American Art – Part I of IV: Alexander Petrovich Pogrebinsky
Born 2 January 1951 – Alexander Petrovich Pogrebinsky, a Ukrainian-born American painter best known for his portraits.
Born 2 January 1877 – Slava Raskaj, a Croatian painter considered the greatest Croatian watercolorist of the late 19th and early 20th century.
“There is no distance on this earth as far away as yesterday.” – Robert Nathan, American novelist, poet, and author of “Portrait of Jennie,” who was born 2 January 1894.
Some quotes from the work of Robert Nathan:
“How little we have, I thought, between us and the waiting cold, the mystery, death–a strip of beach, a hill, a few walls of wood or stone, a little fire–and tomorrow’s sun, rising and warming us, tomorrow’s hope of peace and better weather . . . What if tomorrow vanished in the storm? What if time stood still? And yesterday–if once we lost our way, blundered in the storm–would we find yesterday again ahead of us, where we had thought tomorrow’s sun would rise?”
“Where I come from
And where I’m going
The wind blows,
The sea flows –
And nobody knows.”
“Art is a communication informing man of his own dignity, and of the value of his life, whether in joy or grief, whether in laughter or indignation, beauty or terror…Man needs the comfort of his own dignity…And that’s what the artist is for. To give him that comfort.”
“Summer is the worst time of all to be alone. The earth is warm and lovely, free to go about in; and always somewhere in the distance there is a place where two people might be happy if only they were together. It is in the spring that one dreams of such places; one thinks of the summer which is coming, and the heart dreams of its friend.”
“Beauty is ever to the lonely mind A shadow fleeting; she is never plain. She is a visitor who leaves behind the gift of grief, the souvenir of pain.”
“It seems to me that I have always wanted to say the same thing in my books: that life is one, that mystery is all around us, that yesterday, today and tomorrow are all spread out in the pattern of eternity, together, and that although love may wear many faces in the incomprehensible panorama of time, in the heart that loves, it is always the same.”
Born 2 January 1938 – David Bailey, an English fashion and portrait photographer.
“It is a life’s task to find the ways you want to play an endless game of uncontrollable beauty.” – David Shapiro, American poet, historian, and critic, who was born 2 January 1947.
“Poem for You”
I am jealous of the sand
what you see
bright things erased lady
sparkling and traveling without luggage
you are tattooed on my back music
I too grew up in
the soft hands
of the gods
and a little donkey will lead them
Tears, tears, and I know
just what they mean
honeysuckles at night
American Art – Part II of IV: Robin Purcell
“If happiness truly consisted in physical ease and freedom from care, the happiest individual would not be either a man or a woman, but an American cow.” – William Lyon Phelps, American author, critic, scholar, and journalist, who was born 2 January 1865.
Some quotes from William Lyon Phelps:
“The final test of a gentleman is his respect for those who can be of no possible service to him.”
“A student never forgets an encouraging private word, when it is given with sincere respect and admiration.”
“If at first you don’t succeed, find out if the loser gets anything.”
“If I were running the world I would have it rain only between 2 and 5 a.m. Anyone who was out then ought to get wet.”
“Those who decide to use leisure as a means of mental development, who love good music, good books, good pictures, good plays, good company, good conversation – what are they? They are the happiest people in the world.”
“A cat pours his body on the floor like water. It is restful just to see him.”
“A well-ordered life is like climbing a tower; the view halfway up is better than the view from the base, and it steadily becomes finer as the horizon expands.”
“I divide all readers into two classes: those who read to remember and those who read to forget.”
“The belief that youth is the happiest time of life is founded on a fallacy. The happiest person is the person who thinks the most interesting thoughts, and we grow happier as we grow older.”
“You can be deprived of your money, your job and your home by someone else, but remember that no one can ever take away your honor.”
In the words of one critic, “Nigel Hewitt is a Visual Artist based in Perth, Western Australia. His images are most frequently mixed media on canvas, with subjects ranging from contemporary environmental and political issues to the personal and ambiguous notions of discovery and existence.
For Nigel Hewitt the image itself always has primacy and all commentary about it, even his own, is of minimal interest. However, thematically it can be said that he has an ongoing interest in the interrelationship between historical, political, cultural and environmental conditions. To raise questions about real space and ‘mind’ space he uses layer upon layer of pencil, acrylic washes, gauze or wax to create a seductive surface which draws the viewer into impossible worlds. The layers are not an act of covering up but rather an act of revealing; through them the reality disappears and subjectivity is revealed. The placement of familiar objects in these worlds combined with the use of layering serves to make reference to what has gone before, what is now and what is to follow.”
