Spring 2017 – Day 3

Musings in Spring: Robin Wall Kimmerer

“Plants are also integral to reweaving the connection between land and people. A place becomes a home when it sustains you, when it feeds you in body as well as spirit. To recreate a home, the plants must also return.”

A Poem for Today

“In General”
By Pattiann Rogers

This is about no rain in particular,
just any rain, rain sounding on the roof,
any roof, slate or wood, tin or clay
or thatch, any rain among any trees,
rain in soft, soundless accumulation,
gathering rather than falling on the fir
of juniper and cedar, on a lace-community
of cobwebs, rain clicking off the rigid
leaves of oaks or magnolias, any kind
of rain, cold and smelling of ice or rising
again as steam off hot pavements
or stilling dust on country roads in August.
This is about rain as rain possessing
only the attributes of any rain in general.

And this is about night, any night
coming in its same immeasurably gradual
way, fulfilling expectations in its old
manner, creating heavens for lovers
and thieves, taking into itself the scarlet
of the scarlet sumac, the blue of the blue
vervain, no specific night, not a night
of birth or death, not the night forever
beyond the frightening side of the moon,
not the night always meeting itself
at the bottom of the sea, any sea, warm
and tropical or starless and stormy, night
meeting night beneath Arctic ice.
This attends to all nights but no night.

And this is about wind by itself,
not winter wind in particular lifting
the lightest snow off the mountaintop
into the thinnest air, not wind through
city streets, pushing people sideways,
rolling ash cans banging down the block,
not a prairie wind holding hawks suspended
mid-sky, not wind as straining sails
or as curtains on a spring evening, casually
in and back over the bed, not wind
as brother or wind as bully, not a lowing
wind, not a high howling wind. This is
about wind solely as pure wind in itself,
without moment, without witness.
Therefore this night tonight–
a midnight of late autumn winds shaking
the poplars and aspens by the fence, slamming
doors, rattling the porch swing, whipping
thundering black rains in gusts across
the hillsides, in batteries against the windows
as we lie together listening in the dark, our own
particular fingers touching–can never
be a subject of this specific conversation

Below – Freida: “Wind and Rain Night Time”

Musings in Spring: Kathleen Alcott

“I had lived my life before in accordance with the poverty and itinerancy of my childhood, sliding in and out of other people’s leases, never expecting to stay very long and tolerating circumstances that strike me now as completely absurd.”

Art for Spring – Part I of VI: Aleksandr Kosenkov (Russian, contemporary)

Below – “Still Life with Orchid”

Musings in Spring: Joseph Campbell

“Nietzsche was the one who did the job for me. At a certain moment in his life, the idea came to him of what he called ‘the love of your fate.’ Whatever your fate is, whatever the hell happens, you say, ‘This is what I need.’ It may look like a wreck, but go at it as though it were an opportunity, a challenge. If you bring love to that moment-not discouragement-you will find the strength is there. Any disaster you can survive is an improvement in your character, your stature, and your life. What a privilege! This is when the spontaneity of your own nature will have a chance to flow.”

A Second Poem for Today

“Liberty Brass”
By Edward Hirsch

I was sitting across from the rotating sign
For the Liberty Brass Turning Company

‘Automatic Screw Machine Products’

And brooding about our fathers
Always on the make to make more money

‘Screw Machine Products Automatic’

Tender wounded brassy unsystematic
Free American men obsessing about margins

‘Machine Products Automatic Screw’

Selling every day of their God-damned lives
To some Liberty Brass Turning Company

‘Products Automatic Screw Machine’

Until they were screwed into boxes
And planted in plots paid and unpaid

‘Automatic Screw Machine Products’

Musings in Spring: William Butler Yeats

“A mermaid found a swimming lad,
Picked him up for her own,
Pressed her body to his body,
Laughed; and plunging down
Forgot in cruel happiness
That even lovers drown.”

