Carmel Magazine

CM Winter 2016 Issue

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who lived in the stone Tor House on Carmel Point. He quotes: "Here is a symbol in which Many high tragic thoughts Watch their own eyes. This gray rock, standing tall On the headland, where the seawind Lets no tree grow, Earthquake-proved, and signatured By ages of storms: on its peak A falcon has perched. I think here is your emblem To hang in the future sky; Not the cross, not the hive, But this; bright power, dark peace; Fierce consciousness joined with final Disinterestedness; Life with calm death; the falcon's Realist eyes and act Married to the massive Mysticism of stone, Which failure cannot cast down Nor success make proud." A former university professor who attended art school in Los Angeles, Ligare cites local anec- dotes about Steinbeck, Monterey County's most famous author, and refers to little known Greek philosophers and playwrights with ease. Big ideas on history, art, philosophy, geometry, nature and beauty are disseminated in such a fascinating way that the audience wants to uncover and dive into themes conveyed when Ligare is speaking, writing, or painting. "There is that component of literature in so many of the paintings I have done in the last 30 years, par ticularly Greco-Roman underpin- nings," he says. "Jeffers and Steinbeck have a tremendous sense of history and worldliness. There is also this incredibly beautiful landscape in Monterey County, which has its own litera- ture to it. When I need to illustrate a particular [concept], I can find a river or ocean or cliffs or rocky mountains or a beautiful pastoral valley. All of those are available as part of the language that I paint." Harmonic proportions are found in his ideal- ized figures, and light plays an essential part in his works, some of which are on a very large scale. "Sunlight draws people in," Ligare says. "The late afternoon sunlight, known as 'the golden hour,' plays into the whole idea of the pastoral mode, of passing from day to night. There is the threshold or liminal period and the passage from life to death…Light has its own meaning as a representation of knowledge as well as the Enlightenment Period, where all of these scien- tists and artists and thinkers were developing new ideas in France." Themes in his art include the choice of Hercules, which Ligare says he has depicted a 210 C A R M E L M A G A Z I N E • W I N T E R 2 0 1 6

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