Musings in Spring: Charles de Lint
“Everybody’s got a true home—maybe not where they’re living, but
where their heart lives.”
Below – Aiman Asyran: “Orchid Season in Kampung II”
Art for Spring – Part I of VI: Mikhail Lezin (Russian, contemporary)
Below – “Noise I”
Musings in Spring: Fennel Hudson
“Old buildings whisper to us in the creaking of floorboards and rattling of windowpanes.”
Art for Spring – Part II of VI: Jan Mapes (American, contemporary)
Below – “Buffalo Run” (bronze)
A Poem for Today
By Randall Mann
Out of the fog comes a little white bus.
It ferries us south to the technical mouth
of the bay. This is biopharma, Double Helix Way.
In the gleaming canteen, mugs have been
dutifully stacked for our dismantling,
a form of punishment.
Executives take the same elevator as I.
This one’s chatty, that one’s gravely engrossed
in his cloud. Proximity measures shame.
I manage in an office, but an office
that faces a hallway, not the bay. One day
I hope to see the bay that way. It all began
in the open, a cubicle—there’s movement.
My door is always open, even when I shut it.
I sit seven boxes below the CEO
on the org chart. It’s an art, the ‘value-add’,
the compound noun. ‘Calendar’ is a verb.
‘To your point’, the kindest prepositional phrase.
Leafy trees grow a short walk from Building 5.
Take a walk. It might be nice to lie and watch the smoky
marrow rise and fall, and rise. Don’t shut your eyes.
Art for Spring – Part III of VI: Curt Mattson (American, contemporary)
Below – “End of the Day” (bronze)
Musings in Spring: Tom Waits
“I made a wish on a sliver of moonlight
A sly grin and a bowl full of stars.”
Art for Spring – Part IV of VI: Eugene Morelli (American, contemporary)
Below – “At Water’s Edge” (bronze)
Musings in Spring: David Thomson
“Bette Davis lived long enough to hear the Kim Carnes song, ‘Bette Davis Eyes’. The lyrics to that song were not very interesting. But the fact of the song was the proof of an acknowledgement that in the twentieth century we lived through an age of immense romantic personalities larger than life, yet models for it, too – for good or ill. Like twin moons, promising a struggle and an embrace, the Davis eyes would survive her – and us. Kim Carnes has hardly had a consistent career, but that one song – sluggish yet surging, druggy and dreamy – became an instant classic. It’s like the sigh of the islanders when they behold their Kong. And I suspect it made the real eyes smile, whatever else was on their mind.”
A Second Poem for Today
By Sandra Beasley
For six months I dealt Baccarat in a casino.
For six months I played Brahms in a mall.
For six months I arranged museum dioramas;
my hands were too small for the Paleolithic
and when they reassigned me to lichens, I quit.
I type ninety-one words per minute, all of them
Help. Yes, I speak Dewey Decimal.
I speak Russian, Latin, a smattering of Tlingit.
I can balance seven dinner plates on my arm.
All I want to do is sit on a veranda while
a hard rain falls around me. I’ll file your 1099s.
I’ll make love to strangers of your choice.
I’ll do whatever you want, as long as I can do it
on that veranda. If it calls you, it’s your calling,
right? Once I asked a broker what he loved
about his job, and he said ‘Making a killing.’
Once I asked a serial killer what made him
get up in the morning, and he said ‘The people.’
Art for Spring – Part V of VI: Iban Navarro (Spanish, contemporary)
Below – “The Majestic”
Musings in Spring: Selina A. Mahmood
“Now when the flowers are in full bloom,
It is the ashes from the past that hidden loom.”
Art for Spring – Part VI of VI: Andrew Wyeth (American, 1917-2009)
Below – “Geraniums”
Musings in Spring: Jean-Yves Leloup
“Sometimes we must undergo hardships, breakups, and narcissistic wounds, which shatter the flattering image that we had of ourselves, in order to discover two truths: that we are not who we thought we were; and that the loss of a cherished pleasure is not necessarily the loss of true happiness and well-being.”
A Third Poem for Today
By Kay Ryan
the hardest thing
to hold out for.
You must make of yourself
a perfect plane-
sugar grains on
metal, but with
none of the chill.
It’s hard to explain.
Contemporary Russian Art – Part I of II: Anastasia Kuznetsova
In the words of one writer, “Anastasia studied in Ufa professional art college, Design Department, and in St. Petersburg State Academy of Art and Industry of A.L. Stieglitz, Department of Fine Textile.”
Below – “Maria’s Knowledge”; “Julia’s Knowledge”; “Aleksandra’s Knowledge”; “Valentina’s Knowledge”; “Vera’s Knowledge”; “Anna’s Knowledge.”
Musings in Spring: Maria Evans
“I’d love to wake up to complete silence, white sheets, and the smell of crisp air and roses.”
