November Offerings – Part IV: Something to Delight both Head and Heart

American Art – Part I of IV: Sam Francis

Died 4 November 1994 – Sam Francis, a painter and printmaker.

Below – “Black and Red”; “Middle Blue”; Untitled; “Round the World”; Untitled.

“The universe is full of magical things patiently waiting for our wits to grow sharper.” – Eden Phillpotts, English novelist, poet, dramatist, and author of “The Thief of Virtue,” who was for 4 November 1862.

Some quotes from the work of Eden Phillpotts:

“You never know what a fool you can be till life gives you the chance.”
“We always think every other man’s job is easier than our own. The better he does it, the easier it looks.”
“I had no ambition to make a fortune. Mere money-making has never been my goal, I had an ambition to build.”
“If you go on working with the light available, you will meet your Master, as he himself will be seeking you.”
“The people sensible enough to give good advice are usually sensible enough to give none.”

Indian painter Niladri Paul received a Bachelor of Visual Arts degree from the Government College of Art and Craft, Kolkata in 1986.
Artist Statement: “My art is not a social critique of our times, as I strongly feel that I am artist and my language ought to be simple and forthright enough for everybody to understand and relate to, rather than just being read and applauded by a few art critics only.”
Niladri Paul paintings
Niladri Paul paintings
Niladri Paul paintings
Niladri Paul paintings

4 November 1948 – T. S. Eliot wins the 1948 Nobel Prize in Literature
“for his outstanding, pioneer contribution to present-day poetry.”

“Burnt Norton – Part I”

Time present and time past

Are both perhaps present in time future

And time future contained in time past.

If all time is eternally present

All time is unredeemable.

What might have been is an abstraction

Remaining a perpetual possibility

Only in a world of speculation.

What might have been and what has been

Point to one end, which is always present.

Footfalls echo in the memory

Down the passage which we did not take

Towards the door we never opened

Into the rose-garden. My words echo

Thus, in your mind.

But to what purpose

Disturbing the dust on a bowl of rose-leaves

I do not know.

Other echoes

Inhabit the garden. Shall we follow?

Quick, said the bird, find them, find them,

Round the corner. Through the first gate,

Into our first world, shall we follow

The deception of the thrush? Into our first world.

There they were, dignified, invisible,

Moving without pressure, over the dead leaves,

In the autumn heat, through the vibrant air,

And the bird called, in response to

The unheard music hidden in the shrubbery,

And the unseen eyebeam crossed, for the roses

Had the look of flowers that are looked at.

There they were as our guests, accepted and accepting.

So we moved, and they, in a formal pattern,

Along the empty alley, into the box circle,

To look down into the drained pool.

Dry the pool, dry concrete, brown edged,

And the pool was filled with water out of sunlight,

And the lotos rose, quietly, quietly,

The surface glittered out of heart of light,

And they were behind us, reflected in the pool.

Then a cloud passed, and the pool was empty.

Go, said the bird, for the leaves were full of children,

Hidden excitedly, containing laughter.

Go, go, go, said the bird: human kind

Cannot bear very much reality.

Time past and time future

What might have been and what has been

Point to one end, which is always present.

American Art – Part II of IV: Marc Awodey

Born 4 November 1960 – Marc Awodey, a painter and poet.


4 November 1791 – The Western Confederacy of American Indians wins a major victory over the United States in the Battle of the Wabash. In the words of one historian, “St. Clair’s Defeat also known as the Battle of the Wabash, the Battle of Wabash River or the Battle of a Thousand Slain, was fought on November 4, 1791 in the Northwest Territory between the United States and the Western Confederacy of American Indians, as part of the Northwest Indian War. It was a major American Indian victory and remains the greatest defeat of the United States Army by American Indians.
The American Indians were led by Little Turtle of the Miamis, Blue Jacket of the Shawnees and Buckongahelas of the Delawares (Lenape). The war party numbered more than one thousand warriors, including a large number of Potawatomis from eastern Michigan and the Saint Joseph. The opposing force of about 1,000 Americans was led by General Arthur St. Clair. The American Indian confederacy was overwhelmingly victorious. In proportional terms of losses to strength, it was one of the worst defeats that United States forces have ever suffered in battle—of the 1,000 officers and men that St. Clair led into battle, only 24 escaped unharmed. As a result, President George Washington forced St. Clair to resign his post and Congress initiated its first investigation of the executive branch.”

