August Offerings – Part XV: Something to Delight both Head and Heart

American Art – Part I of IV; Kyle Polzin

According to one writer, “Born on January 16, 1974, Kyle Polzin grew up in South Texas, and began developing his artistic skills at a young age with the guidance of his father. Brought up around horses and the Gulf coast, Kyle grew to appreciate the beauty and heritage of his Texas surroundings which is reflected in his art. He worked closely with his grandfathers who were both skilled carpenters, and through their teachings, learned the meaning of craftsmanship and the reward of creating with your hands.
In 1992 Kyle began his formal training in fine art at Victoria College with emphasis in oil painting. During this time, he participated in instructional sessions under the master painter Dalhart Windberg who became his longtime mentor. After college Kyle worked as a graphic artist and web designer, while painting in his free time. As his popularity and success as a painter grew, he switched to painting full time in 2000. He currently resides in Austin, Texas with his wife Leigh along with their two young daughters.”






Here is one critic describing French painter Marc Dailly (born 1978): “His universe is that of childhood and daily life, sublimated by dream and the supernatural.”







Died 15 August 1925 – Konrad Magi, an Estonian landscape painter.

Below – “Beach Landscape”; “Landscape with Rocks”; “Landscape of Norway”; “Motif from Saaremaa”; “Capri Island.”






Born 15 August 1954 – Mary Jo Salter, an American poet, a co-editor of the “Norton Anthology of Poetry,” and a professor in the Writing Seminars program at Johns Hopkins University.


6:48 a.m., and leaden
little jokes about what heroes
we are for getting up at this hour.
Quiet. The surf and sandpipers running.
T minus ten and counting, the sun
mounting over Canaveral
a swollen coral, a color
bright as camera lights. We’re blind-
sided by a flash:

shot from the unseen
launching pad, and so from nowhere,
a flame-tipped arrow—no, an airborne
pen on fire, its ink a plume
of smoke which, even while zooming
upward, stays as oddly solid
as the braided tail of a tornado,
and lingers there as lightning would
if it could steal its own thunder.

—Which, when it rumbles in, leaves
under or within it a million
firecrackers going off, a thrill
of distant pops and rips in delayed
reaction, hitting the beach in fading
waves as the last glint of shuttle
receives our hands’ eye-shade salute:
the giant point of all the fuss soon
smaller than a star.

Only now does a steady, low
sputter above us, a lawn mower
cutting a corner of the sky,
grow audible. Look, it’s a biplane!—
some pilot’s long-planned, funny tribute
to wonder’s always-dated orbit
and the itch of afterthought. I swat
my ankle, bitten by a sand gnat:
what the locals call no-see-’ums.

British Art – Part I of II: David Piddock

Here is one writer describing the artistry of British painter
David Piddock: “Post-Modern, Pre-Modern, Magic Realist, New Realist – David Piddock’s work has been called all these things. Individualistic, certainly, it delights in ignoring current trends in contemporary art.”







In the words of one writer, “”Tifenn Python was born in Haute-Savoie, France but grew up in Tahiti and Moorea. She has since lived in Canada, New York and most recently New Orleans, where she and her husband were displaced by Hurricane Katrina. She now makes her home in Park Slope, Brooklyn.”







“If once a man indulges himself in murder, very soon he comes to think little of robbing; and from robbing he comes next to drinking and Sabbath-breaking, and from that to incivility and procrastination. Once begun upon this downward path, you never know where you are to stop. Many a man has dated his ruin from some murder or other that perhaps he thought little of at the time.” – Thomas De Quincey, English essayist best known as the author of “Confessions of an English Opium-Eater,” a book that many scholars believe inaugurated the tradition of addiction literature in the West, who was born 15 August 1785.

Some quotes from the work of Thomas De Quincy:

“Here was the secret of happiness, about which philosophers had disputed for so many ages, at once discovered; happiness might now be bought for a penny, and carried in the waistcoat-pocket; portable ecstasies might be had corked up in a pint-bottle; and peace of mind could be sent down by the mail.”
“Surely everyone is aware of the divine pleasures which attend a wintry fireside; candles at four o’clock, warm hearthrugs, tea, a fair tea-maker, shutters closed, curtains flowing in ample draperies to the floor, whilst the wind and rain are raging audibly without.”
“The public is a bad guesser.”
“For tea, though ridiculed by those who are naturally of coarse nerves, or are become so from wine-drinking, and are not susceptible of influence from so refined a stimulant, will always be the favourite beverage of the intellectual.”

