30 July 2017 – Beleaguered in Bothell

Musings in Summer: Kilroy J. Oldster

“There are many standards to measure if a person was successful including did they fill a niche role in society, invent something useful, attain professional distinction, or achieve great wealth. A person might also judge someone a success in life if they laughed frequently, were kind to children and animals, and were truthful, loved by their family, and respected by their friends.”

Art for Summer – Part I of VI: Rodney Lough, Jr. (American, contemporary)

Below – “Silk” (photograph)

Musings in Summer: Terry Pratchett

“Night poured over the desert. It came suddenly, in purple. In the clear air, the stars drilled down out of the sky, reminding any thoughtful watcher that it is in the deserts and high places that religions are generated. When men see nothing but bottomless infinity over their heads they have always had a driving and desperate urge to find someone to put in the way.”


Art for Summer – Part II of VI: Kent Lovelace (American, contemporary)

Below – “Gaile”

A Poem for Today

“Blind Date”
By Jay Leeming

Our loneliness sits with us at dinner, an unwanted guest
who never says anything. It’s uncomfortable. Still

we get to know each other, like students allowed
to use a private research library for only one night.

I go through her file of friends, cities and jobs.
“What was that like?” I ask. “What did you do then?”

We are each doctors who have only ourselves
for medicine, and long to prescribe it for what ails

the other. She has a nice smile. Maybe, maybe . . .
I tell myself. But my heart is a cynical hermit

who frowns once, then shuts the door of his room
and starts reading a book. All I can do now is want

to want her. Our polite conversation coasts
like a car running on fumes, and then rolls to a stop;

we split the bill, and that third guest at the table
goes home with each of us, to talk and talk.

Art for Summer – Part III of VI: Mark Lovett (American, contemporary)

Below – “Wind’s Muse”

Musings in Summer: James Hillman

“Psychology ideally means giving soul to language and finding language for soul.”


Art for Summer – Part IV of VI: Marvin Lowe (American, contemporary)

Below – “Soothsayer”

Musings in Summer: Marcel Proust

“If we are to make reality endurable, we must all nourish a fantasy or two.”

Art for Summer – Part V of VI: Nydia Lozano (Spanish, contemporary)

Below – “Girl”

An American Voice: Wallace Stegner

In the words of one writer, “Wallace Earle Stegner (February 18, 1909 – April 13, 1993) was an American novelist, short story writer, environmentalist, and historian, often called ‘The Dean of Western Writers’. He won the Pulitzer Prize in 1972 and the U.S. National Book Award in 1977.”

“Something will have gone out of us as a people if we ever let the remaining wilderness be destroyed … We simply need that wild country available to us, even if we never do more than drive to its edge and look in.”
“National parks are the best idea we ever had. Absolutely American, absolutely democratic, they reflect us at our best rather than our worst.”
“American individualism, much celebrated and cherished, has developed without its essential corrective, which is belonging.”
“Whatever landscape a child is exposed to early on, that will be the sort of gauze through which he or she will see all the world afterwards.”
“Be proud of every scar on your heart, each one holds a lifetime’s worth of lessons.”
“It should not be denied… that being footloose has always exhilarated us. It is associated in our minds with escape from history and oppression and law and irksome obligations, with absolute freedom, and the road has always led West.”
“You have to get over the color green; you have to quit associating beauty with gardens and lawns; you have to get used to an inhuman scale; you have to understand geological time.”
“What is such a resource worth? Anything it costs. If we never hike it or step into its shade, if we only drive by occasionally and see the textures of green mountainside change under wind and sun, or the fog move soft feathers down the gulches, or the last sunset on the continent redden the sky beyond the ridge, we have our money’s worth. We have been too efficient at destruction; we have left our souls too little space to breathe in. Every green natural place we save saves a fragment of our sanity and gives us a little more hope that we have a future.”
“One cannot be pessimistic about the West. This is the native home of hope. When it fully learns that cooperation, not rugged individualism, is the quality that most characterizes and preserves it, then it will have achieved itself and outlived its origins. Then it has a chance to create a society to match its scenery.”
“I wonder if ever again Americans can have that experience of returning to a home place so intimately known, profoundly felt, deeply loved, and absolutely submitted to? It is not quite true that you can’t go home again. I have done it, coming back here. But it gets less likely. We have had too many divorces, we have consumed too much transportation, we have lived too shallowly in too many places.”
“I gave my heart to the mountains the minute I stood beside this river with its spray in my face and watched it thunder into foam, smooth to green glass over sunken rocks, shatter to foam again. I was fascinated by how it sped by and yet was always there; its roar shook both the earth and me.”

