August Offerings – Part III: Something to Delight both Head and Heart

American Art – Part I of VI: Paul Cornoyer

Painter Paul Cornoyer (1864-1923) is best known for his New York City street scenes.

Below – “After the Rain”; “Bryant Park”; “Flat Iron Building”; “Late Afternoon, Washington Square”; “New York City”; “Rainy Day, Columbus Circle”; “The Third Avenue El.”
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From The Music Archives – Part I of II: Beverly Lee

Born 3 August 1941 – Beverly Lee, an American soul singer and member of The Shirelles.

American Art – Part II of VI: Forrest Williams

In 1994, Forrest Williams earned an M.F.A. in Painting from the New York Academy of Art.

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From The Music Archives – Part II of II: Arthur Lee

Died 3 August 2006 – Arthur Lee, an American musician, singer, songwriter, and member of Love, a band best known for their critically acclaimed 1967 album “Forever Changes.”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cNcXFy8QTC4

American Art – Part III of VI: Ron Christ

Artist Statement: “Two images have become metaphors for the playing out of aspects of human experience. They are the stage and the game. Stage-like spaces are environments where narrative actions are played out, and game references are metaphors for the actions themselves. Figurative images are frequently positioned and scaled to suggest stage participants or game pieces, and the frequent use of nonspecific game as part of still life elements further reinforces the thematic intent”
It is important that the paintings have some connection to actual physical and experiential reality, but also a somewhat dreamlike, metaphysical, and surreal quality.”
In the words of one critic, “Influenced by the works of master artists such as Giorgio de Chirico and Piero della Francesca, Ron Christ’s paintings combine elements of the abstract and the very real to create places he says are, ‘possible but not probable.’”

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“We can experience nothing but the present moment, live in no other second of time, and to understand this is as close as we can get to eternal life.” – Phyllis Dorothy James, English crime writer, life peer in the House of Lords, and author of “The Children of Men,” who was born 3 August 1820.

Some quotes from the work of P. D. James:

“We English are good at forgiving our enemies; it releases us from the obligation of liking our friends.”
“Time didn’t heal, but it anesthetized. The human mind could only feel so much.”
“Not so much two ships passing in the night as two ships sailing together for a time but always bound for different ports.”
“Perhaps it’s only when people are dead that we can safely show how much we cared about them. We know that it’s too late then for them to do anything about it.”
“If our sex life were determined by our first youthful experiments, most of the world would be doomed to celibacy. In no area of human experience are human beings more convinced that something better can be had only if they persevere.”
“It was one of those perfect English autumnal days which occur more frequently in memory than in life.”
“If from infancy you treat children as gods, they are liable in adulthood to act as devils.”
“‘But what do you believe? I don’t just mean religion. What are you sure of?’
‘That once I was not and that now I am. That one day I shall no longer be.’”
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British Art – Part I of II: Joseph Severn

Died 3 August 1879 – Joseph Severn, an English portrait and subject painter and friend of John Keats.

Below – “Keats Listening to a Nightingale on Hempstead Heath”; “The Doge of Venice”; “Shelley Composing ‘Prometheus Unbound’ in the Baths of Caracalla”; “Ariel”; “Isabella, or the Pot of Basil.”
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(c) The Wordsworth Trust; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation

(c) Paintings Collection; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation

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British Art – Part II of II: Nick Mackman

In the words of one critic, “Nick Mackman is a sculptor of one-off clay animal models. She has been widely exhibited and in 2010 she won the Open Category in the Wildlife Artist of the Year competition. Most of her pieces are Raku fired, giving a rich but natural crackle glaze. Drawing on her experience as a rhino keeper and on safari, she aims to get under the skin of the animal, giving each animal sculpture its own personality. Many of her subjects are highly endangered and she aims to enlighten us to their beauty, humour and tenderness, even though they may be largely perceived as ugly or aggressive. She lives in Devon, in South West England, with her husband, twin children and two dogs.”
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3 August 1492 – In the words of one historian, “From the Spanish port of Palos, Italian explorer Christopher Columbus sets sail in command of three ships—the Santa Maria, the Pinta, and the Nina—on a journey to find a western sea route to China, India, and the fabled gold and spice islands of Asia.”

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“During the work, you have to be sure that you haven’t left any holes, that you’ve captured everything, because afterwards it will be too late.” – Henri Cartier-Bresson, French photographer considered to be the father of photojournalism, who died 3 August 2004. In the words of one historian, “He was an early adopter of 35 mm format, and the master of candid photography. He helped develop the street photography or life reportage style that was coined The Decisive Moment that has influenced generations of photographers who followed.”

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Died 3 August 1721 – Grinling Gibbons, a Dutch-British sculptor and wood carver.

Below – Some of Grinling Gibbons’ wood carvings: Detail from Hampton Court Palace; Detail from the Cosimo Panels; Detail from Panel in Willowbrook Park; Detail from Panel in Willowbrook Park; Bookcase Carving in the Wren Library.

