Beleaguered in Bothell – 16 December 2017

Remembering a Writer on the Date of His Birth: Born 16 December 1863 – George Santayana,, an American philosopher, essayist, novelist, and poet.

“The Power of Art”
By George Santayana

Not human art, but living gods alone
Can fashion beauties that by changing live,–
Her buds to spring, his fruits to autumn give,
To earth her fountains in her heart of stone;
But these in their begetting are o’erthrown,
Nor may the sentenced minutes find reprieve;
And summer in the blush of joy must grieve
To shed his flaunting crown of petals blown.
We to our works may not impart our breath,
Nor them with shifting light of life array;
We show but what one happy moment saith;
Yet may our hands immortalize the day
When life was sweet, and save from utter death
The sacred past that should not pass away.

Art for Autumn – Part I of IV: Carlos Loarca (Guatemalan, contemporary)

Below – “Dirty Laundry Dogs”; “Doguitoff Dogs”

For Your Information: 16 December is National Chocolate Covered Day in the United States.

Art for Autumn – Part II of IV: Thomas Locker (American, 1937-2012)

Below – “Clouds”; Untitled.

Remembering a Comic Genius on the Date of His Birth: Born 16 December 1961 – Bill Hicks, an American stand-up comedian, social critic, satirist, and musician.

Some quotes from the work of Bill Hicks:

“Today a young man on acid realized that all matter is merely energy condensed to a slow vibration, that we are all one consciousness experiencing itself subjectively, there is no such thing as death, life is only a dream, and we are the imagination of ourselves. Heres Tom with the Weather.”
“They lie about marijuana. Tell you pot-smoking makes you unmotivated. Lie! When you’re high, you can do everything you normally do just as well — you just realize that it’s not worth the fucking effort. There is a difference.”
“If you want to understand a society, take a good look at the drugs it uses. And what can this tell you about American culture? Well, look at the drugs we use. Except for pharmaceutical poison, there are essentially only two drugs that Western civilization tolerates: Caffeine from Monday to Friday to energize you enough to make you a productive member of society, and alcohol from Friday to Monday to keep you too stupid to figure out the prison that you are living in.”
“We all pay for life with death, so everything in between should be free.”
“Go back to bed, America. Your government has figured out how it all transpired. Go back to bed, America. Your government is in control again. Here. Here’s American Gladiators. Watch this, shut up. Go back to bed, America. Here is American Gladiators. Here is 56 channels of it! Watch these pituitary retards bang their fucking skulls together and congratulate you on living in the land of freedom. Here you go, America! You are free to do what we tell you! You are free to do what we tell you!”
“I left in love, in laughter, and in truth, and wherever truth, love and laughter abide, I am there in spirit.”

Art for Autumn – Part III of IV: Ramon Lombarte (Spanish, contemporary)

Below – “Sunday Eleven O’Clock PM”; “Yes Possible”; “Break of Day #4”; “Pepa”

Worth a Thousand Words: Mount St. Helens.

Art for Autumn – Part IV of IV: Joseph Lorusso (American, contemporary)

Below – “Another Last Drink”; “Her Favorite Coat”; Untitled

Remembering a Musician on the Date of His Birth: Born 16 December 1770 – Ludwig van Beethoven, a German composer and pianist.

This Date in Art History: Born 16 December 1861 – Antonio de La Gandara, a French painter, pastellist, and draughtsman.

Below – “Mdame Pierre Gautreau”; “Ida Rubinstein”; “Portrait of a Family With Their Collie”; “Portrait de femme”; “Portrait de Madame Gravier en robe de satin bleu et dentelle”; “Le repose du modele.”

Remembering a Writer on the Date of Her Death: Died 16 December 1928 – Elinor Wylie, an American author and poet.

“Now Let No Charitable Hope”
By Elinor Wylie

Now let no charitable hope
Confuse my mind with images
Of eagle and of antelope:
I am by nature none of these.

I was, being human, born alone;
I am, being woman, hard beset;
I live by squeezing from a stone
What little nourishment I get.