According to one writer, after graduating from the Art Department of the People’s Liberation Army Art Academy, Chinese painter Li Xiaogang continued his studies in Japan and Italy.







American Art – Part II of IV: Wyoming Artists

Below – Karla Nolan: “Spring Fields of Wyoming”; Sheldon Tapley: “Rendezvous Mountain, Wyoming”; James Bama: “Contemporary Sioux Indian”; Chessney Sevier: “Mint Bar, Sheridan, Wyoming”; Armella Kirk Benton: “Josephine’s Place.”





Born 15 August 1776 – Gottlieb Schick, a German Neoclassical painter.

Below – “Apollo and the Shepherds”; “Portrait of Heinricke Dannecker”; “Achilles Welcoming Agamemnon’s Ambassadors”; “Portrait of Frau von Cotta.”




British Art – Part II of II: Sue Vesely

Here is the Artist Statement of English painter Sue Vesely (born 1953): “
My work is the result of my chasing visions that I can almost see. I want to make a visual expression of feelings and thoughts I have experienced in the past and in imagination and dreams. On a conscious level I put a construction on the images that I make so that they make formal visual sense to the viewer. I want to find and to make visible the thing I am looking for, and I want to show it in a form that will communicate it. I want the viewer to feel that he is seeing something that is from his own life.

I have a fund of ideas, a vocabulary which comes from early memories of colour and space. Some of these images are views of remembered spaces. Some of these imagined images are an attempt to make a feeling into the visual, by constructing spaces which would make me feel like that, or by making a figure whose attitude shows how it feels to be in that space.

 I start with a space or a figure expressing a feeling from this fund of ideas. Once I have something to look at two things start to happen. The picture evolves as I add on ideas as a response to what I see, with a logic the viewer can read and engage with. Also, I respond to what’s on the canvas formally, within the structure I have created I can work with ideas I have about language, which may or may not consciously interest the onlooker, but which are the core of the development of the work.
Since 2008, Sue Vesely has lived and worked in Sydney, Australia.






From the Movie Archives: “The Wizard of Oz”

15 August 1939 – The Hollywood premiere of “The Wizard of Oz” takes place at Grauman’s Chinese Theatre.

Italian painter Imma Visconte (born 1974) lives and works in Milan.









Born 15 August 1845 – Walter Crane, an English painter and book illustrator.

Below – “Neptune’s Horses”; Illustration for “The Lady of Shalott”; cover of a toy book; Illustration for “The Frog Prince”; “The Renaissance of Venus” from “The Yellow Book.”


“Then there were long, lazy summer afternoons when there was nothing to do but read. And dream. And watch the town go by to supper. I think that is why our great men and women so often have sprung from small towns, or villages. They have had time to dream in their adolescence. No cars to catch, no matinees, no city streets, none of the teeming, empty, energy-consuming occupations of the city child. Little that is competitive, much that is unconsciously absorbed at the most impressionable period, long evenings for reading, long afternoons in the fields or woods.” – Edna Ferber, American novelist, short story writer, playwright, and author of “So Big” (1924, which won the Pulitzer Prize), who was born 15 August 1885.

Some quotes from the work of Edna Ferber:

“Whoever said love conquers all was a fool. Because almost everything conquers love – or tries to.”
“Perhaps too much of everything is as bad as too little.”
“Being an old maid is like death by drowning, a really delightful sensation after you cease to struggle.”
“I never go to weddings. Waste of time. Person can get married a dozen times. Lots of folks do. Family like ours, know everybody in the state of Texas and around outside, why, you could spend your life going to weddings. But a funeral, that’s different. You only die once.”
“A woman can look both moral and exciting . . . if she also looks as if it was quite a struggle.”
“A closed mind is a dying mind.”
“Any piece of furniture, I don’t care how beautiful it is, has got to be lived with, and kicked about, and rubbed down, and mistreated…, and repolished, and knocked around and dusted and sat on or slept in or eaten off of before it develops its real character.”

“Everything we see hides another thing; we always want to see what is hidden by what we see.” – Rene Magritte, Belgian surrealist painter, who died 15 August 1967.

Below – “The Empire of Light”; “The Lovers II”; “The Human Condition”; “The Mysteries of the Horizon”; “Time Transfixed.”






From the Music Archives: Woodstock

15 August 1969 – A bunch of drug-addled hippies begin their three-day “Aquarian Exposition” in Max Yasgur’s cow pasture in Woodstock, New York.

Actually, I was at this “Festival,” and if you watch the Woodstock documentary and look carefully, you will see me in the audience. I’m the guy with long hair.

