From the Pacific Northwest – Part LIII

Musings in December: Pablo

“There is a story I always tell my students…when I came for the 1st time to the US. I didn’t speak English (Only Spanish) & I saw on every door the word ‘exit’ which in Spanish means Success = Exito. And then I said :’No wonder Americans are winners ,every door they open leads to success.’”

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Art for December – Part I of III: Pietro Adamo

Below – “Samothrace”

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A Poem for Today

“Palladium”
By James Brasfield

A cortege of clouds’
shifting planes 

reflected on a river,
the current’s weave deepens,

yet motionless
the dramatization of

a fern unfolding,
light illuminating the air

for a moment’s threshold,
when time, where we stand,

corresponds to the day
held firm,

derived from the elegance of
the equation

for what was once never here.   
 

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Art for December – Part II of III: Daniel Dust

Below – Light Rising”

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Musings in December: Steven L. Stephenson

“One could speculate that lichens would be among the last inhabitants to succumb on a dying earth at some distant point in the future.”

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Art for December – Part III of III: Anna Stump

Below – “Pacific Rim No, 14”

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Musings in December: Thomas French

“Taken together, the narratives of how the animals ended up at Lowry Park revealed as much about Homo sapiens as they revealed about the animals themselves. The precise details—how and where each was born, how they were separated from their mothers and taken into custody, all they had witnessed and experienced on their way to becoming the property of this particular zoo—could have filled an encyclopedia with insights into human behavior and psychology, human geopolitics and history and commerce. Lowry Park’s very existence declared our presumption of supremacy, the ancient belief that we have been granted dominion over other creatures and have the right to do with them as we please. The zoo was a living catalogue of our fears and obsessions, the ways we see animals and see ourselves, all the things we prefer not to see at all. Every corner of the grounds revealed our appetite for amusement and diversion, no matter what the cost. Our longing for the wildness we have lost inside ourselves. Our instinct to both exalt nature and control it. Our deepest wish to love and protect other species even as we scorch their forests and poison their rivers and shove them toward oblivion.
All of it was on display in the garden of captives.”

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Chinese Art – Zhuang Hongxing

Artist Zhuang Hongxing (born 1940) works with ink and color on paper.,

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A Second Poem for Today

“The Blessing of the Old Woman, the Tulip, and the Dog”
By Alicia Ostriker

To be blessed
said the old woman
is to live and work
so hard
God’s love
washes right through you
like milk through a cow

To be blessed
said the dark red tulip
is to knock their eyes out
with the slug of lust
implied by
your up-ended skirt

To be blessed
said the dog
is to have a pinch
of God
inside you

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Italian Art – Pier Toffoletti

In the words of one writer, “Pier was born in 1957 in the village of Torreano near Cividale in Northern Italy, surrounded by the art and antiquities of ancient Rome. Now he lives and works in Udine. Since he was a young boy, painting has been a passion and he drew inspiration from the tiles and frescos which were a part of his daily life.
In 1976 Pier earned a “Diploma di Maestro in Arte Applicata” (Certificate of Master in Applied Arts). While developing his unique medium and style he worked as Creative Director for his advertising agency, using his talented eye for developing and directing television commercials. Pier also worked with the Italian public broadcasting network (RAI) on a number of animation projects.”

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Musings in December: Jason S. Hornsby

“The only true dead are those who have been forgotten.”

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A Third Poem for Today

“Bliss and Grief”
By Marie Ponsot

No one
is here
right now.

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Canadian Art – Part I of II: Dennis Liu

In the words of one writer, “Dennis-Tieji, Liu was trained as an artist since early age, mainly by his uncle, a local art teacher. He has assisted his uncle with the government’s propaganda paintings for the city when he was a teenager.
He travelled to Chengdu city for university and graduated from Fine Art School of Chengdu City, and also attended some workshops run by an accomplished artist in Chengdu. Despite his formal training, he has gained most of his artistic skill through years of practice and he considers himself as a self-taught artist. During this period, he experimented with different styles of painting, using a variety of materials, such as traditional Chinese ink, oil paint and acrylic paint.
 The beauty of nature of Canada has fascinated him since he moved to this country almost a decade ago. Dennis changed his style and focused on painting wild animals in nature. He enjoys painting details and tries to be honest to the nature. He wishes that people will also enjoy the beauty when viewing his art.”

Below – “Moose”; “Eagle”; “Polar Bears”; “Canadian Geese”; “Tiger”; “Eagle.”

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Musings in December: Trevor D. Richardson

“When did a free country start to mean free enterprise?
Who sold Democracy out for a golden calf we got to idolize?”

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Canadian Art – Part II of II: John Lightfoot

Artist Statement: “Painting for me is a visceral reaction to the constraints imposed by the commercial, digital world as a designer and illustrator. I want to immerse myself in colour, texture, and form, feeling the paint mixing and coming to life. In this way, I hope to apply some of myself to the canvas.
These works contain all of what I paint for, including interesting characters and their interactions. Bold colours, jewel-toned hues and dramatic light quality using techniques of back-painting, under-painting and complex layering of colour.
I am not so concerned with the details of a particular image but, instead, the overall expression and emotions.”

Below – “Wildwood Park Iii”; “Red Alley”; “Fall Forest”; “Old and New”; “At the Beach”; “Alley 2, Kensington.”

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A Fourth Poem for Today

“My Life Was the Size of My Life”
By Jane Hirshfield

My life was the size of my life.
Its rooms were room-sized,
its soul was the size of a soul.
In its background, mitochondria hummed,
above it sun, clouds, snow,
the transit of stars and planets.
It rode elevators, bullet trains,
various airplanes, a donkey.
It wore socks, shirts, its own ears and nose.
It ate, it slept, it opened
and closed its hands, its windows.
Others, I know, had lives larger.
Others, I know, had lives shorter.
The depth of lives, too, is different.
There were times my life and I made jokes together.
There were times we made bread.
Once, I grew moody and distant.
I told my life I would like some time,
I would like to try seeing others.
In a week, my empty suitcase and I returned.
I was hungry, then, and my life,
my life, too, was hungry, we could not keep
our hands off       our clothes on   
our tongues from

Below – Jane Hirshfield

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Musings in December: Jeff Valdez

“Cats are smarter than dogs. You can’t get eight cats to pull a sled through snow.”

Below – Not even for Santa Claus!

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American Art – Anthony Bordelon

In the words of one writer, “Anthony Bordelon is a local artist born and raised in New Orleans. Although he never wanted to be anything other than an artist, this is his second career. He pursued his art education over the course of fourteen years at the New Orleans Academy of Art, while working as a Hotel Manager. His work has appeared in many group and solo shows over the past decade. Anthony constantly experiments, his work sometimes taking drastically new directions. Most recently his lifelong affinity for wood and love of local music have come together on architectural salvage from New Orleans 7th, 8th, and 9th wards.”

Below – “Girl and Her Dog”; “Grandpa Elliot”; “Irma Thomas”; “Carl on Harmonica”; “Kermit at Tips”; “Browsing Jackson Square.”

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