June Offerings – Part XXX: Something to Delight both Head and Heart

American Art – Part I of V: Anne Gregerson

Artist Statement: “I have always been drawn to the human figure as subject matter for my art. In recent years, much of my work has portrayed introspective individual figures, mostly female. I hope to capture a feeling, a moment, a fleeting thought, and to explore the relationship between the body, mind and spirit. In my current work, I seek to represent the invisible things that happen inside our minds and hearts, such as dreams, memories or wishes. I hope people who view my work might see reflected something familiar that they have felt or experienced.
My work is primarily hand built in clay, often incorporating mixed media elements such as metal, wood, or found objects. I use a variety of fired and post fired finishes, often glaze-firing pieces multiple times to achieve the desired effect. I often stay close to the natural earth tones I love, but recently have been experimenting with a broader range of colors.
I seldom work from a model, though I constantly study the features and forms of those women that surround me now and those that exist in memory and imagination.”
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In the words of artist Georges Braque, “Philippe Augé is one of the most accomplished painters of our time and a colorist of rare quality.” In the words of one critic, “With this unusually high praise from the modern master, the young French artist Philippe Augé (born 1935) embarked on a painting career which, since the 1950’s, has catapulted him into a meaningful position in the contemporary art arena. Braque’s assessment represents the quintessence of all the qualities associated with Augé’s work today.”
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June 1936 – Margaret Mitchell’s “Gone with the Wind” is published. Mitchell received the 1937 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction for the book, and it was adapted into a 1939 American film. To date, roughly 30 million copies of the novel have been printed worldwide.

“I’ll think of it tomorrow, at Tara. I can stand it then. Tomorrow, I’ll think of some way to get him back. After all, tomorrow is another day.”
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American Art – Part II of V: Superman

30 June 1938 – Superman, one of the earliest major superhero characters, first appears in “Action Comics #1.”
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American Art Part III of V: Jessica Gath

In the words of one writer, “Hailing from rural Maine, Jessica Gath dreamed of being an artist while studying Chinese at Tufts University. After a five-year stint in San Francisco where she worked in non-profit and advertising, Jessica returned to the East Coast to make this dream a reality, starting by earning a Masters of Fine Art at the Massachusetts College of Art and Design.”
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From the Music Archives – Part I of II: Florence Ballard

Born 30 June 1943 – Florence Ballard, an American vocalist and a founding member of The Supremes.

Latvian painter Anna Afanasjeva (born 1983) studied at the Latvian Academy of Art, Painting Department.
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From the Music Archives – Part II of II: Hal Andrew Lines

Born 30 June 1953 – Hal Andrew Lines, an English-American guitarist, film score composer, and member of Dire Straits (1980-1985).

Born in Split, Croatia in 1968, Maja Vodanovic moved to Montreal with her family when she was eight years old. Here is one critic describing her artistry: “In Vodanovic’s recent work each painting is a historical construction, where characters and places, objects and texts evoke real and imaginary events. The motionless images are deliberate syntheses condensing in a two-dimensional frame a temporal perspective. This visual construction of memory is produced by a constant and deliberate work of synthesis performed by our consciousness and our dreams.
With this work, we are able to orient ourselves in the chaotic stream of our experience. This fundamental dimension of our existence is represented in the theme as well as in the manner of Vodanovic’s works.”
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NPG x85596; Nancy Mitford by Bassano

“I have only read one book in my life and that is ‘White Fang.’ It’s so frightfully good I’ve never bothered to read another.” – Nancy Mitford, English novelist, biographer, journalist, and wit, who died 30 June 1973.

Some quotes from the work of Nancy Mitford:

“I love children, especially when they cry, for then someone takes them away.”
“To fall in love you have to be in the state of mind for it to take, like a disease.”
“I think housework is far more tiring and frightening than hunting is, no comparison, and yet after hunting we had eggs for tea and were made to rest for hours, but after housework people expect one to go on just as if nothing special had happened.”
“If I had a girl I should say to her, ‘Marry for love if you can, it won’t last, but it is a very interesting experience and makes a good beginning in life. Later on, when you marry for money, for heaven’s sake let it be big money. There are no other possible reasons for marrying at all.’”

Spanish sculptor Juan Munoz (1953-2001) worked primarily in paper mache, resin, and bronze. He was a self-described “storyteller.” In 2000, Muñoz was awarded Spain’s major Premio Nacional de Bellas Artes in recognition of his work.
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Born 30 June 1938 – William Mervin “Billy” Mills, also known as Makata Taka Hela, is the second Native American (after Jim Thorpe) to win an Olympic gold medal. In the words of one historian, “He accomplished this feat in the 10,000 meter run (6.2 mi) at the 1964 Tokyo Olympics, becoming the only person from the western hemisphere to ever to win the Olympic gold in this event. His 1964 victory is considered one of the greatest of Olympic upsets. A former United States Marine, Billy Mills is a member of the Oglala Lakota (Sioux) Tribe.”

Colombian realist symbolist painter Ramiro Ramirez Cardona (born 1954) was born into a family of self-taught sculptors and painters.
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From the American History Archives – Part I of II: Indian Territory

30 June 1834 – The United States Congress creates Indian Territory.
In the words of one historian, “‘Indian Territory’ later came to refer to an unorganized territory whose general borders were initially set by the Indian Intercourse Act of 1834, and was the successor to Missouri Territory after Missouri received statehood. The borders of Indian Territory were reduced in size as various Organic Acts were passed by Congress to create incorporated territories of the United States. The 1907 Oklahoma Enabling Act created the single state of Oklahoma by combining Oklahoma Territory and Indian Territory, ending the existence of an Indian Territory.”

