Art exhibit at library may inspire poetry or other arts

  • Posted: Sunday, September 29, 2013 12:01 a.m.

SALISBURY — As I was making arrangements to have a collection of paintings hung in the gallery at the library, the artist and I spoke about how works of art evoke reflection of other art. Listening to a piece of music like Strauss’ “An Alpine Symphony” brings certain images to mind — the beautiful mountain and then the tempest roaring through the trees and soaking the hikers. Gazing at paintings often suggests the quiet reflection of poetry.

As we enjoy the transition from lazy, hot summer to cool, crisp autumn days, come take some time to wander through the paintings. The lovely sunflowers and poppies in the fields, the wind-blown trees in green and brown landscapes remind us of the summer gone by.

The “Endless Summer” show will be up in the library for several weeks. Clyde, a local artist, brought together a collection of oil paintings that brings to mind verses of English poets like Wordsworth: “My dazzled sight he oft deceives / A brother of the dancing leaves; Then flits, and from the cottage-eaves, Pours forth his song in gushes,” from “The Green Linnet.”

After browsing through the paintings, take a moment to select a book of poems; for instance, “Wild Song, Poems of the Natural World” is an easy choice for more modern poems about nature. For poems more thought-provoking, scoop up Pulitzer Prize winning W.S. Merwin’s “The Second Four Books of Poems.” His work has been described as profound and daring.

If searching for a barely remembered snippet of a poem, check our online resources in NC LIVE on English, American or modern poems. You can type in a line or even a word and find an amazing collection of beautiful poetry to fit any mood or relearn a favorite verse.

Perhaps the paintings will inspire you to pick up a brush yourself. Patricia Seligman’s “Step by Step Art School Oils” may get you started. There is an entire set of “Step by Step Art School” books to explain the techniques of using oils, acrylics and watercolors, painting portraits or still lifes. Each is helpfully and well illustrated with explanations of tools and materials.

Tim Deibler’s “Capturing the Seasons” goes a little further, teaching how to discern light sources, how best to illustrate shades and shadows, how to mix paint to create the variety of greens needed to imply a summer’s day.

If the history of painting is more your cup of tea, check out James Elkins “What Painting Is.” Elkins, professor of art history at the Art Institute of Chicago, delves into the alchemy and chemistry of painting. He explains how successive generations viewed the value of color, for instance, in medieval and baroque times, the tones of browns and darker yellows were used to paint earthly things. The Impressionists, despising the sludgy mud colors of their forerunners, chose brighter. He explores the beliefs of the alchemist painter and juxtaposes these beliefs against the predominant institution of the day, the church. He argues the painter who paints in isolation surrounded by the fumes of solvents, staring at glass or wood surfaces, is different from the writer or composer whose work shows up cleanly on the page. Elkins claims there is a kind of psychosis in the act of painting. Pick up this unexpected and absorbing exploration into the “insanity” of the painter.

Fall Story Time: Now-Nov. 29. For more information call 704-216-8234.

Baby Time — A loosely interactive program introducing simple stories and songs to 6- to 23-month-olds and their parents. Headquarters, Wednesdays, 10 a.m.; East, Mondays, 10 a.m.

Toddler Time — A program for children 18 to 35 months old with a parent, focused on sharing books, singing songs and encouraging listening skills. Headquarters, Tuesdays, 10:30 a.m.; East, Monday, 11 a.m.

Tiny Tumblers — A loosely interactive program for children 6 to 35 months old with a parent or caregiver introducing simple stories, musical scarves and instruments. Same program offered two separate days. South, Tuesdays or Thursdays, 10:30 a.m.

Preschool Time — A program for 3- to 5-year-olds to encourage the exploration of books and to build reading readiness skills. Headquarters, Thursdays, 10:30 a.m.; South, Tuesdays, 1:30 p.m.; East, Thursdays, 10:30 a.m.

Noodle Head Story Time — A program for children ages 4 to 8 to enjoy silly books and tales together. Headquarters, Thursdays, 4 p.m.; South, Mondays, 4 p.m.

Art programs — Learn different art techniques and start a new art project. Runs weekly during Story Time. Art in the Afternoon, Headquarters, Thursdays, 4:30 p.m.; The Paintbrush, South, Wednesdays, 4 p.m.; Art with Char, East, Thursdays, 4 p.m.

Friends of RPL host the Lundsford Family with the GV Band — Headquarters, Oct. 3, 7 p.m., Stanback Auditorium. Cheerwine Music Hour features The Lunsfords with the GV Band. These musically talented brothers are quite a duo, traveling all over North Carolina and surrounding states with the Gospel Voices (GV). This show will be a mix of gospel, traditional old time music, and ’50s and ’60s style bluegrass. Please enter Stanback Auditorium from the Fisher Street entrance. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and admission is free.

Displays for September: headquarters, Constitution month by DAR; South, miniature doll houses by Donna Deal and Terri Correll; East, wood by Whitey Harwood.

Literacy: Call the Rowan County Literacy Council at 704-216-8266 for more information on teaching or receiving literacy tutoring for English speakers or for those for whom English is a second language.

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