Beleaguered in Bothell – 28 November 2017

Remembering a Writer on the Date of His Death: Died 28 November 1960 – Richard Wright, an American novelist, short story writer, essayist, poet, and author of “Native Son.”

Some quotes from the work of Richard Wright:

“Whenever my environment had failed to support or nourish me, I had clutched at books.”
“The artist must bow to the monster of his own imagination.”
“I would hurl words into this darkness and wait for an echo, and if an echo sounded, no matter how faintly, I would send other words to tell, to march, to fight, to create a sense of the hunger for life that gnaws in us all.”
“Men can starve from a lack of self-realization as much as they can from a lack of bread.”
“They hate because they fear, and they fear because they feel that the deepest feelings of their lives are being assaulted and outraged. And they do not know why; they are powerless pawns in a blind play of social forces.”
“Violence is a personal necessity for the oppressed…It is not a strategy consciously devised. It is the deep, instinctive expression of a human being denied individuality.”
“Love grows from stable relationships, shared experience, loyalty, devotion, trust.”
“It was not a matter of believing or disbelieving what I read, but of feeling something new, of being affected by something that made the look of the world different.”
“Anything seemed possible, likely, feasible, because I wanted everything to be possible… Because I had no power to make things happen outside of me in the objective world, I made things happen within. Because my environment was bare and bleak, I endowed it with unlimited potentialities, redeemed it for the sake of my own hungry and cloudy yearning.”
“Pity can purge us of hostility and arouse feelings of identification with the characters, but it can also be a consoling reassurance which leads us to believe that we have understood, and that, in pitying, we have even done something to right a wrong.”
“Is not life exactly what it ought to be, in a certain sense? Isn’t it only the naive who find all of this baffling? If you’ve a notion of what man’s heart is, wouldn’t you say that maybe the whole effort of man on earth to build a civilization is simply man’s frantic and frightened attempt to hide himself from himself?”

Art for Autumn – Part I of IV: Arthur Laws (American, 1894-1960)

Below – Untitled Still Life


For Your Information: 28 November is National French Toast Day in the United States.


Art for Autumn – Part II of IV: Claude Lazar (French, contemporary)

Below – “Fermeture Annuelle”; “Nuit D’Ivresse”

Remembering an Artist on the Date of His Birth: Born 28 November 1757 – William Blake, an English poet and painter.

“The Tiger”
By William Blake

Tyger! Tyger! burning bright
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Could frame thy fearful symmetry?

In what distant deeps or skies
Burnt the fire of thine eyes?
On what wings dare he aspire?
What the hand, dare sieze the fire?

And what shoulder, & what art,
Could twist the sinews of thy heart?
And when thy heart began to beat,
What dread hand? & what dread feet?

What the hammer? what the chain?
In what furnace was thy brain?
What the anvil? what dread grasp
Dare its deadly terrors clasp?

When the stars threw down their spears,
And water’d heaven with their tears,
Did he smile his work to see?
Did he who made the Lamb make thee?

Tyger! Tyger! burning bright
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Dare frame thy fearful symmetry?

Below – William Blake: “The Tiger.”

Art for Autumn – Part III of IV: Lebadang (Vietnamese, 1922-2015)

Below – “Two Red Boats”; “Lotus”; “Blue Noir”


Worth a Thousand Words: Mount Kanchenjunga, as seen from Kalimpong, India, a city of markets, wild orchids, and beautiful gardens.


Art for Autumn – Part IV of IV: Fanch Ledan (French, contemporary)

Below – “La Fermiere”; “Pink Interior”

Remembering a Writer on the Date of His Death: Died 28 November 1694 – Matsuo Basho, a Japanese poet and essayist.

Three haiku by Basho:

Summer grass.
All that remains of
The warriors’ dreams.

In Kyoto,
hearing the cuckoo,
I long for Kyoto.

Now the swinging bridge
is quieted with creepers…
like our tendrilled life.

Below – Hokusai: “Portrait of Basho.”


Contemporary Chinese Art – David Lee

In the words of one writer, “David Lee was born in Canton, China in 1944 and in 1946 moved with his family to Hong Kong, where he was raised. David Lee began painting at age 4. He was educated in Hong Kong and attended Taiwan University, where he received a B.A. in Fine Arts. He also attended Kaoshung University in Taiwan and the Far East Academy of Art in Hong Kong. David Lee was trained in the classical tradition of Oriental brushwork. Not only a master of technique, David Lee does not simply reproduce what nature presents but expands his imagination. Lee has perfected a rich sense of composition and style combining the delicate loveliness of watercolors on silk with Western concepts of design.”

Below – “Delicate White Floral”; “Winter”; “Remember a Rainy Day”; “Moonflower”; “Tiger Lily on Silk”; “Six Koi”; Untitled Cranes.

Musings in Autumn: Mary Oliver

“How could there be a day in your whole life that doesn’t have its splash of happiness?”


American Art – Guy Anderson (1906-1998)

According to one writer, “Anderson was identified in a Life Magazine article as one of the ‘northwest mystics,’ also known as the Northwest School.”

Below – “In the Dark and Light of Seeding”; “Conjugal Vajra”; “Mann Sporting Among His Ancestors”; “Man Reading While in Flight”; Untitled (summer); Untitled (clouds over horizon).

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