American Art – Part I of V: Peter de Lory
In the words of one writer, “Photographer Peter de Lory works most frequently in black and white, creating images that formally and symbolically invite viewers to plumb their own memories and experiences for meaning. Long interested in the history and literature of the West, he explores the intersection of the natural landscape and human presence. During his long career, De Lory has followed the Lewis and Clark Trail, revealed Native American traces, documented iconic Western topography from the desert to forest floors to waterfalls. His works for Sound Transit and Seattle water department (now Seattle Public Utilities) show his versatility in dramatizing the urban environment.”
A Poem for Today
By Elinor Wylie
My locks are shorn for sorrow
Of love which may not be;
Tomorrow and tomorrow
Are plotting cruelty.
The winter wind tangles
These ringlets half-grown,
The sun sprays with spangles
And rays like his own.
Oh, quieter and colder
Is the stream; he will wait;
When my curls touch my shoulder
He will comb them straight.
From the Music Archives – Part I of II: Bill Monroe
Died 9 September 1996 – Bill Monroe, an American musician and vocalist credited with creating bluegrass music.
Reflections in Summer: Loren Eiseley
From the American Old West: American Horse
9 September 1876 – Sioux Chief American Horse dies during the Battle of Slim Buttes.
In the words of one historian, “American Horse the Elder is notable in American history as one of the principal war chiefs allied with Crazy Horse during Red Cloud’s War (1866-1868) and the Battle of the Little Bighorn during the Great Sioux War of 1876-1877.”
In the words of a second historian, “American Horse the Elder was an Oglala Lakota warrior chief renowned for Spartan courage and honor. American Horse is notable in American history as one of the principal war chiefs allied with Crazy Horse during Red Cloud’s War (1866-1868) and the Battle of the Little Bighorn during the Great Sioux War of 1876-1877. Chief American Horse was a son of Old Chief Smoke, an Oglala Lakota head chief and one of the last great Shirt Wearers, a highly prestigious Lakota warrior society.”
No photograph of American Horse the Elder is known to exist.
Reflections in Summer: Doug Peacock
“The whole concept of ‘wild’ was decidedly European, one not shared by the original inhabitants of this continent. What we called ‘wilderness’ was to the Indian a homeland, ‘abiding loveliness’ in Salish or Piegan. The land was not something to be feared or conquered, and ‘wildlife’ were neither wild nor alien; they were relatives.”
American Art – Part II of V: Frederic Kellogg
According to one critic, “Kellogg is one of a number of artists engaged in the search for what can be called a contemporary realism. Like others, he has been deeply influenced by the work of American realists Edward Hopper and Fairfield Porter, and challenged by the impact of photography as an art form, as well as the innovations of the mid-twentieth-century Abstract Expressionists and their aftermath. ‘Realism has to find a new legitimacy,’ the artist says. ‘It demonstrates what only painting can do in helping people to see what is around them but with new techniques and innovative approaches.’”
A Second Poem for Today
“Men at Forty”
By Donald Justice
Men at forty
Learn to close softly
The doors to rooms they will not be
Coming back to.
At rest on a stair landing,
They feel it
Moving beneath them now like the deck of a ship,
Though the swell is gentle.
And deep in mirrors
The face of the boy as he practices trying
His father’s tie there in secret
And the face of that father,
Still warm with the mystery of lather.
They are more fathers than sons themselves now.
Something is filling them, something
That is like the twilight sound
Of the crickets, immense,
Filling the woods at the foot of the slope
Behind their mortgaged houses.
Reflections in Summer: T.K. Whipple
“All America lies at the end of the wilderness road, and our past is not a dead past, but still lives in us. Our forefathers had civilization inside themselves, the wild outside. We live in the civilization they created, but within us the wilderness still lingers. What they dreamed, we live, and what they lived, we dream.”
Dutch Art – Part I of II: Herman Smorenburg
According to one critic, “The world according to Herman Smorenburg is full of imagination and vision. His interest in mysticism and esoteric philosophy and a classic education at the Amsterdam School of Art have evolved into a gifted idiosyncratic artist, who manages to touch upon the depth of life in his oil paintings.
Herman S. was born in Alkmaar in the north of Holland in 1958. After his formal training he studied the classical painting technique of applying transparent oil glazes on a monochrome underpainting resulting in the subtlety of colour and delicate hues of light and shade which have become characteristic of his work. In his subject matter he concentrates on mythology and visionary landscapes, sometimes with architectural structures from Antiquity or a long gone era. Female figures inhibit the world of his dreams. They invite the viewer to come along and enjoy the serenity of the scene. They function as mediators between heaven and earth, living in a timeless dimension.
