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

American Art – Part I of VI: Page Laughlin

In the words of one writer, “page laughlin was born and raised in richmond va. she received her undergraduate degree from the university of virginia where she was an echols scholar, phi beta kappa and a member of psi chi national honor society. her graduate degree is from the rhode island school of design where she received a mfa in painting in 1985. she has exhibited in galleries across the country and her paintings are in numerous private and public collections including secca, the north carolina museum of art, the mint museum, nexus, and the virginia museum of art. in 2007, she was awarded a north carolina art council fellowship, and she was a nominee for usa artist fellowship. currently, her painting “mirror, mirror,” is on exhibit in the permanent collection of the north carolina museum of art in their new west building. page laughlin lives, works,and paints in winston-salem, nc, where she is professor of art and a reinsch pierce faculty fellow at wake forest university.”

Below – “girl with hat”; “two pearls”; “flower”; “after vermeer”; “moving woman”; “lemon tree.”
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Fancies in Springtime: Alan Watts

“A world which increasingly consists of destinations without journeys between them, a world which values only ‘getting somewhere’ as fast as possible, becomes a world without substance.”
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“A fool and his money are soon married.” – Carolyn Wells, American author and poet, who was born 18 June 1862.

Some quotes from the work of Carolyn Wells:

“Actions lie louder than words.”
“What you can’t afford to lose, you can’t afford to buy”
“A guilty conscience is the mother of invention.”
“Advice is one of those things it is far more blessed to give than to receive.”
“Of two evils choose the prettier.”
“Youth is a silly, vapid state, Old age with fears and ills is rife; This simple boon I beg of Fate – A thousand years of Middle Life.”

Fancies in Springtime: Charles Bukowski

“The dead do not need
aspirin or
sorrow,
I suppose.
but they might need
rain.
not shoes
but a place to
walk.
not cigarettes,
they tell us,
but a place to
burn.
or we’re told:
space and a place to
fly
might be the
same.
the dead don’t need
me.
nor do the
living.
but the dead might need
each
other.
in fact, the dead might need
everything we
need
and
we need so much
if we only knew
what it
was.
it is
probably
everything
and we will all
probably die
trying to get
it
or die
because we
don’t get
it.
I hope
you will understand
when I am dead
I got
as much
as
possible.”
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American Art – Part II of VI: Daniel Pollera

Here is one critic describing the artistry of painter Daniel Pollera: “Rambling coastlines, sun washed decks and romantically shaded porticos come to life under the brush of Daniel Pollera. Inspired by such artists as Edward Hopper, Winslow Homer and Andrew Wyeth, Daniel’s paintings express a mood of tranquility and peaceful solitude evoking a sense that ‘all’s right in the world’.’”
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Fancies in Springtime: Wendell Berry

“There are no unsacred places; there are only sacred places and desecrated places.”
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Syncrude Oil Operations in Alberta Tar Sands

From the American History Archives – Part I of III: The War of 1812

18 June 1812 – The War of 1812 between the United States and Great Britain formally begins. On this day President James Madison signed a measure passed by both houses of Congress that served as a declaration of war.

Below – President James Madison.
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Fancies in Springtime: Abraham Lincoln

“It is said an Eastern monarch once charged his wise men to invent him a sentence to be ever in view, and which should be true and appropriate in all times and situations. They presented him the words, ‘And this too, shall pass away.’ How much it expresses! How chastening in the hour of pride! How consoling in the depths of affliction!”
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“Not as we are but as we must appear,
contractual ghosts of pity; not as we
desire life, but as they would have us live,
set apart in timeless colloquy.
So it is required; so we bear witness,
despite ourselves, to what is beyond us,
each distant sphere of harmony forever
poised, unanswerable. It is without
consequence when we vaunt and suffer,
or if it is not, all echoes are the same
in such eternity. Then tell me, love,
how that should comfort us-or anyone
dragged half-unnerved out of this worldly place
crying to the end ‘I have not finished.’” – From “Funeral Music,” by Geoffrey Hill, English poet and professor, who was born 18 June 1932.

“In Memory of Jane Fraser”

When snow like sheep lay in the fold

And wind went begging at each door, 

And the far hills were blue with cold, 

And a cloud shroud lay on the moor,

She kept the siege. And every day

We watched her brooding over death

Like a strong bird above its prey.

The room filled with the kettle’s breath.

Damp curtains glued against the pane

Sealed time away. Her body froze

As if to freeze us all, and chain

Creation to a stunned repose.

She died before the world could stir.

In March the ice unloosed the brook

And water ruffled the sun’s hair.

