Beleaguered in Bothell – 30 December 2017

Remembering a Nobel Laureate on the Date of His Death: Died 30 December 1944 – Romain Rolland, a French dramatist, novelist, essayist, historian, and recipient of the 1915 Nobel Prize for Literature.

Some quotes from the work of Romain Rolland:

“No one ever reads a book. He reads himself through books.”
“If there is one place on the face of earth where all the dreams of living men have found a home from the very earliest days when man began the dream of existence, it is India.”
“It is the artist’s business to create sunshine when the sun fails.”
“To a man whose mind is free there is something even more intolerable in the sufferings of animals than in the sufferings of man. For with the latter it is at least admitted that suffering is evil and that the man who causes it is a criminal. But thousands of animals are uselessly butchered every day without a shadow of remorse. If any man were to refer to it, he would be thought ridiculous. And that is the unpardonable crime.”
“Discussion is impossible with someone who claims not to seek the truth, but already to possess it.”
“A hero is a man who does what he can.”

Art for Winter – Part I of III: Ruth Mayer (American, contemporary)

Below – “Old Christmas Store in Laguna Beach”; “View into Roadway, 1971, New York”


For Your Information: 30 December is National Bicarbonate of Soda Day in the United States.


Art for Winter – Part II of II: Michael Mazur (American, 1935-2009)

Below – “Pond Edge”

Remembering a Thinker on the Date of His Death: Died 30 December 1947 – Alfred North Whitehead, and English-American philosopher and mathematician.

Some quotes from the work of Alfred North Whitehead:

“The misconception which has haunted philosophic literature throughout the centuries is the notion of ‘independent existence.’ There is no such mode of existence; every entity is to be understood in terms of the way it is interwoven with the rest of the universe.”
“If a dog jumps into your lap, it is because he is fond of you; but if a cat does the same thing, it is because your lap is warmer.”
“Philosophy begins in wonder. And, at the end, when philosophic thought has done its best, the wonder remains.”
“The tragedy of the world is that those who are imaginative have but slight experience, and those who are experienced have feeble imaginations.”
“Ninety percent of our lives is governed by emotion. Our brains merely register and act upon what is telegraphed to them by our bodily experience. Intellect is to emotion as our clothes are to our bodies; we could not very well have civilized life without clothes, but we would be in a poor way if we had only clothes without bodies”.
“From the very beginning of his education, the child should experience the joy of discovery.”
“The motive of success is not enough.”
“Wisdom alone is true ambition’s aim, wisdom is the source of virtue and of fame; obtained with labour, for mankind employed, and then, when most you share it, best enjoyed.”
“Art attracts us only by what it reveals of our most secret self.”
“A general definition of civilization: a civilized society is exhibiting the fine qualities of truth, beauty, adventure, art, peace.”


Art for Winter – Part III of III: Harry McCormick (American, contemporary)

Below – “Dragon Screen”; “New York Bar”; “Artist’s Studio”

Worth a Thousand Words: A panoramic view from the summit of Mount Everest.

This Date in Art History: Born 30 December 1942 – Osman Hamdi Bey, an Ottoman painter, administrator, intellectual, and art expert.

Below – “Lady Nails”; “The Tortoise Trainer”; “Persian Carpet Dealer on the Street”; “Girl with Pink Cap”; “The Girl Who Is Picking Up Lilac”; “Self-Portrait.”


A Poem for Today

“Forgetfulness”
by Billy Collins

The name of the author is the first to go
followed obediently by the title, the plot,
the heartbreaking conclusion, the entire novel
which suddenly becomes one you have never read,
never even heard of,

as if, one by one, the memories you used to harbor
decided to retire to the southern hemisphere of the brain,
to a little fishing village where there are no phones.

Long ago you kissed the names of the nine Muses goodbye
and watched the quadratic equation pack its bag,
and even now as you memorize the order of the planets,

something else is slipping away, a state flower perhaps,
the address of an uncle, the capital of Paraguay.

Whatever it is you are struggling to remember,
it is not poised on the tip of your tongue,
not even lurking in some obscure corner of your spleen.

It has floated away down a dark mythological river
whose name begins with an L as far as you can recall,
well on your own way to oblivion where you will join those
who have even forgotten how to swim and how to ride a bicycle.

No wonder you rise in the middle of the night
to look up the date of a famous battle in a book on war.
No wonder the moon in the window seems to have drifted
out of a love poem that you used to know by heart.


Contemporary American Art – Dan McCaw

In the words of one writer, “Dan McCaw is an American Impressionist painter known for his city scenes, interiors, and still lifes with soft color harmonies and gentle subject matter. Dan McCaw is especially noted for his technique of painting figures in a muted haze of color, whether painting city street scenes or interior views.”

Below – Untitled Moonlight Traveler; “Passing Through”; “Absorption”; “Seated Figure”; “Conversation”; “Frozen.”

Musings in Winter: Robert Michael Pyle

“Along with rising and falling water, winter is the province of wind. When the sea-breath and mountain-roar bend the hemlocks of these hills, the birds hang on as best they can.”


Contemporary American Art – Sherri K. McEuen

Artist Statement: “My subject matter is drawn primarily from the female form. Designed in bronze, my sculptures exude the provocative, passionate and bold uniqueness of the female spirit.”

Below – “Esprit” (bronze); “Sea Goddess” (bronze); “Geisha” (ceramic); “Daydream” (mixed media); “Aurora” (bronze); ‘Dark Side” (ceramic).

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