July Offerings – Part II: Something to Delight both Head and Heart

American Art – Part I of II: Suzanne Schireson

Susanne Schireson has a B.F.A. from the University of Pennsylvania and an M.F.A from Indiana University.
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From the Music Archives: Paul Williams

Born 2 July 1939 – Paul Williams, American vocalist and one of the founding members and original lead singer of The Temptations.

Italian Art – Part I of II: Giuseppi Celi

In the words of one writer, Italian painter Giuseppe Celi “started his studies at the Art School of Reggio Calabria and completes them in Catanzaro, where successively he attends the Free School of the Nude by the Academy of Art. He gradually extends his education with new experiences, attending the International Courses of Lithography at the Institute of Art in Urbino and Courses of Experimental Chalcography “Goetz” at the International School of Grafics in Venice.”
Giuseppe Celi
Giuseppe Celi
Giuseppe Celi

From the Cinema Archives: “Plan 9 from Outer Space”

“Greetings, my friend. We are all interested in the future, for that is where you and I are going to spend the rest of our lives. And remember my friend, future events such as these will affect you in the future. You are interested in the unknown… the mysterious. The unexplainable. That is why you are here. And now, for the first time, we are bringing to you, the full story of what happened on that fateful day. We are bringing you all the evidence, based only on the secret testimony, of the miserable souls, who survived this terrifying ordeal. The incidents, the places. My friend, we cannot keep this a secret any longer. Let us punish the guilty. Let us reward the innocent. My friend, can your heart stand the shocking facts of grave robbers from outer space?” – From “Plan 9 From Outer Space,” a science fiction movie released on 2 July 1959 that was written and directed by Ed Wood and which is one of the worst films in the history of cinema. Want proof? Just click on the link below.

Italian Art – Part II of II: Francesca Strino

Here is one critic describing the background of Italian artist Francesca Strino: “Francesca was born in 1979 in Naples, Italy. Francesca Strino’s powerful paintings reflect the influence of her father, Maestro Gianni Strino. She graduated from the Accademia di Belle Arti di Napoli with specialisation in sculpture and portraiture. Her potential as an artist was soon recognised and she was invited to submit her work for an exhibition held in 2002 celebrating the two hundred and fiftieth anniversary of the Accademia di Belle Arti di Napoli.”
Francesca Strino
Francesca Strino
Francesca Strino
Francesca Strino
Francesca Strino
Francesca Strino

From the American History Archives: Jack Dempsey

2 July 1921 – Jack Dempsey knocks out Georges Carpentier in the fourth round to retain his Heavyweight Champion title. The fight was the first million dollar gate boxing match.

Here is one critic describing the background of Spanish painter Alvar Sunol Munoz-Ramos: “(He) was born on January 20, 1935 in Montgat, a Catalan fishing village on the outskirts of Barcelona, Spain. Sunol Alvar grew up on the sunny Mediterranean coast with his father Tomas, mother Antonia and his older brother and sister, Jordi and Amadea. Showing a great artistic talent as a youth, he attended the prestigious Sant Jordi Art School in Barcelona at age 16.
At age 18, Alvar won the Alhambra de Granada grant, a summer scholarship that allowed him to travel and paint throughout Spain. This was the birth of Alvar’s style and the laying of the technical foundation that would accompany him over the following years. Alvar returned home and entered a painting in competition for the Young Painter’s Prize sponsored by the City of Barcelona. He won the Grand Prize and the painting was acquired by the Museum of Modern Art in Barcelona for its permanent collection.”

Nobel Laureate – Part I of III: Hermann Hesse

“Whoever wants music instead of noise, joy instead of pleasure, soul instead of gold, creative work instead of business, passion instead of foolery, finds no home in this trivial world of ours.” – Hermann Hesse, German poet, novelist, author of “Steppenwolf,” painter, and recipient of the 1946 Nobel Prize in Literature “for his inspired writings which, while growing in boldness and penetration, exemplify the classical humanitarian ideals and high qualities of style,” who was born 2 July 1887.

