American Art – Part I of IV: Lana Shuttleworth
Artist Statement (partial): “Ethnomorphic Landscapes is a series that mirrors the common ground aspirations for diverse societies by depicting idealized landscapes transforming cross-cultural bi-products into works of art.
As cultures advance in common, humanity still hungers to return to nature where they once harmonized in flowered appreciation of life.”
Fancies in Springtime: William Kittredge
“Develop an interest in life as you see it; the people, things, literature, music – the world is so rich, simply throbbing with rich treasures, beautiful souls and interesting people. Forget yourself.” – Henry Miller, American writer, author of “Tropic of Cancer” and “Sexus,” who died 7 June 1980.
Some quotes from the work of Henry Miller:
“Every day we slaughter our finest impulses. That is why we get a heartache when we read those lines written by the hand of a master and recognize them as our own, as the tender shoots which we stifled because we lacked the faith to believe in our own powers, our own criterion of truth and beauty. Every man, when he gets quiet, when he becomes desperately honest with himself, is capable of uttering profound truths. We all derive from the same source. there is no mystery about the origin of things. We are all part of creation, all kings, all poets, all musicians; we have only to open up, only to discover what is already there.”
“Life moves on, whether we act as cowards or heroes. Life has no other discipline to impose, if we would but realize it, than to accept life unquestioningly. Everything we shut our eyes to, everything we run away from, everything we deny, denigrate or despise, serves to defeat us in the end. What seems nasty, painful, evil, can become a source of beauty, joy, and strength, if faced with an open mind. Every moment is a golden one for him who has the vision to recognize it as such.”
“Serenity is when you get above all this, when it doesn’t matter what they think, say or want, but when you do as you are, and see God and Devil as one.”
“Everybody says sex is obscene. The only true obscenity is war.”
“Destiny is what you are supposed to do in life. Fate is what kicks you in the ass to make you do it.”
“One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things.”
In the words of one writer, “Luigi Grassia was born in Italy in 1946. Grassia attended the Art Institute of Avellino. Upon graduation from the Art Institute he became a Professor of Design and Art History. In 1978-1979 Grassia attended the International School of Graphic Art in Venice under Professor Riccardo Licata, who was also a Professor at the Fine Art Academy of Paris. Under the tutelage of Professor Licata, Grassia studied etching and engraving. From 1970 to date Luigi Grassia has held numerous personal and collective exhibitions.”
A Poem for Today
By Karin Gottshall
You were carried here by hands
and now the wind has you, gritty
as incense, dark sparkles borne
in the shape of blowing,
this great atmospheric bloom,
spinning under the bridge and expanding—
shape of wind and its pattern
of shattering. Having sloughed off
the urn’s temporary shape,
there is another of you now—
tell me which to speak to:
the one you were, or are, the one who waited
in the ashes for this scattering, or the one
now added to the already haunted woods,
the woods that sigh and shift their leaves—
Fancies in Springtime: Melissa Hart
“Rain in the Northwest is not the pounding, flashing performance enjoyed by the eastern part of the nation. Nor is it the festive annual soaking I’d been used to in Southern California. Rather, it’s a seven-month drizzle that darkens the sky, mildews the bath towels, and propels those already prone to depression into the dim comforts of antihistamines and a flask.”
“They were so strong in their beliefs that there came a time when it hardly mattered what exactly those beliefs were; they all fused into a single stubbornness.” – Louise Erdrich, American writer of novels, poetry, and children’s books featuring Native American characters and settings, and recipient of the National Book Award for Fiction (for “The Round House”), who was born 7 June 1954.
Some quotes from the work of Louise Erdrich:
“Life will break you. Nobody can protect you from that, and living alone won’t either, for solitude will also break you with its yearning. You have to love. You have to feel. It is the reason you are here on earth. You are here to risk your heart. You are here to be swallowed up. And when it happens that you are broken, or betrayed, or left, or hurt, or death brushes near, let yourself sit by an apple tree and listen to the apples falling all around you in heaps, wasting their sweetness. Tell yourself you tasted as many as you could.”
“Women without children are also the best of mothers, often, with the patience, interest, and saving grace that the constant relationship with children cannot always sustain. I come to crave our talk and our daughters gain precious aunts. Women who are not mothering their own children have the clarity and focus to see deeply into the character of children webbed by family. A child is fortunate who feels witnessed as a person, outside relationships with parents by another adult.”
“Things which do not grow and change are dead things.”
“When every inch of the world is known, sleep may be the only wilderness that we have left.”
“Cold sinks in, there to stay. And people, they’ll leave you, sure. There’s no return to what was and no way back. There’s just emptiness all around, and you in it, like singing up from the bottom of a well, like nothing else, until you harm yourself, until you are a mad dog biting yourself for sympathy. Because there is no relenting.”
“So what is wild? What is wilderness? What are dreams but an internal wilderness and what is desire but a wildness of the soul?”
