American Art – Part I of V: Mary Sauer
From the Music Archives – Part I of II: Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
25 October 1875 – The first performance of the Piano Concerto No. 1 by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky is given in Boston, Massachusetts with Hans von Bülow as soloist.
Canadian Art – Part I of II: Paul Robert Turner
Artist Statement: “It’s difficult for me to pin down one particular idea to describe my work. Although technically consistent, conceptually my work varies. I work with traditional oil painting techniques, occasionally in combination with mixed media techniques. I have always had a deep appreciation of any painting that provides the illusion of volume and depth. When composing my imagery I try not to think of the canvas as a flat surface, but a window to another space. The pursuit of a three dimensional compositional flow is very important to me and varies in intensity depending on the subject matter or idea that I am depicting. I continuously attempt to link together technique, composition and concept. Where applicable I attempt to choreograph my subjects in such a way so that ones position and demeanor seems to be directly related to the other, a balance between poise and candor. I employ a systematic use of symbols or pictorial conventions to express meaning. I attempt to apprehend a more absolute truth in my work through the use of human activity or real world phenomena in a suggestive and metaphorical manner.”
“A man is a very small thing, and the night is very large and full of wonders.” – Lord Dunsany, pen name of Edward John Moreton Drax Plunkett, 18th Baron on Dunsany, Irish writer and dramatist best known for his work in the fantasy genre, and author of “The King of Elfland’s Daughter” and “The Book of Wonder,” who died 25 October 1957.
Some quotes from the work of Lord Dunsany:
“And little he knew of the things that ink may do, how it can mark a dead man’s thought for the wonder of later years, and tell of happening that are gone clean away, and be a voice for us out of the dark of time, and save many a fragile thing from the pounding of heavy ages; or carry to us, over the rolling centuries, even a song from lips long dead on forgotten hills.”
“And at that moment a wind came out of the northwest, and entered the woods and bared the golden branches, and danced over the downs, and led a company of scarlet and golden leaves, that had dreaded this day but danced now it had come; and away with a riot of dancing and glory of colour, high in the light of the sun that had set from the sight of the fields, went wind and leaves together.”
“If one who looked from a tower for a new star, watching for years the same part of the sky, suddenly saw it (quite by chance while thinking of other things), and knew it for the star for which he had hoped, how many millions of men would never care?”
“Come with me, ladies and gentlemen who are in any wise weary of London: come with me: and those that tire at all of the world we know: for we have new worlds here.”
“There is no beauty or romance or mystery in the sea except for the men that sail abroad upon it, and those who stay at home and dream of them.”
“Then I perceived, what I had never thought, that all these staring houses were not alike, but different one from another, because they held different dreams.”
“Once I found out the secret of the universe. I have forgotten what it was, but I know that the Creator does not take Creation seriously, for I remember that He sat in Space with all His work in front of Him and laughed.”
“There is indeed a great deal of futility amongst the human race which we do not commonly see, for it all forms part of our illusion; but let a man be much annoyed by something that others do, so that he is separated from them and has to leave them, and looks back at what they are doing, and he’ll see at once all manner of whimsical absurdities that he had not noticed before; and Ramon Alonzo in the shade of his oak, waiting for the noon to go by, grew very contemptuous of the attitude that the world took up towards shadows.”
“She gave thanks to the images of the stars for the joy she had had of the night, when the constellations shone in their myriad majesty, and moved like an army dresses in silver mail, marching from unknown victories to conquer in distant wars. She praised those bright reflections shimmering down in the pool.”
“But I called, as we came near, to one who stood beside the water’s edge, asking him what men did in Astahahn and what their merchandise was, and with whom they traded. He said, ‘Here we have fettered and manacled Time, who would otherwise slay the gods.’ I asked him what gods they worshipped in that city, and he said, ‘All those gods whom Time has not yet slain.’”
“I have lived to see that being seventeen is no protection against becoming seventy, but to know this needs the experience of a lifetime, for no imagination copes with it.”
“So he sat and listened to pigeons talking, till it seemed to him they were trying to lull the restlessness of Earth, and thought that they might by drowsy incantation be putting some spell against time, through which it could not come to harm their nests; for the power of time was not made clear to him yet and he knew not yet that nothing in our fields has the strength to hold out against time.”
“And there, with their gables lifting into the sunlight above deep hedgerows beautiful with spring. He saw the cottages of earthly men. Past them he walked while the beauty of evening grew, with songs of birds, and scents wandering from flowers, and odours that deepened, and evening decked herself to receive the Evening Star. ”
“I should have shouted ‘No’ and left him. ‘But at least’ said Satan in the deeps of my mind, ‘know what the temptation is before you do anything hastily.’”
