American Art – Part I of VI: Jane Hofstetter
In the words of one writer, “Jane Hofstetter has been painting and teaching for more than 35 years. She studied at the University of California – Berkeley and Los Angeles, Chouinard Art Institute, and she currently teaches watercolor workshops throughout the United States and Europe.”
From the Music Archives: Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov
Born 6 March 1844 (Old System) – Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, a Russian composer.
A Poem for Today
By Ivan Hobson
Every family that lived in our court
had an American truck
with a union sticker on the back
and as a kid I admired them
the way I thought our soldiers
must have admired Patton
and Sherman tanks.
You once told me
that the Russians couldn’t take us,
not with towns like ours
full of iron, full of workers tempered
by the fires of foundries and mills.
It wasn’t the Russians that came;
it was the contract, the strike,
the rounds of layoffs that blistered
until your number was called.
I still remember you loading up
to leave for the last time,
the union sticker scraped off
with a putty knife,
Musings in Winter: Marcel Proust
“People do not die for us immediately, but remain bathed in a sort of aura of
life which bears no relation to true immortality but through which they
continue to occupy our thoughts in the same way as when they were alive. It
is as though they were traveling abroad.”
“What is art but the life upon the larger scale, the higher. When, graduating up in a spiral line of still expanding and ascending gyres, it pushes toward the intense significance of all things, hungry for the infinite?” – Elizabeth Barrett Browning, British poet, who was born 6 March 1806.
How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of being and ideal grace.
I love thee to the level of every day’s
Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light.
I love thee freely, as men strive for right.
I love thee purely, as they turn from praise.
I love thee with the passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood’s faith.
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints. I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life; and, if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death.
Musings in Winter: Sylvia Plath
“I may never be happy, but tonight I am content. Nothing more than an empty house, the warm hazy weariness from a day spent setting strawberry runners in the sun, a glass of cool sweet milk, and a shallow dish of blueberries bathed in cream. When one is so tired at the end of a day one must sleep, and at the next dawn there are more strawberry runners to set, and so one goes on living, near the earth. At times like this I’d call myself a fool to ask for more.”
In the words of one writer, “Gu Zhinong was born in Hangzhou of Zhejiang Province. He entered China Academy of Fine Arts in 1990 and then taught in Fine Art Academy of Hangzhou Normal University in 1994. He was awarded The Gold Medal in The 11th Zhejiang Province Fine Arts Exhibition.”
A Second Poem for Today
“On the Way to the Airport”
By Donna Spector
You’re speeding me down the Ventura freeway
in your battered Scout, patched since your angry
crash into the drunken pole that swerved into your road.
We’ve got no seat belts, no top, bald tires,
so I clutch any metal that seems as though it might
be firm, belie its rusted rattling. Under my
August burn I’m fainting white, but I’m trying
to give you what you want: an easy mother.
For the last two days you’ve been plugged
into your guitar, earphones on, door closed. I spoiled
our holiday with warnings about your accidental
life, said this time I wouldn’t rescue you, knowing
you’d hate me, knowing I’d make myself sick. We’re
speaking now, the airport is so near, New York closer
than my birthday tomorrow, close as bearded death
whose Porsche just cut us off in the fast lane.
When you were three, you asked if God lived
under the street. I said I didn’t know, although
a world opened under my feet walking with you
over strange angels, busy arranging our fate. Soon,
if we make it, I’ll be in the air, where people say God lives,
the line between you and me stretched thinner,
thinner but tight enough still to bind us,
choke us both with love. Your Scout, putty-colored
as L.A. mornings, protests loudly but hangs on.
From the Real Estate Archives: Philip Henry Sheridan
Musings in Winter: Red Haircrow
American Art – Part II of VI: Paige Bradley
Artist Statement: “Focusing on tensions and liberations in my work, I feel most of our emotions are locked into a existential cocoon. My sculptures show the human race as a singular individual searching for connection but finding only alienation.
