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

American Art – Part I of III: Joan Mitchell

“My paintings repeat a feeling about Lake Michigan, or water, or fields…it’s more like a poem…and that’s what I want to paint.” – Joan Mitchell, American painter, printmaker, and important member of the American Abstract Expressionist movement, who died 30 October 1992.

Below (left to right) – “Yves”; “River “; “City Landscape”; “Trees”; “Heel, Sit, Stay”; “La Vie en Rose.”
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British Art – Part I of III: Michael Andrews

Born 30 October 1928 – Michael Andrews, a British painter.

Below (left to right) – “Man Who Suddenly Fell Over”; “Flats”; “Melanie and Me Swimming”; “The Cathedral, The Southern Faces/Uluru (Ayers Rock)”; “Lights”; “The Estuary.”
June Andrews; (c) June Andrews; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation
(c) June Andrews; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation
June Andrews; (c) June Andrews; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation
(c) June Andrews; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation
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(c) June Andrews; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation
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“Literature is news that stays news.” – Ezra Pound, American expatriate poet and advocate of Imagism, a movement that called for a return to Classical values, stressing clarity, precision, and economy of language, and author of “The Cantos,” who was born 30 October 1885.

“In a Station of the Metro”

The apparition of these faces in the crowd;
Petals on a wet, black bough.

“A Virginal”

No, no! Go from me. I have left her lately.
I will not spoil my sheath with lesser brightness,
For my surrounding air hath a new lightness;
Slight are her arms, yet they have bound me straitly
And left me cloaked as with a gauze of æther;
As with sweet leaves; as with subtle clearness.
Oh, I have picked up magic in her nearness
To sheathe me half in half the things that sheathe her.
No, no! Go from me. I have still the flavour,
Soft as spring wind that’s come from birchen bowers.
Green come the shoots, aye April in the branches,
As winter’s wound with her sleight hand she staunches,
Hath of the trees a likeness of the savour:
As white their bark, so white this lady’s hours.

“The Garden”

Like a skein of loose silk blown against a wall
She walks by the railing of a path in Kensington Gardens,
And she is dying piece-meal
of a sort of emotional anaemia.

And round about there is a rabble
Of the filthy, sturdy, unkillable infants of the very poor.
They shall inherit the earth.

In her is the end of breeding.
Her boredom is exquisite and excessive.
She would like some one to speak to her,
And is almost afraid that I
will commit that indiscretion.
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Australian painter Amanda Davies (born 1968) earned a BFA from the University of Tasmania, Hobart in 2002, as well as an Honors in Fine Art (Painting, First Class) from the same institution in 2003.
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British Art – Part II of III: Chris Klein

In the words of one writer, “Chris is a British artist, currently sharing his time between Quebec and Ontario in Canada. His work varies from abstract to ‘hyperrealism’ and uses differing media.”
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“The best way to make your dreams come true is to wake up.” – Paul Valery, French poet, essayist, and philosopher, who was born 30 October 1871.

Some quotes from the work of Paul Valery:

“Politeness is organized indifference.”
“Nothing is more natural than mutual misunderstanding; the contrary is always surprising. I believe that one never agrees on anything except by mistake, and that all harmony among human beings is the happy fruit of an error.”
“Love is being stupid together.”
“God made everything out of nothing. But the nothingness shows through.”
“A man who is of ‘sound mind’ is one who keeps his inner madman under lock and key.”
“God created man and, finding him not sufficiently alone, gave him a companion to make him feel his solitude more keenly.”
“The trouble with our times is that the future is not what it used to be.”
“Follow the path of your aroused thought, and you will soon meet this infernal inscription: There is nothing so beautiful as that which does not exist.”
“Poems are never finished – just abandoned.”
“To live means to lack something at every moment.”
“Latent in every man is a venom of amazing bitterness, a black resentment; something that curses and loathes life, a feeling of being trapped, of having trusted and been fooled, of being helpless prey to impotent rage, blind surrender, the victim of a savage, ruthless power that gives and takes away, enlists a man, drops him, promises and betrays, and -crowning injury- inflicts on him the humiliation of feeling sorry for himself.”
“Our most important thoughts are those that contradict our emotions.”
“To enter into your own mind you need to be armed to the teeth.”
“All our language is composed of brief little dreams; and the wonderful thing is that we sometimes make of them strangely accurate and marvelously reasonable thoughts. What should we be without the help of that which does not exist? Very little. And our unoccupied minds would languish if fables, mistaken notions, abstractions, beliefs, and monsters, hypotheses, and the so-called problems of metaphysics did not people with beings and objectless images our natural depths and darkness. Myths are the souls of our actions and our loves. We cannot act without moving towards a phantom. We can love only what we create.”
“The deeper education consists in unlearning one’s first education.”
“That which has always been accepted by everyone, everywhere, is almost certain to be false.”
“Politics is the art of preventing people from busying themselves with what is their own business.”
“But hope is only man’s mistrust of the clear foresight of his mind.”
“The purpose of psychology is to give us a completely different idea of the things we know best.”
“I know nothing more stupid and indeed vulgar than wanting to be right.”
“We see now that the abyss of history is deep enough to hold us all.”
“I am not averse to generalizing the notion of ‘modern’ to designate a certain way of life, rather than making it purely a synonym of ‘contemporary.’ There are moments and places in history to which ‘we moderns’ could return without too greatly disturbing the harmony of those times, without seeming objects infinitely curious and conspicuous… creatures shocking, dissonant, and unassailable.”
“Our judgments judge us; and nothing reveals us [or] exposes our weaknesses more ingeniously than the attitude of pronouncing upon our fellows.”
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Spanish painter David Fernandez Saez earned a degree in Fine Arts from the Polytechnic University of Valencia in 2011.
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From the Music Archives: Grace Slick

