August Offerings – Part XXI: Something to Delight both Head and Heart

American Art – Part I of III: Karen Cappotto

In the words of one writer, “Originally from Syracuse, Karin Cappotto has been a summer resident of Provincetown since 1988. Cappotto studied at The School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, Ma., Boston College, and Oxford University. Her work is in various public and private collections and she has received multiple awards and prizes for her mixed media constructions. Recently she was awarded joint first prize in the 2010 international Picture Works Competition in Ireland. In March 2011 she was included in a three-person exhibition at the Provincetown Art Association & Museum titled, ‘Beyond Surface’.
Karen creates both collages and oil paintings using a variety of materials. Her collages are thoughtfully composed and often seen on vintage paper that has been layered with paint, graphite and ink. A combination of line and soft, torn edges make Karen’s work dynamic. Her paintings on wood panel and canvas are felt things, often revealing their meaning to her after she has finished. The subject matter reflects the resonance and consideration of place, memory and the history of her found collage materials.”

Below – “Oceanside”; “Bridge V”; “Still Life II”; “Thursday Child III”; “Solstice”; “Still Life III.”
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Reflections in Summer: Roman Payne

“I wandered everywhere, through cities and countries wide. And everywhere I went, the world was on my side.”

Below – Lhasa, Tibet.
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“I’d be glad to go out on a limb with those
Who want nothing beyond what the wind bestows,
Were I not bound to roots, dug in deep to bear
Never being done grasping for light and air” – X. J. Kennedy, American poet, translator, anthologist, editor, and author of children’s literature, who was born 21 August 1929.

“Nude Descending a Staircase”

Toe upon toe, a snowing flesh,

A gold of lemon, root and rind,

She sifts in sunlight down the stairs

With nothing on. Nor on her mind.

We spy beneath the banister

A constant thresh of thigh on thigh–

Her lips imprint the swinging air

That parts to let her parts go by.

One-woman waterfall, she wears

Her slow descent like a long cape

And pausing, on the final stair

Collects her motions into shape.

Below – Marcel Duchamp: “Nude Descending a Staircase, No. 2.”
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Reflections in Summer: Jacob Mraz

“Here’s to freedom, cheers to art. Here’s to having an excellent adventure and may the stopping never start.”
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Here is the Artist Statement of Greek painter Irene Georgopoulou (born 1964): “I am basically a still life and floral painter working in oils and pastels. I find great delight painting a close-up of a flower, capturing details as precisely as I can and combining light and dark flavoring with brilliant color.”
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Reflections in Summer: Basho

“Do not seek to follow in the footsteps of the wise; seek what they sought.”
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A Poem for Today

“Farm Boy after Summer”
By Robert Francis

A seated statue of himself he seems.
A bronze slowness becomes him. Patently
The page he contemplates he doesn’t see.

The lesson, the long lesson, has been summer.
His mind holds summer as his skin holds sun.
For once the homework, all of it, was done.

What were the crops, where were the fiery fields
Where for so many days so many hours
The sun assaulted him with glittering showers?

Expect a certain absence in his presence.
Expect all winter long a summer scholar,
For scarcely all its snows can cool that color.
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Reflections in Summer: Marc Chagall

“The dignity of the artist lies in his duty of keeping awake the sense of wonder in the world. In this long vigil he often has to vary his methods of stimulation; but in this long vigil he is also himself striving against a continual tendency to sleep.”

Below – Marc Chagall: “Blue Circus”
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In the words of one critic, “Harry Epworth Allen (1894 – 1958) was an English painter. He was one of the twentieth century’s most distinctive interpreters of landscape.”
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Reflections in Summer: Jane Rule

“Every artist seems to me to have the job of bearing witness to the world we live in. To some extent I think of all of us as artists, because we have voices and we are each of us unique.”
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From the Canadian History Archives: Fort Selkirk

21 August 1852 – Tlingit Indians attack and destroy Fort Selkirk, Yukon Territory. In the words of one historian, “Fort Selkirk is a former trading post on the Yukon River at the confluence of the Pelly River in Canada’s Yukon. For many years it was home to the Selkirk First Nation (Northern Tutchone).
Archaeological evidence shows that the site has been in use for at least 8,000 years. Robert Campbell established a Hudson’s Bay Company trading post nearby in 1848. In early 1852 he moved the post to its current location. Resenting the interference of the Hudson’s Bay Company with their traditional trade with interior Athabaskan First Nations, Chilkat Tlingit warriors attacked and looted the post that summer. It was rebuilt about 40 years later and became an important supply point along the Yukon River. It was essentially abandoned by the mid-1950s after the Klondike Highway bypassed it and Yukon River traffic died down.
Many of the buildings have been restored and the Fort Selkirk Historic Site is owned and managed jointly by the Selkirk First Nation and the Yukon Government’s Department of Tourism and Culture. There is no road access. Most visitors get there by boat, though there is an airstrip, Fort Selkirk Aerodrome, at the site.”

Below – A group of women and children at Fort Selkirk, circa 1920; some of the restored buildings at Fort Selkirk; an aerial view of Fort Selkirk.
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Here is the Artist Statement of Canadian painter Brian LaSaga:“Nature is my muse and inspiration simply because of her endless subject matter and surprises. This collaboration offers me something I never even thought of. Although I prefer to paint nature themes, weathered objects and rural settings, I’m open to other things that may catch my eye. As an artist, I feel that I’m just a work in progress, and there is always something to learn. Exploring and collecting material for paintings is a great adventure for me, and always a thrill to wonder what’s around the bend or beyond that ridge. I like to create a sense of place that is somewhere but nowhere in particular. My goal is not to paint life, but to paint life into my work and create an emotional connection that I hope will inspire my viewers.”
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Reflections in Summer: Christopher Morley

“In every man’s heart there is a secret nerve that answers to the vibrations of beauty.”
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A Second Poem for Today

“Cutting Bait”
By Rhina P. Espaillat

The trouble with the dead is how we need them
to play themselves for us, to keep us warm
in the curve of their being, as if they shared
the sun with us, wore our seasons like gloves.

