March Offerings – Part VI: Something to Delight both Head and Heart

American Art – Part I of VIII: John Gutzon de la Mothe Borglum

Died 6 March 1941 – John Gutzon de la Mothe Borglum, an American artist and sculptor best known for creating the presidents’ heads at Mount Rushmore, South Dakota.
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From the Music Archives – Part I of IV: Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov

Born 6 March 1844 (Old System) – Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, a Russian composer.

Realistic painter Ralf Scherfose (born 1962) lives and works in Kassel, Germany.
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From the Music Archives – Part II of IV: Hugh Grundy

Born 6 March 1945 – Hugh Grundy, an English drummer and member of the rock band The Zombies.

American Art – Part II of VIII: Steven Skollar

In the words of one critic, “Steven Skollar is a New York City artist who has steadily built an international reputation depicting the cast-off toys of the 20th century and marvelous ‘portraits.’ Working with a technique that might be the envy of a 17th century Dutch master, Skollar takes his superb mastery of that rather somber style and uses it to make witty commentary on the human condition. His paintings are a reflection of our modern life served up with a mixture of nostalgia and rapier-sharp wit. Employing the dramatic lighting, deep shadows and dark grounds which were the essence of the Dutch and Flemish schools, the artist renders each subject with such skillful detail that his paintings take on the ambience of icons. He enhances this reverential aspect by creating handmade frames in gold leaf, or incorporating antique frames which he has collected over time, making each work into a modern altarpiece.”
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From the Music Archives – Part III of IV: Kiki Dee

Born 6 March 1947 – Pauline Matthews, better known by her stage name Kiki Dee, an English singer.

Polish painter Anna Orbaczewska is a graduate of both the Academy of Fine Arts in Gdansk and the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in The Hague.
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From the Music Archives – Part IV of IV: The Beatles

6 March 1970 – The Beatles release “Let It Be” in the United Kingdom.

Elizabeth Barrett Browning

“What is art but the life upon the larger scale, the higher. When, graduating up in a spiral line of still expanding and ascending gyres, it pushes toward the intense significance of all things, hungry for the infinite?” – Elizabeth Barrett Browning, British poet, who was born 6 March 1806.

Sonnet 43

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of being and ideal grace.
I love thee to the level of every day’s
Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light.
I love thee freely, as men strive for right.
I love thee purely, as they turn from praise.

I love thee with the passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood’s faith.
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints. I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life; and, if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death.

Below – Lord Frederick Leighton: Section of “The Painter’s Honeymoon.”

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In the words of one writer, “Gu Zhinong was born in Hangzhou of Zhejiang Province. He entered China Academy of Fine Arts in 1990 and then taught in Fine Art Academy of Hangzhou Normal University in 1994. He was awarded The Gold Medal in “The 11th Zhejiang Province Fine Arts Exhibition.”
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From the Real Estate Department

“If I owned Texas and Hell, I would rent out Texas and live in Hell.” – Philip Henry Sheridan, United States Army officer and Union general in the American Civil War, who was born 6 March 1831.
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American Art – Part III of VIII: Barbara Pence

Artist Statement: “My paintings usually suggest some kind of story. I strive to combine the critical elements of drawing, texture, composition, color, and meaning – as conveyed by the chosen objects of each work – to hold the viewer in front of my paintings to invent their own narrative.
Aside from their symbolism, I have a strong affection for the objects themselves in my paintings. Our lives are filled with objects, and we value them for many things, mainly related to their utility in our lives. However, our everyday familiarity with them often causes them to lose power to draw our attention. When an object goes into a painting, it is restored to the spotlight and we regard it anew and re-appreciate its special qualities. Partly for that reason I pay as much attention to an accurate rendering of the objects as I do to the symbolism of their presence.
Why contemporary realism? It seems to me that it narrows the distance between the viewer and the painting by not creating barriers to understanding. Viewers are not intellectually put off by being asked to “make sense” of an unrecognizable, abstract image. At the same time, use of realism runs the risk of seeming too obvious with respect to meaning. Therefore as the artist, my challenge is to structure the paintings so that the realism evokes more than a conventional emotion or reaction to the objects, thereby allowing deeper, perhaps more serious meanings to emerge for the viewer. I do this in a variety of ways: by using unconventional perspectives, formats, and/or unexpected objects. Excellence in rendering is also always a goal.”
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Nobel Laureates – Part I of II: Pearl S. Buck

“The test of a civilization is in the way that it cares for its helpless members.” – Pearl S. Buck, American writer, novelist, biographer, recipient of the 1932 Pulitzer Prize (for “The Good Earth”), and recipient of the 1938 Nobel Prize in Literature “for her rich and truly epic descriptions of peasant life in China and for her biographical masterpieces,” who died 6 March 1973.

