Food for the Spirit and the Soul

Because the diverse parts of human nature need to be nourished in different ways.

Summer Vacation – 2016

Dear Readers: I will not be posting on a regular basis for the next three weeks. My youngest son and his wife are going on their honeymoon, and while they are abroad, I will be living in their San Francisco apartment. However, in the extremely likely event that I encounter something worth sharing, I will post about it.

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June Offerings – Part XXIX: Something to Delight both Head and Heart

American Art – Part I of III: Ira Barkoff

In the words of one writer, “Ira Barkoff, influenced greatly by Monet’s later Water Lily Series, has a wonderful concern for the elements of light and space. It is often commented on how greatly reminiscent his style is to Wolf Kahn; however his sense of space and place is far from that of Kahn. Barkoff’s ability to meld the styles of former mentors and maintain his own sensibilities is a credit to his craft. In depicting even the simplified elements of earth, water, and sky, he is painting ‘about the glory of the real world.”

Below – “Cloud World”; “Lavender Reflection”; “Mountain Wall”; “Day Break”; “Power of One”; “Haze on the Mountain.”
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Reflections in Summer: Marty Rubin

“Summer is the season of wild birds.”
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From the American History Archives: George Washington Goethals

Born 29 June 1858 – George Washington Goethals, a United States Army officer and civil engineer, best known for his administration and supervision of the construction and opening of the Panama Canal. In the words of one historian, “During the Spanish-American War, he was lieutenant colonel and chief of engineers of the United States Volunteers. In 1903, Goethals became a member of the first Army General Staff in Washington, D.C. According to the book ‘The Panama Canal: An Army’s Enterprise,’ Goethals made such an impression on President Taft in D.C. that he later recommended him as an engineer for the Panama Canal. In 1907 US President Theodore Roosevelt appointed George Washington Goethals chief engineer of the Panama Canal. The building of the Canal was completed in 1914, two years ahead of the target date of June 10, 1916.”
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Portuguese painter Gina Marrinhas (born 1950) lives and works in Agueda.
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Reflections in Summer: Theodore Roosevelt

“We have come to a political deification of Mammon.”
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From the Music Archives – Part I of II: Tim Buckley

Died 29 June 1975 – Tim Buckley, an American singer-songwriter and guitarist.

“One eye sees, the other feels.” – Paul Klee, Swiss-German painter, who died 29 June 11940.

Below – “Flower Myth”; “Red Balloon”; “Nocturnal Festivity”; “The Goldfish”; “Heroic Roses”; “Death and Fire.”
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A Poem for Today

“Ah, Ah.”
By Joy Harjo

for Lurline McGregor

Ah, ah cries the crow arching toward the heavy sky over the marina.
Lands on the crown of the palm tree.

Ah, ah slaps the urgent cove of ocean swimming through the slips.
We carry canoes to the edge of the salt.

Ah, ah groans the crew with the weight, the winds cutting skin.
We claim our seats. Pelicans perch in the draft for fish.

Ah, ah beats our lungs and we are racing into the waves.
Though there are worlds below us and above us, we are straight ahead.

Ah, ah tattoos the engines of your plane against the sky—away from these waters.
Each paddle stroke follows the curve from reach to loss.

Ah, ah calls the sun from a fishing boat with a pale, yellow sail. We fly by
on our return, over the net of eternity thrown out for stars.

Ah, ah scrapes the hull of my soul. Ah, ah.
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Reflections in Summer: Wendell Berry

“What can turn us from this deserted future, back into the sphere of our being, the great dance that joins us to our home, to each other and to other creatures, to the dead and unborn? I think it is love. I am perforce aware how baldly and embarrassingly that word now lies on the page—for we have learned at once to overuse it, abuse it, and hold it in suspicion. But I do not mean any kind of abstract love (adolescent, romantic, or ‘religious’), which is probably a contradiction in terms, but particular love for particular things, places, creatures, and people, requiring stands, acts, showing its successes and failures in practical or tangible effects. And it implies a responsibility just as particular, not grim or merely dutiful, but rising out of generosity. I think that this sort of love defines the effective range of human intelligence, the range within its works can be dependably beneficent. Only the action that is moved by love for the good at hand has the hope of being responsible and generous. Desire for the future produces words that cannot be stood by. But love makes language exact, because one loves only what one knows.”
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American Art – Part II of III: James Van Der Zee

Born 29 June 1886 – James Van Der Zee, an African-American photographer best known for his portraits of black New Yorkers. In the words of one historian, “He was a leading figure in the Harlem Renaissance. Aside from the artistic merits of his work, Van Der Zee produced the most comprehensive documentation of the period. Among his most famous subjects during this time were Marcus Garvey, Bill ‘Bojangles’ Robinson and Countee Cullen.”

Below – “Couple in Harlem” (1932); “Twins”; “Black Yankees”; “Dancing Girls”; “Marcus Garvey”; Bill ‘Bojangles’ Robinson”; “Countee Cullen”; “Self-Portrait” (1918).
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Reflections in Summer: Helen Keller

“The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched, but must be felt with the heart.”
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A Second Poem for Today

“My Old Shoes”
By Philip Paradis

Sole brothers, homely twins,
they cower in the corner
of the closet, as if knowing
what their chances are
of being asked to go anywhere.
Worn, slightly frazzled, almost
too comfortable and willing
always to go wherever with
only a moment’s notice —
a match for two elderly spinsters.

One brother is holey,
the other owns a loose tongue.
Gone are those days I could go
anywhere with them. When
I would polish their leather
until I could see myself
in their shine. Together,
we would all go out
on the town.

But now, no more talk
of the old days. Today, I’m taking
them out for a walk. Next weekend
we may hang some windows — or even
paint the back porch.
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Dutch Art – Part I of II: Andri de Brujin

Here is part of the Artist Statement of Dutch painter Andri de Brujin: “From my early youth drawing and painting became a passion. A week without painting is a lost week. From still life in watercolour, in the beginning, to landscapes in pastel of which I made sketches during my travels, I got more and more portrait tasks. And now about a 150 portraits later I became fascinated by oriental countries, such as China, India, Nepal, Japan, Vietnam and Egypt.
The landscape, culture, the mysticism and living habits which I encounter in these countries buoys me enormously. During each travel I acquire so many impressions that give me inspiration, which I then develop in my workshop.”
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Reflections in Summer: E.B. White

“Early summer days are a jubilee time for birds. In the fields, around the house, in the barn, in the woods, in the swamp – everywhere love and songs and nests and eggs.”
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From the Music Archives – Part II of II: Little Eva

Born 29 June 1943 – Eva Narcissus Boyd, known by the stage name Little Eva, an American singer.

Reflections in Summer: Albert Einstein

“The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and science.”
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Dutch Art – Part II of II: Ger Eikendal

Here is one writer describing the artistry of Dutch painter Ger Eikendal (born 1954): “Torn posters of Hollywood beauties from the past on dilapidated buildings can be interpreted as the passage of beauty and time.”
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Reflections in Summer: Rick Yancey

“The spring rains woke the dormant tillers, and bright green shoots sprang from the moist earth and rose like sleepers stretching after a long nap. As spring gave way to summer, the bright green stalks darkened, became tan, turned golden brown. The days grew long and hot. Thick towers of swirling black clouds brought rain, and the brown stems glistened in the perpetual twilight that dwelled beneath the canopy. The wheat rose and the ripening heads bent in the prairie wind, a rippling curtain, an endless, undulating sea that stretched to the horizon.”
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“All grown-ups were once children… but only a few of them remember it.” – Antoine de Saint-Exupery, French writer, poet, pioneering aviator, and author of “The Little Prince,” “Wind, Sand and Stars” (winner of the 1939 U.S. National Book Award for Nonfiction), and “Night Flight, who was born 29 June 1900.

Some quotes from the work of Antoine de Saint-Exuperey:

“Love does not consist of gazing at each other, but in looking outward together in the same direction.”
“I looked about me. Luminous points glowed in the darkness. Cigarettes punctuated the humble meditations of worn old clerks. I heard them talking to one another in murmurs and whispers. They talked about illness, money, shabby domestic cares. And suddenly I had a vision of the face of destiny. Old bureaucrat, my comrade, it is not you who are to blame. No one ever helped you to escape. You, like a termite, built your peace by blocking up with cement every chink and cranny through which the light might pierce. You rolled yourself up into a ball in your genteel security, in routine, in the stifling conventions of provincial life, raising a modest rampart against the winds and the tides and the stars. You have chosen not to be perturbed by great problems, having trouble enough to forget your own fate as a man. You are not the dweller upon an errant planet and do not ask yourself questions to which there are no answers. Nobody grasped you by the shoulder while there was still time. Now the clay of which you were shaped has dried and hardened, and naught in you will ever awaken the sleeping musician, the poet, the astronomer that possibly inhabited you in the beginning.”
“‘Goodbye,’ said the fox. ‘And now here is my secret, a very simple secret: It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.’”
“Action and personal happiness have no truck with each other; they are eternally at war.”
“Grown-ups never understand anything by themselves, and it is tiresome for children to be always and forever explaining things to them.”
“When I opened my eyes I saw nothing but the pool of nocturnal sky, for I was lying on my back with out-stretched arms, face to face with that hatchery of stars. Only half awake, still unaware that those depths were sky, having no roof between those depths and me, no branches to screen them, no root to cling to, I was seized with vertigo and felt myself as if flung forth and plunging downward like a diver.”
“A goal without a plan is just a wish.”
“Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.”
“In every crowd are certain persons who seem just like the rest, yet they bear amazing messages.”
“The first stars tremble as if shimmering in green water. Hours must pass before their glimmer hardens into the frozen glitter of diamonds. I shall have a long wait before I witness the soundless frolic of the shooting stars. In the profound darkness of certain nights I have seen the sky streaked with so many trailing sparks that it seemed to me a great gale must be blowing through the outer heavens.”
“If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up people together to collect wood and don’t assign them tasks and work, but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea.”
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Reflections in Summer: Kenneth Grahame

“The line of the horizon was clear and hard against the sky, and in one particular quarter it showed black against a silvery climbing phosphorescence that grew and grew. At last, over the rim of the waiting earth the moon lifted with slow majesty till it swung clear of the horizon and rode off, free of moorings; and once more they began to see surfaces – meadows widespread, and quiet gardens; and the river itself from bank to bank, all softy disclosed, all washed clean of mystery and terror, all radiant again as by day, but with a difference that was tremendous.”
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Back from the Territory – Art: Stephanie Ryan (Part V)

Stephanie Ryan is a painter who lives and works in the Yukon Territory.

Back from the Territory, I share this with you, before I light out again.

Below – “Red Rock River”; “Sauna Dogs”; “Second Canyon on the Snake River, Yukon”; “St. Elias Mountains”; “Summer Garden at Ben-My-Chree”; “The Cove.”
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A Third Poem for Today

“The Jealousy of Soil”
By Colin Morton

Blindly
knowing flowers bloom
for any passing eye

while roots only
crush tear
take

soil longs
for the fruit
of all this giving.

The dead only
return
black and brittle on the stem

leaves sodden
trodden to mulch
rent

of all
but the longing
of soil.

And deeper dry
and unwashed
what of the jealousy of stone?
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Reflections in Summer: Wendell Berry

“It may be that when we no longer know what to do,
we have come to our real work,
and that when we no longer know which way to go,
we have begun our real journey.”
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American Art – Part III of III: Fred Wessel (Part IV)

Artist’s Statement: “A two week trip that I took to Italy in 1984, had a profound and prolonged influence on my work. At that time I was involved in making a series of aquarium images. I went to Italy to view the art of the Renaissance, for it is my belief that all visual artists, especially realists, should experience and study this work firsthand. I could not have predicted the dramatic impact, both direct and indirect, that this journey of discovery would have on my ensuing work. I believe that in our search for novelty in post-modernist art making, we often lose touch with certain basics: beauty, grace, harmony and visual poetry are nowadays rarely considered important criteria in evaluating contemporary works of art.
Since the Bauhaus, the term ‘precious’ has had a negative connotation in art schools. It was a term used derisively in the 1960’s to describe work that did not adhere to the fashionably pared down kernels of conceptualism or minimalism.
But after seeing the beauty, sensitivity, harmony—the ‘preciousness’—of Italian Renaissance painting—especially the early Renaissance work of artists such as Fra Angelico, Duccio and Simone Martini—I realize that, as artists, we may have abandoned too much. The ever–changing inner light that radiates from gold leaf used judiciously on the surface of a painting, and the use of pockets of rich, intense colors that illuminate the picture’s surface impressed me deeply. It was ‘preciousness’ elevated to grand heights: semi–precious gems such as lapis lazuli, malachite, azurite, etc., were ground up, mixed with egg yolk and applied as paint pigments, producing dazzling, breathtaking colors! The surface of these colors forms a texture that sparkles and reflects light much like gold does, but in ways that are much more subtle than gold.
I look to the early Renaissance as a source of inspiration that I can use along with contemporary content and image making. I look to the Renaissance as the artists of that time looked back to early Greek and Roman art—not as a reactionary but as one who rediscovers and reapplies important but forgotten visual stimuli.”

Below (from the “Still Life” Collection) – “Strange Fruit”; “Maize”; “Sienese Icon (Turban Squash)”; “Alabaster Eggs”; “Shells”; “Predella (Pears on Marble).”
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June Offerings – Part XXVIII: Something to Delight both Head and Heart

American Art – Part I of IV: Sam Barber

Artist Statement: “Living here [on Cape Cod] offers tremendous changes of light and this affects my paintings. Surrounded by water causes the sky to change from green to green-blue to aqua-light blue sometimes in a matter of minutes. When I came here to study with Henry Hensche I knew right away that this was the place for me and that I would stay.”

Below – “Nantucket Yacht Club”; “October Light”; “Nantucket Light”; “Provincetown Rooftops”; “Purple and White Iris”; “Yellow Iris and Waterlilies.”
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Reflections in Summer: Wendell Berry

“You think you will never forget any of this, you will remember it always just the way it was. But you can’t remember it the way it was. To know it, you have to be living in the presence of it right as it is happening. It can return only by surprise. Speaking of these things tells you that there are no words for them that are equal to them or that can restore them to your mind. And so you have a life that you are living only now, now and now and now, gone before you can speak of it, and you must be thankful for living day by day, moment by moment, in this presence.
But you have a life too that you remember. It stays with you. You have lived a life in the breath and pulse and living light of the present, and your memories of it, remember now, are of a different life in a different world and time. When you remember the past, you are not remembering it as it was. You are remembering it as it is. It is a vision or a dream, present with you in the present, alive with you in the only time you are alive.”
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Cuban painter Orlando Hernandez Yanes (born 1926) is a member of the International Association of Art.
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A Poem for Today

“That’s for thoughts”
By Colin Morton

Over summerripe garden —

two weeks and the ripening creepers

have flooded every space with green.
Tomato vines cling to rose canes
and keep climbing,

hide their luscious fruit
between the thorns.
Points scratch the window
and my gloveless hands,

I heap red wilted flowers on the grass
then flood the blind roots with water
splashing from a green translucent hose,
prune back tomato leaves, stake up

and uncover
forgotten
pansies
smothered in overgrowth.

Pansies
whose purples and blues and violets
have not forgotten,
whose yellows and pinks and burgundies
are bright as they were on your collar
that evening we walked.
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Reflections in Summer: Vincent van Gogh

“It is good to love many things, for therein lies true strength, and whosoever loves much performs much, and can accomplish much, and what is done in love is well done.”

Below – Vincent van Gogh: “The Sower”
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Belgian Art – Part I of II: Peter Paul Rubens

Born 28 June 1577 – Peter Paul Rubens, a Flemish painter. In the words of one critic, Rubens was “a proponent of an extravagant Baroque style that emphasized movement, colour, and sensuality. He is well known for his Counter-Reformation altarpieces, portraits, landscapes, and history paintings of mythological and allegorical subjects.”

Below – “The Fall of Phaeton”; “The Three Graces”; “Venus at the Mirror”; “Landscape with the Ruins of Mount Palatine in Rome”; “Landscape with Milkmaids and Cattle”; “Venus and Adonis”; “Venus, Cupid, Bacchus, and Ceres”; “The Birth of the Milky Way”; “Self-Portrait.”
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Reflections in Summer: Marty Rubin

“Every summer, like the roses, childhood returns.”
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From the Movie Archives – Part I of II: Mel Brooks

Born 28 June 1926 – Mel Brooks, an American film director, screenwriter, composer, lyricist, comedian, actor, and producer known for his farces and parodies. Mel Brooks has given the world many delightfully witty movies, including “Blazing Saddles,” “Young Frankenstein,” and “Spaceballs.”

Reflections in Summer: Kenneth Grahame

“‘This is the place of my song-dream, the place the music played to me,’ whispered the Rat, as if in a trance. ‘Here, in this holy place, here if anywhere, surely.’”