“What could she do who would not cast away magic and leave the home that an ageless day had endeared to her while centuries were withering like leaves upon earthly shores, whose heart was yet held by those little tendrils of Earth, which are strong enough, strong enough?”
“Yet in the blood of man there is a tide, an old sea-current rather, that is somehow akin to the twilight, which brings him rumours of beauty from however far away, as driftwood is found at sea from islands not yet discovered: and this spring-tide or current that visits the blood of man comes from the fabulous quarter of his lineage, from the legendary, the old; it takes him out to the woodlands, out to the hills; he listens to ancient song.”
“Humanity, let us say, is like people packed in an automobile which is traveling downhill without lights at terrific speed and driven by a four-year-old child. The signposts along the way are all marked ‘Progress.’”
“For he had acquired a lore in his youth which taught him ever to avoid the aged when merry plans were afoot; for the aged would come with their wisdom and slowness of thought, and other plans would be made, and there would be, at least, delay.”
“The gardener hath gathered up this autumn’s leaves. Who shall see them again, or who wot of them? And who shall say what hath befallen in the days of long ago?”
“Bricks without straw are more easily made than imagination without memories.”
“And you that sought for magic in your youth but desire it not in your age, know that there is a blindness of spirit which comes from age, more black than the blindness of eye, making a darkness about you across which nothing may be seen, or felt, or known, or in any way apprehended.”
Canadian Art – Part II of II: Marjorie Morton
Artist Statement: “As a still life and landscape painter, I am interested in finding the intersection of realism and abstraction. In portrait and figure, it is the greatest pleasure to try to capture and render the human spirit.” Marjorie Morton has studied classical painting in private ateliers in Florence, Italy and in Montreal and has exhibited in New York, Rome, Toronto, Florence, Montreal and other cities in the U.S. She is a finalist in the Art Renewal society 2007 International Salon and is also represented by Midday Gallery in Englewood, New Jersey and Under the Moon Gallery in Hamilton, Ontario.
Portraiture is the heart and soul of great painting. Although I also paint landscape and still life, I always come back to portraiture, to engaging another human, to experiencing the expression of a face. Each person needs a unique treatment, mood or light, and it is a joy to find the right aesthetic for every portrait.”
“The eternal raison d’etre of America is in its being the ‘sweet land of liberty.’ Should a land so dreamed into existence, so degenerate through material prosperity as to become what its European critics, with too much justice, have scornfully renamed it the ‘Land of the Dollar’ – such a development will be one of the sorriest conclusions of history, and the most colossal disillusionment that has ever happened to mankind.” – Frank Norris, American novelist and author of “The Octopus: A Story of California,” who died 25 October 1902.
Some quotes from the work of Frank Norris:
“He strove for the diapason, the great song that should embrace in itself a whole epoch, a complete era, the voice of an entire people, wherein all people should be included—they and their legends, their folk lore, their fightings, their loves and their lusts, their blunt, grim humour, their stoicism under stress, their adventures, their treasures found in a day and gambled in a night, their direct, crude speech, their generosity and cruelty, their heroism and bestiality, their religion and profanity, their self-sacrifice and obscenity—a true and fearless setting forth of a passing phase of history, un-compromising, sincere; each group in its proper environment; the valley, the plain, and the mountain; the ranch, the range, and the mine—all this, all the traits and types of every community from the Dakotas to the Mexicos, from Winnipeg to Guadalupe, gathered together, swept together, welded and riven together in one single, mighty song, the Song of the West.”
“The People have a right to the Truth as they have a right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”
“Always blame conditions, not men.”
“Truth is a thing immortal and perpetual, and it gives to us a beauty that fades not away in time.”
“It takes a long time to become young.” – Pablo Picasso, Spanish painter, sculptor, printmaker, ceramicist, stage designer, and one of the greatest and most influential artists of the twentieth century, who was born 25 October 1881.
Here is part of the Artist Statement of British painter Hamish Blakely: “I come from a theatrical background. I’m half Irish and my childhood home was a place where extraordinary things happened. It was an environment where my brothers and I seemed bound to do something unusual. I’m very grateful for that. Drawing was the original expression. I would draw an awful lot, trying to emulate other artists, to understand how they created what they did; but sketching it was and remained to be, until I found the mettle to use colour. This happened long before I studied at Wimbledon School of Art and Kingston University. Having stubbornly lived in the world of black and white, I finally made myself paint – all exuberant enthusiasm and no clear direction. However, I had a breakthrough when I was 18 years old. I had painted for some time by then, but this was the first time I had made a painting so seriously, with no experimentation, just care and an urgent responsibility to get it right. It was a portrait of my Dad, and without sign or suggestion, I leapt years ahead to produce something my 18 years could have thwarted. This was the turning point. It was no longer a case of just loving painting, but realising that I could be good at it. It changed everything. Painting replaced drawing completely. I only drew again at college and again, gave it up when I left. I think that I had spent so much time making preliminary studies with pencil or charcoal, opposing the commitment of using colour. I now paint immediately, considering preparatory sketches unnecessary.”
