Monday, July 9, 2012

In the Eye of the Beholder


Over the past few years, I've been accumulating images that have jumped out at me for any number of reasons. I thought perhaps they would help to illustrate future posts, and then I realized they are a post. They each deserve their own place, but I gathered them together today as another way to pay homage to them and their creators. I'm hoping you'll forgive this self-indulgence and perhaps even be drawn to one or more of these images yourself. Like the illustration above, by N.C. Wyeth. I like the movement reflected in the water and the variations on the color turquoise in the sky. Then, there's the painting below by Willem de Kooning. I was drawn in by the sensuousness of the colors and the shapes:




This woman, who is standing so quietly yet firmly on this earth, is the picture of resilience. It's a photograph taken by Eudora Welty, who, before she became a Pulitzer Prize winning author, told her stories with a camera:




I am drawn again and again to this painting by Peder Severin Kroyer, the Danish painter I've mentioned previously. The soft blue, the child in wooden shoes, the clothing hung from the bow of the boat, the sand and the sea ... It's a beautiful composition and use of color:




Here's E. B. White, in a Jill Krementz photo taken in his writing cabin in Maine. He and other writers have expressed this need for a spartan space in order to minimize distractions and give the words a little more room.




I don't know if it's the mode of transportation, the mood it evokes, or some other even more ephemeral thing, but I absolutely love this painting by Herman Herzog:



 
Patterns and fabric, anything floral or geometric and the lines that form, catch my eye.  Like in this kitchen photograph by Camille Soulayrol ...





and in these images by Iain McKell ...








I'm always intrigued by images of people who seem to be living on the periphery of life, like the man above and, John Berryman, below, in an image from Life Magazine. His mind went spiraling out and never found its way back. Back to what, might be a legitimate question ...  But not today. Today, there's sunlight on the grass, a baby rabbit munching on some clover, and a family of cardinals on the feeder, offering each other safflower hearts.





"Above Everything"

I wished for death often
but now that I am at its door
I have changed my mind about the world.
It should go on; it is beautiful,
even as a dream, filled with water and seed,
plants and animals, others like myself,
ships and buildings and messages
filling the air  --  a beauty,
if ever I have seen one.
In the next world, should I remember
this one, I will praise it
above everything.


~ David Ignatow








Additional images and information on Camille: camillesoulayrol.com

More on Iain McKell: iainmckell.com

49 comments:

  1. A very interesting post, Teresa, with thought-provoking images. I've always loved the photo of E.B. White, the sheer, unadulterated simplicity of his creative environment.

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    1. Thank you George. I like your description of his environment: "unadulterated simplicity."

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  2. Wonderful pictures, every one. I especially resonate with the writer in his bare room, and the girl at the water's edge. Thank you for bringing these to my attention, Teresa. I will go back and enjoy them again...

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    1. That girl at the water's edge keeps calling me back....

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  3. I like all these photos. The Wyeth's appeal lies partly in the repeated shapes of the bird and the boat - just don't know how that guy managed to be so good, even though so often copied he is the tops.

    The family in the kitchen, eating, all have a strangely watchful look that interests me.

    I always overlook de Kooning but your picture reminds me I should take more notice.

    And I yearn for a spartan space, though I always manage to clutter up the most beautiful pristine desk within ten minutes!

    Thanks for these, they're lovely.

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    1. Thank you, Jenny, for sharing what you were drawn to in these images. It's nice to know how they spoke to someone else.

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  4. I loved seeing these and reading your narrative on each one. It forced me to view them more carefully to see what you saw and I missed. Each person sees things in a variety of ways. That is always interesting to me.

    I was especially drawn to one by Peder Severin Kroyer.

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    1. We do all see things from our unique perspective, which is what is so intriguing about art. That painting is beautiful, isn't it?

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  5. All beautiful! My favorites being the Camille Soulayro (it draws me in.) and the N.C. Wyeth which I love and seems very different from others of his. Maybe I only remember his illustrations. His sky in the first painting is indeed lovely.
    Your posts are never self-indulging and always interesting.

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    1. Thank you, Connie. I'm glad you also like Camille's kitchen. Besides the shapes and lines, I love the color combos.

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  6. I lean towards realism, so I find all of them wonderful. My least favorite is the de kooning. For me, it's the mood that draws me into the Herzog painting. Love the photo by Welty, yet the composition rules of photography aren't used??? In this case, I think it's simply the subject... What do you think??? Great blog!!!

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    1. Yes, sometimes it's the strength of the subject that has to be the central idea. In this case, especially, I think that holds true. Thanks, Lynn.

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    2. Rules rule? It's we who rule the rules. Ah, so much is unruly!

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  7. A feast for the eyes... a real treat today. Thank you.

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  8. Such a nice selection.I enjoyed a kitchen scene and a unique variety of images.The children in wooden shoes has a good North Sea look to it.

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    1. There are several Danish painters that have a huge appeal to me. I was introduced to them by Thyra (Grethe), from Denmark, on her wonderful blog.

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  9. This is a marvelous collection of images, but I am entirely captivated by the painting by Herzog. I can completely relate to that scene.

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    1. The Herzog has a bit of the Montana wilderness in it, with the trees and moody atmosphere, don't you think? I also love the bird, perhaps an eagle flying, and the parasol. Such an interesting juxtaposition in that scene. It is captivating - a good word to describe my response, as well.

