Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Paul Huet's Pastel Drawing at the National Gallery of Art Reminds the Captain of Patricia Dee's Work

January 21st, 2020 @ 6:30 AM
McDonald’s across from Howard University
Pleasant Plains, Washington, District of Columbia

While visiting the "Touch of Color" exhibit dedicated to pastels in the collection of the National Gallery of Art, I encountered a work that reminded me of Patricia Dee and her pastel landscapes. I collected a number of her works and then gave most to a dear friend. I knew that friend would care for them, exhibit them well.

I took a snapshot. I began comparing Dee's talent to Paul Huet's. "Why isn't Dee given pride of place in the Nation's Gallery"? I admit I fumed quietly and turned to the next work of art.

I've been a friend of Dee since 2010, a good decade. Thus I dare say she would like the comparison to Huet, yet she would probably laugh if I said she had better technique or better results than the French master who worked beside Antoine-Jean Gros and Richard Parkes Bonnington, a British artist. Huet made the Salon of 1827, so I'll just state "comparisons are odious" and dust the pastel chalk off my hands. Figurative chalk dust. I know not to touch the pastels on the wall.

Napoleon lost at Waterloo in 1815 when Huet was almost a teen. Britain and France shared culture in the aftermath. Thus Huet fell under the influence of British Art, seeing John Constable's the Hay Wain at the Salon of 1824 and falling under its spell.

I have yet to learn under what spell Dee fell but I do know she works the Ottawa shore and the Grand River Watershed, so the enchantment might feel strongest upon these lands. I'm looking at a Google map of the crossing of Henry and West Pontaluna Streets, near Little Black Lake. An unattended blueberry field might still stand among the brushy corner. As Autumn takes hold, the branches of these now wild blueberry bushes take a hue of red that Dee depicted exactly in an image that caught my eye and opened my wallet. Similarly rank blueberry bushes, awaiting the brush hog, probably a different corner, another field, found on the patrols of this restless artist who must go see.

Enchantment indeed.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Waiting for My Sadako

February 16, 2015

My daughter grew to love Sushi. So two years ago, on a day cold enough to be annoying, I treated her to Sadako, a sushi restaurant in Ann Arbor.

Sadako honors a young woman of Japan who suffered radiation sickness after surviving the atomic blast at Hiroshima. Her name was Sadako. She folded 1300 origami paper cranes before succumbing to leukemia. She believed in a Japanese myth that she would be granted power to change the world. She is honored by a statue in Hiroshima; daily, hundreds of paper cranes are offered at the base. That said, I read Friday that a great flock of Sandhill Cranes had been reported resting on its northern migration near Mammoth Cave, Kentucky. I hope this sucker punch of a late winter polar surge doesn't cause illness and weakness to lessen the flock. My thoughts are migratory from Japan to Kentucky and to Ann Arbor as I await my Sadako. She has added five minutes onto my wait and yet I await her as expectantly as I await the arrival of Sandhills to Jackson County, Michigan and Jasper County, Indiana.

— at Sadako.

Friday, April 8, 2016

Happily, South Range made the leap this week into the rank of cool cities. Wide Eyed Gallery opened in a corner of the Vitality Chiropractor, celebrating the work of four artists working in the Western Upper Peninsula. Classes and more exhibits are being planned.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Wilbo Enjoys an Late Afternoon of Community as He Spends #SmallBusinessSaturday at Pigeon Hill Brewing Company, Muskegon @PureMichigan

Walking to Pigeon Hill, I encountered a man who was cleaning up his property near the Fire Barn museum. He knows not how to develop the grassy hollow.

To save time, I followed a shortcut through Mike's Inn, backdoor to front door of that shotgun shack of a dive bar. Eight women who deliver mail sat on stools and sipped cold ones.. Attired in post office issued coats, all laughed as I jested, "I guess the mail is in for today"! I looked around for Cliff from Cheers, where everybody knows your name. Maybe everyone knows one name because Cliff let everyone at the bar read ones mail?

At Pigeon Hill, I saw Derek Dile & Courtney Reynolds and I hoped that meant a Julia & The Greensides Performance was imminent. However, the band is doing
fewer gigs, none until December 12 or so. Or so I heard. The band has polished ten songs for a new album & continues to polish. And Muskegon has repatriated Shredd Spread from Seattle, Shredd holding court now as we speak & drink.

A community of people are gathered around a Pigeon Hill table laden with cupcakes. Half the big cupcakes have a sign of a bride posted in the frosting. Half the big cupcakes have the sign of a groom posted in the frosting. Each member of the bridal entourage has a cupcakes posted with their likeness on a sign. All of these people have left the cupcakes alone. Guessing the wedding was celebrated at least thirty years ago.

Tip to the wise. Alaina inspired the newly release Pigeon Hill beer called "Fiesty Latina". Please refrain from addressing her as "Ms. Fiesty". Michael Brouwer has taken a day from his law books & briefs to assist the team serving beer in the taproom.

Visiting the Pigeon Hill tap room today are seven children, mostly young ladies. Not all at one table and properly accompanied by parents. Just like in Jolly
Old England.

A man to my right embraced his wife, planted one on her lips. Then split for the loo. A man to my right asks his wife for permission to buy and fill a growler. She grants him permission and orders a Whistle Punk pizza off of her iPhone. Bargain completed.

The kids are all right! At Pigeon Hill, children drink Faygo soda imported from Detroit.

A man sells reggae inspired art at the Muskegon Farmer's Market. I have spotted his knit cap in Rastafarian colors among the sea of caps. That made Saturday at Pigeon Hill Brewing Company a conscious party, right? And is that really Revel Partner Al P drinking at Pigeon Hill rather then Unruly, where the growing ad agency enjoys a house account to charge tabs upon?