Fancies in Springtime: Haruki Murakami
“Being all alone is like the feeling you get when you stand at the mouth of a large river on a rainy evening and watch the water flow into the sea. Have you ever done that? Stand at the mouth of a large river and watch the water flow into the sea?”
Fancies in Springtime: Mark Edmundson
A Second Poem for Today
“Of Some Renown”
By Jean L. Connor
For some time now, I have
lived anonymously. No one
appears to think it odd.
They think the old are,
well, what they seem. Yet
see that great egret
American Art – Part II of IV: Gail Wegodsky
Here is one writer describing the artistry of American painter Gail Wegodsky: “Painting has been Gail’s primary pursuit for over twenty-five years now. She continues to be fascinated by the look of the world surrounding us and strives to convey her perceptions about its complexities, mysteries, and great beauty through her work. Her awards and honors include a grant from the Georgia Council for the Arts and inclusion in the National Academy of Design’s 171st Annual Exhibition. Gail has taught painting at the University of Rhode Island, Southern Illinois University, University of Georgia, Indiana University, the Torpedo Factory Art League School, and Kennesaw State University.”
Fancies in Springtime: Carl Sagan
“Anything else you’re interested in is not going to happen if you
can’t breathe the air and drink the water. Don’t sit this one out.
Do something. You are by accident of fate alive at an absolutely
critical moment in the history of our planet.”
“My people are few. They resemble the scattering trees of a storm-swept plain…There was a time when our people covered the land as the waves of a wind-ruffled sea cover its shell-paved floor, but that time long since passed away with the greatness of tribes that are now but a mournful memory.” – Chief Seattle, Native American leader, who died 7 June 1866.
Some quotes from the work of Chief Seattle:
“When the green hills are covered with talking wires and the wolves no longer sing, what good will the money you paid for our land be then.”
“All things share the same breath – the beast, the tree, the man. The air shares its spirit with all the life it supports.”
“Like a man who has been dying for many days, a man in your city is numb to the stench.”
“Take nothing but memories, leave nothing but footprints!”
In the words of one critic, “Hsin-Yao Tseng was born in Taipei Taiwan in 1986. He was born to be an artist. At the age of ten, he began painting in watercolors, as well as other mediums. This activity at such an early age was self-inspired and self-taught. It gave Hsin-Yao insights into the foundation he would need to excel in producing work to the standards he expected.
He received his B.F.A of Fine Art Painting from the Academy of Art University, San Francisco in 2009. The subjects he chooses to explore include landscapes, the figure and still-life using bright color and expressive brush-strokes. The word “explore” is chosen purposely to describe Hsin-Yao’s artistic drive and evolution as a fine artist. He will experiment with technique using his medium to accentuate the intrinsic personality of his subjects and themes. An urban scene will be expressed in a more organic, edgy manner causing him to use his medium in a bit more aggressive and spontaneous fashion, while painting figure requires a more gentle and cautious hand.”
Fancies in Springtime: Alan Watts
A Third Poem for Today
By E.G. Burrows
I watched the nesting redstart
when we camped by Lake Winnepesaukee.
The tent pegs pulled out in soft soil.
Rain made pawprints on the canvas.
So much clings to the shoes,
the old shoes must be discarded,
but we’re fools to think that does it:
burning the scraps.
I listened for the rain at Mt. Monadnock,
for the barred owl on a tent peak
among scrub pines in Michigan.
I can hear my father stir
“Life being what it is, one dreams of revenge.” – Paul Gauguin, French painter, who was born 7 June 1848.
Below – “At the Pond”; “Where Do We Come From? What Are We? Where Are We Going?”; “The Seed of the Areoi”; “And the Gold of Their Bodies”; “Riders on the Beach”; “Spirit of the Dead Watching”; “Still Life with Japanese Woodcut”; “Self-Portrait.”
Fancies in Springtime: William Kittredge
“Places come to exist in our imaginations because of stories, and so do we. When we reach for a ‘sense of place,’ we posit an intimate relationship to a set of stories connected to a particular location, such as Hong Kong or the Grand Canyon or the bed where we were born, thinking of histories and the evolution of personalities in a local context. Having ‘a sense of self’ means possessing a set of stories about who we are and with whom and why.”
Here is the Artist Statement of Korean painter Jinchul Kim: “As we co-exist with unpredictable complexities in our everyday life, my art making process sustains me to encapsulate the hybrids that have assisted me for many years. These accumulated particles are utterly wrought through the chronic basis of my entire life. They seem randomly constructed and never appear to be related to one another. I am totally composed of these diminutive irreplaceable pieces that are irregularly mingled. These erratic elements and the physical dilemma of mine have been obvious resources in manipulating my sensibility, which now allows me to perceive and detect these daily complexities.
