American Art – Part I of IV: Raphael Peale
Born 17 February 1774 – Raphael Peale, an artist considered the first professional American painter of still life.
Below (left to right) – “Venus Rising from the Sea – A Deception (After the Bath)”; “Melons and Morning Glories”; “Still Life: Strawberries, Nuts &c.”; “Still Life with Oranges”; “Portrait of Absalom Jones.”
Italian Art – Part I of II: Federico Pillan
From the Music Archives – Part I of VI: Bobby Lewis
Born 17 February 1933 – Bobby Lewis, an American rock and roll and R&B singer.
“To live in Australia permanently is rather like going to a party and dancing all night with one’s mother.” – Barry Humphries, Australian comedian, satirist, artist, and author, who was born 17 February 1934.
Some quotes from the work of Barry Humphries:
“Sex is the most beautiful thing that can take place between a happily married man and his secretary.”
“New Zealand is a country of thirty thousand million sheep, three million of whom think they are human.”
“I was born in Melbourne with a precious gift. Dame Nature stooped over my cot and gave me this gift. It was the ability to laugh at the misfortunes of others.”
“There is no more terrible fate for a comedian than to be taken seriously.”
“Australia is an outdoor country. People only go inside to use the toilet. And that’s only a recent development.”
“Most of my contemporaries at school entered the World of Business, the logical destiny of bores.”
“My parents were very pleased that I was in the army. The fact that I hated it somehow pleased them even more.”
Italian Art – Part II of II: Massimo Cantini
American Art – Part II of IV: Judy Morris
In the words of one writer, “Judy Morris earned B.S. and M.S. degrees in art education from Southern Oregon University in Ashland, Oregon. She taught art at South Medford High School for thirty years before retiring in 1996 to become a full time professional watercolorist. For over fifteen years Morris has been a popular juror and workshop teacher throughout the country and in Canada, Mexico, England, Switzerland, France, Italy and Japan.”
From the Music Archives – Part II of VI: Gene Pitney
Born 17 February 1941 – Gene Pitney, an American singer-songwriter and musician.
“As you grow older you will discover that the most important things that will happen to you will often come as a result of silly things, as you call them – ‘ordinary things’ is a better expression. That is the way the world is.” – Chaim Potok, American writer, rabbi, and author of “The Chosen,” who was born 17 January 1929.
Some quotes from the work of Chaim Potok:
“I’ve begun to realize that you can listen to silence and learn from it. It has a quality and a dimension all its own.”
“Everything has a past. Everything – a person, an object, a word, everything. If you don’t know the past, you can’t understand the present and plan properly for the future.”
“Something that is yours forever is never precious.”
“No one knows he is fortunate until he becomes unfortunate, that’s the way the world is.”
“Truth has to be given in riddles. People can’t take truth if it comes charging at them like a bull. The bull is always killed. You have to give people the truth in a riddle, hide it so they go looking for it and find it piece by piece; that way they learn to live with it.”
“‘It’s not a pretty world, Papa.’
‘I’ve noticed,’ my father said softly.”
“Literature presents you with alternate mappings of the human experience. You see that the experiences of other people and other cultures are as rich, coherent, and troubled as your own experiences. They are as beset with suffering as yours. Literature is a kind of legitimate voyeurism through the keyhole of language where you really come to know other people’s lives–their anguish, their loves, their passions. Often you discover that once you dive into those lives and get below the surface, the veneer, there is a real closeness.”
“Every man who has shown the world the way to beauty, to true culture, has been a rebel, a ‘universal’ without patriotism, without home who has found his people everywhere.”
British Art – Part I of II: John Martin
Died 17 February 1854 – John Martin, an English Romantic painter, engraver, and illustrator.
From the Music Archives – Part III of VI: The Beach Boys
17 February 1962 – The Beach Boys introduce a new musical style with their hit “Surfin.”
“I bequeath all my property to my wife on the condition that she remarry immediately. Then there will be at least one man to regret my death.” – Heinrich Heine, German poet, essayist, and literary critic, who died 17 February 1856.
“A Palm Tree”
A single fir-tree, lonely,
on a northern mountain height,
sleeps in a white blanket,
draped in snow and ice.
