American Art – Part I of VI: Tim Vermeulen
Artist Statement: “My paintings are attempts to articulate in visual form, through symbolic and allegorical stories, a chaotic web of emotions and ideas that is at once deeply personal and about our universal condition. My work is part of a process of wrestling for self-discovery through autobiographical narratives, in many cases involving self-portraiture. Often the narratives are based on established stories or series from literary sources (e.g., Dante’s Inferno, Homer’s Odyssey, the Seven Deadly Sins). I interpret the sources in a way that allows me to refer to issues such as personal anxiety about the delicate nature of the body, the battle between the true self and the false self, feelings about my strict Calvinist upbringing, and/or the elusive task of personality integration. A common thread that carries through much of my work is a presentation of a world of contradictions, polarities, and paradox.”
Fancies in Springtime: Homer
“Like the generations of leaves, the lives of mortal men. Now the wind scatters the old leaves across the earth, now the living timber bursts with the new buds and spring comes round again. And so with men: as one generation comes to life, another dies away.”
“I am not sure that I exist, actually. I am all the writers that I have read, all the people that I have met, all the women that I have loved; all the cities I have visited.” – Jorge Luis Borges, Argentine short story writer, essayist, poet, and translator, who died 14 June 1986.
Some quotes from the work of Jorge Luis Borges:
“You have wakened not out of sleep, but into a prior dream, and that dream lies within another, and so on, to infinity, which is the number of grains of sand. The path that you are to take is endless, and you will die before you have truly awakened.”
“To fall in love is to create a religion that has a fallible god.”
“A book is more than a verbal structure or series of verbal structures; it is the dialogue it establishes with its reader and the intonation it imposes upon his voice and the changing and durable images it leaves in his memory. A book is not an isolated being: it is a relationship, an axis of innumerable relationships.”
“Reality is not always probable, or likely.”
“Heaven and hell seem out of proportion to me: the actions of men do not deserve so much.”
No one is anyone, one single immortal man is all men. Like Cornelius Agrippa, I am god, I am hero, I am philosopher, I am demon and I am world, which is a tedious way of saying that I do not exist.”
“Music, feelings of happiness, mythology, faces worn by time, certain twilights and certain places, want to tell us something, or they told us something that we should not have missed, or they are about to tell us something; this imminence of a revelation that is not produced is, perhaps, ‘the aesthetic event.’”
“Nothing is built on stone; All is built on sand, but we must build as if the sand were stone.”
“Time is the substance I am made of. Time is a river which sweeps me along, but I am the river; it is a tiger which destroys me, but I am the tiger; it is a fire which consumes me, but I am the fire.”
“A man sets out to draw the world. As the years go by, he peoples a space with images of provinces, kingdoms, mountains, bays, ships, islands, fishes, rooms, instruments, stars, horses, and individuals. A short time before he dies, he discovers that the patient labyrinth of lines traces the lineaments of his own face.”
Fancies in Springtime: Theodore Roosevelt
From the Music Archives – Part I of III: Bob Bogle
Died 14 June 2009 – Bob Bogle, a founding member of the instrumental group The Ventures.
Fancies in Springtime: Alan Watts
“At one extreme of its meaning, ‘myth’ is fable, falsehood, or superstition. But at another, ‘myth’ is a useful and fruitful image by which we make sense of life in somewhat the same way that we can explain electrical forces by comparing them with the behavior of water or air. Yet ‘myth,’ in this second sense, is not to be taken literally, just as electricity is not to be confused with air or water. Thus in using myth one must take care not to confuse image with fact, which would be like climbing up the signpost instead of following the road.”
A Poem for Today
By Ruth Stone
Once you saw a drove of young pigs
crossing the highway. One of them
pulling his body by the front feet,
the hind legs dragging flat.
you called the Humane Society.
They came with a net and went for him.
They were matter of fact, uniformed;
there were two of them,
their truck ominous, with a cage.
He was hiding in the weeds. It was then
you saw his eyes. He understood.
He was trembling.
After they took him, you began to suffer regret.
Years later, you remember his misfit body
scrambling to reach the others.
Even at this moment, your heart
is going too fast; your hands sweat.
Fancies in Springtime: Abraham Lincoln
American Art – Part II of VI: Mary Cassatt
“Acceptance, under someone else’s terms, is worse than rejection.” – Mary Cassatt, American painter and printmaker, who died 14 June 1926. In the words of one historian, “She lived much of her adult life in France, where she first befriended Edgar Degas and later exhibited among the Impressionists. Cassatt often created images of the social and private lives of women, with particular emphasis on the intimate bonds between mothers and children.”
