American Art – Part I of IV: Timothy W. Jahn
In the words of one writer, “American born artist Timothy W. Jahn is a representational painter and teacher. He currently lives and paints in Anguilla where he is the head instructor of Ani Art Academies Anguilla.”
Here is the Artist Statement of Australian painter Linda O’Grady: “After being solely a portrait painter for nearly twenty years, I am currently enjoying the resurgence in popularity of figurative art across the country. There is endless inspiration to be found in the human figure and no shortage of subject matter in our daily lives. I love to paint the nude; the fluidity of flesh in all its forms and am totally absorbed in the burlesque/cabaret scene. Beautifully posed bodies with stunning costumes and a little dose of eroticism! I continue to paint portraits as well, religiously entering all the portrait annual exhibitions I can, but now I have a greater variety of work to show, all still telling some story or other, and what that story is very much depends on what you, the viewer, sees.
I believe art should be available to all and am trying particularly to dispel the myth that real art, and a portrait in particular, is hugely expensive or that you have to sit in a draughty artist’s studio for months on end. I’d like to feel that there is a place for my paintings in any environment.”
“Kindness is in our power, even when fondness is not.” – Samuel Johnson, English poet, essayist, moralist, literary critic, biographer, editor, and lexicographer, who was born 18 September 1709.
In the “Oxford Dictionary of National Biography,” critic Pat Rogers refers to Samuel Johnson as “arguably the most distinguished man of letters in English history.”
Some quotes from the work of Samuel Johnson:
“The true measure of a man is how he treats someone who can do him absolutely no good.”
“It is better to suffer wrong than to do it, and happier to be sometimes cheated than not to trust.”
“Integrity without knowledge is weak and useless, and knowledge without integrity is dangerous and dreadful.”
“Bachelors have consciences, married men have wives.”
“One of the disadvantages of wine is that it makes a man mistake words for thoughts.”
“Patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel.”
“The return of my birthday, if I remember it, fills me with thoughts which it seems to be the general care of humanity to escape.”
“Almost all absurdity of conduct arises from the imitation of those who we cannot resemble.”
“The use of travelling is to regulate imagination by reality, and instead of thinking how things may be, to see them as they are.”
“Courage is the greatest of all virtues, because if you haven’t courage, you may not have an opportunity to use any of the others.”
“Friendship, like love, is destroyed by long absence, though it may be increased by short intermissions.”
“No man will be a sailor who has contrivance enough to get himself into a jail; for being in a ship is being in a jail, with the chance of being drowned… a man in a jail has more room, better food, and commonly better company.”
“Nothing will ever be attempted if all possible objections must first be overcome.”
“Getting money is not all a man’s business: to cultivate kindness is a valuable part of the business of life.”
“Curiosity is one of the most permanent and certain characteristics of a vigorous intellect.”
“When making your choice in life, do not neglect to live.”
“No man can taste the fruits of autumn while he is delighting his scent with the flowers of spring.”
“Almost every man wastes part of his life attempting to display qualities which he does not possess.”
“The happiest conversation is that of which nothing is distinctly remembered, but a general effect of pleasing impression.”
“What is easy is seldom excellent.”
“It is reasonable to have perfection in our eye that we may always advance toward it, though we know it can never be reached.”
“Knowledge is of two kinds. We know a subject ourselves, or we know where we can find information upon it.”
“Language is the dress of thought.”
“The chains of habit are too weak to be felt until they are too strong to be broken.”
“He who has so little knowledge of human nature as to seek happiness by changing anything but his own disposition will waste his life in fruitless efforts.”
Above – Samuel Johnson circa 1772, painted by Sir Joshua Reynolds.
Below – James Boswell’s great biography of Johnson – “The Life of Samuel Johnson.”
From the Music Archives – Part I of III: Jimi Hendrix
Died 18 September 1970 – Jimi Hendrix, an American musician, singer, and songwriter widely considered one of the most influential electric guitarists in the history of popular music.
Here is part of the Artist Statement of Vietnamese painter Tran Quoc Vinh (born 1959): “I often paint night scenes, with shimmering lights, moonlight, and early dawn. Only at night do dreams come, and we experience our most private world.”
