From the Pacific Northwest – Part LXI

Musings in Winter: Osho

“It is not the truth which has to be sought, it is you who have to be brought home.”

Art for Winter – Part I of III: Gary Lee Price (American, contemporary)

Below – “Shakespeare” (bronze)

A Poem for Today

“Every Dog’s Story”
By Mary Oliver

I have a bed, my very own.
It’s just my size.
And sometimes I like to sleep alone
with dreams inside my eyes.

But sometimes dreams are dark and wild and creepy
and I wake and am afraid, though I don’t know why.
But I’m no longer sleepy
and too slowly the hours go by.

So I climb on the bed where the light of the moon
is shining on your face
and I know it will be morning soon.

Everybody needs a safe place.

Art for Winter – Part II of III: Marianne Coroselli (American, contemporary)

Below – “Wild Spirit” (bronze)

Musings in Winter: Gretel Ehrlich

“Animals hold us to what is present: to who we are at the time, not who we’ve been or how are bank accounts describe us. What’s obvious to an animal is not the embellishment that fattens our emotional resumes but what’s bedrock and current in us: aggression, fear, insecurity, happiness, or equanimity. Because they have the ability to read our involuntary ticks and scents, we’re transparent to them and thus exposed—we’re finally ourselves.”

Art for Winter – Part III of III: Harold Kraus (American, contemporary)

Below – “Hydrangeas”

A Second Poem for Today

By Joy Harjo

 for Audre Lorde

This city is made of stone, of blood, and fish.
There are Chugatch Mountains to the east
and whale and seal to the west.
It hasn’t always been this way, because glaciers
who are ice ghosts create oceans, carve earth
and shape this city here, by the sound.
They swim backwards in time.

Once a storm of boiling earth cracked open
the streets, threw open the town.
It’s quiet now, but underneath the concrete
is the cooking earth,
                                 and above that, air
which is another ocean, where spirits we can’t see
are dancing                joking                   getting full
on roasted caribou, and the praying
goes on, extends out.

Nora and I go walking down 4th Avenue
and know it is all happening.
On a park bench we see someone’s Athabascan
grandmother, folded up, smelling like 200 years
of blood and piss, her eyes closed against some
unimagined darkness, where she is buried in an ache
in which nothing makes

We keep on breathing, walking, but softer now,
the clouds whirling in the air above us.
What can we say that would make us understand
better than we do already?
Except to speak of her home and claim her
as our own history, and know that our dreams
don’t end here, two blocks away from the ocean
where our hearts still batter away at the muddy shore.

And I think of the 6th Avenue jail, of mostly Native
and Black men, where Henry told about being shot at
eight times outside a liquor store in L.A., but when
the car sped away he was surprised he was alive,
no bullet holes, man, and eight cartridges strewn
on the sidewalk
                        all around him.

Everyone laughed at the impossibility of it,
but also the truth. Because who would believe
the fantastic and terrible story of all of our survival
those who were never meant
                                                to survive?

Contemporary Russian Art – Part I of III: Mikhail Golubev

In the words of one writer, “The young Russian artist Mikhail Golubev lives and works in St. Petersburg. His work consists of ‘thought paintings,’ fantasy paintings, and philosophical reflections. He is an extremely interesting artist with a view of the world that is unique, yet feels very familiar.”

Below – “Four Ages of Man”; “Good Morning”; “Peaceful Day”; “Russians Do Not Surrender.”

Musings in Winter: Ogden Nash

“I would not engage the wombat
In any form of mortal combat.”

Contemporary Russian Art – Part II of III: Serge Marshennikov

In the words of one writer, “These are not photographs, but paintings by the Russian realist painter Serge Marshennikov. Many of his most famous paintings depict the artist’s wife and muse, Natalia. The couple has been together for many years, and is raising a 10-year-old daughter. Meanwhile, the whole world admires this artist’s sensual and tender work.”

Below – untitled; untitled; untitled; untitled.

A Third Poem for Today

By Alicia Ostriker

My neighbor’s daughter has created a city
you cannot see
on an island to which you cannot swim
ruled by a noble princess and her athletic consort
all the buildings are glass so that lies are impossible
beneath the city they have buried certain words
which can never be spoken again
chiefly the word divorce which is eaten by maggots
when it rains you hear chimes
rabbits race through its suburbs
the name of the city is one you can almost pronounce

Contemporary Russian Art – Part III of III: Alexander Vinogradov and Vladimir Dubossarsky

In the words of one writer, “Vinogradov and Dubossarsky are the great, raunchy delinquents of contemporary Russian painting. The creative duo formed in the mid-1990s, and has already gained worldwide fame. It was for good reason that writer Victor Pelevin used works of Dubossarsky and Vinogradov as illustrations for one of his novels.”

