From the Pacific Northwest – Part LII

Musings in December: Mark Twain

“Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things can not be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.”


German Art – Christian Schoeler

Christian Schoeler lives and works in Dusseldorf.







A Poem for Today

“To Earthward”
By Robert Frost

Love at the lips was touch
As sweet as I could bear;
And once that seemed too much;
I lived on air

That crossed me from sweet things,
The flow of—was it musk
From hidden grapevine springs
Downhill at dusk?

I had the swirl and ache
From sprays of honeysuckle
That when they’re gathered shake
Dew on the knuckle.

I craved strong sweets, but those
Seemed strong when I was young;
The petal of the rose
It was that stung.

Now no joy but lacks salt,
That is not dashed with pain
And weariness and fault;
I crave the stain

Of tears, the aftermark
Of almost too much love,
The sweet of bitter bark
And burning clove.

When stiff and sore and scarred
I take away my hand
From leaning on it hard
In grass and sand,

The hurt is not enough:
I long for weight and strength
To feel the earth as rough
To all my length.


Australian Art – Sally Aurisch

In the words of one writer, “Sally Aurisch is Italian trained although she grew up in country Western Australia. She has painted for most of her life. After attending the ‘Julian Ashton Art School’ in Sydney she left Australia in the 90s to study the old masters’ craft at its source in Florence, Italy.”






Musings in December: David B. Lentz

“It’s intriguing to observe so many of the outrageous prophecies, made with such biting satire years ago in the first edition, come into being through the craft of so many self-entitled egomaniacs running a global ‘corpornation’ for personal interest and professional profit. I had no idea then, as I now know, that I was writing with so much understatement. Honest outrage and political satire are two of the most important weapons that we have to protect infringement against our personal freedoms through oligarchy and to maintain any semblance of humanity in our democracy as our government aggressively privatizes and over-reaches at the expense of those millions whom it has sworn so dishonestly to serve and has utterly abandoned.”


Art for December – Part I of IV: Lee Sie

Below – “Synchronicity” (photographic print)


Musings in December: Will Cuppy

“Intelligence is the capacity to know what we are doing and instinct is just instinct. The results are about the same.”


Art for December – Part II of IV: Optimus Volts

Below – “The Legend of the Black Koi Fish” (deconstructed spray cans, plaster, wood)


Musings in December: C.J. Cherryh

“Is that the end… of all the races and civilizations, and the dreams of the world, to be able to leave a few stones buried beneath the sands, to tell the Dark that we were here?”


Art for December – Part III of IV: Greg Bada

Below – “Woman and Bird” (etching and engraving)


Musings in December: Stacey O’Brien

“Wesley [an owl] went everywhere with me from then on. I even wrapped him in baby blankets and held him in my arms while grocery shopping, to keep him warm during the first cold winter. Occasionally someone would ask to see ‘the baby,’ and when I opened the blanket, would leap back shrieking, ‘What is that?! A dinosaur?’ Apparently, the world is full of educated adults with mortgages and stock portfolios who think people are walking around grocery stores with dinosaurs in their arms.”


Art for December – Part IV of IV: Amanda Lynn

Below – “Unconditional” (acrylic on wood panel, graphite)


A Second Poem for Today

“Where They Lived”
By Thomas Hardy

       Dishevelled leaves creep down
       Upon that bank to-day,
Some green, some yellow, and some pale brown;
       The wet bents bob and sway;
The once warm slippery turf is sodden
        Where we laughingly sat or lay.

        The summerhouse is gone,
        Leaving a weedy space;
The bushes that veiled it once have grown
        Gaunt trees that interlace,
Through whose lank limbs I see too clearly
         The nakedness of the place.

        And where were hills of blue,
        Blind drifts of vapour blow,
And the names of former dwellers few,
         If any, people know,
And instead of a voice that called, “Come in, Dears,”
         Time calls, “Pass below!”


