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

American Art – Part I of IV: James McGarrell

Born 22 February 1930 – James McGarrell, a painter known for his lush figurative interiors and landscapes.

Below – “Trane”; “Amapola”; “Moonpool”; “Allemande”; “Redoubt.”

“Few men have virtue to withstand the highest bidder.” – George Washington, first President and one of the Founding Fathers of the United States, who was born 22 February 1732.

Some quotes from the work of George Washington:

“The government of the United States is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion.”
“Guard against the impostures of pretended patriotism.”
“It is better to offer no excuse than a bad one.”
“It is better to be alone than in bad company.”
“If freedom of speech is taken away, then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter.”
“A primary object should be the education of our youth in the science of government. In a republic, what species of knowledge can be equally important? And what duty more pressing than communicating it to those who are to be the future guardians of the liberties of the country?”
“Be courteous to all, but intimate with few, and let those few be well tried before you give them your confidence. True friendship is a plant of slow growth, and must undergo and withstand the shocks of adversity before it is entitled to appellation. ”
“In politics as in religion, my tenets are few and simple. The leading one of which, and indeed that which embraces most others, is to be honest and just ourselves and to exact it from others, meddling as little as possible in their affairs where our own are not involved. If this maxim was generally adopted, wars would cease and our swords would soon be converted into reap hooks and our harvests be more peaceful, abundant, and happy.”
“I hope I shall possess firmness and virtue enough to maintain what I consider the most enviable of all titles, the character of an honest man.”
“There is nothing which can better deserve our patronage than the promotion of science and literature. Knowledge is in every country the surest basis of public happiness.”
“Perseverance and spirit have done wonders in all ages.”
“Labor to keep alive in your breast that little spark of celestial fire called conscience.”
“Experience teaches us that it is much easier to prevent an enemy from posting themselves than it is to dislodge them after they have got possession. ”
“Happiness depends more upon the internal frame of a person’s own mind, than on the externals in the world.”
“The turning points of lives are not the great moments. The real crises are often concealed in occurrences so trivial in appearance that they pass unobserved.”

Died 22 February 1875 – Jean-Baptiste Camille Corot, a French painter, printmaker, and etcher.

Below (left to right) – “Woman with a Pearl”; “The Bridge at Narni”; “Venice, Piazza San Marco”; “Ville d’Avray”; “Bornova, Izmir”; “Self-Portrait.”

“Love is like an hourglass, with the heart filling up as the brain empties.” – Jules Renard, French author, who was born 22 February 1864.

Some quotes from the work of Jules Renard:

“Laziness is nothing more than the habit of resting before you get tired.”
“On earth there is no heaven, but there are pieces of it.”
“If you are afraid of being lonely, don’t try to be right.”
“There are places and moments in which one is so completely alone that one sees the world entire.”
“The danger of success is that it makes us forget the world’s dreadful injustice.”
“It is not how old you are, but how you are old.”
“I don’t know if God exists, but it would be better for His reputation if He didn’t.”
“As I grow to understand life less and less I grow to love it more and more.”
“There are moments when everything goes well, but don’t be frightened.”
“A cold in the head causes less suffering than an idea.”
“Socialism must come down from the brain and reach the heart.”
“I am not sincere, even when I say I am not.”

“Consciousness is a sea ringed with visions.” – Oskar Kokoschka, Austrian artist, poet, and playwright best known for his intensely expressionistic portraits and landscapes.

Below – “Bride of the Wind”; “Hades and Persephone”; “Landscape in Scotland (Findhorn River)”; “Prague, Nostalgia”; “Prometheus”; “Loreley.”

(c) DACS; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation
(c) DACS; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation
(c) DACS; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation

“Every man takes the limits of his own field of vision for the limits of the world.” – Arthur Schopenhauer, German philosopher and author of “The World as Will and Representation,” who was born 22 February 1788.