Below – An illustration from “The Wind in the Willows”
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Belgian Art – Part II of II: Henri Puvrez

Died 28 June 1971 – Henri Puvrez, a Belgian sculptor.

Below – “The Couple”; “Nude with Her Dog”; “The Fiances”; “The Violinist”; “The Siren.”
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Reflections in Summer: Theodore Roosevelt

“Only those who live and sleep in the open fully realize the beauty of dawn and moonlight and starlight.”

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In the words of one critic, French painter Dominique Fournier (born 1951) “is seeking is to capture transitory emotion – to catch it and to express it as simply as possible.”
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From the Movie Archives – Part II of II: Kathy Bates

Born 28 June 1948 – Kathy Bates, an American actress and film director. Bates won the Academy Award for Best Actress and a Golden Globe for her performance in “Misery” (1990).

Azorean sculptor Ernesto Canto Faria e Maia (1890-1981) achieved an international reputation for his terracotta and painted plaster figurines.
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A Second Poem for Today

“Blackbird on a Windy Day”
By Philip Paradis

Like a salmon fighting falls,
once I shouldered wind,
wrapped in an overcoat
in my private war,
when a blackbird threw itself
up from dried grass, hit
the stiff head wind
and hung there, beating wings–
my spirit cheered.
After a long moment of fists
pounding a door, its spirit
buckled, and I thought all was lost–
but with set wings,
it sailed the wind away.
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In the words of one writer, “Deborah Poynton was born in 1970 in Durban and her youth was spent between South Africa, Britain, Swaziland and the United States. She studied at the Rhode Island School of Design from 1987 to 1989; since then she has lived and worked in Cape Town, South Africa.”
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“Civilization is a hopeless race to discover remedies for the evils it produces.” – Jean-Jacques Rousseau, influential French philosopher, writer, and composer, who was born 28 June 1712.

In the words of one writer, “Rousseau’s novel ‘Émile, or On Education’ is a treatise on the education of the whole person for citizenship. His sentimental novel ‘Julie, or the New Heloise’ was of importance to the development of pre-romanticism and romanticism in fiction. Rousseau’s autobiographical writings — his ‘Confessions,’ which initiated the modern autobiography, and his ‘Reveries of a Solitary Walker’ — exemplified the late 18th-century movement known as the Age of Sensibility, and featured an increased focus on subjectivity and introspection that later characterized modern writing. His ‘Discourse on the Origin of Inequality’ and his ‘On the Social Contract’ are cornerstones in modern political and social thought.”

Some quotes from the work of Jean-Jacques Rousseau:

“Man is born free, and everywhere he is in chains.”
“The world of reality has its limits; the world of imagination is boundless.”
“I am not made like any of those I have seen. I venture to believe that I am not made like any of those who are in existence. If I am not better, at least I am different.”
“What wisdom can you find greater than kindness?”
I would rather be a man of paradoxes than a man of prejudices.”
“The first person who, having enclosed a plot of land, took it into his head to say this is mine and found people simple enough to believe him was the true founder of civil society. What crimes, wars, murders, what miseries and horrors would the human race have been spared, had some one pulled up the stakes or filled in the ditch and cried out to his fellow men: ‘Do not listen to this imposter. You are lost if you forget that the fruits of the earth belong to all and the earth to no one!’”
“To be sane in a world of madman is in itself madness.”
“All my misfortunes come of having thought too well of my fellows.”
“In truth, laws are always useful to those with possessions and harmful to those who have nothing; from which it follows that the social state is advantageous to men only when all possess something and none has too much.”

Greek painter Adrianos Sotiris (born 1977) studied at the Athens School of Fine Arts.
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“We have a hunger of the mind which asks for knowledge of all around us, and the more we gain, the more is our desire; the more we see, the more we are capable of seeing.” – Maria Mitchell, the first American female astronomer, who died 28 June 1889. In the words of one historian, “(It was Mitchell) who, in 1847, by using a telescope, discovered a comet which as a result became known as the ‘Miss Mitchell’s Comet.’ She won a gold medal prize for her discovery, which was presented to her by King Frederick VII of Denmark. The medal read, ‘Not in vain do we watch the setting and rising of the stars.’”

Some quotes from Maria Mitchell:

“We travel to learn; and I have never been in any country where they did not do something better than we do it, think some thoughts better than we think, catch some inspiration from heights above our own.”
“Study as if you were going to live forever; live as if you were going to die tomorrow.”
“The world of learning is so broad, and the human soul is so limited in power! We reach forth and strain every nerve, but we seize only a bit of the curtain that hides the infinite from us.”
“Besides learning to see, there is another art to be learned — not to see what is not.”
“Do not look at stars as bright spots only. Try to take in the vastness of the universe.”
“We especially need imagination in science. It is not all mathematics, nor all logic, but is somewhat beauty and poetry.”

Below – Maria Mitchell, painting by H. Dasell, 1851; Maria Mitchell with the first astronomy class at Vassar College.
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Reflections in Summer: Elliot Eisner

“Art is literacy of the heart.”

Below – Claude Monet: “The Japanese Footbridge”
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In the words of one writer, “Michael Alford was born in Cookham, England, grew up in Germany and attended Rugby School. His earliest art training came from his father, a colonel in the Royal Engineers, who taught him to draw in perspective from a young age… Known for his ability to blend classical technique with a sharp, modern sensibility, his work can be found in public and private collections around the world.
Michael’s body of work is varied, reflecting his interests in many aspects of life as well as his skill in a variety of media. He is best known for masterful cityscapes of contemporary urban centres such as London, New York and Barcelona. His paintings and drawings of people — men and women, clothed and nude — are highly sought-after for their combination of fine draughtsmanship, acute observation and sense of drama.”
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28 June – In the words of one historian, “On this day in 1914, Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria and his wife Sophie are shot to death by a Bosnian Serb nationalist during an official visit to the Bosnian capital of Sarajevo. The killings sparked a chain of events that led to the outbreak of World War I by early August. On June 28, 1919, five years to the day after Franz Ferdinand’s death, Germany and the Allied Powers signed the Treaty of Versailles, officially marking the end of World War I.”

Below – Franz Ferdinand; a drawing of the assassination; Gavrilo Princip, the assassin.
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Died 28 June 1916 – Stefan Luchian, a Romanian painter.

Below – “Interior”; “The River Meadow at Poduri”; “Safta the Flower Girl”; “The Laundress”; “The Millet Beer Seller”; “A Housepainter” (self-portrait).
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Reflections in Summer: Haruki Murakami

“The whiff of ocean on the southern breeze and the smell of burning asphalt brought back memories of summers past. It had seemed as though those sweet dreams of summer would last forever: the warmth of a girl’s skin, an old rock ‘n’ roll song, freshly washed button-down shirt, the odor of cigarette smoke in a pool changing room, a fleeting premonition. Then one summer (when had it been?) the dreams had vanished, never to return.”
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American Art – Part II of IV: Thomas Reis

In the words of one writer, “American Award-winning painter Thomas Reis began work as senior art director for JP Morgan Chase in New York City, shortly after receiving his MFA from the San Francisco Art Institute in 1993. His paintings are represented in numerous permanent and private collections throughout the United States. Tom currently resides in Atlanta, Georgia.”
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Nobel Laureate: Luigi Pirandello

“This is the real drama for me; the belief that we all, you see, think of ourselves as one single person: but it’s not true: each of us is several different people, and all these people live inside us. With one person we seem like this and with another we seem very different. But we always have the illusion of being the same person for everybody and of always being the same person in everything we do. But it’s not true! It’s not true! We find this out for ourselves very clearly when by some terrible chance we’re suddenly stopped in the middle of doing something and we’re left dangling there, suspended. We realize then, that every part of us was not involved in what we’d been doing and that it would be a dreadful injustice of other people to judge us only by this one action as we dangle there, hanging in chains, fixed for all eternity, as if the whole of one’s personality were summed up in that single, interrupted action.” – Luigi Pirandello, Italian dramatist, novelist, poet, short story writer, and recipient of the 1934 Nobel Prize in Literature for “bold and brilliant renovation of the drama and the stage,” who was born 28 June 1867.

Some quotes from the work of Luigi Pirandello:

“Our spirits have their own private way of understanding each other, of becoming intimate, while our external persons are still trapped in the commerce of ordinary words, in the slavery of social rules. Souls have their own needs and their own ambitions, which the body ignores when it sees that it’s impossible to satisfy them or achieve them.”
“Inevitably we construct ourselves. Let me explain. I enter this house and immediately I become what I have to become, what I can become: I construct myself. That is, I present myself to you in a form suitable to the relationship I wish to achieve with you. And, of course, you do the same with me.”
“We all grasp on to a single idea of ourselves, the way aging people dye their hair. It’s no matter that this dye doesn’t fool you. My lady, you don’t dye your hair to deceive other people, or to fool yourself, but rather to cheat your image in your mirror a little.”
“If only we could see in advance all the harm that can come from the good we think we are doing.”
“But only in order to know if you, as you really are now, see yourself as you once were with all the illusions that were yours then, with all the things both inside and outside of you as they seemed to you – as they were then indeed for you. Well, sir, if you think of all those illusions that mean nothing to you now, of all those things which don’t even seem to you to exist any more, while once they were for you, don’t you feel that – I won’t say these boards – but the very earth under your feet is sinking away from you when you reflect that in the same way this you as you feel it today – all this present reality of yours – is fated to seem a mere illusion to you tomorrow?”

Reflections in Summer: E.B. White

“Always be on the lookout for the presence of wonder.”

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Italian artist Melina Lamberto paints hyper-realistic portraits.
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Reflections in Summer: Kenneth Grahame

“Neither had any desire for talk; the glow and glory of existing on this perfect morning were satisfaction full and sufficient.”

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Painter Alejandro Decinti (born 1973) graduated from the Fine Arts University of Chile.
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“Human beings are the only creatures who are able to behave irrationally in the name of reason.” – Ashley Montagu, English-born American anthropologist and humanist, who was born 28 June 1905.

Some quotes from the work of Ashley Montagu:

“The moments of happiness we enjoy take us by surprise. It is not that we seize them, but that they seize us.”
“Science has proof without any certainty. Creationists have certainty without any proof.”
“The family is the basis of society. As the family is, so is the society, and it is human beings who make a family-not the quantity of them, but the quality of them.”
“Unfortunately, we – especially in the United States – have become increasingly mechanized, so that today we feel very strongly that if we can take anything out of human hands and especially out of the human heart and put it through a machine, we have made progress. Indeed, we flatter ourselves that we can make machines that think like human beings, while not always pausing to reflect that in the process we have also succeeded in making millions of human beings who can feel and think like machines. It is a sorry reflection.”
“‘The Good Book’ – one of the most remarkable euphemisms ever coined.”
“One goes through school, college, medical school and one’s internship learning little or nothing about goodness but a good deal about success.”
“Girls marry for love. Boys marry because of a chronic irritation that causes them to gravitate in the direction of objects with certain curvilinear properties.”
“The cultured man is an artist, an artist in humanity.”
“Hell has been described as a pocket edition of Chicago.”
“It is work, work that one delights in, that is the surest guarantor of happiness. But even here it is a work that has to be earned by labor in one’s earlier years. One should labor so hard in youth that everything one does subsequently is easy by comparison.”
“The deepest personal defeat suffered by human beings is constituted by the difference between what one was capable of becoming and what one has in fact become.”
“The world is so full of wonderful things we should all, if we were taught how to appreciate it, be far richer than kings.”
“The idea is to die young as late as possible.”

American Art – Part III of IV: Andrea Kemp

Artist Statement: “The inspiration for my paintings comes from all around me. Sometimes it can be as simple as a color, other times it can be the way two people are interacting. Whatever it might be, it is used as a building block for the piece. That is when creating an environment that will compliment, emphasize, or perhaps downplay my motive becomes so important to executing that vision. When working through a painting I have experience and tools to use that I have acquired from my past work, but never is the path completely the same. There are always unexpected obstacles that arise. Those little and big bumps give me the opportunity to truly be creative. To create the impossible and let the magic take hold.”
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From the American Old West: Texas Jack Omohundro

Died 28 June 1880 – John Baker “Texas Jack” Omohundro, an American frontier scout, cowboy, and actor.

In 1869, Texas Jack Omohundro (born 1846) served with William “Buffalo Bill” Cody as a scout and buffalo hunter, and in 1872 he joined Cody in Chicago to act in “The Scouts of the Prairie,” one of the original Wild West shows produced by Ned Buntline. Texas Jack was the first performer to introduce roping acts to the American stage, and during the 1873-74 season, he and Cody invited their friend James Butler “Wild Bill” Hickok to join them in a new play called “Scouts of the Plains.”

Below – John Baker Omohundro; (left to right) Ned Buntline, Buffalo Bill Cody, Giuseppina Morlacchi (Omohundro’s wife, a dancer and actress from Milan, Italy, who introduced can-can to the American stage), Texas Jack Omohundro; (left to right) Wild Bill Hickok, Texas Jack Omohundro, Buffalo Bill Cody.

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Reflections in Summer: Kenneth Grahame

“…as one by one the scents and sounds and names of long-forgotten places come gradually back and beckon to us.”
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Back from the Territory – Art: Stephanie Ryan (Part IV)

Stephanie Ryan is a painter who lives and works in the Yukon Territory.

Back from the Territory, I share this with you, before I light out again.

Below – “Mountain Stream, Fraser Lake Valley”; “Mt Macdonald, Snake River, Yukon”; “Mt Royal Above The Wind River, Yukon”; “Nadahini, Haines Pass”; “Racine Falls.”
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A Third Poem for Today

“Mountain Pines”
By Robinson Jeffers

In scornful upright loneliness they stand,
Counting themselves no kin of anything
Whether of earth or sky. Their gnarled roots cling
Like wasted fingers of a clutching hand
In the grim rock. A silent spectral band
They watch the old sky, but hold no communing
With aught. Only, when some lone eagle’s wing
Flaps past above their grey and desolate land,
Or when the wind pants up a rough-hewn glen,
Bending them down as with an age of thought,
Or when, ‘mid flying clouds that can not dull
Her constant light, the moon shines silver, then
They find a soul, and their dim moan is wrought
Into a singing sad and beautiful.

Below – Ansel Adams: “Jeffrey Pine, Sentinel Dome”
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Reflections in Summer: Wendell Berry

“Again I resume the long
lesson: how small a thing
can be pleasing, how little
in this hard world it takes
to satisfy the mind
and bring it to its rest.”
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American Art – Part IV of IV: Fred Wessel (Part III)

Artist’s Statement: “A two week trip that I took to Italy in 1984, had a profound and prolonged influence on my work. At that time I was involved in making a series of aquarium images. I went to Italy to view the art of the Renaissance, for it is my belief that all visual artists, especially realists, should experience and study this work firsthand. I could not have predicted the dramatic impact, both direct and indirect, that this journey of discovery would have on my ensuing work. I believe that in our search for novelty in post-modernist art making, we often lose touch with certain basics: beauty, grace, harmony and visual poetry are nowadays rarely considered important criteria in evaluating contemporary works of art.
Since the Bauhaus, the term ‘precious’ has had a negative connotation in art schools. It was a term used derisively in the 1960’s to describe work that did not adhere to the fashionably pared down kernels of conceptualism or minimalism.
But after seeing the beauty, sensitivity, harmony—the ‘preciousness’—of Italian Renaissance painting—especially the early Renaissance work of artists such as Fra Angelico, Duccio and Simone Martini—I realize that, as artists, we may have abandoned too much. The ever–changing inner light that radiates from gold leaf used judiciously on the surface of a painting, and the use of pockets of rich, intense colors that illuminate the picture’s surface impressed me deeply. It was ‘preciousness’ elevated to grand heights: semi–precious gems such as lapis lazuli, malachite, azurite, etc., were ground up, mixed with egg yolk and applied as paint pigments, producing dazzling, breathtaking colors! The surface of these colors forms a texture that sparkles and reflects light much like gold does, but in ways that are much more subtle than gold.
I look to the early Renaissance as a source of inspiration that I can use along with contemporary content and image making. I look to the Renaissance as the artists of that time looked back to early Greek and Roman art—not as a reactionary but as one who rediscovers and reapplies important but forgotten visual stimuli.”

Below (from the “Flowers” collection) – “Venetian Icon (Ginger)”; “Venetian Icon (Orchid)”; “Sienese Icon (Dahlia)”; “Sienese Icon (Amarylus)”; “Predella Calla Lilies”; “Gloxinia.”

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June Offerings – Part XXVII: Something to Delight both Head and Heart

American Art – Part I of V: Whitney A. Heavey

Artist Statement: “My paintings are a celebration of the ever-changing colors in the New England landscape. Using the framework of a landscape composition, I strive to paint with a rhythm which results in layers of color until the surface has a buzz that makes the landscape come alive. I like to experiment with the boundaries of color. The palette of my paintings usually begins as a mood, or a reflection of something I’ve seen, and evolves with the process of painting. My paintings are intended to have a powerful impact on the viewer, both from afar and close up, just as nature does.”