Some quotes from the work of Pearl Buck:

“I feel no need for any other faith than my faith in the kindness of human beings. I am so absorbed in the wonder of earth and the life upon it that I cannot think of heaven and angels.”
“Every great mistake has a halfway moment, a split second when it can be recalled and perhaps remedied.”
“To eat bread without hope is still slowly to starve to death.”
“Many people lose the small joys in the hope for the big happiness.”
“There are many ways of breaking a heart. Stories were full of hearts broken by love, but what really broke a heart was taking away its dream — whatever that dream might be.”
“To serve is beautiful, but only if it is done with joy and a whole heart and a free mind.”
“Inside myself is a place where I live all alone and that’s where you renew your springs that never dry up. ”
“The young do not know enough to be prudent, and therefore they attempt the impossible — and achieve it, generation after generation.”
“One faces the future with one’s past.”
“The rich are always afraid.”
“Perhaps one has to be very old before one learns to be amused rather than shocked.”
“Sorrow fully accepted brings its own gifts. For there is alchemy in sorrow. It can be transmitted into wisdom, which, if it does not bring joy, can yet bring happiness.”
“All things are possible until they are proved impossible and even the impossible may only be so, as of now.”
“The secret of joy in work is contained in one word-excellence. To know how to do something well is to enjoy it.”
“If you want to understand today, you have to search yesterday.”
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American Art – Part IV of VIII: Vassia Alaykova

Artist Statement: “Welcome to my World of color and imagination. I fell in love with painting and performance arts at the early age of 10, studied classical ballet and later on fine arts and graphic design. The ideas behind my work are inspired by Eastern European folklore, world history, theatre and poetry, cultures. I believe that color plays an essential role in conveying feelings and emotions, just as poetry, it creates a complexity of elaborated ideas derived straight from the artist’s heart.”
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Nobel Laureates – Part II of II: Gabriel Garcia Marquez

“It is not true that people stop pursuing dreams because they grow old; they grow old because they stop pursuing dreams.” – Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Colombian novelist, short story writer, screenwriter, journalist, author of “One Hundred Years of Solitude,” and recipient of the 1982 Nobel Prize in Literature “for his novels and short stories, in which the fantastic and the realistic are combined in a richly composed world of imagination, reflecting a continent’s life and conflicts,” who was born 6 March 1928.

Some quotes from the work of Gabriel Garcia Marquez:

“No medicine cures what happiness cannot.”
“What matters in life is not what happens to you but what you remember and how you remember it.”
“He allowed himself to be swayed by his conviction that human beings are not born once and for all on the day their mothers give birth to them, but that life obliges them over and over again to give birth to themselves.”
“Perhaps this is what the stories meant when they called somebody heartsick. Your heart and your stomach and your whole insides felt empty and hollow and aching.”
“He dug so deeply into her sentiments that in search of interest he found love, because by trying to make her love him he ended up falling in love with her. Petra Cotes, for her part, loved him more and more as she felt his love increasing, and that was how in the ripeness of autumn she began to believe once more in the youthful superstition that poverty was the servitude of love. Both looked back then on the wild revelry, the gaudy wealth, and the unbridled fornication as an annoyance and they lamented that it had cost them so much of their lives to find the paradise of shared solitude. Madly in love after so many years of sterile complicity, they enjoyed the miracle of living each other as much at the table as in bed, and they grew to be so happy that even when they were two worn-out people they kept on blooming like little children and playing together like dogs.”
“To him she seemed so beautiful, so seductive, so different from ordinary people, that he could not understand why no one was as disturbed as he by the clicking of her heels on the paving stones, why no one else’s heart was wild with the breeze stirred by the sighs of her veils, why everyone did not go mad with the movements of her braid, the flight of her hands, the gold of her laughter. He had not missed a single one of her gestures, not one of the indications of her character, but he did not dare approach her for fear of destroying the spell.”
“He was still too young to know that the heart’s memory eliminates the bad and magnifies the good, and that thanks to this artifice we manage to endure the burden of the past.”
“But when a woman decides to sleep with a man, there is no wall she will not scale, no fortress she will not destroy, no moral consideration she will not ignore at its very root: there is no God worth worrying about.”
“My heart has more rooms in it than a whore house.”
“All human beings have three lives: public, private, and secret.”
“I discovered that my obsession for having each thing in the right place, each subject at the right time, each word in the right style, was not the well-deserved reward of an ordered mind but just the opposite: a complete system of pretense invented by me to hide the disorder of my nature. I discovered that I am not disciplined out of virtue but as a reaction to my negligence, that I appear generous in order to conceal my meanness, that I pass myself off as prudent because I am evil-minded, that I am conciliatory in order not to succumb to my repressed rage, that I am punctual only to hide how little I care about other people’s time. I learned, in short, that love is not a condition of the spirit but a sign of the zodiac.”
“‘The world must be all fucked up,’ he said then, ‘when men travel first class and literature goes as freight.’”
“A lie is more comfortable than doubt, more useful than love, more lasting than truth.”
“Wisdom comes to us when it can no longer do any good.”
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American Art – Part V of VIII: Eric Sloane

“Unfortunately, the only recognized relics of yesterday’s farmers are obsolete curiosities when the greatest relic, their philosophy of living, is seldom considered.” – From “Our Vanishing Landscape,” by Eric Sloane, American painter and writer, who died 5 March 1985.
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From the American History Archives – Part I of II: The Alamo

6 March 1836 – Davy Crockett, Jim Bowie, William Travis, and the rest of the besieged “American” garrison die on the last day of the Battle of the Alamo fought by 189 Republic of Texas secessionists and an army of 1,800 Mexican soldiers under the command of General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna.

