From the Pacific Northwest – Part LXVI

Musings in Winter: M. P. Zarrella

“Nature is cheaper than therapy.”

Art for Winter – Part I of III: Bruce Cheever (American, contemporary)

Below – “Autumn, Clear Creek Falls”

Musings in Winter: Buck Brannaman

“Think of the horse as your partner, and it’s all one great dance.
That’s not to say it’s always going to be easy or you won’t have to work through issues.
But when a horse is troubled or uncomfortable in our world, rather than show contempt for him, you must demonstrate empathy and work to convince him that you mean him no harm.
You have some things that you’d like him to do ‘with you’, as opposed to ‘for you’- and the best way to do that is as partners.”

Art for Winter – Part II of III: Steve Clement (American, contemporary)

Below – “Why I Love The West”

A Poem for Today

“Darkening, Then Brightening”
By Kim Addonizio

The sky keeps lying to the farmhouse,
lining up its heavy clouds
above the blue table umbrella,
then launching them over the river. 
And the day feels hopeless
until it notices a few trees
dropping delicately their white petals
on the grass beside the birdhouse
perched on its wooden post,
the blinking fledglings stuffed inside
like clothes in a tiny suitcase. At first
you wandered lonely through the yard
and it was no help knowing Wordsworth
felt the same, but then Whitman
comforted you a little, and you saw
the grass as uncut hair, yearning
for the product to make it shine.
Now you lie on the couch beneath the skylight,
the sky starting to come clean,
mixing its cocktail of sadness and dazzle,
a deluge and then a digging out
and then enough time for one more
dance or kiss before it starts again,
darkening, then brightening.
You listen to the tall wooden clock
in the kitchen: its pendulum clicks
back and forth all day, and it chimes
with a pure sound, every hour on the hour,
though it always mistakes the hour.

Musings in Winter: Peter Rees

“History will see this as the residential commodification era, in which housing provision seemed to lose all contact between supply and demand of housing as a utility and simply focused on supply and demand of investment — and that is worrying.
Investment is good for the economy, but the investment you want is investment that goes into creating homes, workplaces and infrastructure, not investing in owning them and inflating asset prices.”

Art for Winter – Part III of III: Michael Coleman (American, contemporary)

Below – “Indian in Winter”

Musings in Winter: Richard Adams

“I dislike this whole business of experimentation on animals, unless there’s some very good and altogether exceptional reason to this very case. The thing that gets me is that it’s not possible for the animals to understand why they are being called upon to suffer. They don’t suffer for their own good or benefit at all, and I often wonder how far it’s for anyone’s. They’re given no choice, and there is no central authority responsible for deciding whether what’s done is morally justifiable. These experiment animals are just sentient objects; they’re useful because they are able to react; sometimes precisely because they’re able to feel fear and pain. And they’re used as if they were electric light bulbs or boots. What it comes to is that whereas there used to be human and animal slaves, now there are just animal slaves. They have no legal rights or choices in the matter.”

Contemporary Russian Art – Part I of II: Sorin Sorin

In the words of one writer, “Academically trained at the Repin National Art Academy, Sorin developed his eloquent European realistic style of painting. Along with being a successful artist, his talents are called upon by the country’s museums as a professional restorer.”

Below – “Stormy Tide”; “Venice Modern”; “Afterglow”; “Illuminated Bistro”; “Early Morning Serenity”; “Saint Jean Baptiste de Belleville.”

A Second Poem for Today

“Time Passes”
By Joy Ladin

Time too is afraid of passing, is riddled with holes
through which time feels itself leaking.
Time sweats in the middle of the night
when all the other dimensions are sleeping.
Time has lost every picture of itself as a child.
Now time is old, leathery and slow.
Can’t sneak up on anyone anymore,
Can’t hide in the grass, can’t run, can’t catch.
Can’t figure out how not to trample
what it means to bless.

