Sentient in Seattle – 16 August 2018

Remembering a Writer on the Date of His Death: Died 16 August 1678 – Andrew Marvell, an English poet, satirist, and politician.

“To His Coy Mistress”
by Andrew Marvell

Had we but world enough and time,
This coyness, lady, were no crime.
We would sit down, and think which way
To walk, and pass our long love’s day.
Thou by the Indian Ganges’ side
Shouldst rubies find; I by the tide
Of Humber would complain. I would
Love you ten years before the flood,
And you should, if you please, refuse
Till the conversion of the Jews.
My vegetable love should grow
Vaster than empires and more slow;
An hundred years should go to praise
Thine eyes, and on thy forehead gaze;
Two hundred to adore each breast,
But thirty thousand to the rest;
An age at least to every part,
And the last age should show your heart.
For, lady, you deserve this state,
Nor would I love at lower rate.
But at my back I always hear
Time’s wingèd chariot hurrying near;
And yonder all before us lie
Deserts of vast eternity.
Thy beauty shall no more be found;
Nor, in thy marble vault, shall sound
My echoing song; then worms shall try
That long-preserved virginity,
And your quaint honour turn to dust,
And into ashes all my lust;
The grave’s a fine and private place,
But none, I think, do there embrace.
Now therefore, while the youthful hue
Sits on thy skin like morning dew,
And while thy willing soul transpires
At every pore with instant fires,
Now let us sport us while we may,
And now, like amorous birds of prey,
Rather at once our time devour
Than languish in his slow-chapped power.
Let us roll all our strength and all
Our sweetness up into one ball,
And tear our pleasures with rough strife
Through the iron gates of life:
Thus, though we cannot make our sun
Stand still, yet we will make him run.

Below – William Adolphe Bouguereau: “The Proposal”

Art for Summer – Part I of III: Luc Leestemaker (American, 1957-2012)

Below – “Landscape”; “Transfigurations”; “Abstract Mixed Media on Canvas”

Worth a Thousand Words: Big River emptying into the sea in Mendocino, California.

Art for Summer – Part II of III: Annie Leibovitz (American, contemporary)

Below – “Pete Seeger, Clearwater Revival, Croton-on-Hudson, New York (Banjo) 2001” (photograph); “Whiz Kids: Scorcese, Lucas, Spielberg, Coppola 1996” (photograph); “Keith Haring Cibachrome Print 1986”

Remembering a Writer on the date of His Birth: Born 16 August 1920 – Charles Bukowski, a German-born American poet, novelist, and short story writer.

“The Japanese Wife”
by Charles Bukowski

O lord, he said, Japanese women,
real women, they have not forgotten,
bowing and smiling
closing the wounds men have made;
but American women will kill you like they
tear a lampshade,
American women care less than a dime,
they’ve gotten derailed,
they’re too nervous to make good:
always scowling, belly-aching,
disillusioned, overwrought;
but oh lord, say, the Japanese women:
there was this one,
I came home and the door was locked
and when I broke in she broke out the bread knife
and chased me under the bed
and her sister came
and they kept me under that bed for two days,
and when I came out, at last,
she didn’t mention attorneys,
just said, you will never wrong me again,
and I didn’t; but she died on me,
and dying, said, you can wrong me now,
and I did,
but you know, I felt worse then
than when she was living;
there was no voice, no knife,
nothing but little Japanese prints on the wall,
all those tiny people sitting by red rivers
with flying green birds,
and I took them down and put them face down
in a drawer with my shirts,
and it was the first time I realized
that she was dead, even though I buried her;
and some day I’ll take them all out again,
all the tan-faced little people
sitting happily by their bridges and huts
and mountains—
but not right now,
not just yet.

Art for Summer – Part III of III: David Lemon (American, contemporary)

Below (all bronze) – “Vacant Thunder”; “Sassy”; “Knothead Ballet”

Remembering an Actor on the Date of His Death: Died 16 August 1956 – Bela Lugosi, a Hungarian-American actor best known for his portrayal of Dracula.

This Date in Art History: Died 16 August 2004 – Carl Mydans, an American photographer.

Below – Boy Sitting on a Bed in Oil Boom Town of Freer, Texas, 1937; Douglas MacArthur coming ashore on Lingayen, Philippines, 1944; Cafe in Pikesville, Tennessee, 1936; A Young Japanese-American playing a guitar in the the Tule Lake Internment Center, California; Italians in Refugee Camp; Homestead children coming home from school, Decatur Homesteads, Indiana, 1936.