Dead cones upon the alder shook.
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Fancies in Springtime: Socrates

“Beware the barrenness of a busy life.”
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American Art – Part III of VI: Cody Erickson

Here is one critic describing the artistry of painter Cody Erickson (born 1986): “For Cody, creating paintings with subjects ranging from landscape to portrait ‘just feels natural.’ Continually inspired by masters from the past and present, he strives to generate work that captures his subjects in a way in which illuminates their inherent beauty and continues the rich qualities of the painting traditions.”
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A Poem for Today

“Broken Promises”
By David Kirby

I have met them in dark alleys, limping and one-armed;
I have seen them playing cards under a single light-bulb
and tried to join in, but they refused me rudely,
knowing I would only let them win.
I have seen them in the foyers of theaters,
coming back late from the interval

long after the others have taken their seats,
and in deserted shopping malls late at night,
peering at things they can never buy,
and I have found them wandering
in a wood where I too have wandered.

This morning I caught one;
small and stupid, too slow to get away,
it was only a promise I had made to myself once
and then forgot, but it screamed and kicked at me
and ran to join the others, who looked at me with reproach
in their long, sad faces.
When I drew near them, they scurried away,
even though they will sleep in my yard tonight.
I hate them for their ingratitude,
I who have kept countless promises,
as dead now as Shakespeare’s children.
“You bastards,” I scream,
“you have to love me—I gave you life!”
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Fancies in Springtime: Theodore Roosevelt

“To waste, to destroy our natural resources, to skin and exhaust the land instead of using it so as to increase its usefulness, will result in undermining in the days of our children the very prosperity which we ought by right to hand down to them amplified and developed.”

Below – Mountaintop mining in West Virginia.
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“The only kinds of fights worth fighting are those you’re going to lose, because somebody has to fight them and lose and lose and lose until someday, somebody who believes as you do wins.” – I. F. Stone, American investigative journalist and author, who died 18 June 1989.

Some quotes from the work of I. F. Stone:

“Rich people march on Washington every day.”
“All governments are run by liars and nothing they say should be believed.”
“The difference between burlesque and the newspapers is that the former never pretended to be performing a public service by exposure.”
“Every emancipation has in it the seeds of a new slavery, and every truth easily becomes a lie.”
“The only thing God didn’t do to Job was give him a computer.”

American Art – Part IV of VI: Burton Silverman

In the words of one writer, painter Burton Silverman “has had 31 solo shows in New York, Boston, Philadelphia Washington, D.C. and San Francisco He has appeared in numerous national and international exhibitions including the National Portrait Gallery, the National Academy Annuals, the Mexico City Museum of Art, the Royal Academy of Art in London and the Butler Midyear Annuals, He has won 37 major prizes and awards from such annual exhibitions and the National Academy Museum has honored him with 9 awards including the Ranger Purchase Awards in 1983 and 1965.”
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“The inclination to believe in the fantastic may strike some as a failure in logic, or gullibility, but it’s really a gift. A world that might have Bigfoot and the Loch Ness Monster is clearly superior to one that definitely does not.” – Chris Van Allsburg, American illustrator, writer of children’s books, and author of “Jumanji” (winner of the Caldecott Medal), “The Polar Express” (winner of the Caldecott Medal), and “The Stranger” (one of my favorite children’s books), who was born 18 June 1949.
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From the American History Archives – Part II of III: John Sutter

Died 18 June 1880 – John Sutter, a Swiss pioneer living in California who, in the words of one historian, is “known for his association with the California Gold Rush by the discovery of gold by James W. Marshall and the mill making team at Sutter’s Mill, and for establishing Sutter’s Fort in the area that would eventually become Sacramento, the state’s capital.”

Below – John Sutter, circa 1850; Sutter’s Mill in 1850.
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A Second Poem for Today

“The Far West”
By Tim Dlugos

The city and the continent
trail off into cold black
water the same way: at
the western edge, a flat
stretch with precipitous
planes set perpendicular
and back from the beach
or beach-equivalent, a blacktop
margin where the drugged
and dying trudge, queue up
for Hades. Bolinas
had its junkie lady with gray
skin, gray sweater, stumbling
through the sand with the short-
burst intensity and long-run aimlessness
of crackhead hustlers on the West Street piers.
Dreams of Bolinas haunted me for years
before I saw it. I’d huddle
at the foot of the cliff in a cold
wind late at night, wrapped
in Indian blankets, waiting
with strangers as the tidal wave
or temblor hit. Tonight I walk
with old friends in a new dream
past a vest-pocket park of great
formality and charm in the far
West Village. My disaffected
former confidant has grown
a pony tail and cruises up
the street on a “hog,” a “chopper,”
which seems a perfect locomotive choice.
I walk out to the quay where gondola
after enormous gondola departs
for “the other side,” not New Jersey
anymore, anymore than something
prosaic as another mass of land
past the bright horizon
could function as a mirror
of the chopped-away Bolinas hill.
O western edge, where points
of interest on maps of individual
hearts and bodies disappear
in waters of a depth unfathomable
even in a dream, I had thought
that sleep was meant to blunt
your sharpness, not to hone
and polish with the lapping
of the hungry waves of Lethe.
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Fancies in Springtime: Homer

“Any moment might be our last. Everything is more beautiful because we’re doomed. You will never be lovelier than you are now. We will never be here again.”
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American Art – Part V of VI: Ralph Goings

Ralph Goings (born 1928) is a photorealistic painter.

