Saturday, April 30, 2011

Saturday Is For Art: Simeon Zigler's Tree

My father immigrated to this country in the early 1920s, about the age of 12, with his mother and father and older sister Ida and his younger brother David. At the age of 16, he left school and took a job as a printer setting type. This job not only permitted him to help out in the support of his family, but importantly, it helped him learn English. He was an avid reader his whole life. Many times he would tell me if I wanted to learn something to go to the library and get a book. While in his late teens he attended the Cincinnati Art Academy's evening classes where he received instruction in his quest to become an artist. But, the Great Depression derailed his and many others plans for their futures and making art was placed on the back burner for several years. However, we do have a few drawings that he saved that he did in India ink. These black and white pieces and a few drawings in crayon are what we have from the 1930s. This tree is just one of those India ink drawings from that period of his life.

TREE by Simeon Zigler (1911-69), pen & India ink on paperboard, 1930s.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Simeon Zigler Art Exhibition: June 26, 2011

I can now announce that the art exhibition of my father's artwork will take place on Sunday June 26, 2011 at 5 pm at the Skirball Museum on the campus of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in Cincinnati, Ohio.

There will be approximately 35 to 40 pieces of his work ranging in dates from the early 1930s to when he resumed creating artworks in the 1950s and 1960s. The earlier pieces will be pen and India ink drawings followed by his watercolor paintings.

It is my hope that local and nearby artists, and people that love to see the fine workmanship of a man who loved his craft and created some very nice pieces will attend.

Stay tuned.

Simeon Zigler Self Portrait

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Saturday Is For Art: A few Old Drawings From Past Projects

I have been working on what I hope will be a series of paintings from the photographs I took during the summer of 1964. Long before I actually started to paint, I was thinking about painting these pictures. Now at 68 years, I guess now is as good of time as any to get started. I am in the process of transferring the photos that are printed on 8.5 by 11 inch paper, to the wood surfaces that I like to paint on. I have decided to do a few drawings and then starting painting after the drawings are pretty far along. I have painted one piece, the view looking out from the back of the Norwegian freighter. When I have 4 pieces drawn, I think I will restart painting. Here are a few drawings for past projects.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Saturday Is For Art: 2 drawings by Simeon S. Zigler

This week I picked up these two drawings that I had framed that depict the village in the Ukraine where my father lived for approximately the first 10 years of his life. The top drawing is the way he remembered the apartment complex that he lived in with his mother and father and his older sister Ida and his younger brother Dave. The bottom drawing depicts a view of the village as he remembered it. These drawings were done sometime during the 1960s, some 40 years after he and his family left the Ukraine and came to the United States.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Jackie Robinson: A True American Hero

Sixty-four years ago today, an African-American stepped onto the field of Major League Baseball for the first time in the modern era. The year was 1947, and the man's name was Jackie Robinson. A graduate of UCLA, where he lettered in 4 varsity sports, football, basketball, baseball and track. A veteran of the United States Army and an officer, Jackie Robinson broke the color line and opened up MLB for men of color. A true American hero, Jackie Robinson began the process of leveling the playing field. It is only fitting that we should remember his contribution not only to sports and baseball, but for the greater role he played as an American hero for us all.

Tribute To Jackie Robinson: Leveling The Playing Field by F.D. Zigler, acrylic on paper envelope.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Golf's Opening Day For The Frog

The weather in Cincinnati today is golf weather, and I am going to play for the first time in 2011. Last year was my first year back after stepping away from the game for about five years. When I worked in Columbus, Ohio I played a lot of golf. In the spring time, Columbus would become the golf mecca of the world, and whether golf was the religion you were born with, or, as I did, converted to, tee time became my time to pray to hit'em straight. So, this afternoon, I am looking forward to picking up where I left off last fall, playing one of the best games I have ever taken up.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

"Of The 1%, By The 1%, For The 1%": A Must Read For 99%

Last night I found another good article in my May 2011 issue of VANITY FAIR magazine by the economist Joseph E. Stiglitz*, titled OF THE 1%, BY THE 1%, FOR THE 1%. I strongly recommend that the other 99% read this article. As for the 1% that the article is about, they are excused from this assignment as wealth has its privileges.

