From the Pacific Northwest – Part LXXIII

Musings in Winter: Lauren Klarfeld

“When coming back, we may notice we have changed because others haven’t.”

Art for Winter – Part I of III: Randy Browning (American, contemporary)

Below – “Red Peppers”

A Poem for Today

“Portrait of Madame Monet on Her Deathbed”
By Mary Rose O’Reilley

Monet confided to his journal, “All the while she was dying, I could not stop painting her face.”
—Monet at Vétheuil
He will paint her again as grain;
now she is fog
the chantilly fog of the Seine:
avoiding no hint of the slow dissolve,
the bandage around her jaw,
rigor’s cramp at the lip,
how death abraded and hollowed her,
while he remembered light.
Had he a failed heart
or a wholly transfigured eye
that knew her tonight as water
convulsion and sky?
that stared through layers of the body
at more than it took to die?

Below – Claude Monet: “Camille on Her Death Bed”

Art for Winter – Part II of III: Aleksey Gromov (Russian, contemporary)

Below – “Courage”

Musings in Winter: Vera Nazarian

“Once upon a time, the Reindeer took a running leap and jumped over the Northern Lights.
But he jumped too low, and the long fur of his beautiful flowing tail got singed by the rainbow fires of the aurora.
To this day the reindeer has no tail to speak of. But he is too busy pulling the Important Sleigh to notice what is lost. And he certainly doesn’t complain.
What’s your excuse?”

Art for Winter – Part III of III: Evgeny Dorokhov (Russian, contemporary)

Below – “Festive Toll”

Musings in Winter: Amy Leach

“Whether people need nature or not, it was clear that nature needed people. But perhaps nature needs us like a hostage needs her captors: nature needs us not to annihilate her, not to run her over, not to cover her with cement, not to chop her down. We can hardly admire ourselves, then, when we stop to accommodate nature’s needs: we are dubious heroes who create peril and then save it’s victims, we who rescue the animals and the trees from ourselves.”

Contemporary Russian Art – Vladimir Dukhovlinov

In the words of one writer, “Vladimir Dukhovlinov was born in the Dugavpils, the capital modern day Latvia, which is a Baltic region in Northern Europe. As a child, Dukhovlinov was surrounded by a particularly volatile political and social situation, as 1949 saw the period of USSR dominance. The country itself only managed to gain independence in 1991, when Russia recognized the separation of its multiple states. The historical governmental authority upon Latvia by the USSR motivated Duhovlinov to move to the old Russian capital of Leningrad in 1967
Alongside his completion of secondary school of linguistics, Dukhovlinov pursued his passion for art and artistic pursuits, through personal membership at numerous artistic societies, which focused on design and architecture. His talent for figurative painting, as well as his exceptionally skilled drawings spurred Dukhovlinov to apply to the coveted Serov Art School. There, due to his complete fixation on relics and antiquities, Dukhovlinov chose to study at the faculty of restoration. Here, he had access to renewing and remodeling old icons, church frescos and religious art works. This access was greatly limited to only those who were enrolled at the restoration faculty, as the state of USSR was proclaimed to be secular, due to the contradictory social stance of religion and socialism. This admission into an artistic world, which was only available to him has had an impact on Dukhovlinov’s artistic direction.
Upon completing his studies at the Servo Art School, Dukhovlinov went on to continue his artistic academia at the Muhina Art school, in the faculty of design. Here, strong tendency of focus upon figurative line drawing as well as the favoritism placed upon German expressivism as study, meant that Dukhovlinov was very aware of the artistic trends throughout Europe at the time. Dukhovlinov graduated from the Muhina Art School in 1976, immediately becoming a member of the Artist’s Guild of Russia.”

Below – “Acrostic”; “Camera Obscura no. 8”; “To the Right of the Horizon”; “Performance”; “Levitation Lesson”; “Sahara’s Post.”

A Second Poem for Today

“Dragged Mass”
By Rick Barot

What are we supposed to make
of the granite block dragged across the dirt lot

behind a tractor that has been instructed
to build up a mound out of the displaced dirt, a mess

far away from what we would call the aesthetic
and more to do with the disturbance

of fresh graves or construction, the rock
so enormous it seems more conceptual than actual,

the way large things tend to be, the way scale
is a kind of assertion, the larger

the louder, and the smaller heartbreaking,
so that we want to imagine the theatrics of the dirt lot

back to the artist’s hand on paper,
the artist trying to transform desire into vision,

or a representation of something
like vision, one that makes us see the granite

and the hurt earth as images of the body, of gravity,
of what time does to the body,

which is to scour it, which must have something to do
with why I am looking at you now, asleep

among blue sheets as though it is any morning,
in winter light, in the light of the eye.

Musings in Winter: Elizabeth Berg

“The light is amber, the air still; the daylilies have folded in on themselves. Soon, the hooded blue of dusk will fall, followed by the darkness of night and the sky writing of the stars, indecipherable to us mortals, despite our attempts to force narrative upon them.”

Classic American Art – Part I of II: Charles Marion Russell

In the words of one writer, “Charles Marion Russell (March 19, 1864 – October 24, 1926), also known as C. M. Russell, Charlie Russell, and “Kid” Russell, was an artist of the Old American West. Russell created more than 2,000 paintings of cowboys, Indians, and landscapes set in the Western United States and in Alberta, Canada, in addition to bronze sculptures.”

Below – “Smoke of a .45”; “Cowboy on a Bay Horse”; “Returning to Camp”; “Chief Bear Claw”; “Meat for Wild Men”; “Stagecoach.”

