Beleaguered in Bothell – 9 February 2018

Musings in Winter: Jules Verne

“I believe cats to be spirits come to earth. A cat, I am sure, could walk on a cloud without coming through.”

Below – Karen Comber: “Gathering Clouds”

Art for Winter – Part I of III: Leon Roulette (American, contemporary)

Below – “Vineyards at Valle D’Aosta”; “Gladiolas”; “Lake Como”

Remembering a Writer on the Date of His Death: Died 9 February 1881 – Fyodor Dostoyevsky, a Russian novelist, short story writer, essayist, journalist, philosopher, and author of “Crime and Punishment” and “The Brothers Karamazov.”

Some quotes from the work of Fyodor Dostoyevsky:

“To go wrong in one’s own way is better than to go right in someone else’s.”
“Man only likes to count his troubles; he doesn’t calculate his happiness.”
“The soul is healed by being with children.”
“‘I love mankind,’ he said, ‘but I find to my amazement that the more I love mankind as a whole, the less I love man in particular.’”
“Nothing in this world is harder than speaking the truth, nothing easier than flattery.”
“You can be sincere and still be stupid.”
“It is not the brains that matter most, but that which guides them — the character, the heart, generous qualities, progressive ideas.”

Art for Winter – Part II of III: Rubin Ruiz (Dominican Republic, contemporary)

Below – “Yellow Orchid”; “Sunset at the Ferry”; “Fresh Beauty”

For Your Information: 9 February is both National Pizza Day and National Bagel Day in the United States.

Art for Winter – Part III of III: Susan Ryder (British, contemporary)

Below – “Breakfast Room”; “The Card Table”; “Morning Room Sunlight”

Remembering a Writer on the Date of Her Birth: Born 9 February 1944 – Alice Walker, an American novelist, short story writer, poet, activist, and author of “The Color Purple,” which won both the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.

“When You See Water”
by Alice Walker

When you see water in a stream
you say: oh, this is stream
When you see water in the river
you say: oh, this is water
of the river;
When you see ocean
you say: This is the ocean’s
But actually water is always
only itself
and does not belong
to any of these containers
though it creates them.
And so it is with you.

This Date in Art History: Died 9 February 1891 – Johan Barthold Jongkind, a Dutch painter.

Below – “Along the Ourcq”; “Balin”; “The Beach at Sainte Address”; “Bridge”; “Cliffs”; “Garden Gate.”

Remembering a Writer on the Date of His Birth: Born 9 February 1867 – Natsume Soseki, a Japanese novelist, poet, and author of “Kokoro” and “Botchan.”

Some quotes from the work of Natsume Soseki:

“I believe that words uttered in passion contain a greater living truth than do those words which express thoughts rationally conceived. It is blood that moves the body. Words are not meant to stir the air only: they are capable of moving greater things.”
“You seem to be under the impression that there is a special breed of bad humans. There is no such thing as a stereotype bad man in this world. Under normal conditions, everybody is more or less good, or, at least, ordinary. But tempt them, and they may suddenly change. That is what is so frightening about men.”
“I do not want your admiration now, because I do not want your insults in the future. I bear with my loneliness now, in order to avoid greater loneliness in the years ahead. You see, loneliness is the price we have to pay for being born in this modern age, so full of freedom, independence, and our own egotistical selves.”
“Use your intellect to guide you, and you will end up putting people
off. Rely on your emotions, and you will forever be pushed around.
Force your will on others, and you will live in constant tension. There
is no getting around it—people are hard to live with.”
“Watch birth and death:
The lotus has already
Opened its flower.”
“Like the first whiff of burning incense, or like the taste of one’s first cup of saké, there is in love that moment when all its power is felt.”
“Over the wintry
forest, winds howl in rage
with no leaves to blow.”

This Date in Art History: Died 9 February 2013 – Richard Artschwager, an American painter, illustrator, and sculptor.

Below – “Meadows & Mountains”; “Hair Box” (sculpture); “Weaving I”; “Trent”; “Group Portrait”; “Interior #1.”

Worth a Thousand Words: Wildflowers near Nederland, Colorado.

German Art – G.H. Rothe (1935-2007)

In the words of one writer, “Born as the daughter of a master goldsmith, G.H. Rothe grew up at Wiedenbrück a small town in the heart of Germany. Her first training was of a technical kind consisting of the drawing and goldsmithery practiced in her family. Shortly after finishing her studies of painting and art history she was awarded with the Villa-Romana-Prize which enabled her to live and work in Florence, Italy for a year. Her study trips included Paris, London, Vienna, Moscow, Madrid and Uruguay before she settled first in New York and later in Carmel, California. Museums all over the world appreciate her work. Rothe masters nearly all painting techniques but for the most suitable form of expression her choice is the technique of the mezzotint which is centuries old, skillful and rarely used.”