Remembering an Influential Economist on the Date of His Birth: Born 16 August 1911 – E. F. Schumacher, a German economist, statistician, and author of “Small Is Beautiful: A Study of Economics As If People Mattered.”

Some quotes from the work of E. F. Schumacher:

“Anyone who thinks consumption can expand forever on a finite planet is either insane or an economist.”
“Any intelligent fool can make things bigger and more complex… It takes a touch of genius – and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction.”
“The system of nature, of which man is a part, tends to be self-balancing, self-adjusting, self-cleansing. Not so with technology.”
“Development does not start with goods; it starts with people and their education, organization, and discipline. Without these three, all resources remain latent, untapped, potential.”
“Is there enough to go around? What is enough? Who can tell us? Certainly not the economist who pursues economic growth as the highest of all values, and therefore has no concept of enough.”
“At present, there can be little doubt that the whole of mankind is in mortal danger, not because we are short of scientific and technological know-how, but because we tend to use it destructively, without wisdom. More education can help us only if produces more wisdom.”
“The purpose of work is to give people a chance to utilize and develop their faculties; to enable them to overcome their ego-centeredness by joining others in a common task; and to bring for the goods and services needed for a becoming existence.”
“The real problems of our planet are not economic or technical, they are philosophical. The philosophy of unbridled materialism is being challenged by events.”
“Man’s needs are infinite, and infinitude can be achieved only in the spiritual realm, never in the material.”
“It is doubly chimerical to build peace on economic foundations which, in turn, rest on the systematic cultivation of greed and envy, the very forces which drive men into conflict.”
“I cannot predict the wind but I can have my sail ready.”
“Wisdom demands a new orientation of science and technology toward the organic, the gentle, the elegant and beautiful.”

This Date in Art History: Died 16 August 1952 – Lydia Field Emmet, an American painter.

Below – “The Brothers”; “Spring and Autumn” (stained glass window); “Miss Ginnie and Polly”; “Boy and His Dog”; “Sisters”; “Self Portrait.”

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A Lament for America in the Age of Trump – 16 August 2018

“The trouble with practical jokes is that very often they get elected.” – Will Rogers.

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Sentient in Seattle – 15 August 2018

Remembering a Writer on the Date of Her Birth: Born 15 August 1885 – Edna Ferber, an American novelist, short story writer, playwright, and recipient of the Pulitzer Prize.

Some quotes from the work of Edna Ferber:

“Living the past is a dull and lonely business; looking back strains the neck muscles, causing you to bump into people not going your way.”
“Opinion! If every one had so little tact as to give their true opinion when it was asked this would be a miserable world.”
“A closed mind is a dying mind.”
“Funny, isn’t it, how your whole life goes by while you think you’re only planning the way you’re going to live it?”
“Home isn’t always the place where you were born and bred. Home is the place where your everyday clothes are, and where somebody or something needs you.”
“Being an old maid is like death by drowning, a really delightful sensation after you cease to struggle.”
“Spring … made fair false promises which summer was called upon to keep.”
“It’s terrible to realize that you don’t learn how to live until you’re ready to die; and, then it’s too late.”

This Date in Art History: Born 15 August 1702 – Francesco Zuccarelli, an Italian painter.

Below – “Macbeth and the Witches”; “A Landscape with the Story of Cadmus Killing the Dragon”; “The Rape of Europa”; “Eastern Couple with Dromedary”; “Italian Landscape with a Country Festival”; “A View of the River Thames from Richmond Hill looking towards Twickenham.”

For Your Information: 15 August is National Lemon Meringue Pie Day in the United States.

This Date in Art History: Born 15 August 1845 – Walter Crane, an English artist and book illustrator.

Below – “The Lady of Shallot”; “Diana and Endymion”; “Red Riding Hood Meets the Wolf in the Woods”; “The Swan Maidens”; “Beauty and the Beast”; “The Frog Prince.”

A Poem for Today

“Degrees of Gray in Philipsburg”
by Richard Hugo

You might come here Sunday on a whim.
Say your life broke down. The last good kiss
you had was years ago. You walk these streets
laid out by the insane, past hotels
that didn’t last, bars that did, the tortured try
of local drivers to accelerate their lives.
Only churches are kept up. The jail
turned 70 this year. The only prisoner
is always in, not knowing what he’s done.

