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Archive for the ‘literature’ Category

autumnal tints

Wishing you a happy weekend!

“How beautiful, when a whole tree is like one great scarlet fruit full of ripe juices, every leaf, from lowest limb to topmost spire, all aglow, especially if you look toward the sun! What more remarkable object can there be in the landscape? Visible for miles, too fair to be believed. If such a phenomenon occurred but once, it would be handed down by tradition to posterity, and get into the mythology at last.” ~ Henry David Thoreau

Long Barn ~ Wolf Kahn, 2010-2011

Last Glow ~ Wolf Kahn, 2011

Green, Orange and Gray ~ Wolf Kahn, 1997

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Yesterday’s summer rain recalled a favorite chapter from E.B. White’s One Man’s Meat…his poetic telling of an afternoon thunderstorm at the lake is a timeless summer story ripe with imagery and childhood memories…hope this brightens your Monday afternoon!

“One afternoon while we were there at that lake a thunderstorm came up. It was like the revival of an old melodrama that I had seen long ago with childish awe. The second-act climax of the drama of the electrical disturbance over a lake in America had not changed in any important respect. This was the big scene, still the big scene. The whole thing was so familiar, the first feeling of oppression and heat and a general air around camp of not wanting to go very far away. In midafternoon (it was all the same) a curious darkening of the sky, and a lull in everything that had made life tick; and then the way the boats suddenly swung the other way at their moorings with the coming of a breeze out of the new quarter, and the premonitory rumble. Then the kettle drum, then the snare, then the bass drum and cymbals, then crackling light against the dark, and the gods grinning and licking their chops in the hills. Afterward the calm, the rain steadily rustling in the calm lake, the return of light and hope and spirits and the campers running out in joy and relief to go swimming in the rain, their bright cries perpetuating the deathless joke about how they were getting simply drenched, and the children screaming with delight at the new sensation of bathing in the rain, and the joke about getting drenched linking the generations in a strong indestructible chain. And the comedian who waded in carrying an umbrella.” ~ an excerpt from E.B. White’s One Man’s Meat, 1938

1) Landscape at Caux with increasing clouds ~ Ferdinand Hodler, 1917

2) Thun, Stockhornkette, In clouds ~ Ferdinand Hodler, 1912

3) Lake Thun ~ Ferdinand Hodler, 1884

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Gently Sloping, 2010, Pastel on paper ~ Wolf Kahn

“Again, I sit on the brow of the orchard, and look northwest down the river valley (at mid-afternoon). There flows, or rests, the calm blue winding river, lake-like, with its smooth silver-plated sides, and wherever weeds extend across it, there too the silver plate bridges it, like a spirit’s bridge across the Styx; but the rippled portions are blue as the sky. This river reposes in the midst of a broad brilliant yellow valley amid green fields and hills and woods, as if, like the Nanking or Yang-ho (or what-not), it flowed through an Oriental Chinese meadow where yellow is the imperial color. The immediate and raised edge of the river, with its willows and button-bushes and polygonums, is a light green, but the immediately adjacent low meadows, where the sedge prevails, is a brilliant cheerful yellow, intensely, incredibly bright, such color as you never see in pictures; yellow of various tints, in the lowest and sedgiest parts deepening to so much color as if gamboge had been rubbed into the meadow there; the most cheering color in all the landscape; shaded with little darker isles of green in the midst of this yellow sea of sedge. Yet it is the bright and cheerful yellow, as of spring, and with nothing in the least autumnal in it. How this contrasts with the adjacent fields of red-top, now fast falling before the scythe! When your attention has been drawn to them, nothing is more charming than the common colors of the earth’s surface.” ~ Henry David Thoreau, August 1st, 1860

Overall Yellow, 2011, Oil on canvas ~ Wolf Kahn

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Wishing you a lovely summer weekend filled with lush trees and soft green grass…

Field in Asturias ~ Joaquin Sorolla, 1903

“Spring flew swiftly by, and summer came; and if the village had been beautiful at first, it was now in the full glow and luxuriance of its richness. The great trees, which had looked shrunken and bare in the earlier months, had now burst into strong life and health; and stretching forth their green arms over the thirsty ground, converted open and naked spots into choice nooks, where was a deep and pleasant shade from which to look upon the wide prospect, steeped in sunshine, which lay stretched out beyond. The earth had donned her mantle of brightest green; and shed her richest perfumes abroad. It was the prime and vigour of the year; all things were glad and flourishing.” ~ Charles Dickens, Oliver Twist

Daubigny’s Garden ~ Vincent van Gogh, 1890

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