April Offerings – Part XXVIII: Something to Delight both Head and Heart

American Art – Part I of III: Charles Bibbs

Painter Charles Bibbs is one of the top-selling artists in the United States. His company, B Graphics and Fine Arts, Inc., is one of the leaders in the African-American art print market.
Charles Bibbs
Charles Bibbs
Charles Bibbs

Spanish Art – Part I of II: Joan Beltran Bofill

Painter Joan Beltran Bofill (1930-2009) attended the prestigious Casa Lonja, where several artists from the Catalan School, including Picasso, had also studied.

“To every separate person a thing is what he thinks it is – in other words, not a thing, but a think.” – Penelope Fitzgerald, an English novelist, poet, essayist, biographer, and author of “The Blue Flower” and “Offshore,” who died 28 April 2000.

Some quotes from the work of Penelope Fitzgerald:

“A good book is the precious life-blood of a master-spirit, embalmed and treasured up on purpose to a life beyond life, and as such it must surely be a necessary commodity.”
“Duty is what no-one else will do at the moment.”
“Helping other people is a drug so dangerous that there is no cure short of total abstention.”
“Morality is seldom a safe guide for human conduct.”
“Would you consider what I call the ‘inner eye’ which opens for some of us, though not always when we want it or expect it – would you consider the inner eye as one of the sensory nerves?”
“‘Surely you have to succeed, if you give everything you have.’
‘I don’t see why. Everyone has to give everything they have eventually. They have to die. Dying can’t be called a success.’”
“How could the wind be so strong, so far inland, that cyclists
coming into the town in the late afternoon looked more like
sailors in peril? This was on the way into Cambridge, up Mill
Road past the cemetery and the workhouse. On the open
ground to the left the willow-trees had been blown, driven
and cracked until their branches gave way and lay about the
drenched grass, jerking convulsively and trailing cataracts of
twigs. The cows had gone mad, tossing up the silvery weeping
leaves which were suddenly, quite contrary to all their experience, everywhere within reach. Their horns were festooned
with willow boughs. Not being able to see properly, they
tripped and fell. Two or three of them were wallowing on
their backs, idiotically, exhibiting vast pale bellies intended by
nature to be always hidden. They were still munching. A scene
of disorder, tree-tops on the earth, legs in the air, in a university
city devoted to logic and reason.”

Spanish Art – Part II of II: Ingrid Tusell

Painter Ingrid Tusell (born 1978) lives and works in Matarranya.

“I was now resolved to do everything in my power to defeat the system.” – Oskar Schindler, ethnic German Austrian industrialist and member of the Nazi party credited with saving the lives of more than 1,200 Jews during the Holocaust, who was born 28 April 1908.

Here is one critic describing the artistry of self-taught New Zealand painter Steve Harris (born 1953): “Harris has become well known for his impeccably painted still life compositions, his skilful use of light, shadow and space being a hallmark of his approach. He generally tends to depict objects which have an everyday function or perhaps have even been discarded, but the work is about much more than simple representation. Harris is a master of understated realism which in turn evokes its own sense of ‘atmosphere’ and contemplative mood. His works have been described as ‘meditations in light’; and this is very much the feeling one has when attending one of Harris’s exhibitions – a type of reflective silence emanates from the paintings and imbues them with a spiritual quality.”
"THREE SOULS" 101cm x 121cm.
"STONE"  40cm x 40cm.

Painter and illustrator Sophie Chalmandrier lives and works in France.


“How is the world ruled and led to war? Diplomats lie to journalists and believe these lies when they see them in print.” – Karl Kraus, Austrian writer, journalist, satirist, aphorist, playwright, and poet, who was born 28 April 1874.

Some quotes from Karl Kraus:

“The devil is an optimist if he thinks he can make people worse than they are.”
“Sexuality poorly repressed unsettles some families; well repressed, it unsettles the whole world.”
“Stupidity is an elemental force for which no earthquake is a match.”
“Democracy means the opportunity to be everyone’s slave.”
“I don’t like to meddle in my private affairs.”
“I and my public understand each other very well: it does not hear what I say, and I don’t say what it wants to hear.”
“Psychoanalysis is that mental illness for which it regards itself as therapy.”
“Scandal begins when the police put a stop to it.”
“A fine world in which man reproaches woman with fulfilling his heart’s desire!”
“Curses on the law! Most of my fellow citizens are the sorry consequences of uncommitted abortions.”
“Education is what most receive, many pass on, and few possess.”
“I am already so popular that anyone who vilifies me becomes more popular than I am.”
“Feminine passion is to masculine as an epic is to an epigram.”
“I and life: The case was settled chivalrously. The opponents parted without having made up.?
“It is the style of idealism to console itself for the loss of something old with the ability to gape at something new.”
“Language is the mother of thought, not its handmaiden.”
“Squeeze human nature into the straitjacket of criminal justice and crime will appear.”
“The mission of the press is to spread culture while destroying the attention span.”
“There are people who can never forgive a beggar for their not having given him anything.”
“There is no more unfortunate creature under the sun than a fetishist who yearns for a woman’s shoe and has to settle for the whole woman.”
“When a man is treated like a beast, he says, ‘After all, I’m human.’ When he behaves like a beast, he says ‘After all, I’m only human.’”
“Science is spectral analysis. Art is light synthesis.”

