May Offerings – Part XXVII: Something to Delight both Head and Heart

American Art – Part I of VI: Hibiki Miyazaki

Painter Hibiki Miyazaki (born 1974) is a graduate of the Maryland Institute College of Art.
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“He who finds a new path is a pathfinder, even if the trail has to be found again by others; and he who walks far ahead of his contemporaries is a leader, even though centuries pass before he is recognized as such.” – Ibn Khaldun, Arab Muslim historian regarded as being among the founding fathers of sociology, historiography, and economics, who was born 27 May 1332.

Another quote from the work of Ibn Khaldun:

“Eventually, Aristotle appeared among the Greeks. He improved the methods of logic and systematized its problems and details. He assigned to logic its proper place as the first philosophical discipline and the introduction to philosophy. Therefore he is called the First Teacher.”

Macedonian painter Mihail Korubin (born 1986) graduated from the Faculty of Fine Arts in Skopje, Macedonia.
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“We live in a wonderful world that is full of beauty, charm and adventure. There is no end to the adventures we can have if only we seek them with our eyes open.” – Jawaharlal Nehru, Indian lawyer, politician, statesmen, and the first Prime Minister of independent India (1947-1964), who died 27 May 1964.

Some quotes from the work of Jawaharlal Nehru:

“There is nothing more horrifying than stupidity in action.”
“Facts are facts and will not disappear on account of your likes.”
“Life is like a game of cards. The hand that is dealt you is determinism; the way you play it is free will.”
“India has known the innocence and insouciance of childhood, the passion and abandon of youth, and the ripe wisdom of maturity that comes from long experience of pain and pleasure; and over and over a gain she has renewed her childhood and youth and age.”
“A language is something infinitely greater than grammar and philology. It is the poetic testament of the genius of a race and a culture, and the living embodiment of the thoughts and fancies that have moulded them.”
“The forces in a capitalist society, if left unchecked, tend to make the rich richer and the poor poorer.”
“What the mysterious is I do not know. I do not call it God because God has come to mean much that I do not believe in. I find myself incapable of thinking of a deity or of any unknown supreme power in anthropomorphic terms, and the fact that many people think so is continually a source of surprise to me. Any idea of a personal God seems very odd to me.”
“It is science alone that can solve the problems of hunger and poverty, of insanitation and illiteracy, of superstition and deadening custom and tradition, of vast resources running to waste, or a rich country inhabited by starving people… Who indeed could afford to ignore science today? At every turn we have to seek its aid… The future belongs to science and those who make friends with science.”
“Culture is the widening of the mind and of the spirit.”

Latvian painter Jekaterina Razina (born 1984) is a graduate of the Latvian Academy of Fine Arts.
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“I started drawing and dreaming before I could walk, but it took me forty years to find my artistic voice.” – South African painter Anny Maddock
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“The two most common elements in the universe are hydrogen and stupidity.” – Harlan Ellison, American writer of short stories, novellas, screenplays, teleplays, essays, and criticism, and winner of numerous awards, including the Hugo (8 times), the Nebula (4 times), the Edgar (2 times), and the Bram Stoker (5 times), who was born 27 May 1934.

Some quotes from the work of Harlan Ellison:

“You are not entitled to your opinion. You are entitled to your informed opinion. No one is entitled to be ignorant.”
“Did you ever notice, the only one in ‘A Christmas Carol’ with any character is Scrooge? Marley is a whiner who fucked over the world and then hadn’t the spine to pay his dues quietly; Belle, Scrooge’s ex-girlfriend, deserted him when he needed her most; Bob Cratchit is a gutless toady without enough get-up-and-go to assert himself; and the less said about that little treacle-mouth, Tiny Tim, the better.”
“If you make people think they’re thinking, they’ll love you; but if you really make them think, they’ll hate you.”
“Like a wind crying endlessly through the universe, Time carries away the names and the deeds of conquerors and commoners alike. And all that we were, all that remains, is in the memories of those who cared we came this way for a brief moment.”
“The world is turning into a cesspool of imbeciles.”
“In these days of widespread illiteracy, functional illiteracy… anything that keeps people stupid is a felony.”
“I will use big words from time to time, the meanings of which I may only vaguely perceive, in hopes such cupidity will send you scampering to your dictionary: I will call such behavior ‘public service’.”
“They minute people fall in love they become liars.”

Georgian painter Irma Kusiani (born 1971) has studied at both the Toidze Art College (ceramics) and the Tbilisi State Academy of Fine Art (fashion design).
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Thailand-born painter Prasong Kantanee received a B.A. in Business Administration from Strayer University in Washington D.C. He lives and works in Offenbach, Germany.

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“I’ve been homesick for countries I’ve never been, and longed to be where I couldn’t be.” – John Cheever, American novelist, short story writer, and recipient of the 1958 National Book Award (for “The Wapshot Chronicle”), who was born 27 May 1912.