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“Poetry is the art of saying what you mean but disguising it.” – Diane
Wakoski, American poet and author of “The Motorcycle Betrayal Poems,” who was born 3 August 1937.

“Belly Dancer”

Can these movements which move themselves
be the substance of my attraction?
Where does this thin green silk come from that covers my body?
Surely any woman wearing such fabrics
would move her body just to feel them touching every part of her.

Yet most of the women frown, or look away, or laugh stiffly.
They are afraid of these materials and these movements
in some way.
The psychologists would say they are afraid of themselves, somehow.
Perhaps awakening too much desire—
that their men could never satisfy?
So they keep themselves laced and buttoned and made up
in hopes that the framework will keep them stiff enough not to feel
the whole register.
In hopes that they will not have to experience that unquenchable
desire for rhythm and contact.

If a snake glided across this floor
most of them would faint or shrink away.
Yet that movement could be their own.
That smooth movement frightens them—
awakening ancestors and relatives to the tips of the arms and toes.

So my bare feet
and my thin green silks
my bells and finger cymbals
offend them—frighten their old-young bodies.
While the men simper and leer—
glad for the vicarious experience and exercise.
They do not realize how I scorn them;
or how I dance for their frightened,
unawakened, sweet
women.

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Spanish painter Brigitte Szenczi studied at the School of Art in Madrid.
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Japanese artist Katsumi Asano (born 1958) studied etching in Atelier Outotsu.
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Died 3 August 1944 (in Auschwitz) – Felix Nussbaum, a German painter.

Below – “Threesome”; “The Fantastic Square”; “Camp Synagogue at Saint Cyprien”; “Auschwitz”; “Alassio Railway Station”; “Self-Portrait with Jewish Identity Card” (1943).

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Nobel Laureate: Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

“If only it were all so simple! If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds, and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being. And who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart?” – Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, Russian novelist, historian, critic of Soviet totalitarianism, author of “The Gulag Archipelago” and “One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich,” and recipient of the 1970 Nobel Prize in Literature “for the ethical force with which he has pursued the indispensable traditions of Russian literature,” who died 3 August 2008.

Some quotes from the works of Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn:

“It’s an universal law– intolerance is the first sign of an inadequate education. An ill-educated person behaves with arrogant impatience, whereas truly profound education breeds humility.”
“Own only what you can always carry with you: know languages, know countries, know people. Let your memory be your travel bag.”
“When you’re cold, don’t expect sympathy from someone who’s warm.”
“You only have power over people so long as you don’t take everything away from them. But when you’ve robbed a man of everything, he’s no longer in your power—he’s free again.”
“In keeping silent about evil, in burying it so deep within us that no sign of it appears on the surface, we are implanting it, and it will rise up a thousand fold in the future. When we neither punish nor reproach evildoers, we are not simply protecting their trivial old age, we are thereby ripping the foundations of justice from beneath new generations.”
“Only those who decline to scramble up the career ladder are interesting as human beings. Nothing is more boring than a man with a career.”
“What about the main thing in life, all its riddles? If you want, I’ll spell it out for you right now. Do not pursue what is illusionary -property and position: all that is gained at the expense of your nerves decade after decade, and is confiscated in one fell night. Live with a steady superiority over life -don’t be afraid of misfortune, and do not yearn for happiness; it is, after all, all the same: the bitter doesn’t last forever, and the sweet never fills the cup to overflowing. It is enough if you don’t freeze in the cold and if thirst and hunger don’t claw at your insides. If your back isn’t broken, if your feet can walk, if both arms can bend, if both eyes can see, if both ears hear, then whom should you envy? And why? Our envy of others devours us most of all. Rub your eyes and purify your heart – and prize above all else in the world those who love you and who wish you well. Do not hurt them or scold them, and never part from any of them in anger; after all, you simply do not know: it may be your last act before your arrest, and that will be how you are imprinted on their memory.”
“The meaning of earthly existence lies not, as we have grown used to thinking, in prospering but in the development of the soul.”
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Here is part of the Artist Statement of Hungarian painter Agnes Toth (born 1981): “A walk. The path I take towards a certain point is arbitrary. I haven’t plotted the route, but my pace and manner of progress along it, I have. I don’t exclude information that may come my way, and I reserve the right to alter the route. Between A and B points the most boring path is straight.
Early on, I became aware of an instinctive ’law’ governing my calling in life: the priority of Painting. Not in a hierarchical, but in a symbiotic way. Absolute evidence, as oil is on canvas. Without doubt.
Exaggeration doesn’t attract me; what I am drawn to is what I feel is true. The work I value most is that which emerges honestly and without being forced. This is the origin of my belonging to realism. Representation of reality is a responsibility, because the eye sees the things it knows, or thinks it knows. In fact, in my works this reality is a pseudo-reality. In my paintings reality moves on several levels – this is the relativity of reality.”
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“My daily activities are not unusual,
I’m just naturally in harmony with them.
Grasping nothing, discarding nothing…
Supernatural power and wondrous activity –
Drawing water and carrying firewood.” – Pang-yun, better known as Layman Pang, a lay Buddhist in the Chinese Chan (Zen) tradition, who died 3 August 808. In the words of one historian, “Pang is considered a model of the potential of the non-monastic Buddhist follower to live an exemplary Buddhist life.”

