American Art – Part I of IV: Cassandra Gillens
In the words of one critic, “Cassandra Gillens is a self-taught artist, residing in the Low Country of South Carolina, an area she cherishes. Born and educated in Boston, Massachusetts, her earliest memories are drawing with colored chalks on the sidewalks of Roxbury, Massachusetts. The memories remained a part of her when she began to paint images depicting her early childhood years in South Carolina. Upon her return, she was moved to paint her visions of the Low Country’s comforting southern culture.
Cassandra is closely connected with the people and culture in this beautiful and historic land; her paintings depict some of her fondest memories as a child, and also of good old southern living and images of various life styles found on the Sea Islands. Her paintings show that love with vivid saturated color and simplification of forms keeping her true to the style of fauvism.”
“It has been said that idleness is the parent of mischief, which is very true; but mischief itself is merely an attempt to escape from the dreary vacuum of idleness.” – George Borrow, English writer of novels and travelogues, and author of “Lavengro: The Scholar, The Gypsy, The Priest,” who died 26 July 1881.
Some quotes from the work of George Borrow:
“Translation is at best an echo.”
“There’s the wind on the heath, brother; if I could only feel that, I would gladly live for ever.”
“Youth is the only season for enjoyment, and the first twenty-five years of one’s life are worth all the rest of the longest life of man, even though these be spent in penury and contempt, and the rest in possession of wealth, honors, respectability.”
“Two great talkers will not travel far together.”
“I am invariably of the politics of the people at whose table I sit, or beneath whose roof I sleep.”
Died 26 July 2011 – Margaret Olley, an Australian painter.
“Books, I found, had the power to make time stand still, retreat or fly into the future.” Jim Bishop, American journalist and author, who died 26 July 1987.
Some quotes from the work of Jim Bishop:
“At 19, everything is possible and tomorrow looks friendly.”
“Watching your daughter being collected by her date feels like handing over a million dollar Stradivarius to a gorilla.”
“Golf is played by twenty million mature American men whose wives think they are out having fun.”
“It is difficult to live in the present, ridiculous to live in the future and impossible to live in the past. Nothing is as far away as one minute ago.”
“Archaeology is the peeping Tom of the sciences. It is the sandbox of men who care not where they are going; they merely want to know where everyone else has been.”
“Nobody understands anyone 18, including those who are 18.”
“The future is an opaque mirror. Anyone who tries to look into it sees nothing but the dim outlines of an old and worried face.”
American Art – Part II of IV: Diane Arbus
Died 26 July 1971 – Diane Arbus, American photographer and writer known for her black-and-white square photographs of, in the words of one critic, “deviant and marginal people (dwarfs, giants, transgender people, nudists, circus performers) or of people whose normality seems ugly or surreal.” Arbus was born in 1923.
Below – “Child with Toy Hand Grenades in Central Park”; “Eddie Carmel, Jewish Giant, at Home with His Parents”; “Jack Dracula”; “Teenage Couple on Hudson Street, New York City”; “Boy with Straw Hat Waiting to March in a Pro-War Parade, N.Y.C. 1967”; “Identical Twins, Roselle, N.J.”; “A Family on Their Lawn One Sunday in Westchester, N.Y. 1968.”
“Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.” – George Bernard Shaw, Irish playwright, co-founder of the London School of Economics, literary critic, essayist, novelist, journalist, socialist, vegetarian, short story writer, and recipient of the 1952 Novel Prize in Literature “for his work which is marked by both idealism and humanity, its stimulating satire often being infused with a singular poetic beauty,” who was born 26 July 1856.
Some quotes from the work of George Bernard Shaw:
“A life spent making mistakes is not only more honorable, but more useful than a life spent doing nothing.”
“Make it a rule never to give a child a book you would not read yourself.”
“Animals are my friends…and I don’t eat my friends.”
“When two people are under the influence of the most violent, most insane, most delusive, and most transient of passions, they are required to swear that they will remain in that excited, abnormal, and exhausting condition continuously until death do them part.”
“The reasonable man adapts himself to the world: the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.”
“Those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.”
“The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.”
“My way of joking is to tell the truth. It’s the funniest joke in the world.”
“‘I am enclosing two tickets to the first night of my new play; bring a friend … if you have one.’ – George Bernard Shaw, to Winston Churchill
‘Cannot possibly attend first night; will attend second, if there is one.’