Some quotes from the work of John Cheever:

“Our country is the best country in the world. We are swimming in prosperity and our President is the best president in the world. We have larger apples and better cotton and faster and more beautiful machines. This makes us the greatest country in the world. Unemployment is a myth. Dissatisfaction is a fable. In preparatory school America is beautiful. It is the gem of the ocean and it is too bad. It is bad because people believe it all. Because they become indifferent. Because they marry and reproduce and vote and they know nothing.”
“Fiction is art and art is the triumph over chaos… to celebrate a world that lies spread out around us like a bewildering and stupendous dream.”
“The world that was not mine yesterday now lies spread out at my feet, a splendor. I seem, in the middle of the night, to have returned to the world of apples, the orchards of Heaven. Perhaps I should take my problems to a shrink, or perhaps I should enjoy the apples that I have, streaked with color like the evening sky.”
“These stories seem at times to be stories of a long-lost world when the city of New York was still filled with a river light, when you heard the Benny Goodman quartets from a radio in the corner stationery store, and when almost everybody wore a hat.”
“The secret of keeping young is to read children’s books. You read the books they write for little children and you’ll keep young. You read novels, philosophy, stuff like that and it makes you feel old.”

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In the words of one writer, “Sally Aurisch is Italian trained although she grew up in country Western Australia. She has painted for most of her life. After attending the ‘Julian Ashton Art School’ in Sydney she left Australia in the 90s to study the old masters’ craft at its source in Florence, Italy.
There she trained with maestro Michael John Angel who leads the emerging interest in classic realist painting. Developed from art’s golden age; the renaissance, it’s adherents have included Leonardo, Caravaggio, Raphael, Leighton and Rembrandt.
Since returning to Australia, Sally Aurisch has successfully exhibited with the ‘Masterpiece Gallery’ in Hobart and the ‘Charles Hewitt’ in Sydney.
Her work celebrates nature. Her paintings are usually allegorical and she often camouflages signs and symbols within her compositions.”
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Nicaraguan painter Salvador Castillo Solorzano was born in Managua in 1958.
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27 May 1950 – The Bollingen Prize for poetry is awarded to Wallace Stevens.

“Sunday Morning”

I

Complacencies of the peignoir, and late
Coffee and oranges in a sunny chair,
And the green freedom of a cockatoo
Upon a rug mingle to dissipate
The holy hush of ancient sacrifice.
She dreams a little, and she feels the dark
Encroachment of that old catastrophe,
As a calm darkens among water-lights.
The pungent oranges and bright, green wings
Seem things in some procession of the dead,
Winding across wide water, without sound.
The day is like wide water, without sound,
Stilled for the passing of her dreaming feet
Over the seas, to silent Palestine,
Dominion of the blood and sepulchre.

II

Why should she give her bounty to the dead?
What is divinity if it can come
Only in silent shadows and in dreams?
Shall she not find in comforts of the sun,
In pungent fruit and bright, green wings, or else
In any balm or beauty of the earth,
Things to be cherished like the thought of heaven?
Divinity must live within herself:
Passions of rain, or moods in falling snow;
Grievings in loneliness, or unsubdued
Elations when the forest blooms; gusty
Emotions on wet roads on autumn nights;
All pleasures and all pains, remembering
The bough of summer and the winter branch.
These are the measures destined for her soul.

III

Jove in the clouds had his inhuman birth.
No mother suckled him, no sweet land gave
Large-mannered motions to his mythy mind.
He moved among us, as a muttering king,
Magnificent, would move among his hinds,
Until our blood, commingling, virginal,
With heaven, brought such requital to desire
The very hinds discerned it, in a star.
Shall our blood fail? Or shall it come to be
The blood of paradise? And shall the earth
Seem all of paradise that we shall know?
The sky will be much friendlier then than now,
A part of labor and a part of pain,
And next in glory to enduring love,
Not this dividing and indifferent blue.

IV

She says, “I am content when wakened birds,
Before they fly, test the reality
Of misty fields, by their sweet questionings;
But when the birds are gone, and their warm fields
Return no more, where, then, is paradise?”
There is not any haunt of prophecy,
Nor any old chimera of the grave,
Neither the golden underground, nor isle
Melodious, where spirits gat them home,
Nor visionary south, nor cloudy palm
Remote on heaven’s hill, that has endured
As April’s green endures; or will endure
Like her remembrance of awakened birds,
Or her desire for June and evening, tipped
By the consummation of the swallow’s wings.

V

She says, “But in contentment I still feel
The need of some imperishable bliss.”
Death is the mother of beauty; hence from her,
Alone, shall come fulfilment to our dreams
And our desires. Although she strews the leaves
Of sure obliteration on our paths,
The path sick sorrow took, the many paths
Where triumph rang its brassy phrase, or love
Whispered a little out of tenderness,
She makes the willow shiver in the sun
For maidens who were wont to sit and gaze
Upon the grass, relinquished to their feet.
She causes boys to pile new plums and pears
On disregarded plate. The maidens taste
And stray impassioned in the littering leaves.

