Happy New Year!
In the words of one critic, “Jin Hongjun (born 1937) is a native of Beijing. His family are descendants of the Emperors of the Qing Dynasty. He studied Chinese painting with many well-known artists in the Chinese Painting Department, Central Art College of China. As a professional artist at the Beijing Painting Institute, Professor Jin particularly specialized in fine brushwork. His paintings have been collected by the China National Art Museum and by the Chinese government and many important organizations. Jin Hongjun also was invited to visit India and to teach in Japan plus to participate in art exhibitions of his works in the U.S., Singapore, Korea, Canada, Thailand and other countries.”
Here is a critic describing the artistry of painter Christian de Laubadere: “Christian de Laubadère began living and working in Shanghai in 2001.
The series of 137 paintings displayed in the Hotel Setai (Miami) and the most recent 21 paintings shown in Shanghai are a reflection of Christian’s fascination with the sophistication and sensuality of women, past and present. He paints on paper and canvas using lead pencils, smoke and charcoal as well as printed and embroidered fabric selected from China and France.
His signature in Chinese characters is ‘Lu’ (‘foot of the mountain’) and ‘Mi’ (‘power’) directly translated from a nickname of his childhood ‘Loumi’ which means ‘my favourite one’ in French dialect from Gascogne province.”
“We dream to give ourselves hope. To stop dreaming – well, that’s like saying you can never change your fate.” – Amy Tan, an American writer and author of “The Joy Luck Club,” who was born 19 February 1952.
Some quotes from the work of Amy Tan:
“Chance is the first step you take, luck is what comes afterward.”
“I hid my deepest feelings so well I forgot where I placed them.”
“Sure I loved him – too much. And he loved me, only not enough. I just want someone who thinks I’m number one in his life. I’m not willing to accept emotional scraps anymore.”
“Isn’t hate merely the result of wounded love?”
“‘Now you see,’ said the turtle, drifting back into the pond, ‘why it is useless to cry. Your tears do not wash away your sorrows. They feed someone else’s joy. And that is why you must learn to swallow your own tears.’”
“That was how dishonesty and betrayal started, not in big lies but in small secrets.”
“Isn’t that how it is when you must decide with your heart? You are not just choosing one thing over another. You are choosing what you want. And you are also choosing what somebody else does not want, and all the consequences that follow. You can tell yourself, That’s not my problem, but those words do not wash the trouble away. Maybe it is no longer a problem in your life. But it is always a problem in your heart.”
“We all had our miseries. But to despair was to wish back for something already lost. Or to prolong what was already unbearable.”
“I did not lose myself all at once. I rubbed out my face over the years washing away my pain, the same way carvings on stone are worn down by water.”
“Because sometimes that is the only way to remember what is in your bones. You must peel off your skin, and that of your mother, and her mother. Until there is nothing. No scar, no skin, no flesh.”
“Why do you think you are missing something you never had?”
“Your life is what you see in front of you.”
American Art – Part I of II: Julian Alden Weir
In the words of one historian, “Julian Alden Weir (August 30, 1852 – December 8, 1919) was an American impressionist painter and member of the Cos Cob Art Colony near Greenwich, Connecticut. Weir was also one of the founding members of ‘The Ten,’ a loosely-allied group of American artists dissatisfied with professional art organizations, who banded together in 1898 to exhibit their works as a stylistically unified group.”
Below – “The Red Bridge”; “Afternoon by the Pond”; “The Factory Village”; “The Bridge Nocturne”; “The Ice Cutters”; “Idle Hours”; “After the Ride”; “The Farmer’s Lawn”; “Branchville, Connecticut.”
Here is the Artist Statement of Canadian painter Pascale Pratte: “What inspires me in the creation of these colorful characters is femininity. At times strong, at times sensual, these women seem to follow the paths of my emotions. They are within me and are part of my being.”
“There’s nothing that makes you so aware of the improvisation of human existence as a song unfinished. Or an old address book.” – Carson McCullers, American novelist, short story writer, playwright, essayist, poet, and author of “The Heart is a Lonely Hunter,” who was born 19 February 1917.
Some quotes from the work of Carson McCullers:
“It is a curious emotion, this certain homesickness I have in mind. With Americans, it is a national trait, as native to us as the roller-coaster or the jukebox. It is no simple longing for the home town or country of our birth. The emotion is Janus-faced: we are torn between a nostalgia for the familiar and an urge for the foreign and strange. As often as not, we are homesick most for the places we have never known.”