Below – “Bliss”; “Grounded, diptych”; “Queen Anne’s Lace”; “Monomoy Blue, diptych”; “Presence.”
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“Call it a clan, call it a network, call it a tribe, call it a family. Whatever you call it, whoever you are, you need one.” – Jane Howard, American journalist, writer, editor, and author of “Margaret Mead: A Life,” who died 27 June 1996.

Another quote from the work of Jane Howard: “What we all have discovered together, only rarely in classrooms, is that the passage of years guarantees very little in the way of answers, that ambivalence and ambiguity will follow us all the days of our lives, but that words and wit and woods and food and music will endure as sources of comfort.
We have learned that surprises exhilarate, if they don’t barrage us too fast, and that the quest for the proper balances between stillness and motion, restraint and excess, sound and silence, will continue, and that too much freedom—a life too much at large…can feel at least as constricting as too little. We have learned, maybe most importantly of all, to cherish the company of those who can make us laugh, who can forgive us our shortcomings, who can restore to us or evoke in us a feeling of purpose in the face of absurdity.”
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Reflections in Summer: Wendell Berry

“A crowd whose discontent has risen no higher than the level of slogans is only a crowd. But a crowd that understands the reasons for its discontent and knows the remedies is a vital community, and it will have to be reckoned with. I would rather go before the government with two people who have a competent understanding of an issue, and who therefore deserve a hearing, than with two thousand who are vaguely dissatisfied.
But even the most articulate public protest is not enough. We don’t live in the government or in institutions or in our public utterances and acts, and the environmental crisis has its roots in our lives. By the same token, environmental health will also be rooted in our lives. That is, I take it, simply a fact, and in the light of it we can see how superficial and foolish we would be to think that we could correct what is wrong merely by tinkering with the institutional machinery. The changes that are required are fundamental changes in the way we are living.”
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Italian Art – Part I of II: Giorgio Vasari

Died 27 June 1574 – Giorgio Vasari, an Italian architect, painter, and writer.

Below – The Loggia of Vasarai in Arezzo; the Uffizi Colonnade and Loggia in Florence; “Justice”; “Self-Portrait.”
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“Sometimes the house of the future is better built, lighter and larger than all the houses of the past, so that the image of the dream house is opposed to that of the childhood home. Late in life, with indomitable courage, we continue to say that we are going to do what we have not yet done: we are going to build a house. This dream house may be merely a dream of ownership, the embodiment of everything that is considered convenient, comfortable, healthy, sound, desirable, by other people. It must therefore satisfy both pride and reason, two irreconcilable terms. . . Maybe it is a good thing for us to keep a few dreams of a house that we shall live in later, always later, so much later, in fact, that we shall not have time to achieve it. For a house that was final, one that stood in symmetrical relation to the house we were born in, would lead to thoughts—serious, sad thoughts—and not to dreams. It is better to live in a state of impermanence than in one of finality.” – Gaston Bachelard, French philosopher and author of “The Poetics of Space” and “The Poetics of Reverie: Childhood Language and the Cosmos,” who was born 27 June 1884.

Some quotes from the work of Gaston Bachelard:

“So, like a forgotten fire, a childhood can always flare up again within us.”
“To feel most beautifully alive means to be reading something beautiful, ready always to apprehend in the flow of language the sudden flash of poetry.”
“If I were asked to name the chief benefit of the house, I should say: the house shelters day-dreaming, the house protects the dreamer, the house allows one to dream in peace.”
“We comfort ourselves by reliving memories of protection. Something closed must retain our memories, while leaving them their original value as images. Memories of the outside world will never have the same tonality as those of home and, by recalling these memories, we add to our store of dreams; we are never real historians, but always near poets, and our emotion is perhaps nothing but an expression of a poetry that was lost.”
“When the image is new, the world is new.”
“Of course, thanks to the house, a great many of our memories are housed, and if the house is a bit elaborate, if it has a cellar and a garret, nooks and corridors, our memories have refuges that are all the more clearly delineated. All our lives we come back to them in our daydreams. A psychoanalyst should, therefore, turn his attention to this simple localization of our memories. I should like to give the name of topoanalysis to this auxiliary of psychoanalysis. Topoanalysis, then, would be the systematic psychological study of the sites of our intimate lives.”
“The repose of sleep refreshes only the body. It rarely sets the soul at rest. The repose of the night does not belong to us. It is not the possession of our being. Sleep opens within us an inn for phantoms. In the morning we must sweep out the shadows.”
“Even a minor event in the life of a child is an event of that child’s world and thus a world event.”
“One must always maintain one’s connection to the past and yet ceaselessly pull away from it.”
“Man is a creation of desire, not a creation of need.”
“The characteristic of scientific progress is our knowing that we did not know.”
“The great function of poetry is to give back to us the situations of our dreams.”
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Italian Art – Part II of II: Licio Passon

Here is one writer describing the artistry of painter Licio Passon: “It is said that in the early ages, travelers from all over the world would visit Venice. When they left, a popular memento would be the purchase of a very realistic painting. The idea was to bring the city home with them. Paintings were created as exact replicas of the various canals of Venice.
Licio Passon, born in Udine, Italy, in 1965, paints in this realistic manner. To comprehend his artistic work, you can’t neglect his belonging to his homeland of the Friuli region and the rustic life, the hardship of the fields that he experienced as a child. Watching him work today in his studio in Campoformido, Italy, you can still feel this complete dedication, his attention, ability and taste for color.”
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Reflections in Summer: Sanober Khan

“The magic fades too fast
the scent of summer never lasts
the nights turn hollow and vast
but nothing remains…nothing lasts.”
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A Poem for Today

“A Word to Husbands”
By Ogden Nash

To keep your marriage brimming
With love in the loving cup,
Whenever you’re wrong, admit it;
Whenever you’re right, shut up.

Below – Shay Jung: “Husband and Wife”
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American Art – Part II of V: Eric Angeloch

Artist Statement: ““I take walks in all kinds of weather, absorb what I can and let it settle.”

Below – “Mist and Moonlight”; “Standing Alone”; “Old Wagon Road”; “Last Stars”; “Morning II”; “Sailing Off Race Point.”
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Reflections in Summer: Kahlil Gibran

“In the summer heat the reapers say, ‘We have seen her dancing with the autumn leaves, and we saw a drift of snow in her hair.’”

Below – A. Sarycheva: “Woman Is Autumn”
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“A university is just a group of buildings gathered around a library.” – Shelby Foote, American historian, novelist, and author of the three-volume “The Civil War: A Narrative,” who died 27 June 2005.

Some quotes from the work of Shelby Foote:

“The point I would make is that the novelist and the historian are seeking the same thing: the truth – not a different truth: the same truth – only they reach it, or try to reach it, by different routes. Whether the event took place in a world now gone to dust, preserved by documents and evaluated by scholarship, or in the imagination, preserved by memory and distilled by the creative process, they both want to tell us how it was: to re-create it, by their separate methods, and make it live again in the world around them.”
“They took it for more than it was, or anyhow for more than it said; the container was greater than the thing contained, and Lincoln became at once what he would remain for them, ‘the man who freed the slaves.’ He would go down to posterity, not primarily as the Preserver of the Republic-which he was-but as the Great Emancipator, which he was not.”
“I can’t begin to tell you the things I discovered while I was looking for something else.”
“I think making mistakes and discovering them for yourself is of great value, but to have someone else to point out your mistakes is a shortcut of the process.”
“North was only a direction indicated by a compass–if a man had one, that is, for otherwise there was no north or south or east or west; there was only the brooding desolation.”
“Generally the first week in September brings the hottest weather of the year, and this was no exception. Overhead the fans turned slow, their paddle blades stirring the air up close to the ceiling but nowhere else.”
“The Civil War defined us as what we are and it opened us to being what we became, good and bad things… It was the crossroads of our being, and it was a hell of a crossroads.”
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Reflections in Summer: Kenneth Grahame

“Once beyond the village, where the cottages ceased abruptly, on either side of the road they could smell through the darkness the friendly fields again; and they braced themselves for the last long stretch, the home stretch, the stretch that we know is bound to end, some time, in the rattle of the door-latch, the sudden firelight, and the sight of familiar things greeting us as long-absent travelers from far oversea.”
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Here is part of the Artist Statement of Scottish quilting artist Penny Sistro: “The images, the beings on my work haunt and whisper to me as I make them live. I learn sometimes things that only they can tell, as I sew the edges of their world. Some of the collectors who take them home with them tell me that they catch echoes, see the compassion in their quilted eyes, feel the warmth of their spirit…that is the fabric-world’s gift to me and mine to you, the people who look at my pieces.”
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Reflections in Summer: Wendell Berry

“A man with a machine and inadequate culture is a pestilence.”
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“The Shadow-maker shapes forever.” – Lafcadio Hearn, American journalist and author, who was born 27 June 1850.

While Hearn is best known for his books about Japan (written under his Japanese name Koizumi Yakumo), he also wrote extensively about New Orleans (“Inventing New Orleans”), based on his ten-year stay in that city. Nonetheless, his Japanese ghost stories are his greatest achievement, and four of his most impressive supernatural tales were brought to the screen in “Kwaidan” (1965), directed by Kobayashi Masaki.

Some quotes from the work of Lafcadio Hearn:

“Times are not good here. The city is crumbling into ashes. It has been buried under taxes and frauds and maladministrations so that it has become a study for archaeologists…but it is better to live here in sackcloth and ashes than to own the whole state of Ohio.”
“There is scarcely any great author in European literature, old or new, who has not distinguished himself in his treatment of the supernatural. In English literature, I believe there is no exception from the time of the Anglo-Saxon poets to Shakespeare, and from Shakespeare to our own day. And this introduces us to the consideration of a general and remarkable fact, a fact that I do not remember to have seen in any books, but which is of very great philosophical importance: there is something ghostly in all great art, whether of literature, music, sculpture, or architecture. It touches something within us that relates to infinity.”
“The tea ceremony requires years of training and practice … yet the whole of this art, as to its detail, signifies no more than the making and serving of a cup of tea. The supremely important matter is that the act be performed in the most perfect, most polite, most graceful, most charming manner possible.”
“It may remain for us to learn… that our task is only beginning; and that there will never be given to us even the ghost of any help, save the help of unutterable unthinkable Time. We may have to learn that the infinite whirl of death and birth, out of which we cannot escape, is of our own creation, of our own seeking–that the forces integrating worlds are the errors of the Past–that the eternal sorrow is but the eternal hunger of insatiable desire–and that the burnt-out suns are rekindled only by the inextinguishable passions of vanished lives.”
“On the Gulf side of these islands you may observe that the trees—where there are any trees—all bend away from the sea; and, even of bright, hot days when the wind sleeps, there is something grotesquely pathetic in their look of agonized terror. A group of oaks . . . I remember as especially suggestive: five stooping silhouettes in line against the horizon, like fleeing women with streaming garments and wind-blown hair—bowing grievously and thrusting out arms desperately northward as to save themselves from falling. And they are being pursued indeed—for the sea is devouring the land.”
“We owe more to our illusions than to our knowledge.”
“But I confess that ‘my mind to me a kingdom is’–not! Rather it is a fantastical republic, daily troubled by more revolutions than ever occurred in South America.”
“Perhaps, after trillions of ages burning in different dynasties of suns, the very best of me may come together again.”

Below – Lafcadio Hearn in 1889; Koizumi Yakumo with his wife Koizumi Setsu; “Kwaidan”; a poster for the movie version of “Kwaidan”; a still shot from “The Woman of the Snow” episode in the movie; a still shot from the “”Hoichi the Earless” episode in the movie.
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Chilean painter Cristian Aviles (born 1971) graduated from the University of Chile with a Fine Art in Painting degree.
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Reflections in Summer: Edgar Degas

“Art is not what you see, but what you make others see.”

Below – Edgar Degas: “Before the Race”
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From the Music Archives: John Entwistle

“For 15 years, we always thought we would last as long as our last record contract.” – John Entwistle, English musician, songwriter, singer, and film and music producer best known as the bass guitarist for The Who, who died 27 June 2002.

Reflections in Summer: Kenneth Grahame

“Nature’s Grand Hotel has its Season, like the others. As the guests one by one pack, pay, and depart, and the seats at the table-d’hote shrink pitifully at each succeeding meal; as suites of rooms are closed, carpets taken up, and waiters sent away; those boarders who are staying on, en pension, until the next year’s full re-opening, cannot help being somewhat affected by all these flittings and farewells, this eager discussion of plans, routes, and fresh quarters, this daily shrinkage in the stream of comradeship.”
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A Second Poem for Today

“The Life of the Mind”
By William Greenway

“My, my. A body does get around.”
-Lena Grove

The summer Del
Shannon had a hit with “Runaway”
I was failing algebra, and my
grandfather told the story about slugging
his English teacher, jumping out
the window to run away and work
for the railroad, and eventually have mother
who had me.

Clark Goswick and I, on the last
day of school, before report cards
came in the mail, left
for Daytona Beach
to work on fishing boats and marry
Cuban girls, but a cop caught us
after only two miles and four hours.
As we walked up the driveway, bleeding, our backpacks
solid with canned beans and bristling with fishing
rods, mother called from the porch
“Did they let school out early?”

When I fall across my desk
stricken, teaching
“The Road Not Taken” for the thousandth time
an old salt on a dock somewhere
in Florida will be splicing
rope and telling yarns
to the dark children
of children.
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“Gently I stir a white feather fan,
With open shirt sitting in a green wood.
I take off my cap and hang it on a jutting stone;
A wind from the pine-trees trickles on my bare head.” – “In the Mountains on a Summer Day,” by Li Po, translated by Arthur Waley, English orientalist, sinologist, and translator, who died 27 June 1966.

In the words of one historian, “Waley was the great transmitter of the high literary cultures of China and Japan to the English-reading general public; the ambassador from East to West in the first half of the 20th century. He was self-taught, but reached remarkable levels of fluency, even erudition, in both languages. It was a unique achievement, possible (as he himself later noted) only in that time, and unlikely to be repeated.”
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American Art – Part III of V: Sharon Sprung

Here is one critic describing the artistry of Sharon Sprung (born 1953): “Sprung’s work is at once beautiful and quietly powerful. Seeing her paintings in reproduction doesn’t give you the true feel of her technique. The surfaces are actually quite tactile, which owes to the fact that she paints a good deal of each work with a palette knife. Not in the usual way palette knife painting is thought of, in fact she has developed a more nuanced approach which initially seems like pulling a brush with paint over a layer which has yet to fully dry. When done in the opaque areas, this enhances the flesh tones by catching more light and reflecting it back to the viewer.”
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Reflections in Summer: Kenneth Grahame

“The rich meadow-grass seemed that morning of a freshness and a greenness unsurpassable. Never had they noticed the roses so vivid, the willow-herb so riotous, the meadow-sweet so odorous and pervading.”
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From the Television Archives: “Captain Video and His Video Rangers”

27 June 1949 – “Captain Video and His Video Rangers” debuts on DuMont-TV. In the words of one writer, “The series aired between June 27, 1949 and April 1, 1955, originally Monday through Saturday at 7 p.m. ET, and then Monday through Friday at 7 p.m. ET. A separate 30-minute spinoff series, ‘The Secret Files of Captain Video,’ aired Saturday mornings, alternating with ‘Tom Corbett, Space Cadet,’ from September 5, 1953 to May 29, 1954 for a total of 20 episodes.
Set in the distant future, the series followed the adventures of a group of fighters for truth and justice, the Video Rangers, led by Captain Video. The Rangers operated from a secret base on a mountain top. Their uniforms resembled United States Army surplus with lightning bolts sewn on.
The Captain had a teen-age companion who was known only as the Video Ranger. Captain Video received his orders from the Commissioner of Public Safety, whose responsibilities took in the entire solar system as well as human colonies on planets around other stars. Captain Video was the first adventure hero explicitly designed (by DuMont’s idea-man Larry Menkin) for early live television.”

In the words of one writer, “Alfredo Roldan was born in Madrid in 1965. At the age of 22, having had no formal artistic training, he started drawing professionally, selling his work in street markets, at the same time presenting his work at major competitions, of which he won several. It was on winning the award granted by the City Council of Madrid in 1994 that he was discovered by a major gallery. His winning painting now hangs in the Museum of Modern Art, Madrid. In 1996 he was named a Member of the Senate ‘Honoris Caus’ of the Academy of Modern Art of Rome.”
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Reflections in Summer: Robert Engman

“A piece of art is never a finished work. It answers a question which has been asked, and asks a new question.”

Below – Amjad Faur: “Lost/Still” (Pigment Print)
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“Poetry is a matter of life, not just a matter of language.” – Lucille Clifton, American poet, writer, and educator, who was born 27 June 1936.