Some quotes from the work of Hermann Hesse:

“Knowledge can be communicated, but not wisdom. One can find it, live it, be fortified by it, do wonders through it, but one cannot communicate and teach it.”
“Learn what is to be taken seriously and laugh at the rest.”
“Our mind is capable of passing beyond the dividing line we have drawn for it. Beyond the pairs of opposites of which the world consists, other, new insights begin.”
“There’s no reality except the one contained within us. That’s why many people live an unreal life. They take images outside them for reality and never allow the world within them to assert itself.”
“I believe that for all its patent absurdities life nevertheless has a meaning. I resign myself to being unable to find this ultimate meaning with my reason, but I am prepared to serve it even if it means sacrificing myself.
Such faith cannot be commanded; we cannot force it on ourselves. We can only experience it. Those who cannot do so seek faith in the church or in science or in patriotism or socialism, in some quarter where there are ready-made moralities, programs and prescriptions.”
“Like art and poetry, the religions and myths are an attempt on the part of mankind to express in images the ineffable, which you are trying in vain to translate into shallow rationality.” ”
“Freedom from conventions is not synonymous with inner freedom. For the higher type of men, life in the world without rigidly formulated faith is not easier, but far more difficult because they themselves must create and choose the obligations that would govern their lives.”
“We shall lose nothing by leaving the manuals, surveys, and histories of philosophies unread; any work by an original thinker gives us more, for it compels us to think for ourselves, trains and enhances our consciousness.”

Below – A few paintings by Hermann Hesse: “Casa Bodmer”; “View to Italy”; “Certenego”; “Sunflowers in Montagnola”; “Mountain Village in Ticino.”

The paintings of Chilean artist Daniel Alejandro Rojas Espinoza have won many awards.
Francesca Strino

Nobel Laureate – Part II of III: Ernest Hemingway

“But man is not made for defeat. A man can be destroyed but not defeated.” – Ernest Hemingway, American writer, journalist, author of “In Our Time” and “The Sun Also Rises,” and recipient of the 1954 Nobel Prize in Literature “for his mastery of the art of narrative, most recently demonstrated in ‘The Old Man and the Sea,’ and for the influence that he has exerted on contemporary style,” who died 2 July 1961.

Some quotes from the work of Ernest Hemingway:

“Never think that war, no matter how necessary, nor how justified, is not a crime.”
“Happiness in intelligent people is the rarest thing I know.”
“Always do sober what you said you’d do drunk. That will teach you to keep your mouth shut.”
“All thinking men are atheists.”
“I drink to make other people more interesting.”
“If people bring so much courage to this world the world has to kill them to break them, so of course it kills them. The world breaks every one and afterward many are strong at the broken places. But those that will not break it kills. It kills the very good and the very gentle and the very brave impartially. If you are none of these you can be sure it will kill you too but there will be no special hurry.”
“Every man’s life ends the same way. It is only the details of how he lived and how he died that distinguish one man from another.”
“Never confuse movement with action.”
“It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end.”

Russian painter Andrei Belichenko was born in Kazakhstan in 1974.

Nobel Laureate – Part III of III: Wislawa Szymborska

“I like being near the top of a mountain. One can’t get lost here.” – Wislawa Szymborska, Polish poet known as “the Mozart of Poetry,” essayist, translator, and recipient of the 1996 Nobel Prize in Literature for poetry that with ironic precision allows the historical and biological context to come to light in fragments of human reality,” who was born 2 July 1923.


Despite the geologists’ knowledge and craft,
mocking magnets, graphs, and maps—
in a split second the dream
piles before us mountains as stony
as real life.

And since mountains, then valleys, plains
with perfect infrastructures.
Without engineers, contractors, workers,
bulldozers, diggers, or supplies—
raging highways, instant bridges,
thickly populated pop-up cities.

Without directors, megaphones, and cameramen—
crowds knowing exactly when to frighten us
and when to vanish.

Without architects deft in their craft,
without carpenters, bricklayers, concrete pourers—
on the path a sudden house just like a toy,
and in it vast halls that echo with our steps
and walls constructed out of solid air.

Not just the scale, it’s also the precision—
a specific watch, an entire fly,
on the table a cloth with cross-stitched flowers,
a bitten apple with teeth marks.

