American Art – Part I of III: Kevin Roeckl
In the words of one writer, “Born in California, Roeckl’s Fine Art education came from his father, an art collector and talented amateur artist. Kevin’s earliest recognition as a portrait artist came at age 8 when he won the ‘Draw Your Dad’ contest. The prize was a special key to a zoo. By age 15 Kevin was receiving portrait commissions from neighbors and relatives.”
Here is the Artist Statement of Rebeka Rodosek: “I am a visual artist-painter from Ljubljana, Slovenia. I’ve been creating since 1989. I started with oil on canvas, then developed relief on canvas but lately I’ve been painting on silk.
Art is wine on a journey called life. It adds flavour which enriches life and makes it more beautiful. It helps us to understand nature and people through the eyes of a creator or an observer. It is also a way of communication among people and an exchange of life experience. It often teaches us in words and pictures about historical events which could be otherwise forgotten. Each artist being sensitive opens his-her soul to higher vibrations of the cosmos and depicts everything in his-her own unique way. Hence all the diversity of art. Since we are connected worldwide, we artists should make real efforts to do good for all mankind. Everyone can offer one’s gifts to contribute to the world cultural heritage regardless criticism or competition. Humanity is a body needing all its parts to function properly. No single part is more important than the other; all are equally essential for the balance of the whole.”
“I love all beauteous things,
I seek and adore them.” – Robert Bridges, British poet and Poet Laureate (1913-1930), who was born 23 October 1844.
Beautiful must be the mountains whence ye come,
And bright in the fruitful valleys the streams wherefrom
Ye learn your song:
Where are those starry woods? O might I wander there,
Among the flowers, which in that heavenly air
Bloom the year long!.
Nay, barren are those mountains and spent the streams:
Our song is the voice of desire, that haunts our dreams,
A throe of the heart,
Whose pining visions dim, forbidden hopes profound,
No dying cadence, nor long sigh can sound,
For all our art.
Alone, aloud in the raptured ear of men
We pour our dark nocturnal secret; and then,
As night is withdrawn
From these sweet-springing meads and bursting boughs of May,
Dream, while the innumerable choir of day
Welcome the dawn.
Canadian Art – Part I of II: Lawren Harris
“Every work of art which really moves us is in some degree a revelation – it changes us.” – Lawren Harris,
Canadian artist and member of the Group of Seven, who pioneered a Canadian painting style in the early twentieth century, who was born 23 October 1885.
Below (left to right) – “Toronto Street, Winter Morning”; “Maligne Lake, Jasper Park”; “Red House, Winter”; “Icebergs and Mountains, Greenland”; “Tamarack Swamp”; “Mount Robson from the Northeast”; “Silent Land.”
From the Music Archives: Ned Rorem
“Humor is the ability to see three sides to one coin.” – Ned Rorem, American musical composer, diarist, and recipient of the Pulitzer Prize for his suite “Air Music,” who was born on 23 October 1923.
Some quotes from Ned Rorem:
“Arguably, no artist grows up: If he sheds the perceptions of childhood, he ceases being an artist.”
“Art means to dare – and to have been right.”
“Divine fires do not blaze each day, but an artist functions in their afterglow hoping for their recurrence.”
“Inspiration could be called inhaling the memory of an act never experienced.”
“The hardest of all the arts to speak of is music, because music has no meaning to speak of.”
Canadian Art – Part II of II: Elizabeth Dinkel
Artist Statement: “I have been doing art since I was a child. I attended Western Tech. in the art program after which I took night classes at OCA and Central Tech. In Belleville I took many classes through Loyalist College. I have attended several open studio life figure drawing classes at the Florence Academy of Art in Italy.
I have enjoyed drawing portraits for 40 years. Young, old, male or female all fascinate me. We are all so different and getting a likeness is a real challenge. I enjoy Acrylics, Oils and pencils but I prefer pastels above all. I love watching the person come to life on my paper right before my eyes.”
Here is one critic describing the background and artistry of South African artist Greg Lourens: “Born in Johannesburg in 1948, Greg went to the Johannesburg School of Art, where his main interests were illustration, sculpture and photography. He then moved to London, where he worked in a design studio for almost two years. It was here that he was introduced to the beauty and meaning of Realism and the love of detail.
He then worked in Boston, Massachusetts as a member of a team developing the potential of multimedia. Whilst in the States, Greg began his training in psychotherapy and he has been practicing in this field for the past 30 years.
This love of people flows freely between his Human Development work and his art, and it has encouraged him to delve deeper and deeper into himself and his subjects to illuminate the dignity of the human spirit. He predominantly draws women because he recognizes that they are the custodians of all that makes us most human.
In 2001, Greg spent a year drawing in rural Ireland. This concentrated time was a wonderful opportunity to hone his passion and develop his craft. His works fall into the school of Realism and are executed in pencil, coloured pencil, charcoal and bronze and some are a mixed media.”
23 October 1958 – Russian novelist Boris Pasternak wins the 1958 Nobel Prize in Literature “for his important achievement both in contemporary lyrical poetry and in the field of the great Russian epic tradition.”
Some quotes from the work of Boris Pasternak:
“I don’t like people who have never fallen or stumbled. Their virtue is lifeless and it isn’t of much value. Life hasn’t revealed its beauty to them. ”
“How wonderful to be alive, he thought. But why does it always hurt?”
