American Art – Part I of III: Joel Carson Jones
Artist Statement: ”As a painter I strive for consistent improvement. I am drawn to heightened realism with the painstaking dedication it takes to achieve this. I am also driven to the challenge of interweaving emotion into these technical pieces. Through emotion, I strive to give a humanistic quality to such work.”
Here is the Artist Statement of Bulgarian painter Iskren Semkov (born 1984): “Painting has been my passion since my childhood. Although I made an attempt to become a ‘normal’ person, studying Ecology, I needed less than a year to understand that painting can’t just be a hobby for me.
My paintings reflect the mystery of life. The nature is a mystery. The life is a mystery. Everything around us is a big mystery. I take objects from my daily surroundings and from the nature, arrange them into a canvas space, trying to make an optical illusion and at the same time I concern various mystery themes. Sometimes I am inspired by luck, sometimes by a muse – or by nature, or infinity. These themes spread a surrealistic touch into my paintings and that makes them magically realistic. I work strictly with oil paint. The characteristic of my technique is putting many color layers until I accomplish a satisfactory realistic image. I experiment with color combinations. Although the colors of my paintings may look homogeneous, when you approach the canvas you will see many nuances of different colors.”
Some quotes from the work of Florence Nightingale:
“Rather, ten times, die in the surf, heralding the way to a new world, than stand idly on the shore.”
“A woman cannot live in the light of intellect. Society forbids it. Those conventional frivolities, which are called her ‘duties,’ forbid it. Her ‘domestic duties,’ high-sounding words, which, for the most part, are but bad habits (which she has not the courage to enfranchise herself from, the strength to break through), forbid it.”
“The very first requirement in a hospital is that it should do the sick no harm.”
“I am of certain convinced that the greatest heroes are those who do their duty in the daily grind of domestic affairs whilst the world whirls as a maddening dreidel.”
“Happiness is the gradual realization of a worthy ideal or goal.”
In the words of one writer, “Elena Arcangeli was born in Florence in 1972 and graduated from the high school for visual arts in 1991. After studying graphic arts for a period and working in decorative painting, Ms Arcangeli enrolled in The Florence Academy of Art in 1994 and completed the painting program in 1998.”
“One always has to spoil a picture a little bit, in order to finish it.” – Eugene Delacroix, French Romantic artist, who died 13 August 1863.
From the Music Archives: Joe Tex
Died 13 August 1982 – Joseph Arrington, Jr., better known as Joe Tex, an American musician and vocalist who gained success in the 1960s and 1970s with his brand of Southern soul, a genre which mixed the styles of country, gospel, and rhythm and blues.
Strange the world about me lies,
Never yet familiar grown-
Still disturbs me with surprise,
Haunts me like a face half known.
In this house with starry dome,
Floored with gemlike plains and seas,
Shall I never feel at home,
Never wholly be at ease?
On from room to room I stray,
Yet my Host can ne’er espy,
And I know not to this day
Whether guest or captive I.
So, between the starry dome
And the floor of plains and seas,
I have never felt at home,
Never wholly been at ease.
Born 13 August 1886 – Jacobus Pierneef, a South African
“Sometimes, you have to step outside of the person you’ve been and remember the person you were meant to be. The person you want to be. The person you are.” – Herbert George “H. G.” Wells, English writer best remembered for his science fiction novels – for which Wells is sometimes regarded as the father of science fiction, including “The War of the Worlds,” “The Time Machine,” and “The Invisible Man,” who died 13 August 1946.
Some quotes from the work of H. G. Wells:
“It is possible to believe that all the past is but the beginning of a beginning, and that all that is and has been is but the twilight of the dawn. It is possible to believe that all the human mind has ever accomplished is but the dream before the awakening.”
“Moral indignation is jealousy with a halo.”
“If you fell down yesterday, stand up today.”
“If we don’t end war, war will end us.”
“Advertising is legalized lying.”
“Every time I see an adult on a bicycle, I no longer despair for the future of the human race.”
“Once you lose yourself, you have two choices: find the person you used to be, or lose that person completely.”
“We all have our time machines, don’t we? Those that take us back are memories…And those that carry us forward, are dreams.”
“Go away. I’m all right.” (the last words of H. G. Wells)
In 1995, Russian painter Alexander Saidoff (born 1970) was accepted into the prestigious Union of Artists in Russia.
American Art – Part II of III: Gleb Derujinsky
Born 13 August 1888 – Gleb Derujinsky, a Russian-American sculptor. Derujinsky emigrated to the United States in 1909.
Great-Spirited American Women – Part I of II: Annie Oakley
“Aim at a high mark and you’ll hit it. No, not the first time, nor the second time. Maybe not the third. But keep on aiming and keep on shooting for only practice will make you perfect.” – Annie Oakley, American sharpshooter, exhibition shooter, and a star in Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show,” who was born 13 August 1860.
Some quotes from the work of Annie Oakley:
“Housework is work directly opposed to the possibility of human self-actualization.”
