Thursday, June 22, 2017

Nonagenarian Clancy Sigal

Counterpunch, on Tuesday, posted among its selection of articles: The Big Con by Clancy Sigal. I enjoyed the read, and admired the writer's style. I can't put my finger on exactly why, it's just that some writers chime and some don't - this one did!

First paragraph

A bunch of men in suits and ties in front of TV cameras investigating another bunch of guys in suits and ties could be one of the great shell games of the Trump era. Meanwhile, as the “Russia probes” go on, memos and tweets flying like paper shrapnel, many Americans not in suits and ties sicken and die as a direct result of the suits’ indifference or plunder or both.
Counterpunch offered, regarding the author of the piece:
Clancy Sigal is a screenwriter and novelist. His latest book is Black Sunset.

I searched around the net for more information on Mr Sigal and found that he has led a very eventful life - and a long one. He was born in 1926, making him to be 91 this year. His natal chart, for anyone interested, is available at Astrodatabank. He has Sun and Moon in Virgo (Mercury-ruled), so writing - good writing - comes as second nature to him.

Three of his books:


From a synopsis of Blacklisted, a feature documentary chronicling the incredible adventures of writer, blacklisted Hollywood player & dissident, Clancy Sigal, created by Cai Howells :
Synopsis
Blacklisted is an examination of an extraordinary man in extraordinary times. Clancy Sigal was raised in the gangland of 1930s Chicago, he served in the occupation of Nazi Germany and witnessed the Nuremberg trials. After returning home he became a Hollywood player, agent to the likes of Humphrey Bogart, Barbara Stanwyk and Errol Flynn. In 1957, under pressure from the studios and the McCarthyist witch-hunts he was exiled to London. There, Sigal became the lover of Nobel prize-winning author, Doris Lessing. He collaborated with the radical psychiatrist, R D Laing on a halfway house for schizophrenic patients and later, American deserters. He won world-wide respect as a novelist and cultural commentator before returning to Hollywood as a successful screenwriter.

Clancy Sigal's life story plays out like the fanciful yarn of a bombastic Hollywood hack. Like a fiercely political and intellectual Zelig, an everyman compelled to live at the very edge of his times. He seems to have been present at many of the US and UK's most pivotal moments of the last seventy years. .........................
During my search I came across an interview with Mr Sigal, where he was asked for a book recommendation he regularly makes to his fans, he offered that George Orwell's Politics and the English Language will always be a must-read, and is so especially nowadays. Upshot of this: I ordered a used copy, await its arrival, after which perhaps a marked improvement might be noted in my own writing style!

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

It is the month of June, The month of leaves and roses...

It is the month of June, The month of leaves and roses, When pleasant sights salute the eyes and pleasant scents the noses. (Nathaniel Parker Willis).
June....Juno: yes, in a handful of past posts I've confidently written that the month of June was named in honour of goddess Juno; such archived posts can be accessed via "Juno" in the Label Cloud in the sidebar. I've lately stumbled across evidence that I (and countless other writers, bloggers and internet websites) could be mistaken in this supposition. An excerpt from a book The Roman Festivals of the Period of the Republic by William Warde Fowler throws doubt on the June/Juno theory. The author includes a passage, in Latin, from Macrobius which he claims shows that Roman scholars were "at sea" as to the answer on whether the months of May and June were named after deities in the same way that March was certainly named in honour of Mars, god of war. There's more detail on the May/Maia question, which I'll not include here. As for June/Juno:


One source giving a hint that June/Juno might be questionable is Encyclopedia Mythica, where it is stated:
June
The fourth month
[In ancient Rome the year began in March] was named in honor of Juno. However, the name might also come from iuniores (young men; juniors) as opposed to maiores (grown men; majors) for May, the two months being dedicated to young and old men.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Monday, June 19, 2017

Tinfoil Hat Time! Fire in the Sky; Jacques Vallée & Music Monday

We recently watched a 1993 movie, Fire in the Sky, didn't realise until around halfway through it that we had seen the film before. It'd be surprising if we hadn't already sampled it because sci-fi, UFO, speculative fiction in a movie always attracts our attention. This film, based on a true story, tells of what appeared to have been an alien abduction. One of a group of forestry loggers went missing for 5 days, in 1975, after leaving his co-workers and daring to investigate a strange, fiery looking object hovering over the Arizona forest in which they'd been working. There's a book by the abductee, Travis Walton, upon which the film is based. The story was met with general disbelief by the police and authorities, but each member of the logging group took lie-detector tests, and more than once, as did the abductee when he returned - all passed the tests.