The principal supporting business now
is rage. Hatred of the various grays
the mountain sends, hatred of the mill,
The Silver Bill repeal, the best liked girls
who leave each year for Butte. One good
restaurant and bars can’t wipe the boredom out.
The 1907 boom, eight going silver mines,
a dance floor built on springs–
all memory resolves itself in gaze,
in panoramic green you know the cattle eat
or two stacks high above the town,
two dead kilns, the huge mill in collapse
for fifty years that won’t fall finally down.

Isn’t this your life? That ancient kiss
still burning out your eyes? Isn’t this defeat
so accurate, the church bell simply seems
a pure announcement: ring and no one comes?
Don’t empty houses ring? Are magnesium
and scorn sufficient to support a town,
not just Philipsburg, but towns
of towering blondes, good jazz and booze
the world will never let you have
until the town you came from dies inside?

Say no to yourself. The old man, twenty
when the jail was built, still laughs
although his lips collapse. Someday soon,
he says, I’ll go to sleep and not wake up.
You tell him no. You’re talking to yourself.
The car that brought you here still runs.
The money you buy lunch with,
no matter where it’s mined, is silver
and the girl who serves your food
is slender and her red hair lights the wall.

Below – Philipsburg, Montana.

This Date in Art History: Died 15 August 1925 – Konrad Magi, an Estonian painter.

Below – “Portrait of a Woman”; “Landscape with a Red Cloud”; “Beach Landscape”; “Landscape of Norway”; “Venice”; “Landscape with Rocks.”

Worth a Thousand Words: Mont Blanc by moonlight.

This Date in Art History: Died 15 August 1935 – Paul Signac, a French painter.

Below – “In the Time of Harmony. The Golden Age is not in the Past, it is in the Future”; “Capo di Noli”; “The Port of Saint-Tropez”; “Woman with Umbrella”; “The Pine Tree at Saint Tropez”; “The Port of Rotterdam.”

Musings in Summer: Joseph Campbell

“I have found that you have only to take that one step toward the gods, and they will then take ten steps toward you. That step, the heroic first step of the journey, is out of, or over the edge of, your boundaries, and it often must be taken before you know that you will.”

Below – John William Waterhouse: “Hylas and the Nymphs”

This Date in Art History: Born 15 August 1896 – Paul Outerbridge, an American photographer.

Below – “Under the Brooklyn Bridge”; “Portrait of a Woman”; “Father and Son in Kitchen”; “First Robin of Spring”; “Fantasy”; “Shower.”

Remembering a Remarkable American on the Date of His Death: Died 15 August 1935 – William Penn Adair “Will” Rogers, a stage and motion picture actor, vaudeville performer, cowboy, humorist, newspaper columnist, and social commentator.

Some quotes from the work of Will Rogers:

“There are three kinds of men. The one that learns by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves.”
“When I die, I want to die like my grandfather who died peacefully in his sleep. Not screaming like all the passengers in his car.”
“If you ever injected truth into politics you have no politics.”
“Too many people spend money they haven’t earned to buy things they don’t want to impress people they don’t like.”
“After eating an entire bull, a mountain lion felt so good he started roaring. He kept it up until a hunter came along and shot him… The moral: When you’re full of bull, keep your mouth shut.”
“The money was all appropriated for the top in the hopes that it would trickle down to the needy. Mr. Hoover didn’t know that money trickled up. Give it to the people at the bottom and the people at the top will have it before night, anyhow. But it will at least have passed through the poor fellow’s hands.”
“The worst thing that happens to you may be the best thing for you if you don’t let it get the best of you.”
“Even if you’re on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there.”
“The taxpayers are sending congressmen on expensive trips abroad. It might be worth it except they keep coming back.”
“The man who never makes a mistake must get tired of doing nothing.”
“I know worrying works, because none of the stuff I worried about ever happened.”
“Don’t let yesterday use up too much of today.”

This Date in Art History: Born 15 August 1900 – Jack Tworkov, an American painter.

Below – “Still Life with Fruit”; “Dayround”; “Bar Decoration I”; “Blue Still Life”; “Seated Woman”; Untitled (Woman).

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A Lament for America in the Age of Trump – 15 August 2018

“No people can be both ignorant and free.” ― Thomas Jefferson.

