American Art – Part I of IV: Jenny Morgan
Artist Statement: “I manipulate the figure to expose the individual’s idiosyncrasies and create a physiological portrait. Working with people from my own life as subject matter allows me to hone in on specifics of their character and present their personalities as I experience them.”
In the words of one critic, “Jenny Morgan (born 1982) is a contemporary artist who creates large paintings. She was schooled at the School of Visual Arts in New York and the Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design in Colorado. Jenny has held several solo shows throughout the Denver area and has participated in numerous other shows across Colorado and New York.”
“Rogues are preferable to imbeciles because sometimes they take a rest.” – Alexandre Dumas, French writer and author of “The Three Musketeers” and “The Count of Monte Cristo,” who was born 24 July 1802.
Some quotes from the work of Alexandre Dumas:
“All for one and one for all.”
“Life is a storm, my young friend. You will bask in the sunlight one moment, be shattered on the rocks the next. What makes you a man is what you do when that storm comes.”
“As a general rule…people ask for advice only in order not to follow it; or if they do follow it, in order to have someone to blame for giving it.”
“The difference between treason and patriotism is only a matter of dates.”
“The friends we have lost do not repose under the ground…they are buried deep in our hearts. It has been thus ordained that they may always accompany us.”
“Those born to wealth, and who have the means of gratifying every wish, know not what is the real happiness of life, just as those who have been tossed on the stormy waters of the ocean on a few frail planks can alone realize the blessings of fair weather.”
“All generalizations are dangerous, even this one.”
“One’s work may be finished someday, but one’s education never.”
“I have no conscience at all — least of all an artistic conscience. All I have is nerves.” – Ryunosuke Akutagawa, Japanese writer regarded as
the “Father of the Japanese short story,” who died 24 July 1927.
The plot of Akutagawa’s brilliant short story “In a Grove” (found in his book “Rashomon and Other Stories”) is the basis for Akira Kurosawa’s
film “Rashomon,” which won the 1952 Academy Award for Best Foreign Film. Also, Japan’s premiere literary award, the Akutagawa Prize, is named in honor of Ryunosuke Akutagawa.
Some quotes from Ryunosuke Akutagawa:
“A man sometimes devotes his life to a desire which he is not sure will ever be fulfilled. Those who laugh at this folly are, after all, no more than mere spectators of life.”
“I could wish for nothing more than to die for a childish dream in which I truly believed.”
“A butterfly fluttered its wings in a wind thick with the smell of seaweed. His dry lips felt the touch of the butterfly for the briefest instant, yet the wisp of wing dust still shone on his lips years later.”
“It is unfortunate for the gods that, unlike us, they cannot commit suicide.”
“Yes — or rather, it’s not so much that I want to die as that I’m tired of living.”
“He felt so lost, he said later, that the familiar studio felt like a haunted valley deep in the mountains, with the smell of rotting leaves, the spray of a waterfall, the sour fumes of fruit stashed away by a monkey; even the dim glow of the master’s oil lamp on its tripod looked to him like misty moonlight in the hills.”
“People used to say that on moonless nights Her Ladyship’s broad-skirted scarlet trousers would glide eerily along the outdoor corridor, never touching the floor.”
“We could see the parapet of Ryougoku Bridge, arching above the waves that flickered in the faint mid-autumn twilight and against the sky, as though an immense black Chinese ink stroke had been brushed across it. The silhouettes of the traffic, horses and carriages soon faded into the vaporous mist, and now all that could be seen were the dots of reddish light from the passengers’ lanterns, rapidly passing to and fro in the darkness like small winter cherries.”
“We Orientals find beauty not only in the thing itself but in the pattern of the shadows, the light and darkness which that thing provides.” – Tanizaki Jun’ichiro, Japanese writer and author of the brilliant essay “In Praise of Shadows” and the novels “The Makioka Sisters” and “Diary of a Mad Old Man,” who was born 24 July 1886.
Some quotes from the work of Tanizaki Jun’ichiro:
“Whenever I see the alcove of a tastefully built Japanese room, I marvel at our comprehension of the secrets of shadows, our sensitive use of shadow and light. For the beauty of the alcove is not the work of some clever device. An empty space is marked off with plain wood and plain walls, so that the light drawn into its forms dim shadows within emptiness. There is nothing more. And yet, when we gaze into the darkness that gathers behind the crossbeam, around the flower vase, beneath the shelves, though we know perfectly well it is mere shadow, we are overcome with the feeling that in this small corner of the atmosphere there reigns complete and utter silence; that here in the darkness immutable tranquility holds sway.”