Below – “Front View”; “Red Dress”; “Mindscape”; “Youth”; “Moss Landing, California”; “Manitou.”

Remembering a Writer on the Date of His Death: Died 9 February 1979 – Allen Tate, an American poet, essayist, and social commentator.

by Allen Tate

When you are come by ways emptied of light
You’ll say goodby, in that indifferent gloom,
To the quick draughts of old, yet with polite
Anguish of pride recall as an heirloom
A dawn when stars dropped gold about your head
And, so amazed, you knew not were you dead.

For, brother, know that this is art, and you
With a cold incautious sorrow stricken dumb,
Have your own vanishing slit of light let through,
Passionate as winter, where only a few may come:
Not idiots in the street find out the lees
In the last drink of dying Socrates.

Contemporary Polish Art – Tomasz Rut: Part I of II

In the words of one writer, “Tomasz Rut was born in Zabrze in 1968. At the age of eleven, his first drawings, collected by his mother frequently from his school notebooks in lieu of good school grades were exhibited at a solo gallery show, receiving a write-up in Warsaw Daily. Even at that early stage, young Tomasz’s exploration, often satirical, of humanity and his search for an artistic expression, echoing a variety of familiar modern renditions and classical themes, is abundantly clear. In 1988-93 he studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Cracow, and in 1991-92 at the Academy of Arts in Nuremberg. The subjects of Rut’s paintings, whether a figure, horse, or object, is at the center of every work, surrounded by compressed space with few background details to distract from the subject.”

Below – “Il Momento”; “Leda Nova”; “Dance”; “Intermezzo”; “Invictus”; “Eternity.”

Remembering a Nobel Laureate on the Date of His Birth: Born 9 February 1940 – J. M. Coetzee, a South African novelist, essayist, linguist, translator, and recipient of the 2003 Nobel Prize in Literature. Coetzee relocated to Australia in 2002 and became an Australian citizen in 2006.

Some quotes from the work of J. M. Coetzee

“The secret of happiness is not doing what we like but in liking what we do.”
“A book should be an axe to chop open the frozen sea inside us.”
“We must cultivate, all of us, a certain ignorance, a certain blindness, or society will not be tolerable.”
“Perhaps; but I am a difficult person to live with. My difficulty consists in not wanting to live with other people.”
“One thought alone preoccupies the submerged mind of Empire: how not to end, how not to die, how to prolong its era. By day it pursues its enemies. It is cunning and ruthless, it sends its bloodhounds everywhere. By night it feeds on images of disaster: the sack of cities, the rape of populations, pyramids of bones, acres of desolation.”
“Poetry speaks to you either at first sight or not at all. A flash of revelation and a flash of response.”
“I want to find a way of speaking to fellow human beings that will be cool rather than heated, philosophical rather than polemical, that will bring enlightenment rather than seeking to divide us into the righteous and the sinners, the saved and the damned, the sheep and the goats.”

Contemporary Polish Art – Tomasz Rut: Part II of II

In the words of one writer, “Artist Tomasz Rut voted in 1999 by the Robb Report to be one of the most collectible artists in the United States. Evoking the passion of Michelangelo, the subtlety of Carravaggio and the flamboyance of Rubens, his artwork resurrects the dormant classical tradition of painting in a XXI century tribute to the perseverance of the human ability and spirit, which transcends the ebbs and flows of modern fashions.”

Below – “Missa Breve”; ““Hesperide”; “Ex Auro”; “Caritas”; “Veil of Truth”; “Girl with Violin.”

Remembering a Writer on the Date of Her Birth: Born 9 February 1874 – Amy Lowell, an American poet, critic, and recipient of the 1926 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry (awarded posthumously).

by Amy Lowell

Life is a stream
On which we strew
Petal by petal the flower of our heart;
The end lost in dream,
They float past our view,
We only watch their glad, early start.

Freighted with hope,
Crimsoned with joy,
We scatter the leaves of our opening rose;
Their widening scope,
Their distant employ,
We never shall know. And the stream as it flows
Sweeps them away,
Each one is gone
Ever beyond into infinite ways.
We alone stay
While years hurry on,
The flower fared forth, though its fragrance still stays.

Contemporary American Art – Colleen Ross

In the words of one writer, “Colleen Ross was born in Maumee, Ohio and began painting at the age of fifteen. She attended Bowling Green State University, where she earned a B.S. in art education with a specialty in painting. Colleen Ross’s work has always celebrated the nostalgic, reflecting her love of the classic movies of the ’40s and ’50s. She executes her work with visible, energetic brush strokes and vibrant, emotional use of color.”

Below – “Tangerine Dream”; “45 Minutes from Broadway”; “Moments”; “Sunset Boulevard”; “After Midnight”; “Cherry Blossom.”

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