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Sentient in Seattle – 14 August 2018

Musings in Summer: Pablo Picasso

“I want to create a cat like the real cats I see crossing the streets, not like those you see in houses. They have nothing in common. The cat of the streets has bristling fur. It runs like a fiend, and if it looks at you, you think it is going to jump in your face.”

Below – Pablo Picasso: “Cat Seizing a Bird”

This Date in Art History: Born 14 August 1714 – Claude Joseph Vernet, a French painter.

Below – “The Shipwreck”; “The Night”; “Italian Landscape”; “Seaport by Moonlight”; “A Storm on a Mediterranean Coast”; “Mediterranean Night.”

For Your Information: 14 August is National Creamsicle Day in the United States.

This Date in Art History: Born 14 August 1851 – Yannoulis Chalepas, a Greek sculptor.

Below – “Sleeping Female Figure”; “Medea”; “Thought”; “Venus”; “Mercury, Venus and Pegasus”; “Satyr Playing With Eros.”

Remembering a Figure From the American Old West on the Date of His Birth: Born 14 August 1851 – John Henry “Doc” Holliday, an American gambler, gunfighter, dentist, and good friend of Wyatt Earp.

Some quotes from Doc Holliday:

“There is no normal life, there’s just life.”
“Dave Rudabaugh is an ignorant scoundrel! I disapprove of his very existence. I considered ending it myself on several occasions but self-control got the better of me.”
“If you fellows have been hunted from one end of the country to the other as I have been, you’ll understand what a bad man’s reputation is built on. I’ve had credit for more killings than I ever dreamt of.”
“Why should I obtain by force that which I can obtain by cheating?”

Below – Doc Holliday in 1852; Doc Holiday and Wyatt Earp.

This Date in Art History: Born 14 August 1910 – Willy Ronis, a French photographer.

Below – “A Street in Paris”; “Rue des Lilas”; “Zoo de Berlin Est”; “The Girl on the Bicycle”; “Children Dancing in an Alley of Auberville”; “En Noir et Blanc.”

Worth a Thousand Words: Mount Whitney, California – which is, in the words of one writer, “the tallest mountain in California, as well as the highest summit in the contiguous United States and the Sierra Nevada—with an elevation of 14,505 feet (4,421 m).”

This Date in Art History: Died 14 July 1905 – Simeon Solomon, an English painter associated with the Pre-Raphaelites: Part I of II.

Below – “Sappho and Erin in a Garden at Mytilene”; “In the Temple of Venus”; “Love in Autumn”; “Night”; “Heliogabalus, High Priest of the Sun”; “Bacchus.”

Remembering a Nobel Laureate on the Date of His Death: Died 14 August 1994 Elias Canetti, a Bulgarian novelist, playwright, memoirist, and recipient of the 1981 Nobel Prize in Literature.

Some quotes from the work of Elias Canetti:

“Whenever you observe an animal closely, you feel as if a human being sitting inside were making fun of you.”
“All the things one has forgotten scream for help in dreams.”
“Every decision is liberating, even if it leads to disaster. Otherwise, why do so many people walk upright and with open eyes into their misfortune?”
“The planet’s survival has become so uncertain that any effort, any thought that presupposes an assured future amounts to a mad gamble.”
“The self- explorer, whether he wants to or not, becomes the explorer of everything else. He learns to see himself, but suddenly, provided he was honest, all the rest appears, and it is as rich as he was, and, as a final crowning, richer.”
“It is important to say all the great thoughts again, without knowing that they have already been said.”
“There is no doubt: the study of man is just beginning, at the same time that his end is in sight.”
“The first effect of adjusting to other people is that one becomes boring.”
“Speak as though it were the last sentence allowed you.”
“His head is made of stars, but not yet arranged into constellations.”
“I would like to become tolerant without overlooking anything, persecute no one even when all people persecute me; become better without noticing it; become sadder, but enjoy living; become more serene, be happy in others; belong to no one, grow in everyone; love the best, comfort the worst; not even hate myself anymore.”

This Date in Art History: Died 14 July 1905 – Simeon Solomon, an English painter associated with the Pre-Raphaelites: Part II of II.

Below – “The Moon and Sleep”; “A Youth Relating Tales to Ladies”; “Reverie”; “Damon and Aglae”; “Ancient Dance Scene”; “Mercury.”

Musings in Summer: Vincent van Gogh

“Your profession is not what brings home your weekly paycheck, your profession is what you’re put here on earth to do, with such passion and such intensity that it becomes spiritual in calling.”