A Third Poem for Today

“The Painting”
By John Balaban

The stream runs clear to its stones;
the fish swim in sharp outline.
Girl, turn your face for me to draw.
Tomorrow, if we should drift apart,
I shall find you by this picture.

Below – Kei Meguro: “Girl Without a Pearl Earring”

Classic American Art – Part II of II: Maynard Dixon

In the words of one writer, “Maynard Dixon (January 24, 1875 – November 11, 1946) was a 20th-century American artist whose body of work focused on the American West. He was married for a time to American photographer Dorothea Lange.”

Below – “Adobe Town, Tempe, Arizona”; “Blue Trees”; “Old Patio, New Mexico”; “The Cloud, Coachella Valley, California”; “Old Chinatown, Carson City, Nevada”; “White Butte, Utah.”

A Fourth Poem for Today

“Why I Keep A Diary”
By William Stafford

While I follow the wind
There is no wind. Because
my wings are silent. I follow
the coast and find these pines
wrapped in the wind, the old believers.

And I know that I am alive
and this is the world’s trail
a day, a day, a day
much on its own track.
Where did the others go?

Pacemaker sun, persuader,
and heart that wants to beat
(and then the soul’s one stride):
my destiny is to find
this coast I follow.

Musings in Winter: Robinson Jeffers

“The first part of ‘The Double Axe’ was written during the war and finished a year before the war ended, and it bears the scars; but the poem is not primarily concerned with that grim folly. Its burden, as of some previous work of mine, is to present a certain philosophical attitude, which might be called Inhumanism, a shifting of emphasis and significance from man to not-man; the rejection of human solipsism and recognition of the transhuman magnificence. It seems time that our race began to think as an adult does, rather than like an egocentric baby 3/16or insane person. This manner of thought and feeling is neither misanthropic nor pessimist, though two or three people have said so and may again. It involves no falsehoods, and is a means of maintaining sanity in slippery times; it has objective truth and human value. It offers a reasonable detachment as rule of conduct, instead of love, hate and envy. It neutralizes fanaticism and wild hopes; but it provides magnificence for the religious instinct, and satisfies our need to admire greatness and rejoice in beauty…It is based on a recognition of the astonishing beauty of things and their living wholeness, and on a rational acceptance of the fact that mankind is neither central nor important in the universe; our vices and blazing crimes are as insignificant as our happiness. […]  Turn outward from each other, so far as need and kindness permit, to the vast life and inexhaustible beauty beyond humanity. This is not a slight matter, but an essential condition of freedom, and of moral and vital sanity.”

Below – Robinson Jeffers

Contemporary American Art – Part I of II: Mark P. Williamson

In the words of one writer, “Born in Houston, Texas, Mark Williamson now resides and sculpts in Dallas. While he has chosen Texas as his home, he has studied art and sculpture all over the world. Williamson attended the Dickenson College Art Program where he studied design, composition and form, life drawing, and sculpture for two years. After this, he packed up and headed to Pietrasanta, Italy where he studied marble sculpting. His world travels continued as he made his way to Barcelona, Spain and began studying stone sculpturing philosophy and techniques at the studio compound of stone sculptor Xavier Corbero. He tied up his world travels and returned back to Texas where he took an apprenticeship with the known granite sculptor, Jesus Moroles of Rockport, Texas. Williamson’s work brings an updated perspective to stone sculpture. He uses many mediums from granite to everyday straws in order to create his masterpieces. Mark has been quoted as saying ‘The physical challenges as well as the perspectives and psychological possibilities that are unique to Three-dimensional work, invigorate me.’ This invigoration he feels during his creation process makes a permeate stamp on each and every piece.”

Below – “His Muse” (bronze); “She Wants” (marble); “Within Her, Without Her” (stone); “Austin Foliage” (stone); “Effervescence” (marble); “Small Nichole” (bronze).

Musings in Winter: Arthur Rimbaud

“The northern lights rise like a kiss to the sea.”

Contemporary American Art – Part II of II: Dahlbart Windberg

In the words of one writer, “Dalhart Windberg was born in 1933 in Goliad County, Texas. His eighth grade teacher encouraged his parents to find training for him. He was allowed training with a nun at a local convent. A Texas native, Windberg began to attract national attention in the 1960s. He studied under the Texas painter Simon Michael. Windberg was determined to paint like the masters; so, he developed a way to have a smooth surface by using diluted modeling paste to prepare his painting surface. By using this technique he could duplicate the look of the masters without spending as much time on each painting. He has executed romantic still lifes and figurative oil paintings depicting life in Mexico, Spain and Greece; but it is his American landscape work that has captured the imagination of collectors. He also travels to the western United States to paint the Grand Tetons and Yellowstone. He frequently wanders around his home state, focusing on the state favorite–bluebonnets. These paintings have a universal appeal in that they evoke feelings of peace and a vision of natural harmony in the midst of our modern chaotic world. Windberg is a romantic realist whose works embody a strenuous, lifelong devotion to his art. He paints whatever strikes his fancy, working from photographs, his travels, and his experiences, and bringing his mood into the setting. The lighting employed distinguishes each of his paintings. Each scene that he paints magnifies a sense of natural light. Windberg prefers the morning and evening light, but he will also use seasonal light to repaint a place that he has been at different times of the year.”

Below – “Westward”; “Running River”; “Motoring Towards the Sunset”; “Colorado Stream”; “The Old Shack”; “Garden of Eden.”

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