American Art – Part I of III: Scott Upton
Artist Statement: “i’ve always maintained that my work is about color and light and their effect on our emotions. my inspiration comes from nature, whose sublime forms and colors and chaotic power shape the ever-changing landscape. for me, light is the unifying force, transforming everything it touches by banishing darkness and encouraging renewal. In my work I’ve always sought to suggest, in addition to the beauty, the feelings of hope and peace that light imparts.”
Reflections in Summer: Deb Caletti
“Summer, after all, is a time when wonderful things can happen to quiet people. For those few months, you’re not required to be who everyone thinks you are, and that cut-grass smell in the air and the chance to dive into the deep end of a pool give you a courage you don’t have the rest of the year. You can be grateful and easy, with no eyes on you, and no past. Summer just opens the door and lets you out.”
A Poem for Today
“Girl on a Horse”
By Halvard Johnson
Oh, the richness of it:
the dark horse scampering
through the sea-breaks,
gulls crying overhead,
the way she turned her head
toward us, smiling her dark smile.
A wave of her hand and she was off
again, down the beach, turning
and galloping back, smiling,
smiling. And the animal beneath her,
glistening and snorting,
snorting and glistening.
Reflections in Summer: Wendell Berry
“No settled family or community has ever called its home place an ‘environment.’ None has ever called its feeling for its home place ‘biocentric’ or ‘anthropocentric.’ None has ever thought of its connection to its home place as ‘ecological,’ deep or shallow. The concepts and insights of the ecologists are of great usefulness in our predicament, and we can hardly escape the need to speak of ‘ecology’ and ‘ecosystems.’ But the terms themselves are culturally sterile. They come from the juiceless, abstract intellectuality of the universities which was invented to disconnect, displace, and disembody the mind. The real names of the environment are the names of rivers and river valleys; creeks, ridges, and mountains; towns and cities; lakes, woodlands, lanes roads, creatures, and people.
And the real name of our connection to this everywhere different and differently named earth is ‘work.’ We are connected by work even to the places where we don’t work, for all places are connected; it is clear by now that we cannot exempt one place from our ruin of another. The name of our proper connection to the earth is ‘good work,’ for good work involves much giving of honor. It honors the source of its materials; it honors the place where it is done; it honors the art by which it is done; it honors the thing that it makes and the user of the made thing. Good work is always modestly scaled, for it cannot ignore either the nature of individual places or the differences between places, and it always involves a sort of religious humility, for not everything is known. Good work can be defined only in particularity, for it must be defined a little differently for every one of the places and every one of the workers on the earth.
The name of our present society’s connection to the earth is ‘bad work’ – work that is only generally and crudely defined, that enacts a dependence that is ill understood, that enacts no affection and gives no honor. Every one of us is to some extent guilty of this bad work. This guilt does not mean that we must indulge in a lot of breast-beating and confession; it means only that there is much good work to be done by every one of us and that we must begin to do it.”
Here is the Artist Statement of Korean painter Park Min-Joon: “The main subjects of my work are three: life, death, and eternity. These three subjects foam a foundation of all my work; each piece of artwork has specifically different stories. Those stories are based on Greek and Roman mythology, religious stories, Egyptian mythology and even the Eastern philosophy. However, I do not limit my thought in a particular philosophy. Actually, my work depicts stories of human beings: the current of time, nation and generation. On the one hand, my work looks more realistic when viewers see it through the lens of a traditional viewpoint. On the other hand, it looks enlightening when one sees it through the lens of a contemporary point of view. My work is located at the borderline between contemporary paintings and traditional paintings. That is I pursue the craftsmanship of great masters of the past while addressing contemporary issues at the same time.”
Reflections in Summer: Abraham Lincoln
“Here in my heart, my happiness, my house.
Here inside the lighted window is my love, my hope, my life.
Peace is my companion on the pathway winding to the threshold.
Inside this portal dwells new strength in the security, serenity, and radiance of those I love above life itself.
Here two will build new dreams–dreams that tomorrow will come true.
The world over, these are the thoughts at eventide when footsteps turn ever homeward.
In the haven of the hearthside is rest and peace and comfort.”
A Second Poem for Today
By Mary Fell
Reflections in Summer: Terri Guillemets
“Art is when you hear a knocking from your soul — and you answer.”
American Art – Part II of III: Arlynn Bloom
According to one writer, “Bay Area award-winning watercolor artist Arlynn Bloom has studied at Beach City College, Long Beach, California, the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, and the Philadelphia College of Art. Her work has won many awards.”
Reflections in Summer: Kenneth Graham
“Today, to him gazing south with a new-born need stirring in his heart, the clear sky over their long low outline seemed to pulsate with promise; today, the unseen was everything. the unknown the only real fact of life.”
A Third Poem for Today
“Surfer in Winter”
By Jascha Kessler
A half a glass of beer,
a plate of fish and chips,
a long cold foggy day:
out there on the water
slip slap slop like always
with a few gulls asleep.
They think it’s monotonous,
they think it’s just a fad
you will grow out of yet
like you quit hide and seek,
driving the car too fast,
or touching every blouse.
But it’s not that, not that;
there’s a basic rhythm
that goes on forever,
and you sit out there and wait
and watch the steady swell
and take the one that counts.
Sometimes nothing happens.
Mostly nothing happens.
They break, you break, or both.
The day passes, a day
like all the other days:
the tide drops and you quit.
But sometimes there’s a wave,
that certain lift you feel,
a shadow in the green,
and you know it’s the one
and you’re with it coming
you’re on, you’re up, you’re in.
Reflections in Summer: Theodore Roosevelt
“Our duty to the whole, including the unborn generations, bids us to restrain an unprincipled present-day minority from wasting the heritage of these unborn generations. The movement for the conservation of wildlife and the larger movement for the conservation of all our natural resources are essentially democratic in spirit, purpose, and method.”
Back from the Territory – Art: Richard Shorty (Part III)
In the words of one writer, “Living in Vancouver, BC, Richard Shorty has been an artist since 1965. Born in Whitehorse, Yukon, he started his career with portraits of rock stars, wild life and scenic realism.
In 1980 with his artistic abilities maturing, he began native design. His unique style combines elements of traditional and contemporary design. Richard is a versatile artist having worked on drums, paddles, masks and rattles. His pieces are collected nation wide.
Richard lives his life for his family, his art and his strong spiritual belief.”
Back from the Territory, I share this with you, before I light out again.
Reflections in Summer: Wendell Berry
“I have always loved a window, especially an open one.”
American Art – Part III of III: Sherrie Wolf
Artist Statement: “I have always been a still-life painter. my images openly play with the fact that art is artifice. in recent years, i have arranged objects in front of excerpts from old master paintings. earlier in my career, while imitating 19th century american trompe l’oil and 17th century dutch still-life traditions in subject matter and formal elements of composition, i explored contrived or discovered relationships between seemingly unrelated objects. mirrors or other formal objects often reflected the contemporary clutter of my studio. light, shadow and three-dimensional spatial relationships played important roles, and i often used nontraditional perspectives, such as looking straight down on the still life arrangement. a mong the subject matter, there would be an open book or a card portraying an image from a historical painting. in time, these excerpts became more prominent, and eventually i filled the entire background with a quotation from an old master painting. this connected me to a history of reinterpretation and artistic borrowing prevalent among artists. my images have evolved from a love of art history and a desire to present multiple levels of expression to my viewer.”