Died 2 January 1974 – Woodward Maurice “Tex” Ritter, American singer, actor, and member of the Country Music Hall of Fame. At the first televised Academy Awards ceremony in 1953, Tex Ritter sang “The Ballad of High Noon,” which had won the 1952 Academy Award for Best Original Song.
A great song – and a great movie:
“Humanity has the stars in its future, and that future is too important to be lost under the burden of juvenile folly and ignorant superstition.” – Isaac Asimov, American writer, professor, humanist, atheist, rationalist, and author of “The Roving Mind,” best known for his science fiction works and popular science books, who was born 2 January 1920:
Some quotes from the work of Isaac Asimov:
“It is change, continuing change, inevitable change, that is the dominant factor in society today. No sensible decision can be made any longer without taking into account not only the world as it is, but the world as it will be.”
“Creationists make it sound as though a ‘theory’ is something you dreamt up after being drunk all night.”
“If knowledge can create problems, it is not through ignorance that we can solve them.”
“Science fiction writers foresee the inevitable, and although problems and catastrophes may be inevitable, solutions are not.”
“The true delight is in the finding out rather than in the knowing.”
“To surrender to ignorance and call it God has always been premature, and it remains premature today.”
“Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent.”
“The saddest aspect of life right now is that science gathers knowledge faster than society gathers wisdom.”
“Never let your sense of morals prevent you from doing what is right.”
“There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that ‘my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.’”
“I am an atheist, out and out. It took me a long time to say it. I’ve been an atheist for years and years, but somehow I felt it was intellectually unrespectable to say one was an atheist, because it assumed knowledge that one didn’t have. Somehow, it was better to say one was a humanist or an agnostic. I finally decided that I’m a creature of emotion as well as of reason. Emotionally, I am an atheist. I don’t have the evidence to prove that God doesn’t exist, but I so strongly suspect he doesn’t that I don’t want to waste my time.”
“Imagine the people who believe such things and who are not ashamed to ignore, totally, all the patient findings of thinking minds through all the centuries since the Bible was written. And it is these ignorant people, the most uneducated, the most unimaginative, the most unthinking among us, who would make themselves the guides and leaders of us all; who would force their feeble and childish beliefs on us; who would invade our schools and libraries and homes. I personally resent it bitterly.”
“Self-education is, I firmly believe, the only kind of education there is.”
“When I read about the way in which library funds are being cut and cut, I can only think that American society has found one more way to destroy itself.”
American Art – Part III of IV: Geoffrey Laurence
In the words of one writer, “After training in painting, graphic design, photography and printmaking in London from 1965 to 1972 where Geoffrey Laurence received his L.C.A.D and B.A. in painting. He spent the next 20 years whilst also working freelance in the allied arts fields of illustration, fashion and interior design, concentrating on drawing and painting, working exclusively from life and specifically with the figure.
He attended the New York Academy in 1993, receiving his M.F.A. Cum Laude and relocated from New York City to Santa Fe in 1996. He started to explore his Jewish heritage and the theme of the holocaust in his work only in 1995, after receiving sudden definitive acknowledgement from his Mother that he was in fact Jewish which had been hidden from him as a child.
Since then he has continued to work with the figure and his ongoing ‘Holocaust Series’ and teaches painting, drawing and anatomy in New York, New Mexico, Florida and Washington State.”
A Poem for Today
By Jon Pineda
Between the train’s long slide and the sun
ricocheting off the sea, anyone
would have fallen silent in those words,
the language of age in her face, the birds
cawing over the broken earth, gathering near its stones
and chapel doors. In the marina, the sea and its bones
have grown smaller. Though the tide is out,
it is not the tide nor the feathers nor the cat
that jumps into the street, the dust
lifting with each wing and disappearing. The rust-
colored sheets that wrap the sails of ships,
I don’t know their name nor the way to say lips
of water in Italian and mean this: an old woman
stood by the tracks until his hand stopped waving.
American Art – Part IV of IV: Andrew Young
In the words of one critic, “Obvious contrasts are at play in Young’s work, between nature and artifice, old and new, structure and randomness. Yet passages guided by chance are all the more allusive for the exacting attention paid to form elsewhere. And the artifice of language, in the form of writing, appears ultimately as a further expression of nature, like flowers, the idiosyncratic sigils of a strange and perpetual exultance.”