Below – Vincent van Gogh: “Starry Night Over the Rhone”

This Date in Art History: Died 14 August 2010 – Herman Leonard, an American photographer.

Below – “Art Tatum”; “Buddy Rich”; “Billie Holiday”; “Bop City”; “Chet Baker”; “Charlie Parker.”

A Poem for Today

“Imagining Defeat”
By David Berman

She woke me up at dawn,
her suitcase like a little brown dog at her heels.

I sat up and looked out the window
at the snow falling in the stand of blackjack trees.

A bus ticket in her hand.

Then she brought something black up to her mouth,
a plum I thought, but it was an asthma inhaler.

I reached under the bed for my menthols
and she asked if I ever thought of cancer.

Yes, I said, but always as a tree way up ahead
in the distance where it doesn’t matter

And I suppose a dead soul must look back at that tree,
so far behind his wagon where it also doesn’t matter.

except as a memory of rest or water.

Though to believe any of that, I thought,
you have to accept the premise

that she woke me up at all.

This Date in Art History: Died 14 August 2002 – Larry Rivers, an American painter and sculptor.

Below – “Fashion and the Birds”; ““Furnace – Good Posture in Red Spaceship”; “Under a Beret”; “Fashion and the Ambiguous”; “Peruvian Street Art”; “Art and the Artist: Larry Rivers.”

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A Lament for America in the Age of Trump – 14 August 2018

“If a political party does not have its foundation in the determination to advance a cause that is right and that is moral, then it is not a political party; it is merely a conspiracy to seize power.” – Dwight D. Eisenhower, the 34th President of the United States – and a Republican.

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Sentient in Seattle – 13 August 2018

Just a Reminder: In case you missed the event or want to view it again, the Perseids meteor shower will be at its peak tonight.

Remembering an American Legend on the Date of Her Birth: Born 13 August 1860 – Annie Oakley, an American sharpshooter and exhibition shooter.

Some quotes from the work of “Little Sure Shot”:

“Aim for the high mark and you will hit it. No, not the first time, not the second time and maybe not the third. But keep on aiming and keep on shooting for only practice will make you perfect. Finally you’ll hit the bull’s-eye of success.”
“I ain’t afraid to love a man. I ain’t afraid to shoot him either.”
“For me, sitting still is harder than any kind of work.”
“[On Sitting Bull:] The contents of his pockets were often emptied into the hands of small, ragged little boys, nor could he understand how so much wealth should go brushing by, unmindful of the poor.”
“After traveling through fourteen foreign countries and appearing before all the royalty and nobility I have only one wish today. That is that when my eyes are closed in death that they will bury me back in that quiet little farm land where I was born.”

Below – Annie Oakley, circa 1899.

Contemporary Chinese/American Art – David Lee

In the words of one writer, “David Lee was trained in the classical tradition of Oriental brushwork. Not only a master of technique, David Lee does not simply reproduce what nature presents but expands his imagination. Lee has perfected a rich sense of composition and style combining the delicate loveliness of watercolors on silk with Western concepts of design.”

Below – “Remember a Rainy Day”; “Six Koi”; “Blue Quiet”; “Poppies”; “Change of Seasons”; “Egret.”

Musings in Summer: Plato

“If you do not take an interest in the affairs of your government, then you are doomed to live under the rule of fools.”

This Date in Art History: Born 13 August 1867 – George Benjamin Luks, an American painter and illustrator: Part I of II.

Below – “The Polka Dot Dress”; “Armistice Night, 1918”; “Alien Street”; “Street Scene (Hester Street)”; “Houston Street”; “Morning Light.”

Worth a Thousand Words: Sunset at Ocean Beach, San Francisco.

This Date in Art History: Born 13 August 1867 – George Benjamin Luks, an American painter and illustrator: Part II of II.

Below – “Madison Square”; “The White Blackbird (Portrait of Margaret Sargent)”; “Lily Williams”; “In the Steerage”; “10 Prospect Park”; “Seated Nude.”

For Your Information: 13 August has been designated International Left-Handers Day by Lefthanders International. In the words of one writer, “As the name suggests, it is meant to promote awareness of the inconveniences faced by left-handers in a predominantly right-handed world. It celebrates their uniqueness and differences, who are from seven to ten percent of the world’s population.”
If it were possible, I would present these wrong-handers with two choices: either, one – Quit your whining, accept the limitations imposed by your handicap, and adapt to a right-handed world; or, two – Continue whining, and thereby provide right (as in “morally correct”) people with an excuse to set you “sinister” (from Latin for “left”) deviants adrift on arctic ice floes so that you can air your grievances to hungry polar bears.

