Monday Morning Wake-Up Call

As I sit alone with these words, I think about how brave he was in so many ways, and how brave he was to go into that studio every day with his demons and his angels, and labor to put them on canvas. Nulla dia sine linea, No day without a line, is the motto at the Art Students League, from Pliny the Elder, derived from the Greek painter Apelles. The devotions.

— Elizabeth Alexander, “The Light of the World: A Memoir.

Elizabeth Alexander was married to Ficre Ghebreyesus from 1997 until he died unexpectedly in 2012 days after his 50th birthday. Her memoir, “The Light of the World” is a story of her loss and her love.  The painting above was Ficre Ghebreyesus’ Middle Passage Figures with Solitary Boats (c. 2002–2007) (detail). Acrylic on canvas. 24 x 30 inches; 26.5 x 32.5 x 2 inches.


  1. Such a poignant post. Thanks.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I think sharing any form of self-expression takes a certain amount of courage. You’re exposing a little piece of your soul and hoping the world will be kind….

    Liked by 2 people

  3. what a lovely tribute to him, and to art –

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Dave, I just wonder WHERE and HOw you always unearth the various bits, pieces and often, wonders of so-far-unbeknown caves, crevices, backs-of-bookshelves, under-the-counter or over-the-hills treasures! This, once more, is a totally unnecessary-to-know, but utterly-fascinating-to-discover bit of wisdom and a splinter of art. BRAVO, however you do it!

    Now I wonder: Did i already wish you and yours, but especially your long-suffering family, plus all your readers a VERY GOOD AND HOPEFULLY HAPPY NEW YEAR? IF I did, never mind, have another one – if I didn’t, I have to claim that I wrote to a great number of friends, phoned ‘just about everybody’, had plenty of guests (in one digit numbers, hence many more invites) and did also quite a few visits to ppl who can’t leave their premises….. and, as much as I ‘love and appreciate’ you, there are others with a smaller number on their ‘visiting tickets’.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. So touching. Thank you for this Dave 💛

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Because of your December 28th post, I borrowed Alexander’s memoir from the library and it is riveting and well-written, as are your daily posts and spectacular photography. Thank you for letting us look through your lens- the aperture of your world- and opening up new streams of beauty.


  7. Art and artists and courage—inspiring thoughts for this first Monday of the year. I like learning about “no day without a line.” My husband is a ceramic artist and art professor—I will pass this one on to him.

    One note: The information about the painting states, “the painting above was Ficre Ghebreyesus’” but I would suggest present tense “is” here. Although the artist is no more, his art remains in the present (thank you for tolerating my English instructor/proofreader skills).

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Mbili Freedom says:

    I love art, don’t get me wrong- but my first glance in the above image did not depict what I saw after your article. awesome write, and powerful art right there.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Reblogged this on It Is What It Is and commented:
    Words of wisdom!! … “Nulla dia sine linea, No day without a line, is the motto at the Art Students League, from Pliny the Elder, derived from the Greek painter Apelles. The devotions.” — Elizabeth Alexander, “The Light of the World: A Memoir.”


  10. Now this is soulfood to stir creative juices and inspire self-expression. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Life is too short.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Amazing how much I totally get this one…
    Beautiful. And damnation, man… another book to add to my pile,

    Liked by 1 person

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