American Art – Part I of III: Mary Sauer
Literary Giants – Part I of II: Goethe
“We do not have to visit a madhouse to find disordered minds; our planet is the mental institution of the universe.” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, German writer, statesman, and author of several great and influential works, including “The Sorrows of Young Werther” and “Faust,” who was born 28 August 1749.
Some quotes from the work of Goethe:
“There is nothing more frightful than ignorance in action.”
“Daring ideas are like chessmen moved forward. They may be beaten, but they may start a winning game.”
“If you’ve never eaten while crying, you don t know what life tastes like.”
“You can easily judge the character of a man by how he treats those who can do nothing for him.”
“A man sees in the world what he carries in his heart.”
“To think is easy. To act is hard. But the hardest thing in the world is to act in accordance with your thinking.”
“Nothing shows a man’s character more than what he laughs at.”
“By seeking and blundering we learn.”
“Things which matter most must never be at the mercy of things which matter least.”
“The human race is a monotonous affair. Most people spend the greatest part of their time working in order to live, and what little freedom remains so fills them with fear that they seek out any and every means to be rid of it.”
“There is nothing worse than aggressive stupidity.”
“The world is so empty if one thinks only of mountains, rivers & cities; but to know someone who thinks and feels with us, and who, though distant, is close to us in spirit, this makes the earth for us an inhabited garden.”
“Nothing is worth more than this day.”
From the American History Archives – Part I of II: St. Augustine, Florida
28 August 1585 – The Spanish establish St. Augustine, Florida, the oldest continuously occupied European-founded settlement in the continental United States. For comparison, Jamestown was founded in 1607 and Plymouth Colony in 1620.
Literary Giants – Part II of II: Tolstoy
“Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.” – Count Lev Nikolayevich Tolstoy, Russian writer, philosopher, political thinker, and author of the masterpieces “War and Peace” and “Anna Karenina,” who was born 28 August (O.S.) 1828.
Some quotes from the work of Leo Tolstoy:
“If you look for perfection, you’ll never be content.”
“It is amazing how complete is the delusion that beauty is goodness.”
“Respect was invented to cover the empty place where love should be.”
“Rummaging in our souls, we often dig up something that ought to have lain there unnoticed. ”
“The two most powerful warriors are patience and time.”
“Freethinkers are those who are willing to use their minds without prejudice and without fearing to understand things that clash with their own customs, privileges, or beliefs. This state of mind is not common, but it is essential for right thinking.”
“All the variety, all the charm, all the beauty of life is made up of light and shadow.”
“A man can live and be healthy without killing animals for food; therefore, if he eats meat, he participates in taking animal life merely for the sake of his appetite. And to act so is immoral.”
“Wrong does not cease to be wrong because the majority share in it.”
“A quiet secluded life in the country, with the possibility of being useful to people to whom it is easy to do good, and who are not accustomed to have it done to them; then work which one hopes may be of some use; then rest, nature, books, music, love for one’s neighbor — such is my idea of happiness.”
From the American History Archives – Part II of II: Tom Thumb
28 August 1830 – “Tom Thumb,” the first locomotive in the United States, makes its initial run from Baltimore to Ellicott’s Mill.
Canadian Art – Part I of II: Jacques Payette
In the words of one writer, “A self-taught artist, Jacques Payette was born in Montreal in 1951 and began exhibiting his works in the early 1970’s. Since 1990 he has worked primarily in the technically challenging and unique medium of encaustic (wax), a medium in which he is now recognized as a master. With strong figurative, still life, and landscape works, Jacques Payette always manages to express the duality of man’s nature, reconciling and contrasting the physical with the metaphysical.”
“Childhood is measured out by sounds and smells and sights, before the dark hour of reason grows.” – John Betjeman, English poet, writer, broadcaster, and Poet Laureate of the United Kingdom from 1972-1984, who was born 28 August 1906.
“Five O’Clock Shadow”
This is the time of day when we in the Men’s ward
Think “one more surge of the pain and I give up the fight.”
When he who struggles for breath can struggle less strongly:
This is the time of day which is worse than night.
A haze of thunder hangs on the hospital rose-beds,
A doctors’ foursome out of the links is played,
Safe in her sitting-room Sister is putting her feet up:
This is the time of day when we feel betrayed.
Below the windows, loads of loving relations
Rev in the car park, changing gear at the bend,
Making for home and a nice big tea and the telly:
“Well, we’ve done what we can. It can’t be long till the end.”
Here is the brief Artist Statement of Italian sculptor Emilio Casarotto: “I am a Vicentino sculptor, born in Fimon, in the valley of the Mills. Well, I should have become a miller; however, I almost immediately chose ceramic and terracotta art, training initially at the School of Art and Crafts in Vicenza and then at the Milan School of Art.”
Note: The colorful ceramic pieces below are made from pulverized Italian Carrara marble.
