November Offerings – Part XII: Something to Delight both Head and Heart

American Art – Part I of III: Robin Freedenfeld

In the words of one writer, “Robin Freedenfeld was raised in Verona, New Jersey. She studied art at Rochester Institute of Technology, graduating in 1973 with a major focus in Etching and Lithography.
After college, Robin opened three printmaking workshops: the first in Boston, then Chicago, and a third in Northampton, Massachusetts. In Northampton Robin met many artists that influenced her decision to paint. In 1984, following an exhibition of paintings by Robin and a group of friends at the Wistariahurst Museum in Holyoke, Massachusetts, an article appeared in ‘The New England Monthly’ entitled ‘Fertile Valley’ in which the author coined the phrase ‘Valley Realists’ to describe this group of five painters. Robin has continued to paint in the realist tradition. Although not a photo realist, her paintings are a combination of photography, imagination, and painting directly from life.”
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A Poem for Today

“Dead Orchard,”
By Frank Stanford

Raymond Radiguet

Like seven birds sleeping on the plateau
Overlooking the shipwreck of love, mystery
Of the drunken visitors wandering off
With your wife, men who talk with a bad accent,
The condemned the abandoned, one day of silence,
Two days of silence, dreams shattered and protected,
The more the blossoms the more you suffer.

Below – Tim Bailey: “Dead Orchard”
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Born 12 November 1866 – Sun Yat-sen, a Chinese revolutionary and first president and founding father of the Republic of China.

Anyone wishing to learn something about both the events surrounding the birth of modern China and the genesis of America’s complex and frequently adversarial relationship with it should read “The Soong Dynasty,” by Sterling Seagrave, and “Stilwell and the American Experience in China 1941-1945,” by Barbara Tuchman.
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“Even if something is left undone, everyone must take time to sit still and watch the leaves turn.” – Elizabeth Lawrence

Below – Gutierrez Photography: “Fall Landscape, Eagle River, Alaska”
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“There are unknown forces in nature; when we give ourselves wholly to her, without reserve, she lends them to us; she shows us these forms, which our watching eyes do not see, which our intelligence does not understand or suspect.” – Auguste Rodin, French sculptor, who was born 12 November 1840.

Below – “The Kiss”; “The Thinker”; “Awakening”; “Andromeda”; “Eternal Springtime”; “The Poet and the Muse.”
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A Second Poem for Today

“Self-Portrait,”
By Cynthia Cruz

I did not want my body
Spackled in the world’s
Black beads and broke
Diamonds. What the world

Wanted, I did not. Of the things
It wanted. The body of Sunday
Morning, the warm wine and
The blood. The dripping fox

Furs dragged through the black New
York snow—the parked car, the pearls,
To the first pew—the funders,
The trustees, the bloat, the red weight of

The world. Their faces. I wanted not
That. I wanted Saint Francis, the love of
His animals. The wolf, broken and bleeding—
That was me.
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American Art – Part II of III: Linda Post

Artist Statement: “My work is always figurative, with a distinct psychological edge. I am intrigued by the very tenuous balance of conscious and unconscious, the conjunction of dreaming and waking states. Many of my paintings take place at twilight or dawn – the most ambiguous times of day, when even the sky is ambivalent about its intentions and the improbable becomes possible. My most recent work, an exploration of the cusp of adolescence and the nature of personal relationships, is both more introspective and less overtly dreamlike than the imagery that has preoccupied me for the last twenty years.
The heightened emotional state of each work gives them an almost prescient quality. There is a sense that something is either in the middle of happening or is about to happen. My paintings are suggestive of feelings that we are familiar with, images that are part of our collective unconscious. The underlying narratives describe our dreams and memories.
I anchor my paintings in the places I know best. I grew up in New England near the ocean, and I have a special predilection for the clear light, sand dunes and salt marshes of islands and the seashore. Much of my adult life has been spent in western Massachusetts, so my work also often includes the rolling hills and sinuous waterways of the Pioneer Valley.”
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“The foot cannot know
Whether marble or mire
The path it must go
Toward the mind’s desire.” – George Dillon, American poet and recipient of the 1932 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry (for “The Flowering Stone”), who was born 12 November 1906.

“Again”

Again before our ignorant eyes
The beautiful moment blooms and dies.

Here is a mystery as old
As the rock moving under the sands.
We are but children holding hands.
Holding hands, what do we hold?
What do we crush, whose seeds will flower
Beyond the endless arid Hour?
What do we hush, whose echoes chime
Down the long star-drifts of bleak Time?
What can we do but tremble still
And kiss, and call the kiss a kiss,
Having no eloquence for this
Eternity we touch and kill?
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“A few days ago I walked along the edge of the lake and was treated to the crunch and rustle of leaves with each step I made. The acoustics of this season are different and all sounds, no matter how hushed, are as crisp as autumn air.” – Eric Sloane

Below – Walden Pond; Wonderland Lake, Boulder, Colorado; Kluane Lake, Yukon Territory; Lake Fayetteville.
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A Third Poem for Today

“A Tale,”
By Louise Bogan

This youth too long has heard the break
Of waters in a land of change.
He goes to see what suns can make
From soil more indurate and strange.

He cuts what holds his days together
And shuts him in, as lock on lock:
The arrowed vane announcing weather,
The tripping racket of a clock;

Seeking, I think, a light that waits
Still as a lamp upon a shelf, —
A land with hills like rocky gates
Where no sea leaps upon itself.

But he will find that nothing dares
To be enduring, save where, south
Of hidden deserts, torn fire glares
On beauty with a rusted mouth, —

Where something dreadful and another
Look quietly upon each other.
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In the words of one writer, “New Zealand born artist Mark Cross is considered one of the South Pacific’s leading contemporary realist painters. Based in the central Polynesian island of Niue, Mark Cross works are sought after by collectors from the Pacific Rim and further afield. Employing landscapes often with people in them, Mark Cross works are well known for imparting a social message that speaks of mankind’s delinquent abuse of his home the Earth. They speak of the world but are intrinsically Pacific. Mark Cross exhibits regularly in New Zealand.”
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A Fourth Poem for Today

“The Region November,”
By Wallace Stevens

It is hard to hear the north wind again,
And to watch the treetops, as they sway.

They sway, deeply and loudly, in an effort,
So much less than feeling, so much less than speech,

Saying and saying, the way things say
On the level of that which is not yet knowledge:

A revelation not yet intended.
It is like a critic of God, the world

And human nature, pensively seated
On the waste throne of his own wilderness.

Deeplier, deeplier, loudlier, loudlier,
The trees are swaying, swaying, swaying.
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American Art – Part III of III: Miles Cleveland Goodwin

In the words of one critic, “What is the fundamental nature of art if not to elicit feeling, to create a direct line of communication between creator and viewer? In an age of digital manipulation and mass produced imagery, Miles Cleveland Goodwin remains true to his own hand, just as he does to the individual perception of his eye. Goodwin is a superb painter. How seldom today do we refer to work as “painterly”? Yet that so well defines Goodwin, an artist whose classical training underlies his every canvas. Art builds upon its own history, and Goodwin pays homage to the vision of such seemingly disparate painters as Francis Bacon and Andrew Wyeth with a hand not unrelated to the mastery of the German expressionists. Though young, Goodwin’s work has attained what the French call ‘ecriture,’ the unique hallmark that sets an artist apart from all others.”
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