Below – “Ralph’s Diner”; “Shanna’s Pickup”; “Tiled Lunch Counter”; “Airstream”; “Sabrett”; “Donut.”
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Fancies in Springtime: Laura Ingalls Wilder

“When the fiddle had stopped singing Laura called out softly, ‘What are days of auld lang syne, Pa?’

‘They are the days of a long time ago, Laura,’ Pa said. ‘Go to sleep, now.’

But Laura lay awake a little while, listening to Pa’s fiddle softly playing and to the lonely sound of the wind in the Big Woods. She looked at Pa sitting on the bench by the hearth, the firelight gleaming on his brown hair and beard and glistening on the honey-brown fiddle. She looked at Ma, gently rocking and knitting.

She thought to herself, ‘This is now.’

She was glad that the cosy house, and Pa and Ma and the firelight and the music, were now. They could not be forgotten, she thought, because now is now. It can never be a long time ago.”
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“Dreams say what they mean, but they don’t say it in daytime language.” – Gail Godwin, American novelist and short story writer, who was born 18 June 1937.

Some quotes from the work of Gail Godwin:

“There are two kinds of people. One kind, you can just tell by looking at them at what point they congealed into their final selves. It might be a very nice self, but you know you can expect no more suprises from it. Whereas, the other kind keep moving, changing… They are fluid. They keep moving forward and making new trysts with life, and the motion of it keeps them young. In my opinion, they are the only people who are still alive. You must be constantly on your guard against congealing.”
“How easy it was to make people happy, when you didn’t want or need anything from them.”
“The act of longing for something will always be more intense than the requiting of it.”
“The future arches above us all like a giant question mark, looming or embracing by whims and turns.”

Fancies in Springtime: 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 your old life and into the new!”

Below – An illustration from “The Adventures of Mole Part I, The Wind in the Willows.”
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From the American History Archives – Part III of III: Steel Pier

18 June 1898 – The Steel Pier, America’s first amusement pier, opens in Atlantic City, New Jersey.

Below – Steel Pier circa 1915; Steel Pier today.
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Back from the Territory – Art: Halin de Repentigny

In the words of one writer, “Halin de Repentigny was born in Montreal, Quebec in 1959. As a boy he demonstrated an interest and natural ability as an artist. He started painting with watercolours when he was six, and began using oils at 10. Exposure to the styles and techniques of French-Canadian impressionists Maurice Lebon and Marcel Farreau made a significant impact on Halin. He abandoned a conventional education, and without formal training, merged his extraordinary skills of observation with canvas and oils, and began to record the world around him.
Halin spends most of his time in the bush where he inhabits cabins of his own construction, runs sled dogs, traps and paints. He sometimes call his lifestyle `pressurized living` referring to the demands of day-to-day existence. This immersion is captured in many of Halin`s paintings, which are testimony to his unique lifestyle, as well as vision.”

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

Below – “Bill at Baked Café”; “Blue Bush”; “Cooking for the Boys”; “Green Scape (Dempster Highway)”; “Klondike Vignette”; “Rusty Hart”; “Town Profile at 30 Below.”
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Fancies in Springtime: Emily Carr

“So still were the big woods where I sat, sound might not yet have been born.”

Below – Emily Carr: “Forest Glade”

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American Art – Part VI of VI: David Kroll

In the words of one writer, “david kroll received his bfa from the san francisco art institute and a mfa from the art institute of chicago. he taught at the school of the art institute of chicago for almost 20 years. david kroll paints personal refuges and interior landscapes – places to visit for solace and sanctuary. much of his work is intuitive. his paintings are more than visually interesting compositions of creatures, objects and environments. they are imagined, invented moments that touch upon man’s complicated, perplexing relationship with nature. each painting reveals more paradoxes than resolutions inviting the viewer to contemplate how disconnected we are from nature. david kroll creates an emotional and intellectual connection between the viewer and the power of landscape, the independent web of life, the idea of nature itself. his work is held in numerous private and public collections.”

Below – “swan and vase”; “koi and two vases”; “warblers and butterflies”; “three swallows”; “nest & butterfly”; “egret and vase”; “hummingbird”; “branch and vase.”
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