“oh antic God”

oh antic God
return to me
my mother in her thirties
leaned across the front porch
the huge pillow of her breasts
pressing against the rail
summoning me in for bed.

I am almost the dead woman’s age times two.

I can barely recall her song
the scent of her hands
though her wild hair scratches my dreams
at night. return to me, oh Lord of then
and now, my mother’s calling,
her young voice humming my name.
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American Art – Part IV of V: Kimberlee C. Alemian

Artist Statement: “Interiors, still life, and particularly the use of plant materials is a reactive point for me. Working from something live or something that will change its form, forces me to focus and paint quickly. If the result is not satisfactory, I turn the canvas and start over, using traces of information left on the support. The painting can change drastically each time it is worked on. The subject is described through negative and positive passages of thick and thin layers of paint and/or related media; charcoal, oil or chalk pastel.
Painting landscape on location, chasing the light or capturing the atmosphere extends the practice of painting quickly—to catch the feeling. Back in the studio, I study what is happening within these works. Sometimes, after weeks or months of looking at them they can suprize me. Certain passages become pronounced and assert themselves.
Imagery cut from newspaper or magazine articles is also entering my work more frequently. The experience of reacting to live situations informs these paintings and the interpretations within layers of imagery and content remain open.
I am drawn to the rawness of the mark and layering of color. It excites me when a plane can be both in front of and behind another plane depending on where you are looking in the painting. My paintings evolve over a period of time and their history can be glimpsed through the construction of them.”

Below – “After the Bath”; “Three Lemons”; “Orange Beach Towel”; “Italian Fruit Peaches”; “Rhododendron”; “Approaching the Bath.”
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A Third Poem for Today

“In a Used-Books Store”
By Philip Paradis

“Excuse me, but have you seen any poems by Angie Dickinson?” – unidentified patron

Emily, oh Emily.
Let’s write this letter
to the one who confused you;
let’s say you never wrote
poems behind the scenes at Burbank Studio,
never wore a mini, no knee-high leather boots
or fired off a snub-nosed .38 or spat out
the words, “Get back, Jack. Hands
against the wall and spread ‘em.”

Let’s tell him to listen hard instead
for a wind like a bugle
or watch for any small movements
among the tall grass giving away
that narrow fellow parting the green blades
as he goes, the common backyard garden variety
still known to haunt barefoot maids
in summer dresses along garden paths
when the yellow squash swell on their vines
and green beans hang like elves’ stockings
growing larger sizes overnight
as if by some natural decree
or prank of some divine pixy
with a grin.
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Reflections in Summer: Anthony Trollope

“It was a beautiful summer afternoon, at that delicious period of the year when summer has just burst forth from the growth of spring; when the summer is yet but three days old, and all the various shades of green which nature can put forth are still in their unsoiled purity of freshness.”
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Back from the Territory – Art: Stephanie Ryan (Part III)

Stephanie Ryan is a painter who lives and works in the Yukon Territory.

Back from the Territory, I share this with you, before I light out again.

Below – “High Bush Cranberry, Taku River”; “Klondikers, Bennett Lake”; “Milk River Meets the Snake River, Yukon”; “Moss Campion, Kluane Icefields”; “Mount Archibald”; “Mount Avens Above Kaskawulsh Glacier”; “Mountain Haven.”
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Reflections in Summer: Wendell Berry

“The difference between a path and a road is not only the obvious one. A path is little more than a habit that comes with knowledge of a place. It is a sort of ritual of familiarity. As a form, it is a form of contact with a known landscape. It is not destructive. It is the perfect adaptation, through experience and familiarity, of movement to place; it obeys the natural contours; such obstacles as it meets it goes around.”
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American Art – Part V of V: Fred Wessel (Part II)

Artist’s Statement: “A two week trip that I took to Italy in 1984, had a profound and prolonged influence on my work. At that time I was involved in making a series of aquarium images. I went to Italy to view the art of the Renaissance, for it is my belief that all visual artists, especially realists, should experience and study this work firsthand. I could not have predicted the dramatic impact, both direct and indirect, that this journey of discovery would have on my ensuing work. I believe that in our search for novelty in post-modernist art making, we often lose touch with certain basics: beauty, grace, harmony and visual poetry are nowadays rarely considered important criteria in evaluating contemporary works of art.
Since the Bauhaus, the term ‘precious’ has had a negative connotation in art schools. It was a term used derisively in the 1960’s to describe work that did not adhere to the fashionably pared down kernels of conceptualism or minimalism.
But after seeing the beauty, sensitivity, harmony—the ‘preciousness’—of Italian Renaissance painting—especially the early Renaissance work of artists such as Fra Angelico, Duccio and Simone Martini—I realize that, as artists, we may have abandoned too much. The ever–changing inner light that radiates from gold leaf used judiciously on the surface of a painting, and the use of pockets of rich, intense colors that illuminate the picture’s surface impressed me deeply. It was ‘preciousness’ elevated to grand heights: semi–precious gems such as lapis lazuli, malachite, azurite, etc., were ground up, mixed with egg yolk and applied as paint pigments, producing dazzling, breathtaking colors! The surface of these colors forms a texture that sparkles and reflects light much like gold does, but in ways that are much more subtle than gold.
I look to the early Renaissance as a source of inspiration that I can use along with contemporary content and image making. I look to the Renaissance as the artists of that time looked back to early Greek and Roman art—not as a reactionary but as one who rediscovers and reapplies important but forgotten visual stimuli.”

Below (From the “Figures” collection) – “Contemplating Fibonacci’s Spiral”; “Gina (Fibonacci Revisited)”; “Meghan”; “Melancholia”; “Christie”; “Tunic and Pearls”; “Venetian Scarf and Tassel.”
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June Offerings – Part XXVI: Something to Delight both Head and Heart

American Art – Part I of IV: John Stockwell

In the words of one critic, “Using his hands and fingertips to paint, artist John Stockwell creates an unbelievable surface on his canvases that continually arrests his viewers. Stockwell, largely a landscape painter, creates panoramas with a rich array of peaks, clusters, mounds, troughs, and ridges in thick paint. Reminiscent of the vivid work of Vincent van Gogh, Stockwell’s images emit life, exuberance, and energy from the surface and via his brilliant use of color.”

Below – “The Bend in the Bay”; “Red Rest”; “Glaze”; “Red One”; “White Fields with Clouds”; “Blinding Light”; “Red Streak at Gordes”; “Poppy Field in Borgeby.”
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A Poem for Today

“Mountain Stream”
By Philip Paradis

Wanderer, wherever you go,
whenever you drink again
from these melting snow fields,
the fog will slowly rise
off this lake of clouds,
you will walk softly
and not disturb
the wood-drake’s dance,
the partridge’s drumming,

for the white-tail’s hoof prints
in cool black earth
beside the flat stone
upon which you kneel to drink
have impressed this upon you.
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Nobel Laureate: Pearl S. Buck

“I feel no need for any other faith than my faith in the kindness of human beings. I am so absorbed in the wonder of earth and the life upon it that I cannot think of heaven and angels.” – Pearl S. Buck, American writer, author of “The Good Earth” (which won the Pulitzer Prize in 1932), and recipient of the Nobel Prize in Literature “for her rich and truly epic descriptions of peasant life in China and for her biographical masterpieces,” who was born 26 June 1892.

Some quotes from the work of Pearl S. Buck:

“Many people lose the small joys in the hope for the big happiness.”
“There are many ways of breaking a heart. Stories were full of hearts broken by love, but what really broke a heart was taking away its dream — whatever that dream might be.”
“The person who tries to live alone will not succeed as a human being. His heart withers if it does not answer another heart. His mind shrinks away if he hears only the echoes of his own thoughts and finds no other inspiration. ”
“You cannot make yourself feel something you do not feel, but you can make yourself do right in spite of your feelings.”
“The test of a civilization is in the way that it cares for its helpless members”
“Let woman out of the home, let man into it, should be the aim of education. The home needs man, and the world outside needs woman.”
“Now, five years is nothing in a man’s life except when he is very young and very old…”
“Sorrow fully accepted brings its own gifts. For there is alchemy in sorrow. It can be transmitted into wisdom, which, if it does not bring joy, can yet bring happiness.”
“Perhaps one has to be very old before one learns to be amused rather than shocked.”
“The secret of joy in work is contained in one word-excellence. To know how to do something well is to enjoy it.”
“All things are possible until they are proved impossible and even the impossible may only be so, as of now.”
“If you want to understand today, you have to search yesterday.”
“I love people. I love my family, my children . . . but inside myself is a place where I live all alone and that’s where you renew your springs that never dry up.”
“One faces the future with one’s past.”
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Reflections in Summer: Theodore Roosevelt

“Americans learn only from catastrophes and not from experience.”
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Here is how Italian hyperrealist painter Giuseppe Muscio describes the genesis of his artistic vocation when he was a boy in Apulia: “I was fascinated by the majestic landscape around me and realized that I was born to be an artist and painter. If I close my eyes, I still can smell the perfume of the rows of vines, the fragrance of the olives and the almonds. I immediately began to reproduce what I could see onto drawing sheets, which my grandfather would give me. Soon, I moved to Milan with my family, leaving behind my roots and my love for the region. I was passionate about painting; I studied the painting’s techniques of the greatest painters of 16th, 17th and 18th centuries. I also experimented with various painting techniques using scientific methods.”
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“Every American carries in his bloodstream the heritage of the malcontent and the dreamer.” –Dorothy Fuldheim, American journalist and television news anchor, who was born 26 June 1893.

In the words of one historian, “Fuldheim has a role in American television news history; she is credited with being the first woman in the United States to anchor a television news broadcast as well to host her own television show. She has been referred to as the ‘First Lady of Television News.’”

Another quote from the work of Dorothy Fuldheim: “This is a youth-oriented society, and the joke is on them because youth is a disease from which we all recover.”

Reflections in Summer: Eve Chase

“Ghosts are everywhere, not just the ghost of Momma in the woods, but ghosts of us too, what we used to be like in those long summers.”
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A Second Poem for Today

“Mahayana in Vermont”
By Sydney Lea

My objectives this morning were vague.
As always I’d hike these hills—
a way to keep going
against the odds age deals,
a way to keep body and soul
together, and not so much thinking
as letting things steal into mind—
but I started counting

from the very first step I took.
I wore rank old boots, ill-laced,
and patchwork pants.
Around my neck hung the frayed
lanyard of a whistle I use
to summon our trio of dogs,
who capered and yelped their pleasure
at one of our walks,

and more miraculous still,
at having me for a master.
It’s true in a sense
that I always count as I wander,
though it’s usually the beats of a tune
(Thelonious’s “Blue Monk”
a favorite) that mark my time.
These counts felt odder,

better. We scattered a brood
of grouse at step 91.
The deerflies strafed us.
At 500 a late trillium
glowed by a ledge like a lotus.
Right along the rain kept pounding.
I was mindful of all these things
but I never stopped counting.

Life was good, and more.
It was worthy of better response.
At 1000 I thought,
‘Enough’—and counted on.
Nothing was coming to mind.
Nothing is coming again
from my hike half the day ago
with three dogs through rain

but a mystic sense of well-being
in quietly chanted numbers.
Whatever this trance,
I treasured it as a wonder
not to be wrenched into meaning,
as in ‘Every second counts,’
as in ‘You should count your blessings,’
though of those there seems no doubt.
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Reflections in Summer: Kenneth Grahame

“You see all the other fellows were so active and earnest and all that sort of thing- always rampaging, and skirmishing, and scouring the desert sands, and pacing the margin of the sea, and chasing knights all over the place, and devouring damsels, and going on generally- whereas I liked to get my meals regular and then to prop my back against a bit of rock and snooze a bit, and wake up and think of things going on and how they kept going on just the same, you know!”
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Spanish painter Luis Ricardo Falero (1851-1896) specialized in portraying female nudes and mythological, oriental, and fantasy settings. In the words of one critic, “(Falero) is one of a number of painters concentrating on the nude, shown in a highly-finished manner, and in a mythological or fairy tale setting. At his best, Falero’s paintings show an almost super-realist talent for depicting the female form, but many of his girls are rather coy, with an emphasis on sexiness and not much effort at a subject – pin-ups rather than high art. Falero wavers on both sides of the line between a beautiful nude and artistic girl, and an oversweet coquettish Salon painting.”

Below – “Diana, the Moon Nymph”; “An Oriental Beauty”; “Nymph”; “The Party at the Tavern”; “Witches Going to Their Sabbath”; “Enchantress”; “Star Hanger.”
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Reflections in Summer: Viola Shipman

“If I had to describe the scent of Michigan in spring and summer, it wouldn’t be a particular smell – blooming wildflowers or boat exhaust off the lake – it would be a color: Green.”

Below – Michigan in summer.
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26 June 1284 – The citizens of Hamelin, Germany hire the Pied Piper to lure rats out of their town with his magic pipe. When he finishes the job, the townspeople refuse to pay him, and so he retaliates by turning his magic on Hamelin’s children, leading them away from the town, just as he had the other brutes.

I admit that I feel sorry for the rats in this narrative, but I am nonetheless posting about it, because I love sharing stories with happy endings.
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Reflections in Summer: Magdalena Abakanowicz

“Art will remain the most astonishing activity of mankind born out of struggle between wisdom and madness, between dream and reality in our mind.”

Below – Vincent van Gogh: “Wheat Field with Cypresses”
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American Art – Part II of IV: Abby Heller-Burnham

Artist Statement: “I use a combination of naturalism and spontaneity to represent certain aspects of what I have seen and experienced during semi-conscious dream states. My work portrays an ethereal luminosity that creates life-like spaces which the viewer can visually enter. My goal is to create increasingly complex compositions by combining multiple images from a vast collection of visual references. With a highly disciplined background in traditional methods and techniques as a base, I nevertheless strive to expand its boundaries to find new artistic approaches through continual experimentation.
I find nineteenth century naturalism to be particularly inspiring. Its simplicity of design, complex esthetic content, and distinct atmospheric quality all resonate with my artistic sensibilities. Klimt and Mucha, for example, have been important influences, particularly their unique blend of graphic patterns and textures with natural realism.
I am always in the process of finding my own delicate balance between naturalism and other contradictory interests that also inspire me. I believe that a versatile and experimental approach leads to the resolution of this conflict, and allows me to reach beyond realism to more fully express my ideas.”
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A Third Poem for Today

“Calligraphy Accompanied by the Mood of a Calm but Definitive Sauce”
By Dick Allen

Make your strokes thus: ‘the horizontal’:
as a cloud that slowly drifts across the horizon;
‘the vertical’: as an ancient but strong vine stem;
‘the dot’: a falling rock;
and learn to master ‘the sheep leg, the tiger’s claw,
an apricot kernel, a dewdrop, the new moon,
the wave rising and falling.’Do these
while holding your arm out above the paper
like the outstretched leg of a crane.
The strength of your hand
will give the stroke its bone.
But for real accomplishment, it would be well
if you would go to live solitary in a forest silence,
or beside a river flowing serenely.
It might also be useful
to look down a lonesome road,
and for the future
to stare into the gray static of a television screen,
or when lost in a video game
to accept you may never reach the final level,
where the dragon awaits, guarding the pot of gold,
and that you’ve left no footprints, not a single one,
despite all your adventures,
anyone following you could ever follow.

Below – “Wang Xizhi Doing Calligraphy”
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THE WAYS OF LOVE – PART I OF II: A LOVE SONG AND A CONTROVERSIAL MUSIC VIDEO

Born 26 June 1956 – Chris Isaak, an American singer and songwriter.

Reflections in Summer: Wendell Berry

“Until we understand what the land is, we are at odds with everything we touch. And to come to that understanding it is necessary, even now, to leave the regions of our conquest – the cleared fields, the towns and cities, the highways – and re-enter the woods. For only there can a man encounter the silence and the darkness of his own absence. Only in this silence and darkness can he recover the sense of the world’s longevity, of its ability to thrive without him, of his inferiority to it and his dependence on it. Perhaps then, having heard that silence and seen that darkness, he will grow humble before the place and begin to take it in – to learn from it what it is. As its sounds come into his hearing, and its lights and colors come into his vision, and its odors come into his nostrils, then he may come into its presence as he never has before, and he will arrive in his place and will want to remain. His life will grow out of the ground like the other lives of the place, and take its place among them. He will be with them – neither ignorant of them, nor indifferent to them, nor against them – and so at last he will grow to be native-born. That is, he must reenter the silence and the darkness, and be born again.”
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A Fourth Poem for Today

“Eating Together”
By Kim Addonizio

I know my friend is going,
though she still sits there
across from me in the restaurant,
and leans over the table to dip
her bread in the oil on my plate; I know
how thick her hair used to be,
and what it takes for her to discard
her man’s cap partway through our meal,
to look straight at the young waiter
and smile when he asks
how we are liking it. She eats
as though starving—chicken, dolmata,
the buttery flakes of filo—
and what’s killing her
eats, too. I watch her lift
a glistening black olive and peel
the meat from the pit, watch
her fine long fingers, and her face,
puffy from medication. She lowers
her eyes to the food, pretending
not to know what I know. She’s going.
And we go on eating.

