October Offerings – Part II: Something to Delight both Head and Heart

American Art – Part I of IV: Thomas S. Buechner

In the words of one historian, “Thomas S. Buechner (1926-2010) attended Princeton University, the Art Student’s League in New York and the Ecole des Beaux Arts in Paris. In Amsterdam he studied old master painting techniques with M.M. van Dantzig, a pupil of Max Doerner’s.
Subsequently employed as a designer and graphic artist on the Governor’s staff in Puerto Rico, he specialized in exhibition design and was later appointed to the Display Department of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.”


“Be the change that you wish to see in the world.” – Mahatma Gandhi, Indian spiritual leader who helped India gain independence from Britain and inspired non-violent movements for civil rights and freedom across the world, who was born on 2 October 1869.

“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.”
“I like your Christ; I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.”
“Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.”
“An eye for an eye will only make the whole world blind.”
“When I despair, I remember that all through history the way of truth and love have always won. There have been tyrants and murderers, and for a time, they can seem invincible, but in the end, they always fall. Think of it–always.”
“God has no religion.”
“Man often becomes what he believes himself to be. If I keep on saying to myself that I cannot do a certain thing, it is possible that I may end by really becoming incapable of doing it. On the contrary, if I have the belief that I can do it, I shall surely acquire the capacity to do it even if I may not have it at the beginning.”
“Reporter: ‘What do you think of Western Civilization?
Gandhi: ‘I think it would be a good idea.’”
“Earth provides enough to satisfy every man’s needs, but not every man’s greed.”

Vietnamese painter Vu Tuan (born 1973) graduated from Hanoi Fine Arts University.
Vu Tuan
Vu Tuan
Vu Tuan

American Art – Part II of VI: Edie Roberson

Artist Statement: “Art is a passion for me. My creations come from a gestation period of whatever time it takes, then come to life in special magical moments in the present. Whatever goes into my paintings are chosen intuitively. They must “feel” right to me, and also in their relationship to each other. I would like each viewer to explore what they see, without limits imposed by me. What’s ‘real’…..and what’s not? What’s going on here? What do they see or imagine? What are their individual stories that they get from my paintings? Some of my work may be ‘surreal whimsy,’ but a little bit of humor is not bad, these days! Beauty, light, color, texture, and gesture are, and have always been, extremely important to me, in whatever art genre I happen to create.”

The Comic Muse – Part I of II: Groucho Marx

“She got her good looks from her father. He’s a plastic surgeon.” – Groucho Marx, American comic actor and member of the brilliant comedy team The Marx Brothers, who was born on 2 October 1890.

Here is Groucho Marx in “Duck Soup” tormenting his hapless comic foil Margaret Dumont:

American Art – Part III of VI: William Merritt Chase

In the words of one historian, “William Merritt Chase (1849-1916) was an Impressionist painter and important art teacher who established the Chase School, which would later become Parsons New School for Design. After stints at both the Academy of Design in New York and the Academy of Fine Arts in Munich, Chase traveled to Venice for additional study. After returning to the United States, he became close friends with Winslow Homer, numbered Georgia O’Keeffe among his many pupils, and influenced California art at the turn of the century through interactions with Arthur Frank Mathews, Xavier Martinez, and Percy Gray. “

Below – “End of the Season Sun”; “Mrs. Chase in Prospect Park”; “Good Friends”; “Studio Interior”; “Landscape: Shinnecock, Long Island”; “A City Park”; “Self-Portrait.”

The Comic Muse – Part II of II: Bud Abbott

Born 2 October 1895 – Bud Abbott, American comedian and part of the Abbott & Costello comedy team.

Below: Perhaps the greatest Abbott & Costello routine – “Who’s on First?,” for which the two men were honored by having a gold record of it placed in the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York, along with a video of the act that plays continuously on several screens.

Here is one writer describing the background and artistry of British painter Peter Worswick: “Born in Blackburn, Lancashire in 1960 Peter showed early artistic talent but upon leaving school he trained as an electrician only painting in his spare time. It was a further 5 years before he decided to commit himself to painting on a full time basis.
Mainly self taught, Peter describes his images as realist, sensual and modern. He works in oil and other mediums but he prefers pastel as he find that it lends itself very well to the textures he paints. It allows him to create images that combine both rich and delicate colours along with numerous textures. This attention to detail enables him to create beautiful and highly sought after figurative works.”
According to Worswick: “I find that the female form combined with various materials of silk, velvet, lace etc… provide me with all the inspiration I need. The possible combinations are endless.”

“Human nature is like water. It takes the shape of its container.” – Wallace Stevens, American poet and recipient of the 1955 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry (for “The Collected Poems”), who was born on 2 October 1879.