In masks outrageous and austere
The years go by in single file;
But none has merited my fear,
And none has quite escaped my smile.

This Date in Art History: Born 16 December 1937 – Edward Ruscha, an American painter and photographer.

Below – From “Twenty-Six Gasoline Stations”; “Filthy McNasty’s”; “Standard Station, Amarillo, Texas”; “Back of Hollywood”; “Burning Gas Station”; “Desert Gravure”; “A Particular Kind of Heaven.”

Remembering a Writer on the Date of His Death: Died 16 December 1965 – W. Somerset Maugham, a British playwright, novelist, and short story writer.

Some quotes from the work of W. Somerset Maugham:

“To acquire the habit of reading is to construct for yourself a refuge from almost all the miseries of life.”
“The great tragedy of life is not that men perish, but that they cease to love.”
“Impropriety is the soul of wit.”
“It is an illusion that youth is happy, an illusion of those who have lost it; but the young know they are wretched for they are full of the truthless ideal which have been instilled into them, and each time they come in contact with the real, they are bruised and wounded. It looks as if they were victims of a conspiracy; for the books they read, ideal by the necessity of selection, and the conversation of their elders, who look back upon the past through a rosy haze of forgetfulness, prepare them for an unreal life. They must discover for themselves that all they have read and all they have been told are lies, lies, lies; and each discovery is another nail driven into the body on the cross of life.”
“When you choose your friends, don’t be short-changed by choosing personality over character.”
“The only important thing in a book is the meaning that it has for you.”
“It is one of the defects of my character that I cannot altogether dislike anyone who makes me laugh.”
“Only a mediocre person is always at his best. ”

American Art – Chiura Obata (1885-1975)

In the words of one writer, “Chiura Obata was a well-known Japanese-American artist and popular art teacher. A self-described ‘roughneck’, Obata went to the United States in 1903, at age 17. After initially working as an illustrator and commercial decorator, he had a successful career as a painter, following a 1927 summer spent in the Sierra Nevada, and was a faculty member in the Art Department at the University of California, Berkeley, from 1932 to 1954, interrupted by World War II, when he spent over a year in internment camps. After his retirement, he continued to paint and to lead group tours to Japan to see gardens and art.”

Below – “Yosemite Falls” (woodcut); “Passing Rain” (woodcut); “Lake Basin in the High Sierra” (woodcut); “Silence, Last Twilight on an Unknown Lake, Johnson Peak” (woodcut); “Merced River, Yosemite Valley” (woodcut); “Upper Lyell Fork, near Lyell Glacier (woodcut).

Remembering a Writer on the Date of His Death: Died 16 December 2012 – Jake Adam York, an American poet.

By Jake Adam York

Forgive me if I forget
with the birdsong and the day’s
last glow folding into the hands
of the trees, forgive me the few
syllables of the autumn crickets,
the year’s last firefly winking
like a penny in the shoulder’s weeds,
if I forget the hour, if I forget
the day as the evening star
pours out its whiskey over the gravel
and asphalt I’ve walked
for years alone, if I startle
when you put your hand in mine,
if I wonder how long your light
has taken to reach me here.

Contemporary American Art – Tom Killion

In the words of one writer, “Tom was born and raised in Mill Valley, California, on the slopes of Mt. Tamalpais. The rugged scenery of Marin County and Northern California inspired him from an early age to create landscape prints using linoleum and wood, strongly influenced by the traditional Japanese Ukiyo-ë style of Hokusai and Hiroshige.

Below – “Mill Valley Lumber”; “Trail to Iron Mountain”; “Davis Lake”; “Point Reyes from Chimney Rock”; “Tennessee Cove, Marin Headlands”; “Wild Edge.”

