From the Pacific Northwest – Part LXV

Musings in Winter: A. G. Roemmers

“If you feel alone, and if your heart is pure and your eyes still shine with the wonder of a child’s, perhaps as you read these pages you’ll find that the stars are smiling on you once more, that you can hear them as though they were five hundred million little bells.”

Art for Winter – Part I of IV: Evgeny Zaremba (Russian, contemporary)

Below – “Earth,” from the “Vessels” series.

Musings in Winter: Bryant McGill

“People on corporate conveyor belts, like animals in slaughter-chutes are all part of the same big massacre of joy.”

Art for Winter – Part II of IV: Alexander Kabin (Russian, contemporary)

Below – “Halo”

A Poem for Today

“Poet of an Ordinary Heartbreak”
By Chris Abani

Who hasn’t been tempted by the sharp edge of a knife?
An ordinary knife cutting ordinary tomatoes on
an ordinary slab of wood on an ordinary Wednesday.
The knife nicks, like a bite to the soul. A reminder
that what is contemplated is as real as the blood
sprouting from a finger. As real as a bruised eye.
Instead turn back to the meat stewing on the stove.
Scrape pulpy red flesh into the heat and turn.
Say: even this is a prayer. Even this.

Art for Winter – Part III of IV: Aleksandr Zagoskin (Russian, contemporary)

Below – “Druids. The dream”

Musings in Winter: Ann Wroe

“It was generally believed, said Theophilus, that Orpheus learned his music from the birds. His small voice, piping after theirs, filled with all the secret stories of the earth.”

Art for Winter – Part IV of IV: Carl Oscar Borg (American, 1879-1947)

Below – “Cooking Supper”

A Second Poem for Today

“Alexandr Blok”
By David St. John

One snowy night I was smiled upon by Russian gods
          & found myself at dinner opposite

The Moscow scholars a married couple—he only
          the world’s authority on Pasternak

& she the final word on her beloved Alexandr Blok
          & as we talked the evening gathered 

Along the length of the white table & I could only keep
          drinking the conversation in so deeply

I felt myself reaching back into the dark century & at last
          I got up to leave in my black cashmere

Overcoat I’d found hanging on the back rack of a Venice
          thrift store & became just another shadow

About to slide wordlessly into the night & yes it’s true
          it was snowing just in upstate New York
        
Not Moscow or St. Petersburg nor in any ancient page 
          yet to anyone who saw me walking

I imagined myself as the most lyrical shadow alive

Musings in Winter: Walter Farley

“Yet when books have been read and reread, it boils down to the horse, his human companion, and what goes on between them.”

Russian Art – Part I of II: Yulia Zaretskaya

In the words of one writer, “The artist was born in 1965 in Leningrad. From her early childhood she showed a gift in drawing. Her studying was always easy: after graduating from the Art School at the Academy of Fine Arts, she decided to continue education at the Graphic Department of the Academy (studio of Vladimir Vetrogonsky). The choice was well considered: the Graphic Department, unlike the Department of Easel Painting, seemed more artistic and free-spirited. There she got into lithography , a spectacular technique that allows creating both subtle graphic and gray-scale images. In 1989 she received her Diploma and joined the Union of Artists.
Now, her main criterion for an art work quality is its fullness and completeness of expression, and absence of a self-contained story and literariness. The genre of landscape as no other allows her to reveal the image without any verbal interpretations. Perhaps that is why her works are filled with abstract and pensive melancholy and deep personal mood.”

Below – “Roof”; “Street in the Evening”; “Still Life”; “Landscape with a Tower”; “Evening Landscape.”

Musings in Winter: Buck Brannaman

“The horse is a great equalizer, he doesn’t care how good looking you are, or how rich you are or how powerful you are– he takes you for how you make him feel.”

Russian Art – Part II of II: Sergey Yashin

In the words of one writer, “Sergey Yashin was born on October 22, 1963 in Krasnodar. In 1983 he graduated from Krasnodar Art College. He has been an active member of the Russian Union of Artists since 1991. He later became a management member of the Krasnodar organization of the Russian Union of Artists and vice-chairman of the Russian Union of Artists for exhibitions from 1996 to 1998. He won several awards from 2008 to 2011: in 2008 a silver medal from the Russian Academy of Arts, in 2011 a medal named after Shuvalov of The Russian Academy of Arts, and in 2012 he received a diploma of the 10th Interregional Professional Fine Art Contest “Biennial-2011”, winner of the 1st prize named after Cay in the regional modern art contest.”

Below – “Back”; “Aphrodite”; “Still Life with Horse”; “Old Samurai”; “Olga”; “Tsarvsch Iva, and He is the Wolf.”

A Third Poem for Today

“My Doubt”
By Jane Hirshfield

I wake, doubt, beside you,
like a curtain half-open.

I dress doubting,
like a cup 
undecided if it has been dropped.

I eat doubting,
work doubting,
go out to a dubious cafe with skeptical friends.

I go to sleep doubting myself,
as a herd of goats
sleep in a suddenly gone-quiet truck.

