From the Pacific Northwest – Part LXIII

Musings in the New Year: Peggy Toney Horton

“Each New Year, we have before us a brand new book containing 365 blank pages. Let us fill them with all the forgotten things from last year—the words we forgot to say, the love we forgot to show, and the charity we forgot to offer.”

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Art for Winter – Part I of III: Jerry Farnsworth (American, 1895-1982)

Below – “The Black Hat”

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Musings in Winter: Anamika Mishra

“Winter is not a season, it’s a celebration.”

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A Poem for Today

“Burning the Old Year”
By Naomi Shihab Nye

Letters swallow themselves in seconds.
Notes friends tied to the doorknob,
transparent scarlet paper,
sizzle like moth wings,
marry the air.

So much of any year is flammable,
lists of vegetables, partial poems.
Orange swirling flame of days,
so little is a stone.

Where there was something and suddenly isn’t,
an absence shouts, celebrates, leaves a space.
I begin again with the smallest numbers.

Quick dance, shuffle of losses and leaves,
only the things I didn’t do
crackle after the blazing dies.

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Art for Winter – Part II of III: Gertrude Fiske (American, 1878-1961)

Below – “Nude”

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Musings in Winter: Bill Morgan, Jr.

“Winter came down to our home one night
Quietly pirouetting in on silvery-toed slippers of snow,
And we, we were children once again.”

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Art for Winter – Part III of III: James Fitzgerald (American, 1899-1971)

Below – “Seining by Moonlight”

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Musings in the New Year: Richelle E. Goodrich

“Past and Present I know well; each is a friend and sometimes an enemy to me. But it is the quiet, beckoning Future, an absolute stranger, with whom I have fallen madly in love.”

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A Second Poem for Today

From “A Shooting Incident”
By Stevie Smith

Wild creatures’ eyes, the colonel said,
Are innocent and fathomless
And when I look at them I see
That they are not aware of me
And oh I find and oh I bless
A comfort in this emptiness
They only see me when they want
To pounce upon me at the hunt;
But in the tame variety
There couches an anxiety
As if they yearned, yet knew not what
They yearned for, nor they yearned for not.
And so my dog would look at me
And it was pitiful to see
Such love and such dependency.
The human heart is not at ease
With animals that look like these.

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Polish Art – Marek Zyga

Artist Statement: “The works which I presentation are made of chamotte day. I am fascinated with is rough structure. Through impressing, casting, forming I try to obtain its variety.
Looking for ideas, I collect stones, metal scraps, which constitute an inspiration for me. Their randomness make my works unique. Trying to maintain harmony between used materials I remember that clay is the most crucial one. I hope that such connection is succesful.
Using pigments, engobes or glazes, I try to make them color coordinated; where there is a visible diversity, I try avoid color clash. Final result means for me giving equal importance to art and craft as well. Content is important for me but I pay the same attention to form.As far as my works concerned, I am trying to appeal to a sophisticated and wide audience as well.”

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Musings in Winter: Charles Hedges

“The moral nihilism of celebrity culture is played out on reality television shows, most of which encourage a dark voyeurism into other people’s humiliation, pain, weakness, and betrayal.”

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A Third Poem for Today

“Te Deum”
By Charles Reznikoff

Not because of victories
I sing,
having none,
but for the common sunshine,
the breeze,
the largess of the spring.

Not for victory
but for the day’s work done
as well as I was able;
not for a seat upon the dais
but at the common table.

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British Art – Kevin Francis Gray

Sculptor Kevin Francis Gray (born 1972) earned an MA in fine Art from Goldsmiths College, London.

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Musings in Winter: Nathan Reese Maher

“Do we not each dream of dreams? Do we not dance on the notes of lost
memories? Then are we not each dreamers of tomorrow and yesterday, since dreams play when time is askew? Are we not all adrift in the constant sea of trial and when all is done, do we not all yearn for ships to carry us home?”

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A Fourth Poem for Today

“After Us”
By Nikola Madzirov

One day someone will fold our blankets
and send them to the cleaners
to scrub the last grain of salt from them,
will open our letters and sort them out by date
instead of by how often they’ve been read.