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  10. There is so much in this one post. I like some, not so much others.
    We are all drawn to what we see and how we view it from our own experiences. The picture of the resilient woman is a favorite as well as the photo of E.B. White.

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    1. It is all a matter of perspective, and we each have our own, of course. I'm glad you also like the resilient woman. I love her beautiful face and sense of strength.

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  11. I loved the Kroyer painting Teresa, I'd not seen this one before. I love the way he has captured the dazzling light on the ocean at the far-centre. Drawing your eye into the distance past the figure of the small girl gazing longingly at all the lucky boys and the excited little naked figure dashing towards the breakers beyond her.

    The poem is lovely.... 'and messages filling the air....' how lucky we are if we can catch their magical sound.

    Hugs Jane x

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    1. I love those things you've pointed out, all the reasons I so love this painting. I can't imagine ever tiring of it. The Skagen school of painters has several very wonderful painters that I've found compelling.

      The line you mention is one that hopped out at me, also. He is such a fine poet.

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  12. I love how light is captured, particularly in oil paintings...

    And I had no idea Eudora Welty had been a photographer. She was recommended to me a number of years as a fine example of a writer, and I have to agree. Nice to add to my knowledge of her outside of her short stories.

    Pearl

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    1. Nothing speaks to me as much as oils do, although a few watercolorists just amaze me.

      It's an interesting story, how she went from one to the other. I've been thinking of doing a post about it... :)

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    1. Yeah, I think it's a nice collection of images. Glad you do, too.

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  14. Thanks for sharing these. I enjoyed every one of them.

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    1. Most welcome. I'm glad you stopped by, Sandy.

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  15. The only one that does nothing for me is the abstract. Each of the others I could get lost in for a time. The art world and the land of poetry were something I knew little or nothing about. You give me glimpses into places I have never been. Thank you so much for that. :)

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    1. It's nice to know I've played a part in that, Rita. I'm always glad to introduce these things to people. They are such a huge and enriching part of my life.

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  16. This is a magnificent post, Teresa. Every photo, every word. Thank you.

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    1. Oooh, Linda, thank you so much. I'm glad you think so. I hope Art is doing well, and life is back to "normal."

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  17. All wonderful pictures but the 2nd, 3rd, and 5th really struck me. And a fine poem at the end. Is not heaven really on earth?

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    1. Gee, Bill, do I really have to answer that? Despite the rhetorical nature of the question, I will. I still like the words attributed to Jesus: "The kingdom of heaven is within us." So, yeah, here on earth, out there in space, everywhere we "look." It's all inside us. IMO.

      However, I do like very much the way the poet speaks of "the next world," wherever its locale. It's just so... poetic.

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    2. Actually, I think he said, "The Kingdom of heaven is within "you," but you know what I meant. Thanks for getting my mind out of sputtering mode this morning. :)

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  18. As I was just reading One Writer's Garden, which is about Eudora Welty, I became aware of the fact that she was a photographer first. The woman's stoic strength in the picture and Welty's grasp of place are, to me, quite evident here.

    Oh, Teresa, you have moved me with this post; its images, your words, the beauty of the collection you have amassed, the poem. You have given me much to ponder as I get ready to rest for the night. Thank you.

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    1. I'm thinking I might have to get that book, let it nourish me through the winter. I'm glad you told me about it on your post.

      I hope you had a restful night.

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  19. Wonderful collection of images that you have given us today. My favorite was the black woman image by Eudora Welty. We are the benefactors of these wonderful images that she documented during the depression in her native state of Mississippi. thanks for the gallery tour. -- barbara

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    1. She took some great photos of a difficult time. That one stood out for me. Her life story is an interesting one. Penny, at Lifeonthecutoff, has introduced a book about her gardening on one of her posts (see above comments). She was quite the gardener it seems.

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  20. Dear Teresa, the poem filled my eyes with tears. I hope that it is one whose sentiments John Berryman was thinking as he ended his life.

    Thank you for the sharing the photographs and paintings. That one lone bird, a sentinel, in the sky in the Herzog painting captured all my attention.

    I am learning so much from you about form and language, about poetry and painting. Thank you for this belated education in my life.

    Peace.

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    1. Dee, Sometimes, I tend to rewrite history in a way that I feel might be more not just to my liking but perhaps to those involved, given what may be learned as transitions in life are made. I feel its important to view those who have passed in the best possible light, as I would want them to do for me.

      Isn't that bird wonderful? "Sentinel" is a good word to use.

      We all are learning from each other, each with something to offer the other. I'm so glad for this online community where we can do this. It's a lot of fun, too. Thank you for all you bring to the table.

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  21. as always thank you for taking the time to appreciate beautiful things and for taking the time to share them with us.

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  22. David Ignatow's Words are achingly beautiful......

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  23. My favorite image is the guy in the boat, though I'm probably the seagull because I've already been to the gym today and I don't feel like rowing ;) I'm also like the three different colours of orange (wall, door, wall) behind the chick in the red dress. Yes! Love the poem. Hadn't seen that one before -- very good, very true. Above everything, indeed! Thanks for posting :)

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    1. Soaring is what you do! :) I must say, I Love to row, but then, I don't go to the gym, as I probably should. I love canoeing and don't have nearly enough chances to do so. Nice to hear from you, Will.

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