Friday, December 09, 2016

Arty Farty Friday ~ Tobey, Graves, Callahan, Anderson - Northwest American Mystics ?

There were four artists who, in the late 1930s and 1940s, were known as The Northwest School, of modern art: Mark Tobey, Morris Graves, Kenneth Callahan, and Guy Anderson. They sought to create art that consciously responded to world events around them. All saw art as a form of spiritual quest, and were influenced by the Northwest’s mix of Native American and Asian traditions.

On Morris Graves - an archived post of mine:

Google Image pages linked showing selection of their artwork:

Mark Tobey
Morris Graves

Kenneth Callahan

Guy Anderson

Snip from:
Iridescent Light:The Emergence of Northwest Art by Delores Tarzan Ament & Mary Randlett.
For "the Big Four" art was a token of their intellectual journeys - a visual dialogue based on their understanding of the self and its relation to the cosmos. Eastern concepts of consciousness and creation intrigued them (they were all smitten with Zen, Hinduism, or even Baha'i).

As mid 20th century American mystics, the senior members of The Northwest School can be considered a visual arm of the Beat Generation: the Beats introduced Eastern disciplines and sacred texts to American literature, the Northwest artists invented a visual vocabulary to accompany this collective search for meaning in our society. They helped initiate a new and healthier understanding of nature. Morris Graves was as important in introducing the aesthetics of Zen Buddhism and Advaita Vedanta to America as Alan Watts, Gary Snyder, Gerald Heard and Christopher Isherwood.

Ultimately, Tobey and Graves became mannerists, employees of their old ideas. Only Guy Anderson in his later years showed any vitality. He continued to develop his forceful, gestural paintings - big circles and undulating bands of scaled-up brush strokes. Compared to the size of Tobey's small paintings. Anderson's oeuvre is Leviathan.

Finally, there's Ken Callahan. His paintings were Christian Apocalyptic revelations. One will find armies of humans and animals crowded into the tempera. Callahan used a kind of figurative "white writing," too It's like a bottle of White-Out, filled with Existential yearnings.
The key to this technique, one they all shared, involved a dusky background - the grays and browns and greens of the Pacific Northwest. The flora and fauna appear in white atop the darker colors. This iridescence is the exact opposite of Seurat: everything starts with the dark and goes to the light. Also, everything was painted with an economy of means, a technique borrowed from the famous Chinese and Japanese scroll paintings found at the Seattle Art Museum.

Rather than post individually on the other three members I'm going to simply take a look at the four natal charts to discover whether there's any obvious astrological linkage. Charts set for 12 noon, so ascendants remain unknown, as do exact positions of natal Moons.

Mark Tobey: December 11, 1890, Centerville, WI.

Morris Graves: August 28, 1910, Fox Valley, OR.

Kenneth Callahan: October 30, 1905, Spokane, WA.

Guy Anderson: November 20, 1906, Edmonds, WA

The link I'm seeking will most likely be through Neptune. Neptune, in astrology, has mysticism as one of its keywords. Mark Tobey, eldest of this quartet, has linkage to Neptune via his natal Venus (planet of the arts). Venus and a Neptune/Pluto opposition draws Neptune into his artistry, but also interesting is a Yod (Finger of Fate) linking Mercury and Uranus by helpful sextile, with both planets in quincunx aspect (150 degrees) to Neptune/Pluto, forming the Yod with Neptune/Pluto at apex. Astrologers usually see the Yod formation as unhelpful, but I like to interpret it as the apex planet "outlet" being "fed" by the joint sextiled planets - in this case the mental capacity of Mercury in helpful aspect to the futurism of Uranus developing into the mysticism of Neptune (and in Tobey's case with some Pluto intensity included).

The other three artists all had Neptune involved in an oppostion aspect:
Graves - Neptune opposite Uranus
Callahan - Neptune opposite Mars
Anderson - Neptune conjunct Jupiter opposite Uranus. This Jupiter conjunction is interesting in view of that remark in the quote above: "He [Anderson] continued to develop his forceful, gestural paintings - big circles and undulating bands of scaled-up brush strokes. Compared to the size of Tobey's small paintings. Anderson's oeuvre is Leviathan."
Jupiter = excess, largess, big stuff!

Thursday, December 08, 2016

Bernie's Long Game ?