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Current Events – 16 December 2017

“The world is like a ride in an amusement park, and when you choose to go on it you think it’s real because that’s how powerful our minds are. The ride goes up and down, around and around, it has thrills and chills, and it’s very brightly colored, and it’s very loud, and it’s fun for a while. Many people have been on the ride a long time, and they begin to wonder, ‘Hey, is this real, or is this just a ride?’ And other people have remembered, and they come back to us and say, ‘Hey, don’t worry; don’t be afraid, ever, because this is just a ride.’ And we … kill those people. ‘Shut him up! I’ve got a lot invested in this ride, shut him up! Look at my furrows of worry, look at my big bank account, and my family. This has to be real.’ It’s just a ride. But we always kill the good guys who try and tell us that, you ever notice that? And let the demons run amok … But it doesn’t matter, because it’s just a ride. And we can change it any time we want. It’s only a choice. No effort, no work, no job, no savings of money. Just a simple choice, right now, between fear and love. The eyes of fear want you to put bigger locks on your doors, buy guns, close yourself off. The eyes of love instead see all of us as one. Here’s what we can do to change the world, right now, to a better ride. Take all that money we spend on weapons and defenses each year and instead spend it feeding and clothing and educating the poor of the world, which it would pay for many times over, not one human being excluded, and we could explore space, together, both inner and outer, forever, in peace.” – Bill Hicks, American sage.

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Beleaguered in Bothell – 15 December 2017

Musings in Autumn: Mark Lilla

“People who know what kind of new world they want to create through revolution are trouble enough; those who only know what they want to destroy are a curse.”

Art for Autumn – Part I of III: Harvey Littleton (American, 1922-2013)

Below – “Buckshot”

Remembering a Writer on the Date of His Death: Died 15 December 1683 – Izaak Walton, an English writer best known as the author of “The Compleat Angler or the Contemplative Man’s Recreation” (with Charles Cotton).

Below – The River Lea at Amwell, Hertfordshire, where Izaak Walton would fish.

Art for Autumn – Part II of III: Brett Livingstone Strong (Australian, contemporary)

Below – “Surreal Sea”; “Emerald Rainforest”; “Tree of Life”

For Your Information: 15 December is National Cupcake Day in the United States.

Art for Autumn – Part III of III: J. Torrents Llado (Spanish, 1946-1993)

Below – “Fleurs De Giverny”; “Belvedere Nenufares”; “Rosas (El Poema De Goethe)”

Remembering a Writer on the Date of Her Birth: Born 15 December 1913 – Muriel Rukeyser, an American poet, academic, and activist.

“Haying Before Storm”
By Muriel Rukeyser

This sky is unmistakable. Not lurid, not low, not black.
Illuminated and bruise-color, limitless, to the noon
Full of its floods to come. Under it, field, wheels, and mountain,
The valley scattered with friends, gathering in
Live-colored harvest, filling their arms; not seeming to hope
Not seeming to dread, doing.
I stand where I can see
Holding a small pitcher, coming in toward
The doers and the day.
These images are all
Themselves emerging : they face their moment, love or go down,
A blade of the strong hay stands like light before me.
The sky is a torment on our eyes, the sky
Will not wait for this golden, it will not wait for form.
There is hardly a moment to stand before the storm.
There is hardly time to lay hand to the great earth.
Or time to tell again what power shines past storm.

This Date in Art History: Died 15 December 1675 – Johannes Vermeer, a Dutch painter known for his works depicting domestic interior scenes.

Below – “The Milkmaid”; “The Girl with the Wine Glass”; “Girl with a Pearl Earring”; “The Music Lesson”; “Girl Reading a Letter at an Open Window”; “Woman in Blue Reading a Letter.”

Worth a Thousand Words: Apollo 16’s Charles Duke left a photograph of his family on the Moon.

This Date in Art History: Born 15 December 1909 – Sattar Bahlulzade, an Azerbaijani painter.

Below – “Outside the Village of Laza”; “The Shamakhi Vineyards”; “The Valley of Gudiyalchai”; “Teardrops of Kyapaz”; “Jorat Melons”; “Dusk over the Caspian.”

Remembering a Native American Leader on the Date of His Death: Died 15 December 1890 – Sitting Bull, a Hunkpapa Lakota holy man.

