American Art – Part I of III: Brian Davis
Here is how one writer describes the artistry of Brian Davis (born 1946): “The artist Brian Davis has the profound depth, the beauty of soul, and the unique composure of a man who truly understands the creation of a piece of art. Although magnificent flowers and landscapes are the main choice for his compositions, Brian Davis says, ‘The actual job of making an arresting piece of art has nothing to do with what the thing is.’”
“There are many respects in which America, if it can bring itself to act with the magnanimity and the empathy appropriate to its size and power, can be an intelligent example to the world.” – J. William Fulbright, United States Senator representing Arkansas from 1945 to 1975, who died 9 February 1995.
Here is the Artist Statement of Welsh painter Andy Short (born 1965): “I began studying art quite late in life, my first attempt at a painting was in 2003. I loved the old masters, Rembrandt, Vermeer, Titian etc. My art life began with developing the traditional elements of painting that have almost been lost to modern art.
I believe that there is a place in Contemporary art (painting) for the use of traditional methods, traditional methods does not mean old fashioned paintings, traditional methods give a solid foundation for any style of painting and, I feel, provides a better understanding of the painting practice producing a natural progression in development in any practicing painter. Matisse and Picasso both had a traditional foundation in painting practice which allowed them to progress and develop new ideas that, I believe without it they would not have been able to produce such exciting works later in their career.
My works, at this stage in my own career, are very traditional in style and method, but with a modern world depicted within its subjects and concepts. I can see myself developing my work into something more on the lines of Matisse and Picasso becoming freer to explore the realms of none representational realities and more the emotions of the paint and colour!”
“Curiosity will conquer fear more than bravery will.” – James Stephens, Irish novelist, poet, and author of “Irish Fairy Tales,” who was born 9 February 1882.
Some quotes from the work of James Stephens:
“Let the past be content with itself, for man needs forgetfulness as well as memory”
“Originality does not consist in saying what no one has ever said before, but in saying exactly what you think yourself.”
“Tell me your past, my beloved, for a man is his past, and is to be known by it.”
“What the heart knows today the head will understand tomorrow.”
“It is by love alone that we understand anything”
“It has occurred to me, brother, that wisdom may not be the end to everything. Goodness and kindness are, perhaps, beyond wisdom. Is it not possible that the ultimate end is music and gaiety and a dance of joy? Wisdom is the oldest of all things. Wisdom is all head and no heart. Behold, brother, you are being crushed under the weight of your head. You are dying of old age while you are yet a child.”
“Sleep is an excellent way of listening to an opera.”
“A poem is a revelation, and it is by the brink of running water that poetry is revealed to the mind.”
“There are more worlds than one, and in many ways they are unlike each other. But joy and sorrow, or, in other words, good and evil, are not absent in their degree from any of the worlds, for wherever there is life there is action, and action is but the expression of one or other of these qualities.”
“The toxin generates the anti-toxin. The end lies concealed in the beginning. All bodies grow around a skeleton. Life is a petticoat about death.”
“We get wise by asking questions, and even if these are not answered we get wise, for a well-packed question carries its answer on its back as a snail carries its shell.”
“In truth we do not go to Faery, we become Fairy, and in the beating of a pulse we may live for a year or a thousand years.”
“There is a difference between this world and the world of Faery, but it is not immediately perceptible. Everything that is here is there, but the things that are there are better than those that are here. All things that are bright are there brighter. There is more gold in the sun and more silver in the moon of that land. There is more scent in the flowers, more savour in the fruit. There is more comeliness in the men and more tenderness in the women. Everything in Faery is better by this one wonderful degree, and it is by this betterness you will know that you are there if you should ever happen to get there.”
Born 9 February 1932 – Gerhard Richter, a German painter.
“Realists do not fear the results of their study.” – Fyodor Dostoyevski, Russian novelist, short story writer, essayist, philosopher, and author of “The Brothers Karamazov,” who died 9 February 1891.
Some quotes from the work of Fyodor Dostoyevski:
“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.”
“Pain and suffering are always inevitable for a large intelligence and a deep heart. The really great men must, I think, have great sadness on earth.”
“Man only likes to count his troubles; he doesn’t calculate his happiness.”
“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.”
“The soul is healed by being with children.”
“Man is a mystery. It needs to be unravelled, and if you spend your whole life unravelling it, don’t say that you’ve wasted time. I am studying that mystery because I want to be a human being.”
“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.”
“Beauty will save the world.”