Fancies in Springtime: Wendell Berry
“If you tremble with indignation at every injustice then you are a comrade of mine.” – Ernesto “Che” Guevara, Argentine Marxist revolutionary, physician, writer, guerrilla leader, and author of “The Motorcycle Diaries,” who was born 14 June 1928.
“The Motorcycle Diaries” is an inspiring book, and the movie based on it is equally wonderful.
Some quotes from the work of Che Guevara:
“After graduation, due to special circumstances and perhaps also to my character, I began to travel throughout America, and I became acquainted with all of it. Except for Haiti and Santo Domingo, I have visited, to some extent, all the other Latin American countries. Because of the circumstances in which I traveled, first as a student and later as a doctor, I came into close contact with poverty, hunger and disease; with the inability to treat a child because of lack of money; with the stupefaction provoked by the continual hunger and punishment, to the point that a father can accept the loss of a son as an unimportant accident, as occurs often in the downtrodden classes of our American homeland. And I began to realize at that time that there were things that were almost as important to me as becoming famous for making a significant contribution to medical science: I wanted to help those people.”
“Many will call me an adventurer, and that I am…only one of a different sort: one who risks his skin to prove his truths.”
“At the risk of seeming ridiculous, let me say that the true revolutionary is guided by a great feeling of love. It is impossible to think of a genuine revolutionary lacking this quality.”
“I am not a liberator. Liberators do not exist. The people liberate themselves.”
“There is no other definition of socialism valid for us than that of the abolition of the exploitation of man by man.”
Fancies in Springtime: Socrates
American Art – Part III of VI: Laura Krifka
Fancies in Springtime: Mary Austin
From the Music Archives – Part II of III: “Little Old Log Cabin in the Lane”:
14 June 1923 – The first country music song to achieve hit status on American popular music charts is recorded – “Little Old Log Cabin in the Lane.”
Fancies in Springtime: Laura Ingalls Wilder
“We had no choice. Sadness was a dangerous as panthers and bears. The wilderness needs your whole attention.”
A Second Poem for Today
“Bessie Dreaming Bear”
By Marnie Walsh
we all went to town one day
went to a store
bought you new shoes
red high heels
Fancies in Springtime: Emily Carr
“Up came the sun, and drank the dew.”
Nobel Laureate – Part I of II: Salvatore Quasimodo
“Poetry is the revelation of a feeling that the poet believes to be interior and personal which the reader recognizes as his own.” – Salvatore Quasimodo, Italian poet, essayist, and recipient of the 1959 Nobel Prize for Literature “for his lyrical poetry, which with classical fire expresses the tragic experience of life in our own times,” who died 14 June 1968.
“Nostalgia and Regret”
Now the day breaks
night is done and the moon
slowly dissolved in serene air
sets in the canals.
September is so alive in this country
of plains, the meadows are green
as in the southern valleys in spring.
I have left my companions,
I have hidden my heart behind ancient walls,
to be alone, to remember.
Since you are further off than the moon,
now the day breaks
and the horses’ hooves beat on the stones.
American Art – Part IV of VI: Rob Rey
Artist Statement: “There are things, hopefully many, that make each of us feel alive in the greatest sense of the word. Through these things we gain a greater understanding of our selves and a more balanced view of the world around us.”
From the American History Archives: The California Republic
14 June 1846 – A group of American emigrants rebel against Alta California’s Mexican government. In the words of one historian, “‘California Republic’ was lettered in black ink on their flag, indicating their intention of forming a republican government for California. That flag also featured the image of a grizzly bear and became known as the Bear Flag and the uprising as the Bear Flag Revolt.”
Fancies in Springtime: Henry David Thoreau
“Some of my pleasantest hours were during the long rain-storms in the spring or fall, which confined me to the house for the afternoon as well as the forenoon, soothed by their ceaseless roar and pelting; when an early twilight ushered in a long evening in which many thoughts had time to take root and unfold themselves. In those driving northeast rains which tried the village houses so, when the maids stood ready with mop and pail in front entries to keep the deluge out, I sat behind my door in my little house, which was all entry, and thoroughly enjoyed its protection.”
From the Music Archives – Part III of III: Barry Melton
Born 14 June 1947 – Barry Melton, a co-founder and lead guitarist of Country Joe and the Fish.
