Monday, February 15, 2010

Something to think about....

Patrick Henry, March 23, 1775.




No man thinks more highly than I do of the patriotism, as well as abilities, of the very worthy gentlemen who have just addressed the House. But different men often see the same subject in different lights; and, therefore, I hope it will not be thought disrespectful to those gentlemen if, entertaining as I do opinions of a character very opposite to theirs, I shall speak forth my sentiments freely and without reserve. This is no time for ceremony. The questing before the House is one of awful moment to this country. For my own part, I consider it as nothing less than a question of freedom or slavery; and in proportion to the magnitude of the subject ought to be the freedom of the debate. It is only in this way that we can hope to arrive at truth, and fulfill the great responsibility which we hold to God and our country. Should I keep back my opinions at such a time, through fear of giving offense, I should consider myself as guilty of treason towards my country, and of an act of disloyalty toward the Majesty of Heaven, which I revere above all earthly kings.



Mr. President, it is natural to man to indulge in the illusions of hope. We are apt to shut our eyes against a painful truth, and listen to the song of that siren till she transforms us into beasts. Is this the part of wise men, engaged in a great and arduous struggle for liberty? Are we disposed to be of the number of those who, having eyes, see not, and, having ears, hear not, the things which so nearly concern their temporal salvation? For my part, whatever anguish of spirit it may cost, I am willing to know the whole truth; to know the worst, and to provide for it.



I have but one lamp by which my feet are guided, and that is the lamp of experience. I know of no way of judging of the future but by the past. And judging by the past, I wish to know what there has been in the conduct of the British ministry for the last ten years to justify those hopes with which gentlemen have been pleased to solace themselves and the House. Is it that insidious smile with which our petition has been lately received? Trust it not, sir; it will prove a snare to your feet. Suffer not yourselves to be betrayed with a kiss. Ask yourselves how this gracious reception of our petition comports with those warlike preparations which cover our waters and darken our land. Are fleets and armies necessary to a work of love and reconciliation? Have we shown ourselves so unwilling to be reconciled that force must be called in to win back our love? Let us not deceive ourselves, sir. These are the implements of war and subjugation; the last arguments to which kings resort. I ask gentlemen, sir, what means this martial array, if its purpose be not to force us to submission? Can gentlemen assign any other possible motive for it? Has Great Britain any enemy, in this quarter of the world, to call for all this accumulation of navies and armies? No, sir, she has none. They are meant for us: they can be meant for no other. They are sent over to bind and rivet upon us those chains which the British ministry have been so long forging. And what have we to oppose to them? Shall we try argument? Sir, we have been trying that for the last ten years. Have we anything new to offer upon the subject? Nothing. We have held the subject up in every light of which it is capable; but it has been all in vain. Shall we resort to entreaty and humble supplication? What terms shall we find which have not been already exhausted? Let us not, I beseech you, sir, deceive ourselves. Sir, we have done everything that could be done to avert the storm which is now coming on. We have petitioned; we have remonstrated; we have supplicated; we have prostrated ourselves before the throne, and have implored its interposition to arrest the tyrannical hands of the ministry and Parliament. Our petitions have been slighted; our remonstrances have produced additional violence and insult; our supplications have been disregarded; and we have been spurned, with contempt, from the foot of the throne! In vain, after these things, may we indulge the fond hope of peace and reconciliation. There is no longer any room for hope. If we wish to be free-- if we mean to preserve inviolate those inestimable privileges for which we have been so long contending--if we mean not basely to abandon the noble struggle in which we have been so long engaged, and which we have pledged ourselves never to abandon until the glorious object of our contest shall be obtained--we must fight! I repeat it, sir, we must fight! An appeal to arms and to the God of hosts is all that is left us!



They tell us, sir, that we are weak; unable to cope with so formidable an adversary. But when shall we be stronger? Will it be the next week, or the next year? Will it be when we are totally disarmed, and when a British guard shall be stationed in every house? Shall we gather strength by irresolution and inaction? Shall we acquire the means of effectual resistance by lying supinely on our backs and hugging the delusive phantom of hope, until our enemies shall have bound us hand and foot? Sir, we are not weak if we make a proper use of those means which the God of nature hath placed in our power. The millions of people, armed in the holy cause of liberty, and in such a country as that which we possess, are invincible by any force which our enemy can send against us. Besides, sir, we shall not fight our battles alone. There is a just God who presides over the destinies of nations, and who will raise up friends to fight our battles for us. The battle, sir, is not to the strong alone; it is to the vigilant, the active, the brave. Besides, sir, we have no election. If we were base enough to desire it, it is now too late to retire from the contest. There is no retreat but in submission and slavery! Our chains are forged! Their clanking may be heard on the plains of Boston! The war is inevitable--and let it come! I repeat it, sir, let it come.



It is in vain, sir, to extenuate the matter. Gentlemen may cry, Peace, Peace-- but there is no peace. The war is actually begun! The next gale that sweeps from the north will bring to our ears the clash of resounding arms! Our brethren are already in the field! Why stand we here idle? What is it that gentlemen wish? What would they have? Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!

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That is really something to think about...