Art for Spring – Part II of VI: Vladimir Kozin (Russian, contemporary)

Below – “Flea”

Musings in Spring: John N. Gray

“Anyone who truly wants to escape human solipsism should not seek out empty places. Instead of fleeing to desert, where they will be thrown back into their own thoughts, they will d better to seek out the company of other animals.
A zoo is a better window from which to look out of the human world than a monastery.”

Art for Spring – Part III of VI: Vincenzo Laricchia (Italian, contemporary)

Below – “Waves Crashing”

Musings in Spring: Lauren Willig

“It’s the exile’s dilemma. The home they yearn for is never the home to which they return. If they return.”

Art for Spring – Part IV of VI: Gene Kloss (American, 1903-1996)

Below – “Cathedral Rock, Arizona”

Musings in Spring: Charlotte Eriksson

“Work until your eyes are tired and head is heavy, and keep working even after that.
Then take a shower, wash off the day. Drink a glass of water. Make the room dark. Lie down and close your eyes.
Notice the silence. Notice your heart. Still beating. Still fighting. You made it, after all. You made it, another day. And you can make it one more. 
You’re doing just fine.
You’re doing fine.
I’m doing just fine.”

A Third Poem for Today

By Nathaniel Bellows

At the time the time felt well spent but now
I see it was wasted. Not a waste—it just had
no point—no shape—no hourglass’ tapering
waist. At a certain point, bliss gets replaced
by disinterest. If you will allow me for once
to be honest. I left the sea’s lacy wake, waking
each day well-rested, untested, unmet. Nothing
was going to change, and that was the point.
The seabirds sang: Protect your gifts! burying
their doomed eggs in the sand—sand to heat,
to melt, shape into that chalice of time: bulb
upon bulb, curvaceous, urgent as an aging
odalisque. It was a version of love not meant
to set—the best—not trashed, but wholly left
to the mists of that idly mown lawn, the little
boat trolling a coast, bereft of tide or tempest.

Musings in Spring: Sappho

“The evening star
Is the most
of all stars.”

Art for Spring – Part V of VI: Dan Lutz (American, 1906-1978)

Below – “Birch Wood Campsite”

Musings in Spring: Terry Pratchett

“‘Yes, but humans are more important than animals,’ said Brutha.
‘This is a point of view often expressed by humans,’ said Om.”

Art for Spring – Part VI of VI: Andrew Wyeth (American, 1917-2009)

Below – “Dogwood”

Musings in Spring: D. Antoinette Foy

“I wear the universe backwards.
I imagine putting stars in my
coffee, and sugar in the sky.
I imagine going fishing in clouds,
and watching the sun hide
behind lakes. I’m too busy dancing
with my imagination to even tip toe
with reality for a second.

They say I’m going mad.
They’re right.”

Contemporary Polish Art – Zbigniew Kopania

In the words of one writer, “Zbigniew Kopania was born in Poland. Having graduated from secondary schools in 1969, he became a student at the state theatrical, television, and film college, the Faculty of Camera-Works. Included among its distinguished alumni is Roman Polanski. Together with film and photographic activities, he cultivated paintings in the department of Art. The early stage of his painting was under the guidance of Dr. K. Zwolinska and J. Mierzejewski, a renowned painter in Poland and abroad. After graduating in 1974, Kopania began work as a cameraman, making both documentaries and feature films. He did not neglect his painting, however; when interest in his oil paintings began to grow, he abandoned his work in film and devoted himself entirely to painting. Then came his first joint and individual exhibitions in Poland. Kopania’s first voyages abroad began in 1979. He established connections with galleries in Frankfurt, and held shows in London and Amsterdam. Many of his works are owned by private collectors in many European countries as well as the United States, Canada, Africa, and Australia. In his early works Kopania’s oeuvre originates from the 18th century Dutch masters of still life. His work is equal in precision and palette. Through time, his paintings have given way to a brighter and happier mood as well as an intensified realism in color, leaving behind the often darker tones of 18th century Dutch painting. Over the course of nine years, Kopania frequently visited Holland where many of his paintings were created.”