“Clearly, society has a tremendous stake in insisting on a woman’s natural fitness for the career of mother: the alternatives are all too expensive.”
“If love means that one person absorbs the other, then no real relationship exists any more. Love evaporates; there is nothing left to love. The integrity of self is gone.”
“Families are nothing other than the idolatry of duty.”
“There are always women who will take men on their own terms. If I were a man I wouldn’t bother to change while there are women like that around.”
Great-Spirited American Women – Part II of II: Mary Austin
“Genius…arises in the natural, aboriginal concern for the conscious unity of all phenomenon.” – Mary Hunter Austin, one of the earliest and best nature writers of the American Southwest and the author of “The Land of Little Rain” – a true classic of outdoor writing – who died 13 August 1934.
Some quotes from the work of Mary Austin, who is one of my favorite writers:
“Probably we never fully credit the interdependence of wild creatures, and their cognizance of the affairs of their own kind.”
“Man is a great blunderer going about in the woods, and there is no other except the bear makes so much noise.”
“The manner of the country makes the usage of life there, and the land will not be lived in except in its own fashion.”
“People would be surprised to know how much I learned about prayer from playing poker.”
“This is the sense of the desert hills, that there is room enough and time enough.”
“We are not all born at once, but by bits. The body first, and the spirit later…Our mothers are racked with the pains of our physical birth; we ourselves suffer the longer pains of our spiritual growth.”
“What women have to stand on squarely is not their ability to see the world in the way men see it, but the importance and validity of their seeing it in some other way.”
“Nevertheless there are certain peaks, canons, and clear meadow spaces which are above all compassing of words, and have a certain fame as of the nobly great to whom we give no familiar names.”
“The country where you may have sight and touch of that which is written lies between the high Sierras south from Yosemite—east and south over a very great assemblage of broken ranges beyond Death Valley, and on illimitably into the Mojave Desert. You may come into the borders of it from the south by a stage journey that has the effect of involving a great lapse of time, or from the north by rail, dropping out of the overland route at Reno. The best of all ways is over the Sierra passes by pack and trail, seeing and believing. But the real heart and core of the country are not to be come at in a month’s vacation. One must summer and winter with the land and wait its occasions. Pine woods that take two and three seasons to the ripening of cones, roots that lie by in the sand seven years awaiting a growing rain, firs that grow fifty years before flowering,—these do not scrape acquaintance. But if ever you come beyond the borders as far as the town that lies in a hill dimple at the foot of Kearsarge, never leave it until you have knocked at the door of the brown house under the willow-tree at the end of the village street, and there you shall have such news of the land, of its trails and what is astir in them, as one lover of it can give to another.” – From the “Preface” of “The Land of Little Rain”
Below – Mary Hunter Austin, circa 1900; Austin’s great book; Mary Austin talking with Jack London (to her right in the photograph) in Carmel, California, sometime between 1902 and 1907; “the brown house under the willow-tree at the end of the village street” – Mary Austin’s house today (Historical Landmark No. 229).
A Poem for Today
By Edna St. Vincent Millay
If it were only still!—
With far away the shrill
Crying of a cock;
Or the shaken bell
From a cow’s throat
Moving through the bushes;
Or the soft shock
Of wizened apples falling
From an old tree
In a forgotten orchard
Upon the hilly rock!
Oh, grey hill,
Where the grazing herd
Licks the purple blossom,
Crops the spiky weed!
Oh, stony pasture,
Where the tall mullein
Stands up so sturdy
On its little seed!
Below – Ronald P. Mack: “Cows in Pasture”
American Art – Part III of III: Crystal Morey
Artist Statement: “I grew up in a small town in the Sierra Nevada foothills of California. Living so close to nature filled my early years with an appreciation for the natural world and gave me an understanding of plant and animal life cycles. I spent my free time swimming in the river, climbing trees, playing in the snow, and exploring and building forts out in the forest. These early experiences filled my life with joy, imagination, and a tendency for inward contemplation.
My experience of living in this place is what inspires my work today. I am interested in both how people are affected by their environment and how they affect the environment. I now live in Oakland, California and the urban landscape in my daily life is a stark contrast to the mountains and trees I grew up in. Our days are filled with so many modern amenities and I wonder if what we have is worth it. Today every action has a reaction we can see: in climate change, de-forestation, ocean acidity, and the hunting of animals. All of these actions are causing havoc and leading us to an unsustainable environment.
These are the ideas I keep in my mind when I am making sculpture. I am interested in the effects these difficult situations have on the human psyche and how we respond to them. I try to show the stresses in our cohabitation through making sculptures of humans, animals, the environment and the delicate dependencies we share.
I am interested in how human advancements in technology, agriculture, and urbanization have imposed stress on natural ecosystems and the species that live in them. Through my sculptures I try to humanize these ideas and present them in a way that is accessible, interesting, and conversation provoking.”