Thursday, July 25, 2013

Flowers by the Gates of Eden

West of Interstate 35, Texas is sparsely traveled country, a rugged and sub-humid land that transitions into semi-arid desert country in the western Concho Valley as one nears the Rio Pecos.  There are no clear boundaries to define what is desert and what is not.  But those who travel the area to San Angelo will notice a subtle difference near the town of Eden-- to the east, live oaks dot the landscape.  Mesquites become more numerous to the west and shrubs such as graythorn and desert sumac show up in increasing numbers...

I travel a stretch of U S Highway 87 toward Eden occasionally.  The road leads me down to Interstate 10 and family living in areas that receive quite a bit of rain each year.  Journeys often taken lead to rituals that make the trip a more comfortable routine.  For my wife and me, one of these is a stop at a small rest area near Eden.  It signals the first hour and a half of the eight hours it takes us to reach Houston where we will rest for the evening.  On the return trip, we know that we are on the final leg of a long day's ride...

The rest stop at Eden is small.  It rests in the center of the four lanes of U S Highway 87 and rarely do we encounter other travelers.  When we do, they are tired and hours away from where they plan to be when they do sleep.  Yet this rest stop at Eden, like those throughout Texas, is a place where flowers have been planted.  Some are native, others exotic.  All remind us that beauty lurks close at hand even when we play the hustle and bustle game...

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Through Spanish Eyes

War is a particularly noxious human activity.  This week we view it through the eyes of three Spanish artists, one horrified by the human misery born of the conflicts in the time of Napoleon and two who saw the horrors of the Spanish Civil War in the years prior to World War II…

Francisco Goya: The Disasters of War, Plate 25, circa 1811

Pablo Picasso: Guernica, 1936

Salvador Dali: Soft Construction with Boiled Beans (Premonitions of
Civil War), 1936


An easy and inexpensive way to build a collection of work by today's finest painters, sculptors, and photographers-- Greeting cards from Fine Art America.  Easier still: just browse the Louis R Nugent gallery at Fine Art America.  Choose from hundreds of unique ideas for home and office decor or holiday and birthday cards for yourself or that special someone.  Individual cards cost less than $5.  Wall prints start at only $22.

Louis Nugent: Mesa Verde Three (Ghosts of the Anasazi)

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Note: Information for this essay is taken primarily from readily available sources such as Encyclopedia Britannica, Wikipedia, and almanacs.  When other sources are employed they are credited either in the text or as follows:  None. All photographs are taken from Wikipedia or Google Images without source or authorship credits available, except as noted: None.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Independence Day

This week we in the United States commemorate July 4, 1776-- our Independence Day.  On that date, our Founding Fathers served notice to monarchs and theocrats that there was no place for them in our experiment in government.  In the place of despotic autocrats would be a democratic republic where mankind used reason and carefully crafted compromise to promote individual liberty and the common good.  As with any noble ideal, we often fail in our pursuit of perfection.  But we have not abandoned our faith that we shall be the nation that our ideals say we can be.  Nor shall we...

Louis Nugent: View on Beauregard Street