Some quotes from the work of Arthur Schopenhauer:

“The assumption that animals are without rights, and the illusion that our treatment of them has no moral significance, is a positively outrageous example of Western crudity and barbarity. Universal compassion is the only guarantee of morality.”
“All truth passes through three stages: First, it is ridiculed; Second, it is violently opposed; Third, it is accepted as self-evident.”
“Mostly it is loss which teaches us about the worth of things.”
“A man can be himself only so long as he is alone; and if he does not love solitude, he will not love freedom; for it is only when he is alone that he is really free.”
“If anyone spends almost the whole day in reading…he gradually loses the capacity for thinking…This is the case with many learned persons; they have read themselves stupid.”
“It is difficult to find happiness within oneself, but it is impossible to find it anywhere else.”
“Compassion for animals is intimately associated with goodness of character, and it may be confidently asserted that he who is cruel to animals cannot be a good man.”
“Life without pain has no meaning.”
“We forfeit three-fourths of ourselves in order to be like other people.”
“Every miserable fool who has nothing at all of which he can be proud, adopts as a last resource pride in the nation to which he belongs; he is ready and happy to defend all its faults and follies tooth and nail, thus reimbursing himself for his own inferiority.”
“Without books the development of civilization would have been impossible. They are the engines of change, windows on the world, ‘Lighthouses,’ as the poet said, ‘erected in the sea of time.’ They are companions, teachers, magicians, bankers of the treasures of the mind, Books are humanity in print.”
“A sense of humor is the only divine quality of man”
“It would be better if there were nothing. Since there is more pain than pleasure on earth, every satisfaction is only transitory, creating new desires and new distresses, and the agony of the devoured animal is always far greater than the pleasure of the devourer”
“Religion is the masterpiece of the art of animal training, for it trains people as to how they shall think. ”
“Hope is the confusion of the desire for a thing with its probability.”

From the Music Archives – Part I of III: Elvis

22 February 1956 – “Heartbreak Hotel” becomes the first of Elvis Presley’s songs to make the Billboard Top 10 list.


“This above all remember: they will be very brave men,
And you will be facing them. You must not despise them.” – From “Psychological Warfare,” by Henry Reed, British poet, soldier, translator, radio dramatist, and journalist, who was born 22 February 1914.

“Judging Distances”

Not only how far away, but the way that you say it
Is very important. Perhaps you may never get
The knack of judging a distance, but at least you know
How to report on a landscape: the central sector,
The right of the arc and that, which we had last Tuesday,
And at least you know

That maps are of time, not place, so far as the army
Happens to be concerned—the reason being,
Is one which need not delay us. Again, you know
There are three kinds of tree, three only, the fir and the poplar,
And those which have bushy tops to; and lastly
That things only seem to be things.

A barn is not called a barn, to put it more plainly,
Or a field in the distance, where sheep may be safely grazing.
You must never be over-sure. You must say, when reporting:
At five o’clock in the central sector is a dozen
Of what appear to be animals; whatever you do,
Don’t call the bleeders sheep.

I am sure that’s quite clear; and suppose, for the sake of example,
The one at the end, asleep, endeavors to tell us
What he sees over there to the west, and how far away,
After first having come to attention. There to the west,
On the fields of summer the sun and the shadows bestow
Vestments of purple and gold.

The still white dwellings are like a mirage in the heat,
And under the swaying elms a man and a woman
Lie gently together. Which is, perhaps, only to say
That there is a row of houses to the left of the arc,
And that under some poplars a pair of what appear to be humans
Appear to be loving.

Well that, for an answer, is what we rightly call
Moderately satisfactory only, the reason being,
Is that two things have been omitted, and those are very important.
The human beings, now: in what direction are they,
And how far away, would you say? And do not forget
There may be dead ground in between.

There may be dead ground in between; and I may not have got
The knack of judging a distance; I will only venture
A guess that perhaps between me and the apparent lovers,
(Who, incidentally, appear by now to have finished,)
At seven o’clock from the houses, is roughly a distance
Of about one year and a half.

From the Music Archives – Part II of III: The Beatles

22 February 1963 – The Beatles incorporate Northern Songs, their music publishing company.

Five years later:


American Art – Part II of IV: Andy Warhol

“Isn’t life a series of images that change as they repeat themselves?” – Andy Warhol, American artist and a leading figure in the visual art movement known as pop art, who died 22 February 1987.

Below (left to right) – “Marilyn Monroe”; “Campbell’s Soup”; “Triple Elvis”; “Flip Flops”; “Superman”; “Self-Portrait.”

