish, they feel better. But to those without hope, whose anguish is basic and permanent, no good comes from crying. Nothing changes for them. They usually know this, but still can’t help crying.”
“Art Is a Way Out. Do not let life overwhelm you. When the old paths are choked with the debris of failure, look for newer and fresher paths. Art is just such a path. Art is distilled from suffering.”
“All these things were part of the business of dreams. He had learned not to laugh at the advertisements offering to teach writing, cartooning, engineering, to add inches to the biceps and to develop the bust.”
“What goes on in the sea is of no interest to the rock.”
“Perhaps I can make you understand. Let’s start from the beginning. A man is hired to give advice to the readers of a newspaper. The job is a circulation stunt and the whole staff considers it a joke. He welcomes the job, for it might lead to a gossip column, and anyway he’s tired of being a leg man. He too considers the job a joke, but after several months at it, the joke begins to escape him. He sees that the majority of the letters are profoundly humble pleas for moral and spiritual advice, and they are inarticulate expressions of genuine suffering. He also discovers that his correspondents take him seriously. For the first time in his life, he is forced to examine the values by which he lives. This examination shows him that he is the victim of the joke and not its perpetrator.”
“It seems to me that someone must surely take the hint and write the life of Miss McGeeney, the woman who wrote the biography of the man who wrote the biography of the man who wrote the biography of the man who wrote the biography of Boswell.”
“Americans have dissipated their racial energy in an orgy of stone-breaking. In their few years they have broken more stones than did centuries of Egyptians, and they have done their work hysterically, desperately, almost as if they knew that the stones would some day break them.”
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Here is the Artist Statement of Welsh painter Van Renselar: “I want to make pictures which involve and intrigue the viewer. I take ideas from around and within me, using intuition and imagination to create a new context. Much of my work stems from my subconscious, where I see actions, events and ideas as particular shapes and colours. It took me a long time to fully realise that not everyone translated the world in this way.”
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American Art – Part III of IV: Caitlin Hurd

In the words of one critic, “Intrigued by the particulars of ‘the suburbs,’ Caitlin Hurd (born 1978) questions the expectations of the culture in which she grew up. Using a painting vocabulary rooted in modernist, figurative tradition, she explores what it means to be conditioned towards the idealized nuclear family and traditional work-life, and what happens when one deviates. Caitlin employs images of suburban landscapes, domesticity, unmoored, floating bodies and sleepwalkers to symbolically weigh the promises of happiness and predictability against the more complicated realities.
Born in Boston, Massachusetts in 1978, Caitlin grew up in the suburbs north of Boston. In 2000, received a BFA in furniture design from The Minneapolis College of Art and Design. She went on to work with school-age children in creating public murals for their communities. In 2006, graduated with an MFA in painting from The New York Academy of Art. Currently she lives and works in New York City.”
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Canadian Art – Part III of III: Andre Durand

In the words of one writer, Canadian artist Andre Durand (born 1947) “is a painter working in the European Hermetic tradition. He is influenced by artists such as Rubens, Titian, Michelangelo, and Velázquez.”

Below – “Prometheus Stealing Fire”; “Pegasus”; “Death of Adonis”; “The Birth of Castor and Pollux”; “Hermes and Hecate”; “Catwalk at Delphi”; “Fortuna.”
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From the Music Archives – Part III of IV: Levi Stubbs

Died 17 October 2008 – Levi Stubbs, an American singer and member of the musical group Four Tops.

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17 October 1957 – French author Albert Camus is awarded the 1957 Nobel Prize in Literature “for his important literary production, which with clear-sighted earnestness illuminates the problems of the human conscience in our times.”

Some quotes from the work of Albert Camus:

“Don’t walk behind me; I may not lead. Don’t walk in front of me; I may not follow. Just walk beside me and be my friend.”
“You will never be happy if you continue to search for what happiness consists of. You will never live if you are looking for the meaning of life.”
“In the depth of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer.”
“Man is the only creature who refuses to be what he is.”
“Nobody realizes that some people expend tremendous energy merely to be normal.”
“Live to the point of tears.”
“You know what charm is: a way of getting the answer ‘yes’ without having asked any clear question.”
“Real generosity towards the future lies in giving all to the present.”
“There are causes worth dying for, but none worth killing for.”
“Blessed are the hearts that can bend; they shall never be broken.”
“The only way to deal with an unfree world is to become so absolutely free that your very existence is an act of rebellion.”
“But in the end one needs more courage to live than to kill himself.”
“To be happy, we must not be too concerned with others.”
“‘I despise intelligence’ really means: ‘I cannot bear my doubts.’”
“Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower.”
“I may not have been sure about what really did interest me, but I was absolutely sure about what didn’t.”
“Do not wait for the last judgment. It comes every day.”
“I opened myself to the gentle indifference of the world.”
“When the soul suffers too much, it develops a taste for misfortune.”
“Always go too far, because that’s where you’ll find the truth”
“I do not believe in God and I am not an atheist.”
“In order to understand the world, one has to turn away from it on occasion.”
“I have no idea what’s awaiting me, or what will happen when this all ends. For the moment I know this: there are sick people and they need curing.”
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Vietnamese painter Nguyen Thanh Binh (born 1954) has earned degrees from both the Ho Chi Minh City Fine Arts University and the Vietnam Fine Arts College in Hanoi.
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From the Music Archives – Part IV of IV: The Traveling Wilburys

17 October 1988: The Traveling Wilburys release “Handle with Care.”

In the words of one critic, “Argentine artist Miguel Avataneo was born in 1962 in San Cristóbal, Argentina. In 1988 he graduated from La Escuela de Artes de la Universidad Nacional de Córdoba.
Avataneo is one of the brightest talents in Argentina’s art world. He is a painter of images that combine a love of classicism with the South American tradition of magical realism. His images are rooted in the real world of European classicism but are infused with a naturally fantastical element. Exquisitely drawn figures are placed in dreamlike environments.
Avataneo’s imagery is sensual and evocative and employs a luxurious use of color and detail that give his canvases a luminous quality that is mesmerizing.”
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In the words of one writer, “Walter Brems was born in Reet-Antwerp (Belgium). He studied at the Royal Atheneum in Boom (Antwerp), the local drawing and painting school in Niel, and the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp.”
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A Poem for Today

“The Death of Autumn,”
By Edna St. Vincent Millay

When reeds are dead and a straw to thatch the marshes,
And feathered pampas-grass rides into the wind
Like agèd warriors westward, tragic, thinned
Of half their tribe, and over the flattened rushes,
Stripped of its secret, open, stark and bleak,
Blackens afar the half-forgotten creek,–
Then leans on me the weight of the year, and crushes
My heart. I know that Beauty must ail and die,
And will be born again,–but ah, to see
Beauty stiffened, staring up at the sky!
Oh, Autumn ! Autumn !–What is the Spring to me?
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American Art – Part IV of IV: Amjad Faur

Amjad Faur eanred a B.F.A. in Painting from the University of Arkansas in 2003 and an M.F.A. in Photography from the University of Oregon in 2005. He teaches at The Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington.

Below – “Roman Fresco”; “Sykes-Picot”; “Two Walls”; “Not-Even-in-Your-Own-Language”; “Frozen Woman”; “Made in the Image of Extinction”; “Future Ruins.”
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