Sentient in San Francisco – 24 April 2019

This Date in Art History: Died 24 April 1938 – George Grey Barnard, an American sculptor.

Below – “Struggle of the Two Natures in Man”; “Maidenhood”; “The Great God Pan”; “Solitude (Adam and Eve).”

This Date in Literary History: Died 24 April 1942 – Lucy Maud Montgomery, a Canadian author best known for a series of novels beginning in 1938 with “Anne of Green Gables.”

Some quotes from the work of Lucy Maud Montgomery:

“Some people go through life trying to find out what the world holds for them only to find out too late that it’s what they bring to the world that really counts.”
“We should regret our mistakes and learn from them, but never carry them forward into the future with us.”
“Truth exists, only lies have to be invented.”
“There is so much in the world for us all if we only have the eyes to see it, and the heart to love it, and the hand to gather it to ourselves–so much in men and women, so much in art and literature, so much everywhere in which to delight, and for which to be thankful.”
“Nothing is ever really lost to us as long as we remember it.”
“Tomorrow is always fresh, with no mistakes in it.”
“There isn’t any such thing as an ordinary life.”
“It was November–the month of crimson sunsets, parting birds, deep, sad hymns of the sea, passionate wind-songs in the pines. Anne roamed through the pineland alleys in the park and, as she said, let that great sweeping wind blow the fogs out of her soul.”
“Everything is new in the spring. Springs themselves are always so new, too. No spring is ever just like any other spring. It always has something of its own to be its own peculiar sweetness.”
“There is such a place as fairyland – but only children can find the way to it…until they have grown so old that they forget the way. Only a few, who remain children at heart, can ever find that fair, lost path again…The world calls them singers and poets and artists and story-tellers; but they are just people who have never forgotten the way to fairyland.”
“The woods are never solitary — they are full of whispering, beckoning, friendly life. But the sea is a mighty soul, forever moaning of some great, unshareable sorrow, which shuts it up into itself for all eternity. We can never pierce its infinite mystery — we may only wander, awed and spellbound, on the outer fringe of it. The woods call to us with a hundred voices, but the sea has one only — a mighty voice.”
“Nobody is ever too old to dream. And dreams never grow old.”
“You never know what peace is until you walk on the shores or in the fields or along the winding red roads of Prince Edward Island in a summer twilight when the dew is falling and the old stars are peeping out and the sea keeps its mighty tryst with the little land it loves. You find your soul then. You realize that youth is not a vanished thing but something that dwells forever in the heart.”

Contemporary Dutch Art – Nelly van Nieuwenhuijzen

Below – “Twilight”; “Heavy weather in my polder”; “Dawn”; “Springtime in my polder”; “Salt Marshes, the Zeelandic coast”; “Eastern Scheldt Regatta.”


This Date in Literary History: Born 24 April 1905 – Robert Penn Warren, an American novelist, poet, literary critic, and two-time recipient of the Pulitzer Prize.

“Tell Me a Story”
by Robert Penn Warren

[A ]
Long ago, in Kentucky, I, a boy, stood
By a dirt road, in first dark, and heard
The great geese hoot northward.

I could not see them, there being no moon
And the stars sparse. I heard them.

I did not know what was happening in my heart.

It was the season before the elderberry blooms,
Therefore they were going north.

The sound was passing northward.

[ B ]
Tell me a story.

In this century, and moment, of mania,
Tell me a story.

Make it a story of great distances, and starlight.

The name of the story will be Time,
But you must not pronounce its name.

Tell me a story of deep delight.


Contemporary Slovakian Art – Peter Holecka

Below – “Suburban Temptations”; “Dreaming in pink.”


A Poem for Today

“Thanksgiving”
By Tim Nolan

Thanks for the Italian chestnuts—with their
tough shells—the smooth chocolaty
skin of them—thanks for the boiling water—

itself a miracle and a mystery—
thanks for the seasoned sauce pan
and the old wooden spoon—and all

the neglected instruments in the drawer—
the garlic crusher—the bent paring knife—
the apple slicer that creates six

perfect wedges out of the crisp Haralson—
thanks for the humming radio—thanks
for the program on the radio

about the guy who was a cross-dresser—
but his wife forgave him—and he
ended up almost dying from leukemia—

(and you could tell his wife loved him
entirely—it was in her deliberate voice)—
thanks for the brined turkey—

the size of a big baby—thanks—
for the departed head of the turkey—
the present neck—the giblets

(whatever they are)—wrapped up as
small gifts inside the cavern of the ribs—
‘thanks—thanks—thanks’—for the candles

lit on the table—the dried twigs—
the autumn leaves in the blue Chinese vase—
‘thanks’—for the faces—‘our faces’—in this low light.


Contemporary British Art – Jonathan Speed

Below – “Peach Light”; “Weekend Sail”; “Mediterranean Glow”; “Patricia Lake”; “After the Storm.”


This Date in Literary History: Died 24 April 2017 – Robert M. Pirsig, an American writer, philosopher, and author of “Sen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry into Values.”

Some quotes from the work of Robert Pirsig:

