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

American Art – Part I of IV: Don Gale

Don Gale earned both a B.F.A. and an M.F.A. in Sculpture and Drawing from the Otis Art Institute, Los Angeles.

Below – “Reflections With Ammonite”; “9 Positions” (detail); “Winged Victory (Crescent Moon)” (detail); “As Above, So Below” (detail); “She’s Walking.”
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A Poem for Today

“Guinea Pig”
By Alfred Nicol

A pet, domesticated overmuch,
Inhabiting interminable lulls,
Most pusillanimous of animals,
Inertia’s own, quiescent as the sands,
And shy to venture even round the hutch,
Her pleasure is a motor in my hands,
An instrument set racing with a touch.

A little thing of breath and heat compact,
Mildest of spirits, in a flask of fur,
Without even a sound as signature,
No bark or whinny, whistle or meow,
No word to instigate or to react,
She gently nods assent to here and now,
An answer well-considered and exact.

I’ll learn from this one how much not to do;
How large a silence to accumulate;
To serve with those who only stand and wait,
To change alfalfa, sawdust, water, salt,
For other needs as moderate and few;
To thrill when lifted; visited, exalt;
Nor ever speak till I be spoken through.
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In the words of one critic, the paintings of Caribbean artist Antoine Molinero “radiate a tremendous feeling for atmosphere and people.”
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Reflections in Summer: Sameh Elsayed

“The lucky ones are those who take every opportunity and turn every life experience onto truth seeking adventure. They end up full filled with deeper dimensions of pleasure and spirit satisfaction.”
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Nobel Laureates – Part I of II: Naguib Mahfouz

“You can tell whether a man is clever by his answers. You can tell whether a man is wise by his questions.” – Naguib Mahfouz, Egyptian writer and recipient of the 1988 Nobel Prize for Literature (for being a writer “”who, through works rich in nuance – now clear-sightedly realistic, now evocatively ambiguous – has formed an Arabian narrative art that applies to all mankind,’ who died 30 August 2006.

Some quotes from the work of Naguib Mahfouz:

“It’s a most distressing affliction to have a sentimental heart and a skeptical mind.”
“It’s clearly more important to treat one’s fellow man well than to be always praying and fasting and touching one’s head to a prayer mat.”
“I defend both the freedom of expression and society’s right to counter it. I must pay the price for differing. It is the natural way of things.”
“Today’s interpretations of religion are often backward and contradict the needs of civilization.”

In the words of one critic, “Miguel Tió, a native of the Dominican Republic, began his painting studies with the artist Elias Delgado while also attending the Escuela Nacional de Bellas Artes in Santo Domingo.
His interest in Publicity and Graphic Design led him into continuing studies at the Universidad Autonoma de Santo Domingo.”
Since 1994, Miguel Tio has lived and worked in New York City.
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Nobel Laureates – Part II of II: Seamus Heaney

“I can’t think of a case where poems changed the world, but what they do is they change people’s understanding of what’s going on in the world.” – Seamus Justin Heaney, Irish poet, playwright, translator, lecturer, and recipient of the 1995 Nobel Prize in Literature “for works of lyrical beauty and ethical depth, which exalt everyday miracles and the living past,” who died 30 August 2013.
“Follower”

My father worked with a horse-plough,
His shoulders globed like a full sail strung
Between the shafts and the furrow.
The horse strained at his clicking tongue.

An expert. He would set the wing
And fit the bright steel-pointed sock.
The sod rolled over without breaking.
At the headrig, with a single pluck

Of reins, the sweating team turned round
And back into the land. His eye
Narrowed and angled at the ground,
Mapping the furrow exactly.

I stumbled in his hob-nailed wake,
Fell sometimes on the polished sod;
Sometimes he rode me on his back
Dipping and rising to his plod.

I wanted to grow up and plough,
To close one eye, stiffen my arm.
All I ever did was follow
In his broad shadow round the farm.

I was a nuisance, tripping, falling,
Yapping always. But today
It is my father who keeps stumbling
Behind me, and will not go away.
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Reflections in Summer: Yoshihiro Togashi

“You should enjoy the little detours to the fullest. Because that’s where you’ll find the things more important than what you want.”
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Born 30 August 1748 – Jacques-Louis David, a French painter in the Neoclassical style.

Below – “The Death of Socrates”; “Oath of the Horatii”; “The Death of Marat”; “Napoleon at the Saint-Bernard Pass”; “Self-Portrait.”

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A Second Poem for Today

“School,”
By Daniel J. Langton

I was sent home the first day
with a note: Danny needs a ruler.
My father nodded, nothing seemed so apt.
School is for rules, countries need rulers,
graphs need graphing, the world is straight ahead.

It had metrics one side, inches the other.
You could see where it started
and why it stopped, a foot along,
how it ruled the flighty pen,
which petered out sideways when you dreamt.