Below – “Hot Summer”; “Underwater World”; “Natasha”; “New Russian Troika.”

A Fourth Poem for Today

“There Will Be Stars”
By Sara Teasdale

There will be stars over the place forever;
Though the house we loved and the street we loved are lost,
Every time the earth circles her orbit
On the night the autumn equinox is crossed,
Two stars we knew, poised on the peak of midnight
Will reach their zenith; stillness will be deep;
There will be stars over the place forever,
There will be stars forever, while we sleep.

Musings in Winter: Louise Erdrich

“She was a horse lover and she and Whitey kept a mean old paint, a fancy quarter horse/Arabian mix, a roan Appaloosa with one ghost eye named Spook, and a pony. So along with the whiskey and perfume and smoke, she often exuded faint undertones of hay, dust, and the fragrance of horse, which once you smell it you always miss it. Humans were meant to live with the horse.”

South African Art – Neil Rodger

In the words of one writer, “Neil Rodger was born in 1941 in Mowbray, Cape Town. He now lives and works in the Eastern Cape, where he thrives on the austerity and solitude of the region. It seems that this environment is conducive to the enigmatic silence so characteristic of his finest work.”

Artist Statement: “I believe that pictures rarely benefit from commentary by the artist. In general I would say that while most good art has been extremely difficult and taxing in the making, it is a prerequisite of great art that this is not evident – that it appears effortless or even inevitable.”

Musings in Winter: Maud Hart Lovelace

“The wastes of snow on the hill were ghostly in the moonlight. The stars were piercingly bright.”

American Art – Part I of II: Gerald G. Balciar

In the words of one writer, “Born in northern Wisconsin on August 28, 1942, Gerald Balciar had an early interest in art beginning back in grade school. His art is noted for its readily identifiable artistic style which is grounded in an in-depth knowledge of animals. For reference he works from his extensive library of wildlife material which includes photos, magazine clippings, books, and numerous study casts and measurements. He also uses live models as an invaluable aid in his sculptures and receives excellent cooperation from zoologists and wildlife organizations.
Balciar is involved in the creative process of bronze making from the beginning to end. He works his original sculpture in wax or clay and then personally makes his own molds and chases his own waxes. Once the bronze is cast at the foundry, he does the welding and metal chasing and then applies the patina and finishing touches to each bronze.”

Below – “Beaver Lodge”; “Alpine Pikas”; “Canyon King”; “Flyover”; “Hollyhocks and Hummers”; “Leaders of the Pack.”

A Fifth Poem for Today

“On Falling (Blue Spruce)”
By Joanna Klink

Dusk fell every night. Things
fall. Why should I
have been surprised. 

Before it was possible
to imagine my life
without it, the winds

arrived, shattering air
and pulling the tree
so far back its roots,

ninety years, ripped
and sprung. I think
as it fell it became

unknowable. Every day
of my life now I cannot
understand. The force

of dual winds lifting
ninety years of stillness
as if it were nothing,

as if it hadn’t held every
crow and fog, emptying
night from its branches. 

The needles fell. The pinecones
dropped every hour
on my porch, a constant

irritation. It is enough
that we crave objects,
that we are always

looking for a way
out of pain. What is beyond
task and future sits right

before us, endlessly
worthy. I have planted
a linden, with its delicate

clean angles, on a plot
one tenth the size. Some change
is too great. 

Somewhere there is a field,
white and quiet, where a tree
like this one stands,

made entirely of
hovering. Nothing will
hold me up like that again.

Musings in Winter: Cormac McCarthy

“They watched storms out there so distant they could not be heard, the silent lightning flaring sheetwise and the thin black spine of the mountain chain fluttering and sucked away again in the dark. They saw wild horses racing on the plain, pounding their shadows down the night and- leaving in the moonlight a vaporous dust like the palest stain of their passing.”

American Art – Part II of II: Marty Ricks

Artist Statement: “I grew up in Southeastern Idaho, surrounded by rivers, mountains, and artists.  
My father Don Ricks, and all three of my brothers, were–at one time oranother–professional artists.  I was the only one who had resisted the urge to paint,until just after September 11th, 2001. The New York attacks nearly swamped the business which I had built.  In response, I decided to become an artist.” 

Below – “Snake River Sunset”; “First Snow”; “Indian Summer”; “Clark Fork”; “Canyon at Last Light”; “Spring Lilacs.”

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