Canadian Art – Part I of II: Robert Leclerc

In the words of one writer, “Robert Leclerc is a self-educated painter who loves life and nature. He creates his natural landscapes after he meditates in order to transmit his message as an artist to the viewer.”

Below – “Rayonnement De Leau”; “Terre Et Mer”; “Phenomene Lumineux”; “Couleurs Energisante”; “Pleine Liberte”; “Un Temps Magnifique.”







Musings in December: Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

“The best thing about America is that it gives you space. I like that. I like that you buy into the dream; it’s a lie, but you buy into it and that’s all that matters.”


Canadian Art – Part II of II: Darlene Kulig

Artist’s Statement: “Early in my youth I developed a love for drawing. Everyday objects, faces and scenes would inspire me to draw and revealed to me an uncomplicated, quiet, happy world. Originally from Ottawa, coming to Toronto to study at OCAD was a fantastic opportunity for growth. Working for 20 years as a graphic designer and running my own studio has proven to be the training ground that developed a strong work ethic and solid tool box. The designer in me loves simple shape and bold colour while the ever evolving painter in me explores light, rhythm and personal connection. Transitioning out of the design world into the fine art world has been rewarding. I continue to play with a careful balance between my intellectual and intuitive self. Whether I am painting a portrait, a stunning landscape in Whistler, a street scene in Vienna or the ruins of an old stone Church in Nevis, painting allows me the luxury to slow down and find the strange and familiar.”

Below – “Northern Lights Midnight Dance”; “End of the Canoe Ride”; “Little Tugboat against the Mountainscape”; “Prague Old City”; “Vienna Streetscape”; “Emerald Lake with Snow Topped Mountains and Wildflowers.”







Musings in December: Barry Lopez

“Why we should believe in wolf children seems somehow easier to understand than the ways we distinguish between what is human and what is animal behavior. In making such distinctions we run the risk of fooling ourselves completely. We assume that the animal is entirely comprehensible and, as Henry Beston has said, has taken form on a plane beneath the one we occupy. It seems to me that this is a sure way to miss the animal and to see, instead, only another reflection of our own ideas.”


A Third Poem for Today

By Rob Schlegel

I whisper to the tree, the tree,
the murmuring Tree
“I might take action”

Is romantic
Snow sun melts into streams increasing in volume
I control with my lips

Around History. Our eyes meet. White ancient
Roar I hear stream-
Side, my invisible dress threatening

A slow death. The rest I want to carry
So I listen
For the tree, and its never quite obsolete magic.


American Art – Matthew James Collins: Part I – Paintings

In the words of one writer, “Matthew Collins was born in Oak Park, Illinois, in 1970. Nurtured in an artistic family, his enthusiasm for painting was encouraged from the earliest age. By his early teens, his study of drawing had already begun under the tutelage of his father, James Edward Collins, an award-winning architect.
After graduating with a B.A. in History of Art and Architecture from the University of Illinois at Chicago, Matthew attended the School of the Art Institute of Chicago where he focused on drawing, etching and sculpture. He finished numerous copies from the Art Institute’s collection, including inspirational works by Goya, Ingres, Corot, Manet, Whistler and Sargent.”







Musings in December: Bill Bryson

“The question that naturally occurs is ‘What would it be like if a star exploded nearby?’ Our nearest stellar neighbor, as we have seen, is Alpha Centauri, 4.3 light-years away. I had imagined that if there were an explosion there we would have 4.3 years to watch the light of this magnificent event spreading across the sky, as if tipped from a giant can. What would it be like if we had four years and four months to watch an inescapable doom advancing toward us, knowing that when it finally arrived it would blow the skin right off our bones? Would people still go to work? Would farmers plant crops? Would anyone deliver them to the stores?”

Below – Alpha Centauri.


American Art – Matthew James Collins: Part II – Sculpture

In the words of one writer, “Matthew is an artist of unusually wide breadth. His oil paintings, frescos and sculptures show a mastery of technique and a sensitivity to the subject that is uniquely his own. Not limited to a single genre, he applies his vision to portraiture, landscape, decoration and figurative subjects.”







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