And we—unlike circus acrobats,
conjurers, wizards, and hypnotists—
can fly unfledged,
we light dark tunnels with our eyes,
we wax eloquent in unknown tongues,
talking not with just anyone, but with the dead.

And as a bonus, despite our own freedom,
the choices of our heart, our tastes,
we’re swept away
by amorous yearnings for—
and the alarm clock rings.

So what can they tell us, the writers of dream books,
the scholars of oneiric signs and omens,
the doctors with couches for analyses—
if anything fits,
it’s accidental,
and for one reason only,
that in our dreamings,
in their shadowings and gleamings,
in their multiplings, inconceivablings,
in their haphazardings and widescatterings
at times even a clear-cut meaning
may slip through.

Below – Harry Jacques: “Haitian Dreams”

Born 2 July 1904 – Gerarda “Meik” Rueter, a Dutch sculptor.

Below – “Water Nymph with Young Man”; “Mother and Child”; “Angel Musician.”

British Art – Part I of IV: Andrew Talbot

Here is part of the Artist Statement of English painter Andrew Talbot (born 1972): “(I have) a passion for paint and an obsession with light. All of my paintings, I hope, are tied together by my continued passion for the effect of light has on a subject. I strive to depict the beauty and reality of everyday objects, people and those special places we know. My aim is to depict subjects which people want to reach out and grab or to step inside and feel the sunlight on their face. It is the goal of trying to master this reality with a brush and a dozen or so oil pigments, that is the challenge of painting to me.”

“Everyone has ocean’s to fly, if they have the heart to do it. Is it reckless? Maybe. But what do dreams know of boundaries?” – Amelia Earhart, American aviation pioneer and author, who went missing 2 July 1937. She was declared deceased 5 January 1939.

In the words of one historian, “Earhart was the first female aviator to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean. She received the U.S. Distinguished Flying Cross for this record. She set many other records, wrote best-selling books about her flying experiences, and was instrumental in the formation of The Ninety-Nines, an organization for female pilots. Earhart joined the faculty of the Purdue University aviation department in 1935 as a visiting faculty member to counsel women on careers and help inspire others with her love for aviation.
During an attempt to make a circumnavigational flight of the globe in 1937 in a Purdue-funded Lockheed Model 10 Electra, Earhart disappeared over the central Pacific Ocean near Howland Island. Fascination with her life, career and disappearance continues to this day.”

Some quotes from the work of Amelia Earhart:

“Experiment! Meet new people. That’s better than any college education . . . By adventuring; about, you become accustomed to the unexpected. The unexpected then becomes what it really is . . . the inevitable.”
“No kind action ever stops with itself. One kind action leads to another. Good example is followed. A single act of kindness throws out roots in all directions, and the roots spring up and make new trees. The greatest work that kindness does to others is that it makes them kind themselves.”
“Never interrupt someone doing what you said could not be done.”
“The most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity.”
“Courage is the price that Life exacts for granting peace,
The soul that knows it not, knows no release,
From little things;
Knows not the livid loneliness of fear
Nor mountain heights where bitter joy can hear
The sound of wings.”

British Art – Part II of IV: Aron Meynell

Here is one critic describing the artistry of British painter Aron Meynell: “Aron Meynell’s work portrays the quiet and uncertain world of abandoned figures in insecure eerie environments, alongside the discovery of beauty and comfort within them. Meynell uses sleep and hibernation as a place for his characters to process discomforts, and to discover treasures left behind from their decayed and neglected existence. The characters in Aron’s narratives are no longer concerned with their exposed skin or the feelings that isolation can bring; they are instead released from their impurities, finding freedom in the unknown. ”
Meynell was born in Birmingham, England, but was raised in Detroit, Michigan. He received his bachelors in fine art at the College for Creative Studies in Detroit. Aron continued his education at the Academy of Art San Francisco where he received his masters in fine art.”
Aron Meynell
Aron Meynell
Aron Meynell

“He went and came

And asked each thing

Its name.” – “Coral,” by Sophia de Mello Breyner Andresen, Portuguese poet and writer, who died 2 July 2004. “Coral” was her cat.