Contemporary Russian Art – Part II of II: Alexander Lufer
In the words of one writer, “Alexander Lufer is a very untypical artist to come out of Russia. Whereas most artists from his generation try to avoid photorealism, Lufer effortlessly captures the precise nature of light creating magnificent still lifes. Manipulating the paint, he is able to show reflection, glare and shadow in such a way that gives exacting perspective to his artwork.
His subject matter is often quite disturbing and his usual choice of bright and contrasting colours adds yet another facet to his intrigue. His style has evolved over the last few years to using digital manipulation of images, which further follows his veneration of reflection as beauty.”
Below – “Dreamer”; “Red Dog”; “Bust of Madame”; “Night Guests”; “Girl on a Cube”; “Black Ice.”
Musings in Spring: William Butler Yeats
“What can be explained is not poetry.”
A Fourth Poem for Today
By William Stafford
There was a river under First and Main,
the salt mines honeycombed farther down.
A wealth of sun and wind ever so strong
converged on that home town, long gone.
At the north edge there were the sand hills.
I used to stare for hours at prairie dogs,
which had their town, and folded their little
to stare beyond their fence where I was.
River rolling in secret, salt mines with care
holding your crystals and stillness, north prairie
what kind of trip can I make, with what old friend,
ever to find a town so widely rich again?
Pioneers, for whom history was walking through
I and the main things that happened were miles
and the time of day-
you built that town, and I have let it pass.
Little folded paws, judge me: I came away.
Below – Ernest Luthi: “Prairie Town”
Contemporary American Art – Part I of II: Zhaoming Wu
In the words of one writer, “Zhaoming Wu was born in China and grew up in Guangzhou City. He received his BFA from the Guangzhou Academy of Fine Art China and his MFA from the Academy of Art University, San Francisco. Since 1983, he has been exhibitng his work in Asia, Europe, the United States and other countries around the world. He has won numerous awards, including the Merit Award at the 6th National Art Exhibition in Beijing, China, the Gustafson Fund Award, the National Oil and Acrylic Painter’s Society (US) Award, 1st place in the 9th Biennial National Figure Painting and Drawing Exhibition in Mendocino Art Center, California, Grand Prize Winner in International Artist Magazine (Aug/Sept 2005), the Daler-Rowney Award from the Oil Painters of America 2000, and the Art Distributors Awards of Excellence from the Oil Painters of America 2005. Long active as both an artist and a teacher, he served as a professor of painting at the Guangzhou Academy of Fine Art and is currently an instructor of painting at the Academy of Art University.”
Below – “Black Jars and Eggs”; “Grey, Red Wine”; “Black Amber Drink”; “Glasses, Jars, Pink Bottle”; “Nights”; “Crown of the Desert.”
Musings in Spring: Joseph Campbell
“Life has no meaning. Each of us has meaning and we bring it to life. It is a waste to be asking the question when you are the answer.”
Contemporary American Art – Part II of II: Bonnie Marris
In the words of one writer, “Bonnie Marris has taken an unusual path into art; she developed her talent by portraying animals from the inside out. While she was a student at Michigan State University, Bonnie illustrated several major books. One volume she worked on was a leading experts mammalogists text that contained several hundred drawings and detailed studies. This massive project attracted the attention of noted zoologist George Schaller, who invited Bonnie to prepare the art for posters that would support his worldwide rare animal relief programs. Beyond academic training and emotional involvement, art requires another element for which there is no substitute: experience. Each year, Bonnie makes two major trips, and countless smaller ones, to observe and learn about the wildlife she loves. In 1980, one such voyage took her to Alaska, where she lived in the wilderness for six months. She recounts, ‘To get into a natural environment and see the animals on their own terms is as important as knowing the animals themselves. For instance, gray wolves on the tundra the vast, vast tundra with the wind and other forces of nature at their most extreme-thats what makes them what they are. To stand not far from a grizzly which is so overpowering, so beautiful and so large to watch itself pull up a small tree with a swipe of it’s paw and just a few minutes later see it delicately picking blueberries with its black lips Alaska changed me; it gave me the biggest incentive to paint and increased any interest in predators; the cats, bears, coyotes, wolves, and foxes. They exist on so many levels. Their moods show in their eyes and we can learn so much from them. . . .I’ve studied wolves in the wild and I can tell you that a wolf howl is an amazing, beautiful sound. One member of a pack will start to sing, then the others, one by one, each one has a different note, in a strange wonderful harmony. Why do they sing? To let each other know where they are, to help establish their territory and probably for many other reasons. I like to think the wolf in Wolfsong is howling for happiness celebrating life.’ Bonnie Marris work was selected for the 2002 Gene Autry Museum of Western Heritage show.”
Below – “Wolfsong”; “October Winter”; “American Anthem”; “Gray Wolf”; “Above the Clouds”; “Sounds of Spring.”