From the Pacific Northwest – Part XLIII

Happy New Year!

We have just entered the Year of the Rooster on the Lunar Calendar. This is an especially auspicious event for me, since I was born in the Year of the Rooster. In the spirit of the occasion, I hope that all of us have a wonderful year – one that, governed by the pioneering spirit of the Rooster, is filled with joy, prosperity, and adventure.

Art for Winter – Part I of III: Robert Emmet Owen (American, 1878-1957)

Below – “Winter Landscape and River”

Art for Winter – Part II of III: Constance B. Pach (American, contemporary)

Below – “Early Spring” (sculpture)

Art for Winter – Part III of III: Adelaide Palmer (American, 1851-1928)

Below – “Still Life with Oranges”

Canadian Art – Dennis Geden

In the words of one writer, “Dennis Geden is a Canadian artist, born in 1944 in Northern Canada. He is a graduate of Sir George Williams’ School of Art, Montreal 1966. He began his career as a professional fine artist with a critically acclaimed series of solo exhibitions of paintings at La Cimaise Gallery, Toronton, in 1970, ’71 and ’72. Geden has benefited from arts funding grants from the Ontario Arts Council, and the Canada Council for the Arts. He continues to create, and has presented numerous commercial, alternate, and public gallery exhibitions. Dennis Geden spends time between London, UK and Toronto, Canada. He continues to maintain his primary studio in North Bay, Ontario, Canada.”

Russian Art – Part I of II: Ya Nat

Painter Ya Nat is known for her whimsical portraits.

Russian Art – Part II of II: Konstantin Stepuhin

Artist Statement: “Creative work is a real freedom for me, possibility to go away from vanity of vanities. You had noticed, of course, how swiftly the time goes. Creative work slows down its running. As a result, you have got a possibility to enjoy with the definite moment in your life. Every man has got the moment that kept in his mind for all life. And he will remember it, the only unrepeatable moment, even at the last days of his life. This one is what I wanted to announce to anyone about. But how I had managed with it, you should decide yourself.”

American Art – Part I of II: Elliot Offner

In the words of one writer, “Elliot Offner received a B.F.A. and an M.F.A. from Yale University in the 1950s, and in 1960, he joined the faculty at Smith College, where he was later appointed Andrew W. Mellon Professor of the Humanities in 1974. He was a Visiting Artist at Brandeis, Yale, the Royal College of Art in London, and various colleges at Cambridge University. He was a Life Fellow at Clare Hall in Cambridge, and served as president of the National Sculpture Society for three years. In 2007, the Society presented him with the Medal of Honor, its highest award and the first since 1997, for the notable achievement in and encouragement to American sculpture.”

Below – “Minneapolis Heron”; “Bittern” (bas relief); “Spiraling Fish”; “Leaning Crane #1”; “Leaning Heron”; “Rising Crane.”  

American Art – Part II of II: Marianne Caroselli

In the words of one writer, “Marianne has been sculpting and painting for 30 years. Her dedication to art has given her the opportunity to create sculptures in many different themes. Her work ranges from table size to life size with subjects from children, wildlife, horses, westerns and native Americans. All executed with feeling and warmth, never portraying violence. Marianne believes her art work should be peaceful, loving and relaxing, so that it can be enjoyed for a lifetime! Her work is in the collection of many notables, such as Burt Reynolds, Wayne Newton, Byron Nelson, Daniel Stern, Red McCombs, Pat Summerall, Leanin Tree Museum and many corporate collections as well. Her paintings are published as greeting cards by Leanin Tree, prints for a New York firm and calendars for Artists of America and Cowboy Artist. Marianne’s work can be seen in nine galleries in five states.”

Below – “Heritage of the Plains” (bronze); “Pride of the Rockies” (bronze); “Happy Trails” (bronze); “Prairie Legend” (bronze); “An All American” (bronze); “Joy of Womanhood” (bronze).

A Poem for Today

“My Yoko Ono Moment”
By David Trinidad

for Nick Twemlow

It’s annoying
how much
junk mail
comes through
the slot
& accumulates
at the foot
of the stairs

mostly menus
from restaurants
in the neighborhood

endlessly
coming through
the slot

despite the sign
we put on the door:
‘No Advertisements’
‘No Solicitors’

One night
I scoop up the whole pile
on my way out
(as I do periodically)
& dump it
in the trash can
on the corner
of West Broadway & Spring

just as Yoko Ono
happens to be strolling
through SoHo
with a male companion

She watches me
toss the menus

then turns to her friend
& says, “I guess
no one reads those.”