Below – Pia Ranslet: “Study for painting of dying friend,” pencil on paper.
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American Art – Part III of IV: Casey Baugh

In the words of one writer, Casey Baugh (born 1984) “believes that good art ‘requires a distinct idea and a thorough knowledge of the language [of art] by which to communicate it. A good artist always has something to say, but truly great artists have obtained the ability to say it through experience and sheer determination.’ It is with this mind-set that Baugh is doing work comparable to artists three times his age and has continued to conduct workshops, offer demonstrations, and give lectures in order to teach aspiring artists how to effectively communicate their interpretation of the beauty of creation and life through art.”
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THE WAYS OF LOVE – PART II OF II: A LOVE POEM THAT IS ALSO A GREAT DRAMATIC MONOLOGUE

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Died 26 June 1961 – Kenneth Fearing, an American poet and novelist.

“Love 20 Cents The First Quarter Mile”

All right. I may have lied to you and about you, and made a
few pronouncements a bit too sweeping, perhaps, and
possibly forgotten to tag the bases here or there,
And damned your extravagance, and maligned your tastes,
and libeled your relatives, and slandered a few of your
friends, O.K.,
Nevertheless, come back.

Come home. I will agree to forget the statements that you
issued so copiously to the neighbors and the press,
And you will forget that figment of your imagination, the
blonde from Detroit;
I will agree that your lady friend who lives above us is not
crazy, bats, nutty as they come, but on the contrary rather bright,
And you will concede that poor old Steinberg is neither a
drunk, nor a swindler, but simply a guy, on the eccentric
side, trying to get along.
(Are you listening, you bitch, and have you got this straight?)

Because I forgive you, yes, for everything. I forgive you for
being beautiful and generous and wise,
I forgive you, to put it simply, for being alive, and pardon
you, in short, for being you.

Because tonight you are in my hair and eyes,
And every street light that our taxi passes shows me you
again, still you,
And because tonight all other nights are black, all other hours
are cold and far away, and now, this minute, the stars are
very near and bright.

Come back. We will have a celebration to end all celebrations.
We will invite the undertaker who lives beneath us, and a
couple of boys from the office, and some other friends.
And Steinberg, who is off the wagon, and that
insane woman who lives upstairs, and a few reporters, if
anything should break.
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Reflections in Summer: Kenneth Grahame

“Truly wise men called on each element alike to minister to their joy, and while the touch of sun-bathed air, the fragrance of garden soil, the ductible qualities of mud, and the spark-whirling rapture of playing with fire, had each their special charm, they did not overlook the bliss of getting their feet wet.”
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Argentinean painter Mirian Constan (born 1961) has a degree in Painting from the Department of Humanities of the National University of Cordoba.
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“It was a world that I wanted to record because it was such a miracle visitation to me.” – Laurence Edward Alan “Laurie” Lee, English poet, novelist, and screenwriter, who was born 26 June 1914.

“Home From Abroad”

Far-fetched with tales of other worlds and ways, 

My skin well-oiled with wines of the Levant, 

I set my face into a filial smile 

To greet the pale, domestic kiss of Kent. 



But shall I never learn? That gawky girl, 

Recalled so primly in my foreign thoughts, 

Becomes again the green-haired queen of love 

Whose wanton form dilates as it delights. 



Her rolling tidal landscape floods the eye 

And drowns Chianti in a dusky stream; 

her flower-flecked grasses swim with simple horses, 

The hedges choke with roses fat as cream. 



So do I breathe the hayblown airs of home, 

And watch the sea-green elms drip birds and shadows, 

And as the twilight nets the plunging sun 

My heart’s keel slides to rest among the meadows.
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Reflections in Summer: James McNeil Whistler

“As music is the poetry of sound, so is painting the poetry of sight.”

Below – The work of Brooke Newman.
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Back from the Territory – Art: Stephanie Ryan (Part II)

Stephanie Ryan is a painter who lives and works in the Yukon Territory.

Back from the Territory, I share this with you, before I light out again.

Below – “Caribou Mountain”; “Caribou on the Snake River, Yukon”; “Cranberry Harvest”; “Cresting the Summit”; “Dail Peak, Windy Arm, Yukon”; “Fireweed, Tutshi River”; “Glacier Bay”; “Glissade Creek.”
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A Fifth Poem for Today

“Stalking Buffalo”
By Philip Paradis

Downwind from a shaggy headed bull
the air is alive
with a damp odor of hides.
Lightning and thunder
or prairie fire spirits him,
or a mild wind
like this over the rise,
with cows grazing
the valley below.

The bull on a bluff,
tail slapping flies
and nose to the wind,
I stalk him low
through the tall grass,
frame him on the horizon
with equal parts of earth and sky,
and focus on infinity —
his great horned head turns
the other way.

Below – John Nieto: “Buffalo in the Snow”
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Reflections in Summer: Wendell Berry

“The soil under the grass is dreaming of a young forest, and under the pavement the soil is dreaming of grass.”
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American Art – Part IV of IV: Fred Wessel

Artist’s Statement: “A two week trip that I took to Italy in 1984, had a profound and prolonged influence on my work. At that time I was involved in making a series of aquarium images. I went to Italy to view the art of the Renaissance, for it is my belief that all visual artists, especially realists, should experience and study this work firsthand. I could not have predicted the dramatic impact, both direct and indirect, that this journey of discovery would have on my ensuing work. I believe that in our search for novelty in post-modernist art making, we often lose touch with certain basics: beauty, grace, harmony and visual poetry are nowadays rarely considered important criteria in evaluating contemporary works of art.
Since the Bauhaus, the term ‘precious’ has had a negative connotation in art schools. It was a term used derisively in the 1960’s to describe work that did not adhere to the fashionably pared down kernels of conceptualism or minimalism.
But after seeing the beauty, sensitivity, harmony—the ‘preciousness’—of Italian Renaissance painting—especially the early Renaissance work of artists such as Fra Angelico, Duccio and Simone Martini—I realize that, as artists, we may have abandoned too much. The ever–changing inner light that radiates from gold leaf used judiciously on the surface of a painting, and the use of pockets of rich, intense colors that illuminate the picture’s surface impressed me deeply. It was ‘preciousness’ elevated to grand heights: semi–precious gems such as lapis lazuli, malachite, azurite, etc., were ground up, mixed with egg yolk and applied as paint pigments, producing dazzling, breathtaking colors! The surface of these colors forms a texture that sparkles and reflects light much like gold does, but in ways that are much more subtle than gold.
I look to the early Renaissance as a source of inspiration that I can use along with contemporary content and image making. I look to the Renaissance as the artists of that time looked back to early Greek and Roman art—not as a reactionary but as one who rediscovers and reapplies important but forgotten visual stimuli.”

Below (From the “Constellations” series) – “Aquila”; “Draco”; “Taurus”; “Cassiopeia”; “Delphinus”; “Scorpio”; “Aries”; “Aquarius”; “Pisces.”
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June Offerings – Part XXV: Something to Delight both Head and Heart

American Art – Part I of IV: Denise Mickilowski

Denise Mickilowski earned a BFA in Painting from Temple University and an MFA in Painting from Boston University.
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From the Music Archives – Part I of II: Carly Simon

Born 25 June 1945 – Carly Simon, an American singer-songwriter and musician.

Reflections in Summer: Theodore Roosevelt

“[We] all need more than anything else to know human nature, to know the needs of the human soul; and they will find this nature and these needs set forth as nowhere else by the great imaginative writers, whether of prose or of poetry.”
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Born 25 June 1932 – Peter Blake, an English pop artist who is best known for co-creating the sleeve design for the Beatles’ album “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.”

Below – “Boy Eating a Hot Dog”; “Children Reading Comics”; “Girls with Their Hero”; “The Meeting”; “Self-Portrait with Badges.”
DACS; (c) DACS; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation

(c) DACS; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation

DACS; (c) DACS; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation

Peter Blake; (c) DACS; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation

Peter Blake; (c) DACS; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation

A Poem for Today

“Arizona Highways”
By John Morgan

for Jon and Bodi Anderson

Climbing the ridge among cactus
we watch the gritty town and gumball
tourist cars. A man in that jail
for a buck will give you a thrill,
lurching from his cell
with a drawn gun and a scowl.

But my friend’s young son, afraid
of this tilted ground — timid lamb —
holds out his stricken hands
and shakes. Remember, Jon,
that long unsettled night
five years ago: we drank and talked —

what’s friendship for? To move
beyond the self. I felt
you were a dying man. At four a.m.
through empty streets I drove you home,
and by the curb you held me hard
and cried; unblessed by bourbon

knowing that it was too late
for sleep. Now it’s your sweet
blond diabetic son moves me
toward tears, his frail-boned beauty
like another of your heart-wrung
poems, blood on a dusty street

where the ghosts of men
who could not name their fears
so shot each other down
watch as the sun turns red and round
and the cactus casts its thorny
darkness to the ground.
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Norwegian painter Norman Lundin has a B.F.A. from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and an M.F.A. from the University of Cincinnati.
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Reflections in Summer: Tove Jansson

“Sophia and Grandmother sat down by the shore to discuss the matter further. It was a pretty day, and the sea was running a long, windless swell. It was on days just like this–dog days–that boats went sailing off all by themselves. Large, alien objects made their way in from sea, certain things sank and others rose, milk soured, and dragonflies danced in desperation. Lizards were not afraid. When the moon came up, red spiders mated on uninhabited skerries, where the rock became an unbroken carpet of tiny, ecstatic spiders.”
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From the Music Archives – Part II of II: Clint Warwick

Born 25 June 1940 – Clint Warwick (born Albert Eccles), the original bassist for The Moody Blues.

Reflections in Summer: Wendell Berry

“It might seem to you that living in the woods on a riverbank would remove you from the modern world. But not if the river is navigable, as ours is. On pretty weekends in the summer, this riverbank is the very verge of the modern world. It is a seat in the front row, you might say. On those weekends, the river is disquieted from morning to night by people resting from their work.
This resting involves traveling at great speed, first on the road and then on the river. The people are in an emergency to relax. They long for the peace and quiet of the great outdoors. Their eyes are hungry for the scenes of nature. They go very fast in their boats. They stir the river like a spoon in a cup of coffee. They play their radios loud enough to hear above the noise of their motors. They look neither left nor right. They don’t slow down for – or maybe even see – an old man in a rowboat raising his lines…
I watch and I wonder and I think. I think of the old slavery, and of the way The Economy has now improved upon it. The new slavery has improved upon the old by giving the new slaves the illusion that they are free. The Economy does not take people’s freedom by force, which would be against its principles, for it is very humane. It buys their freedom, pays for it, and then persuades its money back again with shoddy goods and the promise of freedom.”
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American Art – Part II of IV:

“Of course, it is well to go abroad and see the works of the old masters, but Americans must strike out for themselves, and only by doing this will we create a great and distinctly American art.” – Thomas Eakins, an American realist painter, photographer, and sculptor, who died 25 June 1916.

Below – “Max Schmitt in a Single Scull”; “William Rush Carving His Allegorical Figure of the Schuylkill River”; “The Gross Clinic”; “Miss Amelia Van Buren”; “Sailing”; “Portrait of Maude Cook”; “The Swimming Hole”; “Self-Portrait.”
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A Second Poem for Today

“The Moving Out”
By John Morgan

After sunset when the grieving
move further into their grief
and the stars are revealed by their master, the darkness,
I have left the cities of the blind
along tracks straight and cold as the north.

Here I sit listening on the shore
of a white and glacial distance.
The voice of a girl like an opening flower
begins to curl forth from the inner shell of the mind.
So many nights I have waited.

In cities the darkness gobbled me up and spat me out,
my fears scuttled back and forth outside the door.
Now the first birds waken and peck among fresh snow.
The light begins to open
with a pink and icy whisper along her cheek.
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Reflections in Summer: Herman Wouk

“The West Indian is not exactly hostile to change, but he is not much inclined to believe in it. This comes from a piece of wisdom that his climate of eternal summer teaches him. It is that, under all the parade of human effort and noise, today is like yesterday, and tomorrow will be like today; that existence is a wheel of recurring patterns from which no one escapes; that all anybody does in this life is live for a while and then die for good, without finding out much; and that therefore the idea is to take things easy and enjoy the passing time under the sun. The white people charging hopefully around the islands these days in the noon glare, making deals, bulldozing airstrips, hammering up hotels, laying out marinas, opening new banks, night clubs, and gift shops, are to him merely a passing plague. They have come before and gone before.”
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Died 25 June 1882 – Francois Jouffroy, a French sculptor.

Below – “Poetry”; “The First Secret Spoken to Venus”; “Source of the Seine”; “Ariadne Abandoned.”
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Reflections in Summer: Katherine Hall Page

“My room was in one of those turrets and at night I could hear the sea and the faint rustle of eelgrass in the soft wind. The weather was perfect that summer. No storms. Blue skies and just the right amount of wind every day. The sailors were in heaven.”
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“In a time of deceit telling the truth is a revolutionary act.” – George Orwell (born Eric Arthur Blair), English novelist, essayist, critic, journalist, and author of “Animal Farm” and “1984,” who was born 25 June 1903.

Some quotes from the work of George Orwell:

“The most effective way to destroy people is to deny and obliterate their own understanding of their history.”
“He who controls the past controls the future. He who controls the present controls the past.”
“The best books… are those that tell you what you know already.”
“Political language is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind.”
“If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.”
“The essence of being human is that one does not seek perfection.”
“Every generation imagines itself to be more intelligent than the one that went before it, and wiser than the one that comes after it.”
“People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf.”
“On the whole human beings want to be good, but not too good, and not quite all the time.”
“Until they became conscious they will never rebel, and until after they have rebelled they cannot become conscious.”
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Reflections in Summer: Steven Pressfield

”Creative work is not a selfish act or a bid for attention on the part of the actor. It’s a gift to the world and every being in it. Don’t cheat us of your contribution. Give us what you’ve got.”
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The paintings of Argentinean artist Manuel Ramat (born 1977) have won many major awards.
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Reflections in Summer: Dorothy Maywood Bird

“This couldn’t be just a lake. No real water was ever blue like that. A light breeze stirred the pin-cherry tree beside the window, ruffled the feathers of a fat sea gull promenading on the pink rocks below. The breeze was full of evergreen spice.”

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A Third Poem for Today

“For Your Table”
By Philip Paradis

To Marjorie

Today I have walked fields
and trails looking for flowers.
They reminded me
of your enjoyment
when I’d bring you
the blossom of the day.
No matter what — brown-eyed Susans,
a wild iris, daisies —
always you were pleased.

Today I noticed tiny violets
and spring flowers I don’t know
the names of, so I’ll call them
shyest girl in the class,
little one in blue,
blushing bride of the valley,
belle of the mountain,
lady of the dell.
And one I’ll call snow flakes
in her hair. They
remind me of
when we first met.
They remind me of you
as you were when I last saw you.
They remind me of when you were a girl
and I didn’t know you.
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Reflections in Summer: Kenneth Grahame

“For this is the last best gift that the kindly demi-god is careful to bestow on those to whom he has revealed himself in their helping: the gift of forgetfulness. Lest the awful remembrance should remain and grow, and overshadow mirth and pleasure, and the great haunting memory should spoil all the after-lives of little animals helped out of difficulties, in order that they should be happy and lighthearted as before.”

Below – An illustration from “The Wind in the Willows.”

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American Art – Part III of IV: James Torlakson

Artist Statement: “The realism in my work is oriented toward the sensuous consumption and reinterpretation of the world I see. I am not interested in how closely I can mimic physical images in paint, but rather in how I can change and distort them to suit my personal aesthetic. When I paint an image, I break it down in my mind and put it back together in the second dimension as if it were a puzzle. The pieces of the puzzle are the compositional elements of shape, texture, light, value, hue, line, etc. If the elements are assembled harmoniously, the painting will function well as both an abstract composition and a realistic image.
I am best known for my photo-based realism, though working from life is still an active part of my creative process. My imagery has centered on ‘everyday’ America; shifting over the years from trucks, to railways, to amusement parks, to waterfronts, to fireworks booths, to deserted drive-in theatres, to coastal landscapes. Through these shifts in subject matter, related architecture has been a steadily repeated motif.”