Below – “Twilight River”; “Scholar’s Still Life”; “Bronze Figure with Still Life”; “Water Landscape”; “Still Life with Cherries”; “Quickwater.”

Musings in Spring: Xiao Hong

“In our part of the country, spring passes quickly. If you haven’t been out for five days, you find the trees in bud. If you don’t see the trees for another five days, you discover that they’ve put out leaves. In another five days, they’re so green you wouldn’t recognize them. It makes you wonder: Can these be the same trees I saw a few days before? And you answer yourself: Of course they are. That’s how fast spring goes by. You can almost see it. From far away it comes racing toward you. And when it reaches you it whispers in your ear, ‘I’m here,’ and then runs swiftly on.
Spring – what a rush it’s in. Every place seems to be urging it to come. If it delays its arrival a bit, the sunlight fades and the earth turns to stone. Trees especially can’t endure any delay. Let spring dally even briefly on the way, and many lives are lost.”

Contemporary Russian Art – Part I of II: Tatiana Korshunova

In the words of one writer, “Korshunova was born in Leningrad, USSR in 1956. After applying to numerous remarkable art schools, she eventually managed to secure a place at the outstanding secondary school of Art named after I. E. Repin. In 1975, having graduated from this college, Korshunova continued with her artistic studies by being admitted to and successfully gaining a Masters of Fine Art with honors in 1981 from the Leningrad Institute of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture in St. Petersburg. Here, the majority of her studies were conducted at the workshop of Professor M. Anikushin.
Throughout her education and having graduated from university, Korshunova continued to participate in numerous exhibitions in Russia (at the time USSR) as well as abroad from 1980s onwards. Accordingly, having completed her degree, and as is the tradition in Russia, Korshunova became an associate within the Union of Artists from 1981 onwards. The union of artists is a particular guild, where all artists who were considered as being duly trained and properly instructed were able to join, having had completed official criteria as instructed by the Ministry of Culture. If an artist was not part of the Union of Artists at the time, then he or she would be deemed as not being one by the state. In 1988 Korshunova was granted full membership into the Union, which solidified her reputation as an artist and additionally boosted her selling potential.”

Below – “Dreaming Lady”; “Wearing the Stocking”; “Morning Toilet”; “Reading Lady”; “The Empress.”

Musings in Spring: Mishima Yukio

“The blossoms seem unusually lovely this year. There were none of the scarlet-and-white-striped curtains that are set up among the blossoming trees so invariably that one has to come to think of them as the attire of cherry blossoms; there were no bustling tea-stalls, no holiday crowds of flower-viewers, no one hawking balloons and toy windmills; instead there were only the cherry trees blossoming undisturbed among the evergreens, making one feel as though he were seeing the naked bodies of the blossoms. Nature’s free bounty and useless extravagance had never appeared so fantastically beautiful as it did this spring. I had an uncomfortable suspicion that Nature had come to reconquer the earth for herself.”

Contemporary Russian Art – Part II of II: Eugenia Kosushkina

In the words of one writer, “She was born in Yanaul village (Bashkortostan Republic). Kosushkina has a brilliant academic background: in 2004 she graduated from art school in Krasnodar. In 2004-2010 she studied at Surikov Moscow State Academy Art Institute. In return she was awarded for academic success with the Golden Medal of Russian Academy of Arts in 2008. The critics have said that the energy of Eugenia’s potential is especially noticeable in her works.  The influence of expressionism is felt in the texture of her works, hot brush strokes and abstract landscapes. Her style could be titled as expressive lyricism.”

Below – “Black River”; “Evening City”; “The Speed of Light”; “Road 3”; “Twilight”; “Castle.”