“Mountains should be climbed with as little effort as possible and without desire. The reality of your own nature should determine the speed. If you become restless, speed up. If you become winded, slow down. You climb the mountain in an equilibrium between restlessness and exhaustion. Then, when you’re no longer thinking ahead, each footstep isn’t just a means to an end but a unique event in itself. To live only for some future goal is shallow. It’s the sides of the mountains which sustain life, not the top.”
“Care and Quality are internal and external aspects of the same thing. A person who sees Quality and feels it as he works is a person who cares. A person who cares about what he sees and does is a person who’s bound to have some characteristic of quality.”
“A person isn’t considered insane if there are a number of people who believe the same way. Insanity isn’t supposed to be a communicable disease. If one other person starts to believe him, or maybe two or three, then it’s a religion.”
“The past exists only in our memories, the future only in our plans. The present is our only reality.”
“The place to improve the world is first in one’s own heart and head and hands.”
“In a car you’re always in a compartment, and because you’re used to it you don’t realize that through that car window everything you see is just more TV. You’re a passive observer and it is all moving by you boringly in a frame. On a cycle the frame is gone. You’re completely in contact with it all. You’re in the scene, not just watching it anymore, and the sense of presence is overwhelming.”
“If a revolution destroys a systematic government, but the systematic patterns of thought that produced that government are left intact, then those patterns will repeat themselves in the succeeding government.”
“Other people can talk about how to expand the destiny of mankind. I just want to talk about how to fix a motorcycle. I think that what I have to say has more lasting value.”
“Unless you’re fond of hollering you don’t make great conversations on a running cycle. Instead you spend your time being aware of things and meditating on them. On sights and sounds, on the mood of the weather and things remembered, on the machine and the countryside you’re in, thinking about things at great leisure and length without being hurried and without feeling you’re losing time.”
“You are never dedicated to do something you have complete confidence in. No one is fanatically shouting that the sun is going to rise tomorrow. They know it’s going to rise tomorrow. When people are fanatically dedicated to political or religious faiths or any other kind of dogmas or goals, it’s always because these dogmas or goals are in doubt.”
“The only Zen you can find on the tops of mountains is the Zen you bring up there.”
“You look at where you’re going and where you are and it never makes sense, but then you look back at where you’ve been and a pattern seems to emerge.”

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Sentient in San Francisco – 23 April 2019

This Date in Art History: Born 23 April 1916 – Yiannis Moralis, a Greek painter.

Below – “Girl Untying Her Sandal”; “Erotic”; “Sitting Figure”; “Erotic”; “Summer”; “Pleine Lune.”


This Date in Literary History: Died 23 April 1616 – William Shakespeare, an English playwright and poet: Part I of II.

Some quotes from the work of William Shakespeare:

“What a terrible era in which idiots govern the blind.”
“Don’t waste your love on somebody, who doesn’t value it.”
“I would challenge you to a battle of wits, but I see you are unarmed!”
“Love does not see with the eyes, but with the soul.”
“Tears water our growth.”
“The empty vessel makes the loudest sound.”
“To be, or not to be, that is the question: Whether ’tis Nobler in the mind to suffer The Slings and Arrows of outrageous Fortune, Or to take Arms against a Sea of troubles, And by opposing end them: to die, to sleep No more; and by a sleep, to say we end The Heart-ache, and the thousand Natural shocks That Flesh is heir to? ‘Tis a consummation Devoutly to be wished. To die to sleep, To sleep, perchance to Dream; Aye, there’s the rub.”


Contemporary Swedish Art – Yuanyuan Liu: Part I of II.

Below – “Seascape”; “Winter light”; “morning flower”; “Flowers”; “Summer walking”; “Summer light.”


This Date in Literary History: Died 23 April 1616 – William Shakespeare, an English playwright and poet: Part II of II.

“That time of year thou mayest in me behold (Sonnet 73)”

That time of year thou mayst in me behold
When yellow leaves, or none, or few, do hang
Upon those boughs which shake against the cold,
Bare ruined choirs, where late the sweet birds sang.
In me thou see’st the twilight of such day
As after sunset fadeth in the west;
Which by and by black night doth take away,
Death’s second self, that seals up all in rest.
In me thou see’st the glowing of such fire,
That on the ashes of his youth doth lie,
As the deathbed whereon it must expire,
Consumed with that which it was nourished by.
This thou perceiv’st, which makes thy love more strong,
To love that well which thou must leave ere long.


Contemporary Swedish Art – Yuanyuan Liu: Part II of II.

Below – “The view of the sea”; “Winter landscape”; “Seascape.”


Musings in Spring: Tom Robbins

“Our greatest human adventure is the evolution of consciousness. We are in this life to enlarge the soul, liberate the spirit, and light up the brain.”

Contemporary American Art – Fabio Caruzzi: Part I of II.

Below – “Empowering #5”; “London Ravers #13”; “Lazy Sunday Afternoon in Santa Barbara #5”; “Silent Afternoon”; “Lifestyle #2.”

This Date in Literary History: Died 23 April 1850 – William Wordsworth, and English poet and author: Part I of II.

Some quotes from the work of William Wordsworth:

“With an eye made quiet by the power of harmony, and the deep power of joy, we see into the life of things.”
“Poetry is the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings: it takes its origin from emotion recollected in tranquility.”
“I wandered lonely as a cloud/ That floats on high o’er vales and hills/ When all at once I saw a crowd/ A host of golden daffodils/ Beside the lake beneath the trees/ Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.”
“That best portion of a man’s life, his little, nameless, unremembered acts of kindness and love.”
“Habit rules the unreflecting herd.”
“Open-mindedness is the harvest of a quiet eye.”
“My heart leaps up when I behold
A rainbow in the sky:
So was it when my life began;
So is it now I am a man;
So be it when I shall grow old,
Or let me die!
The Child is father of the Man;
I could wish my days to be
Bound each to each by natural piety.”
“That though the radiance which was once so bright be now forever taken from my sight. Though nothing can bring back the hour of splendor in the grass, glory in the flower. We will grieve not, rather find strength in what remains behind.”

Contemporary American Art – Fabio Caruzzi: Part II of II.

Below – “Reading in Downtown LA”; “Looking Back to Venice Beach”; “Unemployment #10”; “I am lovin’ it.”

This Date in Literary History: Died 23 April 1850 – William Wordsworth, and English poet and author: Part II of II.

“The World Is Too Much With Us”
by William Wordsworth

The world is too much with us; late and soon,
Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers;—
Little we see in Nature that is ours;
We have given our hearts away, a sordid boon!
This Sea that bares her bosom to the moon;
The winds that will be howling at all hours,
And are up-gathered now like sleeping flowers;
For this, for everything, we are out of tune;
It moves us not. Great God! I’d rather be
A Pagan suckled in a creed outworn;
So might I, standing on this pleasant lea,
Have glimpses that would make me less forlorn;
Have sight of Proteus rising from the sea;
Or hear old Triton blow his wreathèd horn.