I could have learned a lot,
understood latitude, or the border with Canada,
so stern compared to the South
and its unruly river with two names.
But that first day, meandering home, I dropped it.
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American Art – Part II of IV: Casey Krawczyk

Painter Casey Krawczyk (born 1978) has a BFA with a major in Painting from the University of Wisconsin in Superior and an MFA with a major in Painting from the New York Academy of Art in New York City.
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Reflections in Summer: Thor Heyerdahl

“Borders? I have never seen one. But I have heard they exist in the minds of some people.”
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“I keep remembering — I keep remembering. My heart has no pity on me.” – Henri Barbusse, French novelist, soldier in the French Army on the Western Front during World War I, and author of “Under Fire: The Story of a Squad,” who died 30 August 1935.

Some quotes from the work of Henri Barbusse:

“I am more sensitive than other people. Things that other people would not notice awaken a distinct echo in me, and in such moments of lucidity, when I look at myself, I see that I am alone, all alone, all alone.”
“They felt that everything was fleeting, that everything wore out, that everything that was not dead would die, and that even the illusory ties holding them together would not endure. Their sadness did not bring them together. On the contrary, they were separated by all the force of their two sorrows. To suffer together, alas, what disunion!”
“Let everything be remade on simple lines. There is only one people, there is only one people!”
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Here is how contemporary Tibetan artist Tsherin Sherpa describes some of his paintings: “The group of works which form Golden Child/Black Clouds continues my exploration of our perception of the sacred and mundane in everyday life. Originally, the focus of a previous series, Tibetan Spirit, showed figures that were half human/half deity enjoying the playful discovery of all the beauty and trappings of the modern world. While such hybrid Tibetan Spirits are still witnessing all that is unfolding, in these new works a human child is now placed in the foreground as if he or she should be contemplated like a deity. It is an attempt to look at world events through the eyes of these metaphorical images of Tibetan children.”
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Reflections in Summer: Buson

“With the evening breeze
the water laps
against the Heron’s legs.”
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“They’ve got a set of Republican waiters on one side and a set of Democratic waiters on the other side, but no matter which set of waiters brings you the dish, the legislative grub is all prepared in the same Wall Street kitchen.” – Huey Long, 40th Governor of Louisiana, United States Senator from Louisiana, and left-wing populist, who was born 30 August 1893.

Some quotes from the work of Huey Long:

“Hard work is damn near as overrated as monogamy.”
“They say they don’t like my methods. Well, I don’t like them either. I really don’t like to have to do things the way I do. I’d much rather get up before the legislature and say, ‘Now this is a good law and it’s for the benefit of the people, and I’d like you to vote for it in the interest of the public welfare.’ Only I know that laws ain’t made that way. You’ve got to sometimes fight fire with fire. The end justifies the means. I would do it some other way if there was time or if it wasn’t necessary to do it this way.”
“I can frighten or buy ninety-nine out of every one hundred men.”
“You will find that you cannot do without politicians. They are a necessary evil in this day and time. You may not like getting money from one source and spending it for another. But the thing for the school people to do is that if the politicians are going to steal, make them steal for the schools.”
“A perfect democracy can come close to looking like a dictatorship, a democracy in which the people are so satisfied they have no complaint.”
“I would describe a demagogue as a politician who don’t keep his promises.”
“We do not propose to say that there shall be no rich men. We do not ask to divide the wealth. We only propose that, when one man gets more than he and his children and children’s children can spend or use in their lifetimes, that then we shall say that such person has his share. That means that a few million dollars is the limit to what any one man can own.”
“God told you what the trouble was. The philosophers told you what the trouble was; and when you have a country where one man owns more than 100,000 people, or a million people, and when you have a country where there are four men, as in America that have got more control over things than all the 120 million people together, you know what the trouble is.”
“Before this miserable system of wreckage has destroyed the life germ of respect and culture in our American people, let us save what was here, merely by having none too poor and none too rich. The theory of the ‘Share Our Wealth Society’ is to have enough for all, but not to have one with so much that less than enough remains for the balance of the people.”
”But in the name of our good government, people today are seeing their own children hungry, tired, half-naked, lifting their tear-dimmed eyes into the sad faces of fathers and mothers, who cannot give them food and clothing they both need, and which is necessary to sustain them, and that goes on day after day, and night after night, when day gets into darkness and blackness, knowing those children would arise in the morning without being fed, and probably go to bed at night without being fed.”
“Not a single thin dime of concentrated, bloated, pompous wealth, massed in the hands of a few people, has been raked down to relieve the masses.”
“We shall have to say right here and now that the hand of imperial finance shall not go farther into its strangulation of the American people and that the hand of imperialistic banking control shall be decentralized instead of centralized in America.”
“We ought to take care of every single one of the sick and disabled veterans. I do not care whether a man got sick on the battlefield or did not; every man that wore the uniform of this country is entitled to be taken care of, and there is money enough to do it; and we need to spread the wealth of the country, which you did not do in what you call the [National Recovery Administration].”

