American Art – Part I of V: Brad Aldridge
In the words of one writer, “born in 1965, aldridge began his artist’s training at an early age. he remembers wanting to be a professional artist as early as four years of age. years of drawing prepared him to attend college level art classes at the university of arkansas while still in junior high school. he began exhibiting nationally while attending the bachelor of fine arts program at brigham young university. he began his professional career in earnest while attending the university of arkansas’s master of fine arts program. the spiritual resonance one senses from nature seems universal to most cultures and is a timeless belief. aldridge wants the viewer to feel and perhaps re-experience the moments in life when time and place fall away and the spiritual emanations of nature become more palpable. his focus in painting is not so much articulating a specific place, rather, a specific feeling that emanates from that place. his paintings are oil on panel with a subdued palette contrasted with a luminous sky. the frames are mostly designed and hand-crafted by the artist with a specific painting or series of paintings in mind.”
Fancies in Springtime: Abraham Lincoln
“A Klee painting named ‘Angelus Novus’ shows an angel looking as though he is about to move away from something he is fixedly contemplating. His eyes are staring, his mouth is open, his wings are spread. This is how one pictures the angel of history. His face is turned toward the past. Where we perceive a chain of events, he sees one single catastrophe which keeps piling wreckage upon wreckage and hurls it in front of his feet. The angel would like to stay, awaken the dead, and make whole what has been smashed. But a storm is blowing from Paradise; it has got caught in his wings with such violence that the angel can no longer close them. This storm irresistibly propels him into the future to which his back is turned, while the pile of debris before him grows skyward. This storm is what we call progress.” – Walter Benjamin, German literary critic, philosopher, social critic, translator, radio broadcaster, and essayist, who was born 15 July 1892.
Some quotes from the work of Walter Benjamin:
“Separation penetrates the disappearing person like a pigment and steeps him in gentle radiance.”
“You could tell a lot about a man by the books he keeps – his tastes, his interest, his habits.”
“Memory is not an instrument for surveying the past but its theater. It is the medium of past experience, just as the earth is the medium in which dead cities lie buried. He who seeks to approach his own buried past must conduct himself like a man digging.”
“Ideas are to objects as constellations are to stars.”
Fancies in Springtime: Homer
A Poem for Today
By David Allan Evans
They live alone
she with her wide hind
and bird face,
he with his hung belly
They never talk
but keep busy.
Today they are
(each window together)
she on the inside,
he on the outside.
He squirts Windex
at her face,
she squirts Windex
at his face.
Now they are waving
to each other
Fancies in Springtime: Laura Ingalls Wilder
“I can play a man who’s despicable. But I’ll still look inside him to find a point of connection. If I can find that kernel, audiences will relate to me.” – Forest Whitaker, American actor, producer, and director, who was born 15 July 1961.
Forest Whitaker won the Academy Award for Best Actor for his performance as despicable Ugandan dictator Idi Amin in the 2006 film “The Last King of Scotland.”
He can also play a man who’s noble:
Fancies in Springtime: Socrates
American Art – Part II of V: Tom Berg
In the words of one writer, “tom berg is an artist known for his paintings of chairs which have been a focus of his work since his first chair paintings of the late 1970’s. however, his work has also incorporated subjects as varied as farm animals, architecture, clothes lines, swimming pools and hand tools, painted in a manner that moves across modes of landscape painting, still life painting and portraiture. he often paints his subject “en plein aire”, though treated in a manner somewhat skewed from a traditional approach to still life and landscape. the work is characterized by its frontality and emphasis on the picture plane, and the artist’s attention to the geometry of composition, executed with a painterly brush. the focus of the work seems to be more about confrontation and presence than with the identity of the objects portrayed, and the paintings move from humor and irony to contemplation and a kind of pathos.”
Fancies in Springtime: Wendell Berry
“The moment a little boy is concerned with which is a jay and which is a sparrow, he can no longer see the birds or hear them sing.” – Eric Berne, Canadian-born psychiatrist best known as the creator of transactional analysis and the author of “Games People Play: The Psychology of Human Relationships,” who died 15 July 1970.
Some quotes from the work of Eric Berne:
“We are born princes and the civilizing process makes us frogs.”