Here is how one historian describes the artistry of Swiss painter Felix Vallotton (1865-1925): “He began his artistic career by painting portraits, one of which was exhibited at the 1885 semi-official Salon des Artistes Français, and then turned to interior scenes. It was during this period that Vallotton developed his own manner of painting: he worked with small, precise strokes, carefully rendering every detail and creating a smooth canvas surface. This is precisely why he is regarded as one of the precursors of the so-called Neue Sachlichkeit (‘New Objectivity’) movement, which originated in the 1920s.”
“It’s not that the Irish are cynical. It’s rather that they have a wonderful lack of respect for everything and everybody.” – Brendan Behan, Irish poet, short story writer, novelist, playwright, and author of “Borstal Boy,” who was born 9 February 1923.
Some quotes from the work of Brendan Behan:
“I respect kindness in human beings first of all, and kindness to animals. I don’t respect the law; I have a total irreverence for anything connected with society except that which makes the roads safer, the beer stronger, the food cheaper and the old men and old women warmer in the winter and happier in the summer.”
“Critics are like eunuchs in a harem; they know how it’s done, they’ve seen it done every day, but they’re unable to do it themselves.”
“I’m a drinker with writing problems.”
“They took away our land, our language, and our religion; but they could never harness our tongues.”
“When I came back to Dublin I was court martialed in my absence and sentenced to death in my absence, so I said they could shoot me in my absence.”
“Every cripple has his own way of walking. ”
“I have never seen a situation so dismal that a policeman couldn’t make it worse.”
“I saw a sign that said ‘Drink Canada Dry.’ So I did.”
“Every man, through fear, mugs his aspirations a dozen times a day.”
“Ah, bless you, Sister, may all your sons be bishops.”
“All publicity is good, except an obituary notice.”
From the Music Archives – Part I of II: Ernest Dale Tubb
Born 9 February 1914 – Ernest Dale Tubb, an American guitarist, singer, songwriter, and one of the pioneers of country music.
“The animals of the world exist for their own reasons. They were not made for humans any more than black people were made for white, or women created for men.” – Alice Walker, American writer, activist, and recipient of both the 1983 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and the 1983 National Book Award for Fiction for “The Color Purple,” who was born 9 February 1944.
Some quotes from the work of Alice Walker:
“The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don’t have any.”
“What the mind doesn’t understand, it worships or fears.”
“Any God I ever found in church, I brought in myself.”
“Men make war to get attention. All killing is an expression of self-hate.”
“Activism is my rent for living on the planet.”
“In nature, nothing is perfect. Trees can be contorted, bent in weird ways and they’re still beautiful.”
“Horses make a landscape look beautiful.”
“We are the ones we have been waiting for.”
From the Music Archives – Part II of II: The Beatles
9 January 1964 – In the words of one historian: “ (On this date) the Beatles made their first appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show, performing before a ‘record-busting’ audience of 73 million viewers.”
Died 9 February 1960 – Alexandre Benois, a Russian artist, art critic, and preservationist.
“I am tired, Beloved,
of chafing my heart against
the want of you;
of squeezing it into little inkdrops,
And posting it.” – From “The Letter,” by Amy Lowell, an American poet and posthumous recipient of the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry in 1926, who was born 9 February 1874.
You are beautiful and faded
Like an old opera tune
Played upon a harpsichord;
Or like the sun-flooded silks
Of an eighteenth-century boudoir.
In your eyes
Smoulder the fallen roses of out-lived minutes,
And the perfume of your soul
Is vague and suffusing,
With the pungence of sealed spice-jars.
Your half-tones delight me,
And I grow mad with gazing
At your blent colours.
My vigour is a new-minted penny,
Which I cast at your feet.
Gather it up from the dust,
That its sparkle may amuse you.
If I could catch the green lantern of the firefly
I could see to write you a letter.
See! I give myself to you, Beloved!
My words are little jars
For you to take and put upon a shelf.
Their shapes are quaint and beautiful,
And they have many pleasant colours and lustres
To recommend them.
Also the scent from them fills the room
With sweetness of flowers and crushed grasses.
When I shall have given you the last one,
You will have the whole of me,
But I shall be dead.
American Art – Part II of III: Don Dahlke
A Poem for Today
By Colette Bryce
Over time, you picture them
after dark, in searches
focusing on streets and houses
close above the churches
on narrow wands of light.
And find so much depends upon
the way you choose
to look at them:
high in the night
their minor flares confused
among the stars, there
Or from way back
over the map
from where they might resemble
American Art – Part III of III: Elizabeth Allen-Cannon
Painter Elizabeth Allen-Cannon (born 1988) is a graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design.