“To preserve the silence within–amid all the noise. To remain open and quiet, a moist humus in the fertile darkness where the rain falls and the grain ripens–no matter how many tramp across the parade ground in whirling dust under an arid sky.” – Dag Hammarskjold, Swedish diplomat, economist, author, second Secretary-General of the United Nations, and recipient (posthumously) of the 1961 Nobel Peace Prize, who died 18 September 1961.
John F. Kennedy called Dag Hammarskjöld “the greatest statesman of our century.”
Some quotes from the work of Dag Hammarskjold:
“The myths have always condemned those who ‘looked back.’ Condemned them, whatever the paradise may have been which they were leaving. Hence this shadow over each departure from your decision.”
“When you have reached the point where you no longer expect a response, you will at last be able to give in such a way that the other is able to receive, and be grateful. When Love has matured and, through a dissolution of the self into light, become a radiance, then shall the Lover be liberated from dependence upon the Beloved, and the Beloved also be made perfect by being liberated from the Lover.”
“You wake from dreams of doom and–for a moment–you know: beyond all the noise and the gestures, the only real thing, love’s calm unwavering flame in the half-light of an early dawn.”
“Friendship needs no words – it is solitude delivered from the anguish of loneliness.”
“Never, for the sake of peace and quiet, deny your own experience or convictions.”
“To have humility is to experience reality, not in relation to ourselves, but in its sacred independence. It is to see, judge, and act from the point of rest in ourselves. Then, how much disappears, and all that remains falls into place.
In the point of rest at the center of our being, we encounter a world where all things are at rest in the same way. Then a tree becomes a mystery, a cloud a revelation, each man a cosmos of whose riches we can only catch glimpses. The life of simplicity is simple, but it opens to us a book in which we never get beyond the first syllable.”
“What makes loneliness an anguish is not that I have no one to share my burden, but this: I have only my own burden to bear.”
“This accidental meeting of possibilities calls itself I. I ask: what am I doing here? And, at once, this I becomes unreal.”
“Pray that your loneliness may spur you into finding something to live for, great enough to die for.”
“Humility is just as much the opposite of self-abasement as it is of self-exaltation. To be humble is not to make comparisons. Secure in its reality, the self is neither better nor worse, bigger nor smaller, than anything else in the universe. It ‘is’ — is nothing, yet at the same time one with everything. It is in this sense that humility is absolute self-effacement.
To be nothing in the self-effacement of humility, yet, for the sake of the task, to embody its whole weight and importance in your bearing, as the one who has been called to undertake it. To give to people, works, poetry, art, what the self can contribute, and to take, simply and freely, what belongs to it by reason of its identity. Praise and blame, the winds of success and adversity, blow over such a life without leaving a trace or upsetting its balance.”
“Life only demands from you the strength you possess.”
“The longest journey is the journey inward.”
“The light died in the low clouds. Falling snow drank in the dusk. Shrouded in silence, the branches wrapped me in their peace. When the boundaries were erased, once again the wonder: that ‘I’ exist.”
“Like the bee, we distill poison from honey for our self-defense–what happens to the bee if it uses its sting is well known.”
“Do not seek death. Death will find you. But seek the road which makes death a fulfillment.”
“He is one of those who has had the wilderness for a pillow, and called a star his brother. Alone. But loneliness can be a communion.”
“It is when we all play safe that we create a world of utmost insecurity”
“Is life so wretched? Isn’t it rather your hands which are too small, your vision which is muddled? You are the one who must grow up.”
“You cannot play with the animal in you without becoming wholly animal, play with falsehood without forfeiting your right to truth, play with cruelty without losing your sensitivity of mind. He who wants to keep his garden tidy does not reserve a plot for weeds”
“Never look down to test the ground before taking your next step; only he who keeps his eye fixed on the far horizon will find the right road. ”
“Acts of violence– Whether on a large or a small scale, the bitter paradox: the meaningfulness of death–and the meaninglessness of killing.”
“If only I may grow: firmer, simpler, — quieter, warmer.”
“Never measure the height of a mountain, until you have reached the top. Then you will see how low it was.”
“At every moment you choose yourself. But do you choose ‘your’ self? Body and soul contain a thousand possibilities out of which you can build many I’s. But in one of them is there a congruence of the elector and the elected. Only one–which you will never find until you have excluded all those superficial and fleeting possibilities of being and doing with which you toy, out of curiosity or wonder or greed, and which hinder you from casting anchor in the experience of the mystery of life, and the consciousness of the talent entrusted to you which is your ‘I.’”
