Season’s greetings to you. As the season and
new year unfold, may much joy come your way.
OPEN HOUSE AFTERMATH
To those of you who came to our annual arts open house on November 18, it was great to see you, talk with you, and share our work with you. Come again next year!
You may have heard our neighbor Suzanne Matson’s reading there from her wonderful new novel, Ultraviolet. Coincidentally, a few days later the NY Times published a powerful and touching essay by Suzanne about her mom’s final months. It is titled The Caretaker of the Chin Hairs, and is online at https://www.nytimes.com/2018/11/23/well/family/mother-daughter-elderly-dementia-end-of-life.html. There’s also a fine review of Ultraviolet in the Briefly Noted section of this week’s New Yorker, online at https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2018/12/10/invisible-between-two-millstones-ultraviolet-and-frail-sister. (“This unostentatious yet intricate novel follows the women of a family across nearly a century….”) If you would like to read Ultraviolet, it is available at libraries and bookstores around Boston, and at many bookstores around the country, as well as on Amazon.
Best to you,
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NEW ART & PHOTOGRAPHY
I’ve created much new art and photography since the last (July) newsletter. The art begins at art gallery D and continues through art gallery E and art gallery F. The photography appears in the Paris, London, and Edinburgh galleries.
The art is a bit of a wild ride, a visual journey through many styles and ideas. The photographs are from travels this summer to Paris, London, and Edinburgh. The London photos are of street art, which I hope you’ll find refreshing. Those voodoo classes for kids, for instance . . . 😜
RED, an annual juried exhibition, will be at the Cambridge Art Association’s galleries from November 8 to December 20. Juried this year by Dan Byers, the Director of Harvard’s Carpenter Center for Visual Arts. The exhibit includes Fingers:
Instagram is a great place for viewing photography and art on the glowing screen(s) of your phone, tablet, laptop, and HDTV. Artists, photographers, museums, and galleries from around the world maintain a presence there.
There are now almost a billion active Instagram users, including many art lovers. These days, as you know, more people view art and photos on backlit screens like the one you’re looking at than in any other format. My occasional contribution on Instagram, recently begun, appears at mlparsonsiii. I hope you’ll follow.
ART Habens Art Review‘s story about Squeezeshot might interest you. It includes a dozen images and an in-depth interview by the curators.
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There are 15 new works at the website —
14 artworks, including Together and Upward
(enlarged above) and Front Yard, a photograph.
Click to see the art and/or the photograph.
* * *
The summer exhibits continue at
The Corner Gallery in Washington, Maine.
ART Habens Art Review’s in-depth story about
Squeezeshot is available to anyone interested.
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“Whatever pearl you seek,
look for the pearl
within the pearl.”
Like to visit a fine small-town art gallery in coastal Maine this summer? See the below flyer. The Corner Gallery in Washington, Maine has chosen six of my works for three of its shows—Lighten Up, Beyond Color, and Summers End. (One work is Lightfall, the uppermost image in the flyer.) Opening receptions, with light refreshments, will be held the first Friday of each show, beginning at 5 pm.
NOTE: To view the galleries, words, etc.,
described below, click on the highlighted links.
Power Plant, The Driver (Havana), Desire, Blue Eyes, Water with Lemon, and Sun
About Now — Remarks, poems, and essays by Émile Zola, Susan Sontag, James Baldwin, W.H. Auden, and Emily Dickinson. Part of my Newton Open Studios art exhibit a few weeks ago. Read them here (lower down this page).
- Spring Newton Open Studios, April 7 & 8 at Newton City Hall, with 19 other artists. There are many art lovers in and near Newton—200+ visitors spent a respectable amount of time at my exhibit. Thank you to readers of this newsletter who came by. Good to see you!
- If you missed the show, you can see most of the 20 or so exhibited works at the 2018 and 2017 art and photography galleries mentioned in NEW GALLERIES, above.
The 2018 Maine Photography Show, in Boothbay Harbor to May 4.
