From the Pacific Northwest – Part LII

Musings in Winter: Dermot Bolger

“Home was not the place where you were born but the place you created yourself, where you did not need to explain, where you finally became what you were.”

Art for Winter – Part I of III: Frank Vining Smith (American, 1879-1967)

Below – “The Stag Hound”

Musings in Winter: William Shakespeare

“When I bestride him, I soar, I am a hawk: he trots the air; the earth sings when he touches it; the basest horn of his hoof is more musical than the pipe of Hermes.”

Art for Winter – Part II of III: Russell Smith (American, 1812-1896)

Below – “Brush Run on Pine Creek, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania”

A Poem for Today

“Modern Declaration”
By Edna St. Vincent Millay

I, having loved ever since I was a child a few things, never having wavered
In these affections; never through shyness in the houses of the rich or in the presence of clergymen having denied these loves;
Never when worked upon by cynics like chiropractors having grunted or clicked a vertebra to the discredit of these loves;
Never when anxious to land a job having diminished them by a conniving smile; or when befuddled by drink
Jeered at them through heartache or lazily fondled the fingers of their alert enemies; declare

That I shall love you always.
No matter what party is in power;
No matter what temporarily expedient combination of allied interests wins the war;
Shall love you always.

Art for Winter – Part III of III: Xanthus Russell Smith (American, 1839-1929)

Below – “Fresh Water Cove and Robin Hood Inn, Bailey Island, Maine”

Musings in Winter: Donna Lynn Hope

“Heart thoughts are profound, hindsight aches and hope is obscure. I’m craving a great adventure — one that leads me back home.”

Argentinean Art – Fernando Fader

In the words of one writer, “Fernando Fader (April 11, 1882 – February 25, 1935) was a French-born Argentine painter of the Post-impressionist school.
Fernando Fader was born in Bordeaux, France in 1882. His father, of Prussian descent, relocated the family to Argentina in 1884, settling in the western city of Mendoza before returning to France a few years later. Graduating from secondary school, Fader returned to Mendoza in 1898, where he first practiced his skill as an artist painting urban landscapes. Fader relocated to Munich in 1900, where he enrolled at a local vocational school. This training allowed him enrollment at the prestigious Munich Academy of Fine Arts, where he was mentored by Heinrich von Zügel, prominent in Europe’s Naturalist Barbizon School.”

Musings in Winter: Cormac McCarthy

“The world is quite ruthless in selecting between the dream and the reality, even where we will not.”

British Art – Jack Vettriano

In the words of one writer, “Born in Fife, Scotland, Jack Vettriano left school at sixteen to become a mining engineer. For his twenty-first birthday, a girlfriend gave him a set of watercolour paints and, from then on, he spent much of his spare time teaching himself to paint.
In 1989, he submitted two paintings to the Royal Scottish Academy’s annual exhibition; both were accepted and sold on the first day. The following year, an equally enthusiastic reaction greeted the three paintings, which he entered for the prestigious Summer Exhibition at London’s Royal Academy and his new life as an artist began from that point on.”

A Second Poem for Today

By Martha Ronk

Into this file must go the viewing of films so that characters leave one room
and enter another in which events happen to them in the dark.
History comes to a head in the time of the disaster that structures it.
It depends on knowing that raptor and rapture share the same root.
The hawk over the cleft in the hill heading towards its prey heading towards
where the wind is taking it. Bill Evans in a nightclub I never went to.
Documentaries must be filmed in grainy black and white
and it’s best to include voice-overs to explain the inscrutable parts.
Even a nightclub is an historical event given the costumes women wore
and Lauren Bacall gambling too much and rhapsodic about him or acting the part.
I pretend to look at the hawk and it seems a good idea given the circumstances
so I make myself do it and after a time it is all I want to do all afternoon.

Musings in Winter: Roger Lea MacBride

“She loved all the creatures of the farm. Each one, even a hen, was like a person to her, even more real than many of the real people she knew. Some were playful or bold, and some were shy. Some were gentle, and some were wicked. Some were smart, like Fido, and some were foolish, like the hens.”

Below – William Edward Millner: “Feeding the Chickens”

Lithuanian Art – Hanan Milner

According to one writer, Hanan Milner (born 1949) “studied at Tel Aviv art schools Renanim and TelmYallin and at the Bezalel art academy in Jerusalem.”

A Third Poem for Today

“Gwendolyn Brooks Park, Topeka”
By Ed Skoog

They carved the letters yellow,
and painted
the wood around the letters green,
chained a picnic table to the grass
out near where the roof of the dead
mall directs a crack
of sunset to radiate the Burger King sign gold.
Last place open after midnight:
then apartment windows hold
stars and satellites in the cold.
A creek runs like a paper fold
from one corner of park to other,
twenty or thirty blocks from where
she took her first breaths of infancy
in the only city I know of
with the letters for ‘poet’
that does not also carry
a port or a point in its name.

Musings in Winter: Helen Thompson

“In riding a horse, we borrow freedom.”

American Art – Part I of II: George Kovach

In the words of one writer, “George Kovach was born of Hungarian descent in Cleveland, Ohio. It was during his childhood on an Ohio farm that art became the focus of George’s life. There he strived to capture on canvas the beautiful countryside that surrounded his home. He attended and graduated from the Art Institute of Miami and became a full-time artist in 1972. George is busy painting at either his home in Texas or in his summer studio in New Mexico.”

Below – “Red Hawk Canyon”; “Gulfshores Solitude”; “Indian Springs”; “High Hopes”; “High Plains Drifters”; “Spring Creek Draw.”

A Fourth Poem for Today

“Golden Oldie”
By Rita Dove

I made it home early, only to get
stalled in the driveway, swaying
at the wheel like a blind pianist caught in a tune
meant for more than two hands playing.

The words were easy, crooned
by a young girl dying to feel alive, to discover
a pain majestic enough
to live by. I turned the air-conditioning off,

leaned back to float on a film of sweat,
and listened to her sentiment:
‘Baby, where did our love go?’—a lament
I greedily took in

without a clue who my lover
might be, or where to start looking.

Musings in Winter: Neil Gaiman

“I like the stars. It’s the illusion of permanence, I think. I mean, they’re always flaring up and caving in and going out. But from here, I can pretend…I can pretend that things last. I can pretend that lives last longer than moments. Gods come, and gods go. Mortals flicker and flash and fade. Worlds don’t last; and stars and galaxies are transient, fleeting things that twinkle like fireflies and vanish into cold and dust. But I can pretend.”

American Art – Part II of II: Mary Kay Krell

In the words of one writer, “Mary Kay Krell grew up in Ann Arbor, Michigan, a university town. She was raised in a musical family and became interested in the arts at an early age. Her major at the University of Michigan School of Architecture and Design was in painting and printmaking. In a work-study program during her college years she learned graphic skills and has held several positions as a graphic artist. These jobs were intermingled with raising a family, moving several times, and dabbling in acrylics and pen and ink illustrations. After a move to Minnesota in 1985, Krell began painting seriously in watercolor, and began experimenting with oils in 1998. She has developed a representational style characterized by softness, delicacy, luminosity, and meticulous preoccupation with color and texture. Her subject matter is botanical; either nursery and garden scenes or still life with flowers, with special attention given to the structure and color balance of the piece.”

Below – “Millefiori”; “Texas Bayou – Caddo Lake”; “Life Cycle”; “Chimayo Red”; “Sunrise Magnolia”; “Sparkles and Stripes.”

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