July Offerings – Part XII: Something to Delight both Head and Heart

American Art – Part I of V: Fiona Phillips

In the words of one critic, “Fiona Phillips is a contemporary artist living in Cedar City, UT. Much of what shapes her studio practice is derived from her experiences both as a girl in England and as part of an English immigrant family in America. Memory and relationships are a source of inspiration for much of the work she has done in the last several years. Most recently Fiona has become interested in exploring a possible connection between the 1950’s and contemporary women.”
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In the words of one critic, Colombian painter Alex Stevenson Diaz “is an artist with appreciation of the human, which communicates through expressive poses the inner struggle of man with himself, his yearnings for freedom, his prisons and bonds.”

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Paraguayan painter Herman Miranda (born 1960) is a self-taught artist.
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Born 12 July 1916 – Robert E. Gilka, an American photojournalist best known for being an editor and director of photography at “National Geographic” for twenty-seven years. According to one historian, “Words of encouragement from Bob Gilka were responsible for the development of dozens of fine photographers. During his years at National Geographic, they became known as ‘Gilka’s Gorillas’—probably a result of Jane Goodall, naming one of her research chimps (Gilka) after him. At the ‘Geographic’ he was a staunch supporter of photographers while they traveled throughout the world. He was always willing to defend expense account items such as ‘Cessna 185 aircraft’ (the whole plane—not a rental) or obscure items such as ‘Mouse for rattlesnake, house for mouse, cheese for mouse.’:

Above – Gilka and his cat in 2010.

Here is one critic describing the artistry of Belgian painter Yves Bossut (born 1941): “Spiritualized Art introduces a visually captivating poetic idea – as with surrealism – where craftsmanship reaffirms its importance. This artistic coalescence moves from the mind, through the heart, and to the hand, the three indivisible requirements to generate a masterful artistic expression. It asserts the power of the unconscious introduced by the surrealists and enriched by twentieth century culture, and it is a visionary translation and exaltation of the unconscious and its call to symbols, tenderness, anecdote, and poetry previously ignored by the academic rigors of the second half of the twentieth century.”
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Here is the Artist Statement of Canadian painter Nicholas Pearce (born 1950): ”My passion for painting is inspired by women – their beauty, strength, sensuality and artistry – from the nude to the sensuous dance of Flamenco. Teaching other painters what I’ve learned has added to that passion and expanded my own learning.”
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“The truth of Zen, just a little bit of it, is what turns one’s humdrum life, a life of monotonous, uninspiring commonplaceness, into one of art, full of genuine inner creativity.” – Daisetsu Teitaro (D. T.) Suzuki, Japanese author of books on Buddhism, Shin, and Zen that were instrumental in spreading interest in Zen and East Asian philosophy throughout the West, who died 12 July 1966.

Some quotes from the work of D. T. Suzuki:

“Emptiness which is conceptually liable to be mistaken for sheer nothingness is in fact the reservoir of infinite possibilities.”
“Technical knowledge is not enough. One must transcend techniques so that the art becomes an artless art, growing out of the unconscious.”
“The intuitive recognition of the instant, thus reality… is the highest act of wisdom.”
“Modern life seems to recede further and further away from nature, and closely connected with this fact we seem to be losing the feeling of reverence towards nature. It is probably inevitable when science and machinery, capitalism and materialism go hand in hand so far in a most remarkably successful manner. Mysticism, which is the life of religion in whatever sense we understand it, has come to be relegated altogether in the background. Without a certain amount of mysticism there is no appreciation for the feeling of reverence, and, along with it, for the spiritual significance of humility. Science and scientific technique have done a great deal for humanity; but as far as our spiritual welfare is concerned we have not made any advances over that attained by our forefathers. In fact we are suffering at present the worst kind of unrest all over the world.”
“God against man. Man against God. Man against nature. Nature against man. Nature against God. God against nature. Very funny religion!”
“When mountain-climbing is made too easy, the spiritual effect the mountain exercises vanishes into the air.”

Dutch painter Suus Suiker (born 1966) completed her art studies at the Royal Academy of Art, The Hague.
In the words of one critic, “Her work shows a combination of abstract and figurative elements with a magical realistic and spiritual base. Besides her free artwork she works on commission making portraits and paintings in acrylics on canvas.”
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“It is your duty in life to save your dream.” – Amedeo Modigliani, an Italian painter and sculptor, who was born 12 July 1884.

