From the Pacific Northwest – Part LXIII

Musings in Winter: Stephanie Perkins

“I mean . . . I don’t know. I don’t know what I want to do, or who I want to be, or where I want to live. I don’t know. I like reading about adventure, sure, but I also like doing it from the safety of home. But what is home, besides a quilt-covered bed? Where is it?”

Art for Winter – Part I of III: Pavel Belyayev (Russian, contemporary)

Below – “Autumn Light”

A Poem for Today

“The Telephone”
By Robert Frost

“When I was just as far as I could walk
From here to-day,
There was an hour
All still
When leaning with my head against a flower
I heard you talk.
Don’t say I didn’t, for I heard you say—
You spoke from that flower on the window sill—
Do you remember what it was you said?”

“First tell me what it was you thought you heard.”

“Having found the flower and driven a bee away,
I leaned my head,
And holding by the stalk,
I listened and I thought I caught the word—
What was it? Did you call me by my name?
Or did you say—
‘Someone’ said ‘Come’—I heard it as I bowed.”

“I may have thought as much, but not aloud.”

“Well, so I came.’

Art for Winter – Part II of III: KGB (Russian, Contemporary)

Below – “Girl in Blue”

Musings in Winter: Bill Watterson

“I wish people were more like animals. Animals don’t try to change you or make you fit in. They just enjoy the pleasure of your company. Animals aren’t conditional about friendships. Animals like you just the way you are. They listen to your problems, they comfort you when you’re sad, and all they ask in return is a little kindness.”

Art for Winter – Part III of III: Joe Bohler (American, contemporary)

Below – “Old Glory”

Musings in Winter: Naveed Khan

“We call it ‘back home’
knowing full well
that the majority of us
may never go back.
That we may spend
but a handful of weeks
in the tropic heat
and relentless traffic,
tolerating family members
we may have convinced
ourselves to have missed,
but very few will submit
to that final pull to return.
We know our land, our soil
as back home, but for many of us
it is only the home we left back,
the one we left so far behind
to be thrust into a lifelong search
of another, of another, of another.”

Contemporary Russian Art – Part I of II: Aleksandr Kosenkov

In the words of one writer, “Born in the Amur region in 1959, Kosenkov first studied at the Ivanovo State Technical University in Novosibirsk. In 1984 Kosenkov began studying at the studio of Natalia Chizhik and remained one of her students until 1998.
Inspired by everyday objects, Kosenkov imbues shapes with such vibrancy that they appear to burst from the canvas. His paintings are a visual refection of the landscape of his mind, made up of street scenes, landscapes, interiors, figures and architecture. He is fascinated by the mixture of archaic elements and powerfully coloured shapes, while simultaneously using patterns to symbolize the nexus between the natural reality of the figure and the colorful world he creates.”

Below – “Botanic Gardens”; “Absinthe Drinker”; “Flower in Red Vase”; “The Beach”; “The Butterflies”; “Giraffe.”

A Second Poem for Today

By Claude McKay

There was a time when in late afternoon
    The four-o’clocks would fold up at day’s close
Pink-white in prayer, and ’neath the floating moon
    I lay with them in calm and sweet repose.
And in the open spaces I could sleep,
    Half-naked to the shining worlds above;
Peace came with sleep and sleep was long and deep,
    Gained without effort, sweet like early love.
But now no balm—nor drug nor weed nor wine—
    Can bring true rest to cool my body’s fever,
Nor sweeten in my mouth the acid brine,
    That salts my choicest drink and will forever.

Below – Claude McKay (American, 1889-1948)

Musings in Winter: Chris Kurtz

“The stars were extra bright tonight, and they shone and glimmered as if each one had something it wanted to say.”

Contemporary Russian Art – Part II of II: Gennady Zubkov

In the words of one writer, “Gennady Zubkov was born in 1940 in Perm, Russia.  In 1968 Zubkov graduated from the Painting and Graphic Department of the Hertzen State Pedagogical University in Leningrad (St. Petersburg), where he continues to live and work.”

Below – “On the Outer Bank of Ruhr”; “Female Torso”; “Early Spring”; “Landscape No. 2 with White House”; “Still Life with a Wooden Saltcellar”; “Flower.”

Musings in Winter: Valerie Ormond

“First, no other animals have the same mirroring effect as horses, meaning they will mirror humans’ emotions. Second, they are not judgmental or biased. And third, they live within a social structure, heir herds, much the same as we do.”

A Third Poem for Today

“The Map”
By Marie Howe

The failure of love might account for most of the suffering in the         world.
The girl was going over her global studies homework   
in the air where she drew the map with her finger 

touching the Gobi desert,
the Plateau of Tibet in front of her,

and looking through her transparent map backwards
I did suddenly see,
how her left is my right, and for a moment I understood.