In the movie, scenes aboard the space vehicle showing medical experiments on the abductee are made intentionally scary. The abductee himself has said, in more recent years, that he now suspects that he was not taken into the craft for experimentation, but to be healed after stepping into the space vehicle's power source and being accidentally lifted, then thrown violently to the ground unconscious. He now feels that he was being helped back to health - a different perspective entirely from the movie's story. Mr Walton has taken more complex lie detector tests over the years, using "state of the art" equipment, and has always passed the tests. There's a video, from a few years ago, showing Mr Walton, himself, explaining his thoughts, HERE.

Watching Fire in the Sky I recalled an old post of mine:

Back in 2010 I posted a series of pieces under a general heading of "Woo-woo". This is one of them: (Woo-woo (or just plain woo) refers to ideas considered irrational or based on extremely flimsy evidence or that appeal to mysterious occult forces or powers - Skeptic's Dictionary). If not already wearing one, don tinfoil hat...now!

Jacques Vallée, in a nutshell from UFO Watchdog's UFO Hall of Fame:
Astro Physicist, Author, Investigator, Silicon Valley computer scientist, author of numerous UFO books including Anatomy of a Phenomenon, Passport to Magonia, Challenge to Science, Messenger of Deception, and Dimensions among other historical UFO books. Testified at UN hearings stating that serious study was needed regarding UFOs, was reportedly the model for the government scientist in the move Close Encounter of the Third Kind, worked closely with Dr. Hynek.
Vallée initially supported the extraterrestrial hypothesis on the origin of UFOs, but was one of the first to change his mind. In Passport to Magonia he suggests the UFO Phenomenon has much in common with fairies, angels, ghosts, and other paranormal issues and that the sheer number of UFO sightings argues against their extra-planetary origins. In fact, he seems to believe in an Inter or Multi dimensional aspect to UFOs which would indicate they co-exist with us.
There's much more at Wikipedia.

In an even smaller nutshell, Vallée thinks UFOs could be looked on as windows to other dimensions, manipulated by intelligent, often mischievous, always enigmatic beings - as yet unknown to us, of course. As Vallée puts it: "I will be disappointed if UFOs turn out to be nothing more than spaceships."

I've oft surmised that UFOs could be visitors not from outer space, but from another dimension about which we currently know nothing, or even time travellers from our own planet. Vallée's theory is rather more subtle though. He had this to say in his book Passport to Magonia - reported at UFO Evidence.


When the underlying archetypes are extracted," he wrote, "the saucer myth is seen to coincide to a remarkable degree with the fairy-faith of Celtic countries … religious miracles… and the widespread belief among all peoples concerning entities whose physical and psychological descriptions place them in the same category as the present-day ufonauts.

When I speak of a control system for planet earth," he says, " I do not want my words to be misunderstood: I do not mean that some higher order of beings has locked us inside the constraints of a space-bound jail, closely monitored by psychic entities we might call angels or demons. I do not propose to redefine God. What I do mean is that mythology rules at a level of our social reality over which normal political and intellectual action has no power….

Yes....well, I'm lost already! A little further investigation turned up the theories of another scientist, Nick Bostrom who suspects that we may be living in some kind of simulation - computer simulation. I'm not surprised that some other UFO researchers, scientists also, became so disoriented as to commit suicide:
From the interview with Vallée at UFO Evidence, linked above:


Vallée:For another thing you don't want to go around chasing every UFO that's reported. If a sighting gets a lot of publicity, you should stay the hell away from it. Instead you should go after cases that you select yourself, ones that have received very little publicity and you've heard about through personal channels...........
Clark: Are you suggesting that the investigator should attempt to experience the phenomenon himself?

