From the Pacific Northwest – Part XIV

Musings in Autumn: Helen Hunt Jackson

“I know the lands are lit, with all the autumn blaze of Goldenrod.”


Below – From the 17th Annual American Impressionist National Juried Exhibition that is being held this year at the Howard/Mandville Gallery in Kirkland, Washington: Lori Putnam, “Getting an Early Start.”


A Poem for Today

“Sonnet 60”
By William Shakespeare

Like as the waves make towards the pebbled shore,
So do our minutes hasten to their end;
Each changing place with that which goes before,
In sequent toil all forwards do contend.
Nativity, once in the main of light,
Crawls to maturity, wherewith being crown’d,
Crooked eclipses ‘gainst his glory fight,
And Time that gave doth now his gift confound.
Time doth transfix the flourish set on youth
And delves the parallels in beauty’s brow,
Feeds on the rarities of nature’s truth,
And nothing stands but for his scythe to mow:
   And yet to times in hope, my verse shall stand,
   Praising thy worth, despite his cruel hand.


American Art: Barbara Stafford

Artist Statement: “The chance to hold on to a moment that has been totally absorbing is something that my art gives to me. For these last nine months I have drawn from the memory of what it was to watch the dawn touch minarets and listen to the first call to prayer around Istanbul. I found the late afternoon light across the lane where women gather their tea harvest on the Black Sea. The heat, the scent of pine, the blue of the Mediterranean. The sensual experience of such a place gave new life to my work. I consider soft pastel a bridge between drawing and painting. The intensity of color and softness of the medium are satisfying – the shadow of a pine, the shimmering Turkish blue.”

Below – “Composed of Evenings”; “Chiswick Walk London”; “Chiswick Walk London II”; “Chiswick Walk London III”;





Oswald Spengler (1880-1936) was a German historian, philosopher of history, and author of “The Decline of the West.”

Some quotes from the work of Oswald Spengler:

“What is truth? For the multitude, that which it continually reads and hears.”
“Through money, democracy becomes its own destroyer, after money has destroyed intellect.”
“The common man wants nothing of life but health, longevity, amusement, comfort — ‘happiness.’ He who does not despise this should turn his eyes from world history, for it contains nothing of the sort. The best that history has created is great suffering.”
“Philosophy, the love of Wisdom, is at the very bottom defence against the incomprehensible.”
“The question of whether world peace will ever be possible can only be answered by someone familiar with world history. To be familiar with world history means, however, to know human beings as they have been and always will be. There is a vast difference, which most people will never comprehend, between viewing future history as it will be and viewing it as one might like it to be. Peace is a desire, war is a fact; and history has never paid heed to human desires and ideals .”
“One day the last portrait of Rembrandt and the last bar of Mozart will have ceased to be — though possibly a colored canvas and a sheet of notes will remain — because the last eye and the last ear accessible to their message will have gone.”
“Man was, and is, too shallow and cowardly to endure the fact of the mortality of everything living. He wraps it up in rose-coloured progress-optimism, he heaps upon it the flowers of literature, he crawls behind the shelter of ideals so as not to see anything. But impermanence, the birth and the passing, is the form of all that is actual — from the stars, whose destiny is for us incalculable, right down to the ephemeral concourses on our planet. The life of the individual — whether this be animal or plant or man — is as perishable as that of peoples or Cultures. Every creation is foredoomed to decay, every thought, every discovery, every deed to oblivion. Here, there, and everywhere we are sensible of grandly fated courses of history that have vanished. Ruins of the ‘have-been’ works of dead Cultures lie all about us. The hybris of Prometheus, who thrust his hand into the heavens in order to make the divine powers subject to man, carries with it his fall. What, then, becomes of the chatter about ‘undying achievements’?”
“We are born into this time and must bravely follow the path to the destined end. There is no other way. Our duty is to hold on to the lost position, without hope, without rescue, like that Roman soldier whose bones were found in front of a door in Pompeii, who, during the eruption of Vesuvius, died at his post because they forgot to relieve him. That is greatness. That is what it means to be a thoroughbred. The honorable end is the one thing that can not be taken from a man.”
“This is our purpose: to make as meaningful as possible this life that has been bestowed upon us . . . to live in such a way that we may be proud of ourselves, to act in such a way that some part of us lives on.”