“When a great moment knocks on the door of your life, it is often no louder than the beating of your heart, and it is very easy to miss it. ”
“About dreams. It is usually taken for granted that you dream of something that has made a particularly strong impression on you during the day, but it seems to me it’s just the contrary. Often it’s something you paid no attention to at the time — a vague thought that you didn’t bother to think out to the end, words spoken without feeling and which passed unnoticed — these are the things that return at night, clothed in flesh and blood, and they become the subjects of dreams, as if to make up for having been ignored during waking hours.”
“Man is born to live, not to prepare for life.”
“A conscious attempt to fall asleep is sure to produce insomnia, to try to be conscious of one’s own digestion is a sure way to upset the stomach. Consciousness is a poison when we apply it to ourselves. Consciousness is a light directed outward. It’s like the headlights on a locomotive—turn them inward and you’d have a crash.”
“You and I, it’s as though we have been taught to kiss in heaven and sent down to earth together, to see if we know what we were taught.”
“Literature is the art of discovering something extraordinary about ordinary people, and saying with ordinary words something extraordinary.”
“And now listen carefully. You in others – this is your soul. This is what you are. This is what your consciousness has breathed and lived on and enjoyed throughout your life, your soul, your immortality, your life in others. And what now? You have always been in others and you will remain in others. And what does it matter to you if later on that is called your memory? This will be you-the you that enters the future and becomes a part of it.”
“Oh, how one wishes sometimes to escape from the meaningless dullness of human eloquence, from all those sublime phrases, to take refuge in nature, apparently so inarticulate, or in the wordlessness of long, grinding labor, of sound sleep, of true music, or of a human understanding rendered speechless by emotion!”
“Art always serves beauty, and beauty is the joy of possessing form, and form is the key to organic life since no living thing can exist without it.”
“Poetry is a rich, full-bodied whistle, cracked ice crunching in pails, the night that numbs the leaf, the duel of two nightingales, the sweet pea that has run wild, Creation’s tears in shoulder blades.”
“And so it turned out that only a life similar to the life of those around us, merging with it without a ripple, is genuine life, and that an unshared happiness is not happiness.”
“Lara walked along the tracks following a path worn by pilgrims and then turned into the fields. Here she stopped and, closing her eyes, took a deep breath of the flower-scented air of the broad expanse around her. It was dearer to her than her kin, better than a lover, wiser than a book. For a moment she rediscovered the purpose of her life. She was here on earth to grasp the meaning of its wild enchantment and to call each thing by its right name, or, if this were not within her power, to give birth out of love for life to successors who would do it in her place.”
American Art – Part II of III: Anne Abgott
In the words of one writer, “Canadian-born, Anne Abgott maintains studios in Cortez, Florida and Linville, North Carolina. She is the author of the #1 Best Selling Book ‘Daring Color,’ published by North Light Books.
Anne is the past President of the Florida Watercolor Society and the Florida Suncoast Watercolor Society and is a long time member of the Board of Directors of Art Center Manatee in Bradenton, Florida and chairs their Education Department.”
“I see so much more than I used to see. The effect has been to depress and sadden and hurt me terribly.” – Zane Grey, American author best known for his popular adventure novels and stories about the American frontier, who died 23 October 1939.
The prolific Zane Grey is best known for “Riders of the Purple Sage,” but two of his other works – “The Lone Star Ranger” and “King of the Royal Mounted” – became immensely popular when adapted for television as “The Lone Ranger” and “Sergeant Preston of the Yukon.” Given the number of television programs and movies that Grey inspired, it is not an exaggeration to claim that he had a greater influence on the Western genre in literature, film, and television than any other author.
Died 23 October 1996 – Lin Onus, a Scottish-Aboriginal Australian artist.
Below – “Barmah Island” (for which Lin Onus won the 1994 National Aboriginal Heritage Award); “Robyn”; “Frogs on Waterlillies”; “Michael and I are Just Slipping Down to the Pub for a Minute”; “Cat Dreaming”; “Evening Reflections”; “Darkling (Dusk Landscape)”; “X and Ray Discover Father’s Country”; “X and Ray witness the sinking of the last ship carrying woodchips from Australian shores”; “X and Ray in the garden of earthly delight”; “Still Looking.”
A Poem for Today
“A Map of the City,”
By Thom Gunn
I stand upon a hill and see
A luminous country under me,
Through which at two the drunk sailor must weave;
The transient’s pause, the sailor’s leave.
I notice, looking down the hill,
Arms braced upon a window sill;
And on the web of fire escapes
Move the potential, the grey shapes.
I hold the city here, complete;
And every shape defined by light
Is mine, or corresponds to mine,
Some flickering or some steady shine.
This map is ground of my delight.
Between the limits, night by night,
I watch a malady’s advance,
I recognize my love of chance.
American Art – Part III of III: Frederick Ortner
In the words of one critic, “Frederick Ortner was trained in New York City at Pratt Institute, the New York Studio School, and New York University’s Institute of Fine Arts. His painting has been supported by grants from the Skowegan School, the Royal College of Art in London, the Cité Internationale des Arts in Paris, the E. J. Noble Foundation, and the MacDowell Colony.
His work has been exhibited in New York at the Bowery Gallery, the Blue Mountain Gallery, and the Prince Street Gallery. He has also exhibited in public and private galleries in Connecticut, Illinois, Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, Texas, Iowa, Norway, and France.
He is Professor of Art at Louisiana State University.”