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

American Art – Part I of V: Theodore Lukits

Theodore Lukits (1897-1952) was a California portrait and landscape painter. He is best known for his Asian-inspired works, his figures drawn from Hispanic California, and his pastel landscapes.

Below – “Meditation”; “Sunset on Pasadena and the San Gabriel Mountains”; “Viva Mexico”; “Icy Mist”; “High Timber”; “Autumn Peaks”; “Canyon Colors”; “Foothills in Bloom.”
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Latvian Art – Part I of II: Ilze Preisa

Born in 1976, Ilze Preisa earned an MFA degree from the Latvian Academy of Art in Riga.
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“Work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion”. – Parkinson’s Law, elaborated by Cyril Northcote Parkinson, British naval historian and author, who was born 30 March 1933.

Some quotes from the work of Cyril Northcote Parkinson:

“The man who is denied the opportunity of taking decisions of importance begins to regard as important the decisions he is allowed to take.”
“Delay is the deadliest form of denial.”
“Expenditures rise to meet income.”
“In politics people give you what they think you deserve and deny you what they think you want.”
“It is better to be a has-been than a never-was.”
“The man whose life is devoted to paperwork has lost the initiative. He is dealing with things that are brought to his notice, having ceased to notice anything for himself.
“Expansion means complexity and complexity decay.”
“The chief product of an automated society is a widespread and deepening sense of boredom.”
“A committee is organic rather than mechanical in its nature: it is not a structure but a plant. It takes root and grows, it flowers, wilts, and dies, scattering the seed from which other committees will bloom in their turn.”
“The Law of Triviality… briefly stated, it means that the time spent on any item of the agenda will be in inverse proportion to the sum involved.”
“Perfection of planned layout is achieved only by institutions on the point of collapse.”
“The smaller the function, the greater the management.”
“When any organizational entity expands beyond 21 members, the real power will be in some smaller body.”
“Men enter local politics solely as a result of being unhappily married.”
“Make the people sovereign and the poor will use the machinery of government to dispossess the rich.”

Latvian Art – Part II of II: Viktorija Bulava

According to one art historian, “Viktorija Bulava’s career began as a child prodigy. She started her formal art studies at the age of 12 when she was selected in a country-wide competition as one of a dozen students admitted to the Rozentals School of Art in Riga. She was selected for her first solo art exhibit by the end of her first year. As the young art student Viktorija Bulava received multiple awards.
The quality of her work is attested by its inclusion in the collections of noted collectors in Canada, Europe and United States. Through her art Viktorija Bulava introduces the viewer to new appreciation of nude presentation and interprets figures as a glimpse of motion and sensuality that delights and engages her audience.”

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“Men of genius sometimes accomplish most when they work the least, for they are thinking out inventions and forming in their minds the perfect idea that they subsequently express with their hands.” – Giorgio Vasari, Italian architect and artist, who was born 30 July 1511.
In the words of one historian, “(Vasari) was an Italian painter, architect, writer and historian, most famous today for his ‘Lives of the Most Excellent Painters, Sculptors, and Architects,’ considered the ideological foundation of art-historical writing.”

Below – The Uffizi colonnade and loggia; the Loggia of Vasari in Arezzo; Sala dei Cento Giorni, Plazzo della Cancelleria; “Six Tuscan Poets”; “The Castration of Uranus” (fresco by Vasari and Cristofano Gherardi); “Perseus and Andromeda”; “Self-Portrait.”

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Died 30 July 1971 – Kenneth Slessor, an Australian poet.

“City Nightfall”

Smoke upon smoke; over the stone lips 

Of chimneys bleeding, a darker fume descends. 

Night, the old nun, in voiceless pity bends 

To kiss corruption, so fabulous her pity. 

All drowns in night. Even the lazar drowns 

In earth at last, and rises up afresh, 

Married to dust with an Infanta’s flesh— 

So night, like earth, receives this poisoned city, 

Charging its air with beauty, coasting its lanterns 

With mains of darkness, till the leprous clay 

Dissolves, and pavements drift away, 

And there is only the quiet noise of planets feeding. 