The pines moan when the wind passes

The sun beats on the earth and the stones burn.

Fantastic sea gods stroll at the edge of the world

Crusted with salt and brilliant as fishes.

Sudden wild birds hurled

Against the light into the sky like stones

Mount and die vertically

Their bodies taken by space.

The waves butt as if to smash the light

Their brows ornate with columns.

And an ancient nostalgia of being a mast

Sways in the pines.

splish splash2

British Art – Part III of IV: Lesley Humphrey

Here is the Artist Statement of British painter Lesley Humphrey, who lives and works in Texas: “It is my belief that we can all learn to paint, but it is in the silent, authentic, beautiful recesses of our minds and souls where the masterpiece is born. True artistic skill, the courage to interpret the images of that place, and bringing them into the world for you to experience, is my highest intention.”

A Poem for Today

“Comings and Goings,”
By Glenna Luschei

In Tucson
when a university student
goes home
she might leave her desk
and a chair, a bookcase outside her cave
with a sign, “Take me.”

And who could resist
heat radiating over furniture
like a mirage? You hoist
an old Victrola into your pickup
and ratchet up a new song.

You start that life in the West,
invent a past, and when that tune
winds down, it’s okay to put out,
“Take me.”

What do we have in life
but comings and goings?

Below – Todd Baxter: “Patina”

British Art – Part IV of IV: Paul Hedley

Here is one critic describing the background of British artist Paul Hedley: “Born in 1947, Paul Hedley was brought up in Chatham, Kent. He attended Medway College of Art from 1966-68, and Maidstone College of Art 1968-71, and was awarded the Diploma in Art and Design. He received a David Murray Landscape Scholarship in the summer of 1971, and was a prizewinner in the 1976 Camden Painting Competition.
Paul Hedley has been painting ever since he can remember, although his style has changed and developed over the years. He was fortunate to have studied at Medway and Maidstone Art Colleges, where he received a thorough grounding in traditional techniques of drawing and painting. With life and art inextricably linked, Paul paints with compulsion, subtly influenced by his environment and daily experiences. He has always admired the work of the great French painters Edgar Degas and Édouard Vuillard and their influence can be detected, to some extent, in his current subject matter of figures in interiors. Paul is technically masterful as a painter and draughtsman; he works with a limited palette of colours thereby allowing him to emphasis tonal values and relationships within the painting. His paintings are emotionally uncomplicated and unpretentious; they are a distillation of a moment in time.
Paul likes to work in natural light, from sketches and photos often listening to classical music. He starts by creating numerous preliminary sketches and when he is happy he starts to lay in tone and colour, generally working in acrylic on canvas. His drawings are produced in a “classical” manner on a toned ground in chalks often combined with watercolour and gouache.”


American Art – Part II of II: Alexa Meade

Here is one critic describing the artistry of American painter Alexa Meade (born 1986): “Alexa Meade has innovated a Trompe-L’Oeil painting technique that can perceptually compress three-dimensional space into a two-dimensional plane. Her work is a fusion of installation, painting, performance, photography, and video art.
Rather than painting a representational picture on a flat canvas, Meade paints her representational image directly on top of her three-dimensional subjects. The subject and its representation become one and the same. Essentially, her art imitates life on top of life.
Meade’s approach to portraiture questions our understanding of the body and identity. Meade coats her models with a mask of paint, obscuring the body while intimately exposing it, creating an unflinchingly raw account of the person. The painted second skin perceptually dissolves the body into a 2D caricature. The subjects become art objects as they are transformed into re-interpretations of themselves. In turn, the models’ identities become altered by their new skin, embodying Meade’s dictated definition of their image to the viewer.
Meade’s project plays on the tensions between being and permanence. The physical painting exists only for mere hours and is obliterated when the model sheds its metaphorical skin. What endures is an artifact of the performance, a 2D photograph extracted from the 3D scene. The photographic presentations create a tension between the smoothness of the physical photographs and the tactility of the painted installations captured within them, blurring the lines between what is depicted and depiction itself.”

Notes from the American West: Beautiful horses in Bozeman, Montana.

Notes from the Left Coast: The Oregon coastline is filled with breathtaking vistas.

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