American Art – Part V of VI: Alex Kanevsky
Artist Statement: “Everything. All first-hand experiences. John Adams wrote a beautiful composition titled ‘Naive and Sentimental Music.’ He took this title from a Friedrich Schiller essay ‘On Naive and Sentimental Poetry.’ Schiller decided that there are really just two kinds of artists: naive and sentimental. Naive artist works with the first-hand experiences, uncompromised by self-analysis. Sentimental are works that are self-aware of their place in history, theory, etc. One usually sees this kind of work accompanied by an artist statement. I think I am more naive than sentimental in the things that inspire me.”
Nobel Laureates – Part II of II: Kawabata Yasunari
“Time passed. But time flows in many streams. Like a river, an inner stream of time will flow rapidly at some places and sluggishly at others, or perhaps even stand hopelessly stagnant. Cosmic time is the same for everyone, but human time differs with each person. Time flows in the same way for all human beings; every human being flows through time in a different way.” – Kawabata Yasunari, Japanese short story writer, novelist, author of “Thousand Cranes,” “Snow Country,” and “Palm of the Hand Stories,” and recipient of the 1968 Nobel Prize in Literature “for his narrative mastery, which with great sensibility expresses the essence of the Japanese mind,” who was born 14 June 1899.
Some quotes from the work of Kawabata Yasunari:
“Put your soul in the palm of my hand for me to look at, like a crystal jewel. I’ll sketch it in words.”
“The true joy of a moonlit night is something we no longer understand. Only the men of old, when there were no lights, could understand the true joy of a moonlit night.”
“Now, even more than the evening before, he could think of no one with whom to compare her. She had become absolute, beyond comparison. She had become decision and fate.”
“In the depths of the mirror the evening landscape moved by, the mirror and the reflected figures like motion pictures superimposed one on the other. The figures and the background were unrelated, and yet the figures, transparent and intangible, and the background, dim in the gathering darkness, melted into a sort of symbolic world not of this world. Particularly when a light out in the mountains shone in the centre of the girl’s face, Shimamura felt his chest rise at the inexpressible beauty of it.”
“The road was frozen. The village lay quiet under the cold sky. Komako hitched up the skirt of her kimono and tucked it into her obi. The moon shone like a blade frozen in blue ice.”
“It’s remarkable how we go on year after year, doing the same old things. We get tired and bored, and ask when they’ll come for us.”
“Long accustomed to a life of self-indulgent solitude, he began to yearn for the beauty of giving himself to others. The nobility of the word ‘sacrifice’ became clear to him. He took satisfaction in the feeling of his own littleness as a single seed whose purpose was to carry forward from the past into the future the life of the species called humanity. He even sympathized with the thought that the human species, together with the various kinds of minerals and plants, was no more than a small pillar that helped support a single vast organism adrift in the cosmos– and with the thought that it was no more precious than the other animals and plants.”
“It was a stern night landscape. The sound of the freezing of snow over the land seemed to roar deep into the earth. There was no moon. The stars, almost too many of them to be true, came forward so brightly that it was as if they were falling with the swiftness of the void. As the stars came nearer, the sky retreated deeper and deeper into the night color. The layers of the Border Range, indistinguishable one from another, cast their heaviness at the skirt of the starry sky in a blackness grave and somber enough to communicate their mass. The whole of the night scene came together in a clear, tranquil harmony.”
“A child walked by, rolling a metal hoop that made a sound of autumn.”
“As he caught his footing, his head fell back, and the Milky Way flowed down inside him with a roar.”
Fancies in Springtime: Kenneth Grahame
“Here today, up and off to somewhere else tomorrow! Travel, change, interest, excitement! The whole world before you, and a horizon that’s always changing!”
Back from the Territory – Art: Blair Thorson
In the words of one writer, “Blair feels that painting on a map captures time, place and space on a two dimensional surface as well as keeping them out of the landfill. He has added the element of copper to his artwork to help to emphasize the story being told by the image in the painting. Every piece is an Original, he does not make prints.”
Back from the Territory, I share this with you, before I light out again.
Fancies in Springtime: Emily Carr
“Let the movement be slow and savour of solidity at the base and rise quivering to the tree tops and to the sky, always rising to meet it joyously and tremulously… the spirit must be… perpetually moving through, carrying on and inducing a thirst for more and a desire to rise.”
American Art – Part VI of VI: Andrew Woodward
In the words of one writer, “Andrew Woodward’s cityscapes and landscapes emanate light and shadow interwoven within rhythms of color, contrast and depth. Both intimate and vast, the paintings are portraits of architecture and nature, archives in an evolving world.”