My recent work has become a symbol of struggle — both being contained and liberating ourselves from self-inflicted boundaries. Fears of ostracism, avoiding distinction and hiding from greatness are all thoughts that come to mind. These fears create sculptures wrapped in extraordinary tension. The figures struggle to unveil themselves in order to become understood and known. These bound figures give me a sense of unrest as if too much life is jammed into too restrictive of space. I feel as if I am trying to live my truth free and unveiled in a society that would rather keep us contained.
From the moment we are born, the world tends to have a container already built for us to fit inside: a social security number, a gender, a race, a profession, an I.Q. I ponder if we are more defined by the container we are in than what we are inside. Would we recognize ourselves if we could expand beyond our bodies?
Would we still be able to exist if we are authentically ‘un-contained’?
I attempt to expand my sculptures beyond the human flesh of the figure and create the brilliance within us. Simultaneously, I cannot help but to see a dangerous dichotomy between falling apart and expanding beyond our limitations. When devastation becomes deliverance, ashes from the past can become the foundations of the future.”
Nobel Laureates – Part I of II: Pearl S. Buck
“The test of a civilization is in the way that it cares for its helpless members.” – Pearl S. Buck, American writer, novelist, biographer, recipient of the 1932 Pulitzer Prize (for “The Good Earth”), and recipient of the 1938 Nobel Prize in Literature “for her rich and truly epic descriptions of peasant life in China and for her biographical masterpieces,” who died 6 March 1973.
Some quotes from the work of Pearl 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.”
“Every great mistake has a halfway moment, a split second when it can be recalled and perhaps remedied.”
“To eat bread without hope is still slowly to starve to death.”
“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.”
“To serve is beautiful, but only if it is done with joy and a whole heart and a free mind.”
“Inside myself is a place where I live all alone and that’s where you renew your springs that never dry up. ”
“The young do not know enough to be prudent, and therefore they attempt the impossible — and achieve it, generation after generation.”
“One faces the future with one’s past.”
“The rich are always afraid.”
“Perhaps one has to be very old before one learns to be amused rather than shocked.”
“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.”
“All things are possible until they are proved impossible and even the impossible may only be so, as of now.”
“The secret of joy in work is contained in one word-excellence. To know how to do something well is to enjoy it.”
“If you want to understand today, you have to search yesterday.”
Musings in Winter: Frank Herbert
American Art – Part III of VI: Georgia O’Keeffe
“Where I was born and where and how I have lived is unimportant. It is what I have done with where I have been that should be of interest.” – Georgia O’Keeffe, American artist, who died 6 March 1986.
Musings in Winter: Elizabeth Zimmermann
A Third Poem for Today
“After the Funeral”
By Peter Everwine
We opened closets and bureau drawers
and packed away, in boxes, dresses and shoes,
the silk underthings still wrapped in tissue.
We sorted through cedar chests. We gathered
and set aside the keepsakes and the good silver
and brought up from the coal cellar
jars of tomato sauce, peppers, jellied fruit.
We dismantled, we took down from the walls,
we bundled and carted off and swept clean.
Goodbye, goodbye, we said, closing
the door behind us, going our separate ways
from the house we had emptied,
and which, in the coming days, we would fill
again and empty and try to fill again.
Musings in Winter: Ambrose Bierce
Nobel Laureates – Part II of II: Gabriel Garcia Marquez
“It is not true that people stop pursuing dreams because they grow old; they grow old because they stop pursuing dreams.” – Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Colombian novelist, short story writer, screenwriter, journalist, author of “One Hundred Years of Solitude,” and recipient of the 1982 Nobel Prize in Literature “for his novels and short stories, in which the fantastic and the realistic are combined in a richly composed world of imagination, reflecting a continent’s life and conflicts,” who was born 6 March 1928.
Some quotes from the work of Gabriel Garcia Marquez:
“No medicine cures what happiness cannot.”
“What matters in life is not what happens to you but what you remember and how you remember it.”
“He allowed himself to be swayed by his conviction that human beings are not born once and for all on the day their mothers give birth to them, but that life obliges them over and over again to give birth to themselves.”
“Perhaps this is what the stories meant when they called somebody heartsick. Your heart and your stomach and your whole insides felt empty and hollow and aching.”
