American Art – Part I of III: Christopher Terry
Artist Statement: “the central theme of my work is the ability of light to transform. although i select and place my subjects carefully, they are mostly drawn from the insignificant artifacts of everyday life. they lack a strong ego and without the stage i build for them, they would likely be overlooked. the interiors i choose are similarly anonymous. i’m drawn to these spaces and objects that lack a strong individual presence, and i rely primarily on light to transform an abandoned interior and enigmatically placed object into a secular altar.”
A Poem for Today
“A something in a summer’s Day”
By Emily Dickinson
A something in a summer’s Day
As slow her flambeaux burn away
Which solemnizes me.
A something in a summer’s noon –
A depth — an Azure — a perfume –
And still within a summer’s night
A something so transporting bright
I clap my hands to see –
Then veil my too inspecting face
Lets such a subtle — shimmering grace
Flutter too far for me –
The wizard fingers never rest –
The purple brook within the breast
Still chafes it narrow bed –
Still rears the East her amber Flag –
Guides still the sun along the Crag
His Caravan of Red –
Reflections in Summer: F. Scott Fitzgerald
“Man can will nothing unless he has first understood that he must count on no one but himself; that he is alone, abandoned on earth in the midst of his infinite responsibilities, without help, with no other aim than the one he sets himself, with no other destiny than the one he forges for himself on this earth.” – Jean-Paul Sartre, French existentialist philosopher, playwright, novelist, screenwriter, political activist, biographer, and literary critic, who was born 21 June 1905.
Sartre was awarded the 1964 Nobel Prize in Literature and refused it, saying that he always declined official honors and that “a writer should not allow himself to be turned into an institution.”
Some quotes from the work of Jean-Paul Sartre:
“If you’re lonely when you’re alone, you’re in bad company.”
“It is up to you to give [life] a meaning.”
“Freedom is what we do with what is done to us.”
“When the rich wage war it’s the poor who die.”
“We are our choices.”
“Man is condemned to be free; because once thrown into the world, he is responsible for everything he does.”
“I am alone in the midst of these happy, reasonable voices. All these creatures spend their time explaining, realizing happily that they agree with each other. In Heaven’s name, why is it so important to think the same things all together. ”
“You are — your life, and nothing else.”
“Everything has been figured out, except how to live.”
“All that I know about my life, it seems, I have learned in books.”
“Life begins on the other side of despair.”
“Like all dreamers I confuse disenchantment with truth.”
“There may be more beautiful times, but this one is ours.”
“It is therefore senseless to think of complaining since nothing foreign has decided what we feel, what we live, or what we are.”
“The more sand that has escaped from the hourglass of our life, the clearer we should see through it.”
Reflections in Summer: Henry James
“Summer afternoon—summer afternoon; to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language.”
One art historian has called the style of Chinese painter Chen Yifei (1946-2005) “Romantic Realism,” and that is an especially apt description of the techniques he employs in his portraits of women clad in traditional Chinese clothing.
Reflections in Summer: Susan Polis Schutz
“Let us dance in the sun, wearing wild flowers in our hair…”
From the Music Archives – Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov
Died 21 June 1908 – Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, a Russian composer.
This is one of my favorite Rimsky-Korsakov orchestral pieces:
Reflections in Summer: Abraham Lincoln
A Second Poem for Today
“Ten Qualities as a Cosmo Girl I really Want in My Man”
By Denise Duhamel
For Jean Valentine, after seeing Bambi
I want a boyfriend with antlers.
(I read somewhere if I long in specifics, I’ll be more likely
to get my wish.) A boyfriend like Bambi, he’ll be the one for me.
He’ll have sort of a feminine name
so I won’t immediately think of cuss-words and muscles.
Yet he’ll battle for my honor, save my life if he has to.
And when he fights, he and his opponent will turn into shadow.
He’ll never be offensive. He’ll have really good posture,
hold his head high. He’ll look like me, but not cuter:
I’ll have longer lashes and bigger bluer eyes.
He’ll have seen a loved one die, so he’ll understand loss
but will have worked through his grieving by the time we meet.
Yes, he’ll be a prince. He’ll think of me only and give me twins
as calm and easy to take care of as no-iron sheets.