Some quotes from Sitting Bull:

Inside of me there are two dogs. One is mean and evil and the other is good and they fight each other all the time. When asked which one wins I answer, the one I feed the most.
For us, warriors are not what you think of as warriors. The warrior is not someone who fights, because no one has the right to take another life. The warrior, for us, is one who sacrifices himself for the good of others. His task is to take care of the elderly, the defenseless, those who can not provide for themselves, and above all, the children, the future of humanity.
Hear me, people: We have now to deal with another race- small and feeble when our fathers first met them, but now great and overbearing. Strangely enough they have a mind to till the soil and the love of possession is a disease with them. These people have made many rules that the rich may break but the poor may not. They take their tithes from the poor and weak to support the rich and those who rule.
What treaty have the Sioux made with the white man that we have broken? Not one. What treaty have the white man ever made with us that they have kept? Not one.
They claim this mother of ours, the Earth, for their own use, and fence their neighbors away from her, and deface her with their buildings and their refuse.
If the Great Spirit had desired me to be a white man he would have made me so in the first place. He put in your heart certain wishes and plans, and in my heart he put other and different desires. It is not necessary for eagles to be crows.
Our religion seems foolish to you, but so does yours to me. The Baptists and Methodists and Presbyterians and the Catholics all have a different God. Why cannot we have one of our own?
When I was a boy, the Sioux owned the world. The sun rose and set on their land; they sent ten thousand men to battle. Where are the warriors today? Who slew them? Where are our lands? Who owns them?

Below – Sitting Bull in 1885.

American Art – Teikichi Hikoyama (1884-1957)

In the words of one writer, “Born in Japan, Teikichi Hikoyama came to California, arriving in San Francisco in 1901. It is believed he was the first Japanese artist in California creating woodblock prints. He also painted, using both oil based and ink paints. His art displayed elements of modernism, magic realism, and was often visionary.”

Below – “Mount Tamalpais”; “The Rising Sun” (woodcut); “Combing” (woodcut); “Paper Lantern” (woodcut).

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Current Events – 15 December 2017

“I only wish the NRA and its jellyfish, well-paid supporters in legislatures both State and Federal would be careful to recite the whole of it, and then tell us how a heavily armed man, woman, or child, recruited by no official, led by no official, given no goals by any official, motivated or restrained only by his or her personality and perceptions of what is going on, can be considered a member of a well-regulated militia.” – Kurt Vonnegut Jr., American novelist, satirist, and social critic.

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Beleaguered in Bothell – 14 December 2017

Remembering an American President on the Date of His Death: Died 14 December 1799 – George Washington, the first President of the United States.

Some quotes from the work of George Washington:

“The government of the United States is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion.”
“It is better to offer no excuse than a bad one.”
“If freedom of speech is taken away, then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter.”
“A primary object should be the education of our youth in the science of government. In a republic, what species of knowledge can be equally important? And what duty more pressing than communicating it to those who are to be the future guardians of the liberties of the country?”
“Be courteous to all, but intimate with few, and let those few be well tried before you give them your confidence. True friendship is a plant of slow growth, and must undergo and withstand the shocks of adversity before it is entitled to appellation. ”
“There is nothing which can better deserve our patronage than the promotion of science and literature. Knowledge is in every country the surest basis of public happiness.”
“In politics as in philosophy, my tenets are few and simple. The leading one of which, and indeed that which embraces most others, is to be honest and just ourselves and to exact it from others, meddling as little as possible in their affairs where our own are not involved. If this maxim was generally adopted, wars would cease and our swords would soon be converted into reap hooks and our harvests be more peaceful, abundant, and happy.”

Art for Autumn – Part I of IV: Peter Lik (Australian, contemporary)

Below – “Ocean Glow” (photograph)

Worth a Thousand Words: Machu Picchu, Peru.

Art for Autumn – Part II of IV: Richard Lindner (German, 1901-1978)

Below – Untitled Tapestry; “Hit”

Musings in Autumn: Mary McDonnell

“We have to get back to the beauty of just being alive in this present moment.”

