A Pleasant Tuesday in May, 2017

Musings in Spring: Buddha

“There are two mistakes one can make along the road to truth… not going all the way, and not starting.”

Art for Spring – Part I of V: Donald Baechler (American, contemporary)

Below – Untitled

A Poem for Today

“At the Dorm”
By Mandy Kahn

Week upon week at the dorm she watched him
working at a table with a pencil in his teeth,
eating with a stack of books and papers,
reading while he walked. His hair was
groups of angry men, his sweaty cuffs were wrinkled
at his forearms: he seemed to be loved by no one.
But always there were pairs of houseflies
hovering above him, landing on his nest of notes,
trailing him as if with streamers and sound.
A farm girl, she knew to follow the flies:
they’ll take you to the milk just pulled to the pail,
to the cow’s haunch where the meat will one day be sweetest,
the swelled pond, the unlatched gate. Everything,
she knew, was in those notebooks
he would carry: her future, the distances of islands, poles
and stars, the reason for the network of men’s follies,
how to spend the night.

Art for Spring – Part II of V:John Bageris (American, 1924-2000)

Below – “Night Piece”

Musings in Spring: William Butler Yeats

“Literature is, to my mind, the great teaching power of the world, the ultimate creator of all values, and it is this, not only in the sacred books whose power everybody acknowledges, but by every movement of imagination in song or story or drama that height of intensity and sincerity has made literature at all. Literature must take the responsibility of its power, and keep all its freedom: it must be like the spirit and like the wind that blows where it listeth; it must claim its right to pierce through every crevice of human nature, and to describe the relation of the soul and the heart to the facts of life and of law, and to describe that relation as it is, not as we would have it be.”

Below – William Butler Yeats in his library.

Art for Spring – Part III of V: Bijan Bahar (Iranian, contemporary)

Below – Untitled Acrylic 2 Piece Sculpture

Musings in Spring: William James

“In the dim background of our mind, we know what we ought to be doing but somehow we cannot start.” 

Art for Spring – Part IV of V: Clifford Bailey (American, contemporary)

Below – “Ladies Night”

A Second Poem for Today

“This Morning”
By Jo McDougall

As I drove into town
the driver in front of me
runs a stop sign.
A pedestrian pulls down his cap.
A man comes out of his house
to sweep the steps.
bright as raspberries.

I turn on the radio.
Somebody tells me
the day is sunny and warm.
A woman laughs

and my daughter steps out of the radio.
Grief spreads in my throat like strep.
I had forgotten, I was happy, I maybe
was humming “You Are My Lucky Star,”
a song I may have invented.
Sometimes a red geranium, a dog,
a stone
will carry me away.
But not for long.
Some memory or another of her
catches up with me and stands
like an old nun behind a desk,
ruler in hand.

Art for Spring – Part V of V: Enrico Baj (Italian, 1924-2003)

Below – “Marcus Annius Verus Aurelius Antoninus”

Musings in Spring: Ron Franscell

“Some journeys take you farther from where you come from, but closer to where you belong.”

Below – Alex Ragalie: “Study of a Man on His Journey”

Contemporary American Art – John Baeder

In the words of one writer, “John Baeder is best known for his popular paintings and prints of roadside diners. His images so successfully capture the pulse of the American quotidian that they have spilled over, so to speak, into the secondary market in the form of reproductions on posters, calendars, and postcards. The Disney Company, CNN, Coca Cola, and fashion moguls Perry Ellis, Liz Claiborne, Nicole Miller, and Guess – at times even disregarding copyrights – have outright appropriated Baeder’s paintings of diners into their fashions. The diner paintings also appear on memorabilia-oriented merchandise such as painted plates and, in three dimensional form, as butter dishes, planters, canisters, and the like (part of an extensive ceramic line produced by Sigma/Towle in 1979/80). Further attesting to the extraordinary appeal of Baeder’s paintings is the fact that the authors of a book on art deco chose to illustrate the sleek design of New York City’s Empire Diner with Baeder’s highly expressive painting of that diner, rather than with an actual photograph. In the late 1950s, Baeder studied Fine Arts at Auburn University. His earliest works were expressionist figural abstractions inspired by the work of Diebenkorn, de Kooning, and Tworkov, among others. As a serious student, Baeder read and reread the then little-known Abstract Expressionist journal of painting, poetry, and thought, IT IS, published in 1958-59. However, the real magic of those Auburn years was the trips back and forth, between semesters, from Atlanta to Alabama. It was during these drives that Baeder’s romance with the back roads of America stirred and his love affair with diners took hold. As a youngster, Baeder had enjoyed bike rides with a Baby Brownie in hand. These bike rides were the beginning of his documentary quest; his targets were old relics, in particular old cars, whose craftsmanship and beauty captured his attention. From this standpoint alone, Baeder has taken his place in the tradition of 19th & 20th century realist and regionalist painters, and photo-journalists who explored with contagious humanity the character of ordinary Americans as they imprinted themselves upon the American landscape.”

Below – “Lisi’s Pittsfield Diner”;”Vista Mar Inn”; “Chicken Chops”; “Blue Beacon”; “Yankee Clipper”; “Red Robin”; “House with Trailer.”

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