Thursday, January 18, 2018

New Artist Watch Feature at Escape Into Life

Yarrow Slaps, A Picture of Me
Acrylic on Wood Panel, 18" x 24", 2017
Copyright © Yarrow Slaps


Today's Artist Watch at the online arts magazine Escape Into Life introduces Yarrow Slaps, a musician, curator, and painter who lives and works in San Francisco.

Inspired by Mission School artists, Yarrow takes his subjects from their sources. His portraits, which he has exhibited in both solo and group shows in San Francisco and Los Angeles, are imbued with a distinctive street aesthetic and reflect Yarrow's long exposure to many different kinds of urban lifestyles and perspectives. Yarrow has been an artist-in-residence at San Francisco's deYoung Museum and is the recipient of an individual artist grant from the city. He co-curates with Auguste Somers the artist collective SWIM. (Read a review of the 2017 group exhibition "Lil SWIM" at Art Enthusiast. Also see the review at Juxtapoz.)

Today's Artist Watch feature includes six images of Yarrow's paintings, an Artist Statement, and a brief biographical profile.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

In Memorium

In Memorium

Nancy Louise Hindle Doallas
August 19, 1927 - January 11, 2018
Ft. Myers, Florida

May peace be with you, Mama.

You think this is just
another day in your life?
It’s not just another day.
It’s the one day
that is given to you today.
It’s given to you. Today.
It’s a gift.
~ Br. David Steindl-Rast

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Thought for the Day

Sometimes the flaw in our character 
is the hole through which God enters.
~ Haroon Moghul

Quoted from Haroon Moghul, How To Be a Muslim: An American Story (Beacon Press, 2017), page 64

Haroon Moghul, Pakistani-American Writer, Academic, Journalist, Television Commentator, Public Speaker; Fellow in Jewish-Muslim Relations, Shalom Hartman Institute of North America; Senior Fellow and Director of Development, Center for Global Policy

Haroon Moghul on Facebook and Twitter

Saturday, January 6, 2018

Saturday Short

Today's Saturday Short is the trailer for Through the Repellent Fence: A Land Art Film (2017) from director Sam Wainwright Douglas. The 74-minute documentary is about the conception and construction of a two-mile-long artwork by the interdisciplinary arts collective Postcommodity* between the borders of Mexico and the United States. The work comprises 28 ten-foot balloons, each bearing a pair of "open eyes", an indigenous cultural symbol, that float over the border wall dividing Douglas, Arizona, from Agua Prieta, Sonora. The balloons serve as "a metaphorical suture stitching together cultures that have inhabited these lands long before borders were drawn."

A screening of the film will take place on January 20 at 3:00 p.m. in the Nan Tucker McEvoy Auditorium in the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, D.C. The presentation, co-sponsored by the National Museum of the American Indian, is free. A discussion with producer David Hartstein and artist Cristobal Martinez follows the screening.

* The collective includes artists Raven Chacon (Navajo), Cristobal Martinez (Mestizo), and Kade L. Twist (Cherokee), who have collaborated with Steven Yazzie and others to investigate through an indigenous lens public perceptions, beliefs, and actions and their effects on indigenous cultures.

Postcommodity on FaceBook

Sunday, December 31, 2017

Looking Back at Poems for New Year's Eve

It's been a long year. What's better than a look-back through some poetry to see you through 2017's end?

* * * * * 

Let's only call this a night,
      Eve, if the mood strikes.

Give the hours a hand to go
      straight to twelve with a bubbly-pop,

the minutes a push to make it a second past
      with the glass raised for the emptying. 
        Continue reading "Watching the Clock on New Year's Eve".

* * *

With every shuffle of the deck
we play a different hand,

your life, then mine, resolving
on one last roll of the dice.
        Continue reading "New Year Games".

* * *

The tears fall back
Into place,
Stored and numbered
For some other day,
A different night,
When loss might swell
With the count-down.
        Continue reading "New Year's Eve 2009".

* * *

He asked,
What will you have
on New Year's Eve?
        Continue reading "Taking Leave".

* * * 

fresh strawberries tucked into it — the kind you used
to get in Devon every afternoon
with a warm scone and Tiptree & Son's strawberry jam
        Continue reading "January begins with cream".

Thought for the Day

New Year's eve is like every other night; there is no pause
in the march of the universe, no breathless moment of
silence among created things that the passage of another
twelve months may be noted; and yet no man has quite
the same thoughts this evening. . . .
~ Hamilton Wright Mabie

Quoted from Hamilton Wright Mabie, My Study Fire (Dodd, Mead & Co.), pages 62-63

Hamilton Wright Mabie (1846-1916), American Essayist, Editor, Critic, Lecturer

Monday, December 25, 2017

The Christmas Story: A Russian Animation

Merry Christmas!

Following is a Russian animation of the story of the birth of Christ (my thanks to

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Art for Advent 2017: Fourth Sunday

Art historian James Romaine presents for this Fourth Sunday in Advent the painting Christ and His Mother Studying the Scriptures (c. 1909-1910) by Henry Ossawa Tanner. Located in the collection of the Dallas Museum of Art, the oil on canvas takes for its models Tanner's wife Jessie (Virgin Mary) and son Jesse (Christ as a boy); Tanner used a photograph of his wife and son as reference. Romaine suggests that the tender family portrait leaves it to the viewer to determine whether the child is learning to read or is instructing his mother—or perhaps both.

Dr. James Romaine, Professor, Lander University; Lecturer on Faith and Visual Arts; Author*

Association of Scholars of Christianity in the History of Art (ASCHA)

* James Romaine's most recent publication, co-edited with Phoebe Wolfskill of Indiana University, is Beholding Christ and Christianity in African American Art (Penn State University Press, August 2017). The book focuses on the biblical subjects and themes in the works of Romare Bearden, Edmonia Lewis, Archibald Motley, Henry O. Tanner, and James VanDerZee.

Also see the Advent series at The Bible Project.

Thought for the Day

Blessed is the season which engages the whole world
 in a conspiracy of love!
~ Hamilton Wright Mabie

Quoted from Hamilton Wright Mabie, My Study Fire (Dodd, Mead & Co., 1890, 1893), page 54

Hamilton Wright Mabie (1846-1916), American Essayist, Editor, Critic, Lecturer

Thursday, December 21, 2017

New Artist Watch Feature at Escape Into Life

Hua Nian, Piano Lesson, Paper-Tearing, 12" x 12"

Copyright @Hua Nian


I have chosen for my last Artist Watch column of 2017 the highly expressive paper-tearing art of Hua Nian of Illinois.

Hua, a member of the International Society of Acrylic Painters and the National Oil and Acrylic Painters Society, has lived in the United States since 1992. Her award-winning paintings are exhibited widely and found in numerous collections around the country. Her colorful paper-tearings, which always feature children, are colorful and full of feeling and are especially appropriate to feature at this time of year.

You will find in today's Artist Watch images of seven of Hua's paper-tearings (they are of various sizes), her Artist Statement, and her biography.