From the Pacific Northwest – Part XXXVI

Musings in Autumn: Haruki Murakami

“Holding this soft, small living creature in my lap this way, though, and seeing how it slept with complete trust in me, I felt a warm rush in my chest. I put my hand on the cat’s chest and felt his heart beating. The pulse was faint and fast, but his heart, like mine, was ticking off the time allotted to his small body with all the restless earnestness of my own.”

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Russian Art – Alyona Azernaya

Alyona Azernaya was born in 1966 in Ekaterinburg, Russia, a city with a rich artistic history.

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A Poem for Today

“Mud Season”
By Tess Taylor

We unstave the winter’s tangle.
Sad tomatoes, sullen sky.
We unplay the summer’s blight.
Rotted on the vine, black fruit
swings free of strings that bound it.
In the compost, ghost melon; in the fields
grotesque extruded peppers.
We prod half-thawed mucky things. 
In the sky, starlings eddying.
Tomorrow, snow again, old silence.
Today, the creaking icy puller.
Last night I woke
to wild unfrozen prattle.
Rain on the roof—a foreign liquid tongue.

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Art for November – Part I of III: Harold Thomas Beament

Below – “Inuit Baffin Island”

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Musings in Autumn: Henry A. Giroux

“Americans need to continue to develop broad-based movements that reject the established political parties and rethink the social formations necessary to bring about a radical democracy. We see this in the Black Lives Matter movement as well as in a range of other movements that are resisting corporate money in politics, the widespread destruction of the environment, nuclear war and the mass incarceration state.”

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Art for November – Part II of III:John William Beatty

Below – “Winter Landscape”

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Musings in Autumn: Slavoj Zizek

“The fact that a cloud from a minor volcanic eruption in Iceland—a small disturbance in the complex mechanism of life on the Earth—can bring to a standstill the aerial traffic over an entire continent is a reminder of how, with all its power to transform nature, humankind remains just another species on the planet Earth.”

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Art for November – Part III of III: Sam Black

Below – “West Coast Harbor”

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Musings in Autumn: Stephen King

“Tim stared at the steel rod in the gloved hand. ‘Is that a magic wand?
The Covenant Man appeared to consider. ‘I suppose so. Although it started life as the gearshift of a Dodge Dart, America’s economy car, young Tim.’
‘What’s America?’
‘A kingdom filled with toy-loving idiots. It has no part in our palaver.’”

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Julius Henry “Groucho” Marx (1890-1977) was an American comedian and film and television star.

Some quotes from the work of Groucho Marx:

“I find television very educating. Every time somebody turns on the set, I go into the other room and read a book.”
“Learn from the mistakes of others. You can never live long enough to make them all yourself.”
“Humor is reason gone mad.”
“I’m not crazy about reality, but it’s still the only place to get a decent meal.”
“The secret of life is honesty and fair dealing. If you can fake that, you’ve got it made.”
“Blessed are the cracked, for they shall let in the light.”
“Those are my principles, and if you don’t like them…well I have others.”
“If you’re not having fun, you’re doing something wrong.”
“Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies.”
“I, not events, have the power to make me happy or unhappy today. I can choose which it shall be. Yesterday is dead, tomorrow hasn’t arrived yet. I have just one day, today, and I’m going to be happy in it.”

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Musings in Autumn: Terry Pratchett

“My experience in Amsterdam is that cyclists ride where the hell they like and aim in a state of rage at all pedestrians while ringing their bell loudly, the concept of avoiding people being foreign to them.
My dream holiday would be a) a ticket to Amsterdam b) immunity from prosecution and c) a baseball bat.”

SIR TERRY PRATCHETT (1948-2015)

Canadian Art – Bobs Cogil Haworth

In the words of one writer, “Bobs (Barbara) Zema Warbain (née Cogill) Haworth was born in Queenstown, South Africa in 1900. A painter, illustrator, muralist and potter, Cogill Haworth studied at the Royal College of Art in London and moved to Toronto in 1923.
She was assigned to record activities of the Canadian Armed Forces in British Columbia during World War II and she designed silkscreen prints for the National Gallery of Canada. Cogill Haworth taught at the Toronto Central Technical School and lectured at the University of Toronto.She worked in watercolor, oil, acrylic, mixed mediums, and gouache, in an expressionist style, with a focus on landscapes, shore scapes and abstracts. Cogill Haworth was a member of the Royal Canadian Academy, the Canadian Group of Painters, the Canadian Society of Painters in Water Colour and the Ontario Society of Artists.”

Below – Untitled Pond Scene; Untitled Lakeview; “Wild Garden”; “Sparse Trees”; “Rambling Thorn.”

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A Second Poem for Today

“Work”
By Sally Bliumis-Dunn

I could tell they were father and son,
the air between them, slack as though
they hardly noticed one another.

The father sanded the gunwales,
the boy coiled the lines.
And I admired them there, each to his task
 
in the quiet of the long familiar.
The sawdust coated the father’s arms 
like dusk coats grass in a field.
 
