From the Pacific Northwest – Part XLIV

Canadian Art – John Neville

In the words of one writer, “John Neville has been described as a folk artist, a master printmaker, a professional storyteller, and an “original” Canadian artist. He was brought up in the tiny village of Hall’s Harbor, Nova Scotia, in a distinctive home built by his grandfather in the late 1880s. Neville’s painting is more than simply fascinating art. It is a thoughtful and realistic record of a fast vanishing way of life, that of the fishermen, a life lived by both his father and his grandfather.
Born in 1952, Neville grew up where physical work was taken for granted and folk memory was celebrated by stories about people’s loves, hates, rivalries, hopes, and, most of all, their complex relationship to the sea and its creatures.”

Spanish Art – Luis de la Fuente

Painter Luis de la Fuente graduated from the Department of Fine Arts of San Fernando University in Madrid.

American Art – Part I of II: Tom Dorr

In the words of one writer, “
When Tom was 11, his family moved to Colorado and the love affair with the cowboy began.  He traveled the wild, wide open places, gravitated toward the ranching scenes, and studied both animals and people.  Art opportunities developed in a parallel line, as he connected with a gifted high school art teacher.
Tom was the recipient of a full ride scholarship to Colorado State University due to his art.  Upon graduation, he worked numerous jobs, but was never happy until he began oil painting full time.
When he won first place in oils at the Phippen Memorial Show in Prescott, Arizona, his career really began to take off.  At that same time, galleries started selling his work as fast as he could paint them.  Best of all, Tom was finally painting the cowboys, landscapes, and buildings he saw in his mind.
 Happily making a living with his brushes, Tom is adamant about accurately depicting the American cowboy on canvas and preserving that way of life.  Thus far in his career, he has received numerous awards and has had several articles written about him.  His work can be seen in galleries across the country.  The best compliment he can receive is when the cowboy he has painted sees the painting and tells him he got it just right.  Tom currently lives with his wife, Nancy, in Phoenix, Arizona.”

Below – “Last Ones Out of the River”; “Wet Paint”; untitled; “The Crossing”; “The Board Meeting”; “The Boss.”

American Art – Part II of II: Lorand Fekete

Lorand Fekete is a Romanian-American sculptor.

Below – “Depression”; “Girl After Bath”; “Three Sisters in the Park”; “Evening Topic”; “The Player”; “Cosmic Evolution.”

Art for Winter – Part I of III: Annie Lovering Perot (American, born 1854)

Below – “Old House, Bermuda”

Art for Winter – Part II of III: Jane Peterson (American, 1876-1965)

Below – “Fishing Boats at Gloucester”

Art for Winter – Part III of III: William Preston Phelps (American, 1848-1923)

Below – “Harvesting Potatoes”

A Poem for Today

Untitled (translation)
By Anna Akhmatova

A land not mine, still
forever memorable,
the waters of its ocean
chill and fresh.

Sand on the bottom whiter than chalk,
and the air drunk, like wine,
late sun lays bare
the rosy limbs of the pine trees.

Sunset in the ethereal waves:
I cannot tell if the day
is ending, or the world, or if
the secret of secrets is inside me again.

A Second Poem for Today

By Hieu Minh Nguyen

The narrow clearing down to the river
I walk alone, out of breath

my body catching on each branch.
Small children maneuver around me.

Often, I want to return to my old body
a body I also hated, but hate less

given knowledge.
Sometimes my friends—my friends

who are always beautiful & heartbroken
look at me like they know

I will die before them.
I think the life I want

is the life I have, but how can I be sure?
There are days when I give up on my body

but not the world. I am alive.
I know this. Alive now

to see the world, to see the river
rupture everything with its light.

A Third Poem for Today

“Morning Nocturne”
By Jill Bialosky

I am glad today is dark. No sun. Sky
ribboning with amorphous, complicated
layers. I prefer cumulus on my
morning beach run. What more can we worry
about? Our parents are getting older
and money is running out. The children
are leaving, the new roof is damaged by
rain and rot. I fear the thrashing of the sea
in its unrest, the unforgiving cricket.
But that’s not it. The current is rising.
The dramas are playing out. Perhaps
it’s better to be among these sandpipers
with quick feet dashing out of the surf than
a person who wishes to feel complete.

A Fourth Poem for Today

By Carl Phillips

Some nights, I rise from the latest excuse for
Why not stay awhile, usually that hour when
the coyotes roam the streets as if they’ve always
owned the place and had come back inspecting now
for damage. But what hasn’t been damaged? History
here means a history of storms rushing the trees
for so long, their bowed shapes seem a kind of star—
worth trusting, I mean, as in how the helmsman,
steering home, knows what star to lean on. Do
people, anymore, even say helmsman? Everything
in waves, or at least wave-like, as when another’s
suffering, being greater, displaces our own, or
I understand it should, which is meant to be
different, I’m sure of it, from that pleasure
Lucretius speaks of, in witnessing from land
a ship foundering at sea, though more and more
it all seems related. I love the nights here. I love
the jetty’s black ghost-finger, how it calms
the harbor, how the fog hanging stranded just
above the water is fog, finally, not the left-behind
parts of those questions from which I half-wish
I could school my mind, desperate cargo,
to keep a little distance. An old map from when
this place was first settled shows monsters
everywhere, once the shore gives out—it can still
feel like that: I dive in, and they rise like faithfulness
itself, watery pallbearers heading seaward, and
I the raft they steady. It seems there’s no turning back.

Musings in Winter: Natsume Soseki

“The very color of the air in the place I was born was different, the smell of the earth was special, redolent with memories of my parents.”

Musings in Winter: Mark Doty

“I used to walk out, at night, to the breakwater which divides the end of the harbor form the broad moor of the salt marsh. There was nothing to block the wind that had picked up speed and vigor from its Atlantic crossing. I’d study the stars in their brilliant blazing, the diaphanous swath of the Milky Way, the distant glow of Boston backlighting the clouds on the horizon as if they’d been drawn there in smudgy charcoal. I felt, perhaps for the first time, particularly American, embedded in American history, here at the nation’s slender tip. Here our westering impulse, having flooded the continent and turned back, finds itself face to face with the originating Atlantic, November’s chill, salt expanses, what Hart Crane called the ‘unfettered leewardings,’ here at the end of the world.”

Musings in Winter: Dave Hickey

“Beauty is and always will be blue skies and open highway.”

Musings in Winter:Carl Safina

“We look at the world through our own eyes, naturally. But by looking from the inside out, we see an inside-out world. This book takes the perspective of the world outside us—a world in which humans are not the measure of all things, a human race among other races. …In our estrangement from nature we have severed our sense of the community of life and lost touch with the experience of other animals. …understanding the human animal becomes easier in context, seeing our human thread woven into the living web among the strands of so many others.”

Musings in Winter: Chloe Thurlow

“And as he walked through the snow his footsteps disappeared behind him. He felt at that moment that he was coming from nowhere and going nowhere, that life isn’t a dream or a fantasy, it is a long trudge through falling snow.”

Musings in Winter: Cormac McCarthy

“Between the wish and the thing the world lies waiting.”

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