“No matter how big or soft or warm your bed is, you still have to get out of it.” – Grace Slick, American singer, songwriter, and one of the lead singers of Jefferson Airplane, who was born 30 October 1939.

British Art – Part III of III: Mitch Griffiths

In the words of one writer, “Mitch Griffiths (born 1971) uses a traditional, almost forgotten style of painting, inspired by the light and composition of Old Master paintings, but he uses this style to depict the issues concerning 21st-century British society. His main subject is the transient and throwaway nature of contemporary culture, which is held in stark contrast to the permanence and indelibility of oil paint on canvas.”
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Feodor Dostoyevsky

“Man only likes to count his troubles; he doesn’t calculate his happiness.” – Fyodor Dostoevsky, Russian novelist, short story writer, essayist, philosopher, and author of “The Brothers Karamazov” and “Crime and Punishment,” who was born 30 October 1821.

Some quotes from the work of Fyodor Dostoevsky:

“Above all, don’t lie to yourself. The man who lies to himself and listens to his own lie comes to a point that he cannot distinguish the truth within him, or around him, and so loses all respect for himself and for others. And having no respect he ceases to love.”
“To go wrong in one’s own way is better then to go right in someone else’s.”
“People speak sometimes about the ‘bestial’ cruelty of man, but that is terribly unjust and offensive to beasts, no animal could ever be so cruel as a man, so artfully, so artistically cruel.”
“‘I love mankind,’ he said, ‘but I find to my amazement that the more I love mankind as a whole, the less I love man in particular.’”
“We sometimes encounter people, even perfect strangers, who begin to interest us at first sight, somehow suddenly, all at once, before a word has been spoken.”
“To be conscious is an illness—a real thorough-going illness.”
“The soul is healed by being with children.”
“Right or wrong, it’s very pleasant to break something from time to time.”
“Much unhappiness has come into the world because of bewilderment and things left unsaid.”
“But how could you live and have no story to tell?”
“Man is a mystery. It needs to be unraveled, and if you spend your whole life unraveling it, don’t say that you’ve wasted time. I am studying that mystery because I want to be a human being.”
“Nothing in this world is harder than speaking the truth, nothing easier than flattery.”
“Taking a new step, uttering a new word, is what people fear most.”
“You can be sincere and still be stupid.”
“It is not the brains that matter most, but that which guides them — the character, the heart, generous qualities, progressive ideas.”
“It takes something more than intelligence to act intelligently.”
“If you wish to glimpse inside a human soul and get to know a man, don’t bother analyzing his ways of being silent, of talking, of weeping, of seeing how much he is moved by noble ideas; you will get better results if you just watch him laugh. If he laughs well, he’s a good man.”
“Beauty will save the world.”
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Polish painter Bartosz Fraczek (born 1974) graduated from the Painting Department of the Department of Art at the Pedogogical University in Czestochowa, Poland.
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“Life has no meaning. Each of us has meaning and we bring it to life. It is a waste to be asking the question when you are the answer.” – Joseph Campbell, American writer and lecturer best known for his work in comparative mythology and comparative literature, who died 30 October 1987.