Vallée: Yes, I think that's sound scientific practice.

Clark: But isn't that rather dangerous - in the sense that there's a real risk the investigator, even if he is emotionally stable and intellectually sophisticated, might be overwhelmed by the experiences involved?

Vallée:
Yes, there are dangers. Witness what happened to Morris Jessup or to Jim McDonald. But I think that now we're more aware of what the dangers are. Once you realize the phenomenon may be deliberately misleading, then you can use certain safeguards. I'm not saying that safeguards are always going to work. There is an element of danger you really can't avoid. There's no way to do that kind of study just by reading books.


It's a little bit like the study of volcanoes. You can learn a lot about them by watching them from a distance but you certainly learn a lot more when you can be right there - even if it's somewhat risky.

I called up Wikipedia's pages on the two names mentioned, Jessup and McDonald and find that both men, serious scientists, interested in UFO research and/or The Philadelphia Experiment committed suicide.

This is getting a little weird, even for my tastes!



For any astrology fan passing by here, there's also investigation of Vallée's natal chart at my original post HERE.


Not forgetting that it's still Music Monday. How about Robbie Williams and "Arizona"? I hadn't heard this one before, and it proved to be rather apt for this post.


Saturday, June 17, 2017

In all chaos there is a cosmos, in all disorder a secret order. Carl Jung

A few of husband's quirky photos from our trip last week:

 My caption:  Cleanest dirty shirt time!

Toilet? Sorry!  There were lots of sad animal pelts in this corner, and nowhere to barf!

 Mantoys?

 Mantoys II

 Husband's caption: "If you look a little bit closer, it's easy to trace
Oh, the tracks of my tears stairs."

My caption was:  
"Once upon a time
The world was sweeter than we knew
Everything was ours  stairs
How happy we were then
But somehow once upon a time
Never comes again."




My caption:  Ascendancy of The Greens

Friday, June 16, 2017

Arty Farty Sgt. Pepper & Richard Lindner

I landed on the following 2009 Arty Farty post of mine after wondering whether I'd ever written a post about painter Egon Shiele (his date of birth, 12 June 1890, could make him a possibility for this week). Schiele's name appears in the posts's first sentence, with the observation that his work is "too porny and horny for a family blog". Reading on I saw mention of that famous old LP cover illustration from the Beatles' Sgt. Pepper album. This album has been in the news (again) recently, heralding another re-mastered version of the recording, released for the occasion of the album's 50th anniversary. The newly re-mastered version has been a project of the late Sir George Martin's son, Giles. George Martin was sometimes referred to as "the fifth Beatle", and was producer of most of the group's classic catalogue - and more.

I shall make that flimsy link my excuse for re-running this post.

There's interesting detailed information about the Sgt. Pepper LP cover illustration and its content at THIS LINK.


Richard Lindner


"Who?" you say. So did I, at first.
(Left:"Hit", by Richard Lindner. 1971)

I settled on writing a few lines about Richard Lindner after considering first Egon Schiele (too porny and horny for a family blog), then Lucian Freud (nudes can get so boring), and finally found something of interest in Mr. Lindner's artwork. Investigating examples via Google Image, his style seemed kind of familiar. It had a general "feel" of The Beatles about it - think of those Yellow Submarine images. Lindner's style is reminiscent of much from the early 70s, even though some of his work was painted well outside that time span - perhaps it provided the inspiration for later artists.

My feeling of a link to the Beatles was triumphantly justified when I happened upon some websites showing the famous cover of their Sgt. Pepper album.




Richard Lindner is one of the numerous faces featured there, the cover was said to be a kind of homage to people they admired.....Lindner's face is behind George Harrison - not immediately behind, but the next one up, and below a female face.