From the Music Archives – Part II of II: The Rolling Stones
25 October 1965 – The Rolling Stones release “Get Off of My Cloud.”
American Art – Part II of V: Harry Shoulberg
Born 25 October 1903 – Harry Shoulberg, an expressionist painter.
“I didn’t know the full dimensions of forever, but I knew it was longer than waiting for Christmas to come.” – Richard Brautigan, American novelist, short story writer, poet, and author of “Trout Fishing in America,” who died 25 October 1984.
“At the California Institute of Technology”
I don’t care how God-damn smart
these guys are: I’m bored.
It’s been raining like hell all day long
and there’s nothing to do.
It’s so nice
to wake up in the morning
and not have to tell somebody
you love them
when you don’t love them
A piece of green pepper
off the wooden salad bowl:
“The Moon Versus Us Ever Sleeping Together Again”
I sit here, an arch-villain of romance,
thinking about you. Gee, I’m sorry
I made you unhappy, but there was nothing
I could do about it because I have to be free.
Perhaps everything would have been different
if you had stayed at the table or asked me
to go out with you to look at the moon,
instead of getting up and leaving me alone with
American Art – Part III of V: Anna Conway
“Something has been said for sobriety but very little.” – John Berryman, American poet and scholar best known for his work “The Dream Songs” (which won both the Pulitzer Prize and a National Book Award), who was born 25 October 1914.
“Dream Song 14”
Life, friends, is boring. We must not say so.
After all, the sky flashes, the great sea yearns,
we ourselves flash and yearn,
and moreover my mother told me as a boy
(repeatingly) ‘Ever to confess you’re bored
means you have no
Inner Resources.’ I conclude now I have no
inner resources, because I am heavy bored.
Peoples bore me,
literature bores me, especially great literature,
Henry bores me, with his plights & gripes
as bad as achilles,
who loves people and valiant art, which bores me.
And the tranquil hills, & gin, look like a drag
and somehow a dog
has taken itself & its tail considerably away
into mountains or sea or sky, leaving
behind: me, wag.
“The Ball Poem”
What is the boy now, who has lost his ball,
What, what is he to do? I saw it go
Merrily bouncing, down the street, and then
Merrily over—there it is in the water!
No use to say ‘O there are other balls’:
An ultimate shaking grief fixes the boy
As he stands rigid, trembling, staring down
All his young days into the harbour where
His ball went. I would not intrude on him,
A dime, another ball, is worthless. Now
He senses first responsibility
In a world of possessions. People will take balls,
Balls will be lost always, little boy,
And no one buys a ball back. Money is external.
He is learning, well behind his desperate eyes,
The epistemology of loss, how to stand up
Knowing what every man must one day know
And most know many days, how to stand up
And gradually light returns to the street
A whistle blows, the ball is out of sight,
Soon part of me will explore the deep and dark
Floor of the harbour . . .I am everywhere,
I suffer and move, my mind and my heart move
With all that move me, under the water
Or whistling, I am not a little boy.
Born 25 October 1888 – Nils von Dardel, a Swedish painter.
Australian Art – Part I of II: Andrew Baines
Artist Statement: “I was born in Colchester, England in 1963, immigrating to Australia with my parents shortly thereafter. Initially we settled at Para Vista in South Australia. It was here my mother became aware of my early talent for art when an astonished kindergarten teacher showed her my aerial perspective drawing of the area we lived in.
At the age of eight we moved to the coastal suburb of Grange, where the beach became a major part of my life.
Fishing from the jetty after school, long walks on wintry afternoons with the family and dog, swimming lessons and lifesaver nippers on the weekends, and my favourite and most profitable pastime, beach combing. Everyday bought new treasures. Jewelry, money, antique keys, exotic marine carcasses and old wine bottles containing strange messages.
Come summer holidays, the family packed bags and headed off to find new and unexplored beaches. Cobowie on Yorke Peninsula, Rapid Bay, Normanville and Kangaroo Island. The ever-changing beach became a metaphor for my life.”