“Awareness requires living in the here and now, and not in the elsewhere, the past or the future.”
“The eternal problem of the human being is how to structure his waking hours.”
“The destiny of every human being is decided by what goes on inside his skull when confronted by what goes on outside his skull.”
“A loser doesn’t know what he’ll do if he loses but talks about what he’ll do if he wins and a winner doesn’t talk about what he’ll do if he wins but knows what he’ll do if he loses.”
“Society frowns upon candidness, except in privacy; good sense knows that it can always be abused; and the Child fears it because of the unmasking which it involves. Hence in order to get away from the ennui of pastimes without exposing themselves to the dangers of intimacy, most people compromise for games when they are available, and these fill the major part of the more interesting hours of social intercourse. That is the social significance of games.”
Fancies in Springtime: Mary Austin
In the words of one writer, “katherine ace was born in chicago in 1953 and received a ba from knox college, illinois, in 1975. she works in alkyd/oil on canvas. ace’s paintings examine the figure and still life in surreal terms. the paintings synthesize unconscious experience with everyday objects. she has an ongoing fascination with both figurative and still life painting. her work posits, plays with and subverts realism, is deeply involved in contraries and opposites, and has a feminist orientation. katherine finds inspiration in art from ancient times to the present. her work hangs in private, corporate and public collections across the country.”
Fancies in Springtime: Kenneth Grahame
“When the girl returned, some hours later, she carried a tray, with a cup of fragrant tea steaming on it; and a plate piled up with very hot buttered toast, cut thick, very brown on both sides, with the butter running through the holes in great golden drops, like honey from the honeycomb. The smell of that buttered toast simply talked to Toad, and with no uncertain voice; talked of warm kitchens, of breakfasts on bright frosty mornings, of cosy parlour firesides on winter evenings, when one’s ramble was over and slippered feet were propped on the fender, of the purring of contented cats, and the twitter of sleepy canaries.”
A few quotes from the work of Hugo von Hofmannsthal:
“Reality lies in the greatest enchantment you have ever experienced.”
“To be modern means to like antique furniture – and youthful neurosis.”
“Words performed through music can express what language alone had exhausted.”
“I wanted to show that the fables and mythic tales which the ancients have handed down to us and in which painters and sculptors never cease to find mindless pleasure are the hieroglyphics of a secret, inexhaustible wisdom. I sometimes thought I felt its breath, as though coming from behind a veil.”
Fancies in Springtime: Alan Watts
“Timothy Leary was not so wide of the mark when he said that we must go out of our minds (abstract values) to come to our senses (concrete values). For coming to our senses must, above all, be the experience of our own existence as living organisms rather than “personalities,” like characters in a play or a novel acting out some artificial plot in which the persons are simply masks for a conflict of abstract ideas or principles. Man as an organism is to the world outside like a whirlpool is to a river: man and world are a single natural process, but we are behaving as if we were invaders and plunderers in a foreign territory. For when the individual is defined and felt as the separate personality or ego, he remains unaware that his actual body is a dancing pattern of energy that simply does not happen by itself. It happens only in concert with myriads of other patterns—called animals, plants, insects, bacteria, minerals, liquids, and gases. The definition of a person and the normal feeling of ‘I’ do not effectively include these relationships. You say, ‘I came into this world. You didn’t; you came out of it, as a branch from a tree.”
American Art – Part IV of V: Bill Braun
In the words of one writer, “bill braun’s paintings are impressive feats of hyper-realism. at first glance what appears to be the ingredients for a child’s art project of crumpled craft paper, masking tape, staples and cut out construction paper, in reality is a tight and precise implementation of acrylic paint on canvas. the end result being the brilliant execution of trompe l’oeil painting. trompe l’oeil is a type of painting by which various techniques and devices persuade the viewer that he or she is looking at actual objects, rather than objects or scenes that are in reality painted. braun’s work is both an unusual and brilliant example of trompe l’oeil. his hypnotic landscapes and still lifes have a playful quality in part due to the brilliant color palette.”
Fancies in Springtime: Laura Ingalls Wilder
“We who live in quiet places have the opportunity to become acquainted with ourselves, to think our own thoughts and live our own lives in a way that is not possible for those keeping up with the crowd.”