— Winston Churchill’s response.”
“There are two tragedies in life. One is to lose your heart’s desire. The other is to gain it.”
British Art – Part I of II: Edward Poynter
Died 26 July 1919 – Edward Poynter, a British painter, designer, and draughtsman.
Below – “Cave of the Storm Nymphs”; “Corner of the Marketplace”; “Mercury Stealing the Cattle of the Gods”; “The Bells of St. Mark’s, Venice”; “Psyche in the Temple of Love”; “On the Terrace”; “Mrs. Langtry”; “The Fortune Teller”; “The Visions of Endymion”; “The Nymph of the Stream.”
“There is only one corner of the universe you can be certain of improving, and that’s your own self.” – Aldous Huxley, English writer, humanist, pacifist, satirist, and author of “Brave New World” and “The Doors of Perception,” who was born 26 July 1894.
Some quotes from the work of Aldous Huxley:
“The real hopeless victims of mental illness are to be found among those who appear to be most normal. Many of them are normal because they are so well adjusted to our mode of existence, because their human voice has been silenced so early in their lives, that they do not even struggle or suffer or develop symptoms as the neurotic does.” They are normal not in what may be called the absolute sense of the word; they are normal only in relation to a profoundly abnormal society. Their perfect adjustment to that abnormal society is a measure of their mental sickness. These millions of abnormally normal people, living without fuss in a society to which, if they were fully human beings, they ought not to be adjusted.”
“Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored.”
“An intellectual is a person who has discovered something more interesting than sex.”
“There are things known and there are things unknown, and in between are the doors of perception.”
“Experience is not what happens to a man; it is what a man does with what happens to him.”
“Chronic remorse, as all the moralists are agreed, is a most undesirable sentiment. If you have behaved badly, repent, make what amends you can and address yourself to the task of behaving better next time. On no account brood over your wrongdoing. Rolling in the muck is not the best way of getting clean.”
“Every man’s memory is his private literature.”
British Art – Part II of II: Alison Coaten
Here is one critic describing the artistry of British sculptor and ceramicist Alison Coaten: “Alison works from her studio at home in Lincolnshire, hand building figurative sculpture in stoneware, finished with slips, glaze lustre and glass. She graduated from Loughborough in 1994 with a first in Fine Art Sculpture. After working in mixed media for her degree Alison returned to clay preferring its immediacy and flexibility.
Alison’s work is often narrative and her influences range from religious icons to folklore and idolatry. A sense of familiarity is derived from early Flemish and religious art, this imagery is reworked using secular, mythological and personal iconography.”
“All new states are invested, more or less, by a class of noisy, second-rate men who are always in favor of rash and extreme measures, but Texas was absolutely overrun by such men.” – Sam Houston, American politician and soldier best known for his role in bringing Texas into the United States as a constituent state. He was also the only American to be elected governor of two different states (Tennessee and Texas) and the only Southern governor to oppose secession – an act for which he was removed from office. Houston died on 26 July 1863.
Some quotes from the work of Sam Houston:
“I would give no thought of what the world might say of me, if I could only transmit to posterity the reputation of an honest man.”
“The benefits of education and of useful knowledge, generally diffused through a community, are essential to the preservation of a free government.”
“I preferred measuring deer tracks to tape – that I liked the wild liberty of the Red men better then the tyranny of my brothers.”
“To secede from the Union and set up another government would cause war. If you go to war with the United States, you will never conquer her, as she has the money and the men. If she does not whip you by guns, powder, and steel, she will starve you to death. It will take the flower of the country — the young men.”
“I am aware that in presenting myself as the advocate of the Indians and their rights, I shall stand very much alone.”
Francis Picabia (1879-1953) was a French artist and poet who experimented with a variety of painting styles.
From the Music Archives – Part I of II: Mick Jagger
Born 26 July 1943 – Mick Jagger, an English singer, musician, songwriter, actor, and the lead vocalist and a founding member of the Rolling Stones.
From the Music Archives – Part II of II: Roger Taylor
Born 26 July 1949 – Roger Taylor, an English musician, singer, and songwriter best known as the drummer of Queen.
Mexican painter Monica Fernandez (born 1972) studied in the Academy of Fine Arts in San Miguel de Allende.