Musings in Winter: Tom Spanhauer

“For the most part, I’d say if you crossed a cat with a smart dog, made him a matriarchal vegetarian, gave him sleek beauty, a mass of muscle, and the desire to run, then what you’d have is a horse.”

Contemporary Russian Art – Part II of II: Marina Federova

In the words of one writer, “Fedorova has firmly established herself both nationally and internationally as an emerging young Russian artist. Consequently to graduating from the Stirliz Fine Art School in St. Petersburg in 1996, Fedorova, simultaneously to participating in numerous solo and group exhibitions continued to pursue artistic study at a further fine art academy, N. K Rerich. This allowed her to specifically focus her study on design and graphics, as the Rerich Academy is nationally known for its design department, from which the alumni is exceptional.”

Below – “Clothes”; “Attraction #2”; “Sunday Morning”; “Reflection”; “Kids”; “Morning”; “Girl With No Shadow.”

A Third Poem for Today

“Recall the Carousel”
By Laura Kasischke

Recall the carousel. Its round and round.
Its pink lights blinking off and on.
The children’s faces painted garish colors against
an institutional wall. And the genetics. The
‘We won’t be here too long  …    Do not step off  …’
The carousel? Do you recall? As if
we were our own young parents suffering again
after so many hundreds of hours of bliss.
And even the startling fact that
what had always been feared might come to pass:
A familiar sweater in a garbage can.
A surgeon bent over our baby, wearing a mask.
But surely you recall
how happily and for how long
we watched our pretty hostages go round.
They waved at us too many times to count.
Their dancing foals. Their lacquered mares. Even
a blue-eyed hunting hound
was still allowed back then.

Musings in Winter: Keith Miller

“He went to sleep as soon as they’d gone, waking in the middle of the night and walking outside into a sky whose stars hung so low he felt he strolled among them and he could see indeed, so clear the air, the very flames of their inner workings.”

American Art – Part I of II: Walt Curlee

Artist Statement: “Born into a military family, I am the oldest of five boys. I started drawing at an early age. Due to my obsession with doodling, I had a tendency to neglect my school work. After 4 years in the Marine Corps, I acquired my art education at the Art Institute’s of Fort Lauderdale and Atlanta. I work from my home studio and enjoy living the country life in rural Alabama, with my wife Vicki.”

Below – “Rocky Mountain Spring Meadow With Wildflowers”; “Buffalo on the Plains”; “Butterfly and Wildflowers Floral – 2”; “1950 Studebaker Champion”; “Egret”; “Two Cats Staring.”

Musings in Winter: Jenna Butler

“If I lived anywhere else for the sheer love of it, it would only be farther and farther north, chasing the boreal up to the Yukon or the Northwest Territories. There’s something about living beside a great stretch of forest, both as participant and as witness, that is endlessly absorbing, at once enchanting and distressing. The former because there are vistas and qualities of light in the spaces of the everyday that are otherworldly, requiring an absolute halting of all activity and an undivided attention to just ‘that ‘light at ‘that’ time. The latter because there is an incredible amount to learn to feel as though you have some small right to be here, holding fast on the patch of ground you stand on.”

American Art – Part II of II: Troy Collins

In the words of one writer, “A native of Montana, Troy Collins called Idaho home for twelve years during an intensive painting apprenticeship in the studio of master artist, Robert Moore. ‘I have spent many hours studying and painting with Robert on location and in the studio, and it is this wealth of knowledge and experience that forms my landscape oil paintings today.’
Residing in Hamilton, Montana, Troy creates canvases with energy and insight from his studio nestled in the middle of the Bitterroot Mountain Range. As a nationally renowned artist, Troy’s paintings now grace the halls of the Pentagon, the US Ambassador to the UK’s home, as well as many other locations throughout the United States.”

Below – “Azul”; “Good Moon on the Rise”; “Mountain Daydream”; “Winter Calm”; “Summer Grove”; “Untitled Winter.”

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