25 October 1962 – The 1962 Nobel Prize in Literature is awarded to American author John Steinbeck “for his realistic and imaginative writings, combining as they do sympathetic humour and keen social perception.”
Some quotes from the work of John Steinbeck:
“And this I believe: that the free, exploring mind of the individual human is the most valuable thing in the world. And this I would fight for: the freedom of the mind to take any direction it wishes, undirected. And this I must fight against: any idea, religion, or government which limits or destroys the individual. This is what I am and what I am about.”
“It’s so much darker when a light goes out than it would have been if it had never shone.”
“All great and precious things are lonely.”
“There ain’t no sin and there ain’t no virtue. There’s just stuff people do.”
“I was born lost and take no pleasure in being found.”
“When a child first catches adults out — when it first walks into his grave little head that adults do not always have divine intelligence, that their judgments are not always wise, their thinking true, their sentences just — his world falls into panic desolation. The gods are fallen and all safety gone. And there is one sure thing about the fall of gods: they do not fall a little; they crash and shatter or sink deeply into green muck. It is a tedious job to build them up again; they never quite shine. And the child’s world is never quite whole again. It is an aching kind of growing.”
“To be alive at all is to have scars. ”
“There’s more beauty in truth, even if it is dreadful beauty.”
“Anything that just costs money is cheap.”
“Socialism never took root in America because the poor see themselves not as an exploited proletariat but as temporarily embarrassed millionaires.”
“It has always seemed strange to me…The things we admire in men, kindness and generosity, openness, honesty, understanding and feeling, are the concomitants of failure in our system. And those traits we detest, sharpness, greed, acquisitiveness, meanness, egotism and self-interest, are the traits of success. And while men admire the quality of the first they love the produce of the second.”
“I wonder how many people I’ve looked at all my life and never seen.”
Australian Art – Part II of II: Janet Matthews
In the words of one writer, “Janet’s individual style of combining coloured pencil and graphite has been described as ‘weaving magic with pencil.’ Her realistic, detailed and gentle drawings of animals and birds full of personality and humour, have won many awards. Janet exhibits regularly in Australia and overseas.
Her realistic, detailed and gentle drawings are always of a high standard and reflect her own personality, humour, life experiences and love of our wildlife. Janet’s love of drawing and her rapport with ‘critters’ is evident in her portrayal of animals and birds, either in their natural environment or co-habitating in suburbia. Drawing them in family groups, in pairs of ‘friends’ or in action or play, she captures their personality or ‘conversation’ beautifully.”
Here is one critic describing the artistry of Mexican sculptor Jorge Marin: “Something old, something new; something borrowed, something blue. Like a bride observing the old custom for a perfect union, Jorge Marín’s sculptures borrow from mythology, religion and theater, and combine traditions from classical bronze sculpture with the tension and anxiety that is central to the modern era. The ritual of the wedding is an apt analogy for this work, and there is nothing prosaic about his figures.
The psychological intensity is the most evident in Marín’s winged figures. Poses are dramatic; facial expressions are drawn taut. The religious underpinnings in these bronzes are evident, but not overwhelming.”
A Poem for Today
“Journey Into The Interior,”
By Theodore Roethke
In the long journey out of the self,
There are many detours, washed-out interrupted raw places
Where the shale slides dangerously
And the back wheels hang almost over the edge
At the sudden veering, the moment of turning.
Better to hug close, wary of rubble and falling stones.
The arroyo cracking the road, the wind-bitten buttes, the canyons,
Creeks swollen in midsummer from the flash-flood roaring into the narrow valley.
Reeds beaten flat by wind and rain,
Grey from the long winter, burnt at the base in late summer.
— Or the path narrowing,
Winding upward toward the stream with its sharp stones,
The upland of alder and birchtrees,
Through the swamp alive with quicksand,
The way blocked at last by a fallen fir-tree,
The thickets darkening,
The ravines ugly.
American Art – Part IV of V: Annie Murphy-Robinson
Artist Statement: “I choose to draw people and things I know intimately. There is a certain honesty that occurs when the subject/ object has been experienced and loved.”
Annie Murphy-Robinson earned a BFA from the University of Southwestern Louisiana in 1994 and an MA from California State University, Sacramento in 2002.
American Art – Part V of V: Ron Monsma
In the words of one writer, “Ron Monsma has been painting and teaching for over 20 years. Since exhibiting at the Chicago Art Institute’s prestigious 51st Drawing Competition, Ron has continued his career with numerous awards and solo exhibitions at galleries in Chicago, Indianapolis and Cincinnati and is represented in private and corporate collections throughout the United States and Europe.”