Here is one writer describing the background of painter Cornelia Hernes: “Cornelia was born in Norway in 1979. She graduated from The Florence Academy of Art, Italy in 2007 after achieving a Bachelors of Fine Arts degree from University of Victoria, British Colombia, Canada in 2003. In Canada, she became acquainted with the paradigms of conceptual art, and became even more determined to pursue classical realism. Since her early teens she has been particularly interested in depicting human emotion and expression as a way to convey a mood, story or insight. Her interests have expanded over time to include the serenity of still lives and the intimacy of interiors.”







“If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went.” – William Penn Adair “Will” Rogers, American cowboy, vaudeville performer, humorist, motion picture actor, and social commentator, who died 15 August 1935.

Some quotes from the work of Will Rogers:

“Too many people spend money they haven’t earned, to buy things they don’t want, to impress people that they don’t like.”
“Even if you are on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there.”
“There are three kinds of men. The ones that learn by readin’. The few who learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves.”
“All I know is just what I read in the papers, and that’s an alibi for my ignorance.”
“There are two theories to arguing with a woman. Neither works.”
“Everyone is ignorant, only on different subjects.”
“Don’t let yesterday take up too much of today”
“When you find yourself in a hole, quit digging.”
“The road to success is dotted with many tempting parking spaces.”
“The short memories of the American voters is what keeps our politicians in office.”
“If pro is the opposite of con, what is the opposite of Congress?”
“The minute you read something that you can’t understand, you can almost be sure that it was drawn up by a lawyer. ”
“I don’t make jokes. I just watch the government and report the facts.”
“The trouble with practical jokes is that very often they get elected.”
“Ten men in our country could buy the whole world and ten million can’t buy enough to eat.
“You know horses are smarter than people. You never heard of a horse going broke betting on people.”
“There is no trick to being a humorist when you have the whole government working for you.”
“I am not a member of any organized political party — I am a Democrat. ”
“The problem ain’t what people know. It’s what people know that ain’t so that’s the problem.”
“The income tax has made more liars out of the American people than golf has.”
“Buy land. They ain’t making any more of the stuff.”
“Good judgment comes from experience, and a lot of that comes from bad judgment.”
“Most men are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.”
“You can’t say civilization don’t advance, in every war they kill you in a new way”
“I’ll bet you the time ain’t far off when a woman won’t know any more than a man.”
“I never met a man that I didn’t like.”

American Art – Part III of IV: Tim O’Kane

Artist Statement: “Four years ago I began a concerted effort to include still-life as one of my major subject areas
A favorite quote of mine came from the Russian director Andrei Tarkowsky. He said, ‘Time cannot vanish without trace for it is a subjective, spiritual category and the time we have lived settles in our soul as an experience placed within time. In a sense the past is far more real or at any rate more stable, more resilient than the present. The present slips and vanishes like sand between the fingers, acquiring material weight only in its recollection.’
Within the definition of ‘Still-Life’ is the quality of stabilizing that, which is ever moving and becoming our past. The objects are collected and arranged, illuminated by the light of the studio window, the drawing is made, the colors gradually applied, tonalities adjusted toward warmth or coolness, details articulated, many seen only after extended observation. Days go by, weeks sometimes before it is done. In that time, it has become both an illusion and an actual thing, an object – both a recollection and an experience in the present.”








A Poem for Today

By Donald (Grady) Davidson

Into a crock of gold he’d set some weeds,
Behold swart devils in the sunniest weather;
He would lump the saint and the courtesan together,
Most miserably jangling all the creeds.

The prurient multitude heard he was mad,
Yet nosed his books for some pornography.
The censors doubted his virginity,
And secretly conned the works that they forbade.

Reporters found this dangerous oddity
In rusty pantaloons, mowing the green,
And wondered how so dull a wretch could have seen
A naked Venus disturbing an alien sea.

He watched their backs receding down the street,
Raked up the grass, and suddenly had a vision
Of how Venus, bathing, saw with amused derision
Behind the bushes peeping satyrs’ feet.

Below – Henri Pierre Picou: “Venus”

American Art – Part IV of IV: Art from the Museum of Contemporary Native Arts in Sante Fe, New Mexico

Below – Henry Payer: “Up on Their High Horse”; Harry Maidu:
“Fire”; Anthony Suina: untitled; Mike Romero: “Woman Draped in Flag”; Frank Sheridan: untitled; Roger Tsabetsaye: “Beauty That Follows.”






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