Joseph Campbell is the author of many edifying books, and I especially recommend “The Hero with a Thousand Faces,” “The Masks of God” (in four volumes), “The Inner Reaches of Outer Space: Metaphor As Myth And As Religion,” “Thou Art That: Transforming Religious Metaphor,” and “The Power of Myth” (with Bill Moyers and Betty Sue Flowers).

Some quotes from the work of Joseph Campbell:

“If you do follow your bliss you put yourself on a kind of track that has been there all the while, waiting for you, and the life that you ought to be living is the one you are living. Follow your bliss and don’t be afraid, and doors will open where you didn’t know they were going to be.”
“The drug user drowns in the same pool mystics swim in.”
“The privilege of a lifetime is being who you are.”
“The cave you fear to enter holds the treasure you seek.”
“People say that what we’re all seeking is a meaning for life. I don’t think that’s what we’re really seeking. I think that what we’re seeking is an experience of being alive, so that our life experiences on the purely physical plane will have resonances with our own innermost being and reality, so that we actually feel the rapture of being alive.”
“If you can see your path laid out in front of you step by step, you know it’s not your path. Your own path you make with every step you take. That’s why it’s your path.”
“If you are falling…dive.”
“We must be willing to let go of the life we planned so as to have the life that is waiting for us.”
“Life is like arriving late for a movie, having to figure out what was going on without bothering everybody with a lot of questions, and then being unexpectedly called away before you find out how it ends.”
“Find a place inside where there’s joy, and the joy will burn out the pain.”
“Your sacred space is where you can find yourself over and over again.”
“Sit in a room and read–and read and read. And read the right books by the right people. Your mind is brought onto that level, and you have a nice, mild, slow-burning rapture all the time.”
“Follow your bliss and the universe will open doors for you where there were only walls.”
“Myths are public dreams, dreams are private myths.”
“We’re not on our journey to save the world but to save ourselves. But in doing that you save the world. The influence of a vital person vitalizes.”
“All religions are true but none are literal.”
“Half the people in the world think that the metaphors of their religious traditions, for example, are facts. And the other half contends that they are not facts at all. As a result we have people who consider themselves believers because they accept metaphors as facts, and we have others who classify themselves as atheists because they think religious metaphors are lies.”
“The goal of life is to make your heartbeat match the beat of the universe to match your nature with Nature.”
“Regrets are illuminations come too late.”
“Follow your bliss.
If you do follow your bliss,
you put yourself on a kind of track
that has been there all the while waiting for you,
and the life you ought to be living
is the one you are living.
When you can see that,
you begin to meet people
who are in the field of your bliss,
and they open the doors to you.
I say, follow your bliss and don’t be afraid,
and doors will open
where you didn’t know they were going to be.
If you follow your bliss,
doors will open for you that wouldn’t have opened for anyone else.”
“Myth is much more important and true than history. History is just journalism and you know how reliable that is.”
“A bit of advice
Given to a young Native American
At the time of his initiation:
As you go the way of life,
You will see a great chasm. Jump.
It is not as wide as you think.”
“The first step to the knowledge of the wonder and mystery of life is the recognition of the monstrous nature of the earthly human realm as well as its glory, the realization that this is just how it is and that it cannot and will not be changed. Those who think they know how the universe could have been had they created it, without pain, without sorrow, without time, without death, are unfit for illumination.”
“Gods suppressed become devils, and often it is these devils whom we first encounter when we turn inward.”
“Furthermore, we have not even to risk the adventure alone; for the heroes of all time have one before us, the labyrinth is fully known; we have only to follow the thread of the hero-path. And where we had thought to find an abomination, we shall find a god; where we had thought to slay another, we shall slay ourselves; where we had thought to travel outward, we shall come to the center of our own existence; where we had thought to be alone, we shall be with all the world.”
“As you proceed through life, following your own path, birds will shit on you. Don’t bother to brush it off. Getting a comedic view of your situation gives you spiritual distance. Having a sense of humor saves you.”
“The big question is whether you are going to be able to say a hearty ‘yes’ to your adventure.”
“We’re in a freefall into future. We don’t know where we’re going. Things are changing so fast, and always when you’re going through a long tunnel, anxiety comes along. And all you have to do to transform your hell into a paradise is to turn your fall into a voluntary act. It’s a very interesting shift of perspective and that’s all it is… joyful participation in the sorrows and everything changes.”
“God is the experience of looking at a tree and saying, ‘Ah!’”
“The black moment is the moment when the real message of transformation is going to come. At the darkest moment comes the light.”
“Myth is what we call other people’s religion.”
“I don’t have to have faith, I have experience.”
“Instead of clearing his own heart the zealot tries to clear the world.”
“All the gods, all the heavens, all the hells, are within you.”
“The fates lead him who will; him who won’t they drag.”
“The experience of eternity right here and now is the function of life. Heaven is not the place to have the experience; here is the place to have the experience.”
“Wherever the poetry of myth is interpreted as biography, history, or science, it is killed.”
“Not all who hesitate are lost. The psyche has many secrets in reserve. And these are not disclosed unless required.”
“Every religion is true one way or another. It is true when understood metaphorically. But when it gets stuck in its own metaphors, interpreting them as facts, then you are in trouble.”
“When we quit thinking primarily about ourselves and our own self-preservation, we undergo a truly heroic transformation of consciousness.”
“Opportunities to find deeper powers within ourselves come when life seems most challenging.”
“It is by going down into the abyss that we recover the treasures of life. Where you stumble, there lies your treasure.”
“We save the world by being alive ourselves.”
“Myth must be kept alive. The people who can keep it alive are the artists of one kind or another.”
“Preachers err by trying to talk people into belief; better they reveal the radiance of their own discovery.”
“Is the system going to flatten you out and deny you your humanity, or are you going to be able to make use of the system to the attainment of human purposes?”
“The job of an educator is to teach students to see vitality in themselves”
“Computers are like Old Testament gods; lots of rules and no mercy.”
“The demon that you can swallow gives you its power, and the greater life’s pain, the greater life’s reply.”
“When you realize that eternity is right here now, that it is within your possibility to experience the eternity of your own truth and being, then you grasp the following: That which you are was never born and will never die.”
“A hero is someone who has given his or her life to something bigger than oneself”
“I always feel uncomfortable when people speak about ordinary mortals because I’ve never met an ordinary man, woman, or child.”
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American Art – Part II of III: Pamela Wilson

