Ab Origine, 2004.

All Souls’ Day, 2009.


Andressa, 2010.

Arianna Antinori, 2010.

Arlecchino, 2010.

Aroma Dogs.

Aroma Café   (oil on canvas)

Aroma People    (oil on canvas)

Each painting done in three hours.

The first painting I did in oil. Copied from a photograph by Keizo Yamazawa.

Crisanta   (oil on canvas)

Self Portrait    (oil on canvas)

Big Brother and the Holding Company   (oil on canvas)


Big Brother Dance

Blessed Mother (2003)

Born Of Flesh and Ghost (2010)

Caro Viaggiatore


In German “dur” (hard) is a major key and “moll” (soft) is minor. This is how one culture looks at the qualities of a key.


“Major” and “minor,” our terms for the same phenomena, mean larger and smaller. Also informative. French, Spanish and Italian terms are similar to English. Majeur, mineur, Mayor, menor, maggiore, minore.


Da terra si può vedere la Stazione spaziale?   La Stazione spaziale internazionale appare come un puntino piuttosto luminoso che, nel volgere di qualche minuto, attraversa la volta celeste.

(Can you see the space station from earth? The international space station appears as a small shiny point, in the flight of several minutes, across the arch of the skies.)


Show me a hero and I will write you a tragedy. All who draw and paint know that the darkest dark sits next to the lightest light.


Can you imagine Jesus as a Republican? Or Grover Cleveland wh0 said this:

“He mocks the public who proposes that the government shall protect the rich and that they in turn will care for the laboring poor.”


I love heavy metal. A lot of white suburban kids telling us how pissed off they are about how the world is mistreating them.


“Sell our country! Why not sell the air, the clouds, and the great sea? Did not the Great Spirit make them all for the use of his children?”

Tecumseh (Shawnee chief) speaking to General William Henry Harrison, 1810)


El Jarabe Tapatío (the Mexican hat dance) is often played in C.


A sempiterno merito di mio padre, bisogna dire che lui non pensò  mai seriamente, nemmeno per un momento, di vendere i figli e di scappare.

(To the eternal credit of my father, be it said that never did he think even for a moment of selling his children and escaping.)


Yesterday was originally called Scrambled Eggs.


If you can be enthusiastic, warm, generous and can keep your sense of cool and proportion at the same time, you can do great things.


If you would thrive,            Get up at five.


Kurt Cobain was cremated. His ashes were scattered passim, as the scholars say, here and there and everywhere.


Noodles, pasta, dough wrapped around a vegetable or beef ingredient are staples all around the world. Tamale, ravioli, a garden burger, pirogi, wonton, enchilada, spring rolls crêpes, piroshki, pork rolls, hot dogs, sandwiches of all kinds.


Tea is made from the young leaves and the leaf buds of the tea plant, a species of evergreen (Camellia sinensis) . Ancient Chinese and Japanese legends refer to a beverage made from the infusion of dried tea leaves, the introduction of tea being sometimes attributed to the emperor Shen Nung (2737 before the common era).


Togo, a West African republic, has a 32-mile coast and extends northward for about 320 miles between Ghana to the west and Dahomey to the east.


Alexis de Toqueville wrote the classic De la démocratie en Amérique (Democracy in America) 1840, a close and often prophetic observation of American culture in the early 19th century.


Tocharian is an Indo-European language that was spoken in northern Chinese Turkistan (Tarim Basin) during the latter half of the first millennium of the common era. The language is fascinating, since it shows more affinity with western branches of Indo-European than with Iranian or indo-Aryan.


Torts is a legal term used in both common- and civil- law systems to describe various wrongs that may give rise to civil proceedings, mainly in the form of an action for damages.


Italian: Ho torto   I am wrong.                         Forse Lei pensa che ho torto.               Perhaps you think that I am wrong.


Henri-Marie-Raymoond de Toulouse-Lautrec-Monfa was born 24 November 1864. His family lineage extended without interruption back to the time of Charlemagne.


Toulouse-Lautrec could capture the likeness of a person with fewer lines than many, many other artists before or since.


When Ben Nieves and I were last in Paris, we went to the Musée d’Orsay across the Seine from the Louvre where there were many works by Toulouse-Lautrec. Very beautiful and accomplished, his drawings and paintings were often done on cardboard and the most ephemeral of materials, but were all the more interesting for that.


Toulouse-Lautrec’s own father took slight interest in his son after his disabling injuries and regarded his son’s work as only “rough sketches.”


“Tragedy” came from the words “goat” and “song.” The word could have referred either to the prize, a goat that was awarded to the best dramatists whose plays won the earliest competitions in Greece, or to the dress, goat skins of the performers, or to the goat which was sacrificed in the primitive rituals from which tragedy developed.


Trajan (Marcus Ulpius Traianus) was the first Roman emperor not born in Italy, but in the provinces, near Sevilla, Spain.


A group of finches is called a charm.


James Cagney never said “You dirty rat,” and Captain Kirk never said “Beam me up, Scottie.”


The Sitka spruce is Britain’s most commonly planted tree.

How Die He Do That ?       (oil on canvas)

How To Get Ahead               (oil on canvas)

La Vie En Rose                               (oil on canvas)


Light Show                      (oil on canvas)

Autoportrait                    (oil on canvas)

Lynn                                (oil on canvas)

Megan                                     (oil on canvas)


Mind/Body                                               (oil on canvas)

Minden       (oil on panel)   1 February 2012.