American Art – Part II of IV: Tom Sierak
In the words of one critic, “‘Painting tomorrow’s memories today’… that’s how Tom Sierak likes to describe his pastel paintings. He says, ‘People often talk about the “good ol’ days,” and how nice it would be to return to them. I think the times we are living now are tomorrow’s good ol’ days. Places and things may change around us, but that special bond that exists between children, parents, and grandparents and even pets, never does. I try to convey a message of warmth and emotion, and hope these late 20th century portraits of American life eventually become viewer’s window to the past.’”
“When I get ready to explain homemade fascism in America, I can take my example from the state capitol of Texas.” – J. Frank Dobie, American folklorist, writer, and newspaper columnist best known for his books depicting the traditions of life in rural Texas during the days of the open range. In the words of one historian, “As a public figure, he was known in his lifetime for his outspoken liberal views against Texas state politics, and for his long personal war against what he saw as bragging Texans, religious prejudice, restraints on individual liberty, and the assault of the mechanized world on the human spirit.”
A few quotes from J. Frank Dobie:
“I rate censors, particularly those of church and state, as low as I rate character assassins; they often run together.”
“The average PhD thesis is nothing but a transference of bones from one graveyard to another.”
“Conform and be dull.”
From the Music Archives – Part II of III: Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
“It’s complicated, being an American,
Having the money and the bad conscience, both at the same time.
Perhaps, after all, this is not the right subject for a poem.” – Louis Simpson, Jamaican-born American poet, who died 18 September 2012.
“To The Western World”
A siren sang, and Europe turned away
From the high castle and the shepherd’s crook.
Three caravels went sailing to Cathay
On the strange ocean, and the captains shook
Their banners out across the Mexique Bay.
And in our early days we did the same.
Remembering our fathers in their wreck
We crossed the sea from Palos where they came
And saw, enormous to the little deck,
A shore in silence waiting for a name.
American Art – Part III of IV: Elizabeth Robbins
In the words of one art historian, American painter Elizabeth Robbins “was raised in the Wasatch Mountains of Utah. As a child, her grandmothers would help her identify various wild flowers at their cabin above Oakley, Utah. This is where her love of flowers began. She began painting in her early 20’s but soon children became her priority and her love of painting was an occasional hobby. As the children grew, so did her desire to expand on her art. She now enjoys the freedom to devote full time to her art. Her work is in private collections throughout the United States.”
Here is one critic describing the artistry of Sibylle Peretti: “In all aspects of her work – her wall panels, dome compositions and her cast busts – Peretti acknowledges that while childhood and a flower’s bloom are fleeting, our draw to nature’s mysteries, its power to heal and its potential for beauty are always tied to our own dreams and wishes and ultimately our survival.
Sybille Peretti was born in 1964 in Mulheim-Ruhr, Germany. She was trained as a glass designer at the School for Glass Making in Zweisel, Germany. She received her MFA in painting and sculpture from the Academy of Fine Arts in Cologne, Germany.”
“The past is never where you think you left it.” – Katharine Anne Porter, American journalist, essayist, short story writer, novelist, political activist, and recipient of both the 1966 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and the 1966 National Book Award for “The Collected Stories,” who died 18 September 1980.
Some quotes from Katherine Anne Porter:
“There seems to be a kind of order in the universe…in the movement of the stars and the turning of the Earth and the changing of the seasons. But human life is almost pure chaos. Everyone takes his stance, asserts his own right and feelings, mistaking the motives of others, and his own.”
“I shall try to tell the truth, but the result will be fiction.”
“I get so tired of moral bookkeeping.”
“Love must be learned and learned again; there is no end.”
“Trust your happiness and the richness of your life at this moment. It is as true and as much yours as anything else that ever happened to you.”
“Death always leaves one singer to mourn.”
“The road to death is a long march beset with all evils, and the heart fails little by little at each new terror, the bones rebel at each step, the mind sets up its own bitter resistance and to what end? The barriers sink one by one, and no covering of the eyes shuts out the landscape of disaster, nor the sight of crimes committed there.”
