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

American Art – Part I of IV: Cora Ogden

According to one writer, “Cora Ogden is a contemporary realist painter who lives and works in Killingworth. Ogden earned a bachelor of fine arts in painting from the University of South Alabama in 1972, and a master’s in sculpture from the University of New Mexico. She is an elected artist and board member of The Lyme Art Association and was one of the earliest artists contributing her skills and talents to The Arts Center at Killingworth.”


“Do your little bit of good where you are; it’s those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world.” – Bishop Desmond Tutu, South African social rights activist, retired Anglican bishop, author of “God Is Not a Christian And Other Provocations,” and recipient of the 1984 Nobel Peace Prize, who was born 7 October 1931.

Some quotes from the work of Desmond Tutu:
“Forgiving is not forgetting; it’s actually remembering–remembering and not using your right to hit back. It’s a second chance for a new beginning. And the remembering part is particularly important. Especially if you don’t want to repeat what happened.”
“If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse, and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality.”
“When the missionaries came to Africa they had the Bible and we had the land. They said, ‘Let us pray.’ We closed our eyes. When we opened them, we had the Bible and they had the land.”
“My father always used to say, ‘Don’t raise your voice. Improve your argument.’ Good sense does not always lie with the loudest shouters, nor can we say that a large, unruly crowd is always the best arbiter of what is right.”
“Differences are not intended to separate, to alienate. We are different precisely in order to realize our need of one another.”
“We learn from history that we don’t learn from history!”
“When we see others as the enemy, we risk becoming what we hate. When we oppress others, we end up oppressing ourselves. All of our humanity is dependent upon recognizing the humanity in others.”
“Religion is like a knife: you can either use it to cut bread, or stick in someone’s back.”
“Language is very powerful. Language does not just describe reality. Language creates the reality it describes.”
“Though wrong gratifies in the moment, good yields its gifts over a lifetime.”
“There is nothing more difficult than waking someone who is only pretending to be asleep.”
“A person is a person through other persons; you can’t be human in isolation; you are human only in relationships.”

In the words of one critic, Australian sculptor “Charles Robb is a graduate of Victorian College of the Arts, now based in Brisbane. Robb’s work has been seen in numerous group and solo exhibitions.”

Born 7 October 1879 – Joe Hill, Swedish-American labor activist, songwriter, and member of the Industrial Workers of the World. In the words of one historian, “His most famous songs include ‘The Preacher and the Slave’ (also known as ‘There’ll be Pie in the Sky By-and-By’), ‘The Tramp,’ ‘There is Power in a Union,’ ‘The Rebel Girl”, and ‘Casey Jones—the Union Scab,’ which express the harsh but combative life of itinerant workers, and call for workers to organize their efforts to improve conditions for working people.”

American Art – Part II of IV: Marie Vlasic

Artist Statement: “I have a strange relationship with people. I am at once fascinated and repulsed. Fear and loathing with a joyful embrace. This duality in my at-odds psyche has turned into an obsession, one which I express the only way I know how, and that is to paint. When I render the human form, I am digging into the person, pulling out what and who they are. I want to show their insides, for better or worse. By pushing and pulling the paint, the light and the shadow, I am laying them, and myself, bare on the canvas. It is my attempt to find the humanity, the God-spark, in them, and in me.
There is nothing more beautiful and horrible and lofty and base as a human being, and for me, no other subject worthy of deep exploration. I feel my soul in painting the human form, and so the flesh is always calling me.
Only oil paint will do. I fell in love with the medium, with its soft, sensual feel and rich intensity of color in my first college painting classes. I paint thin, in many successive layers. This time-consuming technique gives my work a luminous quality. Because of the brief, expressive nature of the images I am creating, I work from photographs, many taken myself and some in collaboration with local photographers.
I am often asked which painting is my favorite. The answer, the one I am doing now. The process of watching each work unfold, the moment when the flat canvas begins to breathe, that is the fuel that drives me to keep creating.”
Marie Vlasic
Marie Vlasic
Marie Vlasic
Marie Vlasic

From the Music Archives – John Mellencamp

“I’m using my art to comment on what I see. You don’t have to agree with it.” – John “Cougar” Mellencamp, American singer-songwriter and musician, who was born 7 October 1951.

In the words of one writer, “(Chinese painter) Xie Hengxing was born in 1959. (His) memorable portraits of Tibetans have won him international acclaim. The splendidly dressed figures are portrayed in vibrant colours and meticulously rendered details. A perfectionist, Xie Hengxing normally spends at least a few months on each of his large-scale paintings, and hence completes no more than four to five works a year.”

“We are all omnibuses in which our ancestors ride, and every now and then one of them sticks his head out and embarrasses us.” – Dr. Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr., American physician, poet, professor, lecturer, writer, and author of “The Autocrat of the Breakfast-Table,” who died 7 October 1894.