Joseph E. Stiglitz is a professor of economics at Columbia University and won the Nobel Prize for economics in 2001. If you are interested in learning more about Joseph E. Stiglitz, you can read about him at Wikipedia. See the above link.

I have written about the level playing field many times in my blog, and yet I think there is a misunderstanding as to what the level playing is. The level playing field is an ideal. The level playing field is something that we all should strive for. It is in a way much like the Golden Rule - do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

This article by Joseph E. Stiglitz is only in part about economics. What it is really about is much bigger. When the top 1% controls 40 percent of the wealth of our country, we are moving in the wrong direction. Carried to the extreme, can we be talking about 50, 60, 70, 80 or 90 percent of the wealth of this country controlled by the top 1%? The United States will cease to exist long before the latter numbers are reached. The combustible mixture of 50:1, 60:1 will lead to a revolution. I doubt that it will ever get to 70:1 or 80:1.

Stay tuned.

Monday, April 11, 2011

"Shooting Fish In A Barrel" vs The Level Playing Field

Have they been reading my old blog postings about the economy, Wall Street and the idea of "the level playing field"? Perhaps I just dreamed that I wrote this stuff over two years ago. Well, I can always check my previous postings about the economy and see if I was just dreaming that I wrote about the economy or whether I actually wrote about the economy, Wall Street and "the level playing field".

I am a capitalist and I believe in capitalism, but I also believe that people's savings and investments should not be taken from them by a corruption of capitalism and to put it in plain English, by people that refer to this as "shooting fish in a barrel".

The other evening I read an article in VANITY FAIR magazine (MAY 2011) titled GOLDMAN'S ALPHA WAR, p. 168. This article was adapted from MONEY and POWER: HOW GOLDMAN SACHS CAME TO RULE THE WORLD by William D. Cohan, to be published this month by Doubleday.

You see, the phrase "shooting fish in a barrel" was used by a bond trader at Goldman Sachs in this article. The big lie is that all these Wall Street investment banking and trading firms really want is a "level playing field", when in truth, they all want the game rigged so it is more like "shooting fish in a barrel". The politicians in Washington take money for their campaigns for reelection from Wall Street firms and know full well what is expected of them for taking these campaign contributions.

The losers are all the rest of the people with savings and investments in personal accounts, 401-k or IRAs and then the big public pension funds that are getting their head handed to them on a bloody platter by Wall Street.

This will continue to go on until the rules of the game change. When "shooting fish in a barrel" becomes illegal and people on Wall Street are held accountable, charged with a crime when a crime is committed and prosecuted, then individuals, pension funds, endowments and foundations will have the level playing field they deserve, not before.

Stay tuned.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Saturday Is For Art: PA Painted Wood Rocking Horse

I had a busy week and I got a lot accomplished.

Here are 3 pictures of a Pennsylvania Rocking Horse that I am planning to make a painting, and then sell prints some time in the near future. There is a story with this antique rocking horse, but perhaps I will save the story for when I am ready to sell the prints. But, for now just enjoy the photos of the painted wood rocking horse. Don't ask if you can buy it as it is not for sale, and besides, you would not believe the asking price anyway.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Saturday Is For Art: Norwegian Ship

This painting is from a photo I took in the summer of 1964 when I was working aboard a Norwegian freighter, and is a work in progress. This is the top of 2 paintings that will be placed into the wood window as the frame. The wood window needs to be sanded more to take out some of the burn spots from when I removed the paint. The wood window frame came from my house as a result of replacing it with a new window. The painting is a view I had from my work station aboard the ship looking towards the back of the ship. The paint is acrylic. The "canvas" is MDO plywood, and measures 15"x18".