A Second Poem for Today

“Mississippi: Origins”
By Anna Journey

My parents come from a place where all the houses stop
at one story

for the heat. Where every porch—front
and back—simmers in black screens that sieve

mosquitoes from our blood. Where everyone knows
there’s only one kind of tea:

served sweet. The first time my father
introduced my mother to his parents,

his mother made my mother change
the bed sheets in the guest room. She’d believed it

a gesture of intimacy. My grandmother
saved lavender hotel soaps and lotions

to wrap and mail as gifts at Christmas. My grandfather
once shot the head off a rattlesnake

in the gravel driveway of the house he built
in Greenwood. He gave the dry rattle to my mother

the same week I was born, saying, ‘Why don’t you

make something out of it.’

A Third Poem for Today

“No Ticket”
By Jonathan Wells

His clothes were filled with tickets to past events
so he could hear the orchestra tuning up again
and the airplane landing near the diving cliffs

in Acapulco where the boys leapt into the known
unknown in Speedo suits. All travel was continuous.
Time was ceaseless in his pockets. The piano recital

played forever in its aftermath, its tides of notes
surging and retreating according to a lunar mood
for which the children had no table. The matinee

was screened over and over in the balcony of
his thought, specifically the part where the hero
realized he’d been pursuing her and was being

pursued in turn as they reached the precipice
of no regret. And then the fiery night called out
to them and said no ticket would be needed.

A Fourth Poem for Today

“Ghosts and Fashion”
By Elaine Equi

Although it no longer has a body
to cover out of a sense of decorum,

the ghost must still consider fashion—

must clothe its invisibility in something
if it is to “appear” in public.

Some traditional specters favor
the simple shroud—

a toga of ectoplasm
worn Isadora-Duncan-style
swirling around them.

While others opt for lightweight versions
of once familiar tee shirts and jeans.

Perhaps being thought-forms,
they can change their outfits instantly—

or if they were loved ones,
it is we who clothe them
like dolls from memory.

Musings in Winter: Gregory Maguire

“Maybe that’s what growing up means, in the end – you go far enough in the direction of – somewhere – and you realise that you’ve neutered the capacity of the term home to mean anything. […] We don’t get an endless number of orbits away from the place where meaning first arises, that treasure-house of first experiences. What we learn, instead, is that our adventures secure us in our isolation. Experience revokes our license to return to simpler times. Sooner or later, there’s no place remotely like home.”

Musings in Winter: N.K. Jemisin

“Home is what you take with you, not what you leave behind.”

Below – G. Harvey: “Thoughts of Home”

Musings in Winter: Salman Rushdie

“It may be argued that the past is a country from which we have all emigrated, that its loss is part of our common humanity.”

Musings in Winter: Ovid

“All other creatures look down toward the earth, but man was given a face so that might turn his eyes toward the stars and his gaze upon the sky.”

Musings in Winter: Dodie Smith

“Once I really looked at the sky, I wanted to go on looking; it seemed to draw me towards it and make me listen hard, though there was nothing to listen to, not so much as a twig was stirring.”

Musings in Winter: Gustave Flaubert

“Ah! In fact there are two moralities … The petty one, the conventional one, the one devised by men, that keeps changing and bellows so loudly, making a commotion down here among us, in a perfectly pedestrian way … But the other one, the eternal one, is all around and above us, like a landscape that surrounds us and the blue sky that gives us light.”

Musings in Winter: Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson

“Farmers today keep themselves in ignorance of the needs and true nature of pigs precisely because to know would put their conscience in a terrible bind. Willful ignorance of this kind is no better than complicity.”

Musings in Winter: Steve Baldwin

“When the full moon was out the other night, it created one of the most spectacular scenes that I have seen in the Alps. The high glaciers of the Mont Blanc range were glowing an eerie bright blue-white, and they looked like huge ghost ships in the dark ocean of sky, sailing amongst black mountain valleys.
There were no clouds, and the moon was a huge and perfect disc tracking across the sky, shining on different parts of the glaciers through the night.
Looking up, I saw the black silhouette of the mid-altitude mountains below the ethereal shining high-mountain terrain, which created a weird vision: the ghostly glaciers floating, and appearing separate, contrasting sharply with the dark valleys beneath.
The Aiguille Verte especially, being so steep and isolated, seemed almost like a holographic mast with sails, plowing into the rolling waves, chasing after the Mont Blanc summit with its billowing spinnaker.”

Below – Mont Blanc

Musings in Winter: Cormac McCarthy

“Once there were brook trout in the streams in the mountains. You could see them standing in the amber current where the white edges of their fins wimpled softly in the flow. They smelled of moss in your hand. Polished and muscular and torsional. On their backs were vermiculate patterns that were maps of the world in its becoming. Maps and mazes. Of a thing which could not be put back. Not be made right again. In the deep glens where they lived all things were older than man and they hummed of mystery.”

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