One day someone will rearrange the room’s furniture
like chessmen at the start of a new game,
will open the old shoebox
where we hoard pyjama-buttons,
not-quite-dead batteries and hunger.

One day the ache will return to our backs
from the weight of hotel room keys
and the receptionist’s suspicion
as he hands over the TV remote control.

Others’ pity will set out after us
like the moon after some wandering child.

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Musings in Winter: Andrew Wyeth

“I do an awful lot of thinking and dreaming about things in the past and the future – the timelessness of the rocks and the hills – all the people who have existed there. I prefer winter and fall, when you feel the bone structure of the landscape – the loneliness of it, the dead feeling of winter. Something waits beneath it, the whole story doesn’t show.”

Below – Andrew Wyeth: Untitled (“Army Surplus Study”)

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Norwegian Art – Helene Knoop

In the words of one writer, “Helene Knoop lives and works in Oslo, Norway. Her oil paintings are authentic representations of humans with a sensual touch where the light comes from the inside.
Knoop handcrafts every painting, creating high quality paintings using a long process often up to a year until completion. Her paintings are within a classical manner with influences from the Renaissance and Symbolism .
She uses materials like the Old Masters did; oil painting on canvas, and she paints from life.”

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Musings in Winter: Robert Walser

“With the utmost love and attention the man who walks must study and observe every smallest living thing, be it a child, a dog, a fly, a butterfly, a sparrow, a worm, a flower, a man, a house, a tree, a hedge, a snail, a mouse, a cloud, a hill, a leaf, or no more than a poor discarded scrap of paper on which, perhaps, a dear good child at school has written his first clumsy letters. The highest and the lowest, the most serious and the most hilarious things are to him equally beloved, beautiful, and valuable.”

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A Fifth Poem for Today

“He Foretells His Passing”
By F. D. Reeve

I can imagine, years from now, your coming back
to this high, old, white house. “Home” I shouldn’t say
because we can’t predict who’ll live here with a different
     name.
How tall the birches will be then. Will you look up
from the road past the ash for light in the study windows
upstairs and down? Go climb the black maple as first
in new sneakers you walked forty feet in air
and saw the life to come. Don’t forget the cats.

Because you grow away from a house, no matter how much you
     come back,
if the people you love are elsewhere, or if the reason is,
     say,
nostalgia, don’t worry about small changes or lost names.
Sit down for a minute under the tallest birch. Look up
at the clouds reflected in the red barn’s twisted window.
Lean on the wall. Hear our voices as at first
they shook the plaster, laughed, then burned in the dry air
like a wooden house. I imagine you won’t forget the cats.

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American Art – Part I of II: Alexandra Tyng

In the words of one writer, “Alexandra Tyng is a realist painter whose work combines traditional methods with a contemporary viewpoint. Alex was born in Rome, Italy, and has lived in Philadelphia most of her life. Primarily self-taught, Alex chose an academic education over art school. She learned traditional oil painting techniques by examining the work of the old masters, reading about the methods and materials of other artists, and watching artists paint.
Alex’s portraits incorporate descriptive backgrounds and a uniquely figurative sensibility. Her non-commissioned figurative work focuses on people in the process of living and interacting in their own environments, rather than in formal poses. In other paintings the figures become distant focal points while the setting predominates. Alex’s landscapes range from intimate views of particular places to mountaintop panoramas to large-scale aerial views of the glacially carved land formations of coastal Maine.”

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Musings in the New Year: Alex Morritt

“New Year – a new chapter, new verse, or just the same old story? Ultimately we write it. The choice is ours.”

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American Art – Part II of II: Paul Beel

In the words of one writer, “Paul Beel received his BFA and MFA from the School of Art at Bowling Green State University, Ohio. He did Post-Baccalaureate work at Studio Art Centers International, Florence, Italy, where he later taught painting and drawing. He has had solo shows in Venice, Milan, Florence, Mantova, as well as in the US, and group shows in Spain, Germany, San Marino, Switzerland and throughout Italy. Paul Beel is represented by is Bonelli Arte Contemporanea in Mantova. He lives and works in Florence.”

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