Reflections in Summer: Theodore Roosevelt
This is one education-related problem that we do not have to worry about in Arkansas:
“A school without football is in danger of deteriorating into a medieval study hall.” – Frank Leahy, American head football coach (1941-1943, 1946-1953) and athletic director (1947-1949) at the University of Notre Dame, who died 21 March 1973.
Reflections in Summer: Wendell Berry
American Art – Part II of III: Rockwell Kent
“And there, westward and heavenward, to the high ridge of Whiteface, northward to the northern limit of the mountains, southward to their highest peaks, was spread the full half-circle panorama of the Adirondacks. It was as if we had never seen the mountains before.” – From “This Is My Own,” by Rockwell Kent, American painter, printmaker, illustrator, writer, and adventurer, who was born 21 June 1882.
From the 1920s until his death in 1971, Rockwell Kent resided at the Asgaard Farm and Dairy in the Adirondack Mountains of New York – a place and region that he frequently depicted in his paintings.
Below – “Mountain Road”; “The View from Asgaard”; “Farm Building in Snow”; “Snowy Peaks, Kenai Peninsula, Alaska”; “Sunday Evening, Greenland”; “Windswept Trees”; “Cloverfields”; “Moonlit Sleighride.”
Reflections in Summer: Pablo Neruda
A Third Poem for Today
By Mary Fell
The town that couldn’t be licked
gives up, sunk
between these hills. The sacred
heart beats fainter, blessing the poor
in spirit. Boarded-up
factories litter the river. It does no good,
town fathers knitting their brows,
there’s not enough shoe leather left
to buy a meal. In company houses
the unemployed wear out
their welcome. Diminished
roads run east, west, anywhere
better than here.
Reflections in Summer: Wendell Berry
“We all live in suspense from day to day; in other words you are the hero of your own story.” – Mary McCarthy, an American author, critic, and political activist, who was born 21 June 1912.
Some quotes from Mary McCarthy:
“Life is a system of recurrent pairs, the poison and the antidote being eternally packaged together by some considerate heavenly druggist.”
“I really tried, or so I thought, to avoid lying, but it seemed to me that they forced it on me by the difference in their vision of things, so that I was always transposing reality for them into something they could understand.”
“What’s the use of falling in love if you both remain inertly as you were?”
“In violence we forget who we are.”
“There are no new truths, but only truths that have not been recognized by those who have perceived them without noticing.”
“She considered [her] life, which had not been a life but only a sort of greeting, a Hello There.”
“You can date the evolving life of a mind, like the age of a tree, by the rings of friendship formed by the expanding central trunk.”
Reflections in Summer: Maud Hart Lovelace
Back from the Territory – Art: Richard Shorty (Part II)
In the words of one writer, “Living in Vancouver, BC, Richard Shorty has been an artist since 1965. Born in Whitehorse, Yukon, he started his career with portraits of rock stars, wild life and scenic realism.
In 1980 with his artistic abilities maturing, he began native design. His unique style combines elements of traditional and contemporary design. Richard is a versatile artist having worked on drums, paddles, masks and rattles. His pieces are collected nation wide.
Richard lives his life for his family, his art and his strong spiritual belief.”
Back from the Territory, I share this with you, before I light out again.
Reflections in Summer: 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 the old life and into the new! Then some day, some day long hence, jog home here if you will, when the cup has been drained and the play has been played, and sit down by your quiet river with a store of goodly memories for company.”
American Art – Part III of III: Ron Porter
In the words of one writer, “ron porter recently retired from vanderbilt university where he was a professor of art for 14 years. porter received his mfa from ohio university. his oil paintings are surrealist in nature, often depicting dramatic, exquisitely rendered landscapes interposed with mysterious still lifes or tractor trailer trucks indecipherably blended into the natural scenery. his paintings explore ironies and paradoxes, emphasizing the dynamic tensions integral to existence, such as those between clarity and ambiguity, spontaneity and planning, truth and illusion. intriguingly, these tensions are as much a part of life as they are the creative process. technically proficient, intelligent, and with a good sense of humor, his work stirs thought provoking questions about life and the enigmatic yet precious relationship we have with our surroundings.”