September Offerings – Part XVII: Something to Delight both Head and Heart

American Art – Part I of IV: Neilson Carlin

Painter Neilson Carlin earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia.
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Italian Art – Part I of II: Marta Dell’Angelo

Here is one critic describing the artistry of painter Marta Dell’Angelo (born 1970): “Working in oils and pencil, her subjects are often women. She appears to have penchant for mixing subtle and bold colours to very good effect.”
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Italian Art – Part II of II: Renato Bertini

Painter Renato Bertini (born 1939) graduated from the Art Institute in Pesaro in 1956.
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“It is difficult

to get the news from poems

yet men die miserably every day

for lack

of what is found there.” – From “Asphodel, That Greeny Flower,” by William Carlos Williams, American physician, poet, and author of the multi-volume modernist epic “Paterson,” who was born 17 September 1883.

“Blizzard”

Snow falls:
years of anger following

hours that float idly down –

the blizzard

drifts its weight

deeper and deeper for three days

or sixty years, eh? Then

the sun! a clutter
of
yellow and blue flakes –

Hairy looking trees stand out

in long alleys

over a wild solitude.

The man turns and there –

his solitary track stretched out

upon the world.
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One critic describes the work of Russian painter Vladimir Soldatkin (born 1949) as “romantic and lyrical.”
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“To remember love after long sleep; to turn again to poetry after a year in the market place, or to youth after resignation to drowsy and stiffening age; to remember what once you thought life could hold, after telling over with muddied and calculating fingers what it has offered; this is music, made after long silence. The soul flexes its wings, and, clumsy as any fledgling, tries the air again.” – Mary Stewart, English novelist best known for her Merlin Trilogy, who was born 17 September 1916.

Some quotes from the work of Mary Stewart:

“But I have noticed this about ambitious men, or men in power—they fear even the slightest and least likely threat to it.”
“It is not true that women cannot keep secrets. Where they love, they can be trusted to death and beyond, against all sense and reason. It is their weakness, and their great strength.”
“I doubt if there are many normal women who can resist looking at houses. I believe, in fact, that when a house is up for sale more than half the people who look over it are not prospective buyers, but merely ladies who cannot resist exploring someone else’s house.”
“Every life has death and every light has shadow. Be content to stand in the light and let the shadow fall where it will.”
“Perhaps loneliness had nothing to do with place or circumstance; perhaps it was in you; yourself. Perhaps, wherever you were, you took your little circle of loneliness with you.”
“I suppose one gets to know men quickest by the things they take for granted.”
“The essence of wisdom is to know when to be doing, and when it’s useless even to try”
“I’d live with loneliness a long time. That was something which was always there… one learns to keep it at bay, there are times when one even enjoys it – but there are also times when a desperate self-sufficiency doesn’t quite suffice, and then the search for the anodyne begins… the radio, the dog, the shampoo, the stockings-to-wash, the tin soldier.”
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Here is how one critic describes the work of Spanish artist Pablo Maeso Blanco (born 1964): “In his paintings, he tries to show us little stories. His pure and straight colours make us think about the pop art of the 70s, and his frames remind us of the cinema. The human being is the center of his point of view, and the characters of his paintings represent an alter ego.”

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“The purpose of anthropology is to make the world safe for human differences.” – Ruth Benedict, American anthropologist and author of “Patterns of Culture,” who died 17 September 1948.

Some quotes from the work of Ruth Benedict:

“The trouble with life isn’t that there is no answer, it’s that there are so many answers.”
“I have always used the world of make-believe with a certain desperation.”
“No man ever looks at the world with pristine eyes. He sees it edited by a definite set of customs and institutions and ways of thinking.”
“A man’s indebtedness is not virtue; his repayment is. Virtue begins when he dedicates himself actively to the job of gratitude.”
“I haven’t strength of mind not to need a career.”
“Our faith in the present dies out long before our faith in the future.”
“The life history of the individual is first and foremost an accommodation to the patterns and standards traditionally handed down in his community.”
“If we justify war, it is because all peoples always justify the traits of which they find themselves possessed, not because war will bear an objective examination of its merits.”
“Racism is an ism to which everyone in the world today is exposed; for or against, we must take sides. And the history of the future will differ according to the decision which we make.”
“The adequate study of culture, our own and those on the opposite side of the globe, can press on to fulfillment only as we learn today from the humanities as well as from the scientists.”
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From the Music Archives – Part I of II: Franz Liszt

Here is how one historian describes the work of Chinese artist Yu Xiaofu: “Yu Xiaofu appears to have been born to draw. When he was only two or three years old he would cover the house and the yard with chalk drawings, and when he was older his parents sent him to a private art studio to learn how to draw. Yu Xiaofu later entered the Shanghai Theater Academy and began his painting career. Yu Xiaofu favors fusing dark brown into deep red backgrounds then adding orange and yellows to the bright areas. This color arrangement gives people a powerful visual impact that strikes with almost metallic force. Unlike other painters of characters, Yu Xiaofu can dispense with models and reference pictures, instead painting on the canvas whatever he envisions, just as Chinese art theory suggests for the truly gifted. His ability to visualize his subject matter and transfer it to the canvas demonstrates his outstanding composition ability, creativity and sketching technique.”
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“If you’re a Conservative, why aren’t you behind conserving the land?” – Ken Kesey, American writer and author of “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest,” who was born on 17 September 1935.