Musings in Spring: Edward Abbey

“The weather here is windy, balmy, sometimes wet. Desert springtime, with flowers popping up all over the place, trees leafing out, streams gushing down from the mountains. Great time of year for hiking, camping, exploring, sleeping under the new moon and the old stars. At dawn and at evening we hear the coyotes howling with excitement – mating season. And lots of fresh rabbit meat hopping about to feed the young ones with.”

A Fourth Poem for Today

“Looking for Someone”
By William Stafford

Many a time driving over the Coast Range,
down the cool side—hemlock, spruce, then shore pine—
I’ve known something I should have said one time:
“If we hadn’t met, then everything would have to change.”

We were judged, our shadows knew our height,
and after dark, exact, the air confirmed
all with its move or stillness:
we both were trapped on an odd-shaped island.

Sleet persuades a traveler: I all night
know no under the earth escape
even when the sky goes back remote.
Walking till the stars forget, I look out

And watch the smoke at Astoria and Seaside
cringing along the coast, and barefoot gulls
designing the sand: “Go flat, go flat,”—the waves;
the little boat, the mild riding light,

The sand going democratic, trading places down the wind,
everything distancing away. Finding this
took all this time, and you’re not even here.
Though we met, everything had to change.

Contemporary American Art – Part I of II: Joseph Lorusso

In the words of one writer, “While in school, Lorusso majored in watercolor and considers himself self-taught as an oil painter. He learned to paint by studying the works of master painters, often losing himself in the halls of the Chicago Art Institute during lunch hours, which frequently turned into afternoons of self-study.”

Below – “In Her Eyes”; “Sunshine Smile”; “New Nude”; “Like Moths to the Light”; “Reflection”; “After the Bath II.”

Musings in Spring: William Faulkner

“Stars were golden unicorns neighing unheard through blue meadows.”

Contemporary American Art – Part II of II: Jack Kreutzer

In the words of one writer, “Kreutzer’s art and life have a hint of whimsy about them. He was no more than a boy when he discovered art, and at forty, with boyish eagerness, he jumps from subject to subject, from the rhythm of the human figure to wildlife and nature, wanting to sample and attack everything like a child in a candy shop. ‘There’s a lot to be said for experimentation,’ he says. ‘I’ve heard it said that consistency in an artist’s work gives a sense of maturity. I know that jumping around in subject or medium may seem a bit flighty, but, at the same time, maybe I can come up with something that is just a little bit different.’ Quite aware of the fine line between emotionalism and sentimentalism, he goes on to say that one of his goals is to build more emotion into his work, to create an emotional response by the viewer. He was born on the Pineridge Reservation in South Dakota, where his father worked for the Bureau of Indian Affairs. Jack loved playing with clay, drawing and coloring from an early age and decided at age eight that he was going to be an artist. He tagged along to his sister’s college drawing course at age fourteen and discovered sculpture the following year. Kreutzer calls the time after graduating from high school ‘the kicking-around years’ because the places and situations he found himself in were always connected with art. He spent a year in a track gang for the Santa Fe Railroad, endearing himself by rendering sweethearts and mothers from his co-workers’ wallet photos. Soon after, he landed at the Sonnenberg Gardens near Canadaigua, New York, where he became the artist in residence, drawing and studying the Garden’s extensive sculpture collection. Eventually, he returned to school, enrolling in Colorado State University, and earned his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in 1977. Since then, Kreutzer has produced more than 40 sculptures while working full time at two of the largest foundries in the west, both in Loveland, Colorado. He worked first at Art Castings of Colorado until 1987, and then at Loveland Scuplture Works until 1993, when he gave up the security of regular work to pursue his art full-time. Maintaining his studio near the foundries and next door to the Loveland Academy of Fine Arts where he teaches, Kreutzer is right where he wants to be: independent, artistic, and with a lot to express.”

Below – “Flora” (bronze); “House of Cards – Tall” (bronze); “Spanish Dagger” (bronze); “Graces on Parade”; “Tiptoes” (bronze); “Minotaur – Large” (bronze).

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