VI

Is there no change of death in paradise?
Does ripe fruit never fall? Or do the boughs
Hang always heavy in that perfect sky,
Unchanging, yet so like our perishing earth,
With rivers like our own that seek for seas
They never find, the same receding shores
That never touch with inarticulate pang?
Why set the pear upon those river banks
Or spice the shores with odors of the plum?
Alas, that they should wear our colors there,
The silken weavings of our afternoons,
And pick the strings of our insipid lutes!
Death is the mother of beauty, mystical,
Within whose burning bosom we devise
Our earthly mothers waiting, sleeplessly.

VII

Supple and turbulent, a ring of men
Shall chant in orgy on a summer morn
Their boisterous devotion to the sun,
Not as a god, but as a god might be,
Naked among them, like a savage source.
Their chant shall be a chant of paradise,
Out of their blood, returning to the sky;
And in their chant shall enter, voice by voice,
The windy lake wherein their lord delights,
The trees, like serafin, and echoing hills,
That choir among themselves long afterward.
They shall know well the heavenly fellowship
Of men that perish and of summer morn.
And whence they came and whither they shall go
The dew upon their feet shall manifest.

VIII

She hears, upon that water without sound,
A voice that cries, “The tomb in Palestine
Is not the porch of spirits lingering.
It is the grave of Jesus, where he lay.”
We live in an old chaos of the sun,
Or old dependency of day and night,
Or island solitude, unsponsored, free,
Of that wide water, inescapable.
Deer walk upon our mountains, and the quail
Whistle about us their spontaneous cries;
Sweet berries ripen in the wilderness;
And, in the isolation of the sky,
At evening, casual flocks of pigeons make
Ambiguous undulations as they sink,
Downward to darkness, on extended wings.
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American Art – Part II of VI: Diane Schmidt

Painter Diane Schmidt lives and works in Sarasota, Florida.
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From the American Old West – Part I of II: Jedediah Strong Smith

Died 27 May 1831 – Jedediah Strong Smith, and American general store owner, hunter, trapper, fur trader, trailblazer, author, cartographer, and explorer of the Rocky Mountains, the American West Coast, and the Southwest during the early 19th century. In the words of one historian, “Nearly forgotten by historians almost a century after his death, Smith has been rediscovered as an American hero who was the first white man to travel overland from the Salt Lake frontier, the Colorado River, the Mojave Desert, and finally into California. Smith was the first United States citizen to explore and eastwardly cross the Sierra Nevada and the treacherous Great Basin. Smith also was the first American to travel up the California coast to reach the Oregon Country. Not only was he the first to do this, but he and Robert Stuart discovered the South Pass. This path became the main route used by pioneers to travel to the Oregon Country. Surviving three massacres and one bear mauling, Jedediah Smith’s explorations and documented discoveries were highly significant in opening the American West to expansion by white settlers and cattlemen.”

American Art – Part III of VI: Johanna Harmon

Artist Statement: “Faces fascinate me. I am especially drawn to the qualities that make an individual unique–the kind of beauty that you cannot invent. In particular, I look for nurturing personalities. Once I’m captivated by how a person carries themselves, I am driven to meet the challenge of not only capturing a likeness on canvas but more importantly, breathing life into that likeness.”
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From the American Old West – Part II of II: Wild Bill Hickok

Born 27 May 1837 – James Butler “Wild Bill” Hickok, a gunfighter, lawman, and gambler in the American Old West.

American Art – Part IV of VI: Matthew Grabelsky

Artist Statement: “A native New Yorker, I grew up surrounded by artists. In college I studied astrophysics, which taught me how to observe the world, and art, which allowed me to express my relationship to it. After graduating from Rice University in 2002 with both a BA in Art and Art History and a BS in Astrophysics I moved to Florence, Italy where I spent four years studying the techniques of classical drawing and painting.
Since completion of my studies in 2006 I have focused on creating meticulously rendered oil paintings and carefully modeled wire mesh sculptures that juxtapose the ‘real’ world with that of the subconscious. My work blurs the line between what we see around us in contemporary society with that of the imagination and dreams, bringing attention to the numerous and yet often unnoticed absurdities of daily life.”
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“The reader! You, dogged, uninsultable, print-oriented bastard, it’s you I’m addressing, who else, from inside this monstrous fiction. You’ve read me this far, then? Even this far? For what discreditable motive? How is it you don’t go to a movie, watch TV, stare at a wall, play tennis with a friend, make amorous advances to the person who comes to your mind when I speak of amorous advances? Can nothing surfeit, saturate you, turn you off? Where’s your shame?” – John Barth, American novelist, short story writer, and author of “The Sot-Weed Factor,” “Lost in the Funhouse,” and “Chimera” (for which he was the co-recipient of the 1973 National Book Award), who was born 27 May 1930.

