Musings in Spring: Stella Gibbons
“She could feel magic in the quiet spring day, like a sorcerer’s far-off voice, and lines of poetry floated over her mind as if they were strands of spider-web.”
Art for Spring – Part I of IV: Katya Krasnaya (Russian, contemporary)
Below – “House”
Musings in Spring: William Butler Yeats
“The world is full of magic things, patiently waiting for our senses to grow sharper.”
Art for Spring – Part II of IV: Anna Krasnaya (Russian, contemporary)
Below – “River”
Musings in Spring: Robin Wall Kimmerer
“Children, language, lands: almost everything was stripped away, stolen when you weren’t looking because you were trying to stay alive. In the face of such loss, one thing our people could not surrender was the meaning of land. In the settler mind, land was property, real estate, capital, or natural resources. But to our people, it was everything: identity, the connection to our ancestors, the home of our nonhuman kinfolk, our pharmacy, our library, the source of all that sustained us. Our lands were where our responsibility to the world was enacted, sacred ground. It belonged to itself; it was a gift, not a commodity, so it could never be bought or sold. These are the meanings people took with them when they were forced from their ancient homelands to new places.”
A Poem for Today
“Once in the 40’s”
By William Stafford
We were alone one night on a long
road in Montana. This was in winter, a big
night, far to the stars. We had hitched,
my wife and I, and left our ride at
a crossing to go on. Tired and cold—but
brave—we trudged along. This, we said,
was our life, watched over, allowed to go
where we wanted. We said we’d come back some time
when we got rich. We’d leave the others and find
a night like this, whatever we had to give,
and no matter how far, to be so happy again.
Art for Spring – Part III of IV: Jerry Malzahn (American, contemporary)
Below – “Longs Peak from Loveland”
Musings in Spring: D. Antoinette Foy
“The sky never falls with the rain.
It is never weighed down by all that
it carries. It takes all of its anchors
and turns them into stars.
Learn from this.”
Below – Taka: “Stars in Rain”
Art for Spring: Part IV of IV: Andrew Wyeth (American, 1917-2009)
Below – “Open House”
Musings in Spring: Alain de Botton
“You normally have to be bashed about a bit by life to see the point of daffodils, sunsets and uneventful nice days.”
Contemporary Canadian Art – Georges Maman
In the words of one writer, “Of Spanish Decent, Georges Maman was born in Algeria in 1954. He now lives and works in Montreal. At a young age, Maman began painting and drawing. Even while completing his medical degree and later specializing in anesthesiology, Maman never left painting behind. After taking time off to travel, he came to the realization that art was his true passion and decided to devote himself entirely to painting.”
Below – “Portrait de Ville Variation”; “Pile”; “Move.”
A Second Poem for Today
By Naomi Shihab Nye
“We clean to give space for Art.”
Micaela Miranda, Freedom Theatre, Palestine
Work was a shining refuge when wind sank its tooth
into my mind. Everything we love is going away,
drifting – but you could sweep this stretch of floor,
this patio or porch, gather white stones in a bucket,
rake the patch for future planting, mop the counter
with a rag. Lovely wet gray rag, squeeze it hard
it does so much. Clear the yard of blowing bits of plastic.
The glory in the doing. The breath of the doing.
Sometimes the simplest move kept fear from
fragmenting into no energy at all, or sorrow from
multiplying, or sorrow from being the only person
living in the house.
Below – Bei Gao: “Woman Sweeping”
Contemporary Russian Art – Fedor Krushelnitsky
In the words of one writer, “Fedor Krushelnitsky is often called a sculptor-philosopher: his monumental sculptures are concise and reflect upon the industrial-socialist epos. Fedor’s artworks are a so-called monument to a bygone era of the Soviet Union: to the heroic pilots, sailors’ wives, students of workers’ courses and athletes. Graphic works of Krushelnitsky contain the same characters, in the form of humorous sketches, counterbalancing solid bronze.
Krushelnitsky works in the techniques of bronze casting, ceramics. Like any other great artist, he came up with his own system of visual signs, his own expressive language. The result of that is his bright, always recognizable style.
Other works of the artist also have narrative nature – for example, St. Andrew the First-Called and Dr. Sigmund carry the viewer away into a maze of meanings, just by holding a number of symbolic objects in their hands.”
