Musings in Autumn: Kenneth Grahame
“Home! That was what they meant, those caressing appeals, Those soft touches wafted through the air, those invisible little hands pulling and tugging, all one way.”
This Date in Art History: Born 8 October 1860 – John Dickson Batten, English illustrator and painter.
Below – “Illustration of ‘Europa’s Fairy Book’” (1916)
Below – “Boy with Bread”
Some quotes from “Tom Jones”:
“Reader, I think proper, before we proceed any further together, to acquaint thee that I intend to digress, through this whole history, as often as I see occasion, of which I am myself a better judge than any pitiful critic whatever; and here I must desire all those critics to mind their own business, and not to intermeddle with affairs or works which no ways concern them; for till they produce the authority by which they are constituted judges, I shall not plead to their jurisdiction.”
“Men who are ill-natured and quarrelsome when drunk are very worthy persons when sober. For drink in reality doth not reverse nature or create passions in men which did not exist in them before. It takes away the guard of reason and consequently forces us to produce those symptoms which many when sober have art enough to conceal.”
“There are a set of religious, or rather moral writers, who teach that virtue is the certain road to happiness, and vice to misery, in this world. A very wholesome and comfortable doctrine, and to which we have but one objection, namely, that it is not true.”
“The citadel of Jones was now taken by surprise. All those considerations of honour and prudence which our heroe had lately with so much military wisdom placed as guards over the avenues of his heart, ran away from their posts, and the god of love marched in, in triumph.”
“Comfort me by a solemn Assurance, that when the little Parlour in which I sit at this Instant, shall be reduced to a worse furnished Box, I shall be read, with Honour, by those who never knew nor saw me, and whom I shall neither know nor see.”
This Date in Art History: Born 8 October 1947 – Stephen Shore, American photographer.
Below – Three examples of Stephen Shore’s work.
Worth a Thousand Words: 24 May 1869 – John Wesley Powell and his crew prepare to begin their expedition into the Grand Canyon on the Colorado River.
This Date in Art History: Died 8 October 1897 – Alexei Savrasov, Russian landscape painter.
Below – “Winter”; “The Rooks Have Come Back”; “Winter Night”
Some quotes from the work of Diane Ackerman:
“I don’t want to get to the end of my life and find that I have just lived the length of it. I want to have lived the width of it as well.”
“Look at your feet. You are standing in the sky. When we think of the sky, we tend to look up, but the sky actually begins at the earth. We walk through it, yell into it, rake leaves, wash the dog, and drive cars in it. We breathe it deep within us. With every breath, we inhale millions of molecules of sky, heat them briefly, and then exhale them back into the world.”
“When I set a glass prism on a windowsill and allow the sun to flood through it, a spectrum of colors dances on the floor. What we call ‘white’ is a rainbow of colored rays packed into a small space. The prism sets them free. Love is the white light of emotion.”
“It began in mystery, and it will end in mystery, but what a savage and beautiful country lies in between.”
“Wonder is the heaviest element on the periodic table. Even a tiny fleck of it stops time.”
“Words are small shapes in the gorgeous chaos of the world.”
“Who would deduce the dragonfly from the larva, the iris from the bud, the lawyer from the infant? …We are all shape-shifters and magical reinventors. Life is really a plural noun, a caravan of selves.”
“I don’t want to be a passenger in my own life.”
“When I go biking, I repeat a mantra of the day’s sensations: bright sun, blue sky, warm breeze, blue jay’s call, ice melting and so on. This helps me transcend the traffic, ignore the clamorings of work, leave all the mind theaters behind and focus on nature instead. I still must abide by the rules of the road, of biking, of gravity. But I am mentally far away from civilization. The world is breaking someone else’s heart.”
“I’m an Earth ecstatic, and my creed is simple: All life is sacred, life loves life, and we are capable of improving our behavior toward one another. As basic as that is, for me it’s also tonic and deeply spiritual, glorifying the smallest life-form and embracing the most distant stars.”
This Date in Art History: Died 8 October 1963 – Remedios Varo Uranga, Spanish-Mexican surrealist painter.
Below – “Useless Science, or The Alchemist”
“Adventures may be for the adventurous, but home is where the real things are sown and reaped, where in the end the real things happen.”
In the words of one writer, “Internationally acclaimed sculptor and printmaker Francisco Zuniga was born in Costa Rica. Zuniga studied drawing, stone sculpture, and engraving at the School of Fine Arts in San Jose. Later, in 1936, Zuniga studied stone carving at La Esmeralda in Mexico City. Zuniga’s art reflects a love and respect for Central American people and traditions. As a complement to Zuniga’s emotionally powerful sculpture, Zuniga’s prints articulate the sensitivity and sensuality of the human figure. He has been the recipient of numerous international prizes and awards.”
Below – “Chamulas Rojo”; “Mujer Sentada” (wood sculpture); “Grupo de Mujeres”; “Campesinos”; “Woman in the Market II”; “Impressions of Egypt” (one of a suite of ten lithographs).
By Jim Harrison
I love these raw moist dawns with
a thousand birds you hear but can’t
quite see in the mist.
My old alien body is a foreigner
struggling to get into another country.
The loon call makes me shiver.
Back at the cabin I see a book
and am not quite sure what that is.
Below – Matthias-Haker: “Golden Morning”
In the words of one writer, “Tim Yanke was born in Detroit in 1962 as the youngest of six siblings. Yanke’s fascination with Southwest American began to take hold in 1974 during his visits to see his sister at Northern Arizona University. It was at this time that his parents encouraged him to pursue his artistic inklings. The unfortunate passing of his sister a couple of years later deepened his love for the Southwest as it reminded him of her, and he used this love and passion to grow as an artist.”
Below – “Lone Coyote”; “Yankee Doodle”; “The Wind Blows”; “Big Thunder”; “Four Directions”; “Kokopelli.”