May Offerings – Part XIV: Something to Delight both Head and Heart

American Art – Part I of V: Don Seegmiller

In the words of one writer, “Don Seegmiller teaches senior-level illustration, traditional head painting, figure drawing and digital painting for the Department of Visual Design at Brigham Young University. His traditional oil painting work has been represented by many major art galleries in the United States.”

“Damn your nose, madam! There’s no end to it!” – Thomas Gainsborough, English portrait and landscape painter, who was born 14 May 1727, addressing Sarah Siddons.

Below – “Portrait of Mrs. Sarah Siddons”; “Road from Market”; “Tom Pear Tree”; “Landscape with Cows”; “Open Landscape with a Shepherd, Sheep, a Pool and Distant Hills”; “The Blue Boy.”

(c) Paintings Collection; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation
(c) Paintings Collection; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation

14 May 1924 – Virginia Woolf’s novel “Mrs. Dalloway” is published.

Some quotes from “Mrs. Dalloway”:

“She had the perpetual sense, as she watched the taxi cabs, of being out, out, far out to sea and alone; she always had the feeling that it was very, very, dangerous to live even one day.”
“He thought her beautiful, believed her impeccably wise; dreamed of her, wrote poems to her, which, ignoring the subject, she corrected in red ink.”
“Did it matter then, she asked herself, walking towards Bond Street, did it matter that she must inevitably cease completely? All this must go on without her; did she resent it; or did it not become consoling to believe that death ended absolutely?”
“Mrs Dalloway is always giving parties to cover the silence.”
“Beauty, the world seemed to say. And as if to prove it (scientifically) wherever he looked at the houses, at the railings, at the antelopes stretching over the palings, beauty sprang instantly. To watch a leaf quivering in the rush of air was an exquisite joy. Up in the sky swallows swooping, swerving, flinging themselves in and out, round and round, yet always with perfect control as if elastics held them; and the flies rising and falling; and the sun spotting now this leaf, now that, in mockery, dazzling it with soft gold in pure good temper; and now again some chime (it might be a motor horn) tinkling divinely on the grass stalks—all of this, calm and reasonable as it was, made out of ordinary things as it was, was the truth now; beauty, that was the truth now. Beauty was everywhere.”
“She thought there were no Gods; no one was to blame; and so she evolved this atheist’s religion of doing good for the sake of goodness.”
“Fear no more, says the heart, committing its burden to some sea, which sighs collectively for all sorrows, and renews, begins, collects, lets fall.”


Russian Art – Part I of II: Mariya Ivanovna Vassilieva

Died 14 May 1957 – Mariya Ivanovna Vassilieva, better known as Marie Vassilieff, a Russian painter.

Below – “Sitting Woman”; “The Dance”; “Cup of Tea.”

Russian Art – Part II of II: Ksenia Lavrova

Russian painter Ksenia Lavrova graduated from the prestigious St. Petersburg “Mucha” Academy.

Here is part of the Artist Statement of Dutch painter Helene Terlien (born 1960): “Painting has become an all consuming passion to me, especially when working with oil paints.
People and Animals are a source of inspiration from which a fantasy, when taking shape on the canvas, starts leading its own live. And I, as an artist, am left to follow in its path. People, animals and objects function, alone or together, to tell a story with room for different viewing points.”

“When we can’t dream any longer, we die.” – Emma Goldman, American anarchist, political activist, author, and orator, who died 14 May 1940.

Some quotes from the work of Emma Goldman:

“The philosophy of Atheism represents a concept of life without any metaphysical Beyond or Divine Regulator. It is the concept of an actual, real world with its liberating, expanding and beautifying possibilities, as against an unreal world, which, with its spirits, oracles, and mean contentment has kept humanity in helpless degradation.”
“If voting changed anything, they’d make it illegal.”
“Anarchism stands for the liberation of the human mind from the dominion of religion and liberation of the human body from the coercion of property; liberation from the shackles and restraint of government. It stands for a social order based on the free grouping of individuals.”
“People have only as much liberty as they have the intelligence to want and the courage to take.”
“If I can’t dance to it, it’s not my revolution.”
“Someone has said that it requires less mental effort to condemn than to think.”
“Patriotism … is a superstition artificially created and maintained through a network of lies and falsehoods; a superstition that robs man of his self-respect and dignity, and increases his arrogance and conceit.”
“No great idea in its beginning can ever be within the law. How can it be within the law? The law is stationary. The law is fixed. The law is a chariot wheel which binds us all regardless of conditions or place or time. ”
“No real social change has ever been brought about without a revolution – Revolution is but thought carried into action.
Every effort for progress, for enlightenment, for science, for religious, political, and economic liberty, emanates from the minority,
and not from the mass.”
“The most violent element in society is ignorance.”