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Sentient in San Francisco – 22 April 2019

Today Is Earth Day

Below – The unofficial Earth Day Flag created by John McConnell.


This Date in Art History: Born 22 April 1917 – Sidney Nolan, an Australian painter.

Below – “Dry Jungle”; ““Pretty Polly Mine”; “The galaxy”; “Carron Plains”; “Leda and the Swan”; “Burke.”

This Date in Literary History: Born 22 April 1995 – Jane Kenyon, an America poet.

“Alone for a Week”
by Jane Kenyon

washed a load of clothes
and hung them out to dry.
Then I went up to town
and busied myself all day.
The sleeve of your best shirt
rose ceremonious
when I drove in; our night-
clothes twined and untwined in
a little gust of wind.

For me it was getting late;
for you, where you were, not.
The harvest moon was full
but sparse clouds made its light
not quite reliable.
The bed on your side seemed
as wide and flat as Kansas;
your pillow plump, cool,
and allegorical. . . .

Contemporary French Art – Jean David: Part I of II.

Below – “Flooded Lane”; “Marais Poitevin IV”; “Oak Tree”; “Three Poplars”; “Riverbank Walk II”; “Marais Poitevin II.”


This Date in Literary History: Born 22 April 18173 – Ellen Glasgow, an American novelist, critic, and recipient of the Pulitzer Prize.

Some quotes from the work of Ellen Glasgow:

“All change is not growth, as all movement is not forward.”
“What happens is not as important as how you react to what happens.”
“It is human nature to overestimate the thing you’ve never had.”
“I have little faith in the theory that organized killing is the best prelude to peace.”
“Do you know there is always a barrier between me and any man or woman who does not like dogs?”
“The older I grow the more earnestly I feel that the few joys of childhood are the best that life has to give.”
“Life is never what one dreams. It is seldom what one desires, but for the vital spirit and the eager mind, the future will always hold the search for buried treasure and the possibility of high adventure.”


Contemporary French Art – Jean David: Part II of II.

Below – “Orchids III”; “The Sèvre Niortaise”; “Tai O II”; “Charente riverbank.”

This Date in Literary History: Born 22 April 1943 – Louise Gluck, an American poet, recipient of the National Book Award, and recipient of the Pulitzer Prize.

“A Fantasy”
by Louise Gluck

‘ll tell you something: every day
people are dying. And that’s just the beginning.
Every day, in funeral homes, new widows are born,
new orphans. They sit with their hands folded,
trying to decide about this new life.

Then they’re in the cemetery, some of them
for the first time. They’re frightened of crying,
sometimes of not crying. Someone leans over,
tells them what to do next, which might mean
saying a few words, sometimes
throwing dirt in the open grave.

And after that, everyone goes back to the house,
which is suddenly full of visitors.
The widow sits on the couch, very stately,
so people line up to approach her,
sometimes take her hand, sometimes embrace her.
She finds something to say to everbody,
thanks them, thanks them for coming.

In her heart, she wants them to go away.
She wants to be back in the cemetery,
back in the sickroom, the hospital. She knows
it isn’t possible. But it’s her only hope,
the wish to move backward. And just a little,
not so far as the marriage, the first kiss.
.
Below – Paul Gosselin: “Portrait of a Widow”

Contemporary Norwegian Art – Line Schjolberg

Below – “The far away garden”; “Camouflage”; “Secret days”; “Victory”; “Recollection”; “Magic day”; “Strange bird”; “Performance”;


A Poem for Today

“Family Vacation”
by Judith Slater

Four weeks in, quarreling and far
from home, we came to the loneliest place.
A western railroad town. Remember?
I left you at the campsite with greasy pans
and told our children not to follow me.
The dying light had made me desperate.
I broke into a hobbled run, across tracks,
past warehouses with sun-blanked windows
to where a playground shone in a wooded clearing.
Then I was swinging, out over treetops.
I saw myself never going back, yet
whatever breathed in the mute woods
was not another life. The sun sank.
I let the swing die, my toes scuffed earth,
and I was rocked into remembrance
of the girl who had dreamed the life I had.
Through night, dark at the root, I returned to it.

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Sentient in San Francisco – 21 April 2019

This Date in Art History: Born 21 April 1868 – Alfred Henry Maurer, an American painter: Part I of II.

Below – “Carousel”; “An Arrangement”; “Figure in Landscape”; “The Model”; “Lady With A Japanese Fan”; “Girl In White.”

This Date in Literary History: Bon 21 April 1838 – John Muir, a Scottish-American author, naturalist, environmental philosopher, glaciologist, and “Father of the National Parks.”

Some quotes from the work of John Muir:

“Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature’s peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop away from you like the leaves of Autumn.”
“Thousands of tired, nerve-shaken, over-civilized people are beginning to find out that going to the mountains is going home; that wildness is a necessity.”
“Of all the paths you take in life, make sure a few of them are dirt.
“Hiking – I don’t like either the word or the thing. People ought to saunter in the mountains – not hike! Do you know the origin of that word ‘saunter?’ It’s a beautiful word. Away back in the Middle Ages people used to go on pilgrimages to the Holy Land, and when people in the villages through which they passed asked where they were going, they would reply, ‘A la sainte terre,’ ‘To the Holy Land.’ And so they became known as sainte-terre-ers or saunterers. Now these mountains are our Holy Land, and we ought to saunter through them reverently, not ‘hike’ through them.”
“In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks.”
“To sit in solitude, to think in solitude with only the music of the stream and the cedar to break the flow of silence, there lies the value of wilderness.”
“When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world.”
“I am losing precious days. I am degenerating into a machine for making money. I am learning nothing in this trivial world of men. I must break away and get out into the mountains to learn the news.”
“I only went out for a walk and finally concluded to stay out till sundown, for going out, I found, was really going in.”
“Keep close to Nature’s heart… and break clear away, once in awhile, and climb a mountain or spend a week in the woods. Wash your spirit clean.”
“Between every two pine trees there is a door leading to a new way of life.”
“The sun shines not on us but in us. The rivers flow not past, but through us. Thrilling, tingling, vibrating every fiber and cell of the substance of our bodies, making them glide and sing. The trees wave and the flowers bloom in our bodies as well as our souls, and every bird song, wind song, and tremendous storm song of the rocks in the heart of the mountains is our song, our very own, and sings our love.”
“The mountains are calling and I must go.”