“How can the dead be truly dead when they still live in the souls of those who are left behind?”
“But the hearts of small children are delicate organs. A cruel beginning in this world can twist them into curious shapes. The heart of a hurt child can shrink so that forever afterward it is hard and pitted as the seed of a peach. Or again, the heart of such a child may fester and swell until it is a misery to carry within the body, easily chafed and hurt by the most ordinary things.”
“All we can do is go around telling the truth.”
“We wander, question. But the answer waits in each separate heart – the answer of our own identity and the way by which we can master loneliness and feel that at last we belong.”
“The Heart is a lonely hunter with only one desire! To find some lasting comfort in the arms of another’s fire…driven by a desperate hunger to the arms of a neon light, the heart is a lonely hunter when there’s no sign of love in sight!”
In the words of one critic, artist Natalya Osadcha “was born May 21, 1979 in Ukraine. In 1997 she graduated from a professional art institution as ‘Painter to the wood, performer of works of art – decorative.’ She later worked as a decorator at a company of ceramic art in Ukraine.”
“There is only one history of any importance, and it is the history of what you once believed in, and the history of what you came to believe in.” – Kay Boyle, American poet, novelist, educator, and political activist, who was born 19 February 1903.
“Monody to the Sound of Zithers”
I have wanted other things more than lovers . . .
I have desired peace, intimately to know
The secret curves of deep-bosomed contentment,
To learn by heart things beautiful and slow.
Cities at night, and cloudful skies, I’ve wanted;
And open cottage doors, old colors and smells a part;
All dim things, layers of river-mist on river –
To capture Beauty’s hands and lay them on my heart;
I have wanted clean rain to kiss my eyelids,
Sea-spray and silver foam to kiss my mouth.
I have wanted strong winds to flay me with passion;
And, to soothe me, tired winds from the south.
In the words of one writer, “Lorraine Lewitzka was born in South Australia in 1952, into a family of artists and worked as a fashion and illustrative artist in the late ’60’s, beginning watercolour painting in 1985. In 1988, Lorraine was accepted as a Fellow of the Royal South Australian Society of Arts and began exhibiting in private and mixed exhibitions.”
19 February 1949 – The first Bollingen Prize for poetry is awarded to Ezra Pound.
“In a Station of the Metro”
Here is how one writer describes the early years of Italian painter Sandro Bastioli: “Bastioli was born in Spoleto in 1949. He went to live in Switzlerland at an early age, where he soon showed a skill for drawing and painting. When he returned to Italy he went to live in Milan, where he attended the Accademia di Pittura di Bovisio Masciago for two years, under the guidance of Professor Cino Balleri. Here, he improved his tecnique in oil painting. He began his artistic career after overcoming many milestones, and he ventured into painting ‘nude women’ as a start. He painted them both in oil and sanguine, which he preferred.”
19 February 1963 – The Bollingen Prize for Poetry is awarded to Robert Frost.
“An Old Man’s Winter Night”
All out of doors looked darkly in at him
Through the thin frost, almost in separate stars,
That gathers on the pane in empty rooms.
What kept his eyes from giving back the gaze
Was the lamp tilted near them in his hand.
What kept him from remembering what it was
That brought him to that creaking room was age.
He stood with barrels round him — at a loss.
And having scared the cellar under him
In clomping there, he scared it once again
In clomping off; — and scared the outer night,
Which has its sounds, familiar, like the roar
Of trees and crack of branches, common things,
But nothing so like beating on a box.
A light he was to no one but himself
Where now he sat, concerned with he knew what,
A quiet light, and then not even that.
He consigned to the moon, such as she was,
So late-arising, to the broken moon
As better than the sun in any case
For such a charge, his snow upon the roof,
His icicles along the wall to keep;
And slept. The log that shifted with a jolt
Once in the stove, disturbed him and he shifted,
And eased his heavy breathing, but still slept.
One aged man — one man — can’t keep a house,
A farm, a countryside, or if he can,
It’s thus he does it of a winter night.
In the words of one writer, “Anthony Palliser was born in 1949 of an English father and a Belgian mother. He studied at Downside school and graduated from New College Oxford. In 1967 he attended the Academy of Fine Arts in Rome. In 1970 he settled in Paris where he still lives and works. From 1995 to 1997 he taught as visiting professor at the New York School of Visual Arts in Savannah, Georgia. He remains a frequent visitor to Savannah and Charleston, SC. where the unique landscapes of the low-country remain a constant source of inspiration.”