Contemporary British Art – Irina Starkova

In the words of one writer, “Born in Moscow, 1987, Irina currently resides between London and Monaco. From an early age, Irina became interested in photography and the art of processing and developing film. Her oil on canvas work is largely figurative, with inspiration from Chuck Close and Lucian Freud.
Birds and insects preserve well – their feathers and gentle wings remain beautifully intact, though lifeless. Starkova wanted to convey these ephemeral moments of stillness, usually only captured by the most skillful of wildlife photographers, through various mediums present in the exhibition.
Irina Starkova’s search for the understanding of this chapter of existence led her to push the boundaries of her interest in nature photography. There is a fascinating dichotomy in the specimens she was able to view. Majestic Golden Eagles, rainbow-like parrots and gentle butterflies, all seemingly alive, yet frozen in a momentary beauty – notions of the transient nature of time and manifested conclusion of death become intertwined, brought to life by the antique art of taxidermy.”

Below – “Fight or Flight”; “Aviary”; “Golden Eagle with Halo (red and blue)”; “Ad infinitum”; “In Full Flight”; “Face in the Sand.”

Musings in Winter: Virginia Alison

“What am I searching for? Maybe its the beliefs I had as a child, that the world is a nice place, that people are genuinely who they say they are, that life is not simply what it is, where the sun shines and the stars glitter for me. Where am I going? I do not know but maybe I am just searching for those beliefs that lead to a happy ending.”

A Fourth Poem for Today

“Spring Day [Bath]”
By Amy Lowell

The day is fresh-washed and fair, and there is a smell of tulips and narcissus in the air.
The sunshine pours in at the bath-room window and bores through the water in the bath-tub in lathes and planes of greenish-white. It cleaves the water into flaws like a jewel, and cracks it to bright light.
Little spots of sunshine lie on the surface of the water and dance, dance, and their reflections wobble deliciously over the ceiling; a stir of my finger sets them whirring, reeling. I move a foot and the planes of light in the water jar. I lie back and laugh, and let the green-white water, the sun-flawed beryl water, flow over me. The day is almost too bright to bear, the green water covers me from the too bright day. I will lie here awhile and play with the water and the sun spots.
The sky is blue and high. A crow flaps by the window, and there is a whiff of tulips and narcissus in the air.

Below – Everett Shinn (American, 1876-1953): “Girl in Bathtub”

Musings in Winter: Cormac McCarthy

“His origins are become remote as is his destiny and not again in all the world’s turnings will there be terrains so wild and barbarous to try whether the stuff of creation may be shaped to man’s will or whether his own heart is not another kind of clay.”

Below – Albert Bierstadt (American, 1830-1902): “Rocky Mountain Landscape” (1870)

American Art – Part I of II: Joseph Bonomo

Artist Statement: “People will always be a major focal point of my art. It is what makes our time here so interesting, life and the people who live it. It is in everyday moments that people have the greatest impact on one another. A portrait painting must be a realization of the model; it must capture the essence of the person’s presence.”

Below – “Bank of Lake”; “Girl in Garden”; “Country Road”; “Quiet Moment”; “The Copyist”; “Pears.”

A Fifth Poem for Today

By Marilyn Nelson

What if to taste and see, to notice things,
to stand each is up against emptiness
for a moment or an eternity—
images collected in consciousness
like a tree alone on the horizon—
is the main reason we’re on the planet.
The food’s here of the first crow to arrive,
numbers two and three at a safe distance,
then approaching the hand-created taste
of leftover coconut macaroons.
The instant sparks in the earth’s awareness.

Musings in Winter: Jack Kerouac

“At night in this part of the West the stars, as I had seen them in Wyoming, were as big as Roman Candles and as lonely as the Prince who’s lost his ancestral home and journeys across the spaces trying to find it again, and knows he never will.”

American Art – Part II of II: Don Sahli

In the words of one writer, “Don’s journey to become a professional artist began at an early age. During high school, he was honored as a gold key finalist at the National Scholastic Art Competition for an unprecedented four consecutive years. At age 16 he was exhibiting and selling his work at galleries in Taos, New Mexico and in Texas. As a freshman at the University of Texas at Austin, he made the Dean’s list and his work was selected for the student faculty show. In 1982 he met Sergei Bongart, the famous Russian colorist. ‘I attended a painting demonstration by Sergei Bongart at his summer workshop in Rexburg, Idaho. There I saw Bongart use color, paint and confident brush strokes like I had never seen before. At that moment I knew I wanted to be a painter in this colorful tradition of the Russian School. My life was changed forever in an instant.’”

Below – “Dead Horse Point”; “Passion of Piney Lake”; “In Grandmother’s Vase”; “Makena Beach Sunset”; “Sahli Garden”; “Cherry Red Barn, Lookout Mountain.”

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