Mami Wata                               (oil on canvas)


From The Life of Johnson:      James Boswell.

Johnson:   Well, we had a good talk.

Boswell:     Yes, Sir; you tossed and gored several persons.


The only mother and daughter to be nominated for Oscars in the same year: Diane Ladd and her daughter Laura Dern for Rambling Rose (1991).


“On n’est jamais si malheuruex qu’on croit, ni si heureux qu’on espère.”                  Duc de la Rochefoucauld 1613-1680

One is never as unhappy as one thinks, nor as happy as one hopes.


It’s called a capo in English and a capo d’astro in Italian. Germans call it ein Kapotaster and in Spain it’s known as una cejilla or un cejuelo.


“The American girl makes a servant of her husband and then finds him contemptible for being a servant.”          John Steinbeck.


“At all costs try to avoid granting yourself the status of the victim… No matter how abominable your condition may be, try not to blame anything or anybody.”         Joseph Brodsky.

Salomé (oil on canvas) 2004.

Or, as Jimmy Buffet might say, “Some people say there’s a woman to blame, but I know… it’s my own damn fault.”


Ikh heys Freyde.   (Yiddish)    My name is Freyde.


“To be the father of a nation is a great honor, but to be the father of a family is a greater joy.”          Nelson Mandela.


Southerners speak very differently from Northerners all over the world. If a European were to fetch up on our Gulf shore, she might be charmed to hear, “Honey, sweet darlin’, y’all want some pah with yo grits.”   Charmed, but perhaps puzzled.

She Shall Have Stars (19 January 2012)

Still As Stone


In Germany, which became a nation very late, as Italy did, there are many interesting dialects, and the Southern German is quite interesting, especially die Münchner, the way of speaking in Munich. Here are a few examples.


Munich dialect     English                          standard German:

A Mo                        a person                        Ein Mann

Wos is a?                What does he do?       Was hat er für einen Beruf?

Kummt a aa?          Is he coming too?       Wird er auch kommen?

Ami                           American                      Amerikaner

Augnglasl                eyeglasses                    Brille

Bams                          child                              Kind


“People at that time lived like there was no tomorrow,” says JJ, lead singer of Murasaki, a band that played the Okinawa Koza rock scene in the 1970s, a time when Okinawa was a launch pad for the Vietnam war. Rock and Roll nights in Koza were a celebration, a farewell party, but for JJ there must have been complicated emotions. JJ stood between two very different worlds, and yet he managed to build a bridge between them with charm, talent and intelligence.


There was always a public face and a private face in Okinawan lives.


Ten is a satisfying number, probably because we have ten fingers. Twenty was used in the numbering system of the Celts. Fingers and toes. In fact, still in French today, you don’t say “octante” for eighty, you say “quatre vingt,” four twentys. It’s a Celtic remnant in modern French.


For the same reason, “seventy” isn’t “septante,” but “soixante-dix,” sixty (three  twentys) plus ten. it’s unwieldy, especially, say, 77, which is soixante-dix-sept, sixty seventeen. This in the language of a people who pride themselves on their clarity and reason. I love the French language, though, and the French people.


People never liked stinky underarms. The early Egyptians recommended following a scented bath with an underarm application of perfumed oils. They developed special citrus and cinnamon preparations that could withstand the semitropical climate.


Bacteria thrive in secretions of the apocrine glands. Deprived of moisture by an “antiperspirant,” bacteria cannot multiply.


L’amore non è mai stato troppo facile per l’uomo preistorico. E non lo è nemmeno adesso.

Love was never too easy for prehistoric man. And it isn’t even now.


Sammy Davis began in show business at age three as Silent Sam, the Dancing Midget, alongside his father and uncle in vaudeville. He had no formal education whatsoever. In 1946, at 21, he recorded “The Way You Look Tonight,” which was named Record of the Year.


A wise person’s country is the world.


Ideograms looked like this near the beginning of their development. This one means bad, incorrect, and by itself is pronounced HI (hee) in Japanese.


HI is based on the image of flapping wings. Still, to this day, when a Japanese does not want to relate to something, she will wave her hand in front of her face in rapid motion… like the flapping of wings.


When used with other characters, as here, this ideogram is pronounced arazu.


Freedom is all, to heed every call. Freedom to do wrong, to make a bad song.

Freedom to err, to be a cur. Freedom to soar… or else, what for?


“The uneven division of power and wealth, the wide differences of health and comfort among the nations of mankind, are the sources of discord in the modern world, its major challenge and, unrelieved, its moral doom.”

Patrick Blackett    Nobel laureate, physics,1948.


My first job was delivering newspapers by bicycle. I had to collect from all the customers at the end of the month. All of the poor people paid on time, in cash. The more well off paid with a check, often very late, with many sweet excuses, and promises for next time, a check that was sometimes irredeemable. This was my introduction to the American “classless” society.


I would never ask Jean Jacques Rousseau,

Whether animals can talk or no,

Nor ask le Monsieur Voltaire,

If lions know how to swear.

Curse and roar, and roar and curse,

So many questions on this earth.


Will The Circle Be Unbroken (oil on canvas) 31 December 2011.

Hannah Adams (1755-1831) was the first American woman to make a living by writing. She published a number of books on religious subjects and A Summary History of New-England (1799).


My friend Zwanda. She’ modeled for me for years.


Well, as they say in grade school, I’ll see you next year!

Sam Andrew

Big Brother and the Holding Company


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