This Date in Art History: Born 21 April 1868 – Alfred Henry Maurer, an American painter: Part II of II.

Below – “In A Cafe”; “Woman In Pink”; “La Pal au Moulin Rouge”; “Paris Nocturne”; “The Beach”; “Woman With A Pink Bow – Portrait of a Lady.”

Remembering an Important Thinker on the Date of Hist Birth: Born 21 April 1915 – Garrett Hardin, an American ecologist and philosopher who warned of the dangers of human overpopulation. In the words of one writer, “His exposition of the tragedy of the commons, in a famous 1968 paper in ‘Science’, called attention to ‘the damage that innocent actions by individuals can inflict on the environment.’ He is also known for Hardin’s First Law of Human Ecology: ‘We can never do merely one thing. Any intrusion into nature has numerous effects, many of which are unpredictable.’”

Some quotes from the work of Garrett Hardin:

“The rational herdsman concludes that the only sensible course for him to pursue is to add another animal to his herd. And another; and another . . . But this is the conclusion reached by each and every rational herdsman sharing a commons. Therein is the tragedy. Each man is locked into a system that compels him to increase his herd without limit — in a world that is limited. Ruin is the destination toward which all men rush, each pursuing his own best interest in a society that believes in the freedom of the commons. Freedom in a commons brings ruin to all.”
“The exquisite sight, sound, and smell of wilderness is many times more powerful if it is earned through physical achievement, if it comes at the end of a long and fatiguing trip for which vigorous good health is necessary. Practically speaking, this means that no one should be able to enter a wilderness by mechanical means.”
“The only thing we can really count on in this uncertain world is human unreliability itself.”
“Society does not need more children; but it does need more loved children. Quite literally, we cannot afford unloved children – but we pay heavily for them every day. There should not be the slightest communal concern when a woman elects to destroy the life of her thousandth-of-an-ounce embryo. But all society should rise up in alarm when it hears that a baby that is not wanted is about to be born.
“In a competitive world of limited resources, total freedom of individual action is intolerable.”
“Ecology is the overall science of which economics is a minor speciality.”
“A finite world can support only a finite population; therefore, population growth must eventually equal zero.”
“A coldly rationalist individualist can deny that he has any obligation to make sacrifices for the future.”
“Every measured thing is part of a web of variables more richly interconnected than we know.”


This Date in Art History: Born 21 April 1904 – Jean Helion, a French painter.

Below – “The Big Daily Read”; “Augam”; “Pegeen”; “Duo.”

This Date in Literary History: Died 21 April 1910 – Samuel Langhorne Clemons, known by his pen name Mark Twain, n American writer, humorist, critic, publisher, lecturer, and entrepreneur.

Some quotes from the work of Mark Twain:

“The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.”
“Politicians and diapers must be changed often, and for the same reason.”
“No amount of evidence will ever persuade an idiot.”
“Do not complain about growing old. It is a privilege denied to many.”
“Don’t wrestle with pigs. You both get dirty and the pig likes it.”
“Worrying is like paying a debt you don’t owe.”
“The older I get, the more clearly I remember things that never happened.”
“The more I learn about people, the more I like my dog.”
“Give every day the chance to become the most beautiful day of your life.”

Contemporary American Art – Kim Painter

Below – “Wade in the Water”; “Easy Morning on the River”; “Last Days of Summer”; “Lovely Day”; “Long Way Home.”

A Poem for Today

“Theater of Shadows”
by Derek N. Otsuji

Nights we could not sleep—
summer insects singing in dry heat,
short-circuiting the nerves—

Grandma would light a lamp,
at the center of our narrow room,
whose clean conspiracy of light

whispered to the tall blank walls,
illuminating them suddenly
like the canvas of a dream.

Between the lamp and wall
her arthritic wrists grew pliant
as she molded and cast

improbable animal shapes moving
on the wordless screen:
A blackbird, like a mynah, not a crow.

A dark horse’s head that could but would not talk.
An ashen rabbit (her elusive self)
triggered in snow

that a quivering touch (like death’s)
sent scampering into the wings
of that little theater of shadows

that eased us into dreams.

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Sentient in San Francisco – 20 April 2019

This Date in Art History: Born 20 April 1840 – Odilon Redon, a French symbolist painter and printmaker: Part I of II.

Below – “Flower Clouds”; “Ophelia”; “Chariot of Apollo”; “Portrait of Violette Heymann”; “Pandora”; “The Cyclops.”

This Date in Literary History: Died 20 April 1982 – Archibald MacLeish, an American poet, playwright, recipient of the National Book Award, and three-time recipient of the Pulitzer Prize.

“Seafarer”
by Archibald MacLeish

And learn O voyager to walk
The roll of earth, the pitch and fall
That swings across these trees those stars:
That swings the sunlight up the wall.

And learn upon these narrow beds
To sleep in spite of sea, in spite
Of sound the rushing planet makes:
And learn to sleep against this ground.


This Date in Art History: Born 20 April 1840 – Odilon Redon, a French symbolist painter and printmaker: Part II of II.

Below – “The Buddha”; “Evocation”; “Coquille”; “Apparition.”

