From the Pacific Northwest – Part IX

Musings in Autumn: Jane Hirshfield

“The heat of autumn
is different from the heat of summer.   
One ripens apples, the other turns them to cider.”   

Canadian Art – Part I: Tracey Tarling

In the words of one writer, “Tracey Tarling is a painter interested in conveying landscape as it resonates with a multitude of emotional energies. Her rich panels depict torrential storms and dark tides, dissolving into pools of soothing liquid calm. The water responds to the complexities of grey, brilliant blues and lavender horizons. Tarling’s unique mixed media approach uses multiple layers of oil, graphite, pastel, photos and ink, suggesting the communion between unseen fragments, life, death, and nature’s incessant drive for renewal.”

Below – “Ocean Veils & The Infinite Mystery Of Light”; “Bliss, Red In The Arms Of The Lotus”; “Dwell In The Selfsame Tree”; “Offerings Of Poetic Grace”; “The Coolness Of The Morning Forest Unfolds Watery Light”; “The River’s White Light Soothed By The Song Of Falling Water.”





A Poem for Today

“The Everglades”
By Campbell McGrath

Green and blue and white, it is a flag
for Florida stitched by hungry ibises.

It is a paradise of flocks, a cornucopia
of wind and grass and dark, slow waters.

Turtles bask in the last tatters of afternoon,
frogs perfect their symphony at dusk—

in its solitude we remember ourselves,
dimly, as creatures of mud and starlight.

Clouds and savannahs and horizons,
its emptiness is an antidote, its ink

illuminates the manuscript of the heart.
It is not ours though it is ours

to destroy or preserve, this the kingdom
of otter, kingfisher, alligator, heron.

If the sacred is a river within us, let it flow
like this, serene and magnificent, forever.

Musings in Autumn: Thomas Wolfe

“The ripe, the golden month has come again, and in Virginia the chinkapins are falling. Frost sharps the middle music of the seasons, and all things living on the earth turn home again… the fields are cut, the granaries are full, the bins are loaded to the brim with fatness, and from the cider-press the rich brown oozings of the York Imperials run. The bee bores to the belly of the grape, the fly gets old and fat and blue, he buzzes loud, crawls slow, creeps heavily to death on sill and ceiling, the sun goes down in blood and pollen across the bronzed and mown fields of the old October.”

A Second Poem for Today

“Is This the Lark!”
By Joseph Ausländer

Is this the lark
Lord Shakespeare heard
Out of the dark
Of dawn! Is this the bird
That stirred
Lord Shakespeare’s heart!

Is this the bird whose wing,
Whose rapturous antheming,
Rose up, soared radiant, became
Sharp flame
To Shelley listening
And made him sing,
Throbbing alone, aloof, feveredly apart,
His profuse strains of unpremeditated art!

To think that I should hear him now
Telling that single fiery rift of heaven a wild lark comes! …
The fresh cool scent of earth yearns at the plough;
In short keen rapid flurries the woodpecker drums….
To think that I should hear that mad thing sliding
Along a smoking opal ladder!
Hear that inevitable deluge of music riding
Into the sun, richer now—fainter now—madder!
To think that I should hear and know
The song that Shelley heard, and Shakespeare, long ago!

Emily Carr (1871-1945) was a Canadian artist and writer.

Some quotes from the work of Emily Carr:

“It is hard to remember just when you first became aware of being alive. It is like looking through rain onto a bald, new lawn; as you watch, the brown is all pricked with pale green. You did not see the points pierce, did not hear the stab – there they are!”
“I think that one’s art is a growth inside one. I do not think one can explain growth. It is silent and subtle. One does not keep digging up a plant to see how it grows.”
“Look at the earth crowded with growth, new and old bursting from their strong roots hidden in the silent, live ground, each seed according to its own kind…each one knowing what to do, each one demanding its own rights on the earth. So artist, you too from the depths of your soul…let your roots creep forth, gaining strength.”
“Do not try to do extraordinary things but do ordinary things with intensity.”
“You come into the world alone and you go out of the world alone yet it seems to me you are more alone while living than even going and coming.”
“Indians do not hinder the progress of their dead by embalming or tight coffining. When the spirit has gone they give the body back to the earth. the earth welcomes the body-coaxes new life and beauty from it, hurries over what men shudder at. Lovely tender herbage bursts from the graves, swiftly, exulting over corruption.”
“It is wonderful to feel the grandness of Canada in the raw, not because she is Canada but because she’s something sublime that you were born into, some great rugged power that you are a part of.”
“There is something bigger than fact: the underlying spirit, all it stands for, the mood, the vastness, the wildness.”

