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

Paintings of American Mountains, Part I of VI – William Guy: “Cauterskill Falls on the Catskill Mountains”

“Your time is limited. Don’t live somebody else’s life.” – Steve Jobs, American entrepreneur best known as the co-founder, chairman, and chief executive officer of Apple, Inc., who died on 5 October 2011, sounding a bit like Henry David Thoreau.

American art – Part I of III: P. J. Smalley

According to one writer, “Visual artist PJ Smalley is delving into the binary between the digital experience and reality.”


We judge ourselves by our motives and others by their actions.” – Dwight Morrow, American businessman, politician, diplomat, and father of Anne Morrow Lindbergh, who died on 5 October 1931.

Two more astute comments from Dwight Morrow:

“Any party which takes credit for the rain must not be surprised if its opponents blame it for the drought.”
“The world is divided into people who do things – and people who get the credit.”

Paintings of American Mountains, Part II of VI – Thomas Cole: “A View of the Round-Top”

“The pain goes away on payday.” – Larry Fine, comic actor and frequently abused member of The Three Stooges comedy team, who was born on 5 October 1902.

We must hope that Larry Fine made a great deal of money every payday, because he certainly endured a great deal of pain:

Russian painter Eduard Anikonov (born 1966) attended both the Fine Arts College of Sverdlovsk and the School of Graphics at St. Petersburg Repin Academy of Arts.

Only in America

“It was not her sex appeal but the obvious relish with which she devoured the hamburger that made my pulse begin to hammer with excitement.” – Roy Kroc, American restaurant magnate and founder of McDonald’s, who was born on 5 October 1902, on first meeting his wife.

It is not surprising that Roy Kroc would find watching a woman eat a hamburger an erotic experience, but his description of the event does sound like the opening line of a gastro-pornographic novel, which might continue in this fashion: “Hey, there – you with the sesame seed buns. They call me ‘Big Mac.’ Would you like to sample my ‘special sauce’?” I’d buy a copy.

And while on the topic of the marriage of Eros and grilled beef:

Italian painter Daniela Benedetti (born 1979) earned a degree in Painting from the Academy of Fine Arts of Brera.

Paintings of American Mountains, Part III of VI – Albert Bierstadt: “The Rocky Mountains, Lander’s Peak”

Died 5 October 2004 – Rodney Dangerfield, American comedian and actor, known for both his catchphrase “I don’t get no respect!” and his performances in 1980s movies, including “Easy Money,” “Caddyshack,” and “Back to School.” I recommend that fans of Rodney Dangerfield view “The Projectionist” (1971), a brilliant film far ahead of its time written and directed by Harry Hurwitz and co-starring Chuck McCann, in which Dangerfield portrays two characters: Renaldi, a mean-spirited movie theater manager, and The Bat, a sinister and melodramatic villain.

Let’s give the man a little belated respect:

Portuguese sculptor David Oliveira (born 1980) earned both a BFA in sculpture and an MFA in Artistic Anatomy from the Department of Fine Arts of Lisbon University.

Great American Memorials, Part I of II: Vietnam Veterans Memorial

“If you don’t learn history accurately, how can you learn?” – Maya Ying Lin, American architect, sculptor, and designer of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, who was born on 5 October 1959.

Above – Maya Ying Lin.
Below – “Vietnam Memorial,” by Lee Teeter.

Paintings of American Mountains, Part IV of VI – Tony Abeyta: “Northern New Mexico Landscape”


Great American Memorials, Part II of II: Japanese-American Memorial

“Here we admit a wrong. Here we affirm our commitment as a nation to equal justice under the law.” – President Ronald W. Reagan, upon signing the Civil Liberties Act of 1988, and one of the inscriptions on the National Japanese-American Memorial.
In the words of one historian, Them memorial “commemorates Japanese-American war involvement, veterans, and patriotism during World War II, as well as those held in Japanese American internment camps. The memorial consists of two Japanese cranes caught in barbed wire on top of a tall pedestal made of green Vermont marble.”
According to the National Japanese American Memorial Foundation the memorial “is symbolic not only of the Japanese-American experience, but of the extrication of anyone from deeply painful and restrictive circumstances. It reminds us of the battles we’ve fought to overcome our ignorance and prejudice and the meaning of an integrated culture, once pained and torn, now healed and unified. Finally, the monument presents the Japanese-American experience as a symbol for all peoples.”
Above – Japanese-American sculptor Nina Akamu, who created the monument.
Below – The Japanese-American Memorial.