Below – Below – “Cello Player”; “Venus”; “Sailor’s Wife II”; “Skier”; “Hairstyle”; “Figure Skaters.”
Musings in Spring: Lauren Miller
“‘This probably isn’t something you’re supposed to say at a moment like this, but I think the moon is seriously overrated.’ A moment like what? I bite my cheeks, taming the grin that threatens to take over my face.
‘And the stars?’ I ask, once the smile is under control.
‘Wildly underrated,’ he declares with a grin. He looks up again. ‘The sky is a storybook,’ he says then. ‘Every constellation’s like its own fairy tale.’”
Contemporary American Art – Part I of II: Martha Mans
In the words of one writer, “Martha Mans is a signature member of the American Watercolor Society since 1992 and the National Watercolor Society since 1999. Other signature memberships include the Western Federation of Watercolor Societies and the New Mexico Watercolor Society. She is a recipient of the Silver Certificate of the San Diego Watercolor Society and is a member of the National Arts Club in New York. Martha is also an active member of the Pikes Peak Watercolor Society in Colorado Springs, Colorado, where she lives and has a studio. She is a Master Instructor in watercolor. From 1992 to 1997 she taught for the Art Students’ League of Colorado Springs. Her watercolor workshops are offered throughout the United States and abroad. She was Director of the Ghost Ranch Watercolor Workshops from 1987 to 1990 and is presently (2009) the Director and instructor of popular workshops aboard the Clipper Ship, ‘Star Clipper’, where students paint and sail in the Caribbean and the Mediterranean Sea. Her work is well represented in many private and corporate collections.”
Below – “After the Snow”; “Garden of the Gods Sunshine”; “High Summer Meadow”; “Lavender in Light”; “Winter Sentinel”; “Rocky Mountain Red Willows.”
Musings in Spring: Joseph Campbell
“I think of mythology as the homeland of the muses, the inspirers of art, the inspirers of poetry. To see life as a poem and yourself participating in a poem is what the myth does for you.”
Below – Baldassarre Peruzzi: “Apollo and the Nine Muses”
A Third Poem for Today
By William Stafford
The least little sound sets the coyotes walking,
walking the edge of our comfortable earth.
We look inward, but all of them
are looking toward us as they walk the earth.
We need to let animals loose in our houses,
the wold to escape with a pan in his teeth,
and streams of animals toward the horizon
racing with something silent in each mouth.
For all we have taken into our keeping
and polished with our hands belongs to a truth
greater than ours, in the animals’ keeping.
Coyotes are circling around our truth.
Below – Charles Greener: “Coyote at Sunrise”
Contemporary American Art – J.D. McKay
In the words of one writer, “J.D. McKay grew up on Glenfield Street in the Oak Cliff section of Dallas. There was another person from Oak Cliff who had a great influence on him: Frank Reaugh, although they never met because Reaugh died seven years before McKay was born. McKay’s first exposure to the paintings of Reaugh was at Fair Park, in Dallas, in the form of a wax figure. The Hall of State had several of his small pastels in the basement, and McKay was hooked. However, they were not the first western landscapes that captured his imagination. McKay’s mother had several Frederic Remington prints, which she later gave him, that he admired very much. Reaugh’s more subtle and atmospheric style is what attracted and inspired McKay. Many times during his twenties, McKay made trips to the Panhandle Plains Museum in Canyon, Texas, to see the collection of Reaugh paintings. He would camp in Palo Duro Canyon with a little box of pastels and sketch until the museum opened, study Reaugh’s work all day, and then go back to the canyon to sketch until the sun went down. Big Bend National Park and Palo Duro Canyon have long been two of his favorite camping places. For McKay, there is something captivating about the vistas of a west Texas horizon that creates a longing unlike anything at Yellowstone or the Grande Tetons McKay does feel that he is evolving as an artist and plans to keep growing for the rest of his life; he never wants to feel as if he’s arrived and has it all down. He makes a point to learn from all kinds of art, not just wildlife art. He is also fortunate to have a family that supports his pursuit of this sometimes less than secure career.”
Below – “Apparition at Aransas”; “Bizarro”; “Blackberry Twitter”; “Field Marshall”; “Downy Up”; “Seasons Together.”