Art for Autumn – Part III of IV: Bent Lindstrom (Swedish, 1925-2008)

Below – “Grand Visage”; “Visage et Chien”

Happy Birthday, Jon Tenzing Neralich. You are ever the scholar.

Art for Autumn – Part IV of IV: Zhou Ling (Chinese, contemporary)

Below – “Goddess of the Roses”; “Black Panther”; “Blue River”; “Spirit of Butterflies”

Remembering a Writer on the Date of Her Birth: Born 14 August 1916 – Shirley Jackson, an American novelist and short story writer.

Some quotes from the work of Shirley Jackson:

“No live organism can continue for long to exist sanely under conditions of absolute reality; even larks and katydids are supposed, by some, to dream.”
“Am I walking toward something I should be running away from?”
“I remember that I stood on the library steps holding my books and looking for a minute at the soft hinted green in the branches against the sky and wishing, as I always did, that I could walk home across the sky instead of through the village.”
“I could live there all alone, she thought, slowing the car to look down the winding garden path to the small blue front door with, perfectly, a white cat on the step. No one would ever find me there, either, behind all those roses, and just to make sure I would plant oleanders by the road. I will light a fire in the cool evenings and toast apples at my own hearth. I will raise white cats and sew white curtains for the windows and sometimes come out of my door to go to the store to buy cinnamon and tea and thread. People will come to me to have their fortunes told, and I will brew love potions for sad maidens…”
“She had taken to wondering lately, during these swift-counted years, what had been done with all those wasted summer days; how could she have spent them so wantonly? I am foolish, she told herself early every summer, I am very foolish; I am grown up now and know the values of things. Nothing is ever really wasted, she believed sensibly, even one’s childhood, and then each year, one summer morning, the warm wind would come down the city street where she walked and she would be touched with the little cold thought: I have let more time go by.”

This Date in Art History: Born 14 December 1866 – Roger Fry, an English painter and critic.

Below – “Edith Sitwell”; “Virginia Woolf”; “River with Poplars”; “Still Life with T’ang Horse”; “A Room”; “Self-Portrait.”

Musings in Autumn: Guy Davenport

“The poet is at the edge of our consciousness of the world, finding beyond the suspected nothingness which we imagine limits our perception another acre or so of being worth our venturing upon.”

This Date in Art History: Died 14 December 2013 – George Rodrigue, an American painter.

Below – “Blue Dog in a Hurricane”; “Big Texan Sky”; “She Walked Away Under the Broken Tree”; “Joe’s Lost Boat”; “A Night at the Opera”;
“The Oaks We Live Under.”

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Current Events – 14 December 2017

“However [political parties] may now and then answer popular ends, they are likely in the course of time and things, to become potent engines, by which cunning, ambitious, and unprincipled men will be enabled to subvert the power of the people and to usurp for themselves the reins of government, destroying afterwards the very engines which have lifted them to unjust dominion.” – George Washington.

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Beleaguered in Bothell – 13 December 2017

Remembering a Writer on the Date of His Birth: Born 13 December 1911 – Kenneth Patchen, an American poet and novelist.

“Fall of the Evening Star”
By Kenneth Patchen

Speak softly; sun going down
Out of sight. Come near me now.

Dear dying fall of wings as birds
complain against the gathering dark…

Exaggerate the green blood in grass;
the music of leaves scraping space;

Multiply the stillness by one sound;
by one syllable of your name…

And all that is little is soon giant,
all that is rare grows in common beauty

To rest with my mouth on your mouth
as somewhere a star falls

And the earth takes it softly, in natural love…
Exactly as we take each other…
and go to sleep…

Art for Autumn – Part I of II: Gustav Likan (Yugoslavian/American,1912-1998)

Below – Untitled; “Blue Nude”; “Don Quixote”

For Your Information: 13 December is National Hot Cocoa Day in the United States.

Art for Autumn – Part II of II: Earl Linderman (American, contemporary)

Below – “Fast Loves and Tropical Waters”; “Hotel Paradise”

Remembering a Writer on the Date of His Birth: Born 13 December 1927 – James Wright, an American poet.