Back to the astrology of artist du jour: Richard Lindner. He was born in Hamburg, Germany on 11 November 1901. His family moved to Nuremburg , later Lindberg studied in Munich but at the rise of Hitler and the Nazis he escaped to Paris, then in 1941 traveled to New York, where he worked as illustrator for various glossy magazines. He became an American citizen in 1948. He later taught at the Pratt Institute and Yale University.

His natal chart is set for 12 noon as no time of birth is available.




It's another of those distinctive-looking charts, with all personal planets clustered within just 3 zodiac signs: Scorpio, Sagittarius and Capricorn. Two outer planets Pluto and Neptune lie roughly opposite. Some astrologers class this type of configuration as a fan or bucket pattern, the "odd" planets form the handle. In this case, because the handle planets are outer, slow-movers which relate to whole age groups, I'm not so sure this applies.

What we can say about his personal planets is that though they are clustered close together, they still present a fairly well-balanced picture, element-wise and mode-wise. In a nutshell Lindner's Sun, and Moon (whatever time of birth) in Scorpio indicate an intense character, one with the ability to see through pretense and get to the core of things. A spot of Sagittarian exaggeration from Mars seeps into all of his art - it's his trademark in fact, along with the bright garish colors, as can be seen below. Venus Jupiter and Saturn all in Capricorn reflect a basically practical, rather than whimsical nature - and perhaps the strange flatness of his paintings comes from the Capricorn and Saturn in his nature, both link to limitation and structure. He lets himself go on color and content but limits himself in depth and perspective.

In this quote his art is described as "erotically drawn" (Scorpio) "highly defined", "mechanistic"(Capricorn/Saturn):

His work has been described by art critics as "mechanistic cubism." Infused with personal imagination, his style has overtones of the "Cabaret-Berlin" culture of the 30's, with flat areas of often garish colors, separated by highly defined edges. His subjects, too, seem to come from that era. His women, archetypal in this respect, are often corseted, erotically drawn in a garish and generic, rather than individuated way. Streetwalkers, continental circus women, and men in uniforms populate the Lindner landscape
Richard Lindner died in 1978.

HOW IT ALL BEGAN



ROCK, ROCK.


PORTRAIT NUMBER 2



HOMAGE TO A CAT



PILLOW AND ALMOST A CIRCLE



5TH AVENUE



FUN CITY



THE MEETING



TELEPHONE



UNTITLED



MAN WALKING ROOSTER BY A CRESTED MOON



Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Putin' My Oar In

We had the misfortune, on Monday evening, to accidentally find ourselves on CBS, late evening, when Stephen Colbert was interviewing Oliver Stone. Reason for the interview, as usual, was to advertise something, in this case Mr Stone's new series: 4-part interview with Vladimir Putin, President of the Russian Federation.

There are video clips of the interview around the net today, along with commentary, I shall not link to any though, because I was disgusted, not as Colbert and his (probably auditioned and coached) audience were, i.e. with Oliver Stone's cheek for interviewing in courteous and friendly mode Russia's President Putin, Villain du Jour in the USA just now. My own disgust was with the animosity shown by Colbert to his guest; and by the rudeness of his audience to the show's guest. Having read some relevant threads of comment and opinion pieces today, I suspect I'm probably one of a tiny minority in my views on this...so be it.

I'm not anti-Russian these days, the USSR is no more, Russians in general are, and really always have been, much the same as we are; the USA and Russia could be friends, useful friends too. But NO..oooo, making Russia our friend can never be allowed!

Tsk!

I've scribbled about Oliver Stone in the past, two archived posts are HERE and HERE. I've grown to admire him, especially in regard to his political opinions.

