American Art – Part I of IV: Nicholas Oberling
In the words of one critic, “Nicholas Oberling’s work has been exhibited at the C. M. Russell Museum and is in the permanent collection of the Hockaday Museum of Art. He is a founding member of the Montana Painters Alliance. He has been a selected Quick Draw artist and participant at the C. M. Russell Museum’s Auction of Western Art and the Montana Land Reliance and Treasure State Art Auctions. He has been Artist in Residence at Glacier National Park and the Helena National Forest. He conceived and organized the Big Hole River in Paint fundraiser, which has had regional and national exposure. He has been a Top 100 finalist at the Art for the Parks competition. He has been a participant in the C. M. Russell Museum’s auction of miniatures. His work was included in the American Miniatures show at Tucson’s Settlers West Gallery.”
Here is the Artist Statement of Japanese painter Akiko Hoshino: “I always want to make pictures which give hope to people. No matter how depressed they are, people should go forward. I imagine myself to be in the same situation when I create my artwork. Some people look at the future straightforward with strong will. A tender smile reminds people of a happy time. I think people’s feelings and expressions are beautiful. Those feelings and expressions that give other people courage and high-spirited heart also make me strong.
My art pieces are executed by charcoal and pastel in black and white. One of the reasons why I use black and white is they are strong and simple, and also emphasize ‘Light.’”
28 October 1919 – In an action both incredibly foolish and recklessly shortsighted, the House of Representatives overrides President Woodrow Wilson’s veto and passes the National Prohibition Act, known informally as the Volstead Act, designed to carry out the intent of the Eighteenth Amendment, thereby empowering ignorant Puritan zealots and bankrolling Al Capone.
Canadian Art – Part I of II: Prudence Heward
Here is one critic describing the background of Canadian painter Pudence Heward (896-1947): “At a young age, she showed an interest in art and, encouraged by her family, she attended the Art Association of Montreal School for training.
During World War I, Heward lived in England where her brothers served in the Canadian Army while she served as a volunteer with the Red Cross. Returning to Canada at war’s end, she continued her painting and joined the Beaver Hall Hill Group. In 1924 her works were given their first public showing at the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts in Toronto, Ontario. However, it was still an era when women artists were given little credibility and it wasn’t until 1932 that Heward’s first solo exhibition came at the Scott Gallery in Montréal.
Wanting to refine her skills, and drawn to the great gathering of creative genius in the Montparnasse Quarter of Paris, France, between 1925 and 1926 Prudence Heward lived and painted in Paris. While studying at the Académie Colarossi, she frequented Le Dome Café in Montparnasse, the favorite haunt of North American writers and artists and the place where Canadian writer Morley Callaghan came with his friends Ernest Hemingway and F. Scott Fitzgerald.
While in Paris, Heward met Ontario painter Isabel McLaughlin with whom she became friends and would later join with her and other artists on nature painting trips. In 1929 her career got a major boost when her painting, Girl on a Hill, won the top prize in the Governor General Willingdon competition organized by the National Gallery of Canada.
She was invited to exhibit with the Group of Seven and through it became friends with A. Y. Jackson with whom she would go on sketching excursions along the Saint Lawrence River. While she did a number of landscapes, with a particular attachment for Quebec’s Eastern Townships, Heward is most recognized for her portraits that provide compelling representations of women and children including the five nude subjects she painted of which four were black women.”
American Art – Part II of IV: Heather Stamenov
Heather Stamenov earned a BFA in Painting from Indiana University, Herron School of Art and Design and an MFA in Painting from the School of Fine Arts Department of Art and Art History, University of Connecticut.
Canadian Art – Part II of II: Mark Heine
Artist Statement: “I invite you to come explore my work. I hope you’ll enjoy my life’s passion.”
In the words of one writer, “In the course of his 30-year career in the arts, Mark Heine has toured the world, teaching and exhibiting his art.
His work has won numerous national and international awards, and is found in collections throughout North America and abroad.”
“Poetry is the voice of spirit and imagination and all that is potential, as well as the healing benevolence that used to be the privilege of the gods.” – Ted Hughes, British poet, Poet Laureate (1984-1998), and author of “The Hawk in the Rain,” who died 28 October 1998.
“The Harvest Moon”
The flame-red moon, the harvest moon,
Rolls along the hills, gently bouncing,
A vast balloon,
Till it takes off, and sinks upward
To lie on the bottom of the sky, like a gold doubloon.
The harvest moon has come,
Booming softly through heaven, like a bassoon.
And the earth replies all night, like a deep drum.
So people can’t sleep,
So they go out where elms and oak trees keep
A kneeling vigil, in a religious hush.
