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

American Art – Part I of III: Alan Hall

In the words of one writer, “Working from a detailed pencil sketch, Allan Hall uses oil paints against a linen canvas or masonite board to develop his three-dimensional images of vibrant color. The images are so realistic that they appear to jump off of the canvas. Hall completes the process with a technique called ‘glazing,’ which gives his paintings their characteristic luminescence. Hall’s still lifes include personal objects from his own life.”

Written in the Stars – Part I of X: Sirius
aSirius1Sirius, the brightest star in the night sky, is in the constellation Canis Major (the Great Dog). Its name comes from the Ancient Greek “Seirios” – “Glowing.”

British Art – Part I of II: Terry Frost

Born 13 October 1915 – Terry Frost, an abstract artist.

Below – “Arizona Spirals”; “Autumn Rings Andeuze, September 1971”; “Black Sun, Newlyn”; “Jungle”; “Red, Yellow and Blue”;
“Yellow Triptych.”

(c) DACS - FULL CONSULT; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation

Written in the Stars – Part II of X: Canopus
aCanopus1Canopus is the brightest star in the southern constellation Carina (Latin for “the keel of a ship”). Its name derives from the mythological Canopus, who was the navigator of Menelaus, King of Sparta.

British Art – Part II of II: Liz Ridgway

According to one critic, “Liz Ridgway was born in 1964 in Sutton Coldfield, Birmingham. Her early art training in drawing and painting came from her father, who was an established artist. Later Ridgway studied at Sutton Coldfield College of Art and in 1986 Liz graduated from Cambridgeshire College of Arts in Art History and Fine Art.
Liz Ridgway takes her inspiration from a range of sources, from 1930s Picasso, the pre-Raphaelites and the paintings she grew up with in Birmingham, especially the work of British Artist Joseph Southall whose art work fills the walls of Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery.
Ridgeway aims for a simplicity of composition in her figurative contemporary paintings highlighting the play between the human presence and the flat patterning of the elements around them. She is particularly interested in showing the vulnerability and dignity that coexist in the human face. At times her paintings have a contemplative quality.”

From the Music Archives: Paul Simon

“The thought that life could be better is woven indelibly into our hearts and our brains.” – Paul Simon, American musician, singer, songwriter, actor, and member of the duo Simon & Garfunkel, who was born 13 October 1941.

Written in the Stars – Part III of X: Arcturus
Arcturus is the brightest star in the constellation Bootes (from the Ancient Greek for “herdsman” or “plowman,” derived from “botein” – “to plow”). Its name comes from the Ancient Greek “Arktouros” – “Guardian of the Bear.” (In the night sky, Bootes is next to Ursa Major and Ursa Minor – the Greater and Lesser Bears.)

Argentinean painter Silvana Robert (born 1965) is a graduate of the National University of Fine Arts.

Written in the Stars – Part IV of X: Vega
Vega is the brightest star in the constellation Lyra (from the Latin for “lyre”). Its name comes from the Arabic “Waqi” – “falling” or “landing,” via the phrase “an-nasr al-waqi” – “the falling eagle.”


Here is one writer describing some of the accomplishments of Thai painter Suwannee Sarakana (born 1976): “Suwannee is a Thai artist whose paintings have won numerous international and regional awards, including 1st prize in the International Watercolor Competition in Rome, Italy, 1st Prize at the 13th Panasonic Painting of the Year in Thailand, and 1st Prize at the 2nd UOB Painting of the Year in Thailand and Special Mention at the 30th UOB Painting of the Year in Singapore.”

Written in the Stars – Part V of X: Capella
Capella is the brightest star in the constellation Auriga (from the Latin for “charioteer”). Its name comes from the diminutive of the Latin “capra” – “goat,” hence “little goat.”

Belarusian painter Oleg Zakharevitch (born 1961) graduated from Art College with a degree in Decorative Arts.

Here is the Artist Statement of Canadian painter Jen Mann (born 1987): “My work comes from my own experience and understanding of society and how I fit into it. We forget that we are animals, we expect ourselves to not act like one or behave as one. As though we should fit into perfect molds and live up to unrealistic expectations. The series is called ‘Fera’ which is the Latin origin of the word feral. It’s a personal escape for me. I think artists are certainly people who feel the pressures to fit into society. But we just want to be wild.”


“The only foes that threaten America are the enemies at home, and these are ignorance, superstition, and incompetence.” – Elbert Hubbard (1856-1915), American editor, publisher, artist, philosopher, writer, and author of “A Message To Garcia.” In the words of one historian, “He and his second wife, Alice Moore Hubbard, died aboard the RMS Lusitania, which was sunk by a German submarine off the coast of Ireland on May 7, 1915.”