And those who chafe here, limed on the iron twigs, 

No greater seem than sparrows, all their cries, 

Their clockwork and their merchandise, 

Frolic of painted dolls. I pass unheeding.

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“There is a right physical size for every idea.” – Henry Moore, English sculptor and artist, who was born 30 July 1898.

Below – “West Wind” (1928-29; Moore’s first public commission); “Draped Reclining Woman”; Two Piece Reclining Figure No. 5”; “Oval with Points”; “Sheep Piece”; “Large Upright Internal/External Form.”

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From the Music Archives – Part I of II: Buddy Guy

Born 30 July 1936 – George “Buddy” Guy, an American blues guitarist and singer. In the words of one historian, “(He) is an exponent of the Chicago blues and has influenced white blues-rock musicians such as Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page, and Stevie Ray Vaughan. In the 1960s Guy was a member of Muddy Waters’ band and was a house guitarist at Chess Records. Guy had a long musical partnership with harmonica player Junior Wells.”

Chilean painter José Esteban Basso (born 1949) is a Professor of Painting at the University of Playa Ancha in Valparaiso.

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From the Music Archives – Part II of II: The Beatles

30 July 1966 – The Beatles’ “Yesterday…and Today” album reaches the number one spot on the record charts and remains there for five weeks.

Here is one critic describing the artistry of Japanese artist Akio Takamori (born 1950): “Akio Takamori’s ceramic sculptures evoke an eerie sense of reality and presence. Often drawn from childhood memories of small-village life in Japan, his standing and sleeping figures depict ordinary people going about their day-to-day existence.”

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German Art – Part I of II: Jurgen Gorg

Here is how one critic describes the work of German painter Jurgen Gorg (born 1951): “The focus centers on body language and kinetic movement. By leaving the faces vague, with eyes almost always closed, there is room for dreaming – both in the viewer and within the subjects of the painting. This quality of the somewhat indefinite yet perfect form creates a romantic aura.” In Gorg’s words, “something should always remain open.”
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German Art – Part II of II: Christian Grosskopf

German painter Christian Grosskopf (born 1963) attended the Berlin University of the Arts. He lives and works in Berlin.

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“To each his suff’rings: all are men,
Condemn’d alike to groan,
The tender for another’s pain;
Th’ unfeeling for his own.
Yet ah! why should they know their fate?
Since sorrow never comes too late,
And happiness too swiftly flies.
Thought would destroy their paradise.
No more; where ignorance is bliss,
‘Tis folly to be wise.” – From “Ode on a Distant Prospect of Eton College, by Thomas Gray, English poet, classical scholar, professor, and author of the influential poem “Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard, who died 30 July 1771.

“Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard”

The curfew tolls the knell of parting day,
The lowing herd wind slowly o’er the lea,
The plowman homeward plods his weary way,
And leaves the world to darkness and to me.

Now fades the glimm’ring landscape on the sight,
And all the air a solemn stillness holds,
Save where the beetle wheels his droning flight,
And drowsy tinklings lull the distant folds;

Save that from yonder ivy-mantled tow’r
The moping owl does to the moon complain
Of such, as wand’ring near her secret bow’r,
Molest her ancient solitary reign.

Beneath those rugged elms, that yew-tree’s shade,
Where heaves the turf in many a mould’ring heap,
Each in his narrow cell for ever laid,
The rude forefathers of the hamlet sleep.

The breezy call of incense-breathing Morn,
The swallow twitt’ring from the straw-built shed,
The cock’s shrill clarion, or the echoing horn,
No more shall rouse them from their lowly bed.

For them no more the blazing hearth shall burn,
Or busy housewife ply her evening care:
No children run to lisp their sire’s return,
Or climb his knees the envied kiss to share.

Oft did the harvest to their sickle yield,
Their furrow oft the stubborn glebe has broke;
How jocund did they drive their team afield!
How bow’d the woods beneath their sturdy stroke!

Let not Ambition mock their useful toil,
Their homely joys, and destiny obscure;
Nor Grandeur hear with a disdainful smile
The short and simple annals of the poor.