Below – “Gypsy Woman and Baby”; “Nude Sitting on a Divan”; “Portrait of a Young Woman”; “The Little Peasant”; “Nude on a Blue Cushion”; “Self-Portrait.”
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Nobel Laureate: Pablo Neruda

“Love is so short, forgetting is so long.” – Pablo Neruda, Chilean poet and recipient of the 1971 Nobel Prize for Literature “for a poetry that with the action of an elemental force brings alive a continent’s destiny and dreams,” who was born 12 July 1904.

“Sonnet XVII” from “100 Love Sonnets”

I do not love you as if you were brine-rose, topaz,
or barbed carnations thrown off by the fire.
I love you as certain hidden things are loved,
secretly, between night and soul.

I love you like the flower-less plant
carrying inside itself the light of those flowers,
and, graced by your love, a fierce perfume
risen from earth, is alive, concealed in my flesh.

I love you without knowing how, whence, when.
I love you truly, without doubts, without pride,
I love you so, and know, no other way to love,

none but this mode of neither You nor I,
so close that your hand over my chest is my hand,
so close they are your eyes I shut when I sleep.

Below – Rynita McGuire: “Twilight Lovers”

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Here is one critic describing the artistry of French painter Francois Fressinier (born 1968): “Francois Fressinier is a modern day figurative painter, with old world education. He is known for painting beautiful women with an exquisite presence that transcends time. Each work of art is carefully contemplated and created by an artist that finds beauty, serenity and love in our world.”
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American Art – Part II of V: William A. Schneider

In the words of one writer, “William is a representational artist working in oil and pastel. He views figures, landscape, or still life as opportunities to explore the effects of light on form. Painting from life, he seeks to capture the emotion of a particular moment and place.”
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“It is never too late to give up your prejudices.” – Henry David Thoreau, American author, poet, philosopher, abolitionist, naturalist, surveyor, social critic, historian, transcendentalist, and author of “Walden,” who was born 12 July 1817.

A few quotes from the work of Henry David Thoreau:

“As if you could kill time without injuring eternity.”
“Beware of all enterprises that require new clothes.”
“I have a great deal of company in my house; especially in the morning, when nobody calls.”
“A man is rich in proportion to the number of things which he can afford to let alone.”
“Most of the luxuries and many of the so-called comforts of life are not only not indispensable, but positive hindrances to the elevation of mankind.”
“The finest qualities of our nature, like the bloom on fruits, can be preserved only by the most delicate handling. Yet we do not treat ourselves nor one another thus tenderly.”
“Under a government which imprisons any unjustly, the true place for a just man is also a prison.”
“To be a philosopher is not merely to have subtle thoughts, nor even to found a school, but so to love wisdom as to live according to its dictates, a life of simplicity, independence, magnanimity, and trust.”
“The universe is wider than our views of it.”

American Art – Part III of IV: Robert Henri

“The object isn’t to make art, it’s to be in that wonderful state which makes art inevitable.” – Robert Henri, American painter, teacher, a leading member of the Ashcan School of American realism, who died 12 July 1929.

Below – “Snow in New York”; “Tam Gan”; “Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney”; “Atlantic City”; “West Coast of Ireland”; “Figure in Motion”; “Self-Portrait.”
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A Poem for Today

“Some Slippery Afternoon,”
By Daniela Gioseffi

A silver watch you’ve worn for years
is suddenly gone, leaving a pale
white stripe blazing on your wrist.

A calendar, marked with appointments
you’ve meant to keep, disappears, leaving
a faded spot on the wall where it hung.

You search the house, yard, trash cans
for weeks, but never find it.

One night the glass in your windows
vanishes,
leaving you sitting in a gust of wind.

You think how a leg is suddenly lost
beneath a subway train, or taxi’s wheel,
some slippery afternoon.

The child you’ve raised for years,
combing each lock, tailoring each smile,
each tear, each valuable thought,

suddenly changes to a harlequin,
joins the circus passing in the street,
never to be seen again.

One morning you wash your face,
look into the mirror, find the water
has eroded your features, worn them

smooth as a rock in a brook.
A blank oval peers back at you,
too mouthless to cry out.
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American Art – Part IV of V: Peter Cox

According to critic Ed McCormack, “Peter Cox (born 1942) is subject to a broad (and) complex range of anxieties and social ironies. It is these that give his paintings their uniquely contemporary power.”

Below – “The Death of Eurydice”; “Bacchantes”; untitled; “Endgame”; untitled; untitled triptych.
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American Art – V of V: Rob Harrell

Artist Statement: ”For the past twelve years, I’ve worked as a fine artist, cartoonist, and freelance illustrator.
I currently live in Austin, Texas with my wife, Amber, and our dog, Cooper.”
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