Many commenters around the internet are still holding a grudge about Senator Bernie Sanders' support for Hillary Clinton, after his defeat in the primaries. Whenever his name is mentioned in a news piece, on certain websites, a chorus of, in my opinion, highly inappropriate and thoughtless derision ensues.
It was good to read this exchange on naked this week.

Fiery Hunt - December 5, 2016 at 3:11 pm:
Re: Bernie
I don’t care that he endorsed or campaigned for the Almost-Queen. He’s still the only politician talking about what’s really going on in America. And he’s not shy about calling it what it is. A big festering corruption cesspool. And he’ll always have my respect for that.

Reply - uncle tungsten - December 5, 2016 at 11:46 pm
All the more power to his mind and voice, I say. I perceive he plays a long game and immediate issues do not stampede him to hasty judgements/actions. There is much water and tears to flow along the stream in the next two years and I am sure Bernie Sanders and supporters will be there to move the stepping stones deftly into position where and if they can.
He has an aura of the aikido master about him and we would be wise to learn the moves and hear the strategy.

The exchange was prompted by a link at the website to a piece about Senator Sanders' recent speeches including one in San Rafael.

For people who are distressed by Trump’s election, Sanders had some disturbing news: things could get worse if campaign finance laws are weakened further.

“The reality is that this country both politically and economically is moving toward an oligarchic form of society where a small number of very wealthy and powerful people control our economy and our political life,” Sanders said.

“So what we have to do,” Sanders said, “is create a strong grassroots movement where we bring people together to fight not only for social justice, not only for environmental justice, but for economic justice as well. But here is where it becomes difficult.

"It is very easy for many Americans to say, I hate racism, I hate homophobia, I hate sexism", Sanders said, but it is a little bit harder for people in the middle or upper middle class to say, maybe we do have to deal with the greed of Wall Street.

“One of the things I’m trying to do,” Sanders said, “is to figure out a way to radically transform the Democratic Party from a party led by a liberal elite to a party led by working people and young people and people who really want to transform society.”

Wednesday, December 07, 2016

Do You Intuit ?

QUIZ : How intuitive are you?

I took the quiz and scored (37) in the area of level 2 "Social Intuition".

I've posted three times in the past on the topic of intuition, each post using some material from the other: one in 2007, then 2010 , the latest in 2015

Anyone else - on the quiz ?

Tuesday, December 06, 2016

WORDS are all I have...

A couple of words, new to me: antonomasia and hendiadys. They're both figure-of-speech types. There are many such obscure words, little known by any but high fallutin' grammarians and professional wordsmiths.

In rhetoric, antonomasia is a kind of metonymy in which an epithet or phrase takes the place of a proper name, such as "the little corporal" for Napoleon I. Conversely, antonomasia can also be using a proper name as an archetypal name, to express a generic idea.

From Wiki's list of examples:

"Old Blue Eyes" or "The Chairman of the Board" for Frank Sinatra

"The Bard" for William Shakespeare

"The Gipper" or "The Great Communicator" for Ronald Reagan

"The Iron Lady" or the "The Leaderene" for Margaret Thatcher.

In 2016 we could add "The Donald" or "Agent Orange" or "Hair Hitler" - but one for the ages is yet to be discovered for "You Know Who"

A figure of speech used for emphasis. The basic idea is to use two words linked by the conjunction "and" instead of the one modifying the other.

The typical result of a hendiadys is to transform a noun-plus-adjective into two nouns joined by a conjunction. For example, sound and fury (from act V, scene 5 of Macbeth) seems to offer a more striking image than furious sound........hendiadys is most effective in English when the adjectival and nominal forms of the word are identical. Thus "the cold wind went down the hall" becomes the cold and the wind went down the hall. He came despite the rain and weather instead of "He came despite the rainy weather".

Two verbs (as in the case of a catenative verb) can be so joined: come and get it (also come get it) and Fowler says that try and... for "try to..." is a "true example" of hendiadys.

The conjunction may be elided, i.e. omitted (a sound or syllable) when speaking (parataxis): This coffee is nice and hot can become This is nice hot coffee; in both cases one is saying that the coffee is hot to a nice degree, not that the coffee itself is nice.

Whoa! Two more unknown (to me) words there: catenative and parataxis. A catenative verb is one where it can be followed directly by another verb, as in "he deserves to win the cup" or "you are forbidden to smoke in here". Parataxis = The placing of clauses or phrases one after another, without words to indicate coordination or subordination, as in "Tell me, how are you?"

A nice hot coffee, paratactical or not, is just what I fancy after that little lot!

