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

American Art – Part I of III: Michael De Brito

Here is how one critic describes the artistry of American painter Michael De Brito (born 1980): “In a world awash with conceptual art and abstraction, Michael De Brito’s paintings stand out as a modern take on the bravura of figurative masters of the Twentieth and Twenty-first centuries. He esteems tradition as a guiding force that gives life and meaning to contemporary work. De Brito’s work recalls the quality and execution exhibited by the masters: an indelible technical mastery of light, shade, and color learned through careful study. The result is the power of confidence – a final brush mark made at the very first trained stroke.”
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“The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little.” – Franklin Delano Roosevelt, 32nd President of the United States and architect of the New Deal Coalition, who was born 30 January 1882.

Some quotes from the work of Franklin Delano Roosevelt:

“A conservative is a man with two perfectly good legs who, however, has never learned to walk forward.”
“A nation that destroys its soils destroys itself. Forests are the lungs of our land, purifying the air and giving fresh strength to our people.”
“The liberty of a democracy is not safe if the people tolerated the growth of private power to a point where it becomes stronger than the democratic state itself. That in its essence is fascism: ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or any controlling private power.”
“When you get to the end of your rope. Tie a knot and hang on.”
“Remember, remember always, that all of us, and you and I especially, are descended from immigrants and revolutionists.”
“We may not be able to prepare the future for our children, but we can at least prepare our children for the future.”
“I ask you to judge me by the enemies I have made.”
“Books can not be killed by fire. People die, but books never die. No man and no force can abolish memory… In this war, we know, books are weapons. And it is a part of your dedication always to make them weapons for man’s freedom.”
“If you treat people right they will treat you right … ninety percent of the time.”
“Happiness is not in the mere possession of money; it lies in the joy of achievement, in the thrill of creative effort.”
“To reach a port we must set sail –
Sail, not tie at anchor
Sail, not drift.”
“There are many ways of going forward, but only one way of standing still.”
“Democracy cannot succeed unless those who express their choice are prepared to choose wisely. The real safeguard of democracy, therefore, is education.”
“Men are not prisoners of fate, but only prisoners of their own minds.”
“We have always known that heedless self interest was bad morals, we now know that it is bad economics.”
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British Art – Part I of II: Mary Grierson

Died 30 January 2012 – Mary Grierson, a Welsh botanical artist noted for her meticulous accuracy and sureness of composition.
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From the Music Archives – Part I of II: Lightnin’ Hopkins

Died 30 January 1982 – Sam John Hopkins, better known as Lightnin’ Hopkins, an American country blues singer, songwriter, guitarist, and pianist.

From the Music Archives – Part II of II: Patty Andrews

Died 30 January 2013 – Patty Andrews, an American singer and member of The Andrews Sisters, a close harmony singing group of the swing and boogie-woogie eras.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qafnJ6mRbgk

British Art – Part II of II: Patrick Heron

Born 30 January 1920 – Patrick Heron, an English painter, writer, and designer.

Below – “Blue Painting with Discs: September 1962”: “Blues, Reds, Yellow and Green: 1964”; “Harbour Window with Two Figures, St. Ives: July 1950”; “Red Table”; “Yellow Painting: October 1958 May/June 1959”; “The Blue Check Tablecloth: 1948.”
(c) DACS - FULL CONSULT; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation
(c) DACS - FULL CONSULT; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation
(c) DACS - FULL CONSULT; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation
DACS; (c) DACS - FULL CONSULT; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation
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(c) DACS - FULL CONSULT; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation

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“Be the change that you want to see in the world.” – Mahatma Gandhi, Indian political and spiritual leader, who died 30 January 1948.

Some quotes from the work of Mahatma Gandhi:

“Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.”
“A man is but a product of his thoughts. What he thinks he becomes.”
“The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is an attribute of the strong.”
“God has no religion.”
“An eye for an eye will make the whole world blind.”
“Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.”
“I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.”
“To give pleasure to a single heart by a single act is better than a thousand heads bowing in prayer.”
“The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.”
“The future depends on what you do today.”
“You must not lose faith in humanity. Humanity is like an ocean; if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty.”
“In a gentle way, you can shake the world.”
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American Art – Part II of III: Robert Standish

Robert Standish (born 1964) earned a B.A. in Psychology from Antioch University in 1996.
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“Books are the carriers of civilization. Without books, history is silent, literature dumb, science crippled, thought and speculation at a standstill. Without books, the development of civilization would have been impossible. They are engines of change (as the poet said), windows on the world and lighthouses erected in the sea of time. They are companions, teachers, magicians, bankers of the treasures of the mind. Books are humanity in print.” – Barbara Tuchman, American historian and author of “The Guns of August” and “Stilwell and the American Experience in China: 1911-1945,” both of which won the Pulitzer Prize, who was born 30 January 1912.

