American Art – Part I of III: Helena Nelson-Reed
In the words of one critic, artist Helena Nelson-Reed is a “Visionary painter (whose) primary focus is exploring the collective consciousness and the portrayal of archetypal imagery in the tradition of Carl Jung and Joseph Campbell.”
British Art – Part I of VIII: Thomas Duncan
Died 25 May 1807 – Thomas Duncan, a Scottish portrait and historical painter.
“If there be some who, though ignorant of all mathematics, dare to reprove this work, because of some passage of Scripture, which they have miserably warped to their purpose, I regard them not, and even despise their rash judgment.” – Nicholas Copernicus, Polish mathematician and astronomer who formulated a heliocentric model of the solar system, who died 24 May 1543.
British Art – Part II of VIII: Frederick Walker
Born 26 May 1840 – Frederick Walker, an English social realist painter.
British Art – Part III of VIII: Ernest Albert Waterlow
Born 24 May 1850 – Ernest Albert Waterlow, an English artist and recipient of the Turner Medal for landscape painting.
Below – “The Harvest Moon”; “Sunset in the Wengen Alps, Switzerland”; “Across the Moor at Sunset”; “Mending the Nets, Newlyn, Cornwall”; “The Introduction”; “Galway Gossips.”
“An ugly baby is a very nasty object, and the prettiest is frightful when undressed.” – Alexandrina Victoria, later Queen Victoria, Monarch of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland from 20 June 1837 until 22 January 1901, who was born 24 May 1819.
While there are many reasons to recommend a careful study of the scientific, social, and political revolutions that took place during Victoria’s long reign, I ask readers to ponder the fact that during this era British writers produced what is perhaps the greatest body of fiction in the history of the English language. Consider the work of such Victorian luminaries as Tennyson, Browning, Arnold, Hopkins, the Bronte sisters, Dickens, Eliot, Housman, Hardy, Kipling, Conrad, Meredith, Trollope, Shaw, Yeats, and Wilde, among many others.
British Art – Part IV of VIII: Samuel Palmer
Died 24 May 1881 – Samuel Palmer, a British landscape painter, etcher, and printmaker.
British Art – Part V of VIII: Harry Epworth Allen
“Justice is not to be taken by storm. She is to be wooed by slow advances.” – Benjamin Cardozo, Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States (1932-1938), who was born 24 May 1938.Benjamin Cardozo is remembered for his influence on the development of American common law, his elegant prose style, and his modesty.
Some quotes from Benjamin Cardozo:
“Freedom of expression is the matrix, the indispensable condition, of nearly every other form of freedom.”
“Law never is, but is always about to be.”
“Membership in the bar is a privilege burdened with conditions.”
“Method is much, technique is much, but inspiration is even more.”
“Prophecy, however honest, is generally a poor substitute for experience.”
“The great generalities of the constitution have a content and a significance that vary from age to age.”
“In truth, I am nothing but a plodding mediocrity — please observe, a plodding mediocrity — for a mere mediocrity does not go very far, but a plodding one gets quite a distance. There is joy in that success, and a distinction can come from courage, fidelity and industry.”
British Art – Part VI of VIII: Graham Arnold
Born 24 May 1932 – Graham Arnold, a British painter.
British Art – Part VII of VIII: Colin Fraser
In the words of one writer, “Colin Fraser was born in Glasgow in 1956, studied art in Brighton in his twenties and now lives and paints in Sweden. Any painter is in love with light, but northern painters often savour the muted sunshine of dawns and dusks. That’s Fraser in a nutshell: understated but hungry and grateful for the brightness of the day. This is painting in the much-loved tradition of nineteenth century Scandinavian art.”
British Art – Part VIII of VIII: H. R. Bell
In the words of one writer, “Born 1976 in Berkshire, H R Bell graduated from the Courtauld Institute of Art with a First Class Honours Degree in the History of Art. After graduating she studied Fine Art at the Surikov Institute, Moscow and the Repin Academy of Fine Arts, St Petersburg.”
Nobel Laureate – Part I of II: Mikhail Sholokhov
“In this winter night, long and ample for bitter memories, many a widow who lost her husband in the war and is now left alone will press her palms to her ageing face; and in the nocturnal darkness the burning tears, as bitter as wormwood, will scorch her fingers.” – Mikhail Sholokhov, Russian novelist, author of “And Quiet Flows the Don,” and recipient of the 1965 Nobel Prize in Literature “for the artistic power and integrity with which, in his epic of the Don, he has given expression to a historic phase in the life of the Russian people,” who was born 24 May 1905.
Some quotes from the work of Nobel Laureate Mikhail Sholokhov:
“And over the village slipped the days, passing into the nights; the weeks flowed by, the months crept on, the wind howled, and, glassified with an autumnal, translucent, greenish-azure, the Don flowed tranquilly down to the sea.”