Some quotes from Wallace Stevens:

“The most beautiful thing in the world is, of course, the world itself.”
“Perhaps the truth depends on a walk around the lake.”
“A poem need not have a meaning and like most things in nature often does not have.”
“I do not know which to prefer: the beauty of inflections, or the beauty of innuendoes; the blackbird whistling, or just after.”
“Accuracy of observation is the equivalent of accuracy of thinking.”
“Death is the mother of Beauty; hence from her, alone, shall come fulfillment to our dreams and our desires.”
“After the final no there comes a yes and on that yes the future of the world hangs.”
“New York is a field of tireless and antagonistic interests undoubtedly fascinating but horribly unreal. Everybody is looking at everybody else – a foolish crowd walking on mirrors.”
“Most people read poetry listening for echoes because the echoes are familiar to them. They wade through it the way a boy wades through water, feeling with his toes for the bottom: The echoes are the bottom.”
“To regard the imagination as metaphysics is to think of it as part of life, and to think of it as part of life is to realize the extent of artifice. We live in the mind.”
“Everything is complicated; if that were not so, life and poetry and everything else would be a bore.”
“If some really acute observer made as much of egotism as Freud has made of sex, people would forget a good deal about sex and find the explanation for everything in egotism.”
“One cannot spend one’s time in being modern when there are so many more important things to be.”
“Intolerance respecting other people’s religion is toleration itself in comparison with intolerance respecting other people’s art.”
“The genuine artist is never ‘true to life.’ He sees what is real, but not as we are normally aware of it. We do not go storming through life like actors in a play. Art is never real life.”
“What our eyes behold may well be the text of life but one’s meditations on the text and the disclosures of these meditations are no less a part of the structure of reality.”
“Style is not something applied. It is something that permeates. It is of the nature of that in which it is found, whether the poem, the manner of a god, the bearing of a man. It is not a dress.”
“It is the unknown that excites the ardor of scholars, who, in the known alone, would shrivel up with boredom.”
“The poet is the priest of the invisible.”
“The way through the world is more difficult to find than the way beyond it.”
“The philosopher proves that the philosopher exists. The poet merely enjoys existence.”
“Reality is not what it is. It consists of the many realities which it can be made into.
“How full of trifles everything is! It is only one’s thoughts that fill a room with something more than furniture.”
“Nothing could be more inappropriate to American literature than its English source since the Americans are not British in sensibility.”
“The day of the sun is like the day of a king. It is a promenade in the morning, a sitting on the throne at noon, a pageant in the evening.”
“As life grows more terrible, its literature grows more terrible.”
“Our bloom is gone. We are the fruit.”

And a poem:

“Disillusionment of Ten O’Clock”

The houses are haunted
By white night-gowns.
None are green,
Or purple with green rings,
Or green with yellow rings,
Or yellow with blue rings.
None of them are strange,
With socks of lace
And beaded ceintures.
People are not going
To dream of baboons and periwinkles.
Only, here and there, an old sailor,
Drunk and asleep in his boots,
Catches tigers
In red weather.

American Art – Part IV of VI: Annie Liebovitz

“If you are going to America, bring food.” – Annie Liebovitz, American portrait photographer, who was born on 2 October 1949.

Below – “Daniel Craig, George Clooney, and Matt Damon”; “Scarlett Johansson”; “Queen Elizabeth II”; “Willie Nelson”; “Penelope Cruz and Woody Allen”; “Christopher Nolan and Heath Ledger.”
Courtesy of Rip & JJ

A Poem for Today

By Sharon Bryan

Why not lindendust,
hackberry, hemlock,
live oak, maple, why
name the remains
after the blade, not
what it cut—

only now do I see
that the air is full
of small sharp stars
pinwheeling through
every living thing
that gets in their way.

American Art – Part V of VI: Cynthia Siegel

Artist Statement: “At its surface, the human form reflects a mere fraction of the inner journey of mind and spirit that defines us as human. I like to imagine what it would be like if elements from this journey manifested themselves on the surface of the body in tangible form.
Using imagery that references both nature and culture, I explore the power of unspoken thought and emotion.”

A Second Poem for Today

“Wild Swans,”
By Edna St. Vincent Millay

I looked in my heart while the wild swans went over.
And what did I see I had not seen before?
Only a question less or a question more;
Nothing to match the flight of wild birds flying.
Tiresome heart, forever living and dying,
House without air, I leave you and lock your door.
Wild swans, come over the town, come over
The town again, trailing your legs and crying!

Below – “Look how the wild swans fly,” by Marie Luise Strohmenger

American Art – Part VI of VI: David Salle

According to one writer, “David Salle (born 1952) is an American painter who helped define postmodern sensibility by combining figuration with a varied pictorial language of multi-imagery. Major exhibitions of his work have taken place at the Whitney Museum of American Art] in New York, the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, Castello di Rivoli (Torino, Italy), and the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao.”
Cabin in the Woods, 2008oil on linen84 x 120 inches
Last Light, 2007oil on linen with wood and objects60 x 96 x 5 1/2 inches

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