Contemporary Native American Art – Shonto Begay: Part I of II.

In the words of one writer, “Shonto Begay was born in Shonto, Arizona in 1954. His father, Mailboy Begay, was a medicine man and his mother, Faye Begay, a weaver. He spent his childhood in the traditional manner, learning to herd sheep and live in a balanced way in tune with nature. He began drawing as a child, observing and recording the changing seasons of the desert and its inhabitants. He attended Bureau of Indian Affairs boarding schools as a child, where he states that drawing was a way for him to overcome his loneliness.”

Below – “Night Wash”; “Disturbance in Blue”; “Legacy of Pain for the New Generation”; “Composing my World”; “Down Highway 163”; “Trouble on Highway 60.”

A Poem for Today

“Unknown Bird”
by W. S. Merwin

Out of the dry days
through the dusty leaves
far across the valley
those few notes never
heard here before

one fluted phrase
floating over its
wandering secret
all at once wells up
somewhere else

and is gone before it
goes on fallen into
its own echo leaving
a hollow through the air
that is dry as before

where is it from
hardly anyone
seems to have noticed it
so far but who now
would have been listening

it is not native here
that may be the one
thing we are sure of
it came from somewhere
else perhaps alone

so keeps on calling for
no one who is here
hoping to be heard
by another of its own
unlikely origin

trying once more the same few
notes that began the song
of an oriole last heard
years ago in another
existence there

it goes again tell
no one it is here
foreign as we are
who are filling the days
with a sound of our own

Contemporary Native American Art – Shonto Begay: Part II of II.

In the words of one writer, “He attained an associate’s degree from the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe and a bachelor’s degree from the California College of Arts and Crafts. Before he began to paint professionally, he was a park ranger in Wyoming and Arizona.
Begay began painting professionally in 1983, and, since, has been in numerous shows and exhibitions including the Wheelwright Museum, the Museum of Northern Arizona, Arizona State Museum, Utah Museum of Fine Arts and the American Indian Contemporary Arts Museum in San Francisco. He has won prizes at Indian Market in Santa Fe and the Heard Museum in Phoenix.”

Below – “Monument Symphony”; “Grandfather Juniper”; “Comes with Stories”; “Moonlit Drama Upon the Shoulder”; “Passing Storm”; “Pollen Blessings.”

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A Lament for America in the Age of Trump – 13 August 2018

“Ignorance is ultimately the worst enemy of a people who want to be free.” ― Jonathan Hennessey, American writer.

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Sentient in Seattle – 12 August 2018

A Reminder: The Perseids meteor shower will be at its peak tonight.

Musings in Summer: Thomas Mann

“Technology and comfort – having those, people speak of culture, but do not have it.”

This Date in Art History: Born 12 August 1857 – Ernestine von Kirchsberg, an Austrian painter.

Below – “By the Mill Weir”; “Farmhouse Garden”; “From Tyrol”; “A Farmhouse”; “Dilapidated Mill”; “Suburban Villa with Garden.”

For Your Information: 12 August is World Elephant Day. In the words of one writer, “World Elephant Day is an international annual event on August 12, dedicated to the preservation and protection of the world’s elephants.”

This Date in Art History: Born 12 August 1928 – Charles Blackman, an Australian painter.

Below – “The Gift”; “Alice on the Table”; “Skipping Girl”; “Playground”; “Evening Light”; “Nude and Lily Pond.”

Remembering a Writer on the Date of His Death: Died 12 August 1827 – William Blake, an English poet and painter.

“The Tiger”
by William Blake

Tyger Tyger, burning bright,
In the forests of the night;
What immortal hand or eye,
Could frame thy fearful symmetry?

In what distant deeps or skies.
Burnt the fire of thine eyes?
On what wings dare he aspire?
What the hand, dare seize the fire?

And what shoulder, & what art,
Could twist the sinews of thy heart?
And when thy heart began to beat,
What dread hand? & what dread feet?

What the hammer? what the chain,
In what furnace was thy brain?
What the anvil? what dread grasp,
Dare its deadly terrors clasp!

When the stars threw down their spears
And water’d heaven with their tears:
Did he smile his work to see?
Did he who made the Lamb make thee?