I've never written anything about Stephen Colbert, until now. If you can't say anything good, to say nothing is supposed to be the best guideline, which I'm tempted to cross further but shall desist.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Bill Maher's Word Trouble

Something else in the news during my off-blog week: Bill Maher blotted his copybook - again. He had let slip the "n" word in response to something a Senator from Nebraska had said to him. I'll not repeat the context here, but link to a relevant article for detail - there are numerous others online.

http://variety.com/2017/biz/news/bill-maher-apologies-again-on-hbo-show-1202461271/

I long ago lost all admiration for Bill Maher, but I was an avid fan of his early on in my time in the USA. I hadn't ever marked him as racist though - west coast elitist limousine liberal, yes, Obama apologist, yes (cost him a $ million donation that did!) Anyway, he apologised immediately for his use of the "n" word, also apologised further, multiple times, in the following week's show. That show had several black guests who were given free rein to upbraid and school Maher which, it appears, they did with enthusiasm. Rapper, Ice Cube, declared that the "n" word is the property only of black people, white people are not allowed to use it. Hmmm. Perhaps the best plan would be if black people (especially rappers) didn't use the word either. Take it out of the human lexicon altogether throw it in the trash, burn it - that's what is truly needed. From a report of Ice Cube's other remarks, he had said something to the effect that Bill Maher sometimes sounds like "a redneck trucker". Is that term not objectionable too, thought I? Maybe the term redneck should be reserved only for use by that particular ilk, if Ice Cube's rules are to be followed.

There was likely, I discovered after reading commentary, another layer to Senator Ben Sasse's remark during Real Time. The remark by Nebraska's Republican Senator which caused Maher to respond as he did, possibly had a hidden anti-semitic barb within it. I had not realised this. After Maher said something about visiting Nebraska,
Sasse hit Maher with the comment, “We’d love to see you working in the fields with us.” Maher didn’t hear “with us” so much as “working in the fields.” It was a dog whistle. There’s an old antisemitic caricature of Jews as people who live in cities, who don’t know anything about good, hard, manual labor – not like the Godfearing Protestant Christian farm folk of Nebraska. [Words in italics are from a commenter, Bill Kilpatrick].
If that is a correct assessment, then I can see more clearly why Bill Maher responded, in knee-jerk fashion, instinctively, as he did. That in no way excuses him, but could explain his manner of response more clearly.

Ye gods! When will people in the USA stop with this race thing? Perpetuating it appears to be almost an industry. We are human, all of us. When will we learn? Will it take a visit from extra-terrestrials to bash this point into our thick skulls? If surprise alien visitors decided to do as depicted in an old episode of The Twilight Zone and make it their objective to "Serve Man", then we'd darn well deserve to be broiled or grilled, plated and eaten...And, by the way, we'd taste better with garlic!

Monday, June 12, 2017

"Moons and Junes and ....."

During my week off-blog a glut of news stories fought for prominence. I didn't read or listen to much from the hyper-ventilating writers and characters on TV - just enough to realise the core of events and results.

The face of James Comey greeted us each morn in the breakfast areas of our hotels, thankfully with TVs' sound muted. The moving news clips at foot of screens offered us as much as we needed, or wished, to be knowing. So far nothing of great value appears to have emerged, other than fodder for journalists, TV pundits and hyperbolic bloggers and commenters. A side-effect, for me, has been lots of hits on my June 2016 post about James Comey..."it's an ill wind that blows nobody any good".

I was interested to discover the UK's election result, however, and though Ms May held onto her position by the skin of her teeth, it was good to see Jeremy Corbyn's excellent showing. The UK's tide might, at last, be turning leftward after many years of conservative or pretend-left (à la Blair) experiences. The election result kind of mirrored USA's 2016 campaigns, with regard to Bernie Sanders' burgeoning support - though here that was undermined by You Know Who and her dastardly minions.

One result of the UK's election that I definitely dislike is Ms Mays' proposed linking up with the DUP - Northern Ireland's Democratic Unionists, in order to form a stronger government. A side effect of this could easily be a resurgence of those horrible hate-filled, blood-soaked and dangerous years of The Troubles. I trust not, but am not optimistic. Brexit ? It's going to be a rough ride!