The harvest moon has come!
And all the moonlit cows and all the sheep
Stare up at her petrified, while she swells
Filling heaven, as if red hot, and sailing
Closer and closer like the end of the world.
Till the gold fields of stiff wheat
Cry `We are ripe, reap us!’ and the rivers
Sweat from the melting hills.
I sit in the top of the wood, my eyes closed.
Inaction, no falsifying dream
Between my hooked head and hooked feet:
Or in sleep rehearse perfect kills and eat.
The convenience of the high trees!
The air’s buoyancy and the sun’s ray
Are of advantage to me;
And the earth’s face upward for my inspection.
My feet are locked upon the rough bark.
It took the whole of Creation
To produce my foot, my each feather:
Now I hold Creation in my foot
Or fly up, and revolve it all slowly –
I kill where I please because it is all mine.
There is no sophistry in my body:
My manners are tearing off heads -
The allotment of death.
For the one path of my flight is direct
Through the bones of the living.
No arguments assert my right:
The sun is behind me.
Nothing has changed since I began.
My eye has permitted no change.
I am going to keep things like this.
Belgian sculptor and painter Marika Howard (born 1945) studied painting at the Royal Academies of Fine Arts in Antwerp and Dendermonde. Here is one critic describing her artistry: “From 1999 on she turned to clay to express her inborn talent for the transcendental aspect of life. Her work has the same poetic power as the paintings. The figurative sculptures have a soul that reflects the internal transformation through silence. Started personal exhibitions of her sculptures since 2002.
Silence is the main message of these figurative, poetic-irrealistic creations. They reflect the inner silence that brings you in contact with a deeper (or higher) level of consciousness. This art is helpful to achieve that because it will remind you of what you are.
In the rush of our existence we tend to forget how important beauty and silence can be and the need we have to experience them.”
28 October 1954 – The 1954 Nobel Prize for Literature is awarded to Ernest Hemingway “for his mastery of the art of narrative, most recently demonstrated in ‘The Old Man and the Sea,’ and for the influence that he has exerted on contemporary style.”
Some quotes from the work of Ernest Hemingway:
“The world breaks everyone, and afterward, some are strong at the broken places.”
“The best way to find out if you can trust somebody is to trust them.”
“As you get older it is harder to have heroes, but it is sort of necessary.”
“All things truly wicked start from innocence.”
“Never confuse movement with action.”
“Fear of death increases in exact proportion to increase in wealth.”
“When people talk, listen completely. Most people never listen.”
“Every man’s life ends the same way. It is only the details of how he lived and how he died that distinguish one man from another.”
American Art – Part III of IV: Candace Walters
In the words of one writer, “Candace Walters has been showing at Clark Gallery since 1986 with her exquisite drawings and collages. Her portraits and minimal drawings depict figures and objects. The pieces are intimate and are as much about mark making as they are about the image. She elevates her unassuming subjects to icons, celebrating the humble. She received her MFA at Boston University School for the Arts, and her BFA at Hartford Art School at the University of Hartford, Hartford, CT.”
A Poem for Today
“Window Poem 12,”
By Wendell Berry
The country where he lives
by the ghost of an old forest.
In the cleared fields
where he gardens
And pastures his horses
it stood once
and will return. There will be
a resurrection of the wild.
Already it stands in wait
At the pasture fences.
It is rising up
In the waste places of the cities.
When the fools of the capitals
have devoured each other
and the machines have eaten
the rest of us, then
there will be the second coming
of the trees. They will come
straggling over the fences
slowly, but soon enough.
The highways will sound
with the feel of the wild herds,
returning. Beaver will ascend
the streams as the trees
close over them.
The wolf and the panther
will find their old ways
through the nights. Water
and air will flow clear.
will have passed,
and certain pleasures.
The wind will do without
Corners. How difficult
to think of it: miles and miles
and no window.
American Art – Part IV of IV: Sylvia Nitti
In the words of one writer, “Sylvia was born in Larnaca, Cyprus. After she graduated from Pancyprian Lyceum in Larnaca, she attended Brescia University, a private college in Kentucky. Sylvia received a Bachelor of Arts degree with her studies focused primarily on painting and drawing. While at Brescia, she received the Anna Eaton Stout Art Scholarship and first place awards in drawing, watercolor, painting, and printmaking.
Nitti has completed numerous portrait commissions for collectors in the United States and in Europe. She has worked on numerous large-scale mural projects in Texas, Oklahoma, Oregon and Kentucky. Sylvia is the mother of two adorable children, Brooke and Chase. She has taught drawing and pastel classes at Northeastern State University since 2001.”