23 June 2017 – Beleaguered in Bothell: Part II

Musings in Summer: Besa Kosova

“A homeless man visited my store today. The few quarters that he had in his pocket he invested on books. I offered him free books, but he insisted on giving me his quarters. He walked away filled with joy as if he possessed the world’s riches in his hands. In a way, he did. He left me smiling and knowing that he was wealthier than many others.”

Art for Summer – Part I of IV: Stephanie Pierce (American, contemporary)

Below – Untitled

Musings in Summer: H.L. Mencken

“The state — or, to make matters more concrete, the government — consists of a gang of men exactly like you and me. They have, taking one with another, no special talent for the business of government; they have only a talent for getting and holding office. Their principal device to that end is to search out groups who pant and pine for something they can’t get, and to promise to give it to them. Nine times out of ten that promise is worth nothing. The tenth time it is made good by looting ‘A’ to satisfy ‘B’. In other words, government is a broker in pillage, and every election is a sort of advanced auction on stolen goods.”

Art for Summer – Part II of IV: Pal Fried (Hungarian, 1893-1976)

Below – “Cowboy on Bucking Horse”

A Poem for Today

By Judith Harris

I can hear him,
now, even in darkness,
a trickster under the moon,
bristling his feathers,
sounding as merry
as a man whistling in a straw hat,
or a squeaky gate
to the playground, left ajar
or the jingling of a star,
having wandered too far
from the pasture.

Art for Summer – Part III of IV: Viktor Friedl-Kiss (Hungarian, contemporary)

Below – “LowTide”

Musings in Summer:Johnny Cash

“I wore black because I liked it. I still do, and wearing it still means something to me. It’s still my symbol of rebellion — against a stagnant status quo, against our hypocritical houses of God, against people whose minds are closed to others’ ideas.”

Art for Summer – Part IV of IV: Peter Fromme-Douglas (Canadian, contemporary)

Below – Untitled (Drink Coca-Cola)

Musings in Summer: Friedrich Nietzsche

“There is not enough love and goodness in the world to permit giving any of it away to imaginary beings.”

Below – Children in Yemen.

Contemporary Russian Art – Misha Frid

In the words of one writer, “Misha, an internationally acclaimed Russian sculptor, chose one thing he considered more important than his highly successful sculpture, his freedom and his family’s freedom. Even though a hero, the Soviet life stifled his creativity. As a graduate of the Surikov Art Institute and a member of the Soviet Sculptor’s Union, Misha accepted commissions arranged for him through a central office in the capital. The government provided him with a studio, sponsored his exhibitions and gave him work, but of course, was his sole employer. Misha traveled where directed and produced what was ordered. Misha’s works are owned by the Pushkin Museum of Fine Art and the Hermitage Museum in Leningrad, and have been exhibited in Japan, Poland and Germany. In 1967, his work was featured in the Russian Pavillion at Expo 1967 in Montreal. Frids’ personal and artistic lives have changed dramatically since his immigration to the United States in 1973. Misha was also the artistic director for Erte’s wonderful sculture. After 11 years in Los Angeles, Misha and his family settled in Toronto, Canada. A blend of vision and realism, Misha’s work represents a rare talent that bridges the centuries between the classical forms of Rodin and the sensual grace of Erte.”

Below – “Flute Player” (bronze); “Harp Player” (bronze); “Violinist” (bronze); “Equestrian” (acrylic sculpture); “Jazz”; “Odette (Swan Lake)” (acrylic sculpture).

A Second Poem for Today
(a beautifully crafted sonnet)

“Woman Feeding Chickens”
By Roy Scheele

Her hand is at the feedbag at her waist,
sunk to the wrist in the rustling grain
that nuzzles her fingertips when laced
around a sifting handful. It’s like rain,
like cupping water in your hand, she thinks,
the cracks between the fingers like a sieve,
except that less escapes you through the chinks
when handling grain. She likes to feel it give
beneath her hand’s slow plummet, and the smell,
so rich a fragrance she has never quite
got used to it, under the seeming spell
of the charm of the commonplace. The white
hens bunch and strut, heads cocked, with tilted eyes,
till her hand sweeps out and the small grain flies.

Below – Late 19th Century French School: “Feeding the Chickens”

Contemporary French Art – Francois Fressinier

In the words of one writer, “Francois Fressinier was born in Cognac, France in 1968. He attributes much of his passion for the human figure to the fact that both of his parents were professional portrait photographers. He studied advertising and fine art at the Ecole Brassart Technique et Privee in Tours, near Paris. Fressinier also received a strong academic training in art from his father, to whom he gives credit for teaching him not to paint, but to see. That unique sight, colored with an esteem for the expressive linear drawing of Egon Schiele, has evolved into a personal style that is fluid, truly lovely, and classical in nature. It is his mastery of light and shadow and the delicate economy of his line which call to mind the exquisite conte drawings of Leonardo or sketches done by Ingres or Raphael. Fressinier even states his favorite time in history as being In a time period where time, speed and productivity were not the number one occupation of our days.”

Below – “Buena Vista”; “Dress”; “Silent Dance”; “La Serenissima #1”; “Hidden Beauty”; “In Tempo.”

Musings in Summer: Marcel Proust

“Now there is one thing I can tell you: you will enjoy certain pleasures you would not fathom now. When you still had your mother you often thought of the days when you would have her no longer. Now you will often think of days past when you had her. When you are used to this horrible thing that they will forever be cast into the past, then you will gently feel her revive, returning to take her place, her entire place, beside you. At the present time, this is not yet possible. Let yourself be inert, wait till the incomprehensible power … that has broken you restores you a little, I say a little, for henceforth you will always keep something broken about you. Tell yourself this, too, for it is a kind of pleasure to know that you will never love less, that you will never be consoled, that you will constantly remember more and more.”

Below – Mary Rose Sanderson: “Memories of the Past”

Contemporary American Art – Scott Prior

In the words of one writer, “The subjects of Scott Prior’s paintings can best be described as ‘contemporary Americana’ (Ann Wilson Lloyd, Art in America, July 2002). Quotidian views of modest, often quirky houses, fairgrounds at night, portraits of family and his own backyard are all part of his repertory. These subjects are the opposite of grand. They are the elements of our everyday lives. And yet, Prior sheds his unique sense of light on all of these, bathing the ordinary with a luminosity that carries emotional weight. Much like the Dutch and Flemish Masters he so admires, Prior paints in exquisite detail, although the end result is no mere reproduction of an observed scene. Mysteries lie in the details.”

Below – “First Snow”; “Beach at Sunset”; “Three Cows at Sunrise”; “Beach in Fog at Sunset”; “Arcade by the Sea”; “Cows”; “Midway at Twilight.”


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