It's Music Monday - let's see - what song would best reflect current atmospheres? I'm feeling a tad flummoxed in general - how about Joni Mitchell's song from the 1960s: "Both Sides Now" - here sung, for a change, by Judy Collins -



Rows and floes of angel hair
And ice cream castles in the air
And feather canyons everywhere
I've looked at clouds that way

But now they only block the sun
They rain and snow on everyone
So many things I would have done
But clouds got in my way

I've looked at clouds from both sides now
From up and down, and still somehow
It's cloud illusions I recall
I really don't know clouds at all

Moons and Junes and Ferris wheels
The dizzy dancing way you feel
As every fairy tale comes real
I've looked at love that way

But now it's just another show
You leave 'em laughing when you go
And if you care, don't let them know
Don't give yourself away

I've looked at love from both sides now
From give and take, and still somehow
It's love's illusions I recall
I really don't know love at all

Tears and fears and feeling proud
To say "I love you" right out loud
Dreams and schemes and circus crowds
I've looked at life that way

But now old friends are acting strange
They shake their heads, they say I've changed
Well something's lost, but something's gained
In living every day

I've looked at life from both sides now
From win and lose and still somehow
It's life's illusions I recall
I really don't know life at all

I've looked at life from both sides now
From up and down and still somehow
It's life's illusions I recall
I really don't know life at all.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Back in the Saddle...

Been away from home for a week - nothing overly glamorous just basic wandering really, a break from same ol'same ol'.

We began with a trip to Oklahoma City. One of husband's great-grand-daughters was taking part in a Modern Dance Arts Recital at the city's Performing Arts Center. We met up with various other family members and friends for lunch before the performance.

The recital included a variety of age groups, from teeny tinies to almost adults, all students of dance. Music for the dance performances, throughout, were all Grammy Award winning songs or musical pieces. The show was well-presented, entertaining, and obviously a lot of hard work and practice, practice, practice had been involved, especially for the wee ones. Husband had only a pocket camera with him in the theater, and we were sitting fairly far from the stage, so though there were some good opportunities for photographs, these sadly were not able to be taken. Below is, I think, great-grand-daughter in full Terpsichorean mode - blurry though! And from afterwards, husband's daughter, her son, and her grandson, who is of course, husband's great-grandson, wee Milo.


After the show we pressed on into deepest Oklahoma, and next day, through constant heavy rain, into north-western Arkansas. Arkansas does not receive all the credit it deserves for being a beautiful state - especially the northern areas. We drove on roadways, tree-lined, backed by many acres of National Forest that would rival similar roads in Colorado for scenic grandeur. We opted to stay in Rogers, but unknown to us we had picked dates on which a national convention of Walmart people (not sure if shareholders or staff, or what - but Walmartians of some ilk) was about to take place. Bentonville, a town next to, and more or less joined to Rogers, is I understand, the heart and home of Walmart. My 2007 post about Sam Walton, founder of the supermarket monstrous empire, is HERE by the way.

The first 3 hotels we tried in Rogers were booked and even, the clerks told us, "over-booked" for the next few nights. We eventually found a room, but only for one night, later to be extended to two after a Walmartian cancellation was received, and the clerk kindly informed us of this and extended our stay.

We headed back south and west before Walmartians arrived in full stampede mode, drove via one or two eastern Oklahoma towns, exploring any stray antique/vintage stores along the way.

Yes, yes, we were naughtily putting more CO2 into the atmosphere, and it's already overloaded with that stuff. My excuse, and I'm sticking to it, is that for my first 63 years on this earth, in the UK, my carbon footprint has to have been minuscule as compared to the average American's footprint during those years. I walked, cycled, rode the bus or train for 90% of the time. When we had a car it was an old Mini, and good for fairly short trips only - hardly ever used for more. I don't drive, by the way. So, I reckon that now, when I live in an area with no public transport whatsoever, and outside of walking distance for anything, our use of the car is necessity. Vacations are by car - and unless we become hermits in our house and yard, then we have to put CO2 into the atmosphere. Husband can blame me, I shall never feel guilty over this. I'm no virtue-signaller, there are more than enough of those around in the USA at present anyway. I'm a vice-signaller, I guess!

Saturday, June 03, 2017

Hiatus

Friday, June 02, 2017

Arty Farty Friday ~ Illustrating Generations: Coby Whitmore & Jeff Soto.