- The show’s juror, Peter Ralston, included Afterlife, a photograph that shows the (digitally re-colored) remains of a shortnose sturgeon, an endangered species, which I found last summer on the beach at Reid State Park on the coast of Maine. You can see the photo here at the Squeezeshot website, in FAVORITES Gallery A.
- Peter (ralstongallery.com) is the leading contemporary photographer of coastal Maine. He said to me of Afterlife, “It’s what Andy Wyeth might have called a ‘wondrous strange’ image!” Peter grew up in Pennsylvania next door to Andrew Wyeth and family, and has been the family’s friend and collaborator ever since. “Wondrous strange” is the title Andrew’s wife Betsy chose for a book about the Wyeth painters, Wondrous Strange: The Wyeth Tradition. It is also a Shakespeare reference that you may recall from Hamlet, after Hamlet and Horatio have encountered a ghost:
- HORATIO: O day and night, but this is wondrous strange!
- HAMLET: And therefore as a stranger give it welcome. / There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, / Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.
In another current exhibit, two artworks of mine, Blue Migration and Warming, appear in Together is Better: The Marvel and Mystery of Fish Migration, through June 16 at Monkitree (monkitree.com) in Gardiner, Maine.The exhibit celebrates increasing fish migration on the rivers and streams of central Maine, as watersheds there become restored. The two works also appear here at the Squeezeshot site, in the new 2018 art gallery.
Remarks, poems, and essays by Émile Zola, Susan Sontag, James Baldwin, W.H. Auden, and Emily Dickinson, which I compiled for my recent Newton Open Studios art exhibit. — M.P.
You cannot say you have seen anything until you have got a photograph of it, revealing a lot of points which otherwise would be unnoticed.
The first sentence of On Photography
Humankind lingers unregenerately in Plato’s cave, still reveling, its age-old habit, in mere images of the truth.
* * *
M.P. response to the sentence: I would suggest that everything we perceive—every flicker, sequence, and torrent of our thought, perception, awareness, and imagination— is both an image of the truth and truth itself. That is not only an “age-old habit” of ours, it is necessity, our biology, the creature that is us. Such is our one and only habitat, our cave, our universe(s). May our revels there/here never end.
Final Paragraphs of Nothing Personal
The light that’s in your eyes / reminds me ofthe skies / that shine above us every day-so wrote a contemporary lover, out of God knows what agony, what hope, and what despair. But he saw the light in the eyes, which is the only light there is in the world, and honored it and trusted it; and will always be able to find it; since it is always there, waiting to be found. One discovers the light in darkness, that is what darkness is for; but everything in our lives depends on how we bear the light. It is necessary, while in darkness, to know that there is a light somewhere, to know that in oneself, waiting to be found, there is a light. What the light reveals is danger, and what it demands is faith. Pretend, for example, that you were born in Chicago and have never had the remotest desire to visit Hong Kong, which is only a name on a map for you; pretend that some convulsion, sometimes called accident, throws you into connection with a man or a woman who lives in Hong Kong; and that you fall in love. Hong Kong will immediately cease to be a name and become the center of your life. And you may never know how many people live in Hong Kong. But you will know that one man or one woman lives there without whom you cannot live. And this is how our lives are changed, and this is how we are redeemed.
What a journey this life is! dependent, entirely, on things unseen. If your lover lives in Hong Kong and cannot get to Chicago, it will be necessary for you to go to Hong Kong. Perhaps you will spend your life there, and never see Chicago again. And you will, I assure you, as long as space and time divide you from anyone you love, discover a great deal about shipping routes, airlines, earth- quake, famine, disease, and war. And you will always know what time it is in Hong Kong, for you love someone who lives there. And love will simply have no choice but to go into battle with space and time and, furthermore, to win.
I know we often lose, and that the death or destruction ofanother is infinitely more real and unbearable than one’s own. I think I know how many times one has to start again, and how often one feels that one cannot start again. And yet, on pain of death, one can never remain where one is. The light. The light. One will perish without the light.