Another quote from Layman Pang:

“When the mind is at peace, 

the world too is at peace.

Nothing real, nothing absent.

Not holding on to reality,

not getting stuck in the void,

you are neither holy or wise, just

an ordinary fellow who has completed his work.”

American Art – Part IV of VI: Augustus Saint-Gaudens

Died 3 August 1907 – Augustus Saint-Gaudens, an American sculptor of the Beaux-Arts generation who embodied the ideals of the “American Renaissance.”

Below – “Robert Gould Shaw Memorial” (Boston Common; it commemorates Shaw and the Afro-American 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry); “Standing Lincoln” (in Lincoln Park, Chicago); “Parnell Memorial” (Dublin); “Adams Memorial” (Rock Creek Cemetery, Washington, D.C.); “Diana” (Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City).
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“The belief in a supernatural source of evil is not necessary; men alone are quite capable of every wickedness.” – Joseph Conrad, Polish-English writer and author of “Heart of Darkness,” “Lord Jim,” and “Nostromo,” who died 3 August 1924.

In the words of one critic, “(Conrad) wrote stories and novels, often with a nautical setting, that depict trials of the human spirit in the midst of an indifferent universe. He was a master prose stylist who brought a distinctly non-English tragic sensibility into English literature.”

Some quotes from the work of Joseph Conrad:

“It’s only those who do nothing that make no mistakes, I suppose.”
“I don’t like work–no man does–but I like what is in the work–the chance to find yourself. Your own reality–for yourself not for others–what no other man can ever know. They can only see the mere show, and never can tell what it really means.”
“Do you see the story? Do you see anything? It seems to me I am trying to tell you a dream–making a vain attempt, because no relation of a dream can convey the dream-sensation, that commingling of absurdity, surprise, and bewilderment in a tremor of struggling revolt, that notion of being captured by the incredible which is of the very essence of dreams…No, it is impossible; it is impossible to convey the life-sensation of any given epoch of one’s existence–that which makes its truth, its meaning–its subtle and penetrating essence. It is impossible. We live, as we dream-alone.”
“Of all the inanimate objects, of all men’s creations, books are the nearest to us for they contain our very thoughts, our ambitions, our indignations, our illusions, our fidelity to the truth, and our persistent leanings to error. But most of all they resemble us in their precious hold on life.”
“Few men realize that their life, the very essence of their character, their capabilities and their audacities, are only the expression of their belief in the safety of their surroundings.”
“Your strength is just an accident owed to the weakness of others.”
“Droll thing life is — that mysterious arrangement of merciless logic for a futile purpose. The most you can hope from it is some knowledge of yourself — that comes too late — a crop of inextinguishable regrets.”
“We live in the flicker — may it last as long as the old earth keeps rolling! But darkness was here yesterday.”
“Facing it, always facing it, that’s the way to get through. Face it.”

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American Art – Part V of VI: Kim Roberti

Artist Statement: “I love painting…it’s my life! I love the endless series of tasks exploring the abstract elements of lines, shapes, values, colors, textures and edges!
Looking for the right lively-hood and wanting to work with something I really, really love and the desire to reconnect with my childhood joy, I found painting. I have made painting my full time job since 2000. I have tried every medium and genre, and find that I love them all. It is a wonderful journey of self-discovery.”
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A Poem for Today

“Too Much,”
By Tyler Ford

do you remember the first time you were called annoying?
how your breath stopped short in your chest
the way the light drained from your eyes, though you knew your cheeks were ablaze
the way your throat tightened as you tried to form an argument that got lost on your tongue?
your eyes never left the floor that day.
you were 13.

you’re 20 now, and i still see the light fade from your eyes when you talk about your interests for “too long,”
apologies littering every other sentence,
words trailing off a cliff you haven’t jumped from in 7 years.
i could listen to you forever, though i know speaking for more than 3 uninterrupted minutes makes you anxious.
all i want you to know is that you deserve to be heard
for 3 minutes
for 10 minutes
for 2 hours
forever.

there will be people who cannot handle your grace, your beauty, your wisdom, your heart;
mostly because they can’t handle their own. but you will never be
and have never been
“too much.”

Below – Asha Sudhaker Shenoy: “A Shy Woman”

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American Art – Part VI of VI: George Inness

Died 3 August 1894 – George Inness, an important landscape painter whose work was influenced by the Hudson River School.

Below – “The Lackawanna Valley”; “The Delaware Water Gap”; “The Storm”; “In the Adirondacks”; “The Rainbow”; “Two Sisters in the Garden”; “Sunset on the Passaic”;
“Moonrise”; “Old Elm at Medfield”; “The Home of the Heron”;
“Pool in the Woods”; “Sunrise”; “Milton, New York”; “Sunset over the Sea.”

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Colored Folks Corner

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 by George Innes

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