From the Music Archives – Part III of III: John Creach

Died 22 February 1994 – “Papa” John Creach, an American blues violinist who played for Jefferson Airplane, Hot Tuna, Jefferson Starship, Jefferson Starship – The Next Generation, and Steve Taylor.

Portuguese painter Graca Martins (born 1952) is a graduate of the Department of Graphic Design at the University of Fine Arts of Portugal.


“It is not true that life is one damn thing after another, it is the same damn thing over and over.” – Edna St. Vincent Millay, American poet, playwright, and the recipient of the 1923 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry, who was born 22 February 1892.

“Euclid alone has looked on Beauty bare”

Euclid alone has looked on Beauty bare.
Let all who prate of Beauty hold their peace,
And lay them prone upon the earth and cease
To ponder on themselves, the while they stare
At nothing, intricately drawn nowhere
In shapes of shifting lineage; let geese
Gabble and hiss, but heroes seek release
From dusty bondage into luminous air.
O blinding hour, O holy, terrible day,
When first the shaft into his vision shone
Of light anatomized! Euclid alone
Has looked on Beauty bare. Fortunate they
Who, though once only and then but far away,
Have heard her massive sandal set on stone.

Here is how one critic describes the artistry of British painter Russ Mills (born 1971): “His current work is a clash of styles from classical to pop surrealism, focusing predominantly on the human form, though also abstracting elements from nature and the animal kingdom. Covering subjects such as superficiality and isolation progressing into more socio-political expressions.”
Russ Mills
Russ Mills

From the American History Archives: “Empress of China”

22 February 1784 – The first United States ship to trade with China – “Empress of China” – sails from New York Harbor. It returned to New York from China on 11 May 1785.

Below – “Empress of China” in 1876

In the words of one writer, Bulgarian Ignat Ignatov (born 1978)“ is a young artist with exemplary talent. His interpretation of the spirit of fine art saturates his paintings with a unique expressive richness. Although each new subject seems to dictate the style and approach, his paintings are always alive with color, light, texture, atmosphere, energy and emotion.”

“I grew up in those years when the Old West was passing and the New West was emerging. It was a time when we still heard echoes and already saw shadows, on moonlit nights when the coyotes yapped on the hilltops, and on hot summer afternoons when mirages shimmered, dust devils spun across the flats, and towering cumulus clouds sailed like galleons across the vast blueness of the sky. Echoes of remembrance of what men once did there, and visions of what they would do together.” – Hal Borland, American writer, journalist, and author of “outdoor editorials” for “The New York Times” from 1941 to 1978, who died 22 February 1978.

Anyone driving along Interstate 70 in Colorado will pass Flagler (about 120 miles east of Denver), an old railroad town which displays a roadside sign advertising that it is the “Boyhood Home Of Author Hal Borland.” If you have the heart for it, pull off the highway and drive through Flagler in order to experience the poignant character of a place that history has left far behind.

Some quotes from the work of Hal Borland:

“No winter lasts forever; no spring skips its turn.”
“Knowing trees, I understand the meaning of patience. Knowing grass, I can appreciate persistence.”
“Two sounds of autumn are unmistakable…the hurrying rustle of crisp leaves blown along the street…by a gusty wind, and the gabble of a flock of migrating geese.”
“Summer ends, and Autumn comes, and he who would have it otherwise would have high tide always and a full moon every night.”
“Year’s end is neither an end nor a beginning but a going on, with all the wisdom that experience can instill in us.”
“A snowdrift is a beautiful thing-if it doesn’t lie across the path you have to shovel or block the road that leads to your destination.”
“A woodland in full color is awesome as a forest fire, in magnitude at least, but a single tree is like a dancing tongue of flame to warm the heart.”
“Here and there one sees the blush of wild rose haws or the warmth of orange fruit on the bittersweet, and back in the woods is the occasional twinkle of partridgeberries. But they are the gem stones, the rare decorations which make the grays, the browns and the greens seem even more quiet, more completely at rest.”
“You can’t be suspicious of a tree, accuse a bird or squirrel of subversion or challenge the ideology of a violet.”
“I grew up in those years when the Old West was passing and the New West was emerging. It was a time when we still heard echoes and already saw shadows, on moonlit nights when the coyotes yapped on the hilltops, and on hot summer afternoons when mirages shimmered, dust devils spun across the flats, and towering cumulus clouds sailed like galleons across the vast blueness of the sky. Echoes of remembrance of what men once did there, and visions of what they would do together.”

