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

American Art – Part I of V: Charmaine Olivia

Artist Statement: “I’m an artist. I spend the majority of my days continually teaching myself how to paint and draw. I am extremely curious and passionate about life, beautiful things, and creativity.”

“The world is so disgracefully managed, one hardly knows to whom to complain.” – Ronald Firbank, British novelist, who died 21 May 1926, expressing an opinion that all thoughtful people at least occasionally entertain.

American Art – Part II of V: James Rieck

Painter James Rieck has earned both a BFA and an MFA from the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore.

American Art – Part III of V: Hamid Zavareei

In the words of one writer, “Zavareei received his BS degree from the West Virginia Institute of Technology, but later switched from computer programming to full-time art and took residency in the Lantern of the East Art Camp. His work has been shown at numerous galleries including William Traver Gallery, WA and the Seattle Art Museum Rental/Sales Gallery, and he has participated in many faculty art shows at Gage, including the 2006 Convention Center exhibition. He is currently represented by the Linda Warren Gallery in Chicago. He also teaches painting and drawing classes at the Kirkland Arts Center.”

Nobel Peace Prize – Part I of II: Jane Addams

“The essence of immorality is the tendency to make an exception of myself.” – Jane Addams, pioneer settlement worker, founder of Hull House in Chicago, public philosopher, sociologist, author, leader in the causes of women’s suffrage and world peace, and recipient of the 1931 Nobel Peace Prize, who died 21 May 1935.

Some quotes from Nobel Laureate Jane Addams:

“The good we secure for ourselves is precarious and uncertain until it is secured for all of us and incorporated into our common life.”
“Unless our conception of patriotism is progressive, it cannot hope to embody the real affection and the real interest of the nation.”
“Civilization is a method of living, an attitude of equal respect for all men.”
“Social advance depends as much upon the process through which it is secured as upon the result itself.”
“Action indeed is the sole medium of expression for ethics.”

British Art – Part I of II: Laurence Kell

Here is the Artist Statement of British painter Laurence Kell: “My interest in painting portraits became the main focus in 2003, while I was helping to run the family business. We ran a Georgian hotel/ restaurant located on the wild north coast of Cornwall. I painted in my room and used the hotel as a gallery for my work. One of these paintings was a portrait of the chef which was exhibited at the BP Portrait awards at the National Portrait Gallery.
Since then I have exhibited regularly with the Royal Society of Portrait Painters at the Mall Galleries and have been commissioned by London Business School and Bristol University as well as painting numerous private portraits.
Earlier this year I relocated to Bristol with my wife and baby.”

Laurence Kell


Nobel Peace Prize – Part II of II: Andrei Sakharov

“Thousands of years ago tribes of human beings suffered great privations in the struggle to survive. In this struggle it was important not only to be able to handle a club, but also to possess the ability to think reasonably, to take care of the knowledge and experience garnered by the tribe, and to develop the links that would provide cooperation with other tribes. Today the entire human race is faced with a similar test. In infinite space many civilizations are bound to exist, among them civilizations that are also wiser and more “successful” than ours. I support the cosmological hypothesis which states that the development of the universe is repeated in its basic features an infinite number of times. In accordance with this, other civilizations, including more “successful” ones, should exist an infinite number of times on the “preceding” and the “following” pages of the Book of the Universe. Yet this should not minimize our sacred endeavors in this world of ours, where, like faint glimmers of light in the dark, we have emerged for a moment from the nothingness of dark unconsciousness of material existence. We must make good the demands of reason and create a life worthy of ourselves and of the goals we only dimly perceive.” – Andrei Sakharov, Russian nuclear physicist, political dissident, human rights activist, and recipient of the 1975 Nobel Peace Prize, who was born 21 May 1921.

Some quotes from Nobel Laureate Andrei Sakharov:

“Both now and for always, I intend to hold fast to my belief in the hidden strength of the human spirit.”
“For me, the moral difficulties lie in the continual pressure brought to bear on my friends and immediate family, pressure which is not directed against me personally but which at the same time is all around me.”
“In and after 1964 when I began to concern myself with the biological issues, and particularly from 1967 onwards, the extent of the problems over which I felt uneasy increased to such a point that in 1968 I felt a compelling urge to make my views public.”
“Our country, like every modern state, needs profound democratic reforms. It needs political and ideological pluralism, a mixed economy and protection of human rights and the opening up of society.”

British Art – Part II of II: Andrew Tift

In the words of one writer, “Tift has also won many awards, including The Japan Festival Award, The European Painting Award at the Frissiras Museum in Athens and the Emerson Group Award at the Manchester Academy of fine Art. He has painted portraits of a number of prominent sitters including Tony Benn, Neil And Glenys Kinnock, Lord Chief Justice Woolf and Cormac McCarthy amongst many others and is currently working on a new commission for the National Portrait Gallery.
Tift has exhibited at commercial and public galleries and museums in London, Paris, Tokyo, New York, Athens and Santa Fe and has work in many public and private collections including, the National Portrait Gallery (London), The Smithsonian Institution (Washington D.C), The House of Commons (London), The Frissiras Museum (Athens), The New Art Gallery – Walsall, Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, Sunderland Museum and Art Gallery.”


A Reminder for the Current Crop of Republican Presidential Candidates:

“As empty vessels make the loudest sound, so they that have the least wit are the greatest blabbers.” – Plato, Greek philosopher born on 21 May 427 B.C.E.

Interviewer: “Why did you paint a couch in the middle of the jungle?”

Henri Rousseau: “Because one has a right to paint one’s dreams.”

Born 21 May 1844 – Henri Rousseau, French Post-Impressionist painter in the Naïve or Primitive manner.