I expend the momentary images from daily accidents to convey my aesthetic notions. They are impacts and/or revelations, which have always been some sort of sparking plug for my inspiration. These transitional afterimages are completely stilled in time, frozen in anecdotal ways for my art making process. I am not interested in approaching these hybrids with ‘Collage’ form of physically visible procedures. I’d rather chase them in the company of drastic and highly mastered formal treatments. Therefore, my paintings are equally juxtaposed with daily life in the formal aspect. I pursue revealing the metaphysics of natural phenomena.
I use fine marks, not necessarily for constructing shapes or describing the plasticity of the image depicted, but to discard illusionary characteristics. I do not trick the process of my work with smudged illusions that are decorated by some intensities of chroma. In other words, I do not have any intention of manipulating paints or the surface of picture planes to create a rich painterly fantasy. I direct my brush marks to dissect the substance of the subject matter. So they are distributed by particles of hues, implied equality, and applied by other formal commands for their necessities. These marks may be conceptual, but to me it is narrative calligraphy.”
“The cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity.” – Dorothy Parker, American poet, short story writer, critic, satirist, and wit, who died 7 June 1967.
Some quotes from the work of Dorothy Parker:
“If you want to know what God thinks of money, just look at the people he gave it to.”
“The first thing I do in the morning is brush my teeth and sharpen my tongue.”
“By the time you swear you’re his,
Shivering and sighing.
And he vows his passion is,
Lady make note of this —
One of you is lying.”
“Heterosexuality is not normal, it’s just common.”
“I like to have a martini,
Two at the very most.
After three I’m under the table,
after four I’m under my host.”
“They sicken of the calm who know the storm.”
“Brevity is the soul of lingerie.”
“Tell him I was too fucking busy– or vice versa.”
“You can lead a horticulture, but you can’t make her think.”
“Take me or leave me; or, as is the usual order of things, both.”
“In youth, it was a way I had,
To do my best to please.
And change, with every passing lad
To suit his theories.
But now I know the things I know
And do the things I do,
And if you do not like me so,
To hell, my love, with you.”
American Art – Part III of IV: Jeremy Mann
Statement: “About my art… it’s easier to just talk about it over a gin and tonic or two if people have pressing questions. Otherwise, just enjoy for now, and maybe somewhere you will see an ‘artist’s statement.’”
Fancies in Springtime: Carl Sagan
A Fourth Poem for Today
“The Woodpecker Keeps Returning”
By Jane Hirshfield
The woodpecker keeps returning
to drill the house wall.
Put a pie plate over one place, he chooses another.
There is nothing good to eat there:
he has found in the house
a resonant billboard to post his intentions,
his voluble strength as provider.
But where is the female he drums for? Where?
Fancies in Springtime: Gaston Rebuffat
Back from the Territory – Art: Evon Zerbetz (Part I)
In the words of one writer, “Evon carves with knives and gouges to create her imagery in slabs of linoleum. She rolls ink over the surface, lays cotton paper on top, and cranks the block through her etching press. This is repeated for each impression in the edition. If an image is in an edition of 70…she does this 70 times.
After the prints dry, Evon hand paints many of her linocuts, often with many layers of color, making each print a unique work of art.
Evon was born in Alaska and works full-time in her studio in the tall trees
of the island community of Ketchikan.”
Back from the Territory, I share this with you, before I light out again.
Fancies in Springtime: Roman Krznaric
“There is one last way to break with your past and begin a new stage of your career journey, which is to take some advice that appears at the end of the 1964 film ‘Zorba the Greek.’ Zorba, the great lover of life, is sitting on the beach with the repressed and bookish Basil, an Englishman who has come to a tiny Greek island with the hope of setting up a small business. The elaborate cable system that Zorba has designed and built for Basil to bring logs down the mountainside has just collapsed on its very first trial. Their whole entrepreneurial venture is in complete ruins, a failure before it has even begun. And that is the moment when Zorba unveils his philosophy of life to Basil: ‘ZORBA: Damn it boss, I like you too much not to say it. You’ve got everything except one thing: madness! A man needs a little madness, or else… BASIL: Or else? ZORBA:…he never dares cut the rope and be free.’ Basil then stands up and, completely out of character, asks Zorba to teach him how to dance. The Englishman has finally learned that life is there to be lived with passion, that risks are there to be taken, the day is there to be seized. To do otherwise is a disservice to life itself. Zorba’s words are one of the great messages for the human quest in search of the good life. Most of us live bound by our fears and inhibitions. Yet if we are to move beyond them, if we are to cut the rope and be free, we need to treat life as an experiment and discover the little bit of madness that lies within us all.”
American Art – Part IV of IV: Kurt Solmssen
In the words of critic Gary Faigin, “Though a realist, Kurt Solmssen does not so much record what he sees, as use his surroundings as a point of departure for poetic homages to waterside life, the delights of color and light, and the joys of the loaded brush. His paintings are rich, fluid, and celebratory. Obtrusive elements – either human or natural – are kept out of the frame of view, or like those beachfront homes, edited away. The family activities are always calm and genial, the weather generally, though not always, sunny.”