The boy worked next on the oarlocks
polishing the brass until it gleamed
as though he could harness the sun.

Who cares what they were thinking,
lucky in their lives
that the spin of the genetic wheel
 
slowed twice to a stop
and landed each of them here.

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Musings in Autumn: Masanobu Fukuoka

“I do not particularly like the word ‘work.’ Human beings are the only animals who have to work, and I think that is the most ridiculous thing in the world. Other animals make their livings by living, but people work like crazy, thinking that they have to in order to stay alive. The bigger the job, the greater the challenge, the more wonderful they think it is. It would be good to give up that way of thinking and live an easy, comfortable life with plenty of free time. I think that the way animals live in the tropics, stepping outside in the morning and evening to see if there is something to eat, and taking a long nap in the afternoon, must be a wonderful life. For human beings, a life of such simplicity would be possible if one worked to produce directly his daily necessities. In such a life, work is not work as people generally think of it, but simply doing what needs to be done.”

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American Art – Part I of II: Brandon Zebold

Artist Statement: “I believe that art can stimulate and add to the human experience whether it is a grand statement or an intriguing subtle surprise.  Drawing has been a passion of mine from my earliest years.   Of all the media I have explored, steel has offered an exciting range of shapes and surfaces to draw on. 
Often I use reclaimed and recycled material from scrap yards. The chalkiness of the welder’s soapstone pencil I use lends itself to the fluid drawings that are added, subtracted, broken, and blended on the steel forms.
In an effort to capture the organic free associative tapestry of drawings I began hand cutting them out of the rugged yet yielding steel with an oxy-acetylene torch.  Recently I started using a plasma cutter which allows me to make sculpture out of stainless steel, bronze and aluminum. 
The process of rendering the drawings became a natural springboard into sculpture, with all its powerful sensibilities of dimensional touch, scale, light and shadow.”

Below – “Mandala”; “Pod Column”; “Autumn”; “Dwell”; “Pearl Portal”; “Pilaster.”

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A Third Poem for Today

“In Emily Dickinson’s Bedroom”
By Lloyd Schwartz

A chilly light pervades the empty room
bringing neither its current nor former inhabitant peace.
Rather, its immaterial lingering infests
both the air inside and what we see of the grass
outside—brittle, brown, as if it wanted to avoid the sun.
Inside, the visitor must be respectful
and polite, evasive without actually telling lies.
Everything here seems hidden—is hidden—not
just the bricked-up chimney and plastered-over doorway. Any
clue—under the wide floorboards, behind the blocked entrance—
to the haunted chambers of a heart? Patches of verse, of
old wallpaper, the main street not yet a street. What industry
motivated those uncanny dashes—these shadows
still eluding our meager efforts to scrutinize.

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Musings in Autumn: John Fuglesang

“Only in America can you be pro-death penalty, pro-war, pro-unmanned drone bombs, pro-nuclear weapons, pro-guns, pro-torture, pro-land mines, and still call yourself ‘pro-life.”

Men carrying rifles attend "Freedom of Speech Rally Round II" across from Islamic Community Center in Phoenix

A Fourth Poem for Today

“Travel”
By Edna St. Vincent Millay

The railroad track is miles away,
And the day is loud with voices speaking,
Yet there isn’t a train goes by all day
But I hear its whistle shrieking.

All night there isn’t a train goes by,
Though the night is still for sleep and dreaming,
But I see its cinders red on the sky,
And hear its engine steaming.

My heart is warm with the friends I make,
And better friends I’ll not be knowing;
Yet there isn’t a train I wouldn’t take,
No matter where it’s going.

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Musings in Autumn: Alice Walker

“Horses make a landscape look beautiful.”

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American Art – Part II of II: Sherrie Wolf

Artist Statement: “I have always been a still-life painter. My images openly play with the fact that art is artifice. In recent years, I have arranged objects in front of excerpts from old master paintings.
Earlier in my career, while imitating 19th century American Trompe l’oil and 17th century Dutch still-life traditions in subject matter and formal elements of composition, I explored contrived or discovered relationships between seemingly unrelated objects.
Mirrors or other formal objects often reflected the contemporary clutter of my studio. Light, shadow and three-dimensional spatial relationships played important roles, and I often used nontraditional perspectives, such as looking straight down on the still life arrangementEndFragment
Art stretches us by being several things at once. It can be a ripe fruit ready to fall off the canvas onto the floor, but also, when viewed closely, a collection of brush strokes on a flat surface.
The landscape that I place in the background is a flat surface but simultaneously a space in which the still-life objects reside. The objects are ordinary, but simultaneously monumental by virtue of their relationship to the majestic landscape in the background.”

Below – “Blue Teacup”; “Stones with Artist View”; “Parrot Tulips with Canal View”; “Purple Tulips with Peach”; “Tulips with Birds and Fruit”; “Luster Still Life.”

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