12 October 2017 – Beleaguered in Bothell

Musings in Autumn: May Sarton

“One has only to set a loved human being against the fact that we are all in peril all the time to get back a sense of proportion. What does anything matter compared to the reality of love and its span, so brief at best, maintained against such odds?”


This Date in Art History: Died 12 October 1654 – Carel Pietersz Fabritius, a Dutch painter and a pupil of Rembrandt.

Below – “The Sentry”


Remembering a Great American Scholar on the Date of His Birth: Born 12 October 1910 – Robert Stuart Fitzgerald, a poet, critic, and translator of ancient Greek and Latin classics.

Some quotes from the work of Robert Stuart Fitzgerald:

“Poetry is at least an elegance and at most a revelation.”
“Sing in me, Muse, and through me tell the story.”
“Electronic brains may help us to use our heads but will not excuse us from that duty, and as to our hearts-cardiograms cannot diagnose what may be most ill about them, or confirm what may be best. The faithful woman and the versatile brave man, the wakeful intelligence open to inspiration or grace – these are still exemplary for our kind, as they always were and always will be.”
“I think it was lucky that during most of the work on the Odyssey I lived on Homer’s sea in houses that were, in one case, shaken by the impact of the Mediterranean winter storms on the rocks below.”
“Yes, and there were changes of light on landscapes and changes of direction of the wind and the force of the wind and weather. That whole scene is too important in Homer to neglect.”
“Is encouragement what the poet needs? Open question. Maybe he needs discouragement. In fact, quite a few of them need more discouragement, the most discouragement possible.”


This Date in Art History: Died 12 October 1875 – Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux, a French sculptor and painter.

Below – “The Dance”; “The Triumph of Flora”


Worth a Thousand Words: The Russian Steppe in winter.


Art in Autumn – Part I of III: Loren D. Adams (American, contemporary)

Below – “Dream Caused by Clouds That Resemble Animals on a Moonlit Night”; “Council of the Nine”; “Sun Lady”

I think that it is occasionally necessary to expand our imaginative horizons with music.

Art in Autumn – Part II of III: David Adickes (American, contemporary)

Below – “Lady in White Hat”

A Poem for Today
“Daisies”
By Mary Oliver

It is possible, I suppose that sometime
we will learn everything
there is to learn: what the world is, for example,
and what it means. I think this as I am crossing
from one field to another, in summer, and the
mockingbird is mocking me, as one who either
knows enough already or knows enough to be
perfectly content not knowing. Song being born
of quest he knows this: he must turn silent
were he suddenly assaulted with answers. Instead

oh hear his wild, caustic, tender warbling ceaselessly
unanswered. At my feet the white-petalled daisies display
the small suns of their center piece, their — if you don’t
mind my saying so — their hearts. Of course
I could be wrong, perhaps their hearts are pale and
narrow and hidden in the roots. What do I know?
But this: it is heaven itself to take what is given,
to see what is plain; what the sun lights up willingly;
for example — I think this
as I reach down, not to pick but merely to touch —
the suitability of the field for the daisies, and the
daisies for the field.


Art in Autumn – Part III of III: Cyrus Afsary (Iranian, contemporary)

Below – “Gypsy Girl”


Musings in Autumn: Jack Kerouac

“The only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars.”


Contemporary Canadian Art – Ross Penhall

In the words of one writer, “Nature as shaped and redefined by human hands is the focus of Ross Penhall’s captivating yet enigmatic paintings. His work depicts enchanting, manicured, urban landscapes – groomed lawns, shaped shrubbery, pruned trees – all arranged in eye- pleasing symmetry that speaks of a serene, orderly world.
Drawing upon the influences of such notable painters as Thomas Hart Benton, Georgia O’Keefe, Grant Wood and Emily Carr, Penhall has taken his own turn enhancing the enhancements. He flattens, stylizes and simplifies forms, embellishes colors and exaggerates contrasts. The result is a make-believe, somewhat unreal landscape that although compelling, serves as a gentle reminder that nature is never static, and man’s imprint is transitory unless vigilantly maintained.
Penhall credits the work of artists A. J. Casson and the Group of Seven, Edward Hopper, Grant Wood and Wayne Thiebaud for inspiring his quest to explore the architectural space and light of the landscape. Additionally, the rhythmic shapes and colours in the work of Georgia O’Keefe have also been a strong influence. Nevertheless, the greatest influence on Penhall’s life and art has been living in the high-contrast hillsides of Vancouver’s North Shore.”

Below – “The Sound”; “From the Train”; “The Puzzle”; “Inside Passage, Study”; “Forest and Field”; “Five Acre Lot.”

A Second Poem for Today

“I Believe”
By Jim Harrison

I believe in steep drop-offs, the thunderstorm across the lake
in 1949, cold winds, empty swimming pools,
the overgrown path to the creek, raw garlic,
used tires, taverns, saloons, bars, gallons of red wine,
abandoned farmhouses, stunted lilac groves,
gravel roads that end, brush piles, thickets, girls
who haven’t quite gone totally wild, river eddies,
leaky wooden boats, the smell of used engine oil,
turbulent rivers, lakes without cottages lost in the woods,
the primrose growing out of a cow skull, the thousands
of birds I’ve talked to all of my life, the dogs
that talked back, the Chihuahuan ravens that follow
me on long walks. The rattler escaping the cold hose,
the fluttering unknown gods that I nearly see
from the left corner of my blind eye, struggling
to stay alive in a world that grinds them underfoot.

Below – Jim Harrison (1937-2016)


Contemporary American Art – Jason Rohlf

Artist Statement: “I think in the Information Age, I want people to see real things, things that people make with their hands. It’s so easy to say you’ve seen something, like on YouTube or Tumblr. I just want to create something real in the world.”

Below – “Fortune Teller #3”; “Plume”; “Spanned”; “Conflation”; “Preside”; “Array.”

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