Canadian Art – Neil Patterson: Part I
In the words of one writer, “Neil Patterson, to his great joy, has discovered the magically liberating impact of colour. Dazzling reds, yellows and blues, manganese violet, sap green and cadmium orange are applied with loose, generous strokes, straight out of the tube. ‘It’s like going back to childhood,’ he describes. “‘You forget about rules and just put colours next to one another.’ Instead of tinting with black and white, Neil finds he can achieve a three-dimensional effect by mixing paint on the canvas so that certain areas sink behind the pure colours. Patterson believes colour is the essence of painting. He uses an impressionistic ‘Alla Prima’ style of painting to convey his ideas through landscapes and floral in both Plein Air and studio painting.”
Below – “Red Sky at Night”; “Still Afternoon”; “Winter Moon”; “Big Sky”; “Light Under Clouds”; “Sunset After the Storm”; “Soft Light”; “Sunset.”
A Poem for Today
“Deer at Twilight”
By Paula Bohince
Darkness wounds the barley,
etching it with denser clouds. A herd sends its
envoy out to nose the garbage at
road’s edge before creeping into the expanse.
And the rest follow with cheap hunger—
ten at once through the swaying curtain, heads
tipped, disappearing in the dim.
Wrong to think of them as vessels
in which your feelings live, leaping across emptiness.
Light a candle. Entertain pity all evening.
It isn’t the deer’s work to hold you. That isn’t you
growing full in the field. Paint them, your
heaviest brush lavish with creams and blacks,
trembling, timid, before the canvas.
Musings in Autumn: Emily Dickinson
“November always seemed to me the Norway of the year.”
Below – From the 17th Annual American Impressionist National Juried Exhibition that is being held this year at the Howard/Mandville Gallery in Kirkland, Washington: Mike Wise, “Forest Water Lilies.”
Musings in Autumn: Cynthia Rylant
“In November, the trees are standing all sticks and bones. Without their leaves, how lovely they are, spreading their arms like dancers. They know it is time to be still.”
Douglas Adams (1952-2001) was an English novelist, scriptwriter, essayist, humorist, dramatist, environmentalist, conservationist, and author of “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Universe.”
Some quotes from the work of Douglas Adams:
“Isn’t it enough to see that a garden is beautiful without having to believe that there are fairies at the bottom of it too?”
“For instance, on the planet Earth, man had always assumed that he was more intelligent than dolphins because he had achieved so much—the wheel, New York, wars and so on—whilst all the dolphins had ever done was muck about in the water having a good time. But conversely, the dolphins had always believed that they were far more intelligent than man—for precisely the same reasons.”
“There is a theory which states that if ever anyone discovers exactly what the Universe is for and why it is here, it will instantly disappear and be replaced by something even more bizarre and inexplicable.
There is another theory which states that this has already happened.”
“There are some people you like immediately, some whom you think you might learn to like in the fullness of time, and some that you simply want to push away from you with a sharp stick.”
“Nothing travels faster than the speed of light, with the possible exception of bad news, which obeys its own special laws.”
“A common mistake that people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools.”
“A learning experience is one of those things that says, ‘You know that thing you just did? Don’t do that.’”
“The major problem—one of the major problems, for there are several—one of the many major problems with governing people is that of whom you get to do it; or rather of who manages to get people to let them do it to them.
To summarize: it is a well-known fact that those people who must want to rule people are, ipso facto, those least suited to do it.
To summarize the summary: anyone who is capable of getting themselves made President should on no account be allowed to do the job.”
“I’d take the awe of understanding over the awe of ignorance any day.”
A Second Poem for Today
“Looking Back in My Eighty-First Year”
By Maxine Kumin
How did we get to be old ladies—
my grandmother’s job—when we
were the long-leggèd girls?
— Hilma Wolitzer
Instead of marrying the day after graduation,
in spite of freezing on my father’s arm as
here comes the bride struck up,
saying, I’m not sure I want to do this,
I should have taken that fellowship
to the University of Grenoble to examine
the original manuscript
of Stendhal’s unfinished ‘Lucien Leuwen,’
I, who had never been west of the Mississippi,
should have crossed the ocean
in third class on the Cunard White Star,
the war just over, the Second World War
when Kilroy was here, that innocent graffito,
two eyes and a nose draped over
a fence line. How could I go?
Passion had locked us together.
Sixty years my lover,
he says he would have waited.
He says he would have sat
where the steamship docked
till the last of the pursers
decamped, and I rushed back
littering the runway with carbon paper . . .
Why didn’t I go? It was fated.
Marriage dizzied us. Hand over hand,
flesh against flesh for the final haul,
we tugged our lifeline through limestone and sand,
lover and long-leggèd girl.
Below – From the 17th Annual American Impressionist National Juried Exhibition that is being held this year at the Howard/Mandville Gallery in Kirkland, Washington: Antonina Zenin, “Morning Glare, Point Lobos.”