Some quotes from the work of Ken Kesey:

“You don’t lead by pointing and telling people some place to go. You lead by going to that place and making a case.”
“If grass were legalized, it would help our drug problem enormously.”
“There’s something about taking a plow and breaking new ground. It gives you energy.”
“Man, when you lose your laugh you lose your footing.”
“Nowhere else in history has there ever been a flag that stands for the right to burn itself. This is the fractal of our flag. It stands for the right to destroy itself.”
“People don’t want other people to get high, because if you get high, you might see the falsity of the fabric of the society we live in.”
“The fundamentalists have taken the fun out of the mental.”
“I’d rather be a lightning rod than a seismograph.”
“You can’t really be strong until you see a funny side to things.”
“Ritual is necessary for us to know anything.”
“The frontiers we broke into in the ’60s are still largely unexplored.”
“The Haight is just a place; the ’60s was a spirit.”
“The truth doesn’t have to do with cruelty, the truth has to do with mercy.”
“When Shakespeare was writing, he wasn’t writing for stuff to lie on the page; it was supposed to get up and move around.”
“When we first broke into that forbidden box in the other dimension, we knew we had discovered something as surprising and powerful as the New World when Columbus came stumbling onto it.”
“You’ve got to get out and pray to the sky to appreciate the sunshine; otherwise you’re just a lizard standing there with the sun shining on you.”
“To hell with facts! We need stories!”
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English Art – Part I of III: Richard Brazier

In the words of one writer, “Richard Brazier is a figurative artist who is currently based in London. After graduating with honours in 1996 from The Rhode Island School of Design in the United States, he returned to London and began working from his studio in Battersea where spends his time either working on a variety of commissioned portraits or other figurative works.”
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English Art – Part II of III: Anthony Tewfik

According to one critic, “Anthony Tewfik’s work mostly depicts the human form, though seascape, landscape and still life are occasionally included in his compositions. Most of the works are made either by observation from life, photographs, or more often both. Some works are however made from imagination without references.
The naked body is his main preoccupation ‘I regard the true portrait of being the whole body, not confined to the details acceptable to be viewed in public.’”
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English Art – Part III of III: David Brayne

According to one critic, “There is poetry of perception expressed in David Brayne’s work that is informed by his earlier Minimalist training and his growing Classical concerns. His surfaces are chalky dry, reminiscent of early Renaissance frescoes, his colours while subtly English invariably have a warm vibrant Italian ochre singing out: creating a perfect harmonious palette. Land and sea appear blended together in a gentle linear exchange where there are no shadows – all as if in a dream – a lyrical memory. These compositions are often interrupted with figures and boats, juxtaposed as if in a delicate dance, exquisitely and quintessentially beautiful. The tender portrayal of the graceful women and men as they hold their fishing lines and nets, making improbable but graceful shapes. These are paintings that have a perfection of form, expressed with a beautiful and strange aesthetic.”
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From the Music Archives – Part II of II: Ludwig van Beethoven

Latvian painter Paulis Postazs (born 1976) graduated with a degree in Painting from the Academy of Fine Arts in Riga.
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American Art – Part II of IV: Tacha Vosburgh

In the words of one critic, “The figures of Tacha Vosburgh stand as sentinels to stories of people that have never happened, but are always happening. They are portraits of no one in particular, but of everyone. The artist is reaching for that strange, but somehow familiar place that we long to connect with, that place of grounding that we know about if we just take the time to remember. ‘There is a universality in these figures,’ Tacha explains. ‘People recognize something vaguely familiar about them. . Humans have always used myth to explain ourselves. This series is like a myth. With each interpretation, it gets retold and re-crafted through time.’”
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A Poem for Today

“Happiness,”
By Raymond Carver

So early it’s still almost dark out.
I’m near the window with coffee,
and the usual early morning stuff
that passes for thought.

When I see the boy and his friend
walking up the road
to deliver the newspaper.

They wear caps and sweaters,
and one boy has a bag over his shoulder.
They are so happy
they aren’t saying anything, these boys.

I think if they could, they would take
each other’s arm.
It’s early in the morning,
and they are doing this thing together.

They come on, slowly.
The sky is taking on light,
though the moon still hangs pale over the water.

Such beauty that for a minute
death and ambition, even love,
doesn’t enter into this.

Happiness. It comes on
unexpectedly. And goes beyond, really,
any early morning talk about it.
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American Art – Part III of IV: Michelle Doll

Artist Michelle Doll lives and works in Hoboken, New Jersey.
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A Second Poem for Today

“The Unborn,”
By Sharon Olds

Sometimes I can almost see, around our heads,

Like gnats around a streetlight in summer,

The children we could have,

The glimmer of them.



Sometimes I feel them waiting, dozing 

In some antechamber – servants, half-

Listening for the bell. 



Sometimes I see them lying like love letters

In the Dead Letter Office



And sometimes, like tonight, by some black

Second sight I can feel just one of them

Standing on the edge of a cliff by the sea 

In the dark, stretching its arms out 

Desperately to me.
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American Art – Part IV of IV: Seth Haverkamp

Here is one critic describing the background and artistry of Seth Haverkamp (born 1980): “Seth Haverkamp graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Carson Newman College and has studied with internationally-known artist Nelson Shanks at Studio Incamminiati and renowned artist Robert Liberace. Known for his unique still lifes and portraits, Haverkamp derives his primary inspiration from beauty — color, form, and the drama of light and dark. His wife and children are a frequent subject of his work. As Seth says ‘The meaning? It is found in beauty. At the moment, that’s enough.’”
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