American Art – Part I of III: Isaiah Stephens
In the words of one writer, “Isaiah Stephens was born in the artistic city of Lowell, Massachusetts in 1988. From the age of five, Isaiah spent a great portion of his youth in the rural town of Raeford, North Carolina, until 2005 when he returned to his birthplace.
Having a tumultuous relationship with his adopted guardian, he turned to drawing and writing as outlets to express himself. Now he is content with writing and drawing all the time.”
From the Music Archives – Part I of V: Bob Marley
“Some people feel the rain. Others just get wet.” – Bob Marley, Jamaican singer and songwriter, who was born 6 February 1945.
Died 6 February 2012 – Antoni Tapies, a Spanish artist.
Below – “Grey and Green Painting”; “Composition (White Pasted Clothing)”; “Grey Relief with Ochre Line”; “Crue I R”; “Esperit Catala I.”
From the Music Archives – Part II of V: Nigel Olsson
Born 6 February 1949 – Nigel Olsson, a rock guitarist, drummer, and member of the Elton John Band.
Died 6 February 1916 – Ruben Dario, an influential Nicaraguan poet who initiated the Spanish-American literary movement known as “modernismo.”
Ox that I saw in my childhood, as you steamed
in the burning gold on the Nicaraguan sun,
there on the rich plantation filled with tropical
harmonies; woodland dove, of the woods that sang
with the sound of the wind, of axes, of birds and wild bulls:
I salute you both, because you are both my life.
You, heavy ox, evoke the gentle dawn
that signaled it was time to milk the cow,
when my existence was all white and rose;
and you, sweet mountain dove, cooing and calling,
you signify all that my own springtime, now
so far away, possessed of the Divine Springtime.
Below – Post Card: “Nicaragua – Native with Ox Cart.”
“All art is erotic.” – Gustav Klimt, Austrian painter, who died 6 February 1918.
From the Music Archives – Part III of V: George Harrison
6 February 1976 – George Harrison releases “This Guitar (Can’t Keep From Crying).”
Here is the Artist Statement of Mexican painter Mario Cinquemani (born 1982): “I paint for a living here in my city of Guadalajara. I studied acting in Houston, Texas while pursuing art, and this took me to live in London for a year, as well as to travel through Europe.”
From the Television Archives: The Smothers Brothers
5 February 1967 – The “Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour” premieres on CBS.
5 February 1967 – The Bollingen Prize for poetry is awarded to Robert Penn Warren
I saw the hawk ride updraft in the sunset over Wyoming.
It rose from coniferous darkness, past gray jags
Of mercilessness, past whiteness, into the gloaming
Of dream-spectral light above the lazy purity of snow-snags.
There–west–were the Tetons. Snow-peaks would soon be
In dark profile to break constellations. Beyond what height
Hangs now the black speck? Beyond what range will gold eyes see
New ranges rise to mark a last scrawl of light?
Or, having tasted that atmosphere’s thinness, does it
Hang motionless in dying vision before
It knows it will accept the mortal limit,
And swing into the great circular downwardness that will restore
From the Music Archives – Part IV of V: Rudy Pompilli
Died 5 February 1978 – Rudy Pompilli, an American musician best known for playing tenor saxophone with Bill Haley and His Comets, one of the most influential groups in the history of Rock and Roll.
American Art – Part II of III: Nick Kosciuk
Here is how one critic describes the artistry of painter Nick Kosciuk (born 1964): “(He) cannot recall a specific time when he decided he wanted to be an artist, but from an early age there was a sense of knowing that he would paint. He received a degree in painting from the University of Washington, but he considers himself to be largely self-taught, continuing to glean information and insight from a variety of sources.
Kosciuk gravitates toward what he finds personally inspiring, be it a painting by an old master or a deftly placed brushstroke made by a relatively unknown painter. Inspiration can come through a piece of music or great literature. What inspires Kosciuk the most are the children of Belarus.
Since 2001, Kosciuk has become an advocate for forgotten and abandoned children in the land-locked Eastern European republic. When he visits, he takes hundreds of photographs, capturing the beauty and strength in the eyes of these young people who so inspire him. He returns frequently to Belarus to visit the children who affectionately call him, ‘Papa.’
Back in his studio in Arizona, Kosciuk paints their likenesses as honestly and directly as he can. His intent is simply to paint what he sees, and to let the paintings speak for themselves.
The paintings do seem to speak to people. One can clearly see the openness, thoughtfulness and resilience in the faces of these children. Kosciuk says that often he himself discovers something in a finished painting that he had not previously noticed.
The painter says he is pleased and blessed that he has been given the opportunity to share in the kids’ lives. ‘The paintings are significant because the children are significant, and what I am doing with my life has meaning.’”
Died 6 February 1995 – James Merrill, an American poet and recipient of the 1977 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry.
When I returned from lovers’ lane
My hair was white as snow.
Joy, incomprehension, pain
I’d seen like seasons come and go.
How I got home again
Frozen half dead, perhaps you know.
You hide a smile and quote a text:
Persist from one life to the next.
Hearths we strip ourselves beside
Long, long ago were x’d
On blueprints of “consuming pride.”
From the Music Archives – Part V of V: Carl Wilson
Died 6 February 1998 – Carl Wilson, an American rock and roll singer, guitarist and composer, best known as a founding member, lead guitarist, and occasional lead vocalist of The Beach Boys.
From the Movie Archives: Charlie Chaplin
5 February 1936 – Charlie Chaplin’s movie “Modern Times” is released.
A Poem for Today
American Muse: Lawrence Ferlinghetti
“Don’t Let That Horse . . .”
Don’t let that horse
eat that violin
cried Chagall’s mother
kept right on
And became famous
And kept on painting
The Horse With Violin In Mouth
And when he finally finished it
he jumped up upon the horse
and rode away
waving the violin
And then with a low bow gave it
to the first naked nude he ran across
And there were no strings
American Art – Part III of III: Lisa Aerin Collett
Artist Statement: “Art, to me, is an experiment of old and new and how to make them work together, a fusion of materials that create an illusion that makes the creation mysterious. The process is just as important as the subject, and how they converse together is where the magic lies.
While working toward more complex themes and metaphors, the simplicity of nature has always captivated my attention. While discovering what the possibilities and limitations are of the process I am experimenting with right now, I enjoy painting simple figures from nature such as birds, buffalo, and butterflies, symbols of the human soul that are just as unique, and mysterious.”