Some quotes from the work of John Barth:

“He wishes he had never entered the funhouse. But he has. Then he wishes he were dead. But he’s not. Therefore he will construct funhouses for others and be their secret operator — though he would rather be among the lovers for whom funhouses are designed.”
“I particularly scorn my fondness for paradox. I despise pessimism, narcissism, solipsism, truculence, word-play, and pusillanimity, my chiefer inclinations; loathe self-loathers ergo me; have no pity for self-pity and so am free of that sweet baseness. I doubt I am. Being me’s no joke.”
“Yet everyone begins in the same place; how is it that most go along without difficulty but a few lose their way?”
“‘My dear fellow,’ Burlingame said, ‘we sit here on a blind rock careening through space; we are all of us rushing headlong to the grave. Think you the worms will care, when anon they make a meal of you, whether you spent your moment sighing wigless in your chamber, or sacked the golden towns of Montezuma? Lookee, the day’s nigh spent; ’tis gone careening into time forever. Not a tale’s length past we lined our bowels with dinner, and already they growl for more. We are dying men, Ebenezer: i’faith, there’s time for naught but bold resolves!’”
“All men are loyal, but their objects of allegiance are at best approximate.”

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Chinese artist Zhang Yan Yuan (born 1949) graduated from the China Academy of Art with an MFA in Oil Painting.
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“Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts. There is something infinitely healing in the repeated refrains of nature — the assurance that dawn comes after night, and spring after winter.” – Rachel Carson, American marine biologist, conservationist, and author of “The Sea Around Us” (which won the 1952 National Book Award) and “Silent Spring,” who was born 27 May 1907.

Some quotes from the work of Rachel Carson:

“A child’s world is fresh and new and beautiful, full or wonder and excitement. It is our misfortune that for most of us that clear-eyed vision, that true instinct for what is beautiful and awe-inspiring, is dimmed and even lost before we reach adulthood. If I had influence with the good fairy who is supposed to preside over the christening of all children, I should ask that her gift to each child in the world be a sense of wonder so indestructible that it would last throughout life, as an unfailing antidote against the boredom and disenchantment of later year…the alienation from the sources of our strength.”
“If a child is to keep alive his inborn sense of wonder, he needs the companionship of at least one adult who can share it, rediscovering with him the joy, excitement, and mystery of the world we live in.”
“The more clearly we can focus our attention on the wonders and realities of the universe about us, the less taste we shall have for destruction.”
“In every outthrust headland, in every curving beach, in every grain of sand there is the story of the earth.”
“But man is a part of nature, and his war against nature is inevitably a war against himself.”
“Those who dwell, as scientists or laymen, among the beauties and mysteries of the earth, are never alone or weary of life.”
“Why should we tolerate a diet of weak poisons, a home in insipid surroundings, a circle of acquaintances who are not quite our enemies, the noise of motors with just enough relief to prevent insanity? Who would want to live in a world which is just not quite fatal?”
“In nature nothing exists alone.”
“The question is whether any civilization can wage relentless war on life without destroying itself, and without losing the right to be called civilized.”
“The ‘control of nature’ is a phrase conceived in arrogance, born of the Neanderthal age of biology and philosophy, when it was supposed that nature exists for the convenience of man.”
“To stand at the edge of the sea, to sense the ebb and flow of the tides, to feel the breath of a mist moving over a great salt marsh, to watch the flight of shore birds that have swept up and down the surf lines of the continents for untold thousands of years, to see the running of the old eels and the young shad to the sea, is to have knowledge of things that are as nearly eternal as any earthly life can be.”
“One way to open your eyes is to ask yourself, ‘What if I had never seen this before? What if I knew I would never see it again?’”
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American Art – Part V of VI: William Schneider

The paintings of American artist William Schneider have received awards in many exhibitions, including those run by the Degas Pastel Society, American Artists, Oil Painters of America, and Salon International.
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A Poem for Today

“Truly Pathetic,”
By Neal Bowers

Lately, the weather aches;
the air is short of breath,
and morning stumbles in, stiff-jointed.

Day by day, the sun bores the sky,
until the moon begins
its some disappearing act,
making the oceans yawn.

Even the seasons change
with a throb of weariness—
bud, bloom, leaf, fall.

If it would help,
I would paint my house silver
or sell it or buy
a red convertible.

I would, but who am I
to try to cheer up
the self-indulgent universe.

Below – Lothar Alberts: A woman feeling bored in the middle of an amazing landscape.
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American Art – Part VI of VI: Scott Prior

American painter Scott Prior received a BFA in printmaking from the University of Massachusetts in 1971.
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