The boast of heraldry, the pomp of pow’r,
And all that beauty, all that wealth e’er gave,
Awaits alike th’ inevitable hour.
The paths of glory lead but to the grave.

Nor you, ye proud, impute to these the fault,
If Mem’ry o’er their tomb no trophies raise,
Where thro’ the long-drawn aisle and fretted vault
The pealing anthem swells the note of praise.

Can storied urn or animated bust
Back to its mansion call the fleeting breath?
Can Honour’s voice provoke the silent dust,
Or Flatt’ry soothe the dull cold ear of Death?

Perhaps in this neglected spot is laid
Some heart once pregnant with celestial fire;
Hands, that the rod of empire might have sway’d,
Or wak’d to ecstasy the living lyre.

But Knowledge to their eyes her ample page
Rich with the spoils of time did ne’er unroll;
Chill Penury repress’d their noble rage,
And froze the genial current of the soul.

Full many a gem of purest ray serene,
The dark unfathom’d caves of ocean bear:
Full many a flow’r is born to blush unseen,
And waste its sweetness on the desert air.

Some village-Hampden, that with dauntless breast
The little tyrant of his fields withstood;
Some mute inglorious Milton here may rest,
Some Cromwell guiltless of his country’s blood.

Th’ applause of list’ning senates to command,
The threats of pain and ruin to despise,
To scatter plenty o’er a smiling land,
And read their hist’ry in a nation’s eyes,

Their lot forbade: nor circumscrib’d alone
Their growing virtues, but their crimes confin’d;
Forbade to wade through slaughter to a throne,
And shut the gates of mercy on mankind,

The struggling pangs of conscious truth to hide,
To quench the blushes of ingenuous shame,
Or heap the shrine of Luxury and Pride
With incense kindled at the Muse’s flame.

Far from the madding crowd’s ignoble strife,
Their sober wishes never learn’d to stray;
Along the cool sequester’d vale of life
They kept the noiseless tenor of their way.

Yet ev’n these bones from insult to protect,
Some frail memorial still erected nigh,
With uncouth rhymes and shapeless sculpture deck’d,
Implores the passing tribute of a sigh.

Their name, their years, spelt by th’ unletter’d muse,
The place of fame and elegy supply:
And many a holy text around she strews,
That teach the rustic moralist to die.

For who to dumb Forgetfulness a prey,
This pleasing anxious being e’er resign’d,
Left the warm precincts of the cheerful day,
Nor cast one longing, ling’ring look behind?

On some fond breast the parting soul relies,
Some pious drops the closing eye requires;
Ev’n from the tomb the voice of Nature cries,
Ev’n in our ashes live their wonted fires.

For thee, who mindful of th’ unhonour’d Dead
Dost in these lines their artless tale relate;
If chance, by lonely contemplation led,
Some kindred spirit shall inquire thy fate,

Haply some hoary-headed swain may say,
“Oft have we seen him at the peep of dawn
Brushing with hasty steps the dews away
To meet the sun upon the upland lawn.

“There at the foot of yonder nodding beech
That wreathes its old fantastic roots so high,
His listless length at noontide would he stretch,
And pore upon the brook that babbles by.

“Hard by yon wood, now smiling as in scorn,
Mutt’ring his wayward fancies he would rove,
Now drooping, woeful wan, like one forlorn,
Or craz’d with care, or cross’d in hopeless love.

“One morn I miss’d him on the custom’d hill,
Along the heath and near his fav’rite tree;
Another came; nor yet beside the rill,
Nor up the lawn, nor at the wood was he;

“The next with dirges due in sad array
Slow thro’ the church-way path we saw him borne.
Approach and read (for thou canst read) the lay,
Grav’d on the stone beneath yon aged thorn.”

THE EPITAPH
Here rests his head upon the lap of Earth
A youth to Fortune and to Fame unknown.
Fair Science frown’d not on his humble birth,
And Melancholy mark’d him for her own.

Large was his bounty, and his soul sincere,
Heav’n did a recompense as largely send:
He gave to Mis’ry all he had, a tear,
He gain’d from Heav’n (’twas all he wish’d) a friend.

