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Art Renewal Center

Virgil Elliott is Moderator of the Cowdisley Art Forum, on Yahoo groups. He is a regular contributor to the discussions there. Interested parties, see:

Virgil is also a musician, playing a wide variety of music on guitar and eight-course Renaissance lute.
He can be heard playing bottleneck (slide) guitar behind folksinger David Maloney on Maloney's "One Voice" album: One Voice and An Ordinary Day

In the planning stage is an album of solo guitar and lute instrumentals, and another in which he will provide lute accompaniment to Annie Lore's vocals.

Calibrate Your Monitor

There is a wide range of variance from one computer monitor to another, and this can be quite perplexing. The images on this web site look good on my monitor (though they can never do the paintings justice) but they might look very bad and unlike the paintings when viewed on a monitor that's calibrated differently. If they do not look good to you on your monitor, I hope you'll adjust it until they do look good, rather than judge them harshly based on what they look like on your monitor. It is well to reserve judgment on paintings we have not seen with our own eyes directly, because the fault might well lie with the reproductions rather than the paintings themselves. The tips below should prove helpful to some people, at least. The scale below should read as eleven gradations of gray, plus #1 being black. If it is not, adjust the brightness and/or contrast on your monitor until each numbered rectangle is distinguishable from the one(s) adjacent to it.


The square below is a test of your monitor's gamma adjustment. At a distance of eight feet, the smooth patch should appear neither lighter nor darker than the background around it if the gamma level is properly adjusted.

Gamma adjustment patch


"Art springs from a wild and anarchic side of human nature; between the artist and the bureaucrat there must always be a profound mutual antagonism, an age-long battle in which the artist, always outwardly worsted, wins in the end through the gratitude of mankind for the joy that he puts into their lives. If the wild side of human nature is to be permanently subjected to the orderly rules of the benevolent, uncomprehending bureaucrat, the joy of life will perish out of the earth, and the very impulse to live will gradually wither and die." 

Bertrand Russell

"An object in possession seldom retains the same charm that it had in pursuit." ~Pliny the Younger. 3 Letter xv. 1.

" Il fine dell' Arte è di muovere in noi delle passioni" ~René Descartes.

"Whatever you do, strive to do it so well that no man living and no man dead, and no man yet to be born can do it any better." ~ Benjamin Mays.

You are not here merely to make a living. You are here in order to enable the world to live more amply, with greater vision, with a finer spirit of hope and achievement. You are here to enrich the world, and you impoverish yourself...if you forget that errand.
~ Woodrow Wilson

"But there are forms which time adorns, not wears, and to which beauty obstinately clings." ~Lord Byron

"Art unifies the human experience. The artist has labored, amid deprivation, to perfect his skill; turned aside from quick success in order to strip his vision of everything secondary or cheapening. The life of the arts, far from being an interruption, a distraction in the life of a nation, is very close to the center of a nation's purpose - and is a test of the quality of a nation's civilization." ~John Fitzgerald Kennedy

"The human psyche includes many intrinsic qualities beyond the influence of fashion. Art that touches them will endure." ~Virgil Elliott

"False praise is the province of the epitaph-maker, and is best practiced with a chisel on a stone seldom visited." ~ Gene Fowler

"Bad laws make outlaws of good people."~ Virgil Elliott

"The avant-garde is the last refuge for the untalented." ~Attributed to various people, including jazz guitarist Jim Hall

"I am a mortal enemy to arbitrary government and unlimited power. I am naturally very jealous for the rights and liberties of my country, and the least encroachment of those invaluable privileges is apt to make my blood boil."~ Benjamin Franklin

“The man is a success who has lived well, laughed often, and loved much; who has gained the respect of intelligent men and the love of children; who has filled his niche and accomplished his task; who leaves the world better than he found it, whether by an improved poppy, a perfect poem, or a rescued soul; who never lacked appreciation of earth's beauty or failed to express it; who looked for the best in others and gave the best he had.” 
- Robert Louis Stevenson

"A stupid man's report of what a clever man says can never be accurate, because he unconsciously translates what he hears into something he can understand.
~ Bertrand Russell, History of Western Philosophy