Herman’s paintings, just as any poem or symphony, may function as a channel: he encourages us to open our hearts and feel the truth of his message inside.”
From the Music Archives – Part II of II: David Allan “Dave” Stewart
Born 9 September 1952 – Dave Stewart, an English musician and songwriter best known for his work with Eurythmics.
Reflections in Summer: Robert Louis Stevenson
Dutch Art – Part II of II: Rieke van der Stoep
In the words of one critic, “For pictorial artist Rieke van der Stoep, artistry is a way of life. To her, sculpting is a sublime utterance of what she experiences in her inner self. Even though she chose to become an artist in her later life, as a child she also engaged in artistic pastimes. She worked with textiles, designing and making clothes, acting, painting, drawing, designing decors. Her attention was drawn to graphics and she owned a graphic design company for some years. Artistic dynamic coach and glassblowing training illustrate her many-sided creativity.”
Reflections in Summer: Peter Heller
“Maybe freedom really is nothing left to lose. You had it once in childhood, when it was okay to climb a tree, to paint a crazy picture and wipe out on your bike, to get hurt. The spirit of risk gradually takes its leave. It follows the wild cries of joy and pain down the wind, through the hedgerow, growing ever fainter. What was that sound? A dog barking far off? That was our life calling to us, the one that was vigorous and undefended and curious.”
According to one critic, “Born in Saigon, Marc Bourlier spent his youth moving between Africa, South America, and Asia. After watching the light passing through so many landscapes, he developed an eye and appreciation for the colors and textures of the natural world. He first became a painter, admiring the work of Calder, Miró, Braque, and Leger. Even when working with paint, it is said that he has always had a gift for letting the material ‘show its own face.’
After a show in Brussels in 1986, he began a period where he worked exclusively with corrugated cardboard for almost ten years. The style of Bourlier’s work that we see now seems to be the product of random chance: one day in 1995 while sitting on the beach in Normandy, a small piece of driftwood caught his eye, and he used it to make his first driftwood piece. This act of appropriation marked the transition of the artist from color to non-color, and from painting to ‘almost’ sculpture. The only common thread from his previous work to now is the human element at the heart of his approach.”
A Third Poem for Today
“Meaner than a Junkyard Dog,
Turner’s Evil Twin”
By Turner Cassity
Our genes have junk in them. Not all the messages
That DNA contains does RNA read out.
Inheritance has drastic editing. What, though,
Are unused possibilities the relic of?
A better us, or worse? Are we as we exist
Young Dr. Jekyll failed or full-blown Hyde avoided?
(If avoided). As of now we cannot know.
All we can say is, both the shadow archetype
And Doppelgänger, and the succubus as well,
Hang near us. Life, genetic outcome of a code
That has its blind spots, parallels what it is not—
An endless replicase of what it has destroyed
To be. Dumb corpse one carries, Siamese dark self
Whose only life is to embarrass, in our joint
Past where did we in aim diverge? Is it that aim
Was in itself the agency of difference?
Ambition’s never quite evaded progeny,
A shadow is by definition follower.
But in the hidden mirror of the goal suppressed,
What proud construct of junk discarded bides his time?
American Art – Part III of V: Daniel Ludwig
Here is one writer describing the background and artistry of painter and sculptor Daniel Ludwig: “Born in September, 1959, in Colorado, Ludwig’s family moved to Lexington, KY in his teens. He received his BA in Sculpture from the Rhode Island School of Design in 1981 and went on to receive an MFA in Painting from the University of Cincinnati in 1986. Ludwig has portrayed the female human figure throughout his career searching for classical purity, influenced by modern masters like Matisse and Diebenkorn.”
Polish artist Tomasz Rut (born 1961) trained in Art Conservation at the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw and continued his education in New York City at the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn and at Columbia University in Manhattan. In the words of one critic, “Rut’s mural sized paintings are contemporary conversions of the classical vocabulary variously continued by Michelangelo, Raphael, Titian, and Rubens.”
Reflections in Summer: Jimmy Carter
Here is the Artist Statement of Irish painter Ronan Goti (born 1978): “My paintings attempt to show humanity in harmony with nature and also try to capture a balance that exists when the natural world is left to itself. My work reflects my views about how I would like the world to be. I observe the beauty around me and try to capture that in my paintings, so that others may experience what I see and feel.”
