I love this song. First heard it about a year or two ago. Totally lost track of the name of the band and was sad occasionally because the song would get into my head, but I had no way to Google for who it was by. Then I heard it playing while out shopping at some store. And today, thankfully, it came to me and I am glad.
The Watch Listen Tell video series continues to produce videos with string bands from the northern latitudes — music that I absolutely love.
I encountered Erin Washington’s work while wandering through an open house of the Art Institute graduate studios. I stopped dead in my tracks the moment I peaked my head into her studio – her work is incredible! There were probably five paintings hanging on the walls, in addition to the model of a black hole in the corner of the room. I was enthralled with her piece “Agathist” (fourth from the top), and offered to pay cash for it. She called my bluff, somehow knowing that I was broke.
“Agathist” is aproximately four feet squared, and is painted entirely with the pigment of blackberries. Ms. Washington picks the blackberries throughout the summer as they ripen, this accounts for the variation in color and tone. The brilliant thing about the work, is that it changes hue over time as the blackberries oxidize (rot). There were a few glass jars full of blackberries in her studio, and she explained that she chews one or two at a time for varying durations in order to get the consistency right, then she uses her hands or occasionally a brush to apply the pigment to the canvas.
Agathism, from the Greek, agatho- (good), is the doctrine that the ultimate end of all things is good, although the intermediate means may be evil. In the conflict between optimism and pessimism, agathism is the reasonable intermediate. The agathist sees the world as essentially good but a place in which bad things can and do happen to good people.
Erin Washington is among my all time favorite artists. Check out her website.
Paris and I went up to Grand Rapids last weekend. We stopped in Holland to hike around the dunes, and out onto the frozen lake. It is always a great sigh of relief to escape the city – to wander the landscape without any purpose other than to fill your senses with sights, sounds, scents, and those unarticulable feelings that remind you that you exist as an odd creature, on a fascinating planet, in an unfathomable expanse of immense complexity. Just another day at the beach.
This, from Loren Eiseley-
“Every time we walk along a beach some ancient urge disturbs us so that we find ourselves shedding shoes and garments or scavenging among seaweed and whitened timbers like the homesick refugees of a long war… Mostly the animals understand their roles, but man, by comparison, seems troubled by a message that, it is often said, he cannot quite remember or has gotten wrong… Bereft of instinct, he must search continually for meanings… Man was a reader before he became a writer, a reader of what Coleridge once called the mighty alphabet of the universe.”
And this, from John Marin-
“Seems to me that the true artist must perforce go from time to time to the elemental big forms – Sky, Sea, Mountain, Plain – and those things pertaining thereto, to sort of re-true himself up, to recharge the battery.”
Terry Evans makes beautiful images of the Midwest landscape. She also has a beautiful mind, as is evident from her writing. Here’s an excerpt from her statement for the body of work titled, Prairie Specimens:
“When I look again at the coyote, and look at the jackrabbit I remember Albrecht Durer. Are you familiar with Durer’s painting of Large Tuft of Grass (1603) and his Hare (1602)? Northern German painters such as Durer, Hans Hoffman, and others had a keen sense of observation, almost scientific in its intensity. Or is it artistic in its intensity? Is there a difference?”
I’m working on some new stuff down at Anchor Graphics with Master Printer Chris Flynn (brilliant!). Yesterday, I noticed three prints on the wall by Laurie Hogin. They’re incredible to view in person. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find good reproductions of the monkey and the rabbit (my favorite being the rabbit). They are multi-plate color etchings. Below the etchings, I’ve included one of Hogin’s paintings. She is best known for her painting, which is really colorful and pretty neat, but I love her line work.
Ms. Hogin received her BFA from Cornell in 1985, and her MFA from the SAIC in 1989.
We’ve been making no-knead bread with a fair amount of regularity this month. Hopefully we can get into a good rhythm where there’s never a moment without some bread on hand. Jim Lahey, of Sullivan Street Bakery, is a bread guru. Our household thanks him for this fine contribution to society!