American Art – Part II of III: Freydoon Rassouli

Artist Statement: “‘Relationship’ is the most important aspect of my work. I believe that dream and reality coexist in this world. Light and shadow, nature and concepts, technology and feeling, the actual and the imaginary exist together.
My art expands on the metaphysical and expressive ideas that I have drawn from Near Eastern mysticism: investigation of the nexus of internal and external universes.
All things are connected in a cosmic web. To me, the interrelations and interactions between the parts of the whole are more important than the parts themselves. That is why I like to paint motion with no objects to move, action without players, and dance without dancers.
I work intuitively. When I paint, I am mindless, yet I am conscious. I feel that my timeless inner presence is a medium that carries that which I am not aware.
I like to share my feeling of joy and exuberance with others. I like to show devotion and love and all other pleasures of the world in their most sensual grace and timelessness.”


Born 5 October 1926 – Willi Unsoeld, American mountaineer and member of the first American expedition to reach the summit of Mount Everest (22 May 1963). Unsoeld subsequently became the Peace Corps director in Nepal, a speaker for Outward Bound, a faculty member at Oregon State University and Evergreen State College, and a mountaineering guide. In 1976, Unsoeld and his daughter Nanda Devi were on an expedition to climb her namesake mountain Nanda Devi, the second highest peak in India. His daughter died during the climb, which was plagued by accidents and eventual tragedy. Asked at his home (where a picture of Devi was over the fireplace) how he could continue climbing after losing his daughter, Willi responded: “What — you want me to die of a heart attack, drinking beer, eating potato chips, and watching a golf tournament on TV?” Willi Unsoeld died in an avalanche while leading a winter climb of Mt. Rainier in March 1979 at age 52.

Above – Willi and Nanda Devi Unsoeld.
Below – Nanda Devi; Mount Rainier in winter.

Paintings of American Mountains, Part V of VI – Jim Wilcox: “Taggart Lake in Grand Teton National Park”

Here is part of the Artist Statement of Japanese painter Kozo Izawa (born 1956): “It is tedious for me to provide an explicit synopsis of the story in artworks. I want to keep Japanese vagueness or ambiguity. Therefore, I will create images that might be real or surreal, dawn or evening. If someone asks ‘Which do you want to depict, a smiling face or sad face?,’ I’ll say ‘an ambiguous face different from being woodenly expressionless.’”

A Poem for Today

“Border of a Dream: XXIX,”
By Antonio Machado

Traveler, there is no path.
The path is made by walking.

Traveller, the path is your tracks
And nothing more.
Traveller, there is no path
The path is made by walking.
By walking you make a path
And turning, you look back
At a way you will never tread again
Traveller, there is no road
Only wakes in the sea.

American Art – Part III of III: Karl Zipser

Artist Statement: ”I was born in New York City in 1969. My parents encouraged me to draw and paint from a young age. As a teenager, I painted landscapes inoil, but I felt that I should seek a more practical career.I went to college at the University of Chicago and got my BA in biology in 1991. After that I did research at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences. I studied visual perception and the primate visual system. I got my Ph.D. in 1995.
During post-doctoral research in Amsterdam, I rediscovered my interest in art and decided to become a painter. I had an exhibition at Galerie Klerkx & van Heerden in Haarlem, The Netherlands in 2001. Since then most of my work has been for private commission.”

Paintings of American Mountains, Part VI of VI – Toshi Yoshida: “Mount Rainier in Winter”

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