Some quotes from the work of Elbert Hubbard:

“To avoid criticism, do nothing, say nothing, and be nothing.”
“The supernatural is the natural not yet understood.”
“Genius may have its limitations, but stupidity is not thus handicapped.”
“Every man is a damn fool for at least five minutes every day; wisdom consists in not exceeding the limit.”
“Art is not a thing; it is a way.”
“Little minds are interested in the extraordinary; great minds in the commonplace.”
“A little more persistence, a little more effort, and what seemed hopeless failure may turn to glorious success.”
“Responsibility is the price of freedom.”
“He who does not understand your silence will probably not understand your words.”
“The best preparation for good work tomorrow is to do good work today.”
“Never get married in college; it’s hard to get a start if a prospective employer finds you’ve already made one mistake.”
“God will not look you over for medals degrees or diplomas, but for scars.”
“Be pleasant until ten o’clock in the morning and the rest of the day will take care of itself.”
“An idea that is not dangerous is unworthy to be called an idea at all.”
“We work to become, not to acquire.”
“Character is the result of two things: mental attitude and the way we spend our time.”
“We awaken in others the same attitude of mind we hold toward them.”
“The teacher is the one who gets the most out of the lessons, and the true teacher is the learner.”
“The recipe for perpetual ignorance is: Be satisfied with your opinions and content with your knowledge.”
“A failure is a man who has blundered, but is not able to cash in the experience.”
“Many a man’s reputation would not know his character if they met on the street.”
“A pessimist? That’s a person who has been intimately acquainted with an optimist.”
“Life is just one damned thing after another.”
“The object of teaching a child is to enable him to get along without his teacher.”
“So long as governments set the example of killing their enemies, private individuals will occasionally kill theirs.”
“This will never be a civilized country until we spend more money for books than we do for chewing gum.”

Written in the Stars – Part VI of X: Rigel
Rigel is the brightest star in Orion, named after a hunter in Greek mythology. Its name likely comes from the Arabic phrase “rigl al-gabbar” – “the foot of the great one.”

Polish painter Kamil Lisek (born 1980) earned an honors degree in painting in 2007.

Written in the Stars – Part VII of X: Betelgeuse
Betelgeuse is the second-brightest star in the constellation Orion. Its name comes from the Arabic phrase “Yad al-Jauza” – “the hand of Orion.” (The Arabic character for ‘Y ‘was misread as ‘B’ by medieval translators, creating the initial ‘B’ in Betelgeuse.)

Ukrainian painter Tatiana Bahtova (born 1952) graduated from the Department of Arts and Drawing of Odessa State Pedagogical Institute.

Written in the Stars – Part VIII of X: Altair
Altair is the brightest star in the constellation Aquilla (from the Latin for “Eagle”). Its name comes from an abbreviation of the Arabic phrase “an-nasr at-ta’ir” – “the flying eagle.”

American Art – Part II of III: Mavis Smith

Artist Statement: “We come into contact with dozens of people on a daily basis, catch their eyes for a brief moment and move on, never knowing the intricate accumulation of experience that forms their reality. My work is about that moment – hinting at a narrative, yet remaining intentionally elusive.
My paintings are created by applying numerous semi-transparent layers of egg tempera on a true gesso ground. I rarely have a fully formed concept in mind when I begin a painting. Instead, I start out with a face or pose that intrigues me; then once I am caught up in the physical execution of the piece, other elements of the composition suggest themselves.”

Written in the Stars – Part IX of X: Aldebaran
Aldebaran is the brightest star in the constellation Taurus (from the Latin for “bull”). Its name comes from the Arabic “al-dabaran” – “the follower,” presumably because it appears to follow the Pleiades (“Seven Sisters”) star cluster in the night sky.


A Poem for Today

By Lloyd Schwartz


Every October it becomes important, no, necessary
to see the leaves turning, to be surrounded
by leaves turning; it’s not just the symbolism,
to confront in the death of the year your death,
one blazing farewell appearance, though the irony
isn’t lost on you that nature is most seductive
when it’s about to die, flaunting the dazzle of its
incipient exit, an ending that at least so far
the effects of human progress (pollution, acid rain)
have not yet frightened you enough to make you believe
is real; that is, you know this ending is a deception
because of course nature is always renewing itself—
the trees don’t die, they just pretend,
go out in style, and return in style: a new style.


Is it deliberate how far they make you go
especially if you live in the city to get far
enough away from home to see not just trees
but only trees? The boring highways, road signs, high
speeds, 10-axle trucks passing you as if they were
in an even greater hurry than you to look at leaves:
so you drive in terror for literal hours and it looks
like rain, or snow, but it’s probably just clouds
(too cloudy to see any color?) and you wonder,
given the poverty of your memory, which road had the
most color last year, but it doesn’t matter since
you’re probably too late anyway, or too early—
whichever road you take will be the wrong one
and you’ve probably come all this way for nothing.


You’ll be driving along depressed when suddenly
a cloud will move and the sun will muscle through
and ignite the hills. It may not last. Probably
won’t last. But for a moment the whole world
comes to. Wakes up. Proves it lives. It lives—
red, yellow, orange, brown, russet, ocher, vermilion,
gold. Flame and rust. Flame and rust, the permutations
of burning. You’re on fire. Your eyes are on fire.
It won’t last, you don’t want it to last. You
can’t stand any more. But you don’t want it to stop.
It’s what you’ve come for. It’s what you’ll
come back for. It won’t stay with you, but you’ll
remember that it felt like nothing else you’ve felt
or something you’ve felt that also didn’t last.

Written in the Stars – Part X of X: Deneb
Deneb is the brightest star in the constellation Cygnus (from the Ancient Greek “kuknos” – “swan”). Its name comes from the Arabic “dhanab” – “a tail.”

American Art – Part III of III: Michelle Doll

Michelle Doll earned a BFA, Cum Laude from Kent State University and an MFA, Cum Laude from the New York Academy of Art.

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