I have slept on rooftops and in basements and subways, have been cold and hungry all my life; have felt that no fire would ever warm me, and no arms would ever hold me. I have been, as the song says, ‘buked and scorned and I know that I always will be. But, my God, in that darkness, which was the lot of my ancestors and my own state, what a mighty fire burned! In that darkness of rape and degradation, that fine flying froth and mist of blood, through all that terror and in all that helplessness, a living soul moved and refused to die. We really emptied oceans with a home-made spoon and tore down mountains with our hands. And if love was in Hong Kong, we learned how to swim.
It is a mighty heritage, it is the human heritage, and it is all there is to trust. And I learned this through descending, as it were, into the eyes of my father and my mother. I wondered, when I was little, how they bore it-for I knew that they had much to bear. It had not yet occurred to me that I also would have much to bear; but they knew it, and the unimaginable rigors of their journey helped them to prepare me for mine. This is why one must say Yes to life and embrace it wherever it is found-and it is found in terrible places; nevertheless, there it is; and if the father can say, Yes. Lord. the child can learn that most difficult of words, Amen.
For nothing is fixed, forever and forever and forever, it is not fixed; the earth is always shifting, the light is always changing, the sea does not cease to grind down rock. Generations do not cease to be born, and we are responsible to them because we are the only witnesses they have.
The sea rises, the light fails, lovers cling to each other, and children cling to us. The moment we cease to hold each other, the moment we break faith with one another, the sea engulfs us and the light goes out.
September 1, 1939
I sit in one of the dives
On Fifty-second Street
Uncertain and afraid
As the clever hopes expire
Of a low dishonest decade:
Waves of anger and fear
Circulate over the bright
And darkened lands of the earth,
Obsessing our private lives;
The unmentionable odour of death
Offends the September night.
Accurate scholarship can
Unearth the whole offence
From Luther until now
That has driven a culture mad,
Find what occurred at Linz,
What huge imago made
A psychopathic god:
I and the public know
What all schoolchildren learn,
Those to whom evil is done
Do evil in return.
Exiled Thucydides knew
All that a speech can say
And what dictators do,
The elderly rubbish they talk
To an apathetic grave;
Analysed all in his book,
The enlightenment driven away,
The habit-forming pain,
Mismanagement and grief:
We must suffer them all again.
Into this neutral air
Where blind skyscrapers use
Their full height to proclaim
The strength of Collective Man,
Each language pours its vain
But who can live for long
In an euphoric dream;
Out of the mirror they stare,
And the international wrong.
Faces along the bar
Cling to their average day:
The lights must never go out,
The music must always play,
All the conventions conspire
To make this fort assume
The furniture of home;
Lest we should see where we are,
Lost in a haunted wood,
Children afraid of the night
Who have never been happy or good.
The windiest militant trash
Important Persons shout
Is not so crude as our wish:
What mad Nijinsky wrote
Is true of the normal heart;
For the error bred in the bone
Of each woman and each man
Craves what it cannot have,
Not universal love
But to be loved alone.
From the conservative dark
Into the ethical life
The dense commuters come,
Repeating their morning vow;
‘I will be true to the wife,
I’ll concentrate more on my work,’
And helpless governors wake
To resume their compulsory game:
Who can release them now,
Who can reach the dead,
Who can speak for the dumb?
All I have is a voice
To undo the folded lie,
The romantic lie in the brain
Of the sensual man-in-the-street
And the lie of Authority
Whose buildings grope the sky:
There is no such thing as the State
And no one exists alone;
Hunger allows no choice
To the citizen or the police;
We must love one another or die.
Defenseless under the night
Our world in stupor lies;
Yet, dotted everywhere,
Ironic points of light
Flash out wherever the Just
Exchange their messages:
May I, composed like them
Of Eros and of dust,
Beleaguered by the same
Negation and despair,
Show an affirming flame
an Abyss and
entering it again
That is Life, is
* * *
But are not
all Facts Dreams
as soon as
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