A Third Poem for Today
“In View of the Fact”
By A. R. Ammons
The people of my time are passing away; my
wife is baking for a funeral, a 60-year-old who
died suddenly, when the phone rings, and it’s
Ruth we care so much about in intensive care:
it was once weddings that came so thick and
fast, and then, first babies, such a hullabaloo:
now, it’s this that and the other and somebody
else gone or on the brink: well, we never
thought we would live forever (although we did)
and now it looks like we won’t: some of us
are losing a leg to diabetes, some don’t know
what they went downstairs for, some know that
a hired watchful person is around, some like
to touch the cane tip into something steady,
so nice: we have already lost so many,
brushed the loss of ourselves ourselves: our
address books for so long a slow scramble now
are palimpsests, scribbles and scratches: our
index cards for Christmases, birthdays,
Halloweens drop clean away into sympathies:
at the same time we are getting used to so
many leaving, we are hanging on with a grip
to the ones left: we are not giving up on the
congestive heart failure or brain tumors, on
the nice old men left in empty houses or on
the widows who decide to travel a lot: we
think the sun may shine someday when we’ll
drink wine together and think of what used to
be: until we die we will remember every
single thing, recall every word, love every
loss: then we will, as we must, leave it to
others to love, love that can grow brighter
and deeper till the very end, gaining strength
and getting more precious all the way. . . .
Musings in Autumn: Anne Sexton
“I know that I have died before—once in November.”
Canadian Art – Neil Patterson: Part II
In the words of one writer, “Between 1969 and 1972, Neil studied painting at the University of Calgary. He also studied at Ted Goerschners Masters Class in California, the Scottsdale Artists’ School, and Scottsdale, AZ and at the Charles Movalli Workshop. Neil Patterson was elected, in 1993, as a member of the prestigious group of intellectuals and artists known as the Salmagundi Club of New York. He has numerous awards to his credit, and has been published in several newspapers and monthly periodicals. Neil continues a history of very successful exhibitions across North America, including San Antonio, TX, Jackson, WY, New York, NY, Scottsdale, AZ, Great Falls, MT, Vancouver, BC, and Banff, Calgary and Edmonton, AB.”
Below – “Light in the Trees”; “Day’s End”; “High Clouds”; “Moon Over Rundle”; “Sunset Reflections”; “Sundown, Hayfield”; “Aspen Grove”; “Fire in the Sky.”
A Fourth Poem for Today
“Since Nine O’Clock”
By C. P. Cavafy
Half past twelve. The time has quickly passed
since nine o’clock when I first turned up the lamp
and sat down here. I’ve been sitting without reading,
without speaking. With whom should I speak,
so utterly alone within this house?
The apparition of my youthful body,
since nine o’clock when I first turned up the lamp,
has come and found me and reminded me
of shuttered perfumed rooms
and of pleasure spent—what wanton pleasure!
And it also brought before my eyes
streets made unrecognizable by time,
bustling city centres that are no more
and theatres and cafés that existed long ago.
The apparition of my youthful body
came and also brought me cause for pain:
deaths in the family; separations;
the feelings of my loved ones, the feelings of
those long dead which I so little valued.
Half past twelve. How the time has passed.
Half past twelve. How the years have passed.
Musings in Autumn: Jack Kerouac
“Trails are like that: you’re floating along in a Shakespearean Arden paradise and expect to see nymphs and flute boys, then suddenly you’re struggling in a hot broiling sun of hell in dust and nettles and poison oak…just like life.”
Canadian Art – Neil Patterson: Part III
Artist Statement: “I was born in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan and it was a reproduction of a Tom Thomson painting in my elementary classroom that first got me to dream about painting. Unfortunately, there weren’t any art galleries in Moose Jaw and I had little exposure to original art until I visited my aunt in Ottawa when I was twelve. She took me to the National Gallery and that’s when I decided to become a painter.
I bought a book titled ‘How to Paint’ and read it on the train ride back to Moose Jaw. My aunt sent me a set of oils for my thirteenth birthday and I created my first masterpiece on a canvas belt I found in my father’s workshop. That belt was so thick it almost stood up by itself and I didn’t even know to prime it first, but that’s how I got started.
My mother always told me that if I wanted something bad enough I would find a way to do it. My mind was set on painting and so I determined to make a success of myself. Over the years I’ve come to realize that there’s really no such thing as talent. It’s more desire than anything. Anyone can learn to paint competently and after that it’s just a little something of yourself, call it soul, which has to go into the work.
When people ask me what inspires or motivates me to paint, I simply tell them ‘I love painting.’ Painting to me is like being a kid again; I get to play, but now it’s with paint instead of toys. I like how the paint moves on the canvas, how it can be a million different colors, what happens when you set one color next to another and what happens when they’re mixed together. For me painting is about feeling rather than thinking. It’s a spontaneous, creative, serendipitous process whereby I allow the evolving shapes and colors on the canvas to speak to me. I use loose brush strokes which, by definition, involve a certain lack of control. They are intuitive rather than calculated.
I paint mostly from memory. When I see a sky, I like to put that in my visual memory bank, and on another day I might add an appealing cluster of trees or an intriguing bend in the river. As I paint, I become a creator. I simply plant a tree or move a mountain in order to create a scene that pleases me visually. The final composition becomes a composite of many impressions. Each of us remembers things in a certain way that is our own reality, so I am painting things the way I remember them, perhaps not exactly as they were.
I think of my work as a visual expression of the emotion and passion evoked by a particular image. It is more important for me to capture the feeling of a place than it is to copy it realistically in every detail.
I paint what I love and see around me, scenes that speak to me, places I want to explore. I try to capture moments of light, color and atmosphere which spark my imagination. I want to create my own personal version of reality and entice the viewer to share it with me.”
‘A photograph is what it is; a painting is what you want it to be.’”