A Poem for Today

“Sledding in Wichita”
by Casey Pycior

As cars pass, laboring through the slush,
a boy, bundled against the stiff wind
in his snow suit, gloves, and scarf,
leans on his upright toboggan,
waiting his turn atop
the snow-packed overpass—
the highest point in town.
First one car exits, and then another,
each creeping down the icy ramp.
The brown grass pokes through
the two grooves carved in the short hill.
As the second car fishtails to a stop at the bottom,
brake lights glowing on the dirty snow,
the boy’s turn comes.
His trip to the bottom is swift—
only a second or two—
and he bails out just before the curb.
It’s not much, but it’s sledding in Wichita.

Below – Joan Applebaum: “The Old Toboggan”

Contemporary Italian Art – Jean-Humbert Savoldelli

Below – “Roundabout”; “Striped Landscape”; “Hanging Mists”; “The Red Line”; “Just Perfect.”

This Date in Literary History: Born 20 April 1960 – Steve Erickson, an award-winning American author and critic.

Some quotes from the work of Steve Erickson:

“A dream is only a memory of the future.”
“‘If I had it to do all over again . . . I wouldn’t change a thing.’. . . the final expression of narcissism, the last gesture of self-congratulation.”
“It wouldn’t have occurred to me that while this old white man, which is to say me, was voting for Hillary Clinton, white women were choosing an overt misogynist [Donald Trump] over the first woman president. Someone will have to explain that one to me someday.”
“In LA, you think you’re making something up, but it’s making you up.”
“I think for the foreseeable future we have to disabuse ourselves of any ideas of unifying, or coming together, or all getting along. I don’t think we’re going to reconcile the America that elected the first African American president with the America that just elected a president avidly endorsed by the Ku Klux Klan – I’m not sure I even want to reconcile the two.”
“I was raised a right-wing Republican and was about eighteen when I had to admit to myself that in regards to the great domestic crucible of the day, civil rights and racial justice, conservatives were on the wrong side historically and morally, and that it took too much intellectual and psychological jujitsu to pretend otherwise. I didn’t want to pretend anymore; I wanted to be on the right side.”
“It became inescapable that as conservatives were wrong about people of color, they were also wrong about women. They were wrong about gay people. The only individual freedoms they seemed to get exercised about were the freedom to make a profit and the freedom to own a gun.”
“I have members of my immediate family, and my wife’s immediate family, who voted for Donald Trump, and now there’s this gulf that I have no interest in bridging however much I love those people. It’s almost like the Civil War.”

Contemporary British Art – Andrew Salgado

Below – “The Astrology Lesson”; “Contemporary Pleasure Island Time Wasters”; “Nights in White Satin”; “When I Grow Up.”

A Poem for Today

“Koi Pond, Oakland Museum”
By Susan Kolodny

Our shadows bring them from the shadows:
a yolk-yellow one with a navy pattern
like a Japanese woodblock print of fish scales.
A fat 18-karat one splashed with gaudy purple
and a patch of gray. One with a gold head,
a body skim-milk-white, trailing ventral fins
like half-folded fans of lace.
A poppy-red, faintly disheveled one,
and one, compact, all indigo in faint green water.
They wear comical whiskers and gather beneath us
as we lean on the cement railing
in indecisive late-December light,
and because we do not feed them, they pass,
then they loop and circle back. Loop and circle. Loop.
“Look,” you say, “beneath them.” Beneath them,
like a subplot or a motive, is a school
of uniformly dark ones, smaller, unadorned,
perhaps another species, living in the shadow
of the gold, purple, yellow, indigo, and white,
seeking the mired roots and dusky grasses,
unliveried, the quieter beneath the quiet.

Below – Koi Pond, Oakland Museum

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Sentient in San Francisco – 19 April 2019

Contemporary Spanish Art – Marina del Pozo

Below – “Maiko 4”; “Mother and daughter”; “Little gheisa 10”; “The secret”; “Siesta”; “Close to spring.”


A Poem for Today

“The Softest Word”
by Andrew Jones

The softest word is ‘leaf ‘
it zigzags
in the air and
falls on the yellow ground

Note: Andrew Jones wrote this poem when he was a first grader in Tacoma, Washington.


Contemporary Australian Art – Sara Roberts: Part I of II.

Below – Untitled; “Now Is Forever Lasting”; “Daylight Dream”; “Clouds Make Me Think of You”; “Late Afternoon Dive”; “Dive in.”


Musings in Spring: Socrates

“Sometimes you have to let go to see if there was anything worth holding onto.”


Contemporary Australian Art – Sara Roberts: Part II of II.

Below – “As Above, So Below”; “Into The Void”; “The Other Day”; “Floating Away”; “Through The Looking Glass”; “Saying Goodbye.”


A Poem for Today

“Up Against It”
by Eamon Grennan

It’s the way they cannot understand the window
they buzz and buzz against, the bees that take
a wrong turn at my door and end up thus
in a drift at first of almost idle curiosity,
cruising the room until they find themselves
smack up against it and they cannot fathom how
the air has hardened and the world they know
with their eyes keeps out of reach as, stuck there
with all they want just in front of them, they must
fling their bodies against the one unalterable law
of things—this fact of glass—and can only go on
making the sound that tethers their electric
fury to what’s impossible, feeling the sting in it.

Contemporary Japanese Art – Ikenaga Yasunari

Below- “Dice, Hikari”; “Chrysanthemum firework”; “Ufufu, Satsuki”; “Makiko”; “Bamboo Blind, Biting”; “Run a Bath, Naomi.”


A Poem for Today

“Einstein’s Happiest Moment”
by Richard M. Berlin

Einstein’s happiest moment
occurred when he realized
a falling man falling
beside a falling apple
could also be described
as an apple and a man at rest
while the world falls around them.

And my happiest moment
occurred when I realized
you were falling for me,
right down to the core, and the rest,
relatively speaking, has flown past
faster than the speed of light.

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Sentient in San Francisco – 18 April 2019

Contemporary British Art – Christos Tsimaris: Part I of II.

Below – “distortion”; “reflection”; “hybrid”; “a film star.”