“The older we get the more we seem to think that everything was better in the past.”
“With lacquerware there is an extra beauty in that moment between removing the lid and lifting the bowl to the mouth, when one gazes at the still, silent liquid in the dark depths of the bowl, its colour hardly differing from that of the bowl itself. What lies within the darkness one cannot distinguish, but the palm senses the gentle movements of the liquid, vapour rises from within, forming droplets on the rim, and the fragrance carried upon the vapour brings a delicate anticipation … a moment of mystery, it might almost be called, a moment of trance.”
“The ancients waited for cherry blossoms, grieved when they were gone, and lamented their passing in countless poems. How very ordinary the poems had seemed to Sachiko when she read them as a girl, but now she knew, as well as one could know, that grieving over fallen cherry blossoms was more than a fad or convention.”
Here is one critic describing the artistry of South African painter Morag Charlton: “Morag Charlton was born and raised in Cape Town, South Africa. She studied Fine Art at the University of Cape Town, Ruth Prowse School of Art and the University of New Mexico. Over the past twenty years she has taken part in numerous solo, group, juried, and invitational exhibitions and completed commissions for businesses and private individuals.”
“A man is a very small thing, and the night is very large and full of wonders.” – Lord Dunsany (Edward John Moreton Drax Plunkett, 18th Lord of Dunsany), Irish writer, dramatist, and author of “The King of Elfland’s Daughter” and “The Book of Wonder,” who was born 24 July 1878.
Lord Dunsany is best known for his work in the fantasy genre, but his talents were wide-ranging. In the words of one historian, “More than eighty books of his work were published, and his oeuvre includes many hundreds of published short stories, as well as successful plays, novels and essays.”
Some quotes from the work of Lord Dunsany:
“And little he knew of the things that ink may do, how it can mark a dead man’s thought for the wonder of later years, and tell of happening that are gone clean away, and be a voice for us out of the dark of time, and save many a fragile thing from the pounding of heavy ages; or carry to us, over the rolling centuries, even a song from lips long dead on forgotten hills.”
“There is no beauty or romance or mystery in the sea except for the men that sail abroad upon it, and those who stay at home and dream of them.”
“Logic, like whiskey, loses its beneficial effect when taken in too large quantities.”
“And at that moment a wind came out of the northwest, and entered the woods and bared the golden branches, and danced over the downs, and led a company of scarlet and golden leaves, that had dreaded this day but danced now it had come; and away with a riot of dancing and glory of colour, high in the light of the sun that had set from the sight of the fields, went wind and leaves together.”
“All we who write put me in mind of sailors hastily making rafts upon doomed ships. When we break up under the heavy years and go down into eternity with all that is ours our thoughts like small lost rafts float on awhile upon Oblivion’s sea. They will not carry much over those tides, our names and a phrase or two and little else.”
“I have lived to see that being seventeen is no protection against becoming seventy, but to know this needs the experience of a lifetime, for no imagination copes with it.”
“Yet in the blood of man there is a tide, an old sea-current rather, that is somehow akin to the twilight, which brings him rumours of beauty from however far away, as driftwood is found at sea from islands not yet discovered: and this spring-tide or current that visits the blood of man comes from the fabulous quarter of his lineage, from the legendary, the old; it takes him out to the woodlands, out to the hills; he listens to ancient song.”
Died 24 July 1910 – Arkhip Kuindzhi, a Russian landscape painter with a talent for depicting light and its effects.
“She tells her love while half asleep,
In the dark hours,
With half-words whispered low:
As Earth stirs in her winter sleep
And puts out grass and flowers
Despite the snow,
Despite the falling snow.” – “She Tells Her Love while Half Asleep,” by Robert Graves, English poet, soldier in World War I, scholar/translator/writer of antiquity specializing in
Classical Greece and Rome, and author of “Goodbye to All That” (autobiography and war history), “The White Goddess: A Historical Grammar of Poetic Myth,” and “I, Claudius” (novel), who was born 24 July 1895.
“A Pinch of Salt”
When a dream is born in you
With a sudden clamorous pain,
When you know the dream is true
And lovely, with no flaw nor stain,
O then, be careful, or with sudden clutch
You’ll hurt the delicate thing you prize so much.
Dreams are like a bird that mocks,
Flirting the feathers of his tail.
When you seize at the salt-box,
Over the hedge you’ll see him sail.
Old birds are neither caught with salt nor chaff:
They watch you from the apple bough and laugh.