“The remarkable thing about Shakespeare is that he really is very good, in spite of all the people who say he is very good.” – Robert Graves, English poet, scholar, translator, and author of “Good-Bye to All That” and “The White Goddess,” who was born 26 July 1895.
Robert Graves wrote his autobiography “Good-Bye to All That” when he was thirty-four, stating in the prologue that, “It was my bitter leave-taking of England.” In the course of his narrative, he reveals the immense disparity between lofty patriotic rhetoric and the grim actualities of modern warfare. He also describes how, along with millions of human beings, Victorian social norms and British optimism died in the trenches of the Western Front.
Some quotes from the work of Robert Graves:
“There’s no money in poetry, but there’s no poetry in money, either.”
“In love as in sport, the amateur status must be strictly maintained.”
“The function of poetry is religious invocation of the muse; its use is the experience of mixed exaltation and horror that her presence excites.”
“Poetry is no more a narcotic than a stimulant; it is a universal bittersweet mixture for all possible household emergencies and its action varies accordingly as it is taken in a wineglass or a tablespoon, inhaled, gargled or rubbed on the chest by hard fingers covered with rings.”
“Because the world is in a sick condition and we are all somehow infected, against our will, even if we think we are whole in mind and soul and body.”
“‘Genius’ was a word loosely used by expatriate Americans in Paris and Rome, between the Versailles Peace treaty and the Depression, to cover all varieties of artistic, literary and musical experimentalism. A useful and readable history of the literary Thirties is Geniuses Together by Kay Boyle-Joyce, Hemingway, Scott Fitzgerald, Pound, Eliot and the rest. They all became famous figures but too many of them developed defects of character-ambition, meanness, boastfulness, cowardice or inhumanity-that defrauded their early genius. Experimentalism is a quality alien to genius. It implies doubt, hope, uncertainty, the need for group reassurance; whereas genius works alone, in confidence of a foreknown result. Experiments are useful as a demonstration of how not to write, paint or compose if one’s interest lies in durable rather than fashionable results; but since far more self-styled artists are interested in frissons á la mode rather than in truth, it is foolish to protest. Experimentalism means variation on the theme of other people’s uncertainties.”
“Cuinchy (a city in northeast France) bred rats. They came up from the canal, fed on the plentiful corpses, and multiplied exceedingly. While I stayed here with the Welsh, a new officer joined the company… When he turned in that night, he heard a scuffling, shone his torch on the bed, and found two rats on his blanket tussling for the possession of a severed hand.”
“Poets can’t march in protest or do that sort of thing. I feel that’s against the rules, and pointless. If mankind wants a great big final bang, that’s what it’ll get. One should never protest against anything unless it’s going to have an effect. None of those marches do. One should either be silent or go straight to the top.”
Here is one critic describing the artistry of Russian painter Nikolay Prokopenko (born 1945)” “(He) creates within the framework of modern art, but the source of his inspiration is an ancient call – a sense of his native land.”
Some quotes from the work of Andre Maurois:
“In literature as in love, we are astonished at what is chosen by others.”
“Often we allow ourselves to be upset by small things we should despise and forget. We lose many irreplaceable hours brooding over grievances that, in a year’s time, will be forgotten by us and by everybody. No, let us devote our life to worthwhile actions and feelings, to great thoughts, real affections and enduring undertakings.”
“Happiness is never there to stay … Happiness is merely a respite offered by inquietude.”
“The reading of a fine book is an uninterrupted dialogue in which the book speaks and our soul replies.”
“Two human beings anchored to one another are like two ships shaken by waves; their carcasses collide with one another and creak.”
“Conversation would be vastly improved by the constant use of four simple words: I do not know.”
“Every ten years you should delete from your mind a few ideas that your experience has proven to be false, dangerous.”
“The art of reading is in great part that of acquiring a better understanding of life from one’s encounter with it in a book. ”
“Yet had Fleming not possessed immense knowledge and an unremitting gift of observation he might not have observed the effect of the hyssop mould. ‘Fortune,’ remarked Pasteur, ‘favors the prepared mind.’”
“Old age is far more than white hair, wrinkles, the feeling that it is too late and the game is finished, that the stage belongs to the rising generations. The true evil is not the weakening of the body, but the indifference of the soul.”
