Musings in Autumn: William Allingham
Musings in Autumn: Robert Browning
American Art: Adam Sorensen
Artist Statement: “Landscape painting affords me a wealth of tradition and influence, and provides a platform that seems familiar and recognizable. 19th century romanticism, Japanese woodblock prints, and Abstract expressionism all factor into my works vocabulary. I work primarily in a reactive sense. A certain rock may lead to another, which in turn may lead to a specific tree. The scenes I end up composing, function as both utopian and eerily post-apocalyptic. Both of which can be seen metaphorically as social concerns in contemporary life. By inviting the viewer in visually, I ask them to recall where we have been, explore where we are now, and confront where we may be headed.”
Below – “Old Sky”; “Night Painting”; “Frosted Tips”; “Mystery”; “Envelope.”
A Poem for Today
“Name That Tune”
By Jennifer L. Knox
Lately my 84-year-old mother’s been
hearing noises: a party in the street below
her bedroom window—gruff men cursing,
a woman’s shrieking laughter, beer cans going
“dink” off the concrete. Finally she got the nerve
to peek out: nothing but a street light. Sounds
coming from inside her, she says: pops, clicks,
swooshes, gongs, alarms, heavy steps pounding
through her as if someone’s stumbling around
on the roof. Her cellphone rings. “Hello?” No
answer from its flat, gray face. A fist pounding
on the door she never used to lock—so hard she
feared the wood would split—but the peephole:
empty. A voice in the middle of the night: “Joann!”—
impatient to get her attention, clear as day, she said.
“That must be terrifying,” I said. She giggled,
“I don’t know but it was really something!
You know that poem ‘I Sing the Body Electric’?”
“Of course. Did you recognize the voice?” I asked.
“It must’ve been my mother because she called me
‘Joann!’” she imitated her mother’s scolding voice
“in just that way.” “A woman?” I asked. “Yes,
and a stranger might call me, ‘Jody.’” “Yes,”
I agreed, so at least it’s someone who knows her.
Canadian Art – Part I: Robert Lemay
Artist Statement: “There’s a new generation of painters every 20-25 years and so we continually re-negotiate reality. It’s not a fixed thing, reality, so something with a long history in humanity – the cultivation of flowers, which is something that appears in almost all cultures – seems a good place to explore one’s own vision of a particular reality, a particular way of seeing.
The idea of the simple flower portrait is a direct approach to still life. When one ‘reads’ a still life, one sees the objects as an indication or substitute for human presence. Instead of portraits of humans, I’m painting portraits of flowers. I want to paint a flower in a way that you see there is only one quite like it.
The scale I’m working at in these works is helping me to explore these different values, these fundamentals of painting, in a satisfying combination. Also, the increased scale of the flowers encourages me to leave more direct brushstrokes as I’m more confident I can achieve the values I want with a more direct approach.”
A Second Poem for Today
“Between the Dragon and the Phoenix”
By C. Dale Young
Fire in the heart, fire in the sky, the sun just
a smallish smudge resting on the horizon
out beyond the reef that breaks the waves,
fiery sun that waits for no one. I was little more
than a child when my father explained
that the mongrel is stronger than the thoroughbred,
that I was splendidly blended, genetically engineered
for survival. I somehow forgot this, misplaced this,
time eroding my memory as it erodes everything.
But go ask someone else to write a poem about Time.
Out over the bay, the sun is rising, and I am running
out of time. Each and every year, on my birthday,
I wake to watch the sunrise. I am superstitious.
And today, as in years past, it is not my father
but my father’s father who comes to shout at me:
Whether you like it or not, you are a child of fire. You descend from the Dragon, descend from the Phoenix. Your blood is older than England, older than Castille.
Year after year, he says the same thing, this old man
dead long before I was born. So, I wake each year
on the day of my birth to watch the fire enter the sky
while being chastised by my dead grandfather.
Despite being a creature of fire, I stay near the water.
Why even try to avoid what can extinguish me?
There are times I can feel the fire flickering inside my frame.
The gulls are quarreling, the palm trees shimmering—
the world keeps spinning on its axis. Some say I have
nine lives. Others think me a machine. Neither is true.
The truth is rarely so conventional. Fire in my heart, fire
in my veins, I write this down for you and watch
as it goes up in flames. There are no paragraphs
wide enough to contain this fire, no stanzas
durable enough to house it. Blood of the Dragon,
blood of the Phoenix, I turn my head slowly
toward the East. I bow and call for another year.
I stand there and demand one more year.
Musings in Autumn: e. e. cummings
A Third Poem for Today
By Joy Harjo
Remember the sky that you were born under,
know each of the star’s stories.
Remember the moon, know who she is.
Remember the sun’s birth at dawn, that is the
strongest point of time. Remember sundown
and the giving away to night.
Remember your birth, how your mother struggled
to give you form and breath. You are evidence of
her life, and her mother’s, and hers.
Remember your father. He is your life, also.
Remember the earth whose skin you are:
red earth, black earth, yellow earth, white earth
brown earth, we are earth.
Remember the plants, trees, animal life who all have their
tribes, their families, their histories, too. Talk to them,
listen to them. They are alive poems.
Remember the wind. Remember her voice. She knows the
origin of this universe.
Remember you are all people and all people
Remember you are this universe and this
universe is you.
Remember all is in motion, is growing, is you.
Remember language comes from this.
Remember the dance language is, that life is.
Canadian Art – Part II: Ken Q Li
In the words of one writer, “Born in China, Ken began sculpting at a very early age. He worked as an apprentice in a jade carving facility after secondary school. Upon completing his training, he became a technical worker in carving and engraving in every kind of stone including jade, marble and soapstone.
In 1976 Ken, was accepted to Guangdong Art and Crafts College in Canton, China majoring in carving and sculpting. He studied traditional Chinese and western carving, then returned to the jade carving facility, this time supervising the carving. The company evolved into a jewellery manufacturer and Ken became a designer and sample maker.
The Chinese government recognized Ken Li with the Certificate of Art and Craft Technician in 1987. It is the highest level acknowledgement in the field. He also showed in the Canton Fair, a prominent exhibition hosted by the government.
Ken moved to Canada in 1997, living in small towns in Northern Alberta and the Northwest Territories. He became inspired by the wildlife of North America. Blending the traditional Chinese technique with western inspirations, he has created a style that enables him to express his feelings for the wildlife of the North. His pieces can be found in public and private collections around the world, including the United States, England, Germany and Canada.”
Below – “Polar Bear” (Chinese white jade); “Grizzly” (fossil stone); “Snowy Owl” (Chinese white jade); “Walrus” (fossil stone); “Three Bears” (fossil stone); “Owl” (fossil stone); “Polar Bear Family” (Chinese white jade).