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

American Art – Part I of V: Dirk Bach

In the words of one writer, “Dirk Bach is an artist-scholar. His story-filled art has ranged from calligraphic abstractions, to cultural iconography, to brilliantly colored still lives, to personal visions cast against intricate patterns of grass, woven baskets, and oriental carpets. He has worked in almost every drawing and painting medium. He has been a professor of design and art history, an entertaining pianist, and an insatiable reader of books.”
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According to one critic, French painter Tania B delights in exploring “expressions of happiness and innocence.”
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In the words of one writer, British artist George Donald “is a painter, printmaker and lecturer in studio arts.
Born in South India into a colonial family, his early memories are of the colours and rhythms of the East.
He studied at ECA and was awarded a travelling scholarship to India, Afghanistan and Nepal.
Later, at Hornsey College of Art, London (then, in the late 60’s at the forefront of student-led changes in visual education) he studied art education.”
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“I am so fond of tea that I could write a whole dissertation on its virtues. It comforts and enlivens without the risks attendant on spirituous liquors. Gentle herb! Let the florid grape yield to thee. Thy soft influence is a more safe inspirer of social joy.” – James Boswell, Scottish writer, lawyer, diarist, and the author of “The Life of Samuel Johnson, L.L.D.,” one of the greatest biographies in literary history, who was born 29 October 1740.

Some quotes from the work of James Boswell:

“We cannot tell the precise moment when friendship is formed. As in filling a vessel drop by drop, there is at last a drop which makes it run over. So in a series of acts of kindness there is, at last, one which makes the heart run over.”
“Quoting Samuel Johnson: ‘Men know that women are an overmatch for them, and therefore they choose the weakest or the most ignorant. If they did not think so, they never could be afraid of women knowing as much as themselves.’”
“He had no settled plan of life, nor looked forward at all, but merely lived from day to day. Yet he read a great deal in a desultory manner, without any scheme of study, as chance threw books in his way, and inclination directed him through them.”
“Dr Johnson said, the inscription should have been in Latin, as every thing intended to be universal and permanent, should be.”
“Mr. Langton one day asked him [Samuel Johnson] how he had acquired so accurate a knowledge of Latin, in which, I believe, he was exceeded by no man of his time; he said, ‘My master whipt me very well. Without that, Sir, I should have done nothing.’ He told Mr. Langton, that while Hunter was flogging his boys unmercifully, he used to say, ‘And this I do to save you from the gallows.’ Johnson, upon all occasions, expressed his approbation of enforcing instruction by means of the rod. ‘I would rather (said he) have the rod to be the general terror to all, to make them learn, than tell a child, if you do thus, or thus, you will be more esteemed than your brothers or sisters. The rod produces an effect which terminates in itself. A child is afraid of being whipped, and gets his task, and there’s an end on’t; whereas, by exciting emulation and comparisons of superiority, you lay the foundation of lasting mischief; you make brothers and sisters hate each other.’”
“Everything about his character and manners was forcible and violent; there never was any moderation; many a day did he fast, many a year did he refrain from wine; but when he did eat, it was voraciously; when he did drink wine, it was copiously. He could practise abstinence, but not temperance.”
“It matters not how a man dies, but how he lives. The act of dying is not of importance, it lasts so short a time.”
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American Art – Part II of V: Bob Ross

“I started painting as a hobby when I was little. I didn’t know I had any talent. I believe talent is just a pursued interest. Anybody can do what I do.” – Bob Ross, American artist and genial host of the television program “The Joy of Painting,” who was born 29 October 1942.

Some quotes from Bob Ross:

“There are no mistakes, just happy accidents.”
“There’s nothing wrong with having a tree as a friend.”
“I can’t think of anything more rewarding than being able to express yourself to others through painting. Exercising the imagination, experimenting with talents, being creative; these things, to me, are truly the windows to your soul.”
“All you need to paint is a few tools, a little instruction, and a vision in your mind.”
I guess I’m a little weird. I like to talk to trees and animals. That’s okay though; I have more fun than most people.”
“Wash the brush, just beat the devil out of it ”
“Let’s get a little crazy here.”
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Mexican painter Hector Hernandez is a graduate of the American Academy of Art, Governors State University. He lives and works in Los Altos de Jalisco.
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Portuguese Art – Part I of II: Ricardo Paulo

Portuguese painter Ricardo Paulo was born in Angola in 1964.
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In the words of one writer, “Gabriel Picart was born in Barcelona, Spain, in 1962, where he still lives and works. He began a successful art career at the early age of twenty when he started working as an illustrator throughout Europe, and shortly thereafter for the major publishing houses and advertising agencies in the United States and Canada. Since 1996, Picart paints full time and no longer accepts illustration commissions.”
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Portuguese Art – Part II of II: Gil Heitor Cortesao

Gil Heitor Cortesao (born 1967) lives and works in Lisbon.
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“What has destroyed every previous civilization has been the tendency to the unequal distribution of wealth and power.” – Henry George, American writer, politician, and political economist, and the author of “Progress and Poverty,” who died 29 October 1897, and who believed, to quote one historian, “that people should own what they create, but that everything found in nature, most importantly the value of land, belongs equally to all humanity.”