British Art – Part II of II: Thelma Hulbert
Died 17 February 1995 – Thelma Hulbert, a British painter.
Below (left to right) – “Blue Window, Fruit and Leaves”; “Blind and Paper Flowers”; “Window on the Terrace”; “Swiss Nocturne”; “Persian Legend.”
From the Music Archives – Part IV of VI: The Beatles
17 February 1967 – The Beatles release “Penny Lane.”
“It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.” – Jiddu Krishnamurti, Indian philosopher and spiritual leader, who died 17 February 1986.
Some quotes from the work of Jiddu Krishnamurti:
“You must understand the whole of life, not just one little part of it. That is why you must read, that is why you must look at the skies, that is why you must sing, and dance, and write poems, and suffer, and understand, for all that is life.”
“It is truth that liberates, not your effort to be free.”
“When you call yourself an Indian or a Muslim or a Christian or a European, or anything else, you are being violent. Do you see why it is violent? Because you are separating yourself from the rest of mankind. When you separate yourself by belief, by nationality, by tradition, it breeds violence. So a man who is seeking to understand violence does not belong to any country, to any religion, to any political party or partial system; he is concerned with the total understanding of mankind.”
“Freedom and love go together. Love is not a reaction. If I love you because you love me, that is mere trade, a thing to be bought in the market; it is not love. To love is not to ask anything in return, not even to feel that you are giving something- and it is only such love that can know freedom.”
“Tell your friend that in his death, a part of you dies and goes with him. Wherever he goes, you also go. He will not be alone.”
“The more you know yourself, the more clarity there is. Self-knowledge has no end – you don’t come to an achievement, you don’t come to a conclusion. It is an endless river.”
“Governments want efficient technicians, not human beings, because human beings become dangerous to governments – and to organized religions as well. That is why governments and religious organizations seek to control education.”
“One is never afraid of the unknown; one is afraid of the known coming to an end.”
“Tradition becomes our security, and when the mind is secure it is in decay.”
“Real learning comes about when the competitive spirit has ceased.”
“Do not repeat after me words that you do not understand. Do not merely put on a mask of my ideas, for it will be an illusion and you will thereby deceive yourself.”
“The ending of sorrow is the beginning of wisdom. Knowledge is always within the shadow of ignorance. Meditation is freedom from thought and a movement in the ecstasy of truth. Meditation is explosion of intelligence.”
“Follow the wandering, the distraction, find out why the mind has wandered; pursue it, go into it fully. When the distraction is completely understood, then that particular distraction is gone. When another comes, pursue it also. ”
“The constant assertion of belief is an indication of fear.”
“Happiness is strange; it comes when you are not seeking it. When you are not making an effort to be happy, then unexpectedly, mysteriously, happiness is there, born of purity, of a loveliness of being.”
“I maintain that Truth is a pathless land, and you cannot approach it by any path whatsoever, by any religion, by any sect. … The moment you follow someone you cease to follow Truth.”
“When you once see something as false which you have accepted as true, as natural, as human, then you can never go back to it.”
“We carry about us the burden of what thousands of people have said and the memories of all our misfortunes. To abandon all that is to be alone, and the mind that is alone is not only innocent but young — not in time or age, but young, innocent, alive at whatever age — and only such a mind can see that which is truth and that which is not measurable by words.”
From the Music Archives – Part V of VI: The Beatles
17 February 1967 – The Beatles release “Strawberry Fields Forever.”
Here is the Artist Statement of Canadian painter Autumn Skye Morrison (born 1983): “My purpose is to create. In that process I find stillness and rhythm, my teacher and passion. I believe that art can be a life shaking experience, or an intimate rendezvous. For me it is both.
I place intention in what I create. Either through words, actions, thoughts, or artwork, I aim to share honesty and awakening. To celebrate this fantastic adventure. To inspire and be inspired.
I begin with planting seeds of ideas, and intuitively progress through the piece. I go on a journey with each painting; evolving together. I am constantly surprised and inspired by what is translated by my imagination and hands.
Thereafter, your story is whispered. A reflection of light and shadow of your human beauty, your geometric perfection, and your ancient divinity.”
