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

American Art – Part I of IV: Mark Battista

In the words of one critic, “Mark Battista, fine artist and illustrator, was born in 1963 in West Haven, Connecticut and graduated from Paier College of Art with a B.F.A. in 1985. Upon graduation, he was awarded ‘The Outstanding Illustration Major Award’ and received recognition for graduating with the highest grade point average. He received a M.S. degree in Art Education from Southern CT State University in 1990.”

American Art – Part II of IV: Colette Calascione

According to one writer, “Colette Calascione was born in San Francisco in 1971 and received her B.F.A. from the San Francisco Art Institute. She resides in New York.”

American Art – Part III of IV: Katherine Ace

Artist Statement: “The intersection of contraries fascinates me: ecstasy and agony; humor and tragedy; natural and constructed realities; experience and news. I find that I’m curious about the struggles of diversity vs. unity in human, animal and plant societies. I am captivated by complex issues that we all face, and yet experience personally, intimately. I am interested in the role of dark feelings, thoughts and states of mind in the process of transformation, l am drawn to fire beneath reserve.
I think of painting as a dynamic process, expressing energy through the coupling of opposites. The raw canvas is both filled and completely empty. Akin to dreaming, I begin with an image in mind but am not clear how it will manifest. I do not derive my imagery from sleeping dreams but from my eyes, imagination, memory, as well as photography, historical references and chance.”

American Art – Part IV of IV: Jon deMartin

John deMartin (born 1955) studied at Pratt Institute and the New York Academy of Art.

8 September 1952 – Ernest Hemingway publishes “The Old Man and the Sea.” In the words of one literary historian, “It was the last major work of fiction to be produced by Hemingway and published in his lifetime…’The Old Man and the Sea’was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1953 and was cited by the Nobel Committee as contributing to the awarding of the Nobel Prize in Literature to Hemingway in 1954.”

A few quotes from “The Old Man and the Sea”:

“But man is not made for defeat,” he said. “A man can be destroyed but not defeated. ”
“I may not be as strong as I think, but I know many tricks and I have resolution.”
“He always thought of the sea as ‘la mar’ which is what people call her in Spanish when they love her. Sometimes those who love her say bad things of her but they are always said as though she were a woman. Some of the younger fishermen, those who used buoys as floats for their lines and had motorboats, bought when the shark livers had brought much money, spoke of her as ‘el mar’ which is masculine. They spoke of her as a contestant or a place or even an enemy. But the old man always thought of her as feminine and as something that gave or withheld great favours, and if she did wild or wicked things it was because she could not help them. The moon affects her as it does a woman, he thought.”
“He rested sitting on the un-stepped mast and sail and tried not to think but only to endure.”
The Old Man and the Sea

Here is the Artist Statement of Spanish Painter Jose Sanchez Parrales: “I am self-taught. I have won two prizes in my life, and I felt the same bad impression we all we do in this country of hyperrealism. We are surrounded by detractors who want to simplify our work to nothing – at least until recently. If a camera could paint, I would understand, but to my knowledge it still cannot. My passion for this noble art of painting craft keeps me on the road. No more words.”


“You smug-faced crowds with kindling eye
Who cheer when soldier lads march by,
Sneak home and pray you’ll never know
The hell where youth and laughter go.” – From “Suicide in the Trenches,” by Siegfried Sassoon, English poet, writer, and soldier. In the words of one literary historian, “Decorated for bravery on the Western Front, he became one of the leading poets of the First World War. His poetry both described the horrors of the trenches, and satirized the patriotic pretensions of those who, in Sassoon’s view, were responsible for a jingoism-fuelled war.”


I’ve listened: and all the sounds I heard
Were music,—wind, and stream, and bird.
With youth who sang from hill to hill
I’ve listened: my heart is hungry still.

I’ve looked: the morning world was green;
Bright roofs and towers of town I’ve seen;
And stars, wheeling through wingless night.
I’ve looked: and my soul yet longs for light.

I’ve thought: but in my sense survives
Only the impulse of those lives
That were my making. Hear me say
‘I’ve thought!’—and darkness hides my day.

One critic describes the spirit that informs the work of Romanian painter Sabin Balasa (1932-2008) as “cosmic Romanticism.”

From the Music Archives – Part I of III: Patsy Cline

“Jimmy Dean dropped by my session the other night and said, ‘I see you’re still singing your ass off,’ and I said to him, ‘I see you’re still as big headed as you Texans always are.'” – Patsy Cline, born Virginia Patterson Hensley, country music singer and one of the greatest American vocalists, who was born 8 September 1932.

From the Music Archives – Part II of III: Ron “Pigpen” McKernan.

Born 8 September 1945 – Ron “Pigpen” McKernan, American singer, musician, and a founding member of the Grateful Dead.

From the Music Archives – Part III of III: Moondog

Died 8 September 1999 – Moondog, born Louis Thomas Hardin, blind American musician, composer, poet, and inventor of several musical instruments.

Here is the Artist Statement of Cathy Chalvignac: “Born 1954 in Paris, France. Raised in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. The first ten years of my adult life I lived in France, then the past 25 years in Mexico
I had always loved art, but after art school in Paris, I was disgusted and never wanted to paint again. It was years later, only after I arrived in Mexico, that I felt like I wanted to paint once more. Thank God I am here!”

“Landscapes have a language of their own, expressing the soul of the things, lofty or humble, which constitute them, from the mighty peaks to the smallest of the tiny flowers hidden in the meadow’s grass.” – Alexandra David-Neel, Belgian-French explorer, spiritualist, Buddhist, anarchist, and writer, who died 8 September 1969. In the words of one historian, “She is most known for her 1924 visit to Lhasa, Tibet when it was forbidden to foreigners. David-Néel wrote over 30 books about Eastern religion, philosophy, and her travels. Her teachings influenced beat writers Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg, philosopher Alan Watts, and esotericist Benjamin Creme.”

Born in Morocco in 1952, artist Marie-Paule Deville-Chabrolle spent two years teaching in Phnom Penh, and her work shows the influence of both the colors of North Africa and the sculptural forms of Cambodia.
A Poem for This Fleeting Day

“Cold Poem”
By Jim Harrison

A cold has put me on the fritz, said Eugene O’Neill,

how can I forget certain things?

Now I have thirteen bottles of red wine

where once I had over a thousand.

I know where they went but why should I tell?

Every day I feed the dogs and birds.

The yard is littered with bones and seed husks.

Hearts spend their entire lives in the dark,

but the dogs and birds are fond of me.

I take a shower frequently but still

women are not drawn to me in large numbers.

Perhaps they know I’m happily married

and why exhaust themselves vainly to seduce me?

I loaned hundreds of thousands of dollars

and was paid back only by two Indians.

If I had known history it was never otherwise.

This is the song of the cold when people

are themselves but less so, people

who haven’t listened to my unworded advice.

I was once described as “immortal”

but this didn’t include my mother who recently died.

And why go to New York after the asteroid 

and the floods of polar waters, the crumbling

buildings, when you’re the only one there

in 2050? Come back to earth.

Blow your nose and dwell on the shortness of life.

Lift up your dark heart and sing a song about 

how time drifts past you like the gentlest, almost imperceptible breeze.

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