American Art – Part I of II: Kathy Sosa
Here is how painter Kathy Sosa describes her artistry:
“My style combines papers and textiles and oil portraits to produce idealized paintings (usually women) in their own environments. The intended result is fine art laced with strong, distinctly decorative environmental elements. The people in these paintings are colorful in every sense of the word and I aim to create a setting for each that reinforces and communicates their mood and personality.”
A Poem for Today
“The Dark Hills,”
By Edwin Arlington Robinson
Dark hills at evening in the west,
Where sunset hovers like a sound
Of golden horns that sang to rest
Old bones of warriors under ground,
Far now from all the bannered ways
Where flash the legions of the sun,
You fade – as if the last of days
Were fading, and all wars were done.
“Why shouldn’t art be pretty? There are enough unpleasant things in the world.” – Pierre-Auguste Renoir, French artist and a leading painter in the Impressionist style, who died 3 December 1919.
Musings in Autumn: Andrew Wyeth
“I prefer winter and fall, when you feel the bone structure of the landscape – the loneliness of it, the dead feeling of winter. Something waits beneath it, the whole story doesn’t show.”
Here is one writer describing the background and artistry of Eteri Chkadua: “A native of the Georgian Republic, Chkadua started out as an abstract painter. ‘Classical art was not very fashionable,’ she told me. Then, ‘just for fun,’ she began working in a Flemish-inspired figurative style. Since arriving in the U.S., her highly personalized, hallucinatory realism has found a selective and enthusiastic audience.
Chkadua is something of a latter-day magic realist, imagining a new global mythology peopled by herself and the men in her life.”
Musings in Autumn – Kenneth Grahame
British Art – Part I of II: David Eustace
Here is one writer describing the artistry of British painter David Eustace (born 1950): “David plays with the viewers of his figurative painting, using images that hover between conscious and subconscious states. Eustace produces a mixture of wit and mysticism. In his view, painting is like music. Often the artist or composer intends to form a beginning, middle and an end but finds himself drawn off in a slightly different direction to make his creation look or sound ‘right’. It is, he says, a philosophical experience, which is ‘easier felt than telt.’”
“Like a flash of lightning between the clouds, we live in the flicker.” – Joseph Conrad, Polish-born British writer and author of “Lord Jim,” “Heart of Darkness,” and “Nostromo,” who was born 3 December 1857.
Some quotes from the work of Joseph Conrad:
“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.”
“The belief in a supernatural source of evil is not necessary; men alone are quite capable of every wickedness.”
“Your strength is just an accident owed to the weakness of others.”
“Facing it, always facing it, that’s the way to get through. Face it.”
“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.”
“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.”
“The question is not how to get cured, but how to live.”
“We live in the flicker — may it last as long as the old earth keeps rolling! But darkness was here yesterday.”
“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.”
“It’s extraordinary how we go through life with eyes half shut, with dull ears, with dormant thoughts. Perhaps it’s just as well; and it may be that it is this very dullness that makes life to the incalculable majority so supportable and so welcome.”
“It’s only those who do nothing that make no mistakes, I suppose.”
“Perhaps life is just that… a dream and a fear.”
British Art – Part II of II: Shaun Ferguson
In the words of one critic, “The majority of Shaun Ferguson’s wonderfully atmospheric and sensitively expressed paintings are inspired by the figure, and usually this is the figure caught in a quiet, contemplative mood. His work involves an intriguing balance between subject matter, painterly considerations and interpretation, offering challenges and qualities that lift it well beyond straightforward portraiture, which in fact is never his objective. Interestingly, although he quite often adopts the conventional head and shoulders ‘portrait’ composition for his figure subjects, in seeking a more individual, painterly result he instils in the work a strong sense of energy and tension.”
Musings in Autumn: Norman Maclean
“Eventually, all things merge into one, and a river runs through it. The river was cut by the world’s great flood and runs over rocks from the basement of time. On some of the rocks are timeless raindrops. Under the rocks are the words, and some of the words are theirs.
I am haunted by waters.” ― “A River Runs Through It and Other Stories”
Here is how one critic describes the paintings of Taiwanese artist Santos Hu: “We might talk of his work in terms of ‘surrealism,’ ‘hyper-realism,’ and ‘impressionism,’ but all of that would be too narrow to conceptually describe it. His technique is impeccable, (and he is) a master of design, perspective, proportion, size and color. Nature, in its full abundance, is the source and the origin of all of his work, as he recreates the essence of objects, thus giving them new identity.”
A Second Poem for Today
By William Stafford
Some time when the river is ice ask me
mistakes I have made. Ask me whether
what I have done is my life. Others
have come in their slow way into
my thought, and some have tried to help
or to hurt: ask me what difference
their strongest love or hate has made.
I will listen to what you say.
You and I can turn and look
at the silent river and wait. We know
the current is there, hidden; and there
are comings and goings from miles away
that hold the stillness exactly before us.
What the river says, that is what I say.
American Art – Part II of II: Andrea Kemp
Artist Statement: “Painting had its way of creeping into my life. I do not know how or why, but I am so fortunate it did. Though it is a large part of who I am, its meaning is ever changing. My journey as a painter takes me to new places that end up either, presenting unique ideas and challenges, or paralleling other events in my life. Painting in itself is a teacher that if we pay attention to, we learn from and grow from, not only as an artist but to be a better person. Its possibilities are boundless and the adventure of painting presents numerous challenges. It’s not always easy to meet those challenges.”