Friday, October 31, 2014

Matisse and DuBuffet at NYC's MOMA

The colorful paper that Matisse found such pleasure in cutting out and arranging into joyous visual celebrations in the last decade of his life, is the star attraction at MOMA, New York, from October 12th through February 8th. Simply called “The Cut-Outs”, it will undoubtedly offer saturated tropical color as succor for winter-weary visitors.

More somber in tone, but equally uplifting in its freedom of expression and bold experimentations in alternative and natural mediums is Dubuffet’s smaller exhibit called ,”The Soul of the Underground”.
What a feast for those  of us who appreciate the beauty beneath their feet, in shadow play, rusting metal and “untrained” art creation…

Dubuffet was one of the seminal promoters of naive art and responsible for its appellation, Art Brut, (Raw Art). 
He embraced the art of children, the insane and the art of non-Western cultures previously considered “primitive” by Western academic standards. 
About his own art-making,he says, “I would like people to see my work as a rehabilitation of scorned values and, in any case, make no mistake about it, a work of ardent celebration."

It truly is… 
Don’t miss this inspiring exhibition by the grandfather of Outsider Art from October 18th through April 5th!

Soul of the Underground by Jean Dubuffet

MOMA writes on their website: “Jean Dubuffet (French, 1901–1985) maintained a rebellious attitude toward prevailing notions of high culture, beauty, and good taste, and was a relentless innovator from the time he committed himself to art making in the early 1940s. Jean Dubuffet: Soul of the Underground, the first monographic presentation on the artist at MoMA in over 25 years, illuminates Dubuffet’s radical experimentation with form and material by focusing on the key moment in his career, from the 1940s to the mid-1960s. He mixed sand, gravel, and other materials into his pigments, applying them in layers with brushes and palette knives to create a thickened impasto, and then excavated images from them by scratching and scraping away with the pointed handle of his paintbrush. He revolutionized lithography, experimenting with textures by attacking lithographic stones with sandpaper, rags, and chemicals, and creating images with dirt, fruit peels, leaves, and other organic materials. Drawings in ink or gouache mimicked these feats of combination and re-combination, resulting in surfaces of decaying or ever-expanding membranes.”

Friday, October 10, 2014

Autumnal Abundance

Golden October is once again weaving her spell and dappling the hills with fiery color, as maple, beech and birch respond to cold nights and warm days.

It is a most magical season to be in New England... rampant beauty is popping up everywhere as each area reaches peak...The smell of smoke from recently lit wood stoves and the delicious aroma of wet earth, fallen leaves and fresh air is pervasive in my woods.
With brilliant blue skies and dappled sun, my earthbound form of Heaven manifests all around me...
The farmers' markets along the roads feature the abundance of the season and mountains of apples and mums delight the eye. Pumpkins, gourds and squashes in heirloom varieties add their unique shapes and colors to the sumptuous feast...

Visitors from around the country and the globe join us this weekend in celebrating these natural wonders.
Wishing you all a stunning Autumn, wherever you are...


Sunday, August 17, 2014

The Blessings of Bears

The summer has been cool and fleeting here in New England.
Scattered throughout the lush woods, random maple leaves have assumed fiery shades and an early Autumn seems in our future. Most of us are having mixed feeling about that...
The vegetation has thrived with all the dramatic rain storms and berries and mushrooms have been abundant, bears as well.
The distinctively marked female that I have watched for over three years now has not been sighted, but her two cubs, now a year old have visited fairly often. The male was persistent in his pursuit of the battered old feeder, put out for the returning grosbeaks and songbirds, early on, but has been infrequent of late.
This has allowed the shy sister to bring her adorable three cubs by. She is so gentle with them and they are so mindful of her silent direction, that these brief glimpses of their relationship is a treasure.
They sit like amazingly well-mannered toddlers as she looks about until she urges them on, when they roll and tumble after her, playing tag in her wake. In a few minutes they are gone but I am blessed by the experience.
I have shared these woods with my ursine friends for 21 years and besides a missing feeder or two in the early Spring, I have never had other than courteous treatment from these beautiful, shy creatures.
I wish them all safe passage in the challenging seasons to come here in the wooded hills.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

The Icy Grip of Winter...

Arctic vortexes bringing ice, snow and wind chills of -24 degrees F. have made the start of 2014 a challenge for those of us in New England.
Winter’s icy grip has even surprised the Deep South creating havoc on roads, freezing pipes and causing power outages there and throughout the USA.
New Englanders usually embrace the season and the magical transmutation that snow and silence conjure in rural pastures and wooded hills.
I share this enthusiasm, but bitter wind and slippery roads have made even usually stoic
friends moan and stay in to enjoy a good book beside the wood stove…

The plucky little chickadees and the assorted titmice, finches and juncos that hangout with them are enjoying the abundance of sunflower seeds I’ve been providing to keep them fueled up, as the North winds blow.
Likewise, the feral cats that inhabit these winter woods with owls, fishers, raccoons, coyotes and bobcats are out looking for nourishment. 
I love seeing the overlapping patterns their tracks make as they crisscross the yard.
They all seem to fare better than the deer eating my yew hedge down to the trunks and nibbling arbor vitae trees to far above their heads.
My heart goes out to all of them on these nights that fall well below zero.
The maple sugaring season is in the wings and preparations are being made to tap that golden nectar of the Yankee gods for another year.
Soon enough, we’ll be complaining about mud season on our 18th C. dirt roads and Spring will be in the air.
But for now we’ll celebrate the brilliant sun on sparkling snow and the steady lengthening of the days…