From the Pacific Northwest – Part LXXV

Beware the Ides of March!

I know that I make the same post every March 15th, but there are some wounds that time does not heal.
15 March 44 BCE: Julius Caesar is assassinated, an event that led to a protracted civil war.
15 March 1974 CE: Robert Neralich gets married, an event that led to three decidedly uncivil sons.
Julius Caesar definitely suffered the better Ides of March fate. After all, his pain was short-lived, while mine has lasted the majority of my lifetime.

Below – Vincenzo Camuccini: “The Assassination of Julius Caesar” (1798); my three character assassins (1985).

Art for Winter – Part I of V: Maria Bozoky (Hungarian, 1917-1996)

Below – “George Sand Listening to Chopin”

Art for Winter – Part II of V: Hennie DeKorte (Dutch, contemporary)

Below – “In the Artist’s Studio”

Musings in Winter: Robinson Jeffers

“That public men publish falsehoods
Is nothing new. That America must accept
Like the historical republics corruption and empire
Has been known for years.

Be angry at the sun for setting
If these things anger you.”

Art for Winter – Part III of V: Carol Durrum (American, contemporary)

Below – “Wild Persimmons”

A Poem for Today

“An Oregon Message”
By William Stafford

When we first moved here, pulled   
the trees in around us, curled   
our backs to the wind, no one   
had ever hit the moon—no one.
Now our trees are safer than the stars,   
and only other people’s neglect   
is our precious and abiding shell,
pierced by meteors, radar, and the telephone.

From our snug place we shout
religiously for attention, in order to hide:   
only silence or evasion will bring
dangerous notice, the hovering hawk
of the state, or the sudden quiet stare   
and fatal estimate of an alerted neighbor.

This message we smuggle out in   
its plain cover, to be opened   
quietly: Friends everywhere—
we are alive! Those moon rockets   
have missed millions of secret   
places! Best wishes.

Burn this.

Below – William and Dorothy Stafford

Art for Winter – Part IV of V: James Eddleman (American, contemporary)

Below – “Mockingbird” (wood)

Musings in Winter: Robinson Jeffers

“I believe that the universe is one being, all its parts are different expressions of the same energy… parts of one organic whole…. (This is physics, I believe, as well as religion.) The parts change and pass, or die, people and races and rocks and stars; none of them seems to me important in itself, but only the whole. This whole is in all its parts so beautiful, and is felt by me to be so intensely in earnest, that I am compelled to love it, and to think of it as divine.”

Below – Robinson Jeffers

Art for Winter – Part V of V: Angel Espoy (American, 1879-1963)

Below – “Superstition Mountain”

A Second Poem for Today

By William Stafford

Sometimes up out of this land   
a legend begins to move.
Is it a coming near
of something under love?

Love is of the earth only,   
the surface, a map of roads   
leading wherever go miles   
or little bushes nod.

Not so the legend under,   
fixed, inexorable,
deep as the darkest mine   
the thick rocks won’t tell.

As fire burns the leaf
and out of the green appears   
the vein in the center line
and the legend veins under there,

So, the world happens twice—
once what we see it as;
second it legends itself
deep, the way it is.

Contemporary Russian Art – Part I of III: Irina Filatova

In the words of one writer, “Irina Filatova was born in Kaluga. She lives and works in Moscow.  She is a member of the Moscow Unit of Artists since 2011.”

Below – “Spring 1”; “Spring 2”; “Spring 3.”

A Third Poem for Today

By William Stafford

A birthday is when you might not have been born

and you remember the sister you didn’t have

because there was a war on. That could have been

you, so it is a happy day and your parents

tell you they are glad. You feel the air

go past. From across the river the sound 

of a train comes through the window, and it’s

your sister saying good-by to all the years.

Her ghost will be upstairs at bedtime

but you won’t tell anybody but will send

your birthday on your breath out into the dark.