“When swept out of its normal channel, life scatters into innumerable streams. It is difficult to foresee which it will take in its treacherous and winding course. Where today it flows in shallows, like a rivulet over sandbanks, so shallow that the shoals are visible, to-morrow it will flow richly and fully.”
“Sometimes life played with him, sometimes it hung on him like a stone round the neck of a drowned man.”
“The grass grows over the graves, time overgrows the pain. The wind blew away the traces of those who had departed; time blows away the bloody pain and the memory of those who did not live to see their dear ones again—and will not live, for brief is human life, and not for long is any of us granted to tread the grass.”
Born 24 May 1830 – Alexei Savrasov, a Russian landscape painter.
Born 24 May 1933 – Joaquín Vaquero Turcios, a Spanish painter and sculptor.
Here is the Artist Statement of Australian painter Rhonda Goodall-Kirk: “My Love affair is with Oils and canvas, the way the oil paints move across the canvas and the smell that fills the room. The passion I have for painting is insatiable it oozes from my flesh. I am a thematic painter, the telling of the story through pictures is very important. I paint humanity at it’s most vulnerable, attempting to capture, on each canvas, one pure moment of emotion before all is clouded by numerous added emotions to confuse us.”
Nobel Laureate – Part II of II: Joseph Brodsky
“There are worse crimes than burning books. One of them is not reading them.” – Joseph Brodsky, Russian poet, essayist, and recipient of the 1987 Nobel Prize in Literature “for an all-embracing authorship, imbued with clarity of thought and poetic intensity,” who was born 24 May 1940.
The stone-built villages of England.
A cathedral bottled in a pub window.
Cows dispersed across fields.
Monuments to kings.
A man in a moth-eaten suit
sees a train off heading like everything here
for the sea
smiles at his daughter leaving for the East.
A whistle blows.
In the words of one writer, “Iranian artist Hosssein Ahmadi Nasab was born in Minab. He started both theater and painting in the city.”
From the Music Archives: Bob Dylan
Born 24 May 1941 – Bob Dylan, an American singer and songwriter.
From the American Old West: John Riley Banister
Born 24 May 1854 – John Riley Banister, American law officer and cowboy. While Banister did not garner the same reputation as some of his more famous contemporaries, such as Wyatt Earp, Doc Holiday, Wild Bill Hickok, and Bat Masterson, he nonetheless had an illustrious career as a Texas Ranger, railroad detective, cattle inspector, and sheriff during the frontier era of the American West.
Here is one critic describing the artistry of Chinese painter Hu Jundi (born 1962): ”His work is different from the oil paintings that we often see. His brilliance is in the harmonious blend of traditional Chinese brushwork with the unmatched depth of oils. His paintings are completely Chinese, with colors of the Sichuan environment. They are harmonious with incomplete borders. So when we first see these paintings, we feel the combination of the light, color and flow of the East, but the oils give them a more universal, lasting appeal. Hu is one of the first and very few Chinese painters that are able to brilliantly meld the two cultures together with complete integrity. Hu’s work is full of dense Chinese colors — the lush atmosphere and Sichuan’s warm moisture are floating in the paintings — and this hooks the audience instantly to his canvas melodies.”
A Poem for Today
By Gina Myers
In my life so much happens
that I would like to write about,
but then something else happens
& things are always happening.
You, my friend, are underground
& will always be there. I did not
help you, but you always helped me.
When I was an atheist, I believed
in people. Now as a nihilist, my grief
has no hope. And I could say
there is no reason to keep going,
but then I think of, I think of you.
American Art – Part II of III: Todd M. Casey
Painter Todd M. Casey studies at the Massachusetts College of Art in Boston, The Illustration Academy in Sarasota, Florida, The Hudson River School For Landscape in New York, and the Water Street Atelier in New York. He lives, works, and teaches in New York City.
A Second Poem for Today
By Jane Kenyon
I got out of bed
on two strong legs.
It might have been
otherwise. I ate
milk, ripe, flawless
peach. It might
have been otherwise.
I took the dog uphill
to the birch wood.
All morning I did
the work I love.
At noon I lay down
with my mate. It might
have been otherwise.
We ate dinner together
at a table with silver
candlesticks. It might
have been otherwise.
I slept in a bed
in a room with paintings
on the walls, and
planned another day
just like this day.
But one day, I know,
it will be otherwise.
American Art – Part III of III: Cody Erickson
In the words of one writer, “Cody Erickson is a contemporary painter who graduated with a BFA from the College for Creative Studies in Detroit, MI. For Cody, creating paintings with subjects ranging from landscape to portrait, ‘just feels natural.’ Continually inspired by masters from the past and present, he strives to generate work that captures his subjects in a way in which illuminates their inherent beauty and continues the rich qualities of the painting traditions.”