“The possession of arbitrary power has always, the world over, tended irresistibly to destroy humane sensibility, magnanimity, and truth.” – Frederick Law Olmsted, American landscape architect, conservationist, journalist, social critic, public administrator, and co-designer (with Calvert Vaux) of New York City’s Central Park, who died 28 August 1903.
From the Music Archives: Richard Wagner
28 August 1850 – Richard Wagner’s opera “Lohengrin” premieres at Weimar, Germany.
American Art – Part II of III: David Mueller
Artist Statement: “I like to create renderings that capture the essence of simple, yet profound, aesthetics. The current focus of my work is primarily figurative paintings, many including some kind of decorative element. I strive to create ‘timeless’ images. My style is aimed at finding a happy medium between classical realism and impressionism. I also love to plein air paint to try to capture the essence of natural landscape.”
28 August 1845 – “Scientific American” magazine publishes its first issue. In the words of one historian, “Scientific American” is an American popular science magazine. It has a long history of presenting scientific information on a monthly basis to the general educated public, with careful attention to the clarity of its text and the quality of its specially commissioned color graphics. Many famous scientists, including Albert Einstein, have contributed articles in the past 168 years. It is the oldest continuously published monthly magazine in the United States.”
From the Movie Archives: John Huston
“You walk through a series of arches, so to speak, and then, presently, at the end of a corridor, a door opens and you see backward through time, and you feel the flow of time, and realize you are only part of a great nameless procession.” – John Huston, American film director, screenwriter, and actor, who died 28 August 1987.
John Huston directed many great movies, including “The Treasure of Sierra Madre,” “Key Largo,” “The African Queen,” and, of course, “The Maltese Falcon.”
“Being true to yourself really means being true to all the complexities of the human spirit.” – Rita Dove, American poet and recipient of the 1987 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry, who was born 28 August 1952.
“Teach Us to Number Our Days”
In the old neighborhood, each funeral parlor
is more elaborate than the last.
The alleys smell of cops, pistols bumping their thighs,
each chamber steeled with a slim blue bullet.
Low-rent balconies stacked to the sky.
A boy plays tic-tac-toe on a moon
crossed by TV antennae, dreams
he has swallowed a blue bean.
It takes root in his gut, sprouts
and twines upward, the vines curling
around the sockets and locking them shut.
And this sky, knotting like a dark tie?
The patroller, disinterested, holds all the beans.
Canadian Art Part II of II: Vivian Thierfelder
Artist Statement: “In choosing the subjects for my latest works, I have concentrated on the linear aspects of flowers and still life, allowing colour and form to emerge with the use of strong natural light and often employing elements of chiaroscuro. Contrast heightens the impact for the viewer and reveals the objects – flowers, glass or metallics to their best advantage. I have a fascination with light playing on various textures (petals, leaves, cloth), reflective surfaces (brass, steel) and densities (water, glass). A secondary motif that I explore at times is colour-related borders “imposed” on the works, creating a kind of window, adding energy and an element of mystery. I find it quite magical – the manner in which a brush, pigments and paper can create a ‘reality’: the illusion of three dimensions in two. I hope you enjoy these works and feel the same sense of wonder that I did in creating them.”
American Muse – Part II of II: William Stafford
“I have woven a parachute out of everything broken.” – William Stafford, American poet and pacifist, who died 28 August 1993.
“The Way It Is”
There’s a thread you follow. It goes among
things that change. But it doesn’t change.
People wonder about what you are pursuing.
You have to explain about the thread.
But it is hard for others to see.
While you hold it you can’t get lost.
Tragedies happen; people get hurt
or die; and you suffer and get old.
Nothing you do can stop time’s unfolding.
You don’t ever let go of the thread.
Here is one critic describing the artistry of Russian-born painter Dima Dimitriev: “Dmitriev’s paintings represent forms of ‘visual paradise.’ He describes this as the process of extracting the color, light, and texture from real places and distilling these onto his canvases as idealized worlds. Dima rarely uses a brush. His preferred tool is the palette knife. Dmitriev also adds depth and color saturation to some of his works by starting with black, rather than the traditional white, canvas. Dima’s Impressionistic composition and style combined with his mastery of the palette knife create oil paintings that are vibrant and sculptural. His works often include themes of childhood, nature and the sea.”
A Poem for Today
“On The Death Of Friends in Childhood,”
By Donald Justice
We shall not ever meet them bearded in heaven
Nor sunning themselves among the bald of hell;
If anywhere, in the deserted schoolyard at twilight,
forming a ring, perhaps, or joining hands
In games whose very names we have forgotten.
Come memory, let us seek them there in the shadows.
American Art – Part III of III: Henry W. Dixon
In the words of one writer, “Henry W. Dixon paints predominately in watercolor, and is a realist painter in style, and his subjects are people, places and things, i.e., figures, landscapes and still lifes. His figures are mainly those of children and the elderly, whose actions and demeanor seem unpretentious and natural. He enjoys capturing his figures as they really are.”