Here is one writer describing the artistry of Polish artist Anna Masiul: “She paints realistic and abstract paintings with the technique of acrylic paints and collages. Her works are in collections around the world.”

Argentinean painter Mercedes Farina earned a degree in Plastic Arts at Buenos Aires University.

Mercedes Farina
Mercedes Farina
Mercedes Farina
Mercedes Farina
Mercedes Farina
Mercedes Farina

Greek artist Katia Varvaki (born 1957) studied painting, hagiography, and sculpture at the Athens School of Fine Arts.

American Art – Part II of V: Kuniyoshi Yasuo

Died 14 May 1953 – Kuniyoshi, Yasuo, an American painter, photographer, and printmaker.

Below – “Dream”; “My Fate Is in Your Hand”; “Woman in Front of a Mirror”; “New England Landscape”; “The Swimmer”; “Girl in Summer.”

“The universe is a continuous web. Touch it at any point and the whole web quivers.” – Stanley Kunitz, American poet, who died 14 May 2006.

“The Layers”

I have walked through many lives,
some of them my own,
and I am not who I was,
though some principle of being
abides, from which I struggle
not to stray.
When I look behind,
as I am compelled to look
before I can gather strength
to proceed on my journey,
I see the milestones dwindling
toward the horizon
and the slow fires trailing
from the abandoned camp-sites,
over which scavenger angels
wheel on heavy wings.
Oh, I have made myself a tribe
out of my true affections,
and my tribe is scattered!
How shall the heart be reconciled
to its feast of losses?
In a rising wind
the manic dust of my friends,
those who fell along the way,
bitterly stings my face.
Yet I turn, I turn,
exulting somewhat,
with my will intact to go
wherever I need to go,
and every stone on the road
precious to me.
In my darkest night,
when the moon was covered
and I roamed through wreckage,
a nimbus-clouded voice
directed me:
“Live in the layers,
not on the litter.”
Though I lack the art
to decipher it,
no doubt the next chapter
in my book of transformations
is already written.
I am not done with my changes.

Grand Canyon Grey Levels

American Art – Part III of V: Mariska Karto

Born in Suriname in 1971, American artistic photographer Mariska Karto started her career in 2010 in order to “express her inner world.” In the words of one critic, “A part of her work is translated in visuals from dark to bright. Human feeling is the key that inspires her. Human development related to spirituality is also an important factor. Her images tell stories of a world deep within us. They show us a dark world and secret atmospheres, but they also show us a dreamy mood of a tender and soft dream world.”

“If you would know strength and patience, welcome the company of trees.” – Hal Borland, American author and journalist who wrote “outdoor editorials” for “The New York Times” for more than thirty years, who was born on 14 May 1900.

“No winter lasts forever; no spring skips its turn.”
“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.”
“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.”
“You can’t be suspicious of a tree, accuse a bird or squirrel of subversion or challenge the ideology of a violet.”
“Year’s end is neither an end nor a beginning but a going on, with all the wisdom that experience can instill in us.”
“Knowing trees, I understand the meaning of patience. Knowing grass, I can appreciate persistence.”
“The Earth’s distances invite the eye. And as the eye reaches, so must the mind stretch to meet these new horizons. I challenge anyone to stand with autumn on a hilltop and fail to see a new expanse not only around him, but in him, too.”
“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.”


American Art – Part IV of V: Eric Fischl

Here is one writer describing the artistry of American painter Eric Fischl (born 1948): “Fischl has embraced the description of himself as a painter of the suburbs, not generally considered appropriate subject matter prior to his generation.”

A Poem for Today

“Shackleton’s Biscuit,”
By T.R. Hummer

Of ox and luncheon tongue, six hundred pounds;
of Wiltshire bacon, seven-tenths of a ton.
Seventeen hundred miles they walked, and it was
pony meat that saved them. But one biscuit, this one
Of thousands, baked by Huntley & Palmers, a special formulation
fortified with milk protein, survives—the men
Long dead, and the ponies, whose lives flew through
Bullet holes easily over the frozen labyrinth of the Fortuna Glacier,
all gone to powder. Found a century later in the wrecked
Larder of one of Shackleton’s way stations, it remains
perfectly nutritious, and sold at a Christie’s auction
Is worth a thousand-some sterling. We had seen God in
His splendors; we had reached the naked soul of man,
He wrote. And: This biscuit, said a Christie’s director,
is an object that really catches the imagination.


American Art – Part V of V: Robert Bechtle

Born 14 May 1932 – Robert Bechtle, an American painter and one of the earliest practitioners of photorealism.

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