Some quotes from the work of Dr. Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.:

“A man’s mind is stretched by a new idea or sensation, and never shrinks back to its former dimensions.”
“What refuge is there for the victim who is oppressed with the feeling that there are a thousand new books he ought to read, while life is only long enough for him to attempt to read a hundred?”
“I find the great thing in this world is not so much where we stand, as in what direction we are moving – we must sail sometimes with the wind and sometimes against it – but we must sail, and not drift, nor lie at anchor.”
“It’s faith in something and enthusiasm for something that makes a life worth living.”
“The books we read should be chosen with great care, that they may be, as an Egyptian king wrote over his library, ‘The medicines of the soul.’”
“The best of a book is not the thought which it contains, but the thought which it suggests; just as the charm of music dwells not in the tones but in the echoes of our hearts.”
“What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.”
“A moment’s insight is sometimes worth a life’s experience.”
“The morning cup of coffee has an exhilaration about it which the cheering influence of the afternoon or evening cup of tea cannot be expected to reproduce.”
“Many people die with their music still in them. Too often it is because they are always getting ready to live. Before they know it time runs out.”
“Where we love is home, home that our feet may leave, but not our hearts”
“For the simplicity on this side of complexity, I wouldn’t give you a fig. But for the simplicity on the other side of complexity, for that I would give you anything I have.”
“The mind of a bigot is like the pupil of an eye. The more light you shine on it, the more it will contract.”

In the words of one writer, “Born in Mexico City, (painter) Hector Herrera earned a Bachelors Degree in Visual Arts from the National School of Fine Arts, Autonomous National University of Mexico (1998) and received a scholarship to participate in an abroad studies program in the Polytechnic University of Valencia, Spain. He has been the recipient of several awards, distinctions, and grants.”

“If you are looking for me
I am beyond nowhere.” – Sohrab Sepehri, Persian poet and painter, who was born 7 October 1928.

It was just a moment,
and all the gates wide-open,
no trace of the warden.

No leaf and no twig, in the horizon,
Nil was left but the garden, the garden!

The birds stood silent,
then the stillness of the sight gone lost–
behind the misty song of darkness–
rehearsed over and over–
in silence!
The sphere spread–
all along the mass of disparate points,
where the ewes wandered amidst the wolves.

And the image of the sound poured down its pale paint.
The mirage of the call glided on the waves, frail and faint,
As if the canvass, and the boards, and the curtains–
all at once were rolled, cracked and pulled!
I was there, where we all dwelled–
when we all left.

And at the end,
Beauty, alone, stayed.
Then, every river was a sea.
There, every one coming to be–
was laid asleep in Bodhi.
Below – “Landscape with Houses”; “Trees with Figure”; “Self-Portrait.”

In the words of one art historian, “Dod Procter (born Doris Shaw, 1892 – 1972) was a Cornish artist, and wife of artist Ernest Procter. Dod Procter studied at Newlyn under Stanhope Forbes and at the Académie Colarossi, Paris.
From around 1922, Proctor painted a series of simplified, monumental images of young women of her acquaintance. They were typified by the volume of the figures, brought out by her use of light and shadow.”

American Muse – Part I of II: Edgar Allan Poe

They who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night.” – Edgar Allan Poe, American poet, author, editor, and literary critic, who died 7 October 1849.

American Art – Part III of IV: Irving Penn

Died 7 October 2009 – Irving Penn, a photographer known for his fashion photography, still lifes, and portraits.

Below – “Truman Capote”; “Pablo Picasso”; “Simone de Beauvoir”;
“Woman with Roses on Her Arm”; “Antique Shop, Pine Street, Philadelphia”; “Spencer Tracy”; “Four Unggai, New Guinea”;
“Black Hat, White Face.”

American Muse – Part II of II: Allen Ginsberg

7 October 1955 – Allen Ginsberg gives his first public reading of his poem “Howl” at the Six Gallery in San Francisco.

Here is one writer describing the background and artistry of sculptor Maria Gamundi: “(She) was born in 1952 in Caracas (Venezuela). She studied at the Prati Institute of NewYork and the Scuola del Libro of Urbino. She lives and works in Versilia, dividing her time between Monteggiori and Pietrasanta. Since 1973 she has held important personal exhibitions in Italy, Europe, the United States and Latin America. Her female nudes exude a sculptural force exalted by her deep knowledge of the materials, as well as an instinctive joie de vivre which well represents her strong Latin American roots.”


A Poem for Today

“In Answer,”
By Wang Wei

In these quiet years growing calmer,
Lacking knowledge of the world’s affairs,
I stop worrying how things will turn out.
My quiet mind makes no subtle plans.
Returning to the woods I love
A pine-tree breeze rustles in my robes.
Mountain moonlight fills the lute’s bowl,
Shows up what learning I have left.
If you ask what makes us rich or poor
Hear the Fisherman’s voice float to shore.

Below – “Wind and Snow in the Fir Pines,” by Li Shan

American Art – Part IV of IV: Chelsey Tyler Wood

According to one writer, “Chelsey Tyler Wood received her B.F.A. from Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design and her M.F.A. from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. She participated in exhibitions including Boston Young Contemporaries and The Next Generation III in Boston. Awards received include the Dana Pond Award, Boit Award, Springborn Fellowship, and Montague Travel Grant. She is currently a nominee for the Blanch E. Coleman award and will be a resident at the Contemporary Art Center in New York in the fall of 2011. Chelsea is currently a post-graduate teaching fellow at the Museum of Fine Art, Boston. She continues to work and live in the Boston area.”
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