19 February 1995 -The Bollingen Prize for poetry is awarded to Kenneth Koch.
Nothing’s moving I don’t see anybody
And I know that it’s not a trick
There really is nothing moving there
And there aren’t any people. It is the very utmost top
Where, as is not unusual,
There is snow, lying like the hair on a white-haired person’s head
Combed sideways and backward and forward to cover as much of the top
As possible, for the snow is thinning, it’s September
Although a few months from now there will be a new crop
Probably, though this no one KNOWS (so neither do we)
But every other year it has happened by November
Except for one year that’s known about, nineteen twenty-three
When the top was more and more uncovered until December fifteenth
When finally it snowed and snowed
I love seeing this mountain like a mouse
Attached to the tail of another mouse, and to another and to another
In total mountain silence
There is no way to get up there, and no means to stay.
It is uninhabitable. No roads and no possibility
Of roads. You don’t have a history
Do you, mountain top? This doesn’t make you either a mystery
Or a dull person and you’re certainly not a truck stop.
No industry can exploit you
No developer can divide you into estates or lots
No dazzling disquieting woman can tie your heart in knots.
I could never lead my life on one of those spots
You leave uncovered up there. No way to be there
But I’m moved.
From the Music Archives – Part I of II: “Mama” Cass Elliot
Born 19 February 1943 – “Mama” Cass Elliot, an American singer and member of The Mamas and The Papas.
From the Music Archives – Part II of II: Eddie Hardin
Born 19 February 1949 – Eddie Hardin, an English rock pianist and singer-songwriter best known for his association with the Spencer Davis Group.
Nobel Laureates – Part I of II: Knut Hamsun
“Do not forget, some give little, and it is much for them, others give all, and it costs them no effort; who then has given most?” – Knut Hamsun, Norwegian writer, author of “Growth of the Soil,” and recipient of the 1920 Nobel Prize in Literature “for his monumental work, ‘Growth of the Soil,’” who died 19 February 1952.
Some quotes from the work of Knut Hamsun:
“Truth is neither objectivity nor the balanced view; truth is a selfless subjectivity.”
“An increasing number of people who lead mental lives of great intensity, people who are sensitive by nature, notice the steadily more frequent appearance in them of mental states of great strangeness … a wordless and irrational feeling of ecstasy; or a breath of psychic pain; a sense of being spoken to from afar, from the sky or the sea; an agonizingly developed sense of hearing which can cause one to wince at the murmuring of unseen atoms; an irrational staring into the heart of some closed kingdom suddenly and briefly revealed.”
“The intelligent poor individual was a much finer observer than the intelligent rich one. The poor individual looks around him at every step, listens suspiciously to every word he hears from the people he meets; thus, every step he takes presents a problem, a task, for his thoughts and feelings. He is alert and sensitive, he is experienced, his soul has been burned…”
“And the great spirit of darkness spread a shroud over me…everything was silent-everything. But upon the heights soughed the everlasting song, the voice of the air, the distant, toneless humming which is never silent.”
“The long, long road over the moors and up into the forest – who trod it into being first of all? Man, a human being, the first that came here. There was no path before he came.”
“Do you know what constitutes a great poet? He is a person without shame, incapable of blushing. Ordinary fools have moments when they go off by themselves and blush with shame; not so the great poet…. If you really have to quote someone, quote a geographer; that way you won’t give yourself away.
“But now it was spring again, and spring was almost unbearable for sensitive hearts. It drove creation to its utmost limits, it wafted its spice-laden breath even into the nostrils of the innocent.”
“The writer must be able to revel and roll in the abundance of words; he must know not only the direct but also the secret power of a word. There are overtones and undertones to a word, and lateral echoes, too.”
“No worse fate can befall a young man or woman than becoming prematurely entrenched in prudence and negation.”
“I have gone to the forest.”
Nobel Laureates – Part II of II: William Faulkner
February 19 1932 – William Faulkner completes his novel “Light in August.”
Some quotes from “Light in August”:
“In August in Mississippi there’s a few days somewhere about the middle of the month when suddenly there’s a foretaste of fall, it’s cool, there’s a lambence, a soft, a luminous quality to the light, as though it came not from just today but from back in the old classic times. It might have fauns and satyrs and the gods and—from Greece, from Olympus in it somewhere. It lasts just for a day or two, then it’s gone. . .the title reminded me of that time, of a luminosity older than our Christian civilization.”