Below – Robert Jenkins Onderdonk: “The Fall of the Alamo” (1903).

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American Art – Part VI of VIII: Paige Bradley

Artist Statement: “Focusing on tensions and liberations in my work, I feel most of our emotions are locked into a existential cocoon. My sculptures show the human race as a singular individual searching for connection but finding only alienation.
My recent work has become a symbol of struggle — both being contained and liberating ourselves from self-inflicted boundaries. Fears of ostracism, avoiding distinction and hiding from greatness are all thoughts that come to mind. These fears create sculptures wrapped in extraordinary tension. The figures struggle to unveil themselves in order to become understood and known. These bound figures give me a sense of unrest as if too much life is jammed into too restrictive of space. I feel as if I am trying to live my truth free and unveiled in a society that would rather keep us contained.
From the moment we are born, the world tends to have a container already built for us to fit inside: a social security number, a gender, a race, a profession, an I.Q. I ponder if we are more defined by the container we are in than what we are inside. Would we recognize ourselves if we could expand beyond our bodies?
Would we still be able to exist if we are authentically ‘un-contained’?
I attempt to expand my sculptures beyond the human flesh of the figure and create the brilliance within us. Simultaneously, I cannot help but to see a dangerous dichotomy between falling apart and expanding beyond our limitations. When devastation becomes deliverance, ashes from the past can become the foundations of the future.”

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From the American History Archives – Part II of II: The Battle of Pea Ridge/Elkhorn Tavern

6 March 1862 – The opening day of the Battle of Pea Ridge, also known as the Battle of Elkhorn Tavern, fought 6 – 8 March at Pea Ridge, Arkansas, during the American Civil War, also known as the War of Northern Aggression and The Great Rebellion.

Above – Kurz and Allison: “Battle of Pea Ridge, Ark.”
Below – Elkhorn Tavern today (rebuilt).
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American Art – Part VII of VIII: Georgia O’Keeffe

“Where I was born and where and how I have lived is unimportant. It is what I have done with where I have been that should be of interest.” – Georgia O’Keeffe, American artist, who died 6 March 1986.

Below (left to right) – “Ram’s Head, While Hollyhock, and Little Hills”; “Red Hills with Flowers”; “Red Hills with Pedernal , White Clouds”; “Sky Above Clouds IV”; “Cow’s Skull: Red, White, and Blue”; “From the Faraway, Nearby”; “White Canadian Barn”; “Yellow Hickory Leaves with Daisy”; “Black Iris III”; “Ram’s Head, Blue Morning Glory”; “Hibiscus with Plumeria”; “Apple Blossoms.”

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“International Hour of Prayer for the Yellowstone Buffalo Herd,”
By Wendy Rose

Noon, March 6, 1997


From morning’s mouth
the bones emerge,
a prayer is whispered
over rounded horns;
the prairie is beyond
the quivering hump
and holy smoke sparkles
released in the breath.
Braided sweetgrass,
be about their hooves;
although the grip of hunger
lies heavy on the land,
let endless native grasses grow
among the yellow stones
and between the stars.
Even if only one man had
begun to sing, actually
it was thousands, She who came
to Wisconsin farmers
and transformed their lives,
She who brought her blessing
in the form of being newborn,
She whom they named the Miracle,
White Buffalo Calf Maiden must return
amid the fast firing of bullets, along
the most perilous of paths. Rock stars,
millionaires, they all offered millions of dollars
to struggling white farmers
but she had begun her transformation and her prophecy
by touching them and they came to understand
if not the actual words to the prayers
at least the reverence, the need
to protect, to keep the doors open.
Like it was a hundred years ago
bounties are gathered from death;
trains, buses, cars, planes
carry the segmented body of the terrible worm
across the land and the screams of the hunted
split the sun awake. It is time to restore
the stolen beads and shards,
the bones and knives to every grave.
And the graves are graves no longer but wombs;
the bounties burn their hands
and bones come flowing
from museum shelves
to dance in the rippling grass,
rebuilding lungs, starting hearts.
There must be a hundred men
and a hundred men’s worth
of heartlessness; wished they could find
Indians to kill but now that is illegal
so they make up some excuse
to raise their rifles and take aim,
not hearing the rumble
of buffalo prayer, not feeling
tomorrow tremble
or the prophecy of Miracle,
and smile as they see the legs give way,
the horns gouge open the prairie ground, Earth betrayed again.

Below – “Buffalo Herd Near Fort Yellowstone,” a photochrome postcard (1909).
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American Art – Part VIII of VIII: Native American Paintings of Buffalo

Below – Cadzi Cody: “Plains Native American Hide Painting” (elk hide, circa 1900);
John Nieto: “Buffalo at Sunset”; Dolores Purdy Corcoran: “Buffalo Hunt”; Max Coyote: “Buffalo Spirit”; Isaac Bigness: “Buffalo Spirit”; John Nieto: “21st Century Buffalo.”
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