Reflections in Summer: Marty Rubin
This is how American painter Karla Nolan describes her artistry: “J.M.W. Turner, Georgia O’Keeffe, Paul Cezanne — all have had an incredible influence on my perception of fine art and I admire each of them greatly. My style of art might be called ‘abstract realism,’ an oxymoron in its own right. I tend to relive my memories of the landscapes, flowers, food, and skies that I have witnessed and studied as I paint them.”
Below – “Red Cliff Dusk”; “The Vastness of Where My Loved Ones Are”; “Imagination at Dark”; “Red Sky Falling”; “Delicate Arch, Utah”; “Embers Sunset”; “Valley of the Gods, Utah”; “Wild Flowers of the Wild West” (painting on glass); “Pink Dusk through Winter Aspens”; “Mesa Verde, Panoramic View.”
American Literary Genius: Mary Hunter Austin
“We are not all born at once, but by bits. The body first, and the spirit later… Our mothers are racked with the pains of our physical birth; we ourselves suffer the longer pains of our spiritual growth.” – Mary Hunter Austin, American nature writer of the American Southwest, author of “The Land of Little Rain,” and a masterful prose stylist, who was born 9 September 1868.
Some quotes from “The Land of Little Rain”:
“Probably we never fully credit the interdependence of wild creatures, and their cognizance of the affairs of their own kind.”
“People would be surprised to know how much I learned about prayer from playing poker.”
“This is the sense of the desert hills, that there is room enough and time enough.”
“Man is a great blunderer going about in the woods, and there is no other except the bear makes so much noise.”
“The manner of the country makes the usage of life there, and the land will not be lived in except in its own fashion.”
“The country where you may have sight and touch of that which is written lies between the high Sierras south from Yosemite—east and south over a very great assemblage of broken ranges beyond Death Valley, and on illimitably into the Mojave Desert. You may come into the borders of it from the south by a stage journey that has the effect of involving a great lapse of time, or from the north by rail, dropping out of the overland route at Reno. The best of all ways is over the Sierra passes by pack and trail, seeing and believing. But the real heart and core of the country are not to be come at in a month’s vacation. One must summer and winter with the land and wait its occasions. Pine woods that take two and three seasons to the ripening of cones, roots that lie by in the sand seven years awaiting a growing rain, firs that grow fifty years before flowering,—these do not scrape acquaintance. But if ever you come beyond the borders as far as the town that lies in a hill dimple at the foot of Kearsarge, never leave it until you have knocked at the door of the brown house under the willow-tree at the end of the village street, and there you shall have such news of the land, of its trails and what is astir in them, as one lover of it can give to another.”
Reflections in Summer: Nancy Wynne Newhall
Back from the Territory – Art: Saila Kipanek
Saila Kipanek in an Inuit sculptor.
Back from the Territory, I share this with you, before I light out again.
“Mountains seem to answer an increasing imaginative need in the West. More and more people are discovering a desire for them, and a powerful solace in them. At bottom, mountains, like all wildernesses, challenge our complacent conviction – so easy to lapse into – that the world has been made for humans by humans. Most of us exist for most of the time in worlds which are humanly arranged, themed and controlled. One forgets that there are environments which do not respond to the flick of a switch or the twist of a dial, and which have their own rhythms and orders of existence. Mountains correct this amnesia. By speaking of greater forces than we can possibly invoke, and by confronting us with greater spans of time than we can possibly envisage, mountains refute our excessive trust in the man-made. They pose profound questions about our durability and the importance of our schemes. They induce, I suppose, a modesty in us.”
American Art – Part V of V: Terry Furchgott
In the words of one writer, “Figurative artist, Terry Furchgott, creates narrative works, often incorporating intricate still life subjects. Furchgott works with live models and sets up tableaux in the studio or during her travels, incorporating domestic objects and architectural elements. Her works, whether in acrylic or pastel, are notable for their masterful use of color and pattern. Through dynamic compositions, her paintings explore the nature of human relationships.
Originally from New York City, Terry Furchgott studied at Camden Arts Centre, London, England and Radcliffe College, Cambridge, Massachusetts. Terry Furchgott has completed numerous public arts commissions that capture the diversity of people and richness of urban life. Collections of public works throughout Washington State include large-scale murals and mobiles for the Kent Regional Justice Center, the University of Washington Medical Center, Portland Northeast Health Center and many public schools in Washington State and Alaska.”