Chilean painter Ramon Levil (born 1962) is a graduate of the School of Fine Arts of Valparaiso. He lives and works in Lot-et-Garonne, France.


“Light thinks it travels faster than anything but it is wrong. No matter how fast light travels, it finds the darkness has always got there first, and is waiting for it.” – Terry Pratchett, English writer of fantasy novels and author of the “Discworld” series, who was born 28 April 1948.

Some quotes from Terry Pratchett:

“A key to the understanding of all religion is that a god’s idea of amusement is ‘Snakes and Ladders’ with greased rungs.”
“The trouble with having an open mind, of course, is that people will insist on coming along and trying to put things in it.”
“It seems that when you have cancer you are a brave battler against the disease, but when you have Alzheimer’s you are an old fart. That’s how people see you. It makes you feel quite alone.”
“Only in our dreams are we free. The rest of the time we need wages.”
“In ancient times cats were worshipped as gods; they have not forgotten this.”
“It is often said that before you die your life passes before your eyes. It is in fact true. It’s called living.”
“Five exclamation marks, the sure sign of an insane mind.”
“The baby boomers are getting older, and will stay older for longer. And they will run right into the dementia firing range. How will a society cope? Especially a society that can’t so readily rely on those stable family relationships that traditionally provided the backbone of care?”
“It’s not worth doing something unless you were doing something that someone, somewhere, would much rather you weren’t doing.”
“They say a little knowledge is a dangerous thing, but it’s not one half so bad as a lot of ignorance.”
“Most gods throw dice, but Fate plays chess, and you don’t find out until too late that he’s been playing with two queens all along.”
“The intelligence of the creature known as a crowd, is the square root of the number of people in it.”
“The pen is mightier than the sword if the sword is very short, and the pen is very sharp.”
“Taxation is just a sophisticated way of demanding money with menaces.”
“I am certain no one sets out to be cruel, but our treatment of the elderly ill seems to have no philosophy to it. As a society, we should establish whether we have a policy of life at any cost.”
“The truth may be out there, but lies are inside your head.”
“Fantasy is an exercise bicycle for the mind. It might not take you anywhere, but it tones up the muscles that can. Of course, I could be wrong.”
“Sometimes it is better to light a flamethrower than curse the darkness.”
“Everything starts somewhere, although many physicists disagree.”
“Sooner or later we’re all someone’s dog.”
“You can’t trample infidels when you’re a tortoise. I mean, all you could do is give them a meaningful look.”
“’Discworld’ is taking something that you know is ridiculous and treating it as if it is serious, to see if something interesting happens when you do so.”
“Genius is always allowed some leeway, once the hammer has been pried from its hands and the blood has been cleaned up.”
“I believe it should be possible for someone stricken with a serious and ultimately fatal illness to choose to die peacefully with medical help, rather than suffer.”
“I particularly admire Mark Twain and Jerome K. Jerome who wrote in a certain tone of voice which was humane and understanding of humanity, but always ready to annotate its little foibles. I think I’d lay my cards down on that, and say that it’s that that I’m trying to do.”
“The bravest person I’ve ever met was a young boy going through massive amounts of treatment for a very rare, complex and unpleasant disease. I last saw him at a ‘Discworld’ convention, where he chose to take part in a game as an assassin. He died not long afterwards, and I wish I had his fortitude and sense of style.”
“The ideal death, I think, is what was the ideal Victorian death, you know, with your grandchildren around you, a bit of sobbing. And you say goodbye to your loved ones, making certain that one of them has been left behind to look after the shop.”
“I intend, before the endgame looms, to die sitting in a chair in my own garden with a glass of brandy in my hand and Thomas Tallis on the iPod. Oh, and since this is England, I had better add, ‘If wet, in the library.’ Who could say that this is bad?”

From the Music Archives: Thomas Tallis

For people unacquainted with the works Thomas Tallis (circa 1505-1585) to which Terry Pratchett refers in the previous post, here is a sample:

Painter Abdalieva Akzhan is a member of the Creative Union of Artists of Kazakhstan. According to one writer, “Her works are in private collections in Switzerland, Kazakhstan, Germany, the United States and other countries.”

From the Movie Archives: Robert Cornthwaite

“Gentlemen, do you realize what we’ve found – a being from another world as different from us as one pole from the other. If we can only communicate with it . . .” – Robert Cornthwaite, American character actor, who was born 28 April 1917, portraying Dr. Arthur Carrington in the 1951 movie “The Thing from Another World.”