I dream you, doubt,
nightly—
for what is the meaning of dreaming
if not that all we are while inside it
is transient, amorphous, in question?

Left hand and right hand,
doubt, you are in me,
throwing a basketball, guiding my knife and my fork.
Left knee and right knee,
we run for a bus,
for a meeting that surely will end before we arrive.

I would like
to grow content in you, doubt,
as a double-hung window
settles obedient into its hidden pulleys and ropes.

I doubt I can do so:
your own counterweight governs my nights and my days.

As the knob of hung lead holds steady
the open mouth of a window,
you hold me,
my kneeling before you resistant, stubborn,
offering these furious praises
I can’t help but doubt you will ever be able to hear.

Musings in Winter: Cormac McCarthy

“I had no say in the matter. Every moment in your life is a turning and every one a choosing. Somewhere you made a choice. All followed to this. The accounting is scrupulous. The shape is drawn. No line can be erased. I had no belief in your ability to move a coin to your bidding. How could you? A person’s path through the world seldom changes and even more seldom will it change abruptly. And the shape of your path was visible from the beginning.”

American Art – Part I of III: Edward Borein

In the words of one writer, “Edward J. Borein b. 1872 California d. 1945 Santa Barbara, CA. Raised in San Leandro, a western cow town, he began sketching at the age of 5 and continued drawing as a working cowboy from age 17-19.
Later he became friends with Charlie Russell, Will Rogers and President Teddy Roosevelt. By 1907, leaving his illustration career in San Francisco, he studied etching at the Art Student’s League and opened a studio in New York City.
Never feeling at home in NY, he moved with his wife to Santa Barbara in 1921, where he also had a studio; and taught art at the Santa Barbara School of Art. Borein is highly regarded because he painted and drew what he saw accurately and not romanticized.”

Below – “Mexican Charro” (etching); “Mexican Cowboy” (watercolor); “Rearing Back” (etching).

Musings in Winter: Attributed to Crowfoot (ca. 1830-1890), Chief of the Canadian Blackfoot tribe.

“What is life?
It is the flash of a firefly in the night.
It is the breath of a buffalo in the wintertime.
It is the little shadow which runs across
the grass and loses itself in the sunset.”

American Art – Part II of III: Alexander Selytin

In the words of one writer, “Alexander ‘Sasha’ Selytin was born in the small Russian town of Zolotuchino. His father loved art and encouraged his son to pursue an artistic career. Selytin was fascinated with painting from an early age. He left his first masterpieces on fences, the walls of his parents’ apartment, and the pages of his schoolbooks. In 1978 he entered the Art School in Zeleznogorsk, Russia. After years of training he graduated with an art teacher’s diploma with honors. Beginning his professional career as a teacher, Selytin also worked for various institutions as a commissioned painter. He was then accepted to the most prestigious art school in Russia, The Academy of Fine Arts, entering at the top of his class in 1989. During this time, he had several paintings selected for student exhibitions in Moscow and New York. in 1990, Selytin moved to the western United States. He was motivated by the Native American culture and in his unique way he started working on related subjects. Still life images of Indian moccasins, Indian headdress and Anasazi pottery have been his main interest. Selytin’s work can be found in many private collections across the nation as well as the permanent collection of Springville Museum of Art and the Huntsman’s Medical Center.”

Below – “The Ancient Ones”; “Blue Horse”; “War and Peace”; “Red Rock”; “Mystery of the Medicine Man”; “Four Pairs.”

Musings in Winter: Sindiwe Magona

“As far back as I can remember, there has always been a place to which I belonged with a certainty that nothing has been able to take from me. When I say place, that means less a geographical locality and more a group of people with whom I am connected and to whom I belong.”

Below – Standing by the sea with my youngest son and two of our dogs in Mendocino, California.

American Art – Part II of III: Alexander Selytin

In the words of one writer, “Alexander ‘Sasha’ Selytin was born in the small Russian town of Zolotuchino. His father loved art and encouraged his son to pursue an artistic career. Selytin was fascinated with painting from an early age. He left his first masterpieces on fences, the walls of his parents’ apartment, and the pages of his schoolbooks. In 1978 he entered the Art School in Zeleznogorsk, Russia. After years of training he graduated with an art teacher’s diploma with honors. Beginning his professional career as a teacher, Selytin also worked for various institutions as a commissioned painter. He was then accepted to the most prestigious art school in Russia, The Academy of Fine Arts, entering at the top of his class in 1989. During this time, he had several paintings selected for student exhibitions in Moscow and New York. in 1990, Selytin moved to the western United States. He was motivated by the Native American culture and in his unique way he started working on related subjects. Still life images of Indian moccasins, Indian headdress and Anasazi pottery have been his main interest. Selytin’s work can be found in many private collections across the nation as well as the permanent collection of Springville Museum of Art and the Huntsman’s Medical Center.”

Below – “The Ancient Ones”; “Blue Horse”; “War and Peace”; “Red Rock”; “Mystery of the Medicine Man”; “Four Pairs.”

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