Italian painter Matteo Nannini (born 1979) lives and works in Cento.
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From the American History Archives – Part II of II: The Chevrolet Corvette

30 June 1953 – General Motors produces the first Chevrolet Corvette.

The Happy Motoring Era will soon be winding down in America, but future historians will doubtless describe the Corvette as one of the most iconic cars in automotive history.

Above – A 1953 Chevrolet Corvette.

Austrian sculptor Heinrich Eder (born 1967) lives and works in Hamburg, Germany.
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Nobel Laureate: Czeslaw Milosz

“I’ve always regretted that I’m made of contradictions. But, if contradiction is impossible to overcome, we have to accept both its ends.” – Czeslaw Milosz, a Polish poet, prose writer, translator, and diplomat of Lithuanian origin, who was born 30 June 1911.

In awarding Czeslaw Milosz the 1980 Nobel Prize in Literature, the Nobel Committee described him as someone “who with uncompromising clear-sightedness voices man’s exposed condition in a world of severe conflicts.”

“A Song on the End of the World”

On the day the world ends
A bee circles a clover,
A fisherman mends a glimmering net.
Happy porpoises jump in the sea,
By the rainspout young sparrows are playing
And the snake is gold-skinned as it should always be.

On the day the world ends
Women walk through the fields under their umbrellas,
A drunkard grows sleepy at the edge of a lawn,
Vegetable peddlers shout in the street
And a yellow-sailed boat comes nearer the island,
The voice of a violin lasts in the air
And leads into a starry night.

And those who expected lightning and thunder
Are disappointed.
And those who expected signs and archangels’ trumps
Do not believe it is happening now.
As long as the sun and the moon are above,
As long as the bumblebee visits a rose,
As long as rosy infants are born
No one believes it is happening now.

Only a white-haired old man, who would be a prophet
Yet is not a prophet, for he’s much too busy,
Repeats while he binds his tomatoes:
There will be no other end of the world,
There will be no other end of the world.
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After extensive travel, Myrtille Henrion Picco (born 1952) returned to France to devote herself to painting. She lives and works in Ardeche.
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A Poem for Today

“Bed in Summer,”
by Robert Louis Stevenson

In winter I get up at night
And dress by yellow candle-light.
In summer, quite the other way,
I have to go to bed by day.

I have to go to bed and see
The birds still hopping on the tree,
Or hear the grown-up people’s feet
Still going past me in the street.

And does it not seem hard to you,
When all the sky is clear and blue,
And I should like so much to play,
To have to go to bed by day?
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American Art – Part IV of V: Pam Powell

Artist Statement: “I have a passion for the human figure and love the variety of expression in the human form. I want my paintings to be like visual poems, condensing time, creating a mood and evoking an emotion. People who buy my paintings often ask me to tell them the story in the painting, but I’ve learned that it’s better not to tell my story. The painting must speak to the person who views it.”
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A Second Poem for Today

“Old Men Playing Basketball,”
by B. H. Fairchild

The heavy bodies lunge, the broken language
of fake and drive, glamorous jump shot
slowed to a stutter. Their gestures, in love
again with the pure geometry of curves,

rise toward the ball, falter, and fall away.
On the boards their hands and fingertips
tremble in tense little prayers of reach
and balance. Then, the grind of bone

and socket, the caught breath, the sigh,
the grunt of the body laboring to give
birth to itself. In their toiling and grand
sweeps, I wonder, do they still make love

to their wives, kissing the undersides
of their wrists, dancing the old soft-shoe
of desire? And on the long walk home
from the VFW, do they still sing

to the drunken moon? Stands full, clock
moving, the one in army fatigues
and houseshoes says to himself, pick and roll,
and the phrase sounds musical as ever,

radio crooning songs of love after the game,
the girl leaning back in the Chevy’s front seat
as her raven hair flames in the shuddering
light of the outdoor movie, and now he drives,

gliding toward the net. A glass wand
of autumn light breaks over the backboard.
Boys rise up in old men, wings begin to sprout
at their backs. The ball turns in the darkening air.
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American Art – Part V of V: RJ Clark

Artist Statement: “Every painting or drawing is a new beginning for me: each a new project, perhaps a new direction, a new way to paint, or sketch, or draw. I paint still lifes, figures, landscapes, and “pool paintings.” I’m just as likely to jump from a landscape to a portrait or a still life. Even though I often work on series they usually span several years and are interrupted by detours to other themes or series.


 Regardless of theme or medium, I am always obsessed with detail. Even when I view work by others I find myself focusing on individual brush strokes or pencil lines. I often start a painting using large brushes but soon I find myself rifling through cans looking for the smallest ones. I spend hours fretting over detail and repeatedly return to the same areas of a painting so that I can rework them. Detail takes time. Progress is slow. Each work starts out exciting, then turns aggravating then becomes exciting once again. The trick is to finish a work while things are exciting. Pencil takes time and it smears. Watercolor is nerve wracking as there is little room for correction and every stroke is final. Oil is tedious, sometimes a chemistry experiment, but it allows for correction and the vibrant nature of oil paint is exciting and adds life to the canvas.
Understand that in 35 years of making art things are bound to move about a bit. But I give every picture the most careful, detailed attention.”
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