“Smile, for everyone lacks self-confidence and more than any other one thing a smile reassures them.”
Died 26 July 2004 – William Mitchell, an American chemist and the inventor of Tang, Cool Whip, and Pop Rocks.
Greek artist Christos Bokoros (born 1956) studied painting at the National School of Fine Arts in Athens.
Traveller, the path is your tracks
And nothing more.
Traveller, there is no path
The path is made by walking.
By walking you make a path
And turning, you look back
At a way you will never tread again
Traveller, there is no road
Only wakes in the sea.” – “XXIX, from “Border of a Dream: Selected Poems,” by Antonio Machado, Spanish poet, who was born 26 July 1875.
Some quotes from the work of Antonio Machado:
“Last night as I was sleeping,
I dreamt — marvelous error! —
that I had a beehive
here inside my heart
And the golden bees
were making white combs
and sweet honey
from my failures.”
“My philosophy is fundamentally sad, but I’m not a sad man, and I don’t believe I sadden anyone else. In other words, the fact that I don’t put my philosophy into practice saves me from its evil spell, or, rather, my faith in the human race is stronger then my intellectual analysis of it; there lies the fountain of youth in which my heart is continually bathing.”
“Death is something we shouldn’t fear because, while we are, death isn’t, and when death is, we aren’t.”
“Don’t trace out your profile–
forget your side view–
all that is outer stuff.
Look for your other half
who walks always next to you
and tends to be who you aren’t.”
“I Have Walked Down Many Roads”
I have walked down many roads
and cleared many paths;
I have navigated a hundred oceans
and anchored off a hundred shores.
All over, I have seen
caravans of sadness,
pompous and melancholy men
drunk with black shadows,
and defrocked pedants
who stare, keep quiet, and think
they know, because they don’t
drink wine in the neighborhood bars.
Bad people who go around
polluting the earth . . .
And all over, I have seen
people who dance or play,
when they can, and work
their four handfuls of land.
If they turn up someplace,
they never ask where they are.
When they travel, they ride
on the backs of old mules,
and don’t know how to hurry,
not even on holidays.
When there’s wine, they drink wine;
when there’s no wine, they drink cool water.
American Art – Part III of IV: Michael Lynn Adams
Artist Statement: “My goal is to show that commonplace objects are anything but ordinary. Using light, texture and composition, I hope to create work that is full of warmth and spirit.”
“Song of Quietness,”
By Robinson Jeffers
Drink deep, drink deep of quietness,
And on the margins of the sea
Remember not thine old distress
Nor all the miseries to be.
Calmer than mists, and cold
As they, that fold on fold
Up the dim valley are rolled,
Learn thou to be.
The Past—it was a feverish dream,
A drunken slumber full of tears.
The Future—O what wild wings gleam,
Wheeled in the van of desperate years!
Thou lovedst the evening: dawn
Glimmers; the night is gone:—
What dangers lure thee on,
What dreams more fierce?
But meanwhile, now the east is gray,
The hour is pale, the cocks yet dumb,
Be glad before the birth of day,
Take thy brief rest ere morning come:
Here in the beautiful woods
All night the sea-mist floods,—
Thy last of solitudes,
Thy yearlong home.
American Art – Part IV of IV: George Catlin
Born 26 July 1796 – George Catlin, an American painter who specialized in portraits of Native Americans in the Old West.
Below – “Buffalo Bull, a Grand Pawnee Warrior”; “Prairie Meadows Burning”; “Buffalo Hunt under the Wolf-skin Mask”; “Ball-play of the Choctaw – Ball up”; “Brick Kilns, Clay Bluffs 1900 Miles above St. Louis”; “Four Bears, Second Chief, in Full Dress” (Mandan); “Buffalo Bull’s Back Fat, Head Chief, Blood Tribe” (Blackfoot); “Comanche Feats of Horsemanship”; “Woman with Her Child in a Cradle” (Ojibwe/Chippewa); “Interior View of the Medicine Lodge, Mandan O-kee-pa Ceremony”; “Black Hawk, Prominent Sac Chief”; “The Watchful Fox, Chief of the Tribe” (Sac and Fox); “Black Drink, a Warrior of Great Distinction” (Seminole); “Scalp Dance, Sioux”; “Little Bear, Steep Wind, The Dog; Three Distinguished Warriors of the Sioux Tribe.”