Monday, February 8, 2010

The Blues

"Painting is not just an activity, it is a way of life; a painter lives in and through painting. As the materials of painting are not just part of the process by which the work happens, but part of the end-product as well through their transcending this distinction between means and ends, they are the very way this aspect of the painter's being both manifests and realises itself. They are the vehicle through which the painter's life as a painter happens, unfolds itself, realises itself. This manifests itself back through the materials. The realisation of the materials through the painting is the realisation of the painter through them. His potentiality is their potentiality, and their potentiality his. Thus, his being drawn towards certain materials is his being drawn towards a certain potentiality of his own." --Nigel Wentworth, The Phenomenology of Painting

Lately, I have being reading the biographies of many of my favorite artists through the ages.  The parallels in some of their lives, is eerily strange sometimes.  Like Frida Kahlo, my father is of German origin, and also a photographer.  She suffered a life altering motor vehicle accident that left her lamed in her leg and back, like I did.  She is also half Hispanic, like me...she shares alot of personality traits, such as her tendency towards "duality."

So many different artists seem to share similar things...Vincent's literal propensity, like me...Monet's love of the land and family...Renoir's motif of his "girls..." the list can go on and on.

I've been feeling very sluggish lately, and I don't know if I can attribute it strictly to the doldrums of winter, and a form of cabin fever.  I usually get this way around mid-February, where it just seems one cold day blends into the next, and the dirt never leaves the house, from the constant trail of muddy bootprints.  It's enough to me go back to bed and watch an old Bogart movie...quite happily.

The snow, as peaceful as it is on the gentles slopes of the countryside, incites fatigue rather than passion...I feel the constant intrusions into my time more sharply now, as if my skin is raw and the nerves are exposed.  I feel weepy rather than rejoicing when I see the icy landscape.   It's beautiful, but the monotony of winter is getting to me, and I need a change to light a "fire" in my gut.

I've started working on my portrait commission.  I'm in the earliest stages of designing the layout and palette...putting together the mechanics of it.  I will prep and prime the canvas tomorrow, after I get back from NYC.  Today was a waste--I spent the morning languishing in the Dr's office for my yearly appointment and some routine tests...then to the dentist on Thursday, and of course it's Valentine's weekend, and all of M's plans and guests...I can't stand it anymore.  I'm feeling like I literally have to go missing soon to get some quality, uninterrupted time of my own.  I don't mean two or three hours, I'm talking two or three weeks.  The interruptions are destroying my nerves...and not allowing me a free flow of creative thought...this keeps me up at night, and the cycle is maddening.

G went to the hospital today...perhaps her baby is coming.  She feels bad, and I hope it is just her own stresses that is causing her discomfort, and nothing more serious.  D stopped by this afternoon, and said she had quite the little group together for our life drawing sessions on Sunday, unfortunately, the blizzard (and of course Super Bowl for the fellas) sidetracked our session last night, and now, Valentine's day falls on this coming Sunday, and I'm obligated to that too...so, no get together for another 2 weeks....always something, always something.

I dream myself away, my Muse comforts me there.  We work on long projects, and she promises me one day soon, we'll spend some quality time together....until then, stay well beloved.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Sunday Blahs........

It's Super Bowl Sunday, and I couldn't sleep a wink last night, so I woke up early for breakfast, realized I was nearly comatose, and went back to my bed.  Mark let me sleep right through Church, and I woke up at around noon to the phone ringing, and other such unpleasantries...

I think I'm catching cold, or we need to dust, because it's allergies.  Whatever, it's irritating and adding to my not so happy mood.  We're supposed to get together for a life drawing sessions later, and the guys are expecting a Super Bowl spread, not to mention I have to get to the gym, pick up the youngest gal, and I really don't feel like doing much of anything at all.

I had very odd dreams, and that always makes me feel like I'm still under the influence of sleep...half awake, half gone.  I tried reading some art magazines, but that only brought me down, reading the "garbage" explanations for crappy work...they put more effort into trying to explain the slop that is on their canvas, than in the actual artwork itself.  If bullshit was a medium, we'd have an awful lot of Masters about.

So, that's that.  I've met up with an amazing local photographer, and we are looking to come to terms on him photographing my work, which is a bit of wonderful news, since this has been a huge sticking point for me.  I really look forward to working with Rod, and this will be a big load off of my shoulders since when it comes time to photograph my work, I get rather bent out of shape during the task.  It generally takes me all day for one decent shot, and I really don't want to waste that time, since it's time I could be painting rather than doing that sh*t.  So, that's happy news.

I have several shows coming up, and have to really get a move on.  I'm looking for some wholesale framing venues, since, as all other Artist's know, framing is another demon in the unholy trinity of annoyances that comes with being a painter...framing, photographing, and shipping.  The devils of the business.

I'm working with a gallery in London for a summer exhibition, so, when I head to Paris in July, I will stop off there for several days and see what I can get accomplished.  I need to take my vitamins and keep the pace going!!

I have been working on some charcoal self portraits, but, will move on to canvas.  I'm also beginning a portrait commission, so that will take some time--probably about a week...

Will post news and new photos as it comes!!!

Ciao!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Sniffling in the cold...


I've been outside, sneezing and sniffling with what must be a cold...but, hey, at least I got to get some photos done, since it is only sub Artic versus Artic today....


This painting is called:  "Past their prime" and it is 12" by 16" oil on canvas.  This was done in studio of course, and there will be another four florals to come along, so I'm thinking right now.  This, of course, is subject to change! 


Healing Hearts Portrait

"Aaron R." By Hilary J. England, oil on canvas, 12" x 16" 2017 Here is another portrait I just finished for Healing Hear...