japonisme: 9/9/07 - 9/16/07

15 September 2007

begin to awaken


By the road to the
contagious hospital
under the surge of the blue
mottled clouds driven from the
northeast—a cold wind.
Beyond, the
waste of broad, muddy fields
brown with dried weeds, standing and fallen

patches of standing water
the scattering of tall trees

All along the road the reddish
purplish, forked, upstanding, twiggy
stuff of bushes and small trees
with dead, brown leaves under them
leafless vines—

Lifeless in appearance, sluggish
dazed spring approaches—

They enter the new world naked,
cold, uncertain of all
save that they enter. All about them
the cold, familiar wind—

Now the grass, tomorrow
the stiff curl of wildcarrot leaf

One by one objects are defined—
It quickens: clarity, outline of leaf

But now the stark dignity of
entrance—Still, the profound change
has come upon them: rooted they
grip down and begin to awaken

William Carlos Williams

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14 September 2007

wear some flowers in your hair

okay, yes. it's california. i tried to find like literature on florida but it wasn't much there. my guess is because the push for population and tourists was earlier, so you're still getting a bit of the "victorian" look in the illustrations. and also, possibly, because the florida population tends latin as california tends asian. in any case, here we are again, drenched in beauty.

the more i look into this stuff the more i realize there's this other effect to the japonisme exposure that i haven't discussed enough, and that may be among the most important effects of all.

that is that the line between "artist" and "illustrator" has all but disappeared. toulouse- lautrec: which is he? steinlen? bonnard? names far less

familiar to us now, men who became "california impressionists": maurice logan, harold von schmidt (both pictured here), pedro de lemos, and so many more; these men (the ones i mention here) and others did magazine covers, and ads, and travel brochures, and fine oils and woodblock prints. they were the generation of students of the first wave of california impressionists (wendt, braun), who were the students of the first impres- sionists; and they were the teachers of the next generation, the artists painting and teaching today.

and the same is true, the line was gone, in the works, those tremendously influential works, of the japanese.

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13 September 2007

or maybe "ain't i a woman"?

(i can't exactly say why i would want to put the lyrics to such an awful song here on my blog, except for the fact that when i look at these pictures, i keep hearing this song.)


Well she's all you'd ever want
She's the kind they'd like to flaunt and take to dinner
Well she always knows her place
She's got style, she's got grace, she's a winner.

She's a Lady. Whoa whoa whoa, she's a Lady
Talkin' about that little Lady, and the Lady is mine.

Well she's never in the way
Something always nice to say, Oh what a blessing.
I can leave her on her own
Knowing she's okay alone, and there's no messing.

She's a Lady. Whoa whoa whoa, she's a Lady
Talkin' about that little Lady, and the Lady is mine.

Well she never asks for very much and I don't refuse her
Always treat her with respect, I never would abuse her.
What she's got is hard to find, and I don't want to lose her.
Help me build a mansion from my little pile of clay. Hey, hey, hey

Well she knows what I'm about,

She can take what I dish out, and that's not easy.
Well she knows me through and through,
She knows just what to do, and how to please me.

She's a Lady. Whoa whoa whoa, she's a Lady
Talkin' about that little Lady, and the Lady is mine.

Yeah yeah yeah, She's a Lady
Listen to me baby, She's a Lady
Whoa whoa whoa, She's a Lady
And the Lady is mine

Yeah yeah yeah, She's a Lady
Talkin' about this little Lady
Whoa whoa whoa whoa
And the Lady is mine

Yeah yeah, She's a Lady
And the Lady is mine.

sung by Tom Jones

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12 September 2007

how we see water

"This is a seascape with Mt. Fuji. The waves form a frame through which we see Mt. Fuji.

Hokusai loved to depict water in motion: the foam of the wave is breaking into claws which grasp for the fishermen. The large wave forms a massive yin to the yang of empty space under it.

The impending crash of water brings tension into the paint- ing. In the foreground, a small peaked wave forms a miniature Mt. Fuji,

which is reflected hundreds of miles away in the enormous Mt. Fuji, which shrinks through pers- pective; the wavelet is larger than the mountain.

Instead of shoguns and nobility, we see tiny fishermen huddled into their sleek crafts; they slide down a seamount and dive straight into the wave to make it to the other side. The yin violence of Nature is dismissed by the yang relaxed confi- dence of expert fishermen. Oddly, though it's a sea storm, the sun is shining." 1

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11 September 2007


If it were only still!—
With far away the shrill
Crying of a cock;
Or the shaken bell
From a cow's throat
Moving through the bushes;
Or the soft shock
Of wizened apples falling
From an old tree
In a forgotten orchard
Upon the hilly rock!

Oh, grey hill,
Where the grazing herd
Licks the purple blossom,
Crops the spiky weed!
Oh, stony pasture,
Where the tall mullein
Stands up so sturdy
On its little seed!

Edna St. Vincent Millay


Glory be to God for dappled things--
For skies of couple-colour as a brinded cow;
For rose-moles all in stipple upon trout that swim;
Fresh-firecoal chestnut-falls; finches' wings;
Landscape plotted and pieced--fold, fallow, and plough;
And all trades, their gear and tackle and trim.

All things counter, original, spare, strange;
Whatever is fickle, freckled (who knows how?)
With swift, slow; sweet, sour; adazzle, dim;

He fathers-forth whose beauty is past change:

Praise Him.

Gerard Manley Hopkins

(it is interesting to me how easily children's books illustrators adopted so much from what they saw in the japanese prints. and them passed it on, generation to generation, to their students.)

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10 September 2007



You are as gold
as the half-ripe grain
that merges to gold again,
as white as

the white rain
that beats through
the half-opened flowers
of the great flower tufts
thick on the black limbs
of an Illyrian apple bough.

Can honey distill such fragrance
As your bright hair--
For your face is as fair as rain,
yet as rain that lies clear
on white honey-comb,
lends radiance to the white wax,
so your hair on your brow
casts light for a shadow.

h. d.

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09 September 2007

which one is....

right- brained
wrong- headed?

right- brained
wrong- headed?

right- brained
wrong- headed?

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