“He dug so deeply into her sentiments that in search of interest he found love, because by trying to make her love him he ended up falling in love with her. Petra Cotes, for her part, loved him more and more as she felt his love increasing, and that was how in the ripeness of autumn she began to believe once more in the youthful superstition that poverty was the servitude of love. Both looked back then on the wild revelry, the gaudy wealth, and the unbridled fornication as an annoyance and they lamented that it had cost them so much of their lives to find the paradise of shared solitude. Madly in love after so many years of sterile complicity, they enjoyed the miracle of living each other as much at the table as in bed, and they grew to be so happy that even when they were two worn-out people they kept on blooming like little children and playing together like dogs.”
“To him she seemed so beautiful, so seductive, so different from ordinary people, that he could not understand why no one was as disturbed as he by the clicking of her heels on the paving stones, why no one else’s heart was wild with the breeze stirred by the sighs of her veils, why everyone did not go mad with the movements of her braid, the flight of her hands, the gold of her laughter. He had not missed a single one of her gestures, not one of the indications of her character, but he did not dare approach her for fear of destroying the spell.”
“He was still too young to know that the heart’s memory eliminates the bad and magnifies the good, and that thanks to this artifice we manage to endure the burden of the past.”
“But when a woman decides to sleep with a man, there is no wall she will not scale, no fortress she will not destroy, no moral consideration she will not ignore at its very root: there is no God worth worrying about.”
“My heart has more rooms in it than a whore house.”
“All human beings have three lives: public, private, and secret.”
“I discovered that my obsession for having each thing in the right place, each subject at the right time, each word in the right style, was not the well-deserved reward of an ordered mind but just the opposite: a complete system of pretense invented by me to hide the disorder of my nature. I discovered that I am not disciplined out of virtue but as a reaction to my negligence, that I appear generous in order to conceal my meanness, that I pass myself off as prudent because I am evil-minded, that I am conciliatory in order not to succumb to my repressed rage, that I am punctual only to hide how little I care about other people’s time. I learned, in short, that love is not a condition of the spirit but a sign of the zodiac.”
“‘The world must be all fucked up,’ he said then, ‘when men travel first class and literature goes as freight.’”
“A lie is more comfortable than doubt, more useful than love, more lasting than truth.”
“Wisdom comes to us when it can no longer do any good.”
Musings in Winter: Robert Brault
Musings in Winter: Bill Watterson
From the American History Archives – Part I of II: The Alamo
6 March 1836 – Davy Crockett, Jim Bowie, William Travis, and the rest of the besieged “American” garrison die on the last day of the Battle of the Alamo fought by 189 Republic of Texas secessionists and an army of 1,800 Mexican soldiers under the command of General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna.
Musings in Winter: Arthur C. Clarke
American Art – Part IV of VI: Paul Kratter
In the words of one writer, “Paul Kratter grew up in the Bay Area where his family spent many weekends hiking and exploring the unique landscapes of northern California from the beaches at Pescadero to Pinecrest in the mountains. As a child, Paul also explored much of Montana (his mother was raised in Great Falls) and he loved the chance to see the abundant wildlife. After four years at Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, Paul spent several years as a freelance illustrator. With a passion for animal life, he then concentrated on wildlife and working on projects for the Nature Company, several national zoos, museums, and a variety of children books.”
From the American History Archives – Part II of II: The Battle of Pea Ridge/Elkhorn Tavern
6 March 1862 – The opening day of the Battle of Pea Ridge, also known as the Battle of Elkhorn Tavern, fought 6 – 8 March at Pea Ridge, Arkansas, during the American Civil War, also known as The War of Northern Aggression and The Great Rebellion.
Musings in Winter: Will Rose
A Fourth Poem for Today
“Cattle Fording Tarryall Creek”
By Catharine Savage Brosman
With measured pace, they move in single file,
dark hides, white faces, plodding through low grass,
then walk into the water, cattle-style,
indifferent to the matter where they pass.