Poet, never chase the dream.
Laugh yourself, and turn away.
Mask your hunger; let it seem
Small matter if he come or stay;
But when he nestles in your hand at last,
Close up your fingers tight and hold him fast.
Here is the Artist Statement of painter Belinda Eaton: “For me the process of not expressing myself creatively through the use of colour, the mark of the brush and the creation of images and movement on a canvas would leave me feeling dead.”
In the words of one writer, “Belinda Eaton was born in Mombasa and did her schooling from Spain. She was lost in rural France and was found in Pakistan. She has done her Post-Graduation in Etching from Central School of Art, London. The nomadic life of Belinda Eaton has allowed her to perceive things around with fresh enthusiastic eyes and this resulted in the unique creation of what is known as ‘Belinda’s World.’ Her world is full of rich and vivid colors, brilliant characters, swirling spaces, excessive energy that cannot be trapped in the canvas, constantly moving images, living life, dancing, drinking and eating. She believes that ‘within the canvas there are no boundaries of subject, perspective or reality.’”
24 July 1832 – Benjamin Bonneville, a French-born American United States Army officer and explorer in the American West, leads the first wagon train across the Rocky Mountains by using Wyoming’s South Pass. During his lifetime, Bonneville was made famous by an account of his explorations in the West written by Washington Irving – “The Adventures of Captain Bonneville” (1837).
24 June 1911 – With the help of local indigenous farmers, American explorer Hiram Bingham discovers the Lost City of the Incas (Machu Picchu).
Below – A view of Hiram Bingham standing atop ruins at Machu Picchu in Peru. This is a hand-colored glass slide, from an original image by Harry Ward Foote. Foote was a professor of chemistry at Yale College, and he served as the expedition collector and naturalist on Bingham’s expeditions to Peru.
American Art – Part II of IV: Scott Mattlin
In the words of one critic, “Scott Mattlin is an artist with a deep and passionate appreciation for beauty in the natural world and within the human spirit. This enthusiastic and sensitive joy is reflected strongly in his artwork. His work is executed in a vibrant, impressionistic style, which – while still retaining its representational roots, incorporates abstract elements, resulting in a uniquely contemporary union. Mattlin paints the private world to which he bears witness. Whether it be an intimate moment captured between mother and child, a glimpse into the solitary reverie of a ballet dancer, or a private view into that sacred world of the timeless nude … Scott’s choice of subject matter, his masterful ability for extemporaneous composition, and his brilliant talent for the juxtaposition of light and shadow – all evoke a powerful old world feel, yet with an irresistible modern edge.”
“May the stars carry your sadness away,
May the flowers fill your heart with beauty,
May hope forever wipe away your tears,
And, above all, may silence make you strong.” – Chief Dan George, a Chief of the Tsleil-Waututh Nation, a Coast Salish band, author, poet, and Academy Award-nominated actor, who was born 24 July 1899.
Chief Dan George portrayed memorable characters in both “The Outlaw Josey Wales” and “Harry and “Tonto,” but his performance as Old Lodge Skins in “Little Big Man” is magnificent.
American Art – Part III of IV: Ann Marshall
Artist Statement: “Because of the drastic scale reduction necessary for the Web, there’s often a lot of confusion regarding my work. All figure work is done by hand, using either oil paint or pastel. The collage work is similarly low tech, constructed with scissors and an ever-changing array of non-toxic glues.”
In the words of one writer, “Ann Marshall grew up in Atlanta, Georgia and earned her BFA from School of Visual Arts in New York City. She has worked in a gallery, illustrated an award winning children’s book on the Holocaust, and traveled nationally and internationally as an ethnographer and consumer anthropologist. Her fine art work has been exhibited in New York City’s Gallery at Lincoln Center. She now works as a portrait and fine artist.”
By Harriet Monroe
Good-bye!—no, do not grieve that it is over,
The perfect hour;
That the winged joy, sweet honey-loving rover,
Flits from the flower.
American Art – Part IV of IV: Eric Goulder
Here is one critic describing the artistry of American sculptor Eric Goulder (born 1964): “The sculptures made over the past few years are fabricated in bronze, crystal, silver, and marble. Eric Goudler’s sculptures are a reflection of contemporary society and its contradictions. Through expressions of despair, hope, greed, and innocence, Goulder’s work examines the human spirit’s struggle for identity. Nude men, women, and babies are presented as singular forms, as well as controlled yet tangled compositions. Full of movement and life, Goulder’s figures are simultaneously beautiful, disturbing, sensual, and dramatic.”