Below – “Ocean Beach Binoculars”; “Doggie Diner”; ‘Halloween”; “Snug Harbor Dusk”; “Maverick’s”; “Autumn Crisis”; “Horse and Phone”; “Paragon Park”; “Sunset Drive-In”; “Deserted Coach.”
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Reflections in Summer: Junot Diaz

“The whole culture is telling you to hurry, while the art tells you to take your time. Always listen to the art.”
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From the American History Archives: The Battle of the Little Bighorn

25 June 1876 – In the words of one historian, “The Battle of the Little Bighorn, commonly referred to as Custer’s Last Stand, was an armed engagement between combined forces of the Lakota, Northern Cheyenne, and Arapaho tribes, against the 7th Cavalry Regiment of the United States Army. The battle, which occurred June 25–26, 1876, near the Little Bighorn River in eastern Montana Territory, was the most prominent action of the Great Sioux War of 1876. It was an overwhelming victory for the Lakota, Northern Cheyenne, and Arapaho, led by several major war leaders, including Crazy Horse and Chief Gall, inspired by the visions of Sitting Bull. The U.S. 7th Cavalry, including the Custer Battalion, a force of 700 men led by George Armstrong Custer, suffered a severe defeat. Five of the 7th Cavalry’s twelve companies were annihilated; Custer was killed, as were two of his brothers, a nephew, and a brother-in-law. The total U.S. casualty count, including scouts, was 268 dead and 55 injured.”

Below – Last Stand Hill at Little Big Horn Battlefield National Monument.
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Reflections in Summer: Wendell Berry

“We Americans are not usually thought to be a submissive people, but of course we are. Why else would we allow our country to be destroyed? Why else would we be rewarding its destroyers? Why else would we all — by proxies we have given to greedy corporations and corrupt politicians — be participating in its destruction? Most of us are still too sane to piss in our own cistern, but we allow others to do so and we reward them for it. We reward them so well, in fact, that those who piss in our cistern are wealthier than the rest of us.
How do we submit? By not being radical enough. Or by not being thorough enough, which is the same thing.”
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Back from the Territory – Art: Stephanie Ryan (Part I)

Stephanie Ryan is a painter who lives and works in the Yukon Territory.

Back from the Territory, I share this with you, before I light out again.

Below – “Approaching the Scales, Chilkoot Trail”; “Atlin River Homestead”; “Bear Creek, Mount Lome”; “Ben My Chree Gardens”; “Blueberries on Long Hill, Chilkoot Trail, Alaska”; “Boatbuilders, Bennett Lake.”
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Reflections in Summer: Kenneth Grahame

“The river still chattered on to him, a babbling procession of the best stories in the world, sent from the heart of the earth to be told at last to the insatiable sea.”

Below – Big River entering the Pacific Ocean at Mendocino, California.
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American Art – Part IV of IV: Ben Steele

In the words of one writer, “Steele considers himself to often be on the outside of the Art World looking in. Rather than fitting any specific movement, he’s best described as an Art Chameleon, using his work to comment on the history of art as a whole. To do so, he incorporates many different processes of painting and isn’t tied down by any one style.
However, with an education built upon classical training, he enjoys utilizing the techniques and processes of the old masters with a contemporary sensibility. What results is a paradoxical reverence for art with playful and sometimes pointed commentary.”

Below – “Hollywood Farms”; “Inn Appropriate”; “Nighthawks Screening”; “Target Practice”; “Hollywood Dairy”; “The American Dream”; “Starry Night Hotel”; “Under the Stars”; “Modern Colors.”
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June Offerings – Part XXIV: Something to Delight both Head and Heart

American Art – Part I of IV: Margaret Gerding

Artist Statement: “Each piece is based on a real place, a moment that I have experienced and been inspired by. There is something unique about being alone with nature – a quiet that connects like no other. It is only this solitude, whether outside or in the studio, that allows me to let the landscape reveal itself to me. Some paintings require more elements of nature, while others call out to become abstract in their simplicity.”

Below – “Early Evening Marsh”; “Golden Marsh”; “Beautiful Colors of the Clouds”; “Concord Farm with August Light”; “Coastal New England”; “Off Road to Little Neck.”
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“Rogues are preferable to imbeciles because sometimes they take a rest.” – Alexandre Dumas, French writer and author of “The Three Musketeers” and “The Count of Monte Cristo,” who was born 24 July 1802.

Some quotes from the work of Alexandre Dumas:

“All for one and one for all.”
“Life is a storm, my young friend. You will bask in the sunlight one moment, be shattered on the rocks the next. What makes you a man is what you do when that storm comes.”
“As a general rule…people ask for advice only in order not to follow it; or if they do follow it, in order to have someone to blame for giving it.”
“The difference between treason and patriotism is only a matter of dates.”
“The friends we have lost do not repose under the ground…they are buried deep in our hearts. It has been thus ordained that they may always accompany us.”
“Those born to wealth, and who have the means of gratifying every wish, know not what is the real happiness of life, just as those who have been tossed on the stormy waters of the ocean on a few frail planks can alone realize the blessings of fair weather.”
“All generalizations are dangerous, even this one.”
“One’s work may be finished someday, but one’s education never.”
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Reflections in Summer: Thomas Merton

“Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time.”

Below – Paul Gauguin: “Tahitian Landscape”
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A Poem for Today

“A Farewell,”
By Harriet Monroe

Good-bye!—no, do not grieve that it is over,
The perfect hour;
That the winged joy, sweet honey-loving rover,
Flits from the flower.

Grieve not—it is the law. Love will be flying—
Yes, love and all.
Glad was the living—blessed be the dying.
Let the leaves fall.
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American Art – Part II of IV: Ann Marshall

Artist Statement: “Because of the drastic scale reduction necessary for the Web, there’s often a lot of confusion regarding my work. All figure work is done by hand, using either oil paint or pastel. The collage work is similarly low tech, constructed with scissors and an ever-changing array of non-toxic glues.”
In the words of one writer, “Ann Marshall grew up in Atlanta, Georgia and earned her BFA from School of Visual Arts in New York City. She has worked in a gallery, illustrated an award winning children’s book on the Holocaust, and traveled nationally and internationally as an ethnographer and consumer anthropologist. Her fine art work has been exhibited in New York City’s Gallery at Lincoln Center. She now works as a portrait and fine artist.”
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Japanese Literature – Part I of II: Ryunosuke Akutagawa

“I have no conscience at all — least of all an artistic conscience. All I have is nerves.” – Ryunosuke Akutagawa, Japanese writer regarded as
the “Father of the Japanese short story,” who died 24 July 1927.

The plot of Akutagawa’s brilliant short story “In a Grove” (found in his book “Rashomon and Other Stories”) is the basis for Akira Kurosawa’s
film “Rashomon,” which won the 1952 Academy Award for Best Foreign Film. Also, Japan’s premiere literary award, the Akutagawa Prize, is named in honor of Ryunosuke Akutagawa.

Some quotes from the work of Ryunosuke Akutagawa:

“A man sometimes devotes his life to a desire which he is not sure will ever be fulfilled. Those who laugh at this folly are, after all, no more than mere spectators of life.”
“I could wish for nothing more than to die for a childish dream in which I truly believed.”
“A butterfly fluttered its wings in a wind thick with the smell of seaweed. His dry lips felt the touch of the butterfly for the briefest instant, yet the wisp of wing dust still shone on his lips years later.”
“It is unfortunate for the gods that, unlike us, they cannot commit suicide.”
“Yes — or rather, it’s not so much that I want to die as that I’m tired of living.”
“He felt so lost, he said later, that the familiar studio felt like a haunted valley deep in the mountains, with the smell of rotting leaves, the spray of a waterfall, the sour fumes of fruit stashed away by a monkey; even the dim glow of the master’s oil lamp on its tripod looked to him like misty moonlight in the hills.”
“People used to say that on moonless nights Her Ladyship’s broad-skirted scarlet trousers would glide eerily along the outdoor corridor, never touching the floor.”
“We could see the parapet of Ryougoku Bridge, arching above the waves that flickered in the faint mid-autumn twilight and against the sky, as though an immense black Chinese ink stroke had been brushed across it. The silhouettes of the traffic, horses and carriages soon faded into the vaporous mist, and now all that could be seen were the dots of reddish light from the passengers’ lanterns, rapidly passing to and fro in the darkness like small winter cherries.”
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American Art – Part III of IV: Eric Goulder

Here is one critic describing the artistry of American sculptor Eric Goulder (born 1964): “The sculptures made over the past few years are fabricated in bronze, crystal, silver, and marble. Eric Goudler’s sculptures are a reflection of contemporary society and its contradictions. Through expressions of despair, hope, greed, and innocence, Goulder’s work examines the human spirit’s struggle for identity. Nude men, women, and babies are presented as singular forms, as well as controlled yet tangled compositions. Full of movement and life, Goulder’s figures are simultaneously beautiful, disturbing, sensual, and dramatic.”
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Japanese Literature – Part II of II: Tanizaki Jun’ichiro

“We Orientals find beauty not only in the thing itself but in the pattern of the shadows, the light and darkness which that thing provides.” – Tanizaki Jun’ichiro, Japanese writer and author of the brilliant essay “In Praise of Shadows” and the novels “The Makioka Sisters” and “Diary of a Mad Old Man,” who was born 24 July 1886.

Some quotes from the work of Tanizaki Jun’ichiro:

“Whenever I see the alcove of a tastefully built Japanese room, I marvel at our comprehension of the secrets of shadows, our sensitive use of shadow and light. For the beauty of the alcove is not the work of some clever device. An empty space is marked off with plain wood and plain walls, so that the light drawn into its forms dim shadows within emptiness. There is nothing more. And yet, when we gaze into the darkness that gathers behind the crossbeam, around the flower vase, beneath the shelves, though we know perfectly well it is mere shadow, we are overcome with the feeling that in this small corner of the atmosphere there reigns complete and utter silence; that here in the darkness immutable tranquility holds sway.”
“The older we get the more we seem to think that everything was better in the past.”
“With lacquerware there is an extra beauty in that moment between removing the lid and lifting the bowl to the mouth, when one gazes at the still, silent liquid in the dark depths of the bowl, its colour hardly differing from that of the bowl itself. What lies within the darkness one cannot distinguish, but the palm senses the gentle movements of the liquid, vapour rises from within, forming droplets on the rim, and the fragrance carried upon the vapour brings a delicate anticipation … a moment of mystery, it might almost be called, a moment of trance.”
“The ancients waited for cherry blossoms, grieved when they were gone, and lamented their passing in countless poems. How very ordinary the poems had seemed to Sachiko when she read them as a girl, but now she knew, as well as one could know, that grieving over fallen cherry blossoms was more than a fad or convention.”
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Reflections in Summer: Vincent van Gogh

“Great things are done by a series of small things brought together.”

Below – Vincent van Gogh: “Starry Night Over the Rhone”
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A Second Poem for Today

“Northern Sun”
By Colin Morton

is one more idler
hanging out for bootleg beer

pockets bulging
with apples and oranges

he looks over your shoulder
at the poker table

turns up unwanted
at the John Wayne movie

spoils your aim at horseshoes
with his rosy grin

keeps you up all hours
burning the night away
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Reflections in Summer: Wendell Berry

“We walked always in beauty, it seemed to me. We walked and looked about, or stood and looked. Sometimes, less often, we would sit down. We did not often speak. The place spoke for us and was a kind of speech. We spoke to each other in the things we saw.”
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“A man is a very small thing, and the night is very large and full of wonders.” – Lord Dunsany (Edward John Moreton Drax Plunkett, 18th Lord of Dunsany), Irish writer, dramatist, and author of “The King of Elfland’s Daughter” and “The Book of Wonder,” who was born 24 July 1878.

Lord Dunsany is best known for his work in the fantasy genre, but his talents were wide-ranging. In the words of one historian, “More than eighty books of his work were published, and his oeuvre includes many hundreds of published short stories, as well as successful plays, novels and essays.”

Some quotes from the work of Lord Dunsany:

“And little he knew of the things that ink may do, how it can mark a dead man’s thought for the wonder of later years, and tell of happening that are gone clean away, and be a voice for us out of the dark of time, and save many a fragile thing from the pounding of heavy ages; or carry to us, over the rolling centuries, even a song from lips long dead on forgotten hills.”
“There is no beauty or romance or mystery in the sea except for the men that sail abroad upon it, and those who stay at home and dream of them.”
“Logic, like whiskey, loses its beneficial effect when taken in too large quantities.”
“And at that moment a wind came out of the northwest, and entered the woods and bared the golden branches, and danced over the downs, and led a company of scarlet and golden leaves, that had dreaded this day but danced now it had come; and away with a riot of dancing and glory of colour, high in the light of the sun that had set from the sight of the fields, went wind and leaves together.”
“All we who write put me in mind of sailors hastily making rafts upon doomed ships. When we break up under the heavy years and go down into eternity with all that is ours our thoughts like small lost rafts float on awhile upon Oblivion’s sea. They will not carry much over those tides, our names and a phrase or two and little else.”
“I have lived to see that being seventeen is no protection against becoming seventy, but to know this needs the experience of a lifetime, for no imagination copes with it.”
“Yet in the blood of man there is a tide, an old sea-current rather, that is somehow akin to the twilight, which brings him rumours of beauty from however far away, as driftwood is found at sea from islands not yet discovered: and this spring-tide or current that visits the blood of man comes from the fabulous quarter of his lineage, from the legendary, the old; it takes him out to the woodlands, out to the hills; he listens to ancient song.”
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Reflections in Summer: Kenneth Grahame

“As he hurried along, eagerly anticipating the moment when he would be at home again among the things he knew and liked, the Mole saw clearly that he was an animal of tilled field and hedgerow, linked to the ploughed furrow, the frequented pasture, the lane of evening lingerings, the cultivated garden-plot. For others the asperities, the stubborn endurance, or the clash of actual conflict, that went with Nature in the rough; he must be wise, must keep to the pleasant places in which his lines were laid and which held adventure enough, in their way, to last for a lifetime.”

Below – An illustration from “The Wind in the Willows.”
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“She tells her love while half asleep,
In the dark hours,
With half-words whispered low:
As Earth stirs in her winter sleep
And puts out grass and flowers
Despite the snow,
Despite the falling snow.” – “She Tells Her Love while Half Asleep,” by Robert Graves, English poet, soldier in World War I, scholar/translator/writer of antiquity specializing in
Classical Greece and Rome, and author of “Goodbye to All That” (autobiography and war history), “The White Goddess: A Historical Grammar of Poetic Myth,” and “I, Claudius” (novel), who was born 24 July 1895.

“A Pinch of Salt”

When a dream is born in you

With a sudden clamorous pain,

When you know the dream is true

And lovely, with no flaw nor stain,

O then, be careful, or with sudden clutch

You’ll hurt the delicate thing you prize so much.



Dreams are like a bird that mocks,

Flirting the feathers of his tail.

When you seize at the salt-box,

Over the hedge you’ll see him sail.

Old birds are neither caught with salt nor chaff:

They watch you from the apple bough and laugh.



Poet, never chase the dream.

Laugh yourself, and turn away.

Mask your hunger; let it seem

Small matter if he come or stay;

But when he nestles in your hand at last,

Close up your fingers tight and hold him fast.
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Reflections in Summer: Walt Whitman

“Press close, bare-bosomed Night!
Press close, magnetic, nourishing Night!
Night of south winds! Night of the large, few stars!
Still, nodding Night! Mad, naked, Summer Night!”
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From the American Old West: Benjamin Bonneville

24 July 1832 – Benjamin Bonneville, a French-born American United States Army officer and explorer in the American West, leads the first wagon train across the Rocky Mountains by using Wyoming’s South Pass. During his lifetime, Bonneville was made famous by an account of his explorations in the West written by Washington Irving – “The Adventures of Captain Bonneville” (1837).
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Reflections in Summer: Theodore Roosevelt

“Surely our people do not understand even yet the rich heritage that is theirs. There can be nothing in the world more beautiful than the Yosemite, the groves of giant sequoias and redwoods, the Canyon of the Colorado, the Canyon of the Yellowstone, the Three Tetons; and our people should see to it that they are preserved for their children and their children’s children forever, with their majesty all unmarred.”

Below – Ansel Adams: “The Tetons and the Snake River”
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From the Movie Archives: Chief Dan George

“May the stars carry your sadness away,

May the flowers fill your heart with beauty,

May hope forever wipe away your tears,

And, above all, may silence make you strong.” – Chief Dan George, a Chief of the Tsleil-Waututh Nation, a Coast Salish band, author, poet, and Academy Award-nominated actor, who was born 24 July 1899.

Chief Dan George portrayed memorable characters in both “The Outlaw Josey Wales” and “Harry and “Tonto,” but his performance as Old Lodge Skins in “Little Big Man” is magnificent.