Dutch sculptor Rob van Bergen (born 1952) studied at the Academy of Visual Arts in Amersfoort from 1972 to 1976.
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Reflections in Summer: George Gordon Byron

“The night
Hath been to me a more familiar face
Than that of man; and in her starry shade
Of dim and solitary loveliness
I learned the language of another world.”
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American Art – Part III of IV: Mark Hiles

Artist Statement: I am always searching for subject matter that gives a view into the beauty of nature; this beauty can be displayed in landscapes, but also in the figurative expressions of the human form and natural beauty of fruits, vegetables and flowers.
I also recognize the importance of artists as recording history in time. The artwork we create show what a person or place was like in this particular time. As things in life and nature constantly change, the artist is there to record that moment in time as it may never be the same ever again.”
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Reflections in Summer: Fennel Hudson

“My tent doesn’t look like much but, as an estate agent might say, “It is air-conditioned and has exceptional location.”

Sunset at High Camp
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“Next time I tell you someone from Texas should not be president of the United States, please pay attention.” – Mary Tyler “Molly” Ivins, American newspaper columnist, author, political commentator, and humorist, who was born 30 August 1944.

Some quotes from the work of Molly Ivins:

“I believe that ignorance is the root of all evil. And that no one knows the truth.”
“When politicians start talking about large groups of their fellow Americans as ‘enemies,’ it’s time for a quiet stir of alertness. Polarizing people is a good way to win an election, and also a good way to wreck a country.”
“What is a teenager in San Francisco to rebel against, for pity’s sake? Their parents are all so busy trying to be non-judgmental, it’s no wonder they take to dyeing their hair green.”
“I dearly love the state of Texas, but I consider that a harmless perversion on my part, and discuss it only with consenting adults.”
“What you need is sustained outrage…there’s far too much unthinking respect given to authority.”
“There is no inverse relationship between freedom and security. Less of one does not lead to more of the other. People with no rights are not safe from terrorist attack.”
“As they say around the Texas Legislature, if you can’t drink their whiskey, screw their women, take their money, and vote against ’em anyway, you don’t belong in office.”
“Politics is not a picture on a wall or a television sitcom that you can decide you don’t much care for.”
“One function of the income gap is that the people at the top of the heap have a hard time even seeing those at the bottom. They practically need a telescope. The pharaohs of ancient Egypt probably didn’t was a lot of time thinking about the people who build their pyramids, either.”
“It is possible to read the history of this country as one long struggle to extend the liberties established in our Constitution to everyone in America.”
“So keep fighting for freedom and justice, beloveds, but don’t forget to have fun doin’ it. Be outrageous… rejoice in all the oddities that freedom can produce. And when you get through celebrating the sheer joy of a good fight, be sure to tell those who come after how much fun it was!”

Reflections in Summer: Octavio Paz

“No one behind, no one ahead.
The path the ancients cleared has closed.
And the other path, everyone’s path,
easy and wide, goes nowhere.
I am alone and find my way.”
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Back from the Territory – Art: Halin de Repentigny

In the words of one writer, “Halin de Repentigny was born in Montreal, Quebec in 1959. As a boy he demonstrated an interest and natural ability as an artist. He started painting with watercolours when he was six, and began using oils at 10. Exposure to the styles and techniques of French-Canadian impressionists Maurice Lebon and Marcel Farreau made a signigicant impact on Halin. He abandoned a conventional education, and without formal training, merged his extraordinary skills of observation with canvas and oils, and began to record the world around him.

Halin spends most of his time in the bush where he inhabits cabins of his own construction, runs sled dogs, traps and paints. He sometimes call his lifestyle `pressurized living` referring to the demands of day-to-day existence. This immersion is captured in many of Halin`s paintings, which are testimony to his unique lifestyle, as well as vision.”

Back from the Territory, I share this with you, before I light out again.

Below – “Grizzly Creek”; “Klondike Vignette”; “Town Profile at 30 Below”; “Rusty Hart”; “Green Scape (Dempster Highway).”

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Reflections in Summer: Michael Cristofer

“Your whole life goes by and it feels like only a minute. You try to remember what it was you believed in. What was so important? What was it? You wanted to make a difference. And then you think someone should have said it sooner. Someone should have said it a long time ago. When we were young, someone should have said, ‘This is living. This is life. This lifetime doesn’t last forever. A few days. A few minutes. That’s all.’
This face. These hands. This world. It doesn’t last forever.
This air. This light. This earth. The things you love. These children. This smile. This paint. It doesn’t last forever.
It was never supposed to last forever. These things you have. This moment. They will not last forever.”
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A Third Poem for Today

“My Wedding Gown”
By Carolyn Raphael

My wedding gown floats lightly on a stream
of attic sweaters, books, and broken toys.
No flame of rapture in a young bride’s dream,
but beauty and decay in equipoise.

The satin dress has changed from white to pearl;
the gauzy train is soiled from dancers’ feet.
Flowery garlands wither and unfurl
in widening diagrams of bittersweet.

This is no pampered gown, neatly encased,
its stains removed and wrinkles ironed out;
this is a knight’s dress armor, richly chased
with spirited designs to boast about.

Just like my marriage, tempered but untorn—
well-made, well-used, well-cherished, and well-worn.
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American Art – Part IV of IV: Gary Godbee

Gary Godbee earned a BFA in Painting from the School of Fine Arts of Boston University.

Below – “West Portal Pumpkins”; “NJCRR Ferry Terminal”; “Cape May Field”; “Flemish Stripes.”
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