Above – Hal Borland.
Below – The Flagler Hospital Museum and Library, which has a Hal Borland Room; the Flagler Movie Theater (now closed) on Main Ave.

Chinese artist Wu Wei (born 1975) attended painting classes for three years at the Graduate Institute of Fine Arts in Hangzhou.

A Poem for Today

“Lyell’s Hypothesis Again,”
By Kenneth Rexroth

An Attempt to Explain the Former 
Changes of the Earth’s Surface by 
Causes Now in Operation — subtitle of Lyell: ‘Principles of Geology’

The mountain road ends here,
Broken away in the chasm where
The bridge washed out years ago.
The first scarlet larkspur glitters
In the first patch of April
Morning sunlight. The engorged creek
Roars and rustles like a military
Ball. Here by the waterfall,
Insuperable life, flushed
With the equinox, sentient
And sentimental, falls away
To the sea and death. The tissue
Of sympathy and agony
That binds the flesh in its Nessus’ shirt;
The clotted cobweb of unself
And self; sheds itself and flecks
The sun’s bed with darts of blossom
Like flagellant blood above
The water bursting in the vibrant
Air. This ego, bound by personal
Tragedy and the vast
Impersonal vindictiveness
Of the ruined and ruining world,
Pauses in this immortality,
As passionate, as apathetic,
As the lava flow that burned here once;
And stopped here; and said, ‘This far
And no further.’ And spoke thereafter
In the simple diction of stone.

Naked in the warm April air,
We lie under the redwoods,
In the sunny lee of a cliff.
As you kneel above me I see
Tiny red marks on your flanks
Like bites, where the redwood cones
Have pressed into your flesh.
You can find just the same marks
In the lignite in the cliff
Over our heads. Sequoia
Langsdorfii before the ice,
And sempervirens afterwards,
There is little difference,
Except for all those years.

Here in the sweet, moribund
Fetor of spring flowers, washed,
Flotsam and jetsam together,
Cool and naked together,
Under this tree for a moment,
We have escaped the bitterness
Of love, and love lost, and love
Betrayed. And what might have been,
And what might be, fall equally
Away with what is, and leave
Only these ideograms
Printed on the immortal
Hydrocarbons of flesh and stone.

American Art – Part III of IV: Edmund Charles Tarbell

Edmund Charles Tarbell (1862 – 1938) was an Impressionist painter.

Below – “Girl Reading”; “In the Orchard”; “Mother and Child in a Boat”; “The Sisters”; “The Letter”; “Preparing for the Matinee.”

A Second Poem for Today

“To One Unknown,”
By Helen Dudley

I have seen the proudest stars
That wander on through space,
Even the sun and moon,
But not your face.

I have heard the violin,
The winds and waves rejoice
in endless minstrelsy,
Yet not your voice.

I have touched the trillium,
Pale flower of the land,
Coral, anemone,
And not your hand.

I have kissed the shining feet
Of Twilight lover-wise,
Opened the gates of Dawn—
Oh not your eyes!

I have dreamed unwonted things,
Visions that witches brew,
Spoken with images,
Never with you.

American Art – Part IV of IV: Margot Lovinger

Artist Statement: “Each piece (shown below) is composed entirely of fabrics, thread and embroidery floss, and, in some cases, beads. No paints, inks, or dyes are used. All sewing is done by hand.
I begin with a cotton canvas base, to which all the successive layers are sewn. The first layers are usually cottons and silks. In these early layers, I rough out the composition and establish the major shapes and colors of the work. Next, the subtle modulation of color and tone are achieved by the layering of sheer fabrics, such as tulle, netting, organza and chiffon. Each successive layer changes the hue of the layers beneath it, much the way a transparent color wash changes the layers underneath it in watercolor painting. Stitching in cotton, silk, or rayon thread or embroidery floss is added to create texture and define shapes. Finally, each piece is stretched over a wooden frame.”

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