Contemporary Russian Art – Part II of III: Aleksandr Fyodorov

In the words of one writer, “Aleksandr Fyodorov was born in 1954 in Leningrad. His father was an artist and his mother an art critic. It would seem obvious for him to have become a painter, but Fedorov, who was always fond of drawing, succeeded in other school subjects as well. On finishing studying at a school for physics and mathematics, he enrolled in the Leningrad Technological Institute. But still, after getting a diploma in petro chemistry, he couldn’t give up art. One year spent at the Serov Art School helped to influence him toward pursuing the sphere of art and make up his mind once and for all with confidence. Since 1985 he has been exhibiting his artwork.
Fyodorov’s unique style demonstrates the duality of his talents: passion for art and ability in technical sciences. His simultaneously realistic and imaginary characters live in an utterly unreal vacuum-like environment. The artist seems to analyse every object and divide it into its components while trying to reveal the overarching structure. The jewellery-like refinement and thoroughness of his painting is close to decorative art but this affection to meticulous depictions always implies a certain intellectual game. Mystery and ambiguity, intentionally entwined into the fabric of a subject, involve the viewer in a game of unraveling images and meanings.”

Below – “Thistle”; “Tropical Rhythms”; “Cats”; “Golden Fleece”; “Sea Foam”; “An Old Tree.”

Musings in Winter: Robinson Jeffers

“It is only a little planet, but how beautiful it is.”

Contemporary Russian Art – Part III of III: Maria Garkavenko

In the words of one writer, “The artist herself admits to her constant pursuit of the inspection of the soul and self-analysis as well as her simplistic line of artistic expression. It is due to this unconventional approach that her paintings are so captivating. Many have noted that this avenue within artistic practice has an echo of the antediluvian Russian conduct. Hence, it does become interesting to question the artist’s choice of working with the particular medium of oil and canvas, when the corresponding content could have been more easily achieved with alternative ones.
Consequently, although one may be misled by the oversimplified form of the masterpieces, it is always important to take a closer look at the play of the content and colors in her various works. In respect to color after careful investigation one is able to boldly distinguish between the various textual and shade differences on the canvas.”

Below – “Wedding”; “Sacrifice”; “Souls”; “Cosmic Tree”; “Double”; “Phoenix.”

A Fourth Poem for Today

“Choosing A Dog”
By William Stafford

“It’s love,” they say. You touch
the right one and a whole half of the universe
wakes up, a new half.

Some people never find
that half, or they neglect it or trade it
for money or success and it dies.

The faces of big dogs tell, over the years,
that size is a burden: you enjoy it for awhile
but then maintenance gets to you.

When I get old I think I’ll keep, not a little
dog, but a serious dog,
for the casual, drop-in criminal —

My kind of dog, unimpressed by
dress or manner, just knowing
what’s really there by the smell.

Your good dogs, some things that they hear
they don’t really want you to know —
it’s too grim or ethereal.

And sometimes when they look in the fire
they see time going on and someone alone,
but they don’t say anything.

Contemporary American Art – Part I of II: Fred Fellows

In the words of one writer, “Fred Fellows is a member of the Cowboy Artists of America, and has won Gold and Silver medals in both painting and sculpture.”

Below – “Breaking Trail” (bronze); “Dancing Back the Past” (bronze); “Down from the High Country” (bronze); “The Range Doctors” (oil on canvas); “Wise in the Ways of the Eagle, the Otter, and the Bear” (charcoal on paper); “View from the Pass” (bronze).

Musings in Winter: Robinson Jeffers

“The tides are in our veins, we still mirror the stars,
life is your child…”

Contemporary American Art – Part II of II: Adam Sorensen

Painter Adam Sorensen (born 1976) earned a BFA in Sculpture from the School of Art and Design at Alfred University and a Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Painting from the Studio Arts Center International in Florence, Italy. He lives and works in Portland, Oregon.

Below – “Hide Out”; “Curtains”; “Bully”; “Grove and Hazard”; “Heaps”; “The Clough.”

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