“Memory believes before knowing remembers. Believes longer than recollects, longer than knowing even wonders. Knows remembers believes a corridor in a big long garbled cold echoing building of dark red brick sootbleakened by more chimneys than its own, set in a grassless cinderstrewnpacked compound surrounded by smoking factory purlieus and enclosed by ten food steel-and-wire fence like a penitentiary or a zoo, where in random erratic surges, with sparrowlike childtrebling, orphans in identical and uniform blue denim in and out of remembering but in knowing constant in the bleak walls, the bleak windows where in rain soot from the yearly adjacenting chimneys streaked like black tears.”
“Knowing not grieving remembers a thousand savage and lonely streets.”
“I know now that what makes a fool is an inability to take even his own good advice.”
“He thought that it was loneliness which he was trying to escape and not himself. But the street ran on: catlike, one place was the same as another to him. But in none of them could he be quiet. But the street ran on in its moods and phases, always empty: he might have seen himself as in numberless avatars, in silence, doomed with motion, driven by the courage of flagged and spurred despair; by the despair of courage whose opportunities had to be flagged and spurred.”
“How false the most profound book turns out to be when applied to life.”
“At first it had been a torrent; now it was a tide, with a flow and ebb. During its flood she could almost fool them both. It was as if out of her knowledge that it was just a flow that must presently react was born a wilder fury, a fierce denial that could flag itself and him into physical experimentation that transcended imagining, carried them as though by momentum alone, bearing them without volition or plan. It was as if she knew somehow that time was short, that autumn was almost upon her, without knowing yet the exact significance of autumn. It seemed to be instinct alone: instinct physical and instinctive denial of the wasted years. Then the tide would ebb. Then they would be stranded as behind a dying mistral, upon a spent and satiate beach, looking at one another like strangers, with hopeless and reproachful (on his part with weary: on hers with despairing) eyes.”
“Though children can accept adults as adults, adults can never accept children as anything but adults too.”
“Surely heaven must have something of the color and shape of whatever village or hill or cottage of which the believer says, This is my own.”
“The whiskey died away in time and was renewed and died again, but the street ran on. From that night the thousand streets ran as one street, with imperceptible corners and changes of scene …”
“It is just dawn, daylight: that gray and lonely suspension filled with the peaceful and tentative waking of birds. The air, inbreathed, is like spring water. He breathes deep and slow, feeling with each breath himself diffuse in the natural grayness, becoming one with loneliness and quiet that has never known fury or despair. ‘That was all I wanted,’ he thinks, in a quiet and slow amazement. ‘That was all, for thirty years. That didn’t seem to be a whole lot to ask in thirty years.’”
“A man. All men. He will pass up a hundred chances to do good for one chance to meddle where meddling is not wanted. He will overlook and fail to see chances, opportunities, for riches and fame and welldoing, and even sometimes for evil. But he won’t fail to see a chance to meddle.”
“And I reckon them that are good must suffer for it the same as them that are bad.”
“A man will talk about how he’d like to escape from living folks. but it’s the dead folks that do him the damage. It’s the dead ones that lay quiet in one place and don’t try to hold him, that he cant escape from.”
“It does not take long. Soon the fine galloping language, the gutless swooning full of sapless trees and dehydrated lusts begins to swim smooth and swift and peaceful. It is better than praying without having to bother to think aloud. It is like listening in a cathedral to a eunuch chanting in a language which he does not even need to not understand.”
Here is the Artist Statement of Polish painter Bogna Palmowska: “I graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw and the UW Department of Sociology, Applied Social Sciences. In 2012, graduated from the Faculty of Painting under the direction of Professor Jarosław Modzelewski.
I mostly paint on canvas, but also compose works on paper using mixed techniques, where the role
equivalent to the presentation plays intense, luminous color. I live and work in Żoliborz, Warsaw.”
A Poem for Today
By Allen Ginsburg
I speak of love that comes to mind:
The moon is faithful, although blind;
She moves in thought she cannot speak.
Perfect care has made her bleak.
American Art – Part II of II: William Herbert Dunton
In the words of one historian, “William Herbert ‘Buck’ Dunton (28 August 1878 – 18 March 1936) was an American artist and a founding member of the Taos Society of Artists. He is noted for paintings of cowboys, New Mexico, and the American Southwest.”