Canadian Art – Part II: Zhong-Yang Huang

In the words of one writer, “Zhong-Yang Huang’s parents encouraged him to draw and paint from the age of four. At the age of eight, Zhong-Yang began formal training in traditional Chinese painting and calligraphy. Yang’s instructors and peers were in awe of his talent even as a young boy. They believed that he would one day go on to become a great artist.
During the Cultural Revolution in China, the government put a halt to any individual creativity, and many writers, artists and academics were forced to work as labourers. At 15 years old, Zhong-Yang Huang, along with his two brothers and sister, was forced to leave school and work in the fields. For ten years, Yang toiled in the fields for hours every day. Even though he was surrounded by great hardship and poverty, Yang continued to paint.
Zhong-Yang Huang entered the Guangdong Province Art and Craft Academy where he completed his undergraduate degree at the end of the Cultural Revolution. A Masters Degree followed in 1981 from the Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts and until 1984, Yang worked at the Academy as an Instructor. In 1984, Yang had the opportunity to travel to Canada as a visiting student. Yang completed his second Masters Degree from the University of Regina, in Saskatchewan.
As an artist living in Canada, Yang has the artistic freedom to express himself. He may choose to chronicle the people and places of Chinese history as represented in some of his paintings. Yang’s work is influenced by many periods of art history: the Pre-Raphaelite School, the French Impressionists, as well as the work of the great Dutch painter Rembrandt. Yang also has a great love for music and enjoys listening to music for inspiration. One of Yang’s favourite musicians is the late French violinist Ginette Neveu. Neveu died in a plane crash the same year Yang was born. Parallels are evident between Yang and Neveu’s philosophy and are best described by Neveu herself when expressing her goal for her life and music: ‘Aim high…aim at beauty.’ Yang agrees.”

Below – “Sunny Day in June”; “Dream”; “Geese Girl”; “Summer Night”; “Fortune”; “Fountain Under Moonlight.”






Musings in Autumn: Imre Kertesz

“I can see the young man on dizzily autumn mornings, the fog of which he inhaled just like the rapidly evaporating freedom.”

A Third Poem for Today

“Time I’m Not Here”
By Graham Foust

All day on all my days,
the lives I’m not to process wash in;

anxieties lullaby on
and quite like to be gotten among;

but now—and now—one old,
abundant flower just screws up the room.

Musings in Autumn: Larry Watson

“Autumn has come to northeast Montana. The vapor of one’s breath, the clarity of the stars, the smell of wood smoke, the stones underfoot that even a full day of sunlight won’t warm- these all say there will be no more days that can be mistaken for summer.”


American Art – Justin L’Amie

Artist Statement: “Human Society has become an unstoppable and abrasive routine. Day after day we have slowly and voluntarily imprisoned ourselves lusting after convenience, competition, education and vanity- resulting in excessive work, bills, debt and worry. There is often little time or energy left to form meaningful bonds with other people let alone animals or nature. Our population has sacrificed it’s connection with the earth and it’s animal friends for unsustainable surplus agriculturalism, industrialization, colonialism, institutionalization of spirituality, class castes, along with many other terrifying realities that are part and parcel of CIVILIZATION.
We contrive situations with nature like going camping or to the zoo to feel a connection to something we, in our real day-to-day life, spend our
time and money trying to avoid, and in many cases intending to destroy. Give me slack, or give me death. These pieces are a sort of tribute to something.
I have always felt forcibly alienated from: Nature and Love.”

Below – “Flowers in a Vase”; “Pine Branches in Bloom”; “Large Vase with Flowers”; “Dogwood Flower in Small Vase”; “Young Pine Forest in Bloom – after Morris Graves.”

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