“Lying in a Hammock at William Duffy’s Farm in Pine Island, Minnesota”
By James Wright

Over my head, I see the bronze butterfly,
Asleep on the black trunk,
blowing like a leaf in green shadow.
Down the ravine behind the empty house,
The cowbells follow one another
Into the distances of the afternoon.
To my right,
In a field of sunlight between two pines,
The droppings of last year’s horses
Blaze up into golden stones.
I lean back, as the evening darkens and comes on.
A chicken hawk floats over, looking for home.
I have wasted my life.

This Date in Art History: Died 13 December 1716 – Charles de la Fosse, a French painter.

Below – “Clytia Changed into a Sunflower”; “Bacchus and Ariadne”; “Apollo and Thetis”; “The Rest of Diana”; “The Abduction of Persephone.”

Worth a Thousand Words: Boudhanath Stupa, Kathmandu, Nepal.

This Date in Art History: Died 13 December 1944 – Wassily Kandinsky, a Russian painter.

Below – “The Blue Rider”; “Houses in Munich”; “Improvisation 27 (Garden of Love II)”; “Landscape With Two Poplars”; “Several Circles”; “Composition X.”

Remembering a Native American activist on the Date of His Death: Died 13 December 2007 – Floyd Red Crow Western, a Sioux musician, political activist, environmentalist, and actor.

Some quotes from the work of Floyd Red Crow Westerman:

“There is an ancient Indian saying that something lives only as long as the last person who remembers it. My people have come to trust memory over history. Memory, like fire, is radiant and immutable while history serves only those who seek to control it, those who douse the flame of memory in order to put out the dangerous fire of truth. Beware these men for they are dangerous themselves and unwise. Their false history is written in the blood of those who might remember and of those who seek the truth.”
“I would like to quote a very prejudicial doctrine that was handed down by the Supreme Court in 1823. It said that the Indian Nations do not have title to their lands because they weren’t Christians. That the first Christian Nations to discover an area of heathen lands has the absolute title. This doctrine should be withdrawn and renounced to establish a new basis for relationship between indigenous peoples and other peoples of the world.”
“Many people know me through acting, that is some thing I do, but that is not who I am. I am a musician, human rights advocate, and environmental activist. I live for my people.”
“Before America can heal, it needs to accept its past. With regards to history, the TRUTH will change everything.”
“Everybody is so distracted by things for the self. They don’t care about their relatives anymore. The SUV shows how we feel about the environment. To turn this around, we need to go back to the earth and live with the earth spiritually.”

This Date in Art History: Born 13 December 1871 – Emily Carr, a Canadian painter and author.

Below – “Kitwancool”; “Odds and Ends”; “Blunden Harbour”; “A Rushing Sea of Undergrowth”; “Blue Sky”; “Forest, British Columbia.”

Musings in Autumn: Loren Eiseley

“The evolutionists, piercing beneath the show of momentary stability, discovered, hidden in rudimentary organs, the discarded rubbish of the past. They detected the reptile under the lifted feathers of the bird, the lost terrestrial limbs dwindling beneath the blubber of the giant cetaceans. They saw life rushing outward from an unknown center, just as today the astronomer senses the galaxies fleeing into the infinity of darkness. As the spinning galactic clouds hurl stars and worlds across the night, so life, equally impelled by the centrifugal powers lurking in the germ cell, scatters the splintered radiance of consciousness and sends it prowling and contending through the thickets of the world.”

This Date in Art History: Died 13 December 1961 – Grandma Moses (Anna Mary Robertson Moses), an American painter.

Below – “Shenandoah Valley”; “Sugaring Off”; “The Burning of Troy in 1862”; “A Storm Is on the Water Now”; “The Thunderstorm.”“A Beautiful World.”

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Current Events – 13 December 2017

“Anything which is morally wrong cannot be religiously, socially or politically right.” ― Amit Kalantri, an Indian author.