A Poem for Today

“The Cranes, Texas January”
by Mark Sanders

I call my wife outdoors to have her listen,
to turn her ears upward, beyond the cloud-veiled
sky where the moon dances thin light,
to tell her, “Don’t hear the cars on the freeway—

it’s not the truck-rumble. It is and is not
the sirens.” She stands there, on deck
a rocking boat, wanting to please the captain
who would have her hear the inaudible.

Her eyes, so blue the day sky is envious,
fix blackly on me, her mouth poised on question
like a stone. But, she hears, after all.
January on the Gulf,
warm wind washing over us,
we stand chilled in the winter of those voices.


Contemporary British Art – Christos Tsimaris: Part II of II.

Below – “her story”; “Max with Charlie”; “kaz”; “bulls.”


Musings in Spring: Rachel Carson

“A rainy day is the perfect time for a walk in the woods.”

Contemporary Danish Art – Per Anders

Below – “Baywatch”; “Let’s Harvest Some Gold”; “Living at the Bay”; “Nordic Light”; “Pinot Noir.”


A Poem for Today

“Portraits”
by Mark Irwin

Mother came to visit today. We
hadn’t seen each other in years. Why didn’t
you call? I asked. Your windows are filthy, she said. I know,
I know. It’s from the dust and rain. She stood outside.
I stood in, and we cleaned each one that way, staring into each other’s eyes,
rubbing the white towel over our faces, rubbing
away hours, years. This is what it was like
when you were inside me, she said. What? I asked,
though I understood. Afterwards, indoors, she smelled like snow
melting. Holding hands we stood by the picture window,
gazing into the December sun, watching the pines in flame.


Contemporary British Art – Michael Alford

Below – “Victorian Gothic 4”; “Mare Nostrum 2”; “Nude/on White 5”; “Cannaregio, Late Evening”; “Seated Nude/Crimson & Turquoise Fabric 1”; “Law Courts/Winter Evening.”

This Date in Literary History: Born 18 April 1915 – Joy Davidman, an American poet and author.

“Endymion: I Had Prayed to the Distant Goddess”
by Joy Davidman

I had prayed to the distant goddess all that while,
With the mad wish that Deity would bend,
Stoop to the level of a human love.
And that clear distant silver would not heed
Desire, imperious in its rule of me,
But rode the night down with her pack of stars.

And I knew that I dared the undefied,
That this most magic of the mysteries
Was not as fireflies to catch and crush,
Nor even as the mocking light that lures
A vain pursuit, but was beyond pursuit,
A far-seen vision, throned upon a cloud.

Then the moon answered and came down to me.
Oh — I had lain for many nights and sighed
Because she was no nearer, though I knew
The moon was brighter for the distance. Now
She has come down, the years’ dream has come true.
A silver shadow floating above my head,
The cold white moon dissolving in the air,
And dripping liquid silver through the pines,
Till it surrounded me in silver dew,
All of the brightness soft within my arms.

Yet she was magic, high above the pines,
Being divine and unattainable,
And white-serene, while I looked up at her.

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Sentient in San Francisco – 17 April 2019

This Date in Art History: Died 17 April 2011 – Robert Vickrey, an American painter. In the words of one writer, Vickrey “specialized in the ancient medium of egg tempera. His paintings are surreal dreamlike visions of sunset shadows of bicycles, nuns in front of mural-painted brick walls, and children playing.”: Part I of II.

Below – “Diana’s Angels”; “Bubbles”; “Butterfly Net”; “Caroline’s Graffiti”; “The Artist’s Life II”; “Clam’s Eye View.”

This Date in Literary History: Born 17 April 1897 – Thornton Wilder, an American playwright, novelist, recipient of the National Book Award, and three-time recipient of the Pulitzer Prize.

Some quotes from the work of Thornton Wilder:

“We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures.”
“All that we know about those we have loved and lost is that they would wish us to remember them with a more intensified realization of their reality. What is essential does not die but clarifies. The highest tribute to the dead is not grief but gratitude.”
“But soon we shall die and all memory of those five will have left the earth, and we ourselves shall be loved for a while and forgotten. But the love will have been enough; all those impulses of love return to the love that made them. Even memory is not necessary for love. “There is a land of the living and a land of the dead and the bridge is love, the only survival, the only meaning.”
“I didn’t marry you because you were perfect. I didn’t even marry you because I loved you. I married you because you gave me a promise. That promise made up for your faults. And the promise I gave you made up for mine. Two imperfect people got married and it was the promise that made the marriage. And when our children were growing up, it wasn’t a house that protected them; and it wasn’t our love that protected them–it was that promise.”
“Ninety-nine percent of the people in the world are fools and the rest of us are in great danger of contagion.”
“I not only bow to the inevitable; I am fortified by it.”
“When you’re safe at home you wish you were having an adventure; when you’re having an adventure you wish you were safe at home.”
“My advice to you is not to inquire why or whither, but just enjoy your ice cream while it’s on your plate.”
“Life is a fatal adventure. It can only have one end. So why not make it as far-ranging and free as possible.”
“Oh, earth, you’re too wonderful for anybody to realize you. Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it — every, every minute?”


This Date in Art History: Died 17 April 2011 – Robert Vickrey, an American painter. In the words of one writer, Vickrey “specialized in the ancient medium of egg tempera. His paintings are surreal dreamlike visions of sunset shadows of bicycles, nuns in front of mural-painted brick walls, and children playing.”: Part II of II.

Below – “Bubbles”; “Midwinter Dream”; “Delicate Balance”; “Daughters of Charity”; “Rainbow Mural”; “Fear.”


A Poem for Today

“Back Road”
by Bruce Guernsey

Winter mornings
driving past
I’d see these kids
huddled like grouse
in the plowed ruts
in front of their shack
waiting for the bus,
three small children
bunched against the drifts
rising behind them.

This morning
I slowed to wave
and the smallest,
a stick of a kid
draped in a coat,
grinned and raised
his red, raw hand,
the snowball
packed with rock
aimed at my face.


