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

American Art – Part I of II: Gary Brewer

In the words of one writer, “In a time of reality television, ecological awareness and everyone’s minutes of fame and seconds of attention span, Gary Brewer’s paintings are sensual invitations to pause and contemplate and enjoy the seductive beauty of Nature.
Brewer’s renditions of orchids and anemones, coral, lichens and mosses speak of the most recent biological discoveries, and proffer a visual vocabulary that describes the supra-natural world – a space and time that formerly existed beyond awareness, or only within imaginations. Here, wonderfully composed, bold, colorful and precise, Brewer transforms microscopic detail into a macro view of an elegant, inventive and fresh Nature, one that opens both eyes and minds.”

Here is how one critic describes the artistry of Brazilian painter Marta Penter (born 1957): “Her usually large watercolor and oil paintings feature the highlighting of light and shadow effects, thus creating a unique intimate atmosphere.”

From the Music Archives – Part I of IV: Johann Strauss II

13 February 1867 – “By the Beautiful Blue Danube,” composed by Johann Strauss II, premieres in Vienna.

Here is how one critic describes the artistry of British painter Maxwell Doig (born 1966); ”The lone figure, face partially concealed and painted from an aerial viewpoint, continues to be the principal subject-matter of Maxwell Doig’s work. Doig has taken this previously untapped area of figurative painting and made it his own over the past eleven years, constantly striving to explore the many formal possibilities that it opens up.
In employing this unconventional viewpoint, Doig has been heavily influenced by other artistic mediums such as film and photography. The shot from directly above was heavily characteristic of the French Nouvelle Vague. A view that succeeds in being both intimate and detached, it emphasises the stillness of Doig’s solitary figures and subjects – there is no movement only quiet reflection or introspection.”

From the Music Archives – Part II of IV: Richard Wagner

“I write music with an exclamation point!” – Richard Wagner, German composer, theater director, and conductor known primarily for his operas, who died 13 February 1883.

Born 13 February 1941 – Sigmar Polke, a German painter and photographer.

Below – “Girlfriends”; “Watchtower with Geese”; “The Dreams of Menelaus”; “Alice in Wonderland”; “The Spirits That Lend Strength Are Invisible III”; “Mao.”

From the Music Archives – Part III of IV: Peter Tork

“You should be a hero to yourself. If you’re not… check it out.” – Peter Tork, American musician, actor, and keyboardist and bass guitarist of The Monkees, who was born 13 February 1944.

Here is how one critic describes the artistry of Iranian painter Hossein Ahmadi Nasab: “Born and raised in Iran, Hossein Ahmadi Nasab’s paintings are inspired by the women of his hometown, in the coastal city of Minab. Their colourful garments are reflected in the vibrant patterns featured in his works. Other influences include nature, the sun, the moon and the blue sky. In his pieces, he depicts the crescent of the moon, at the feet of these women, symbolising their majestic presence. Also engaged in poetry and writing, he often chooses people as his subject matter.”

From the Music Archives – Part IV of IV: Pink Floyd

13 February 1982 – Pink Floyd’s album “The Dark Side of the Moon” appears on American popular music charts for the 402nd week. It ultimately remained on the charts for 741 weeks, from 1973 to 1988.

Here is the Artist Statement of Australian painter Robert “Alfie” Hannaford (born 1944), who grew up on his family’s farm: ” I have always wanted to draw, sculpt and paint my world. I am amazed at how much work expands my reality.”

Six Works from the Collections of the de Young and Legion of Honor Art Museums in San Francisco – Part I: Thomas Cole (American, 1801-1848): “Peace at Sunset.”

Six Works from the Collections of the de Young and Legion of Honor Art Museums in San Francisco – Part II: “Statuette of a Reclining Banqueter” (6th century BCE, Etruscan).

13 February 1566 – The Spanish settle in St. Augustine, Florida, the oldest continuously occupied European-established settlement and port in the continental United States.

Above and Below – Castillo de San Marcos in St. Augustine; it is the oldest masonry fort in the continental United States (construction began in 1672).

Six Works from the Collections of the de Young and Legion of Honor Art Museums in San Francisco – Part III: George Caleb Bingham (American, 1811-1879): “Boatmen on the Missouri.”

Six Works from the Collections of the de Young and Legion of Honor Art Museums in San Francisco – Part IV: “The Grand Canal, Venice”: Claude Monet (1908).

From the American Old West: Jesse James

13 February 1866 – Jesse James holds up his first bank in Liberty, Missouri. When losses were tallied, James and his cohorts (including brother Frank) escaped with almost $60,000, which is more than $1.2 million in today’s value.

Above – Jesse and Frank James in 1872.
Below – The Jesse James Bank Museum in Liberty, Missouri.

Six Works from the Collections of the de Young and Legion of Honor Art Museums in San Francisco – Part V: Thomas Anshutz (American, 1851-1912): “The Ironworkers’ Noontime.”

A Poem for Today

“Rummage Sale,”
By Jennifer Maier

Forgive me, Aunt Phyllis, for rejecting the cut
glass dishes—the odd set you gathered piece
by piece from thirteen boxes of Lux laundry soap.

Pardon me, eggbeater, for preferring the whisk;
and you, small ship in a bottle, for the diminutive
size of your ocean. Please don’t tell my mother,

hideous lamp, that the light you provided
was never enough. Domestic deities, do not be angry
that my counters are not white with flour;

no one is sorrier than I, iron skillet, for the heavy
longing for lightness directing my mortal hand.
And my apologies, to you, above all,

forsaken dresses, that sway from a rod between
ladders behind me, clicking your plastic tongues
at the girl you once made beautiful,

and the woman, with a hard heart and
softening body, who stands in the driveway
making change.


Six Works from the Collections of the de Young and Legion of Honor Art Museums in San Francisco – Part VI: Richard Diebenkorn (American, 1922-1993): “Seawall.”

“How I Learned Bliss,”
By Oliver De La Paz

I spied everything. The North Dakota license,

the “Baby on Board” signs, dead raccoons, and deer carcasses.

The Garfields clinging to car windows—the musky traces of old coffee.

I was single-minded in the buzz saw tour I took through

the flatlands of the country to get home. I just wanted to get there.

Never mind the antecedent. I had lost stations miles ago

and was living on cassettes and caffeine. Ahead, brushstrokes

of smoke from annual fires. Only ahead to the last days of summer

and to the dying theme of youth. How pitch-perfect

the tire-on-shoulder sound was to mask the hiss of the tape deck ribbons.

Everything. Perfect. As Wyoming collapses over the car

like a wave. And then another mile marker. Another.

How can I say this more clearly? It was like opening a heavy book,

letting the pages feather themselves and finding a dried flower.

American Art – Part II of II: Janet Ternoff

Artist Statement: Janet Ternoff: ”My name is Janet Ternoff and I’m a self-taught artist living and working in New York. I create realist-style cityscapes paintings in oil. Most of my works are New York City scenes.
My works range from large-scale formats to small paintings. Large format oil paintings are more detailed then smaller ones.
I like details and sometimes it takes me countless hours to create large painting. Details are important in my work because the goal I’m trying to achieve is to invite you to step inside the painting and feel the city life.”

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