It's interesting to compare and contrast the work of two artist/illustrators from different generations and note how they reflect the tenor of their times. Both artists had Sun in Gemini, one born on 11 June 1913, the other on 3 June 1975. Their artwork has little in common other than an obvious innate talent, but it does reflect back the "flavour" of the times in which their talent became known, and acclaimed by many. Also in common: these artists' work has been mainly for ordinary people to enjoy, rather than to impress a coterie of elite art snobs.

Born 11 June 1913: Maxwell "Coby" Whitmore.
Born 3 June 1975: Jeff Soto.

Natal charts are added, for reference only, at the end of this post.

Coby Whitmore, Painter and magazine illustrator known for his Saturday Evening Post covers, and a commercial artist whose work included advertisements for Gallo Wine and other national brands. He additionally became known as a race-car designer. He was born on the cusp of the first World War, matured at the dawn of another World War, his work relates mainly to the years immediately following the end of that second world conflagration. It shines with hope and expectation, coloured by The American Dream.

He was one of the top magazine illustrators in the 1940s and 1950s, who "monopolized the ladies' magazines like McCall's, Ladies Home Journal, and Good Housekeeping with postwar images of the ideal white American family centered around pretty, middle-class, female consumers living happily in new kitchens, new houses, driving new cars, living with handsome husbands, adorable children, and cute dogs".

Racing cars, illustrating, and smart clothes on good-looking women,” Whitmore said these were his three primary interests. While Whitmore the racer was simply indulging in a hobby, Whitmore the artist was a fastidious professional who, writes Reed, was “so inventive over so long a time in doing variations on the theme of ‘boy meets girl.’

Whitmore was inducted into the Society of Illustrators Hall of Fame in 1978.
See Saturday Evening Post HERE.

See House of Retro for some good-sized illustrations of Whitmore's work - I'll borrow just one:



Or this video shows a good selection of his illustrations:



Some of his illustrations remind me of Norman Rockwell's style (same broad era), others are not a million miles away from 1940s and 50s pin-up art, though subjects are better clothed, less intentionally titillating. Whitmore must have had quite an eye for fashion, as well as the skill to depict it correctly.

Coby Whitmore died in October 1988.





Jeff Soto, born shortly after the end of the Vietnam War, matured as the end of the 20th century approached.
His distinct color palette, subject matter and technique have been said to bridge the gap between Pop Surrealism and Street Art.

Early on, horror, science fiction, and fantasy movies and television were another influence, in particular Star Wars, Robotech, and Mtv. In college, Soto discovered and was inspired by artists such as Max Ernst, Frida Kahlo, Andy Warhol, Amedio Modigliani, Van Gogh and Paul Cadmus.


Soto lives and works in California with his wife and two daughters.

The artist's own website.

Some good-sized images of his work can be seen at The Dancing Rest

A sample:

 The Corruption of Mankind

Re the above painting, and taken from an interview in 2009 HERE:
Soto: I painted it during the big stock market crash in October. I was thinking about the greed of corporate America, and how it’s easy to blame them, but the people in our country are just as much to blame. The big houses, SUV’s, designer purses, all these expensive status symbols that regular people cannot afford, are also one of the factors that brought our economy down. I jokingly blame Mtv shows from ten years ago- Pimp My Ride, Cribs, and all these reality shows made my generation and younger think it normal to live like the rich. People tried that and overextended themselves which is one of the reasons we’re in this mess. What ever happened to being smart with your money? That’s one of the things I was exploring with that piece.

Here's the artist describing one facet of his work: prints on wood.



and more:



These charts are set for 12 noon as birth times are unknown. I'm not inclined to attempt interpretation, but leave them here for any passing astrology fan to ponder upon. Larger versions will emerge by clicking on the images.

By the way - look again at the photographs of the artists in the post above - I see a likeness!


Coby Whitmore born 11 June 1913 in Dayton Ohio.





Jeff Soto born 3 June 1975 in Fullerton, California.