Remembering a Great Writer on the Date of His Birth: Born 29 October 1740 – James Boswell, a Scottish biographer, diarist, and author of the greatest biography written in the English language: “The Life of Samuel Johnson, LL.D.”
Some quotes from “The Life of Samuel Johnson, LL.D.:
“It matters not how a man dies, but how he lives. The act of dying is not of importance, it lasts so short a time.”
“He had no settled plan of life, nor looked forward at all, but merely lived from day to day. Yet he read a great deal in a desultory manner, without any scheme of study, as chance threw books in his way, and inclination directed him through them.”
“He made two or three peculiar observations; as when shewn the botanical garden, ‘Is not EVERY garden a botanical garden?’” “Everything about his character and manners was forcible and violent; there never was any moderation; many a day did he fast, many a year did he refrain from wine; but when he did eat, it was voraciously; when he did drink wine, it was copiously. He could practise abstinence, but not temperance.”
Art for Autumn – Part I of IV: Charles Bibbs (American, contemporary)
Below – “Cloak of the Herdsmen”; “Gift III”
Art for Autumn – Part II of IV: Joanne Bird (American, contemporary)
Below – “Whirlwind Riders”; “Spirit Riders”
Art for Autumn – Part III of IV: Sandow Birk (American, contemporary)
Below – “Von Dutch’s Legacy”; “In Smog and Thunder: The Battle of San Francisco”; “Divine Comedy: Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil”
“The desert and the ocean are realms of desolation on the surface.
The desert is a place of bones, where the innards are turned out, to desiccate into dust.
The ocean is a place of skin, rich outer membranes hiding thick juicy insides, laden with the soup of being.
Inside out and outside in. These are worlds of things that implode or explode, and the only catalyst that determines the direction of eco-movement is the balance of water.
Both worlds are deceptive, dangerous. Both, seething with hidden life.
The only veil that stands between perception of what is underneath the desolate surface is your courage.
Dare to breach the surface and sink.”
Art for Autumn – Part IV of IV: Robert Bissell (British, contemporary)
Below – “The Reflection 2”; “Presence”; “Inception”
For Your Information: 29 October is National Cat Day in the United States.
This Date in Art History: Died 29 October 1892 – William Michael Harnett, an Irish-American painter.
Below – “A Scene Backstage”; “Job Lot Cheap”; “The Last Summer Rose”; “Attention, Company!”; “Music and Good Luck..”
Musings in Autumn: Annie Dillard
“Process is nothing; erase your tracks. The path is not the work. I hope your tracks have grown over; I hope birds ate the crumbs; I hope you will toss it all and not look back.”
This Date in Art History: Died 29 October 1933 – George Benjamin Luks, an American realist artist and illustrator.
Below – “Armistice Night”; “Allen Street”; “Houston Street”; “Madison Square”; “Dove Cote”; “Industrial Landscape.”
A Poem for Today
By James Wright
Just off the highway to Rochester, Minnesota,
Twilight bounds softly forth on the grass.
And the eyes of those two Indian ponies
Darken with kindness.
They have come gladly out of the willows
To welcome my friend and me.
We step over the barbed wire into the pasture
Where they have been grazing all day, alone.
They ripple tensely, they can hardly contain their happiness
That we have come.
They bow shyly as wet swans. They love each other.
There is no loneliness like theirs.
At home once more, they begin munching the young tufts of spring in the darkness.
I would like to hold the slenderer one in my arms,
For she has walked over to me
And nuzzled my left hand.
She is black and white,
Her mane falls wild on her forehead,
And the light breeze moves me to caress her long ear
That is delicate as the skin over a girl’s wrist.
Suddenly I realize
That if I stepped out of my body I would break
In the words of one writer, “Earl Biss was a member of the Crow Nation. He had a fine classical education in the arts; graduating from the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico, followed by several years of study at the San Francisco Art Institute, Biss continued with a year of independent study in Europe. Earl Biss’s works are alive in imagination, with flowing, textured strokes of color and form conveying the moods wonder in the dreams and hopes of an exciting people who are his own, the Crow Indian. A member of the Crow Nation, Earl Biss was one of the most prominent American Indian artists. His paintings are hanging in museums around the world.”
Below – “North American Indians in the Process of Vanishing”; “Dark Strangers in the Evening”; “Mist Between the Day and the Night”; “Wind on the Still Water”; “Buffalo Sky”; “Stalking with Medicine That Speaks Like Thunder.”