Above – Lithograph of Little Turtle, reputedly based upon a lost portrait by Gilbert Stuart, destroyed when the British burned Washington, D.C. in 1814.
Below – Arthur St. Clair.

Here is one critic describing the artistry of New Zealand painter Rex Turnbull: “The paintings of Rex Turnbull entice the viewer to journey ‘through the mirror’ into other worlds where the fictive imagination of the painter meticulously constructs landscapes that are strangely familiar and yet not quite known. These landscapes are imbued with an intense stillness at counterpoint to the frenetic pace of contemporary life. This is slow art, work to quieten the mind and stimulate the imagination.”

“There ought to be one day—just one—where there is open season on senators.” – Will Rogers, American cowboy, vaudeville performer, humorist, motion picture actor, and social commentator, who was born 4 November 1879.

Some quotes from the work of Will Rogers:

“A fool and his money are soon elected.”
“Never miss a good chance to shut up.”
“If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went.”
“Too many people spend money they earned, to buy things they don’t want, to impress people that they don’t like.”
“Even if you are on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there.”
“I never met a man that I didn’t like.”
“Why not go out on a limb? That’s where the fruit is.”
“All I know is just what I read in the papers, and that’s an alibi for my ignorance.”
“There are three kinds of men. The ones that learn by readin’. The few who learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves.”
“Everything is funny as long as it is happening to somebody else.”
“There are two theories to arguing with a woman. Neither works.”
“Live in such a way that you would not be ashamed to sell your parrot to the town gossip.”
“Rumor travels faster, but it don’t stay put as long as truth. ”
“Do the best you can, and don’t take life too serious.”
“Don’t let yesterday take up too much of today”
“Everyone is ignorant, only on different subjects.”
“When you find yourself in a hole, quit digging.”
“Common sense ain’t common.”
“A man only learns in two ways, one by reading, and the other by association with smarter people. ”
“The minute you read something that you can’t understand, you can almost be sure that it was drawn up by a lawyer. ”
“The short memories of the American voters is what keeps our politicians in office.”
“The road to success is dotted with many tempting parking spaces.”
“If stupidity got us in this mess, how come it can’t get us out.”
“Always drink upstream from the herd.”
“I don’t make jokes. I just watch the government and report the facts.”

American Art – Part III of IV: Serena Potter

Artist Statement: “My current body of work is a personal narrative about my experiences with chronic illness, specifically the human Parvo B19 virus. I paint figurative and still life paintings that address themes, of private pain vs. public persona, fight and submission, gravity, loss of identity, time, and sleep. I work in oil on panel or canvas.
My paintings are notable for their use of chiaroscuro inspired at first by master artists Georges de la Tour and Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio. Recently though, my interests have turned to the dramatic cinematic lighting and other compositional elements used in film noir. Dark shadows, tenebrous space, cropping and use of diagonals all lend an air of mystery and improbably to my work. It is my intent that the viewer be able to view the paintings without an overt understanding of my personal narrative, but rather can bring their own stories to the paintings.”

A Poem for Today

“My November Guest”
by Robert Frost

My Sorrow, when she’s here with me,
Thinks these dark days of autumn rain
Are beautiful as days can be;
She loves the bare, the withered tree;
She walks the sodden pasture lane.

Her pleasure will not let me stay.
She talks and I am fain to list:
She’s glad the birds are gone away,
She’s glad her simple worsted gray
Is silver now with clinging mist.

The desolate, deserted trees,
The faded earth, the heavy sky,
The beauties she so wryly sees,
She thinks I have no eye for these,
And vexes me for reason why.

Not yesterday I learned to know
The love of bare November days
Before the coming of the snow,
But it were vain to tell he so,
And they are better for her praise.

American Art – Part IV of IV: David Jon Kassan

Born in Little Rock, Arkansas in 1977, David John Kassan has studied art at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, the Syracuse University College of Visual Arts (from which he received a B.F.A.), the British Institute of Florence, the School of Fine Arts of the National Academy of Design in New York City, and the Art Students League of New York.


The Vote: 2014

Below – “Election Night,” by American painter Jack Levine (1915-2010).
aElection Night

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