No farther seek his merits to disclose,
Or draw his frailties from their dread abode,
(There they alike in trembling hope repose)
The bosom of his Father and his God.
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Contemporary Spanish painter Modest Almirall has had many solo exhibitions in Spain and Germany.
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“All children are essentially criminal.” – Denis Diderot, French writer, philosopher, and art critic, who died 30 July 1784.

Some quotes from Denis Diderot:

“A nation which thinks that it is belief in God and not good law which makes people honest does not seem to me very advanced.”
“Skepticism is the first step towards truth.”
“Only one step separates fanaticism from barbarism.”
“Man will never be free until the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest.”
“The philosopher has never killed any priests, whereas the priest has killed a great many philosophers.”
“It is very important not to mistake hemlock for parsley; but not at all so to believe or not in God.”
“Only passions, great passions, can elevate the soul to great things.”
“Poetry must have something in it that is barbaric, vast and wild.”
“Happiest are the people who give most happiness to others”
“Whether God exists or does not exist, He has come to rank among the most sublime and useless truths.”
“There is no moral precept that does not have something inconvenient about it.”
“We swallow greedily any lie that flatters us, but we sip only little by little at a truth we find bitter.”
“As long as the centuries continue to unfold, the number of books will grow continually, and one can predict that a time will come when it will be almost as difficult to learn anything from books as from the direct study of the whole universe. It will be almost as convenient to search for some bit of truth concealed in nature as it will be to find it hidden away in an immense multitude of bound volumes.”
“All things must be examined, debated, investigated without exception and without regard for anyone’s feelings.”

In the words of one critic, the work of Ukrainian sculptor Mikola Bilyk “glorifies the eternity of life and the universe.”
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From the Movie Archives – Part I of II: Arnold Schwarzenegger

“My body is like breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I don’t think about it, I just have it.” – Arnold Schwarzenegger, Austrian-born American professional bodybuilder, actor, businessman, and politician, who was born 30 July 1947.

Some of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s memorable movie lines:

American Art – Part II of V: Ray Strong

Ray Stanford Strong (1905-2006) was a painter from Corvallis, Oregon.

Below – “Golden Gate Bridge” (1934); “North of the Golden Gate”; “Lifting Clouds, Morning Light”; “Northern California, Barnyard Scene”; “Cronkhite Coast Point Bonitas”; “Hilltop Trees”; “Fog Over the Golden Gate from Tamalpais”; “Shanties and Shacks”; “Ranch by the Bay.”
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From the Movie Archives – Part II of II: Laurence Fishburne

“I’ve played a lot of bad guys, ’cause that was the only work I could get. People saw my face and went ‘Oooh.'” – Laurence Fishburne, American actor.

One of Fishburne’s “bad guy” characters:

American Art – Part III of V: Terry Strickland

According to one writer, “Terry Moore Strickland has a BFA in Graphic Design from the University of Central Florida. She has had an interesting and varied art career, working as an illustrator, silk screen artist, courtroom sketch artist and teacher.”
Artist Statement: “Using the human figure and still life objects I consider intangibles, challenging myself to capture small nuance in relationships, life, death, and love. Much of my work is about transitions, whether it is a midlife juncture or coming of age as a universal truth. These paintings are decisions reflected and possibilities contemplated.
I’m frequently inspired by fairy tales, superheroes, or works of literature, and reexamine them in a contemporary way. Mythical characters become symbols for our responses to modern day situations. Little Red Riding Hood and Rapunzel save themselves from the perils and predators in life. Superman becomes a symbol for all the mighty dreams each of us hold close to our chests.
For me making art is more than a reflection of my life. As I think about what to paint, I find that the very act causes me to refocus energy and priorities, changing the way I relate to people and events. As scientists know, the very act of observing something may change the behavior of the thing. In the examining, my life is thereby altered.”
Second Artist Statement: “The challenge is to visually represent intangible things in life, to capture small nuances in relationships, life, death, and love. Much of the current work is about transitions, whether it is a midlife juncture or coming of age as a universal truth. These paintings are about the times of life when we look back at decisions made and are awakened to future possibilities. A favorite subject is how the choices we make daily profoundly affect so many aspects of our lives. These are observations about where we are as human beings in this timeline of life.”