Some quotes from the work of Henry George:

“Man is the only animal whose desires increase as they are fed; the only animal that is never satisfied.”
“There is danger in reckless change, but greater danger in blind conservatism.”
“He who sees the truth, let him proclaim it, without asking who is for it or who is against it.”
“How many men are there who fairly earn a million dollars?”
“That which is unjust can really profit no one; that which is just can really harm no one.”
“Poorly paid labor is inefficient labor, the world over.”
“Progressive societies outgrow institutions as children outgrow clothes.”
“The man who gives me employment, which I must have or suffer, that man is my master, let me call him what I will.”
“The march of invention has clothed mankind with powers of which a century ago the boldest imagination could not have dreamt.”
“Let no man imagine that he has no influence. Whoever he may be, and wherever he may be placed, the man who thinks becomes a light and a power.”
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American Art – Part III of V: John S. Curry

Died 29 August 1946 – John S. Curry, an American artist who, along with Thomas Hart Benton and Grant Wood, is considered one of the three great painters of American Regionalism in the first half of the twentieth century.

Below (left to right) – “Ajax”; “Tragic Prelude”; “Baptism in Kansas”; “Sanctuary”; “Tornado Over Kansas”; “The Mississippi.”
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Died 29 October 1986 – Sem Presser, a Dutch press photographer whose work is characterized by its social commentary and its capturing of ordinary people in their daily lives.
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Painter Willy Himayan was born in Denpasar, Bali, Indonesia in 1983.
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29 October 529 B.C.E. – The Persian Monarch Cyrus the Great enters Babylon and proclaims the first charter of human rights in word history. Known as both “The Declaration of Cyrus the Great” and “The Cyrus Cylinder,” this remarkable document outlawed discrimination based on race or national origin, abolished slavery, granted people the freedom to choose their place of residence and the right to practice their religion, and declared a perpetual peace among nations. Even though 29 October has been designated the international day of Cyrus the Great, it does not appear on any calendar, and in a dark irony of history, the Iranian people today do not enjoy many of the rights they gave as a gift to the whole of humanity and bestowed upon themselves twenty-five centuries ago.

Above – Cyrus the Great.
Below – the clay cylinder on which the Declaration is written in Akkadian cuneiform script.

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American Art – Part IV of V: Doug Brega

In the words of one critic, “One of the most prominent contemporary American realists, Douglas Brega is a painter of portraits, New England homes, sailboats, and old weathered barns. Seeking a reality beneath what appears to the eye, Doug Brega reveals to the viewer a glimpse into the essence of his subject that lies beneath the surface.”
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A Poem for Today

“Spring and Fall,”
By Gerard Manley Hopkins

to a young child

Márgarét, áre you gríeving
Over Goldengrove unleaving?
Leáves like the things of man, you
With your fresh thoughts care for, can you?
Ah! ás the heart grows older
It will come to such sights colder
By and by, nor spare a sigh
Though worlds of wanwood leafmeal lie;
And yet you wíll weep and know why.
Now no matter, child, the name:
Sórrow’s spríngs áre the same.
Nor mouth had, no nor mind, expressed
What heart heard of, ghost guessed:
It ís the blight man was born for,
It is Margaret you mourn for.
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American Art – Part V of V: Nelson Shanks

In the words of one critic, “Nelson Shanks, world-renowned painter, art historian, art teacher, connoisseur and collector, distilled the principles upon which Studio Incamminati stands from his lifelong experience and devotion to fine arts.
Nelson, and his wife Leona Shanks, founded Studio Incamminati to provide a place where artists devoted to realism could study painting and acquire other skills necessary for successful artistic careers.
When Nelson set out to become a painter, he pieced together his own education and training from the limited options available for the study of realist painting. As an 18-year-old student at New York’s famed Art Students League, he earned his tuition by serving as a monitor in the classes of artists such as Robert Brackman, Ivan Olinsky and Edwin Dickinson. Established painters such as John Koch took him on as a private student and provided substantial material as well as spiritual support of his dreams and aspirations.”
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