For his performance in this film, which terrified me when I saw it in a theater as a boy, Robert Cornthwaite was inducted into the Science Fiction Hall of Fame in 1993.

Italian painter Lorella Paleni (born 1986) lives and works in Venice.

American Art – Part II of III: Ann Marshall

Artist Statement: “Because of the drastic scale reduction necessary for the web, there’s often a lot of confusion regarding my work. All figure work is done by hand, using either oil paint or pastel. The collage work is similarly low tech, constructed with scissors and an ever-changing array of non-toxic glues.”

“People generally see what they look for, and hear what they listen for.” – Harper Lee, American novelist and author of “To Kill a Mockingbird,” which won the 1961 Pulitzer Prize, who was born 28 April 1926.

Some quotes from “To Kill a Mockingbird”:

“You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view… Until you climb inside of his skin and walk around in it.”
“Until I feared I would lose it, I never loved to read. One does not love breathing.”
“I wanted you to see what real courage is, instead of getting the idea that courage is a man with a gun in his hand. It’s when you know you’re licked before you begin, but you begin anyway and see it through no matter what.”
“They’re certainly entitled to think that, and they’re entitled to full respect for their opinions… but before I can live with other folks I’ve got to live with myself. The one thing that doesn’t abide by majority rule is a person’s conscience.”
“I think there’s just one kind of folks. Folks.”
“Sometimes the Bible in the hand of one man is worse than a whisky bottle in the hand of (another)… There are just some kind of men who – who’re so busy worrying about the next world they’ve never learned to live in this one, and you can look down the street and see the results.”
“Atticus told me to delete the adjectives and I’d have the facts.”
“People in their right minds never take pride in their talents.”
“When a child asks you something, answer him, for goodness sake. But don’t make a production of it. Children are children, but they can spot an evasion faster than adults, and evasion simply muddles ’em.”
“It’s never an insult to be called what somebody thinks is a bad name. It just shows you how poor that person is, it doesn’t hurt you.”
“We’re paying the highest tribute you can pay a man. We trust him to do right. It’s that simple.”
“Atticus said to Jem one day, ‘I’d rather you shot at tin cans in the backyard, but I know you’ll go after birds. Shoot all the blue jays you want, if you can hit ‘em, but remember it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird.’ That was the only time I ever heard Atticus say it was a sin to do something, and I asked Miss Maudie about it. ‘Your father’s right,’ she said. ‘Mockingbirds don’t do one thing except make music for us to enjoy. They don’t eat up people’s gardens, don’t nest in corncribs, they don’t do one thing but sing their hearts out for us. That’s why it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird.’”

Russian Art – Part I of II: Olga Gretchina

Painter Olga Gretchina (born 1947) is a graduate of the Moscow State College of Art.


From the American History Archives: The Central Pacific Railroad

28 April 1869 – In the words of one historian, “Chinese and Irish laborers for the Central Pacific Railroad working on the First Transcontinental Railroad lay 10 miles of track in one day, a feat which has never been matched.”

Russian Art – Part II of II: Anastasia Hohriakova

Here is one critic describing the artistry of painter Anastasia Hohriakova, whose style “stands at the intersection of Symbolism and Surrealism”: “Anastasia Hohriakova works in almost all genres of monumental and easel painting: interior murals and frescos, sgraffito and mosaic, portraits, genre scenes, landscapes and still life. Her artwork, both in painting and in composition, reflects the emotion, vivacity and energy with which she perceives the world around her. Her paintings subtly express mood and image distinguishing themselves by their integrity and clear, constructive composition.”


A Poem for Today

“Looking for Gold,”
By William Stafford

A flavor like wild honey begins
when you cross the river. On a sandbar
sunlight stretches out its limbs, or is it
a sycamore, so brazen, so clean and so bold?
You forget about gold. You stare—and a flavor
is rising all the time from the trees.
Back from the river, over by a thick
forest, you feel the tide of wild honey
flooding your plans, flooding the hours
till they waver forward looking back. They can’t
return; that river divides more than
two sides of your life. The only way
is farther, breathing that country, becoming
wise in its flavor, a native of the sun.

American Art – Part III of III: Adam Miller

Artist Adam Miller (born 1979) was accepted to the Florence Academy of Art when he was just sixteen, and while there he underwent extensive training in classical painting techniques. He has been described in reviews as “a rising star of realism,” and in the opinion of one critic, Miller “would be considered a master in any era.”

Below – “Leda in the Gulf”; “Boatman’s Fee”; “Baptism”; “A Gentle Breeze”; “Narcissus”; “The Third Party – Invitation”; “Artemis Triptych Nymph 1”; “Artemis Triptych Center Panel”; “Artemis Triptych Nymph 2”; “Oil Slick”; “Role Play”; “Seaside – Dreaming”; “Ariadne”; “The Lotus Eater”; “Twilight in Arcadia”; “Apollo and Daphne.”
painting by Adam Miller

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