From the American Old West: Geronimo
“I was born on the prairies where the wind blew free and there was nothing to break the light of the sun. I was born where there were no enclosures.” – Geronimo, prominent leader of the Bedonkohe Apache who fought against Mexico and the United States for their expansion into Native American tribal lands during the Apache Wars, who died 17 February 1909.
A few quotes from Geronimo:
“The soldiers never explained to the government when an Indian was wronged, but reported the misdeeds of the Indians.”
“I was no chief and never had been, but because I had been more deeply wronged than others, this honor was conferred upon me, and I resolved to prove worthy of the trust.”
“I was warmed by the sun, rocked by the winds and sheltered by the trees as other Indian babes. I was living peaceably when people began to speak bad of me. Now I can eat well, sleep well and be glad. I can go everywhere with a good feeling.”
From the Music Archives – Part VI of VI: Thelonious Monk
Died 17 February 1982 – Thelonious Monk, an American jazz pianist and composer considered one of the giants of American music.
American Art – Part III of IV: Philip Pearlstein
Philip Pearlstein (born 1924) is best known for painting nudes in a Modernist Realism style.
Below – “Male and Female Nudes with Red and Purple Drape”; “Two Models in a Window with Cast Iron Toys”; “Two Nudes with Lion, Ostrich, and Minstrel”; “Model with Model Ship”: “Nude with Red Model Airplane”; Model with Flamingo”; “Fox, Fish, Models, and Wooden Lady”; “Self-Portrait.”
A Poem for Today
“A Certain Kind of Eden,”
By Kay Ryan
It seems like you could, but
you can’t go back and pull
the roots and runners and replant.
It’s all too deep for that.
You’ve overprized intention,
have mistaken any bent you’re given
for control. You thought you chose
the bean and chose the soil.
You even thought you abandoned
one or two gardens. But those things
keep growing where we put them—
if we put them at all.
A certain kind of Eden holds us thrall.
Even the one vine that tendrils out alone
in time turns on its own impulse,
twisting back down its upward course
a strong and then a stronger rope,
the greenest saddest strongest
kind of hope.
American Art – Part IV of IV: Willard Leroy Metcalf
In the words of one art historian, “Willard Leroy Metcalf (1858-1925) was born in Lowell, Massachusetts. His family moved to a farm in Maine in 1863, but eventually returned to Massachusetts, purchasing a home in Cambridgeport in 1872. Metcalf’s parents, themselves artistically inclined, early recognized their son’s talents and encouraged his proper training. He served first as an apprentice to a wood engraver and later as a student of George Loring Brown (1814-1889), a portrait and landscape painter of considerable reputation at the time. Metcalf also took evening life drawing classes at the Lowell Institute and was the first student to receive a scholarship to the Museum of Fine Arts school, which he attended from 1877-1878.
From 1883-1889 Metcalf lived in France where he studied at the Academie Julian under Gustave Boulanger (1824-1890) and Jules Joseph Lefebvre (1836-1911). He traveled through Brittany and Normandy beginning in 1884, sketching and painting near the villages of Pont-Aven and Grez-su-Loing, and within a few years frequenting Giverny with several American colleagues, including Theodore Robinson. Visiting North Africa during the winter of 1887 Metcalf discovered the subject that inspired him to paint Marche de Kousse-Kousse a Tunis, which received an honorable mention at the Paris Salon the following year.
Upon returning to the United States, Metcalf lived briefly in Boston, then settled in New York City. In addition to painting and illustrating, he taught for a short time at the Art Students League and for ten years at the Cooper Union.
In 1904, disenchanted with his personal and professional life, Metcalf retreated from the city and went to stay with his parents in Clark’s Cove, Maine, near Boothbay and the Damariscotta River. This highly productive visit brought about a turning point in the artist’s career. He seemed to develop a greater sensitivity to the natural world around this time and began producing the lush New England landscapes for which he would become best known. Although not as poetic or ethereal as his friend Twachtman’s representations of the brooks, fields, and woods, Metcalf’s paintings effectively captured the beauty and serenity of his surroundings during every season and under varied climatic conditions. Despite his use of the divided brushstrokes and bright palette of the impressionists, his images continued to emphasize three-dimensional form, and fidelity to the natural subject.”