In the words of one critic, “Much like Jan van Eyck, Rogier van der Weyden, and other Northern Renaissance artists who were obsessed with inserting symbolic clues into a composition to case deciphering a painting’s message, Wilson conveys, in sobering detail, the descriptive elements of an individual, one whose very dress echoes the apparently bizarre qualities of their personality. Both location and dress magnify the impression that her subjects are more lost souls than active participants in the real world.
In her paintings, Pamela Wilson struggles with the mysteries of the human experience. She builds on associations, friendships, and memories from the distant past as well as present day.”
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A Poem for Today

“Annabel Lee,”
By Edgar Allan Poe

t was many and many a year ago,
In a kingdom by the sea,
That a maiden there lived whom you may know
By the name of Annabel Lee;
And this maiden she lived with no other thought
Than to love and be loved by me.

I was a child and she was a child,
In this kingdom by the sea,
But we loved with a love that was more than love—
I and my Annabel Lee—
With a love that the wingèd seraphs of Heaven
Coveted her and me.

And this was the reason that, long ago,
In this kingdom by the sea,
A wind blew out of a cloud, chilling
My beautiful Annabel Lee;
So that her highborn kinsmen came
And bore her away from me,
To shut her up in a sepulchre
In this kingdom by the sea.

The angels, not half so happy in Heaven,
Went envying her and me—
Yes!—that was the reason (as all men know,
In this kingdom by the sea)
That the wind came out of the cloud by night,
Chilling and killing my Annabel Lee.

But our love it was stronger by far than the love
Of those who were older than we—
Of many far wiser than we—
And neither the angels in Heaven above
Nor the demons down under the sea
Can ever dissever my soul from the soul
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee;

For the moon never beams, without bringing me dreams
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee;
And the stars never rise, but I feel the bright eyes
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee;
And so, all the night-tide, I lie down by the side
Of my darling—my darling—my life and my bride,
In her sepulchre there by the sea—
In her tomb by the sounding sea.
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American Art – Part III of III: Rebecca Campbell

Artist Statement: “There is no illusion I have that I’m inventing anything. I’m returning to something that exists for all of us, so for me, things like death, things like light, because they have happened always does not make them rote or irrelevant. We each have to face death. We don’t get out of that. Nobody gets a free pass. Does that make it not meaningful, like there’s nothing new? The idea of being avant garde or new—Great poetry uses the same set of words, it simply reconfigures them into a way that allows us to be present again with the words. I think that about painting often. People do wonderfully inventive things with form, but there is sort of a finite system that we work within, and I don’t find that to be a downfall.”
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