Below – From the 17th Annual American Impressionist National Juried Exhibition that is being held this year at the Howard/Mandville Gallery in Kirkland, Washington: Wes Newton, “Off the Trail.”

Musings in Autumn: Steve Sabol

“The autumn wind is a pirate. Blustering in from sea with a rollicking song he sweeps along swaggering boisterously. His face is weather beaten, he wears a hooded sash with a silver hat about his head… The autumn wind is a Raider, pillaging just for fun.”


A Second Poem for Today

“Everyday Escapes”
By Dean Young

My poor students, all I ask of them
is to grow antenna, lie down with lava
and rise with snow, grow tongues from
their math assignments and no, Melissa
your mother won’t approve of a bioluminescent
smear on your communion dress. The world fidgets
in uneasy relation to our statements about it
nevertheless producing silver
buds from ragged limbs like the luster
in late Rat Pack songs. Finally,
when I got off the sixth floor, I felt
like I was discharged into the sky
and aren’t we all pedestrians of air?
Doesn’t it feel all wrong to turn our backs
on the ocean? On an ant? On those Chagall
windows you have to walk through a gauntlet
of ancient armor to get to? What was her name,
that night nurse so deft her blood draws
didn’t wake me up? Don’t get me wrong, I want
to wake up. I want my old dog to show me
all that wolf-light she hides inside
even though she thinks I won’t understand,
even though her vet and I conspire
to keep her alive forever.


Canadian Art – Part I: Sylvia Naylor

Artist Statement: ”Making art is an essential part of me. I love the challenge of expressing the world around me with dye, paint and stitch. I find inspiration for my artwork everywhere but my love of the natural world predominates. In the winter I ski and snow shoe and in warmer weather I hike, paddle my canoe and work in my garden. It is on these outing that I make drawings and notes as well as spending much time observing. Photographs also add to my visual memories.
In the cities I find inspiration in neglected and ruined buildings revealing fragments of previous histories. In the studio my thoughts and ideas take form through experimentation. When I am ready to begin a piece of work I work out my ideas in a sketch book or in a paper collage. I often dye my background fabrics before adding paints. All of my work uses free motion machine embroidery.
I often manipulate the stitch tension to make loopy stitches. Sometimes embellished papers and hand embroidery will be part of the work. I am sometimes asked why I don’t paint instead of stitching. The answer is that I have always loved working with fabrics and threads since my school days in England. I love the feel of fibres, their textures, versatility and challenges.
I hope that though my eyes people will look more closely at the natural world appreciate its beauty and therefore do their best to protect it.”

Below – “Paintbrush” (embroidery); “Zinnias in a Summer Garden” (embroidery); “By the Wayside” (embroidery); “Delphiniums in the Garden” (embroidery); “By the Marshland” (embroidery); “Roadside Indian Paintbrushes” (embroidery).







A Third Poem for Today

“Mother’s Day”
By David Young

        —for my children

I see her doing something simple, paying bills,
or leafing through a magazine or book,
and wish that I could say, and she could hear,

that now I start to understand her love
for all of us, the fullness of it.

It burns there in the past, beyond my reach,
a modest lamp.


Musings in Autumn: George Trakl

“Shuddering under the autumn stars, each year, the head sinks lower and lower.”


Canadian Art – Part II: John MacDonald

In the words of one writer, “John Macdonald is an accomplished Canadian Artist whose work has been collected and exhibited nationally and internationally for over two decades. His work is informed by traditional as well as the avant-garde.
The images usually depict people in the Artist’s immediate environment. His endeavor is, in essence, to create social situations, involving the viewer as the silent third party, caught in the act of looking.
The physicality and lush application of oil paint encourage a dialogue that speaks to the viewer with their amorphic fleeting nuances and experimental flicks of paint, tracing the creative act.”

Below – “Overflow”; untitled; “Counter Balance”; untitled; “On the Beach”; untitled.







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