From the Pacific Northwest – Part LXXXVII

Musings in Winter: Dylan Thomas

“It snowed last year too: I made a snowman and my brother knocked it down and I knocked my brother down and then we had tea.”

A Poem for Today

“Angel of Duluth” [excerpt]
By Madelon Sprengnether

I lied a little. There are things I don’t want to tell you. How lonely I am today and sick at heart. How the rain falls steadily and cold on a garden grown greener, more lush and even less tame. I haven’t done much, I confess, to contain it. The grapevine, as usual, threatens everything in its path, while the raspberry canes, aggressive and abundant, are clearly out of control. I’m afraid the wildflowers have taken over, being after all the most hardy and tolerant of shade and neglect. This year the violets and lilies of the valley are rampant, while the phlox are about to emit their shocking pink perfume. Oh, my dear, had you been here this spring, you would have seen how the bleeding hearts are thriving.

Art for Winter – Part I of II: Meredith Bingham (Canadian, contemporary)

Below – “Year to Year”

Musings in Winter: Merrill Moore

“Silence can always be broken by the sound
Of footsteps walking over frozen ground
In winter when the melancholy trees
Stand abject and let their branches freeze.”

Art for Winter – Part II of II: Harold Braul (Canadian, contemporary)

Below – “Red Birds”

Musings in Winter: Yoshida Kenko

“I have relinquished all that ties me to the world, but the one thing that still haunts me is the beauty of the sky.”

New Zealand Art – Viky Garden

The work of painter Viky Garden (born 1961) is held in private collections around the world.

A Second Poem for Today

By Felipe Benitez Reyes

translated by Aaron Zaritzky

The sensation of being the only guest
in a grand hotel on the outskirts of the city
—and hearing the somnambulistic
elevator and a scream—
or being in an empty theater
or in a lonely plaza
of a lonely unknown city
weighed down with suitcases and no money
surrounded  by escaped doves
from the studio of the worst taxidermist
that ridiculous melancholy of one who feels ignored
at the parties of younger people
whom he calls late at night
from a bar with the lights already turned off
and talks to himself about the comforts
of being an academic ghost
of an orchestra conductor

I fear, in the end, that I’ve kissed
The lips of a mistaken goddess

French Art – Philippe Faraut

In the words of one writer, “Philippe Faraut is a figurative artist specializing in life-size portrait sculptures and monumental stone sculptures. His media of choice are water-based clay and marble.”

Musings in Winter: Amit Kalantri

“Don’t compare the size of your roof with the size of the sky.”

A Third Poem for Today

“On the Terrace”
By Landis Everson

The lonely breakfast table starts the day,
an adjustment is made to understand
why the other chair is empty. The morning
beautiful and still to be, should woo me. Yet
the appetite is not shared, lost somewhere in memory.

How lucky the horizon is blue and needs
no handwriting on its emptiness. I am
written on thoroughly, a lost novel
found again. I remember the predictable plot too late,
realize the silly, sad urgency of moss.

Australian Art – Part I of II: Herbert Badham

In the words of one writer, “Herbert Badham, studied at the Sydney Art School (1921-26) and later taught at East Sydney Technical School (1938-1961). He wrote an important historical survey of Australian art which was published in 1949.
In his own work Badham tended to concentrate on domestic or mundane subjects which he recorded with meticulous detail but which also tend to be imbued with a sense of the uncanny. This busy scene with some of its perspective distorted by mirrors and windows is no exception, as we loose our ability to distinguish between what is real and what is reflection.”

Musings in Winter: Thich Nhat Hanh

“People usually consider walking on water or in thin air a miracle. But I think the real miracle is not to walk either on water or in thin air, but to walk on earth. Every day we are engaged in a miracle which we don’t even recognize: a blue sky, white clouds, green leaves, the black, curious eyes of a child — our own two eyes. All is a miracle.”

Australian Art – Part II of II: Margaret Woodward

The paintings of Margaret Woodward have won numerous awards.

Musings in Winter: Eudora Welty

“People give pain, are callous and insensitive, empty and cruel…but place heals the hurt, soothes the outrage, fills the terrible vacuum that these human beings make.”

A Fourth Poem for Today

“One Way or Another”
By Naomi Shihab Nye

She is gone, where did she go?
He can’t imagine how the house will feel
when he enters it, moving room to room.
Now that the wait is over, a larger pause
will blanket the roof, softness settling
slowly down. By which window or door
may future days enter?  And what about minor
questions called out, to which there was always
that lilting reply?

American Art – Part I of II: Ronald Bowen

Artist Statement:”If I were to define my style of painting, I would call it ‘Transcendental Realism.’ It is my intention to present to the viewer an image that is on the one hand concrete and close to life, yet so filtered, strange and bordering on the abstract that he may be led into a state of contemplation and meditation. There is a minimum of anecdote in my painting in order to allow the viewer space to create his own story, to discover his own mystery.”

Musings in Winter: Marty Rubin

“The snow in winter, the flowers in spring. There is no deeper reality.”

A Fifth Poem for Today

By CJ Evans
“The dandelions in the moment and then”

It is. And needles don’t fall;
cones don’t fall. The soil keeps

holding the grass seed and the dune
sand beneath is still torn by thirsty,

wooden hands. By bedrock
is where will be my tenoned pine.

And the grass seeds don’t split,
their shoots don’t spill. The clouds

remain, widely. That locked closet
inside will never have its tumblers

turned. Honestly, all I had
was the only lie—that I could be

the one who evades. Sparrows
don’t fall, no owl falls. Left behind

are her thin hands, a box full
of ribbons, a bolt, a knife.

Photographs with anybody’s faces.
Hungry letters, angry letters about

a time and people and love that is
not. No image holds its meaning

within itself. Not one dandelion fell.
Please. Something did happen here.

Below – Steve Pratchett: “Dandelions Overlooking Gawton”

Musings in Winter: Eleanora Duse

“If the sight of the blue skies fills you with joy, if a blade of grass springing up in the fields has power to move you, if the simple things of nature have a message that you understand, rejoice, for your soul is alive.”

American Art – Part II of II: William Shih-Chieh Hung

In the words of one writer, “William S. Hung’s works display a profound knowledge of the traditions and techniques of both East and West.
In harmony of composition and precision of execution, they reflect the restraint and refinement of the Chinese tradition. In the use of gauzy layers of color to build images from flakes of light, he recalls the 19th century French artists, while his subjects are often reminiscent of classical sources. Extraordinarily gifted and thoroughly schooled, he produces exquisitely sensitive, intellectually provocative, and delicately rendered portraits and nudes.
Mr. William Shih-Chieh Hung, born in Jieyang, Guangdong China in 1928, is famous for his oil painting internationally. In 1980, he immigrated to the United States with his wife Susie Hsueh-Ping Hung, and is presently settled in the east side of the San Francisco Bay Area. His descendants have also immigrated and settled down in the same area.”

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