“It is a simple truth that the human mind can face better the most oppressive government, the most rigid restrictions, than the awful prospect of a lawless, frontierless world. Freedom is a dangerous intoxicant and very few people can tolerate it in any quantity; it brings out the old raiding, oppressing, murderous instincts; the rage for revenge, for power, the lust for bloodshed. The longing for freedom takes the form of crushing the enemy – there is always the enemy! – into the earth; and where and who is the enemy if there is no visible establishment to attack, to destroy with blood and fire? Remember all that oratory when freedom is threatened again. Freedom, remember, is not the same as liberty.”
“The whole effort for the past one hundred years has been to remove the moral responsibility from the individual and make him blame his own human wickedness on his society, but he helps to make his society, you see, and he will not take his responsibility for his part in it.”
Greek Art – Part I of II: Irini Iliopoulou
In the words of one writer, “Irini Iliopoulou was born in Athens. From 1977-1981 she studied at the Athens School of Fine Arts. She continued her studies in Paris at the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts in the studio of Leonardo Cremonini.”
Greek Art – Part II of II: Christos Pallantzas
Here is one writer describing the background of Christos Pallantzas: “He was born in Larissa, Greece in 1962. He studied (1983-1989) at the Highest School of Fine Arts in Athens, Greece. He took Painting, Byzantine Icons’ Technique, Fresco, History of Art, History of Architecture and Rhythmology. With the scholarship of the French Government he continued with post-graduate studies at the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux Arts de Paris (1990-1992), Atelier de la Peinture of Mr. Pierre Carron.”
From the Music Archives – Part III of III: Johannes Brahms
“A Little Language,”
By Robert Duncan
I know a little language of my cat, though Dante says
that animals have no need of speech and Nature
abhors the superfluous. My cat is fluent. He
converses when he wants with me. To speak
is natural. And whales and wolves I’ve heard
in choral soundings of the sea and air
know harmony and have an eloquence that stirs
my mind and heart—they touch the soul. Here
Dante’s religion that would set Man apart
damns the effluence of our life from us
to build therein its powerhouse.
It’s in his animal communication Man is
true, immediate, and
in immediacy, Man is all animal.
His senses quicken in the thick of the symphony,
old circuits of animal rapture and alarm,
attentions and arousals in which an identity rearrives.
particular voices among
the concert, the slightest
rustle in the undertones,
rehearsing a nervous aptitude
yet to prove his. He sees the flick
of significant red within the rushing mass
of ruddy wilderness and catches the glow
of a green shirt
to delite him in a glowing field of green
—it speaks to him—
and in the arc of the spectrum color
speaks to color.
The rainbow articulates
a promise he remembers
he but imitates
in noises that he makes,
this speech in every sense
the world surrounding him.
He picks up on the fugitive tang of mace
amidst the savory mass,
and taste in evolution is an everlasting key.
There is a pun of scents in what makes sense.
Myrrh it may have been,
the odor of the announcement that filled the house.
He wakes from deepest sleep
upon a distant signal and waits
as if crouching, springs
Below – David Pott: “Study for Man Walking Along the Beach”
Here is how one critic describes the artistry of Italian painter and illustrator Cristina Iotti: “Through a personal chromatic choice and photographic framing, yet keeping the link with ancient techniques, she describes, with highly detailed accuracy and attention to details, contemporary and everyday events.
The light is the main character of her painting. With detailed chiaroscuro and strong contrast of shadow with bright light, or through rarefied and lyric atmospheres in her last works, where everything is softened and fading, she tries to capture and show the essence and the ‘special’ in the ‘common things.’”
“The Epic Stars,”
By Robinson Jeffers
The heroic stars spending themselves,
Coining their very flesh into bullets for the lost battle,
They must burn out at length like used candles;
And Mother Night will weep in her triumph, taking home her heroes.
There is the stuff for an epic poem-
This magnificent raid at the heart of darkness, this lost battle-
We don’t know enough, we’ll never know.
Oh happy Homer, taking the stars and the Gods for granted.
American Art – Part IV of IV: Elizabeth Allen-Cannon
In the words of one writer, “Elizabeth Allen-Cannon was born in 1988 in Kansas City, Mo. While attending the Rhode Island School of Design, she was chosen for the European Honors Program to study abroad in Rome, Italy, and completed a fellowship at the RISD Museum of Art in Art Conservation. After completing her BFA, she moved back to Kansas City and was accepted into Charlotte Street Foundation’s Urban Culture Project residency. In 2012, she was selected to be a participating artist in the Kansas City Collection II.”