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

American Art – Part I of IV: Jeremy Miranda

In the words of one writer, “Jeremy Miranda is a painter based in the Seacoast area of New Hampshire. His work ranges from loosely painted narratives on paper to more heavily worked, atmospheric compositions on canvas. He is interested in the landscape and how people control, fetishize and dwell with in it.”






A Poem for Today

“Acid Rain on Sherwood Forest”
By Turner Cassity

The longbow, one would say, is natural;
Is an appropriate technology.
The crossbow is the downward path to Krupp.
It has a trigger, eyepiece; has a stock
Firearms have learned from. One would say. One would,
However, be quite wrong, as Baron Krupp
Might point out. Compound bows are anything
But natural, as they are laminate,
And what is natural about a graft?
We have, as usual, let sentiment
Define the natural. Our sympathies
Are not with progress but with Robin Hood,
Who is himself mere envy wearing tights.
What has redistribution of the wealth
To do with archery? It was the Krupps
Who had the world’s first pension plan, and built
Its first real worker housing. Had sick leave?
We cannot speculate what was the life
Of Merry Men grown old. The arrow flies,
An infantry’s or Time’s, and how the wound
Arrives is of no consequence. Had Cain
No weapons but his hands he would be Cain,
And Abel dead of strangulation. Child
Of nature, little boy of five or six,
Why have you pulled the rubber suction cup
From off your arrow and begun to sharpen it?

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.”








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.

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.”






Reflections in Summer: Dr. Seuss

“Adults are just obsolete children and the hell with them.”

A Second Poem for Today

“End of the Cruise”
By David Berman

Ready to disembark,
We’re mostly puff and grey.
Who else can sail this ark?
Who else afford such play?

Our bags are overpacked
Protruding like our flesh,
The proof of nothing lacked
That money can enmesh.

Before we booked, we viewed
Pictures in which the young
And svelte declared the moods
We hoped to move among.

We fidget, wait to be
Called back to land once more,
Selves dragged from the sea
We meant to leave on shore.

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.”





Reflections in Summer: Pearl S. Buck

“I feel no need for any other faith than my faith in the kindness of human beings. I am so absorbed in the wonder of earth and the life upon it that I cannot think of heaven and angels.”

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.”







Reflections in Summer: Penn Jillette

“Read everything and be kind.”


“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.





Reflections in Summer: Gabriel Garcia Marquez

“He allowed himself to be swayed by his conviction that human beings are not born once and for all on the day their mothers give birth to them, but that life obliges them over and over again to give birth to themselves.”


“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.”

Reflections in Summer: Mark Twain

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”

“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.”





A Third Poem for Today

“The Place For No Story”
By Robinson Jeffers

The coast hills at Sovranes Creek:
No trees, but dark scant pasture drawn thin
Over rock shaped like flame;
The old ocean at the land’s foot, the vast
Gray extension beyond the long white violence;
A herd of cows and the bull
Far distant, hardly apparent up the dark slope;
And the gray air haunted with hawks:
This place is the noblest thing I have ever seen.
No imaginable
Human presence here could do anything
But dilute the lonely self-watchful passion.

American Art – Part III 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.”

Reflections in Summer: D.H. Lawrence

“This is what I believe: That I am I. That my soul is a dark forest. That my known self will never be more than a little clearing in the forest. That gods, strange gods, come forth from the forest into the clearing of my known self, and then go back. That I must have the courage to let them come and go. That I will never let mankind put anything over me, but that I will try always to recognize and submit to the gods in me and the gods in other men and women. There is my creed.”

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 look carefully at the photographs in the video below, you will see me in the audience. I’m the guy with long hair.

Reflections in Summer: Michael Crichton

“Often I feel I go to some distant region of the world to be reminded of who I really am. There is no mystery about why this should be so. Stripped of your ordinary surroundings, your friends, your daily routines, your refrigerator full of your food, your closet full of your clothes — with all this taken away, you are forced into direct experience. Such direct experience inevitably makes you aware of who it is that is having the experience. That’s not always comfortable, but it is always invigorating.”

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.”




Reflections in Summer: Ralph Ellison

“The understanding of art depends finally upon one’s willingness to extend one’s humanity and one’s knowledge of human life.”

Below – Edward Hopper: “Early Sunday Morning”

Back from the Territory – Art: Don Thur

In the words of one writer, “Functional art, one-of-a-kind creations, are turned by Don Thur from the most unique burls found in this legendary Ontario lakeland. Dating back to the beginning of habitation, and the tradition of the woodworking trade, these works have a museum-like quality, an art-gallery integrity, yet a functional capability for any appreciative household.”

Back from the Territory, I share this with you, before I light out again.

Below – “Burl Bowl”; “Burl Bowl”; “Burl Bowl.”



Reflections in Summer: William Least Heat Moon

“What you’ve done becomes the judge of what you’re going to do, especially in other people’s minds. When you’re traveling, you are what you are right there and then. People don’t have your past to hold against you. No yesterdays on the road.”


“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.”

Reflections in Summer: Seneca

“Travel and change of place impart new vigor to the mind.”

American Art – Part IV of IV: William R. Davis

In the words of one writer, “Bill Davis grew up on Cape Cod during a time when the Cape was a much quieter summer vacation land. At 10 years old, he took sailing lessons at the Hyannis Port Yacht learning to sail Beetlecats and other local built wooden boats. At 14 years old, he started working at the Hyannis Theater and continued there until 1970. Attended Barnstable High School and was always found in the Art Rooms. After High School graduation and a year attending Cape Cod Community College Bill went to work for his father’s Heating & Air conditioning Company. But in the late 70’s, he returned to painting at night after work. In 1978 he started selling his paintings to local builders and folks in Hyannis Port. By 1982 he made the switch to painting full time. Bill had his first show at Richard Bourne Company 1983 along with an artist friend Elizabeth Mumford. The show was well received and attended by Lee Remick and Jackie Onasiss. This was the beginning of a very long list of shows all over the country.”

Below – “Light Snow over the Marsh”; “Winter After Glow”; “A Winter’s Walk Home”; “Sunset and Cedars”; “Crows and Solitude”; “Old Skating Pond”; “Late Winter Light.”







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