Reflections in Summer: Mishima Yukio

“Again and again, the cicada’s untiring cry pierced the sultry summer air like a needle at work on thick cotton cloth.”
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A Third Poem for Today

“Mountain Fog”
By Philip Paradis

Something you can hardly put
your finger to moved into town
last night. This morning,
upon waking, we see our mountain,
who has stood behind us, is gone —
along with the range of hills
that were our stolid neighbors.
The backyard contains only
the children’s sandbox littered
with toy trucks, pail and shovel,
the doghouse with rusted chain.
Beyond that tall pine lies
what new land? Is surf rolling
beyond that cloud veil?
Or is a river falling?
We need our landmarks back,
our old faithful ones
to reassure us this is the way
we have come before.
Unsure now if we are
on the right path to the garden,
we slow, look twice. Place our
feet carefully. First one step,
then another, discovering our way.
The earth beneath our feet
telling us as we wade through mist
This world of cloudy shapes,
froth of waves, mountain mist,
is still the world
underneath it all.
aParadis

Reflections in Summer: Toni Morrison

“I have only to break into the tightness of a strawberry, and I see summer – its dust and lowering skies.”
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From the American History Archives: Hiram Bingham

24 June 1911 – With the help of local indigenous farmers, American explorer Hiram Bingham discovers the Lost City of the Incas (Machu Picchu).

Below – A view of Hiram Bingham standing atop ruins at Machu Picchu in Peru. This is a hand-colored glass slide, from an original image by Harry Ward Foote. Foote was a professor of chemistry at Yale College, and he served as the collector and naturalist on Bingham’s expeditions to Peru.
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Reflections in Summer: Kenneth Grahame

“The moon, serene and detached in a cloudless sky, did what she could, though so far off, to help them in their quest; till her hour came and she sank earthwards reluctantly, and left them, and mystery once more held field and river.”
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Back from the Territory – Art: Simon James Gilpin (Part II)

In the words of one writer, “Simon Gilpin is an artist with an emphasis on environment. At the age of three following the death of their father his family moved to a council estate on the edge of the city of Leeds in Yorkshire, England. This change made a huge impression on Simon and he has always maintained that it is the root of his creative instinct.
After receiving a fine art degree at Wakefield’s Bretton Hall, Simon left England and travelled extensively around the world drawing, taking pictures and visiting the world’s major art galleries. Armed with these experiences he would paint in his Leeds studio when back in the UK.
In 2006, while backpacking in the Yukon Territory, Canada Simon met his wife Jean. They married in Yorkshire in 2008. After a few years in Ilkley the pair moved permanently back to the place they first met: Whitehorse, Yukon, where Simon now works as a professional artist.
Simon’s paintings centre around the human-made and natural worlds. Not only the extremes of these two worlds, but also the blurring points and grey areas in between, and where as humans we fit into these worlds. Since arriving in the Yukon, Simon has become fascinated by the ‘Wild’ of the Northern landscape and his paintings look deep into the heart of the forest.”

Back from the Territory, I share this with you, before I light out again.

Below – “The Leaning Garage”; “Tree Shade”; “Wild Blue Yonder”; “Winter Oak.”
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Reflections in Summer: Wendell Berry

“I see that the life of this place is always emerging beyond expectation or prediction or typicality, that it is unique, given to the world minute by minute, only once, never to be repeated. And this is when I see that this life is a miracle, absolutely worth having, absolutely worth saving. We are alive within mystery, by miracle.”
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American Art – Part IV of IV: Teri Malo

Artist Statement: “My profound interest in painting the coast, and especially the ocean, comes from several things, including a desire to spend imaginative time in this vast and bracing environment. The ocean is a moody and mysterious subject – elusive, constantly changing, and full of surprises. Understanding the abstract patterns of waves and foam, the underlying structure, and the subtle color shifts is an exciting challenge. With each painting I see more and want to dive (at least metaphorically) deeper into the wave.”

Below – “Late Summer at the Pond”; “Morning View at Grand Manan”; “Through a Silver Light”; “Poem from the Shallows”; ‘Inside a Yellow Orbit”; “Getting to the Point”; “In the Rain.”
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June Offerings – Part XXIII: Something to Delight both Head and Heart

American Art – Part I of V: Danny Galieote

In the words of one critic, “Danny Galieote juxtaposes the imagery and pop sensibility of postwar America with an air of surrealism, evoking a menacing, dark aura in his paintings and casting a shadow over the historical eras they depict. At the beginning of his career, Galieote worked full time at Disney while pursuing his painting practice on the side. He began pairing images of innocent midcentury Americana—a young couple enjoying Coca-Cola or women frolicking on a beach—with threatening sights from the same period, such as mushroom cloud explosions. Galieote uses a grid to map his photographic sources onto the canvas, resulting in technically precise compositions.”

Below – “American Anthem”; “Clandestine Persuasion”; “Taking Care of Business”; “Harbor News”; “The Messenger”; “Happy Wife Happy Life”; “Sweet Inamorata (Study).”
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Reflections in Summer: Dan Simmons

“The beauty of that June day was almost staggering. After the wet spring, everything that could turn green had outdone itself in greenness and everything that could even dream of blooming or blossoming was in bloom and blossom. The sunlight was a benediction. The breezes were so caressingly soft and intimate on the skin as to be embarrassing.”
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From the Music Archives – Part I of II: Bobby “Blue” Bland

Died 23 June 2013 – Bobby “Blue” Bland, an American blues singer.

Reflections in Summer: John Ashbery

“The summer demands and takes away too much. /But night, the reserved, the reticent, gives more than it takes.”
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American Art – Part II of V: Chris Bilton

In the words of one critic, “Chris Bilton could be thought of as a Modern Neo-Renaissance artist. In his words, he is inspired by ‘the artists of the High Renaissance, and the way their disciplines seem to intertwine and cross over, creating a deeper aesthetic and a more profound truth.’ At the same time, he infuses traditional art techniques with his modern sensibilities to create art that clearly conveys the influence of twentieth century art and of contemporary thinking.”
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Reflections in Summer: Abraham Lincoln

“I am rather inclined to silence, and whether that be wise or not, it is at least more unusual nowadays to find a man who can hold his tongue than to find one who cannot.”
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A Poem for Today

“The Centralia Mine Fire”
By Leonard Kress

Drive north from the city two hours,
past the appropriate ridges and through
the obligatory tunnel that cowers
under the mountain. Hawks that flew
solicitously near the roadside mowers
return to their own named peak to view
without judgment your entrance. Ask the powers
of light and shadow to reveal the blue onion bulbs of the true
Ruthenian Church amid wildflowers
and steep vetch. Wind back as if you knew
by heart Cyrillic names of miners — sowers
of canonized fern and weed, and renew
the threefold Byzantine Rite, as summer showers
stream down and a yellow halo of mist to surround
the town rises slowly from the burning ground.

The town rises slowly from the burning ground.
Watch the vacant homes, unsellable now,
freshly blanched with strips of siding, the crowned
churches, their Babel of tribal Masses below the show
of sunlight on gold and copper; and the sky, split
by brittle steeples. It is little grown
from the company town — patchwork village by the pit
with omnipresent monument, the Breaker, flown
like a buttress against the black mountain —
this the shrine of the Holy Order of Anthracite.
Though odors of bottom damp and methane
no longer reek into the streets and ignite,
the underground tunnels burn, and each vein
of coal, potential fuse, leads to another domain.
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Dutch painter Giovanni Dalessi was born in 1964.
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Reflections in Summer: Polly Horvath

“The library in summer is the most wonderful thing because there you get books on any subject and read them each for only as long as they hold your interest, abandoning any that don’t, halfway or a quarter of the way through if you like, and store up all that knowledge in the happy corners of your mind for your own self and not to show off how much you know or spit it back at your teacher on a test paper.”
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From the Music Archives – Part II of II: Rosetta Hightower

Born 23 June 1944 – Rosetta Hightower, an American vocalist and former lead singer of The Orlons.

Reflections in Summer: Wendell Berry

“The passive American consumer, sitting down to a meal of pre-prepared food, confronts inert, anonymous substances that have been processed, dyed, breaded, sauced, gravied, ground, pulped, strained, blended, prettified, and sanitized beyond resemblance to any part of any creature that ever lived. The products of nature and agriculture have been made, to all appearances, the products of industry. Both eater and eaten are thus in exile from biological reality.”
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Here is one critic describing the artistry of Norwegian painter Lars Elling (born 1966): “Elling works with tempera on canvas as his media of communication. Elling is a storyteller. His layers of imagery evoke memories of childhood, with the possible disturbance and trauma written between the lines. Family is the repetitive theme in Elling’s works; familiar moments infiltrated by surprising or unpleasant elements. The formalistic aspect of Lars Elling’s paintings is characterized by the erased and the broken. The pure visual expression has a meaningful function, where story and poetry are strong fundamentals. The paintings can be seen as a burst of memory, a description of a moment, where the almost experienced or almost seen is presented in a dreamlike and poetic expression.”
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A Second Poem for Today

“Her Ecstasy”
By John Morgan

The boy on the beach, maybe
ten, watches the waves come in.

He was there before us, we’ve
been here an hour, and it makes me
remember Kansas. There’s not much to do in
Kansas, so you learn to be patient,

to sit there and look at the sky
till it answers back with your name.

Then the day takes you into its
vast impersonal mill. The wind
blows over you and the fields
listen, until life fills you up.

What you glean at that age
has no name, but it stays.

So, today, in Mexico, I can sit and watch the
boy watching the waves, the changing
light, and nothing is happening — a tern,
a lolloping gull-and out there beyond
the sky, the spider spinning and spinning

the life which is here inside,
and you just have to wait for it!
aMorgan

Reflections in Summer: Bernard Knox

“Three thousand years have not changed the human condition in this respect. We are still lovers and victims of the will to violence, and so long as we are, Homer will be read as its truest interpreter.”
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American Art – Part III of V: Richard Maury

In the words of one critic, “Richard Maury (born 1935) is a mature painter who is considered to be an important and continuing link in the rich tradition of American realism — the logical successor to John Singer Sargent.
While still in his 20’s, Maury chose to leave the United States and settle in Italy. Ever since, he has lived in Florence and has worked diligently in pursuit of his craft, creating paintings that are set in his old and picturesque living quarters. Like Vermeer, his attention to detail is breathtaking without becoming overworked and trite. His flowing, painterly technique depicts haunting light that drifts through halls and beats through windows to create airy atmospheres. The mundane is elevated to magnificence.
Richard Maury paints his environs with scrupulously direct observation. His rooms are full of life’s discards and endless intriguing objects. In everyday life, these objects would be unseen — in a Maury painting the unseen is bared for all to see and treated with reverence. People appear rarely and are assimilated as another beautifully rendered texture — plain, simple and resonating with radiance.”
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Reflections in Summer: Kellie Elmore

“I love how summer just wraps its arms around you like a warm blanket.”
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From the Movie Archives: Frances McDormand

“The fact that I’m sleeping with the director may have something to do with it.” – Frances McDormand, American film and stage actress, who was born 23 June 1957, explaining how she got the role that won her an Academy Award for Best Actress in “Fargo.” The director of “Fargo,” Joel Coen, is her husband.

Reflections in Summer: Theodore Roosevelt

“In the Grand Canyon, Arizona has a natural wonder which is in kind absolutely unparalleled throughout the rest of the world. I want to ask you to keep this great wonder of nature as it now is. I hope you will not have a building of any kind, not a summer cottage, a hotel or anything else, to mar the wonderful grandeur, the sublimity, the great loneliness and beauty of the canyon. Leave it as it is. You cannot improve on it. The ages have been at work on it, and man can only mar it.”
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American Art – Part IV of V: Alan Brown

Here is one critic describing the artistry of Alan Brown: “Native to New Jersey, Alan Brown has a long-standing career as a professional artist. His work is extensively exhibited in the New York metropolitan area.
Brown has two degrees from New York schools; an M.F.A. from Pratt Institute, Brooklyn; and a B.S. in Fine Art from Skidmore College, Saratoga Springs. His focus then and now has centered on oil painting.
Alan Brown’s style varies from photo-realistic to expressionistic, nearly always with the figure as the focus.”
In Brown’s words, “My recent work examines humanness in relation to the natural world. The visual interplay is between figure, pattern, and object. The objects and patterns in my paintings serve always to reflect back upon the figure.”
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A Third Poem for Today

“Milkweed”
By Charles O. Hartman

for Howard Nemerov

Milkweed is pertinent now, so in the air
That everyone is thinking in its terms.
The housewife doesn’t dare hang out the wash
Without considering milkweed; engineers
Decide today to redesign the air
Filters they thought perfected. It’s a fact:
Milkweed has come to live and be lived with.

Reprieved, the birds have ceased to pluck their breasts
To line their nests — though few enough are still
Fixing for eggs when milkweed begins to hatch
Exploding from the brown sun-brittled pods.
Occasional nestlings get mistaken meals,
Beakfuls of milkweed someone took for bugs:
Like anything in the air, it seems all things

Eventually: a faery’s shuttlecock
As soon as seeds blown from the plainest plant.
Step in a cataract of light on a day
Like this, look up and see another race
Cast from its place and looking for its place;
Riding the wind toward distant, solid ground,
They scatter golden light on their scattered way.
aHartman

Reflections in Summer: Auguste Rodin

“The main thing is to be moved, to love, to hope, to tremble, to live.”

Below – Rodin: “The Kiss”
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Back from the Territory – Art: Simon James Gilpin (Part I)

In the words of one writer, “Simon Gilpin is an artist with an emphasis on environment. At the age of three following the death of their father his family moved to a council estate on the edge of the city of Leeds in Yorkshire, England. This change made a huge impression on Simon and he has always maintained that it is the root of his creative instinct.
After receiving a fine art degree at Wakefield’s Bretton Hall, Simon left England and travelled extensively around the world drawing, taking pictures and visiting the world’s major art galleries. Armed with these experiences he would paint in his Leeds studio when back in the UK.
In 2006, while backpacking in the Yukon Territory, Canada Simon met his wife Jean. They married in Yorkshire in 2008. After a few years in Ilkley the pair moved permanently back to the place they first met: Whitehorse, Yukon, where Simon now works as a professional artist.
Simon’s paintings centre around the human-made and natural worlds. Not only the extremes of these two worlds, but also the blurring points and grey areas in between, and where as humans we fit into these worlds. Since arriving in the Yukon, Simon has become fascinated by the ‘Wild’ of the Northern landscape and his paintings look deep into the heart of the forest.”

Back from the Territory, I share this with you, before I light out again.

Below – “Bark, Birches”; “Blue Water”; “Chilly Fall Day”; “Mid Summer, Miles Canyon.”
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Reflections in Summer: Wendell Berry

“Always in the big woods when you leave familiar ground and step off alone into a new place there will be, along with the feelings of curiosity and excitement, a little nagging of dread. It is the ancient fear of the Unknown, and it is your first bond with the wilderness you are going into.”

Below – Emily Carr: “Western Forest”
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American Art – Part V of V: Victoria Adams

Artist Statement: “My interest is in providing a means for viewers to ponder what comprises their own experience of landscape. I paint grand views with sweeping horizons and dramatic skies. The vistas and skies in each painting are fictional, made up from imagination and making use of the cultural vocabulary of traditional Western landscape painting.
I do want the paintings to provide an interface between how a painting is experienced and how nature is experienced.
I feel that it is still possible, and probably more important than ever during our current preoccupation with climate change and global warming, for an individual, standing alone before a landscape to have a conscious awareness of being overwhelmed–whether you want to call this state transcendence, or joy, or fear, or vulnerability in an unpredictable universe.
I want a viewer to feel participation and inextricable belonging in the larger matrix of sky, distance, and land that I paint.”

Below – “Season Turning”; “Parallel”; “Wine Dark”; “Eastern #2”; “Quiet Canyon”; “Undulant Sea.”
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June Offerings – Part XXII: Something to Delight both Head and Heart

American Art – Part I of III: Scott Upton

Artist Statement: “i’ve always maintained that my work is about color and light and their effect on our emotions. my inspiration comes from nature, whose sublime forms and colors and chaotic power shape the ever-changing landscape. for me, light is the unifying force, transforming everything it touches by banishing darkness and encouraging renewal. In my work I’ve always sought to suggest, in addition to the beauty, the feelings of hope and peace that light imparts.”

Below – “reflecting light”; “sirens in the tide”; “water colors”; “along the street”; “strangers in the night”; “lost in daydreams.”
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Reflections in Summer: Deb Caletti

“Summer, after all, is a time when wonderful things can happen to quiet people. For those few months, you’re not required to be who everyone thinks you are, and that cut-grass smell in the air and the chance to dive into the deep end of a pool give you a courage you don’t have the rest of the year. You can be grateful and easy, with no eyes on you, and no past. Summer just opens the door and lets you out.”
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A Poem for Today

“Girl on a Horse”
By Halvard Johnson

Oh, the richness of it:
the dark horse scampering
through the sea-breaks,
gulls crying overhead,
the way she turned her head
toward us, smiling her dark smile.
A wave of her hand and she was off
again, down the beach, turning
and galloping back, smiling,
smiling. And the animal beneath her,
glistening and snorting,
snorting and glistening.
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Reflections in Summer: Wendell Berry

“No settled family or community has ever called its home place an ‘environment.’ None has ever called its feeling for its home place ‘biocentric’ or ‘anthropocentric.’ None has ever thought of its connection to its home place as ‘ecological,’ deep or shallow. The concepts and insights of the ecologists are of great usefulness in our predicament, and we can hardly escape the need to speak of ‘ecology’ and ‘ecosystems.’ But the terms themselves are culturally sterile. They come from the juiceless, abstract intellectuality of the universities which was invented to disconnect, displace, and disembody the mind. The real names of the environment are the names of rivers and river valleys; creeks, ridges, and mountains; towns and cities; lakes, woodlands, lanes roads, creatures, and people.

