January Offerings – Part XXIV: Something to Delight both Head and Heart

American Art – Part I of IV: Robert Gwathmey

“Art never grows out of the persuasion of polished eclecticism or the inviting momentum of the bandwagon.” – Robert Gwathmey, American social realist painter, who was born 24 January 1903.

Below – “Tobacco Farms”; “Sun Up”; “Singing and Mending”; “Man with Hoe”; “Fruit and Vegetable Vendor”; “Like Son”; “Flowers for the Pulpit.”
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“My little old dog – a heartbeat at my feet.” – Edith Wharton, American novelist, poet, short story writer, designer, and recipient of the 1922 Pulitzer Prize (for “The Age of Innocence”), who was born 24 January 1862.

Some quotes from the work of Edith Wharton:

“Set wide the window. Let me drink the day.”
“Life is always either a tightrope or a feather bed. Give me the tightrope.”
“If only we’d stop trying to be happy, we could have a pretty good time.”
“There are two ways of spreading light: to be he candle or the mirror that reflects it.”
“I don’t know if I should care for a man who made life easy; I should want someone who made it interesting.”
“Ah, good conversation – there’s nothing like it, is there? The air of ideas is the only air worth breathing.”
“The real loneliness is living among all these kind people who only ask one to pretend!”
“There is one friend in the life of each of us who seems not a separate person, however dear and beloved, but an expansion, an interpretation, of one’s self, the very meaning of one’s soul.”
“We can’t behave like people in novels, though, can we?”
“Silence may be as variously shaded as speech.”
“In reality they all lived in a kind of hieroglyphic world, where the real thing was never said or done or even thought, but only represented by a set of arbitrary signs.”
“It was easy enough to despise the world, but decidedly difficult to find any other habitable region.”
“An unalterable and unquestioned law of the musical world required that the German text of French operas sung by Swedish artists should be translated into Italian for the clearer understanding of English-speaking audiences.”
“The real marriage of true minds is for any two people to possess a sense of humor or irony pitched in exactly the same key, so that their joint glances on any subject cross like inter-arching searchlights.”
“She was so evidently the victim of the civilization which had produced her, that the links of her bracelet seemed like manacles chaining her to her fate.”
“A classic is classic not because it conforms to certain structural rules, or fits certain definitions (of which its author had quite probably never heard). It is classic because of a certain eternal and irrepressible freshness.”
“In spite of illness, in spite even of the archenemy sorrow, one can remain alive long past the usual date of disintegration if one is unafraid of change, insatiable in intellectual curiosity, interested in big things, and happy in small ways.”
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Here is how one critic describes the paintings of English-born Australian artist Francis (Tone) O’Leary:
“Virtuoso puzzle paintings, pencil and paint magically combined.
Dazzling depictions of the figure in allegorical compositions.
A close study of old masters such as Leonardo, Perugino, and above all, Botticelli.”
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American Art – Part II of IV: Robert Motherwell

“Walk on a rainbow trail; walk on a trail of song, and all about you will be beauty. There is a way out of every dark mist, over a rainbow trail.” – Robert Motherwell, American painter, printmaker, and one of the youngest members of the New York School, who was born 24 January 1915.

Below – “Elegy to the Spanish Republic No. 110”; “New England Elegy 2”; “Western Air”; “Africa Tapestry”; “Blue Air”; “The Cavern.”
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“I owe it all to little chocolate donuts.” – John Belushi, American comedian, actor, and musician best known as one of the original cast members of “Saturday Night Live,” who was born 24 January 1949.

Here is one writer describing the background of Dutch painter Rien van Uitert (born 1952): “After training as an architect and designing several projects, Rien van Uitert was gripped by the desire to become a realist painter. He attended several courses, including the Graphic Centre in Groningen , and learned the intricacies of Chris Herenius and Herman van Hoogdalem .”
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From the American History Archives – Part I of II: Lehman Caves National Monument