Below – “The Dream”; “The Sleeping Gypsy”; “The Snake Charmer”; “The Hungry Lion Throws Itself on the Antelope”; “Tiger in a Tropical Storm”; “Carnival Evening”; “War, or the Ride of Discord”; “The Mill”; “Self-Portrait.”



A Reminder for Fox News:

“It is with narrow-souled people as with narrow-necked bottles: the less they have in them, the more noise they make in pouring it out.” – Alexander Pope, English poet, who was born 21 May 1688.

Here is one critic describing the artistry of Australian painter Peter H. Marshall: “Peter was born in Western Victoria in 1964 and was raised on a property at Kanya until the age of seven. This environment ignited his life long interest in drawing, particularly the trees growing on and around the property. Peter was encouraged by artists and his parents from a young age to paint, first in watercolours age four and oils at age nine. After attending the Ronald Crawford School of Painting’ (Meldrum School of Tonal Impressionism) in Melbourne for one year, age seventeen, Peter moved to Sydney in 1989 to study drawing and etching full time at the Julian Ashton Art School, where he won the Inaugural Sir William Dobell Scholarship for Drawing in 1990. In the same year he became an assistant Tutor at the school, was awarded the Robert LeGay Brereton Prize for drawing at the Art Gallery of NSW and selected as a finalist in the Victorian Young Achiever Awards.”

From the American History Archives – Part I of II: Charles Lindbergh

21 May 1927: Charles Lindbergh touches down at Le Bourget Field in Paris, completing the world’s first solo nonstop flight across the Atlantic Ocean.

In the words of one writer, “Alberto Gálvez is a contemporary Spanish painter whose inspiration is derived from identifiable archetypal imagery found in classic history painting. Gálvez is a leader among his generation of artists in Europe who have returned to the figurative tradition, where a precise delineation of figures and objects project onto the canvas with a complex narration and allegorical overtones. The artist’s ability to displace familiar objects and reinvent them within an innovative and contemporized context compels the viewer to perceive a new reality.”

From the American History Archives – Part II of II: Amelia Earhart

21 May 1932: Bad weather forces Amelia Earhart to land in a pasture in Derry, Northern Ireland, and she thereby becomes the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean.

“He loves to create a romantic setting, using the impressionistic play of light to synthesize the beauty of a woman . . .” – A critic describing the artistry of Russian painter Mstislav Pavlov.

“Still, no one finally knows what a poet is supposed either to be or to do. Especially in this country, one takes on the job—because all that one does in America is considered a ‘job’—with no clear sense as to what is required or where one will ultimately be led. In that respect, it is as particular an instance of a ‘calling’ as one might point to. For years I’ve kept in mind, ‘Many are called but few are chosen.’ Even so ‘called,’ there were no assurances that one would be answered.” – Robert Creeley, American poet, who was born 21 May 1926.

Robert Creeley is the author of what critic Cid Corman calls “some of the unhappiest love poems of our time.”

“A Form of Women”

I have come far enough

from where I was not before

to have seen the things

looking in at me from through the open door

and have walked tonight

by myself

to see the moonlight

and see it as trees

and shapes more fearful

because I feared

what I did not know

but have wanted to know.

My face is my own, I thought.

But you have seen it

turn into a thousand years.

I watched you cry.

I could not touch you.

I wanted very much to

touch you

but could not.

If it is dark

when this is given to you,

have care for its content

when the moon shines.

My face is my own.

My hands are my own.

My mouth is my own

but I am not. 

Moon, moon,

when you leave me alone

all the darkness is

an utter blackness, 

a pit of fear,

a stench,

hands unreasonable

never to touch.

But I love you.

Do you love me.

What to say

when you see me.


American Art – Part IV of V: James Carter

In the words of one writer, “James Carter, the contemporary American artist, combines the dream images of surrealism with the techniques of superrealism to create still lifes with distinctly American roots. His acrylic airbrush paintings and his original prints give us a fresh view of familiar situations.
He likes to employ the underlying humor of the surreal. Like Magritte, Carter delights in juxtaposing unexpected objects. By placing real objects in abstract environments, James can make them dissolve, fade, float or move in any way he wishes. James emphasizes his subject matter by depicting it in a superreal style. The objects become icons or symbols.”

A Poem for Today

“Before Dawn on Bluff Road,”
By August Kleinzahler

The crow’s raw hectoring cry
scoops clean an oval divot
of sky, its fading echo
among the oaks and poplars swallowed
first by a jet banking west
then the Erie-Lackawanna
sounding its horn as it comes through the tunnel
through the cliffs to the river
and around the bend of King’s Cove Bluff,
full of timber, Ford chassis, rock salt.

You can hear it in the dark
from beyond what was once the amusement park.
And the wind carries along as well,
from down by the river,
when the tide’s just so,
the drainage just so,
the chemical ghost of old factories,
the rotted piers and warehouses:
lye, pigfat, copra from Lever Bros.,
formaldehyde from the coffee plant,
dyes, unimaginable solvents—
a soup of polymers, oxides,
tailings fifty years old
seeping through the mud, the aroma
almost comforting by now, like food,
wafting into my childhood room
with its fevers and dreams.
My old parents asleep,
only a few yards across the hall,
door open—lest I cry?
I remember
almost nothing of my life.

American Art – Part V of V: Brett Amory

In the words of one writer, “Brett Amory was born in 1975 in Chesapeake, Virginia. He has lived in the Bay Area of California for the past 15 years, living in San Francisco for 15 years before relocating to Oakland in 2009, where he is currently based. . In the past year he’s had solo shows in Los Angeles, San Francisco, London, New York and San Jose.”


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