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Beleaguered in Bothell – 12 December 2017

Remembering a Writer on the Date of His Death: Died 12 December 1999 – Joseph Heller, an American novelist, short story writer, screenplay writer, playwright, and author of “Catch-22.”

Some quotes from the work of Joseph Heller:

“There was only one catch and that was Catch-22, which specified that a concern for one’s safety in the face of dangers that were real and immediate was the process of a rational mind. Orr was crazy and could be grounded. All he had to do was ask; and as soon as he did, he would no longer be crazy and would have to fly more missions. Orr would be crazy to fly more missions and sane if he didn’t, but if he was sane he had to fly them. If he flew them he was crazy and didn’t have to; but if he didn’t want to he was sane and had to. Yossarian was moved very deeply by the absolute simplicity of this clause of Catch-22 and let out a respectful whistle.”
“Just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they aren’t after you.”
“Some men are born mediocre, some men achieve mediocrity, and some men have mediocrity thrust upon them.”
“He was going to live forever, or die in the attempt.”
“Insanity is contagious.”
“What is a country? A country is a piece of land surrounded on all sides by boundaries, usually unnatural. Englishmen are dying for England, Americans are dying for America, Germans are dying for Germany, Russians are dying for Russia. There are now fifty or sixty countries fighting in this war. Surely so many countries can’t all be worth dying for.”
“What a lousy earth! He wondered how many people were destitute that same night even in his own prosperous country, how many homes were shanties, how many husbands were drunk and wives socked, and how many children were bullied, abused, or abandoned. How many families hungered for food they could not afford to buy? How many hearts were broken? How many suicides would take place that same night, how many people would go insane? How many cockroaches and landlords would triumph? How many winners were losers, successes failures, and rich men poor men? How many wise guys were stupid? How many happy endings were unhappy endings? How many honest men were liars, brave men cowards, loyal men traitors, how many sainted men were corrupt, how many people in positions of trust had sold their souls to bodyguards, how many had never had souls? How many straight-and-narrow paths were crooked paths? How many best families were worst families and how many good people were bad people? When you added them all up and then subtracted, you might be left with only the children, and perhaps with Albert Einstein and an old violinist or sculptor somewhere.”
“The country was in peril; he was jeopardizing his traditional rights of freedom and independence by daring to exercise them.”
“When I look up, I see people cashing in. I don’t see heaven or saints or angels. I see people cashing in on every decent impulse and every human tragedy.”

Art for Autumn – Part I of III: Rino Li Causi (Italian, contemporary)

Below – “In the Park”; “Still Life of Flowers and Fruit”; “Spring in the Valley”; “Figure in a Landscape”

Worth a Thousand Words: Sikkim, India.

Art for Autumn – Part II of III: Frank Licsko (Hungarian-Canadian, contemporary)

Below – “Calm”; “Roads”

A Poem for Today

“The Wild Iris”
By Louise Gluck

At the end of my suffering
there was a door.

Hear me out: that which you call death
I remember.

Overhead, noises, branches of the pine shifting.
Then nothing. The weak sun
flickered over the dry surface.

It is terrible to survive
as consciousness
buried in the dark earth.

Then it was over: that which you fear, being
a soul and unable
to speak, ending abruptly, the stiff earth
bending a little. And what I took to be
birds darting in low shrubs.

You who do not remember
passage from the other world
I tell you I could speak again: whatever
returns from oblivion returns
to find a voice:

from the center of my life came
a great fountain, deep blue
shadows on azure seawater.

Art for Autumn – Part III of III: Shi Lifeng (Chinese, contemporary)

Below – “The Peach Blossom Land”; “Dream and Garden No. 10”

Remembering a Writer on the Date of His Death: Died 12 December 2002 – Dorrie Alexander “Dee” Brown, an American novelist, historian, librarian, and author of “Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee.: An Indian History of the American West.”