“Education doesn’t make you happy. Nor does freedom. We don’t become happy just because we’re free – if we are. Or because we’ve been educated – if we have. But because education may be the means by which we realize we are happy. It opens our eyes, our ears, tells us where delights are lurking, convinces us that there is only one freedom of any importance whatsoever, that of the mind, and gives us the assurance – the confidence – to walk the path our mind, our educated mind, offers.” – Iris Murdoch, an Irish-born British author and philosopher best known for her novels about good and evil, sexual relationships, morality, and the power of the unconscious, who was born 15 July 1919.
Some quotes from the work of Iris Murdoch:
“One of the secrets of a happy life is continous small treats.”
“Falling out of love is chiefly a matter of forgetting how charming someone is.”
“We live in a fantasy world, a world of illusion. The great task in life is to find reality.”
“Time can divorce us from the reality of people, it can separate us from people and turn them into ghosts. Or rather it is we who turn them into ghosts or demons. Some kinds of fruitless preoccupations with the past can create such simulacra, and they can exercise power, like those heroes at Troy fighting for a phantom Helen.”
“People from a planet without flowers would think we must be mad with joy the whole time to have such things about us.”
“Then I felt too that I might take this opportunity to tie up a few loose ends, only of course loose ends can never be properly tied, one is always producing new ones. Time, like the sea, unties all knots. Judgements on people are never final, they emerge from summings up which at once suggest the need of a reconsideration. Human arrangements are nothing but loose ends and hazy reckoning, whatever art may otherwise pretend in order to console us.”
“The absolute yearning of one human body for another particular body and its indifference to substitutes is one of life’s major mysteries.”
“Anything that consoles is fake.”
Fancies in Springtime: Tagor Manroo
A Second Poem for Today
“At the Grave”
By Jonathan Greene
As Death often
it is good
even if so little
as to shovel
Fancies in Springtime: Theodore Roosevelt
“Here is your country. Cherish these natural wonders, cherish the natural resources, cherish the history and romance as a sacred heritage, for your children and your children’s children. Do not let selfish men or greedy interests skin your country of its beauty, its riches or its romance.”
Back from the Territory – Art: Daphne Mennell
In the words of one writer, “Daphne Mennell has been a Yukon artist for over 35 years. She and her husband have raised a family of 3 children during this time in or near the small village of Carcross in the southern Yukon.
Her inspiration comes from the many diverse and beautiful landscapes that make up the Yukon and Alaska. She has conveyed this love of nature and the wilderness in a number of mediums; various painting mediums as well as metal, silk and stone.
Daphne enjoys painting plein air and sketching outdoors. She uses these sketches to work on her compositions in a larger format in her studio. By painting or drawing from nature directly she finds she is able to connect more deeply with the subject. As a result her paintings carry more conviction of the experience of being in the wilderness even though they are interpreted through an often exaggerated use of colour.
Daphne has a number of paintings and artwork in public collections as well as private. She has taught art classes extensively and been involved in a number of solo and group shows as well as craft fairs. She has become a well known Yukon artist for her painting and her last two large metal sculptures that were commissions for Carcross and Whitehorse.”
Back from the Territory, I share this with you, before I light out again.
Fancies in Springtime: Emily Carr
(Of the forest): “Perfectly ordered disorder designed with a helter-skelter magnificence.”
American Art – Part V of V: Jacob Cooley
In the words of one writer, “jacob cooley was born in 1968. he received an mfa in painting from the university of north carolina at chapel hill in 1993 and graduated in 1990 with a bfa from the university of georgia, athens. he studied at antioch college in yellow springs, ohio from 1986 to 1988. his paintings are informed by harmonious and hallowed places, landscapes about contemplation and the spirit, but also about the transient, ephemeral characteristics of light and darkness and ultimately of life. jacob cooley’s work attempts to capture and hold the instant when the orange of the sun is about to completely scatter into the diffused light of dusk or the thunderclouds move to entirely obscure the horizon. cooley has received numerous awards and reviews of his work are included in major publications. his paintings are collected nationally by museums, corporations and private collectors.”