Just had a nice chat with a couple from Buffalo who drove here to see son play hockey for South Dakota in the match up against the Lumberjacks. The two are proud of Buffalo's reuse of the waterfront, Lake Erie & Niagara River. I have accepted a thirtieth anniversary cupcake from Tom and Alice. "That's us thirty years ago". "You look twice as gorgeous", I say. She says, " Eat your cupcake, schmooze". I meant it, though. It's a terrific cupcake.

Beth Atkins is the musical minister at the big Methodist church in Montague. One of my friends, Kara Olson, performed on the piano for services at Beth Atkin's direction. Then, Ms. Olson returned to California. In a random conversation, I made the acquaintance of the new pianist at the Methodist church in Montague. Jere, my neighbor, held court at a table with friends. I didn't have a chance to thank him for allowing me to park my Subaru in his alley lot when the City of Muskegon forbade street parking.

Walking back from Pigeon Hill Brewing Company, I cut through the hall of Mike's Inn again and Brandy was bartending. Brandy had quit Pub 1111 in Whitehall when she got a shot bartending at Mike's. More tips and less hassle improved her income and her life at Mike's. Brandy gladly gave me a glass of water because one Shifting Sands IPA at Pigeon Hill was more than enough beer for today.

The man who owned the hollow behind Mike's Inn was still laboring in his grassy field, trying to decide how to deal with the steep slopes up to Clay Street.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Captain Art Walk writes a Thank You Letter to Carole and Steve Loftis, A Couple Who Believed in @GHArtWalk

Lovely to see the two of you in Traverse City, watching the two of you sharing soup and bread, chatting with a friend. Two places in Traverse City have always seemed reliable for writing, Oryana and Horizon Books, and by the end of the day I'll visit the bookstore. Right now, one can write outside on the tables provided. My writing is often set in terms of wandering and I show up in a location and write, this weekend the salmon weir and the crossing of the North Country Trail and US 131. As we are Facebook friends, these posts go first onto my page. 

Tyler Loftis and Chris Protas have always encouraged me to add drawings to them, and since I take pictures, it's entirely possible that they'll get their wish. Ironically enough, today's movie at the Bijou is "A Walk in the Woods", Bill Bryson's account of walking the Appalachian Trail with the only person who could cut lose to walk with him. It's ironic because this morning I interviewed a man walking the North Country Trail and wrote an essay about him.

Attached, here's a pair worth drawing.

Facebook has a quality that makes walking purposeful. I've started to write plays and Saturday morning I discovered the Community Theater Association of Michigan conference in Cadillac. By noon, I had talked to all the directors and was crewing for the one act plays performed that afternoon. Now I have places with familiar faces where I can send my scripts.

As for building a community theater and cultural complex in Grand Haven, in a way that's been done twice over. We have an astounding theater in the community center. We have a plush theater in middle school. The two both saw good usage thanks in part to ArtWalk, partly your husband's brain child. At the library, I enjoyed a lecture on Marshall Fredericks delivered by the official archivist of his papers and photographs. At the middle school, a good audience turned up for Picking Cotton, a national traveling act. At the Fire Barn Gallery, we had David Heino and the artist alumni, and Heino gave a presentation that only a self-effacing artist could deliver. Maggie Bandstra secured the space in the new Grand Armory Brewing Company complex for art, and Saturday night, Barb Carlson taught her Zentangling method of drawing admist a collection of ArtWalk paintings on exhibit. Why do I go into such detail. That arts and culture complex your husband and you envision when you bought the theater? It seems to have been realized in a distributed way in buildings throughout the town, public buildings and pubs too.

Good work!

Any who, time to catch a movie and then return to the river to try and catch some salmon. Right now, the only place I can get a salmon benedict is from the Dee Light Diner, which is great. But teach a man to fish and he can make his own Salmon Bene for the rest of his life. I'll still go to the Theater Bar for drinks, so don't worry.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Last Email Bulletin: Muskegon Day of Gratitude Walking Route ---> Added Sanctuary at the Oaks & the South Pier Lighthouse

Please share the walking route for the Muskegon Day of Gratitude Arts,
Athletics & Culture Walk by printing out and sharing by social media.

As events arrive this evening, we will update this list online at the
Second Annual Muskegon Day of Gratitude Facebook page. Any questions,
call (231)-760-3470

Events will be included if they are clearly safe, cool & full of gratitude.

Muskegon Day of Gratitude Team

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Fire Barn Gallery Grand Haven @PureMichigan Searching for Lakeland Artist Members & Their Artwork, 55 Years of History; Show opens 4/23/2015.

The Fire Barn Gallery invites you to 'Lakeland 1958 - 2015', opening April 23rd.

An organized platform for artists to connect with each other can mean
the difference between an individual's decision to pursue art or to
give it up.

The long standing presence of the Lakeland Artists has undoubtedly
helped to shape the creative climate of West Michigan by providing
this platform; it would be impossible to calculate the positive
effects they have had over 5 1/2 decades.

Begun in 1958, the Lakeland Artists first president was Norma Green,
who organized their first juried show in 1959, a tradition that
continues to this day. They have shown at the Tri-Cities Historical
Museum, Muskegon Museum of Art, and countless other venues in the

This show is a tribute to the Lakeland Artists, and is an open call to
anyone who has been a member.

If you own work by a Lakeland Artist that you would like to include
please email firebarngallery@gmail.comby April 19th.

We also welcome written anecdotes, thoughts or stories anyone may have
regarding their history, which we will hang in the hallway of the
gallery. The public can drop these off at the gallery during viewing

The show opens Thursday April 23rd, 6-8pm, presentation at 7pm.
Complimentary wine will be available.

Gallery will be open Wednesday, Friday and Saturday 12-6pm, through May 20th.