Contemporary Greek Art – Fotini Hamidieli Martou: Part I of II.

Below – “Flight”; “woman resting”; “the dragonfly.”

Musings in Spring: Homer

“Everything is more beautiful because we’re doomed. You will never be lovelier than you are now. We will never be here again.”

Contemporary Greek Art – Fotini Hamidieli Martou: Part II of II.

Below – “seeds and pods”; “on the swings”; “cannot find the words”; “the feeding.”


A Poem for Today

“Cement Backyard”
by Lynne Sharon Schwartz

My father had our yard cemented over.
He couldn’t tell a flower from a weed.
The neighbors let their backyards run to clover
and some grew dappled gardens from a seed,

but he preferred cement to rampant green.
Lushness reeked of anarchy’s profusion.
Better to tamp the wildness down, unseen,
than tolerate its careless brash intrusion.

The grass interred, he felt well satisfied:
his first house, and he took an owner’s pride,
surveying the uniform, cemented yard.
Just so, he labored to cement his heart.

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Sentient in San Francisco – 16 April 2019

Contemporary German Art – Blue Moon – Heike Schmidt

Below – “Jungle of Life”; “Longing For The Sea II”; “Dreamworld Blue”; “Morning Mood”; Meditation.”


This Date in Literary History: Born 16 April 1844 – Anatole France, a French novelist, journalist, poet, and recipient of the 1921 Nobel Prize in Literature.

Some quotes from the work of Anatole France:

“Until one has loved an animal a part of one’s soul remains unawakened.”
“Stupidity is far more dangerous than evil, for evil takes a break from time to time, stupidity does not.”
“The first virtue of all really great men is that they are sincere. They eradicate hypocrisy from their hearts.”
“In its majestic equality, the law forbids rich and poor alike to sleep under bridges, beg in the streets and steal loaves of bread.”
“A people living under the perpetual menace of war and invasion is very easy to govern. It demands no social reform. It does not haggle over expenditures for armaments and military equipment. It pays without discussion, it ruins itself, and that is an excellent thing for the syndicates of financiers and manufacturers for whom patriotic terrors are an abundant source of gain.”
“If fifty million people say a foolish thing, it is still a foolish thing.
“All changes, even the most longed for, have their melancholy; for what we leave behind us is a part of ourselves; we must die to one life before we can enter another.”
“Man is a rational animal. He can think up a reason for anything he wants to believe.”
“Sometimes one day in a difference place gives you more than ten years of a life at home.”
“If the path be beautiful, let us not ask where it leads.”

Contemporary British Art – Matt Jukes

Below –  “Through the Clouds”; “Rising.”


This Date in Literary History: Died 16 April 1972 – Yasunari Kawabata, a Japanese novelist, short story writer, and recipient of the 1968 Nobel Prize for Literature.

Some quotes from the work of Yasunari Kawabata:

“Cosmic time is the same for everyone, but human time differs with each person. Time flows in the same way for all human beings; every human being flows through time in a different way.”
“The true joy of a moonlit night is something we no longer understand. Only the men of old, when there were no lights, could understand the true joy of a moonlit night.”
“Now, even more than the evening before, he could think of no one with whom to compare her. She had become absolute, beyond comparison. She had become decision and fate.”
“A child walked by, rolling a metal hoop that made a sound of autumn.”
“The snow on the distant mountains was soft and creamy, as if veiled in a faint smoke.”

Contemporary Brazilian Art – Beatriz Mendonça de Castilho

Below – “Portrait 73”; “Woman face 95”; “Lady Gray Look.”

Remembering a Performer on the Date of His Birth: Born 16 April 1946 – R. Carlos Nakai, a Native American flutist of Navajo/Ute heritage.


Contemporary Irish Art – Anna Matykiewicz: Part I of II.

Below – “Small BIG dreams”; “Portrait in blue.”


This Date in Literary History: Died 16 April 1968 – 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.”
“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.”
“A closed mind is a dying mind.”
“There is an interesting resemblance in the speeches of dictators, no matter what country they may hail from or what language they may speak.”
“Big doesn’t necessarily mean better. Sunflowers aren’t better than violets.”
“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.”
“Spring … made fair false promises which summer was called upon to keep.”
“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?”


Contemporary Irish Art – Anna Matykiewicz: Part II of II.

Below – “Bluetones”; “Deep burnt”; “Vision.”

This Date in Literary History: Born 16 April 1922 – Kingsley Amis, an English novelist, poet, and critic.

Some quotes from the work of Kingsley Amis:

“The rewards for being sane may not be very many, but knowing what’s funny is one of them.”
“If you can’t annoy somebody, there is little point in writing.”
“When that ineffable compound of depression, sadness (these two are not the same), anxiety, self-hatred, sense of failure and fear for the future begins to steal over you, start telling yourself that what you have is a hangover. You are not sickening for anything, you have not suffered a minor brain lesion, you are not all that bad at your job, your family and friends are not leagued in a conspiracy of barely maintained silence about what a shit you are, you have not come at last to see life as it really is and there is no use crying over spilt milk.”
“Laziness has become the chief characteristic of journalism, displacing incompetence. ”
“Never despise a drink because it is easy to make and/or uses commercial mixes. Unquestioning devotion to authenticity is, in any department of life, a mark of the naive – or worse.”
“He was of the faith chiefly in the sense that the church he currently did not attend was Catholic.”
“It is natural and harmless in English to use a preposition to end a sentence with.”
“A German wine label is one of the things life’s too short for.”
“Nothing short of physical handicap has ever made anybody turn over a new leaf.”
“Wives and such are constantly filling up any refrigerator they have a claim on, even its ice-compartment, with irrelevant rubbish like food.”
“With some exceptions in science fiction and other genres I have small difficulty in avoiding anything that could be called American literature. I feel it is unnatural, not I think entirely because it uses a language that is not mine, however closely akin to my own.”
“The human race has not devised any way of dissolving barriers, getting to know the other chap fast, breaking the ice, that is one-tenth as handy and efficient as letting you and the other chap, or chaps, cease to be totally sober at about the same rate in agreeable surroundings.”