Monday, December 05, 2016

Music and Movie Monday - Remembering 1941

Wednesday of this week marks the anniversary of that "Date Which Will Live in Infamy".

December 7, 1941 - Japanese bomb Pearl Harbor, Hawaii; also attack the Philippines, Wake Island, Guam, Malaya, Thailand, Shanghai and Midway.
December 8, 1941 - U.S. and Britain declare war on Japan. US enters World War II. Japanese land near Singapore and enter Thailand.

Not fertile ground for musical offerings - though pairing with some favourite movies, books or TV series portraying those dramatic and portentious events, a melody or two do emerge.

There are several movies, books and TV series dedicated exclusively to detail of the attacks, but I prefer those which use the historic events as part of the film's background.

The bombing of Pearl Harbour is part of the From Here to Eternity story, told in novel, film and TV mini-series. The invasion of Singapore and other areas of Asia is background for Nevil Shute's wonderful novel, adapted for film and TV mini-series,
A Town Like Alice.

The Winds of War, originally a novel, then the sprawling story of World War II via a well-loved TV series, had to include events which began the USA's entry into World War II - the TV series has a memorable piece of music as its theme:

From Here to Eternity gave us:

The cricial Japanese attack scene in From Here to Eternity:

And a little background from A Town Like Alice (the TV mini-series) whose story unfolds immediately after Japanese attacks on Singapore.

Saturday, December 03, 2016

Saturday & Sundry Thoughts on Steven Mnuchin, another Trump pick

Stumped for a topic this weekend - I dunno, absent further unexpected eventualities it looks as though we are going to be stuck with Donald Trump as president, at least until he's impeached or whatever, so how about snooping at another of his cabinet picks, via natal chart?

Steven Mnuchin - from Wikipedia
Steven Terner Mnuchin (born December 21, 1962) is an American banker, film producer, and political fundraiser. He was a partner for Goldman Sachs for 17 years where he accrued a net worth estimated at about $40 million. He then founded the motion picture firm, RatPac-Dune Entertainment. In 2016, he served as finance chair in the successful Donald J. Trump presidential campaign.

On November 30, 2016, it was announced that Mnuchin would be nominated as Secretary of the Treasury in the coming administration of President-elect Donald Trump...........

He was born in New York City on 21 December 1962. Chart is set for 12 noon as his birth time isn't available.

I'm looking at the chart, trying to remain"cold", neutral, not relating it to anything I've read about its owner's past doings, ethics etc. other than that he's one of Donald Trump's recent picks for his administrative team, on the finance side.

Here's a second Trump pick with connection to the film industry, (Steve Bannon is another). In Mnuchin's natal chart Neptune (film) is conjunct Venus, planet of the arts.

 Donald Trump's  natal chart
His natal Sun in late Sagittarius is in harmonious trine to Mars in Leo. Mnuchin's Mars, by the way, is conjunct Donald Trump's natal Mars and ascendant. Trump's chart is at right, for reference. Mnuchin's natal Sun in late Sagittarius in within 7 degrees of Donald Trump's natal Sagittarius Moon - good links for a working relationship.

This is also another of Trump's picks with some Scorpio in his makeup - see also posts on Stephen Bannon and Jeff Sessions.

Mnuchin's natal Moon would have been either in late Libra or early Scorpio, depending on time of birth, so perhaps there's even an additional dose of Scorpio included.

He's all about finance and film really - film has been spotted in his chart, where's the finance?

Mercury in down to earth and business oriented Capricorn, with and Capricorn's ruler, Saturn, in Aquarius is the likely "ground zero" of his draw to a life in what has to be a risky choice, but highly profitable if clever enough: finance. Saturn (limitation, restriction) in its ancient sign of rulership Aquarius, and quirky Uranus in strict Virgo reflect a kind of dumbing down of Uranus' and Aquarius' natural tendency to be unexpected or eccentric: a strict planet in a looser sign and a looser planet in a strict sign....whether that helps to bring forth a financier type I don't know.

Jupiter conjunct Chiron in Pisces - quite gentle, but they sit opposite Uranus and Pluto in Virgo - it's almost another dumbing down - or probably a beefing up!

I wouldn't see this chart as classic for a finance guy, but then he's not yer classic finance guy - his film industry links give him the quirk often absent in classic finance guys.

Currently Mnuchin is engaged to Scottish actress Louise Linton, whose birthday is also 21 December though in 1981 - she's the lady in the photograph.