24 January 1922 – President Warren G. Harding makes Lehman Caves in east-central Nevada a National Monument.
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Here is the Artist Statement of Canadian Cree painter Aaron Paquette: “In my paintings, I seek to nurture a relationship with the viewer. I try to use colours that are calm and soothing, but also fresh and exciting. My goal is to create work that a person can be comfortable with and can invite into their home. In this manner, I hope to deliver a message. In each painting I try to include a story that is meaningful to me and encourages discussion. I hope that my work can act as part of a catalyst for greater understanding. I feel that it is important to allow art to be beautiful while conveying deep and sometimes very serious meaning. My work almost always features an aspect of nature and our relationship with the earth.”
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From the American History Archives – Part II of II: Aztec Ruin National Monument

24 January 1923 – Aztec Ruin National Monument is established in northwestern New Mexico. Its name was changed to Aztec Ruins National Monument in 1928. The structures were actually built by ancient Pueblo people – the Anasazi.
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Peruvian painter Herman Braun Vega (born 1933) lives and works in Paris.
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“After Long Busyness,”
By Robert Bly

I start out for a walk at last after weeks at the desk.
Moon gone plowing underfoot no stars; not a trace of light!
Suppose a horse were galloping toward me in this open field?
Every day I did not spend in solitude was wasted.
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American Art – Part III of IV: David Molesky

American painter David Molesky (born 1977) holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Art Practice from the University of California at Berkeley.
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David Molesky paintings
David Molesky paintings
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A Second Poem for Today

“The Season of Phantasmal Peace,”
By Derek Walcott

Then all the nations of birds lifted together
the huge net of the shadows of this earth
in multitudinous dialects, twittering tongues,
stitching and crossing it. They lifted up
the shadows of long pines down trackless slopes,
the shadows of glass-faced towers down evening streets,
the shadow of a frail plant on a city sill—
the net rising soundless as night, the birds’ cries soundless, until
there was no longer dusk, or season, decline, or weather,
only this passage of phantasmal light
that not the narrowest shadow dared to sever.

And men could not see, looking up, what the wild geese drew,
what the ospreys trailed behind them in silvery ropes
that flashed in the icy sunlight; they could not hear
battalions of starlings waging peaceful cries,
bearing the net higher, covering this world
like the vines of an orchard, or a mother drawing
the trembling gauze over the trembling eyes
of a child fluttering to sleep;
it was the light
that you will see at evening on the side of a hill
in yellow October, and no one hearing knew
what change had brought into the raven’s cawing,
the killdeer’s screech, the ember-circling chough
such an immense, soundless, and high concern
for the fields and cities where the birds belong,
except it was their seasonal passing, Love,
made seasonless, or, from the high privilege of their birth,
something brighter than pity for the wingless ones
below them who shared dark holes in windows and in houses,
and higher they lifted the net with soundless voices
above all change, betrayals of falling suns,
and this season lasted one moment, like the pause
between dusk and darkness, between fury and peace,
but, for such as our earth is now, it lasted long.

Below – “Mont Sainte Victoire Seen from Les Lauves,” by Paul Cezanne.
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American Art – Part IV of IV: Rebecca Campbell

Painter Rebecca Campbell earned a B.F.A. from Pacific Northwest College of Art, Portland and an M.F.A. from the University of California, Los Angeles.
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Matthew Arnold

A Victorian Sage: Quotes from the Work of Matthew Arnold – Part I of IV

“To have the sense of creative activity is the great happiness and the great proof of being alive.” – From “Criticism and Imagination”

Below – “Artist Painting a Portrait of a Musician,” by Marguerite Gerard.
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A Victorian Sage: Quotes from the Work of Matthew Arnold – Part II of IV

“Culture is the endeavour to know the best and to make this knowledge prevail for the good of all humankind.” – From “Culture and Anarchy”
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A Victorian Sage: Quotes from the Work of Matthew Arnold – Part III of IV

“But often, in the world’s most crowded streets,
But often, in the din of strife,
There rises an unspeakable desire
After the knowledge of our buried life;
A thirst to spend our fire and restless force
In tracking out our true, original course;
A longing to inquire
Into the mystery of this heart which beats
So wild, so deep in us—to know
Whence our lives come and where they go.” – From “The Buried Life”

Below – “The Lady of Shalott,” by John William Waterhouse.
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A Victorian Sage: Quotes from the Work of Matthew Arnold – Part IV of IV

“Life is not a having and a getting, but a being and a becoming.” – From “Culture and Anarchy”
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