And the real name of our connection to this everywhere different and differently named earth is ‘work.’ We are connected by work even to the places where we don’t work, for all places are connected; it is clear by now that we cannot exempt one place from our ruin of another. The name of our proper connection to the earth is ‘good work,’ for good work involves much giving of honor. It honors the source of its materials; it honors the place where it is done; it honors the art by which it is done; it honors the thing that it makes and the user of the made thing. Good work is always modestly scaled, for it cannot ignore either the nature of individual places or the differences between places, and it always involves a sort of religious humility, for not everything is known. Good work can be defined only in particularity, for it must be defined a little differently for every one of the places and every one of the workers on the earth.

The name of our present society’s connection to the earth is ‘bad work’ – work that is only generally and crudely defined, that enacts a dependence that is ill understood, that enacts no affection and gives no honor. Every one of us is to some extent guilty of this bad work. This guilt does not mean that we must indulge in a lot of breast-beating and confession; it means only that there is much good work to be done by every one of us and that we must begin to do it.”

Below – Wendell Berry.
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Here is the Artist Statement of Korean painter Park Min-Joon: “The main subjects of my work are three: life, death, and eternity. These three subjects foam a foundation of all my work; each piece of artwork has specifically different stories. Those stories are based on Greek and Roman mythology, religious stories, Egyptian mythology and even the Eastern philosophy. However, I do not limit my thought in a particular philosophy. Actually, my work depicts stories of human beings: the current of time, nation and generation. On the one hand, my work looks more realistic when viewers see it through the lens of a traditional viewpoint. On the other hand, it looks enlightening when one sees it through the lens of a contemporary point of view. My work is located at the borderline between contemporary paintings and traditional paintings. That is I pursue the craftsmanship of great masters of the past while addressing contemporary issues at the same time.”
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Reflections in Summer: Abraham Lincoln

“Here in my heart, my happiness, my house.
Here inside the lighted window is my love, my hope, my life.
Peace is my companion on the pathway winding to the threshold.
Inside this portal dwells new strength in the security, serenity, and radiance of those I love above life itself.
Here two will build new dreams–dreams that tomorrow will come true.
The world over, these are the thoughts at eventide when footsteps turn ever homeward.
In the haven of the hearthside is rest and peace and comfort.”
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A Second Poem for Today

“Midwest Lullaby”
By Mary Fell

The moon is rocking
in its cradle of wheat.
There’s a star hung from the sky
to amuse that fat white baby.
Coyote’s tired, he forgets
to cry, and the corn grows quiet
wrapped in its husk of sleep.
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Reflections in Summer: Terri Guillemets

“Art is when you hear a knocking from your soul — and you answer.”

Below – John William Waterhouse: “Sweet Summer”
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American Art – Part II of III: Arlynn Bloom

According to one writer, “Bay Area award-winning watercolor artist Arlynn Bloom has studied at Beach City College, Long Beach, California, the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, and the Philadelphia College of Art. Her work has won many awards.”
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Reflections in Summer: Kenneth Graham

“Today, to him gazing south with a new-born need stirring in his heart, the clear sky over their long low outline seemed to pulsate with promise; today, the unseen was everything. the unknown the only real fact of life.”
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A Third Poem for Today

“Surfer in Winter”
By Jascha Kessler

A half a glass of beer,
a plate of fish and chips,
a long cold foggy day:
out there on the water
slip slap slop like always
with a few gulls asleep.

They think it’s monotonous,
they think it’s just a fad
you will grow out of yet
like you quit hide and seek,
driving the car too fast,
or touching every blouse.

But it’s not that, not that;
there’s a basic rhythm
that goes on forever,
and you sit out there and wait
and watch the steady swell
and take the one that counts.

Sometimes nothing happens.
Mostly nothing happens.
They break, you break, or both.
The day passes, a day
like all the other days:
the tide drops and you quit.

But sometimes there’s a wave,
that certain lift you feel,
a shadow in the green,
and you know it’s the one
and you’re with it coming
you’re on, you’re up, you’re in.

There’s never someone else.
There’s only you alone.
If it’s right and you’re right,
you’re walking on water,
coming in from the sea
as if you were just born
though you never reach shore.
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Reflections in Summer: Theodore Roosevelt

“Our duty to the whole, including the unborn generations, bids us to restrain an unprincipled present-day minority from wasting the heritage of these unborn generations. The movement for the conservation of wildlife and the larger movement for the conservation of all our natural resources are essentially democratic in spirit, purpose, and method.”

Below – Theodore Roosevelt with John Muir at Yosemite.
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Back from the Territory – Art: Richard Shorty (Part III)

In the words of one writer, “Living in Vancouver, BC, Richard Shorty has been an artist since 1965. Born in Whitehorse, Yukon, he started his career with portraits of rock stars, wild life and scenic realism.
In 1980 with his artistic abilities maturing, he began native design. His unique style combines elements of traditional and contemporary design. Richard is a versatile artist having worked on drums, paddles, masks and rattles. His pieces are collected nation wide.
Richard lives his life for his family, his art and his strong spiritual belief.”

Back from the Territory, I share this with you, before I light out again.

Below – “Spirit of the Mountain Lion”; “Timber Wolf”; “Red-Tailed Hawk”; “Salmon Eagle”; “Wolves United.”
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Reflections in Summer: Wendell Berry

“I have always loved a window, especially an open one.”

Henri Matisse: “The Open Window”
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American Art – Part III of III: Sherrie Wolf

Artist Statement: “I have always been a still-life painter. my images openly play with the fact that art is artifice. in recent years, i have arranged objects in front of excerpts from old master paintings. earlier in my career, while imitating 19th century american trompe l’oil and 17th century dutch still-life traditions in subject matter and formal elements of composition, i explored contrived or discovered relationships between seemingly unrelated objects. mirrors or other formal objects often reflected the contemporary clutter of my studio. light, shadow and three-dimensional spatial relationships played important roles, and i often used nontraditional perspectives, such as looking straight down on the still life arrangement. a mong the subject matter, there would be an open book or a card portraying an image from a historical painting. in time, these excerpts became more prominent, and eventually i filled the entire background with a quotation from an old master painting. this connected me to a history of reinterpretation and artistic borrowing prevalent among artists. my images have evolved from a love of art history and a desire to present multiple levels of expression to my viewer.”

Below – “venus”; “roses with portrait”; “tulip with patron of music”; “two pears, night”; “tulips with storm”; “purple tulips with lady of lochnaw”; “two cherries.”
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June Offerings – Part XXI: Something to Delight both Head and Heart

American Art – Part I of III: Christopher Terry

Artist Statement: “the central theme of my work is the ability of light to transform. although i select and place my subjects carefully, they are mostly drawn from the insignificant artifacts of everyday life. they lack a strong ego and without the stage i build for them, they would likely be overlooked. the interiors i choose are similarly anonymous. i’m drawn to these spaces and objects that lack a strong individual presence, and i rely primarily on light to transform an abandoned interior and enigmatically placed object into a secular altar.”

Below – “brick arch”; “sky light”; “garden reflection”; “schoolroom clock”; “interior with cinctured teapot”; “yellow curtain.”
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A Poem for Today

“A something in a summer’s Day”
By Emily Dickinson

A something in a summer’s Day

As slow her flambeaux burn away

Which solemnizes me.

A something in a summer’s noon –

A depth — an Azure — a perfume –

Transcending ecstasy.

And still within a summer’s night

A something so transporting bright

I clap my hands to see –

Then veil my too inspecting face

Lets such a subtle — shimmering grace

Flutter too far for me –

The wizard fingers never rest –

The purple brook within the breast

Still chafes it narrow bed –

Still rears the East her amber Flag –

Guides still the sun along the Crag

His Caravan of Red –

So looking on — the night — the morn

Conclude the wonder gay –

And I meet, coming thro’ the dews

Another summer’s Day!
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Reflections in Summer: F. Scott Fitzgerald

“And so with the sunshine and the great bursts of leaves growing on the trees, just as things grow in fast movies, I had that familiar conviction that life was beginning over again with the summer.”
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Nobel Laureate: Jean-Paul Sartre

“Man can will nothing unless he has first understood that he must count on no one but himself; that he is alone, abandoned on earth in the midst of his infinite responsibilities, without help, with no other aim than the one he sets himself, with no other destiny than the one he forges for himself on this earth.” – Jean-Paul Sartre, French existentialist philosopher, playwright, novelist, screenwriter, political activist, biographer, and literary critic, who was born 21 June 1905.

Sartre was awarded the 1964 Nobel Prize in Literature and refused it, saying that he always declined official honors and that “a writer should not allow himself to be turned into an institution.”

Some quotes from the work of Jean-Paul Sartre:

“If you’re lonely when you’re alone, you’re in bad company.”
“It is up to you to give [life] a meaning.”
“Freedom is what we do with what is done to us.”
“When the rich wage war it’s the poor who die.”
“We are our choices.”
“Man is condemned to be free; because once thrown into the world, he is responsible for everything he does.”
“I am alone in the midst of these happy, reasonable voices. All these creatures spend their time explaining, realizing happily that they agree with each other. In Heaven’s name, why is it so important to think the same things all together. ”
“You are — your life, and nothing else.”
“Everything has been figured out, except how to live.”
“All that I know about my life, it seems, I have learned in books.”
“Life begins on the other side of despair.”
“Like all dreamers I confuse disenchantment with truth.”
“There may be more beautiful times, but this one is ours.”
“It is therefore senseless to think of complaining since nothing foreign has decided what we feel, what we live, or what we are.”
“The more sand that has escaped from the hourglass of our life, the clearer we should see through it.”

Reflections in Summer: Henry James

“Summer afternoon—summer afternoon; to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language.”

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One art historian has called the style of Chinese painter Chen Yifei (1946-2005) “Romantic Realism,” and that is an especially apt description of the techniques he employs in his portraits of women clad in traditional Chinese clothing.
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Reflections in Summer: Susan Polis Schutz

“Let us dance in the sun, wearing wild flowers in our hair…”

Below – John William Waterhouse: “Windflowers”
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From the Music Archives – Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov

Died 21 June 1908 – Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, a Russian composer.

This is one of my favorite Rimsky-Korsakov orchestral pieces:

Reflections in Summer: Abraham Lincoln

“Life is hard but so very beautiful.”
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A Second Poem for Today

“Ten Qualities as a Cosmo Girl I really Want in My Man”
By Denise Duhamel

For Jean Valentine, after seeing Bambi

I want a boyfriend with antlers.
(I read somewhere if I long in specifics, I’ll be more likely
to get my wish.) A boyfriend like Bambi, he’ll be the one for me.
He’ll have sort of a feminine name
so I won’t immediately think of cuss-words and muscles.
Yet he’ll battle for my honor, save my life if he has to.
And when he fights, he and his opponent will turn into shadow.
He’ll never be offensive. He’ll have really good posture,
hold his head high. He’ll look like me, but not cuter:
I’ll have longer lashes and bigger bluer eyes.
He’ll have seen a loved one die, so he’ll understand loss
but will have worked through his grieving by the time we meet.
Yes, he’ll be a prince. He’ll think of me only and give me twins
as calm and easy to take care of as no-iron sheets.
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Reflections in Summer: Theodore Roosevelt

“The conservation of natural resources is the fundamental problem. Unless we solve that problem it will avail us little to solve all others.”
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This is one education-related problem that we do not have to worry about in Arkansas:

“A school without football is in danger of deteriorating into a medieval study hall.” – Frank Leahy, American head football coach (1941-1943, 1946-1953) and athletic director (1947-1949) at the University of Notre Dame, who died 21 March 1973.
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Reflections in Summer: Wendell Berry

“Better than any argument is to rise at dawn and pick dew-wet red berries in a cup.”
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American Art – Part II of III: Rockwell Kent

“And there, westward and heavenward, to the high ridge of Whiteface, northward to the northern limit of the mountains, southward to their highest peaks, was spread the full half-circle panorama of the Adirondacks. It was as if we had never seen the mountains before.” – From “This Is My Own,” by Rockwell Kent, American painter, printmaker, illustrator, writer, and adventurer, who was born 21 June 1882.

From the 1920s until his death in 1971, Rockwell Kent resided at the Asgaard Farm and Dairy in the Adirondack Mountains of New York – a place and region that he frequently depicted in his paintings.

Below – “Mountain Road”; “The View from Asgaard”; “Farm Building in Snow”; “Snowy Peaks, Kenai Peninsula, Alaska”; “Sunday Evening, Greenland”; “Windswept Trees”; “Cloverfields”; “Moonlit Sleighride.”
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Reflections in Summer: Pablo Neruda

“Green was the silence, wet was the light,
the month of June trembled like a butterfly.”
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A Third Poem for Today

“Out-of-Luck, Massachusetts”
By Mary Fell

The town that couldn’t be licked
gives up, sunk
between these hills. The sacred
heart beats fainter, blessing the poor
in spirit. Boarded-up
factories litter the river. It does no good,
town fathers knitting their brows,
there’s not enough shoe leather left
to buy a meal. In company houses
the unemployed wear out
their welcome. Diminished
roads run east, west, anywhere
better than here.
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Reflections in Summer: Wendell Berry

“There comes . . . a longing never to travel again except on foot.”
Hiking Buckskin Pass

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“We all live in suspense from day to day; in other words you are the hero of your own story.” – Mary McCarthy, an American author, critic, and political activist, who was born 21 June 1912.

Some quotes from Mary McCarthy:

“Life is a system of recurrent pairs, the poison and the antidote being eternally packaged together by some considerate heavenly druggist.”
“I really tried, or so I thought, to avoid lying, but it seemed to me that they forced it on me by the difference in their vision of things, so that I was always transposing reality for them into something they could understand.”
“What’s the use of falling in love if you both remain inertly as you were?”
“In violence we forget who we are.”
“There are no new truths, but only truths that have not been recognized by those who have perceived them without noticing.”
“She considered [her] life, which had not been a life but only a sort of greeting, a Hello There.”
“You can date the evolving life of a mind, like the age of a tree, by the rings of friendship formed by the expanding central trunk.”

Reflections in Summer: Maud Hart Lovelace

“It was June, and the world smelled of roses. The sunshine was like powdered gold over the grassy hillside.”
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Back from the Territory – Art: Richard Shorty (Part II)

In the words of one writer, “Living in Vancouver, BC, Richard Shorty has been an artist since 1965. Born in Whitehorse, Yukon, he started his career with portraits of rock stars, wild life and scenic realism.
In 1980 with his artistic abilities maturing, he began native design. His unique style combines elements of traditional and contemporary design. Richard is a versatile artist having worked on drums, paddles, masks and rattles. His pieces are collected nation wide.
Richard lives his life for his family, his art and his strong spiritual belief.”

Back from the Territory, I share this with you, before I light out again.

Below – “Hummingbirds”; “Killer Whale Design”; “Rainbow Bear”; “Raven Stealing Sun”; “Raven Trixter”; “Rising Phoenix”; “Snowy Owl”; “Spawning Salmon.”
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Reflections in Summer: Kenneth Grahame

“Take the Adventure, heed the call, now ere the irrevocable moment passes!’ ‘Tis but a banging of the door behind you, a blithesome step forward, and you are out of the old life and into the new! Then some day, some day long hence, jog home here if you will, when the cup has been drained and the play has been played, and sit down by your quiet river with a store of goodly memories for company.”

Below – An illustration from “The Wind in the Willows.”
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American Art – Part III of III: Ron Porter

In the words of one writer, “ron porter recently retired from vanderbilt university where he was a professor of art for 14 years. porter received his mfa from ohio university. his oil paintings are surrealist in nature, often depicting dramatic, exquisitely rendered landscapes interposed with mysterious still lifes or tractor trailer trucks indecipherably blended into the natural scenery. his paintings explore ironies and paradoxes, emphasizing the dynamic tensions integral to existence, such as those between clarity and ambiguity, spontaneity and planning, truth and illusion. intriguingly, these tensions are as much a part of life as they are the creative process. technically proficient, intelligent, and with a good sense of humor, his work stirs thought provoking questions about life and the enigmatic yet precious relationship we have with our surroundings.”

Below – “predator & prey”; “backlit”; “exit”; “wading into evening”; “the giant killer”; “we made a wrong turn”; “american oasis.”
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