 

Art for Summer – Part VI of VI: Thomas Saliot (French, contemporary)

Below – “Street Light”

A Second Poem for Today

“Out of the World There Passed a Soul”
By Sherod Santos

The day of my mother’s funeral I spend clearing out
her overgrown flower beds, down on my knees
in the leaf rot, nut shells, tiny grains of sandlot sand
spilling from the runoff gullies. The hot work was to see
not feel what had to be done, not to go on asking,
not to wonder anymore. Full from scraps I’d found
at the back of the refrigerator, her mongrel dog
lay curled on a stone and watched me work.
It was Sunday. The telephone rang, then stopped,
then rang again. By the end of the day, I’d done
what I could. I swept the walk, put away the tools,
switched on the indoor safety lamps, and then
(it hardly matters what I think I felt) I closed
the gate on a house where no one lived anymore.

Contemporary Australian Art – Brett-Livingstone Strong

In the words of one writer, “Brett-Livingstone Strong belongs to that rare class of celebrity, the international art star. Speaking the language of our new global culture, Strong has displayed an unerring ability to capture the attention of the public at large, winning a fervent, vital market on an enormous scale. Unique to our mass media age, his level of success is characterized by broad fame and its attendant myth-making, a lifestyle enjoyed earlier in this century by Picasso, Dali, and Andy Warhol. Today, towards the height of his career, Brett-Livingstone Strong has become an ambassadorial spectacle of international goodwill, a painter, a sculptor and architect of monumental ideas.”

Below – “Tiger”; “Under the Sea; “Orchids”; “Tulips”; “Stonehenge”; “Spirit Reef.”


Musings in Summer: Frida Kahlo

“I want a storm to come and flood us into a song that no one wrote.”


Contemporary Chinese Art – Jia Lu

In the words of one writer, “Painting since she was three, Jia Lu painted her way through her tender years, through the navy, through her emigration abroad, right through to fame. Her paintings eventually created a world that escapes classification. No matter who comes across them, her paintings make all catch their breath and turns every face into an expression of wonder. Jia Lu was born in March 1954 in Beijing. Graduated from the Central Academy of Art and Design Special Arts Department in Beijing and York University Faculty of Visual Arts in Canada.”

Below – “Water”; “Sword Spirit”; “Flame”; “Halo”; “Irises”; “White Halo.”

Musings in Summer: Annie Dillard

“Think of a globe, a revolving globe on a stand. Think of a contour globe, whose mountain ranges cast shadows, whose continents rise in bas-relief above the oceans. But then: think of how it really is. These heights are just suggested; they’re there….when I think of walking across a continent I think of all the neighborhood hills, the tiny grades up which children drag their sleds. It is all so sculptured, three-dimensional, casting a shadow. What if you had an enormous globe that was so huge it showed roads and houses- a geological survey globe, a quarter of a mile to an inch- of the whole world, and the ocean floor! Looking at it, you would know what had to be left out: the free-standing sculptural arrangement of furniture in rooms, the jumble of broken rocks in the creek bed, tools in a box, labyrinthine ocean liners, the shape of snapdragons, walrus. Where is the one thing you care about in earth, the molding of one face? The relief globe couldn’t begin to show trees, between whose overlapping boughs birds raise broods, or the furrows in bark, where whole creatures, creatures easily visible, live our their lives and call it world enough. What do I make of all this texture? What does it mean about the kind of world in which I have been set down? The texture of the world, its filigree and scrollwork, means that there is a possibility for beauty here, a beauty inexhaustible in its complexity, which opens to my knock, which answers in me a call I do not remember calling, and which trains me to the wild and extravagant nature of the spirit I seek.”

Contemporary American Art – Malcolm T. Liepke: Part I of II

In the words of one writer, “Largely self-taught, Malcolm T. Liepke paints in a style that synthesizes the work of other artists—John Singer Sargent, Edgar Degas, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Diego Velázquez, and James McNeill Whistler, among others—to create portraits that are both visually familiar and wholly unique.”

Below – “On the Knees”; “Blue Angel”; “On the Sofa”; “Female Attitude”; “The Green Veil”; “Redhead Arms Folded.”

Musings in Summer: James Baldwin

“Life is tragic simply because the earth turns and the sun inexorably rises and sets, and one day, for each of us, the sun will go down for the last, last time. Perhaps the whole root of our trouble, the human trouble, is that we will sacrifice all the beauty of our lives, will imprison ourselves in totems, taboos, crosses, blood sacrifices, steeples, mosques, races, armies, flags, nations, in order to deny the fact of death, the only fact we have. It seems to me that one ought to rejoice in the fact of death–ought to decide, indeed, to earn one’s death by confronting with passion the conundrum of life. One is responsible for life: It is the small beacon in that terrifying darkness from which we come and to which we shall return.”


Contemporary American Art – Malcolm T. Liepke: Part II of II

In the words of one writer, “His artworks are now in the collection of the Smithsonian Institution and the Brooklyn Museum. Liepke’s work has been widely shown and exhibited in the Pastel Society of America, the American Watercolor Society, National Academy of Design and the National Arts Club. Liepke’s emphasis has been on figurative artworks. His paintings and drawings often focus on intimate moments of sensual pleasure and introspection.”

Below – “Rest”; “Seated Nude”; “Two Women”; “Weary”; “Knees to Chest”; “Cascading Hair.”

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