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“The tyrant grinds down his slaves and they don’t turn against him, they crush those beneath them.” – Emily Bronte, English novelist and poet best known for her only novel “Wuthering Heights,” who was born 30 July 1818.
In the words of one critic, “Wuthering Heights” “was considered controversial because its depiction of mental and physical cruelty was unusually stark, and it challenged strict Victorian ideals of the day, including religious hypocrisy, morality, social classes and gender inequality.”

Some quotes from “Wuthering Heights”:

“If all else perished, and he remained, I should still continue to be; and if all else remained, and he were annihilated, the universe would turn to a mighty stranger.”
“He’s more myself than I am. Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same.”
“I wish I were a girl again, half-savage and hardy, and free.”
“Be with me always – take any form – drive me mad! only do not leave me in this abyss, where I cannot find you! Oh, God! it is unutterable! I can not live without my life! I can not live without my soul!”
“Catherine Earnshaw, may you not rest as long as I am living. You said I killed you–haunt me then. The murdered do haunt their murderers. I believe–I know that ghosts have wandered the earth. Be with me always–take any form–drive me mad. Only do not leave me in this abyss, where I cannot find you! Oh, God! It is unutterable! I cannot live without my life! I cannot live without my soul!”
“I have dreamt in my life, dreams that have stayed with me ever after, and changed my ideas; they have gone through and through me, like wine through water, and altered the color of my mind. And this is one: I’m going to tell it – but take care not to smile at any part of it.”

Above – A portrait of Emily Bronte made by her brother, Branwell Bronte.
Below – Emily Bronte’s remarkable book.
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American Art – Part IV of V: Adrian Gottlieb

Artist Statement: “The best subject is an interesting person painted from life. When I paint from a photograph, I only paint a static understanding of a human being. That the portrait grows and deepens as the artist works is the wonder at the heart of portraiture.”

Below – “Seeress”; “Flight”; “Girl in Kimono”; “Studio on Sunday”; “Truth Corrupted by Vanity”; “Cohasset Shore”; “Malibu Creek”; “Spanish Pot.”

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A Poem for Today

“Dream Song 14,”
By John Berryman

Life, friends, is boring. We must not say so.
After all, the sky flashes, the great sea yearns,
we ourselves flash and yearn,
and moreover my mother told me as a boy
(repeatingly) ‘Ever to confess you’re bored
means you have no

Inner Resources.’ I conclude now I have no
inner resources, because I am heavy bored.
Peoples bore me,
literature bores me, especially great literature,
Henry bores me, with his plights & gripes
as bad as achilles,

who loves people and valiant art, which bores me.
And the tranquil hills, & gin, look like a drag
and somehow a dog
has taken itself & its tail considerably away
into mountains or sea or sky, leaving
behind: me, wag.

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A Second Poem for Today

“Careless Perfection,”
By Daniel Halpern

According to Lin Yutang,
both Po Chuyi and Su Tungpo
“desperately admired” Tao Yuanming,

a poet of nature who wrote a single love poem,
a poem thought by Chinese dilettantes to be
the one “blemish in a white jade.”

Can a poet be faulted for calling a woman
“carelessly perfect in beauty”?
He chose to long for her by envying

the candle that glowed upon her
beautiful face, the shadow
that followed in her every move.

Yet the nature poet Tao Yuanming, at home
with the sudden turning of seasons,
now feared the shadow in darkness,

a discarded fan that once stirred her hair,
feared the candle at dawn. At last believed
that for beauty he had lived in vain.
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American Art – Part V of V: Stephen Scott Young

In the words of one critic, “Born in Hawaii, Stephen Scott Young spent most of his early life traveling around the United States, eventually settling in Florida, where he attended the Ringling School of Art and Design. Young has devoted his career to depicting the southern United States and the Bahamas.”

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