Some quotes from the work of Barbara Tuchman:

“When it comes to leaders we have, if anything, a superabundance—hundreds of Pied Pipers…ready and anxious to lead the population. They are scurrying around, collecting consensus, gathering as wide an acceptance as possible. But what they are not doing, very notably, is standing still and saying, ‘ This is what I believe. This I will do and that I will not do. This is my code of behavior and that is outside it. This is excellent and that is trash.’ There is an abdication of moral leadership in the sense of a general unwillingness to state standards….Of all the ills that our poor…society is heir to, the focal one, it seems to me, from which so much of our uneasiness and confusion derive, is the absence of standards. We are too unsure of ourselves to assert them, to stick by them, if necessary in the case of persons who occupy positions of authority, to impose them. We seem to be afflicted by a widespread and eroding reluctance to take any stand on any values, moral, behavioral or esthetic.”
“Learning from experience is a faculty almost never practiced”
“For belligerent purposes, the 14th century, like the 20th, commanded a technology more sophisticated than the mental and moral capacity that guided its use.”
“Nothing so comforts the military mind as the maxim of a great but dead general.”
“So gorgeous was the spectacle on the May morning of 1910 when nine kings rode in the funeral of Edward VII of England that the crowd, waiting in hushed and black-clad awe, could not keep back gasps of admiration. In scarlet and blue and green and purple, three by three the sovereigns rode through the palace gates, with plumed helmets, gold braid, crimson sashes, and jeweled orders flashing in the sun. After them came five heirs apparent, forty more imperial or royal highnesses, seven queens – four dowager and three regnant – and a scattering of special ambassadors from uncrowned countries. Together they represented seventy nations in the greatest assemblage of royalty and rank ever gathered in one place and, of its kind, the last. The muffled tongue of Big Ben tolled nine by the clock as the cortege left the palace, but on history’s clock it was sunset, and the sun of the old world was setting in a dying blaze of splendor never to be seen again.”
“An event of great agony is bearable only in the belief that it will bring about a better world. When it does not, as in the aftermath of another vast calamity in 1914-18, disillusion is deep and moves on to self-doubt and self-disgust.”
“Theology being the work of males, original sin was traced to the female.”
“In the midst of war and crisis nothing is as clear or as certain as it appears in hindsight”
“No less a bold and pugnacious figure than Winston Churchill broke down and was unable to finish his remarks at the sendoff of the British Expeditionary Force into the maelstrom of World War I in Europe.”
“Chief among the forces affecting political folly is lust for power, named by Tacitus as ‘the most flagrant of all passions.’”
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Died 30 January 1958 – Jean Crotti, a French painter who was influenced by Impressionism, Fauvism, and Art Nouveau.

Below – “Sorrow”; “Female Figure”; “Young Woman”; “Explosion of Thoughts”; untitled.
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“I feel despair twenty-four hours a day at the way we are treating the world and what we are piling up for ourselves. But you have to keep fighting, or what are we on earth for? I believe so much in what I am doing that I cannot let up.” – Gerald Durrell, English naturalist, zookeeper, author, conservationist, founder of the Durrell Wildlife Park on the Channel Island of Jersey, and the youngest brother of novelist Lawrence Durrell, who died 30 January 1995.

Some quotes from the work of Gerald Durrell:

“A house is not a home until it has a dog.”
“Each day had a tranquility a timelessness about it so that you wished it would never end. But then the dark skin of the night would peel off and there would be a fresh day waiting for us glossy and colorful as a child’s transfer and with the same tinge of unreality.”
“Japan and Hong Kong are steadily whittling away at the last of the elephants, turning their tusks (so much more elegant left on the elephant) into artistic carvings. In much the same way, the beautiful furs from leopard, jaguar, Snow leopard, Clouded leopard and so on, are used to clad the inelegant bodies of thoughtless and, for the most part, ugly women. I wonder how many would buy these furs if they knew that on their bodies they wore the skin of an animal that, when captured, was killed by the medieval and agonizing method of having a red-hot rod inserted up its rectum so as not to mark the skin.”
“As I watched the pulsing fire among the trees and heard the beat of the drum merge and tremble with the voices, forming an intricate pattern of sound, I knew that someday I would have to return or be haunted forever by the beauty and mystery that is Africa.”
“What fools we are, eh? What fools, sitting here in the sun, singing. And of love, too! I am too old for it and you are too young, and yet we waste our time singing about it.
Ah, well, let’s have a glass of wine, eh?”
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Here is the Artist Statement of Ukrainian painter Evgeni Gordiets: “Today, for me, life and painting are one. I have no desire to follow fashion; it has no value to me. In my art, the sea, the sky, woman and child are subjects of importance, eternity. I have no passion for politics. I often use in my work, stone carved forms and water– these are symbols of eternity. I love sculpture, and I try to unite it with painting. Women, the symbol of love, mother-hood and eternity, have great importance in my art. In life, there are some things that last forever; in my work, I communicate this with the sky, water and stones.”
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From the American History Archives: Yerba Buena

30 January 1847 – In an act suffused with a gentle irony, the town of Yerba Buena is renamed San Francisco. The actual yerba buena plant is a type of mint found in the region, but that is not the “good herb” many contemporary Bay Area residents favor.

Above – Yerba Buena Island in the 1840s.
Below – A 420 party in Golden Gate Park.
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“We take our bearings from the wrong landmark, wish that when young we had studied the stars – name the flowers for ourselves and the deserts after others. When the territory is charted, its eventual aspect may be quite other than what was hoped for. One can only say, it will be a whole – a region from which a few features, not necessarily those that seemed prominent at the start, will stand out in clear colours. Not to direct, but to solace us; not to fix our positions, but to show us how we came.” – Shirley Hazzard, Australian writer holding citizenship of Great Britain and the United States and author of “The Great Fire,” which won the National Book Award for Fiction, and “The Transit of Venus,” which won the National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction, who was born 30 January 1931.

Two quotes from the work of Shirley Hazzard:

“At first, there is something you expect of life. Later, there is what life expects of you. By the time you realize these are the same, it can be too late for expectations. What we are being, not what we are to be. They are the same thing.”
“In the circle where I was raised, I knew of no one knowledgeable in the visual arts, no one who regularly attended musical performances, and only two adults other than my teachers who spoke without embarrassment of poetry and literature — both of these being women. As far as I can recall, I never heard a man refer to a good or a great book. I knew no one who had mastered, or even studied, another language from choice. And our articulate, conscious life proceeded without acknowledgement of the preceding civilisations which had produced it.”

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In the words of one writer, “Matthew Hindley is a South African artist born in Cape Town 1974, who lives and works in Cape Town. After graduating with the Michaelis Prize from the Michaelis School of Fine Art in 2002, Hindley has explored sculpture, drawing, video and physical computing and more recently has focussed on painting.”
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A Poem for Today

American Muse: Andrea Cohen

“To Whom it May Concern,”
By Andrea Cohen

For Harry Cobb

Soon I’ll move to Norway.
If that’s a bitter pill,

well, swill, swallow. I’m going,
and I won’t wallow, not in Norway,

where they’re so beyond
slave labor, with laws that say

a clerk must work within five
meters of a window through

which she can see a tree
and by that tree be seen.

My mind’s made up.
I will be Norwegian with Norwegian

trees. I’ll be seer and be seen.
It’s a scenic scene, it’s

how it goes, I’m going.
Tell the top brass, if

they ask, I don’t give
a damn about their asses.

But I will miss the beeches and the ashes.
It’s not their fault I’m leaving.

They’re only trees, and
leaving, I’m Norwegian.
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American Art – Part III of III: Anna Rose Bain

Artist Statement: “My work covers a wide variety of subjects, but what remains consistent throughout is a deep love for beauty, especially as revealed by the human face. I am still young, and know little of human experience or tragedy… but when I paint, I feel my brightest hopes and deepest fears all at once. I feel connected to my subjects at a level that can only be obtained through the series of silent questions that take place during the creative process.
My paintings are an expression of gratitude. They often depict men, women, or children in peaceful settings or places that evoke happiness. My art focuses on the enjoyment of life, and is permeated with a love for nature, music, and all things good. My style might be considered ‘classical realism,’ which attempts to idealize the subject while preserving its true essence. I hope that whoever views my work finds their senses awakened as they respond to the use of color, light, and tangible subject matter. I am captivated by those things that go beyond the surface, and I hope to convey this deep and abiding interest to everyone who sees my work.”
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