Tyger Tyger burning bright,
In the forests of the night:
What immortal hand or eye,
Dare frame thy fearful symmetry?

Below – William Blake: “The Tyger”

This Date in Art History: Died 12 August 1940 – Nikolai Triik, an Estonian painter and illustrator.

Below – “Finnish Landscape”; “View of Toompea”; “View of a Small Town”; “Landscape”; “Fight with the Hydra”; “Self-portrait.”

Remembering a Nobel Laureate on the Date of His Death: Died 12 August 1955 – Thomas Mann, a German novelist, short story writer, social critic, philanthropist, essayist, and recipient of the 1929 Nobel Prize in Literature.

Some quotes from the work of Thomas Mann:

“If the years of youth are experienced slowly, while the later years of life hurtle past at an ever-increasing speed, it must be habit that causes it. We know full well that the insertion of new habits or the changing of old ones is the only way to preserve life, to renew our sense of time, to rejuvenate, intensify, and retard our experience of time – and thereby renew our sense of life itself. That is the reason for every change of scenery and air.”
“In books we never find anything but ourselves. Strangely enough, that always gives us great pleasure, and we say the author is a genius.”
“A harmful truth is better than a useful lie.”
“Time has no divisions to mark its passage, there is never a thunder-storm or blare of trumpets to announce the beginning of a new month or year. Even when a new century begins it is only we mortals who ring bells and fire off pistols.”
“Art is the funnel, as it were, through which spirit is poured into life.
Is not life in itself a thing of goodness, irrespective of whether the course it takes for us can be called a ‘happy’ one?”
“A lonely, quiet person has observations and experiences that are at once both more indistinct and more penetrating than those of one more gregarious; his thoughts are weightier, stranger, and never without a tinge of sadness.”
“Laughter is a sunbeam of the soul.”

This Date in Art History: Died 12 August 1943 – Vittorio Sella, an Italian photographer and mountaineer

Below – “Mountains of Svaneti”; “Mulahki in Svaneti”; “The village of Gebi in Racha”; “The Svan family of GelovanI”; “Siniolchu in the Himalayas, taken from the Zemu Glacier”; “Baltoro Glacier.”

Worth a Thousand Words: The Northern Lights and the Milky Way. Photograph by Tommy Elaissen.

Contemporary Korean Art – Charles Lee

In the words of one writer, “His mother introduced Charles to the arts and at an early age he demonstrated an incredible skill in many types of art, from pencil portraits to tranquil landscapes each with his own unique style.”

Below – “Musical Performance”; Untitled; “Soaring Scales”; Untitled; “Mediterranean Melody”; “Passionate Dreams.”

Remembering a Writer on the Date of His Birth: Born 12 August 1925 – Donald Justice, an American poet.

“There is a gold light in certain old paintings”
by Donald Justice


There is a gold light in certain old paintings
That represents a diffusion of sunlight.
It is like happiness, when we are happy.
It comes from everywhere and from nowhere at once, this light,
And the poor soldiers sprawled at the foot of the cross
Share in its charity equally with the cross.


Orpheus hesitated beside the black river.
With so much to look  forward to he looked back.
We think he sang then, but the song is lost.
At  least he had seen once more the beloved back.
I say the song went this way: ‘O prolong
Now the sorrow if that is all there is to prolong.’


The world is very dusty, uncle. Let us work.
One day the sickness shall pass from the earth for good.
The orchard will bloom; someone will play the guitar.
Our work will be seen as strong and clean and good.
And all that we suffered through having existed
Shall be forgotten as though it had never existed.

Below – Edvard Munch: “The Sun”

Contemporary Native American Art – Frank Buffalo Hyde

Artist Statement: “When working on a piece, I tap into the universal mind. The collective unconsciousness of the 21st century. Drawing images from advertisement, movies, television, music and politics. Expressing observation, as well as knowledge through experience. Overlapping imagery to mimic the way the mind holds information: non linear and without separation.
I don’t need permission to make what I make. Never have…no artist should.”

Below – “Buffalo Fields for Ever Ever Ever”; “The Last Picture Show – Bison Selfie”; “In-Appropriate 1”; “Face Swap”; “Buffalo Dancers d- Study”; “Twitter Maiden.”

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A Lament for America in the Age of Trump – 12 August 2018

“Herein is the evil of ignorance, that he who is neither good nor wise is nevertheless satisfied with himself: he had no desire for that of which he feels no want.” – Plato.

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