Aching with absence, we tug at their deaths
to hold them: how one bright old man forgot
our names, but quavered Puccini; another
dwindled between the sheets to sixty pounds
of paper bones and nerves and skin like glass;
and one bought roadside fruit for a sick friend
until a downhill truck with failed brakes found
her, dragged her spinning from the axle,
scattering peaches.

But they need to step
clear of us now; they send out mosses
and lichens to cover their human names,
they untangle themselves from our hunger,
our lame grief. We bring them children, poems,
but nothing ever lures them back into their
gestures, the flesh we remember.
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Reflections in Summer: Amelia Barr

“All changes are more or less tinged with melancholy, for what we are leaving behind is part of ourselves.”
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American Art – Part II of III: Bryce Cameron Liston

Artist Statement: “My goal is to regain the traditions of the past along with the standards of craftsmanship and training. By studying the great artists of the past, we artists of today can once again regain a full command of proficiency to create great works of art…art about life.”
In the words of one critic, “Bryce Cameron Liston believes that the highest form of art is the representation of the human figure. As a traditional painter and sculptor, he considers sound draftsmanship and a solid knowledge of human anatomy essential for the successful execution of his work. Collectors around the world are very familiar with his knowledge and talent. When viewing Liston’s work in person you can’t help but to be drawn into the evocative scenes. His paintings scintillate and vibrate with the poetry of light and subtle color variations.
But Liston’s paintings of timeless beauty embody so much more than sound draftsmanship. He believes that an accomplished artist has the power to convey emotion and even passion through his work by virtue of imagination, talent and experience. The artist’s sensibilities, along with his practical knowledge allow him to merge together the technical with the aesthetic, the physical with the spiritual. ‘I’m a figurative painter focusing on narrative subjects,’ he says.”
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Reflections in Summer: Terry Pratchett

“Why do you go away? So that you can come back. So that you can see the place you came from with new eyes and extra colors. And the people there see you differently, too. Coming back to where you started is not the same as never leaving.”
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From the American History Archives: Hawaii

21 August 1959 – Hawaii becomes the 50th U.S. state. In the words of one historian, “The Admission Act, formally An Act to Provide for the Admission of the State of Hawaii into the Union (enacted March 18, 1959) is a statute enacted by the United States Congress and signed into law by President Dwight D. Eisenhower which dissolved the Territory of Hawaii and established the State of Hawaii as the 50th state to be admitted into the Union. Statehood became effective on August 21, 1959.”

Below – Diamond Head; Hanauma Bay; Mauna Loa Volcano.
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Reflections in Summer: John Burroughs

“Look underfoot. You are always nearer to the true sources of your power than you think. The lure of the distant and the difficult is deceptive. The great opportunity is where you are. Don’t despise your own place and hour. Every place is the center of the world.”
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Isaac Oqutaq is in an Inuit Sculptor.

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

Below – “Whales”; “Whales”; “Whales.”
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Reflections in Summer: J.K. Rowling

“Let us step into the night and pursue that flighty temptress, adventure.”
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A Third Poem for Today

“Wild Geese,”
By Mary Oliver

You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting –
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.
Seven Canadian Geese flying in formation on clear blue sky

Reflections in Summer: Edward Abbey

“One final paragraph of advice: do not burn yourselves out. Be as I am – a reluctant enthusiast….a part-time crusader, a half-hearted fanatic. Save the other half of yourselves and your lives for pleasure and adventure. It is not enough to fight for the land; it is even more important to enjoy it. While you can. While it’s still here. So get out there and hunt and fish and mess around with your friends, ramble out yonder and explore the forests, climb the mountains, bag the peaks, run the rivers, breathe deep of that yet sweet and lucid air, sit quietly for a while and contemplate the precious stillness, the lovely, mysterious, and awesome space. Enjoy yourselves, keep your brain in your head and your head firmly attached to the body, the body active and alive, and I promise you this much; I promise you this one sweet victory over our enemies, over those desk-bound men and women with their hearts in a safe deposit box, and their eyes hypnotized by desk calculators. I promise you this; You will outlive the bastards.”
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American Art – Part III of III: Joy Brown

Artist Statement: “Remember what it feels like to squish mud between your toes, pack mud pies, or dig in the warm sand at the beach? That’s the feeling I have when my hands are in wet clay. It is the source of creativity for me. The dialogue begins between me and the clay. The forms emerge.
I love working with clay and fire. It is challenging and liberating to explore the relationship between the clay, the kiln, the fire, the shapes, and my own intention. The process of integrating these elements over 35 years has been an organic one, moving from early animal shapes and vessels to the human-like forms and abstract wall reliefs of recent decades.
Clay led me to bronze as each piece begins in clay. My bronzes can be so intimate that you can hold one in your hand and so large that you can sit in its lap. The largest bronze figures are permanently exhibited in Jing’An Sculpture Park, Shanghai.”

Below – “sitter with head in hand”; “riding elephant”; “dreaming”; “sitter with one leg over side”; “recliner with head in hand”; “sitter leaning forward.”
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