The stream is high, the current swift—good rain,
late snow-melt, cold. Immerging to the flank,
the beasts proceed, a queue, a bovine chain,
impassive, stepping to the farther bank—
continuing their march, as if by word,
down valley to fresh pasture. The elect,
and stragglers, join, and recompose the herd,
both multiple and single, to perfect
Musings in Winter: Mary Oliver
American Art – Part V of VI: Sergio Lopez
In the words of one writer, “Lopez, in his mid twenties, is a graduate of the Academy of Art in San Francisco and is also an exemplary painter in a variety of mediums. His artistic knowledge ballooned when he discovered his love of oil painting and charcoal drawing. Sergio filled sketchbook after sketchbook with observations from life as well as drawings from his imagination. The Golden Age illustrators, Bravura painters, contemporary artists, concept designers, graffiti writers, and photographers have been some of his strongest influences in his pursuit of painting. Sergio continues to work in a variety of mediums and styles. From oil and gouache landscapes, to acrylic illustrations, to nude gesture studies in newsprint, he enjoys it all. Sergio especially enjoys discovering new vistas, setting up his easel, and creating a piece on the spot.”
Back from the Territory – Art: The work of Alaska artist Guitta Corey
In the words of one writer, “Guitta Corey has lived and worked as an artist in Alaska since 1979. Her work is in private collections across the U.S., as well as in public buildings in Alaska. She draws her inspiration from the vast beauty of the Alaskan landscape.
Guitta graduated from the Rhode Island School of Design and received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree with a major in printmaking.
In 1995, Guitta began working with Oriental papers to create original collages, and many of her originals have been printed as giclee prints since then. Her prints have deckled edges and are mounted in acid free shrink wrap.
All of her collages have been created using paper adhered with acrylic medium. In some cases, gold or mixed metal leaf has been applied. The surface that the paper is adhered to, called the support, is either 300 lb. watercolor paper which is 100% rag, or it is a material called multimedia art board, which is neutral pH. Washi, or Japanese handmade papers, as well as ornamental papers from India and other parts of Asia, are used for the creation of the collage image. Some of the papers are opaque, others are delicate and translucent. An original collage may be created by building up many layers of translucent papers to achieve the desired textural or color effects.”
Back from the Territory, I share this with you, before I light out again.
A Fifth Poem for Today
“International Hour of Prayer for the Yellowstone Buffalo Herd,”
By Wendy Rose
Noon, March 6, 1997
From morning’s mouth
the bones emerge,
a prayer is whispered
over rounded horns;
the prairie is beyond
the quivering hump
and holy smoke sparkles
released in the breath.
be about their hooves;
although the grip of hunger
lies heavy on the land,
let endless native grasses grow
among the yellow stones
and between the stars.
Even if only one man had
begun to sing, actually
it was thousands, She who came
to Wisconsin farmers
and transformed their lives,
She who brought her blessing
in the form of being newborn,
She whom they named the Miracle,
White Buffalo Calf Maiden must return
amid the fast firing of bullets, along
the most perilous of paths. Rock stars,
millionaires, they all offered millions of dollars
to struggling white farmers
but she had begun her transformation and her prophecy
by touching them and they came to understand
if not the actual words to the prayers
at least the reverence, the need
to protect, to keep the doors open.
Like it was a hundred years ago
bounties are gathered from death;
trains, buses, cars, planes
carry the segmented body of the terrible worm
across the land and the screams of the hunted
split the sun awake. It is time to restore
the stolen beads and shards,
the bones and knives to every grave.
And the graves are graves no longer but wombs;
the bounties burn their hands
and bones come flowing
from museum shelves
to dance in the rippling grass,
rebuilding lungs, starting hearts.
There must be a hundred men
and a hundred men’s worth
of heartlessness; wished they could find
Indians to kill but now that is illegal
so they make up some excuse
to raise their rifles and take aim,
not hearing the rumble
of buffalo prayer, not feeling
or the prophecy of Miracle,
and smile as they see the legs give way,
the horns gouge open the prairie ground, Earth betrayed again.
American Art – Part VI of VI: Native American Paintings of Buffalo
Below – Cadzi Cody: “Plains Native American Hide Painting” (elk hide, circa 1900); John Nieto: “Buffalo at Sunset”; Dolores Purdy Corcoran: “Buffalo Hunt”; Max Coyote: “Buffalo Spirit”; Isaac Bigness: “Buffalo Spirit”; John Nieto: “21st Century Buffalo.”