Some quotes from the work of Dee Brown:

“To the Indians it seemed that these Europeans hated everything in nature – the living forests and their birds and beasts, the grassy grades, the water, the soil, the air itself.”
“They made us many promises, more than I can remember, but they never kept but one; they promised to take our land, and they took it.”
“Treat all men alike…. give them all the same law. Give them all an even chance to live and grow. You might as well expect the rivers to run backward as that any man who is born a free man should be contented when penned up and denied liberty to go where he pleases. We only ask an even chance to live as other men live. We ask to be recognized as men. Let me be a free man…free to travel… free to stop…free to work…free to choose my own teachers…free to follow the religion of my Fathers…free to think and talk and act for myself.”
“I was born upon the prairie, where the wind blew free and there was nothing to break the light of the sun. I was born where there are no enclosures and where everything drew a free breath. I want to die there and not within walls. I know every stream and every wood between the Rio Grande and the Arkansas. I have hunted and lived over that country. I lived like my fathers before me, and, like them, I lived happily.”
“The white people were as thick and numerous and aimless as grasshoppers, moving always in a hurry but never seeming to get to whatever place it was they were going to.”
“I heard him call to the people not to be afraid, that the soldiers would not hurt them; then the troops opened fire from two sides of the camp.”
“Nothing lives long
Only the earth and mountains”

This Date in Art History: Born 12 December 1863 – Edvard Munch, a Norwegian painter and printmaker.

Below – “The Scream”; “Ashes”; “The Dance of Life”; “Anxiety”; “Lady from the Sea”; “Madonna.”

Remembering a Writer on the Date of Her Death: Died 12 December 2016 – Shirley Hazzard, an Australian-American novelist, short story writer, essayist, and recipient of the 2003 National Book Award for Fiction.

Some quotes from the work of Shirley Hazzard:

“At first, there is something you expect of life. Later, there is what life expects of you. By the time you realize these are the same, it can be too late for expectations. What we are being, not what we are to be. They are the same thing.”
“Although the sufferings of children are the worst, being inextinguishable–children themselves seldom have a proper sense of their own tragedy, discounting and keeping hidden the true horrors of their short lives, humbly imagining real calamity to be some prestigious drama of the grown-up world.”
“Solitude, which is held to be cause of eccentricity, in fact imposes excessive normality, and least in public.”
“She was coming to look on men and women as fellow-survivors: well-dissemblers of their woes, who, with few signals of grief, had contained, assimilated, or put to use their own destruction. Of those who had endured the worst, not all behaved nobly or consistently. but all, involuntarily, became part of some deeper assertion of life.”
“We take our bearings from the wrong landmark, wish that when young we had studied the stars – name the flowers for ourselves and the deserts after others. When the territory is charted, its eventual aspect may be quite other than what was hoped for. One can only say, it will be a whole – a region from which a few features, not necessarily those that seemed prominent at the start, will stand out in clear colours. Not to direct, but to solace us; not to fix our positions, but to show us how we came.”

This Date in Art History: Born 12 December 1884 – Zinaida Serebriakova, a Russian-French painter.

Below – “Harvest”; “Bath-House”; “The Veranda in Spring”; “Apples on the Branches”; “The Artist’s Sister”; “At the Dressing Table. Self-Portrait.”

Musings in Autumn: Thomas Berger

“What it means is you will fight until you’re all used up. Far from being sour, life is so sweet you will live it to the hilt and be consumed by it.”

Contemporary American Art – Malcolm Liepke

Artist Statement: ”When I moved to New York, I started going to museums and learning from all the great artists… Velazquez, Whistler, Chase, Vuillard, Sorolla and others. I learned color and composition and technique. I realized that their work was my kind of work. They were my heroes, so I became their student”

Below – “A Mother’s Touch”; “Helping With the Dress”; “Seduction in Blues”; “Woman in the Mirror”; “Pensive”; “Nude.”

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Current Events – 12 December 2017

“Consider it: every person you have ever met, every person will suffer the loss of his friends and family. All are going to lose everything they love in this world. Why would one want to be anything but kind to them in the meantime?” – Sam Harris, an American non-fiction writer, philosopher, and neuroscientist.

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