Contemporary Austrian Art – Petra Kaindel

Below – “…and don’t forget to freeze your eggs”; “Chandelier I”; “Fleeting”; “Clelia at the Tate Britain.”


A Poem for Today

“Living Tree”
by Robert Morgan

It’s said they planted trees by graves
to soak up spirits of the dead
through roots into the growing wood.

The favorite in the burial yards
I knew was common juniper.
One could do worse than pass into
such a species. I like to think
that when I’m gone the chemicals
and yes the spirit that was me
might be searched out by subtle roots
and raised with sap through capillaries
into an upright, fragrant trunk,
and aromatic twigs and bark,
through needles bright as hoarfrost to
the sunlight for a century
or more, in wood repelling rot
and standing tall with monuments
and statues there on the far hill,
erect as truth, a testimony,
in ground that’s dignified by loss,
around a melancholy tree
that’s pointing toward infinity.

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Sentient in San Francisco – 15 April 2019

This Date in Art History: Born 15 April 1877 – Georg Kolbe, a German sculptor.

Below – “Bather”; “Sitter”; “Supplicator”; “The Cathedral”; “Genius”; “Grief.”

This Date in Literary History: Born 15 April 1861 – William Bliss Carman, a Canadian poet.

“A Vagabond Song”
by Bliss Carman

There is something in the autumn that is native to my blood—
Touch of manner, hint of mood;
And my heart is like a rhyme,
With the yellow and the purple and the crimson keeping time.

The scarlet of the maples can shake me like a cry
Of bugles going by.
And my lonely spirit thrills
To see the frosty asters like a smoke upon the hills.

There is something in October sets the gypsy blood astir;
We must rise and follow her,
When from every hill of flame
She calls and calls each vagabond by name.


This Date in Art History: Born 15 April 1889 – Thomas Hart Benton, an American painter: Part I of II.

Below – “New York, Early Twenties”; “People of Chilmark”; “Achelous and Hercules”; “Cradling Wheat”; “Flood Disaster”; “Persephone.”

This Date in World History: 15 April 1912 – After hitting an iceberg in the North Atlantic, the British passenger liner RMS Titanic sinks. Only 710 of 2,227 passengers on board survive.

Below – The last known photograph of the Titanic.

This Date in Art History: Born 15 April 1889 – Thomas Hart Benton, an American painter: Part II of II.

Below – “The Arts of the West”; “Night Firing of Tobacco”; “Trail Riders”; “Spring on the Missouri”; “America Today”; “The Twist.”

“Arts of the West”

This Date in Literary History: Born 15 April 1931 – Tomas Transtromer, a Swedish poet, translator, and recipient of the 2011 Nobel Prize in Literature.

Three quotes from the work of Tomas Transtromer:

“We always feel younger than we are. I carry inside myself my earlier faces, as a tree contains its rings. The sum of them is me. The mirror sees only my latest face, while I know all my previous ones.”
“It’s always so early in here, before the crossroads, before the irrevocable choices. Thank you for this life! Still I miss the alternatives. The sketches, all of them, want to become real.”
“Tired of all who come with words, words but no language
I went to the snow-covered island.
The wild does not have words.
The unwritten pages spread themselves out in all directions!
I come across the marks of roe-deer’s hooves in the snow.
Language, but no words.”

Contemporary French Art – Marie-Elisabeth Merlin: Part I of II.

Below – “Il était une fois, Le parc”; “Il était une fois, Les ceuilleuses de Lotus et les Loups”; “Il était une fois, Avez-vous entendu?”; “Il était une fois, Solitaire”; “La Petite”; “Pan, Bang, Splach! .”

A poem for Today

“Burning the Book”
by Ron Koertge

“Burning the Book”

The anthology of love poems I bought
for a quarter is brittle, anyway, and comes
apart when I read it.

One at a time, I throw pages on the fire
and watch smoke make its way up
and out.

I’m almost to the index when I hear
a murmuring in the street. My neighbors
are watching it snow.

I put on my blue jacket and join them.
The children stand with their mouths
open.

Contemporary French Art – Marie-Elisabeth Merlin: Part II of II.

Below –  “The Man in Red”; “L’Entremêlée”; “L’Arbre Rouge, ou,Te souviens-tu de ta naissance?”; “Il était Une fois, Poésie du coeur”; “

This Date in Literary History: Died 15 April 1888 – Matthew Arnold, an English poet and critic.

Some quotes from the work of Matthew Arnold:

“Life is not having and getting, but being and becoming
“The freethinking of one age is the common sense of the next.
“Culture, the acquainting ourselves with the best that has been known and said in the world, and thus with the history of the human spirit.”
“Poetry is simply the most beautiful, impressive, and widely effective mode of saying things.”
“The bent of our time is towards science, towards knowing things as they are.”
“This strange disease of modern life,
With its sick hurry, its divided aims.”
“But often, in the world’s most crowded streets,
But often, in the din of strife,
There rises an unspeakable desire
After the knowledge of our buried life,
A thirst to spend our fire and restless force
In tracking out our true, original course;
A longing to inquire
Into the mystery of this heart which beats
So wild, so deep in us, to know
Whence our lives come and where they go.”
“Dover Beach”
The sea is calm tonight.
The tide is full, the moon lies fair
Upon the straits; on the French coast the light
Gleams and is gone; the cliffs of England stand,
Glimmering and vast, out in the tranquil bay.
Come to the window, sweet is the night-air!
Only, from the long line of spray
Where the sea meets the moon-blanched land,
Listen! you hear the grating roar
Of pebbles which the waves draw back, and fling,
At their return, up the high strand,
Begin, and cease, and then again begin,
With tremulous cadence slow, and bring
The eternal note of sadness in.

Sophocles long ago
Heard it on the Ægean, and it brought
Into his mind the turbid ebb and flow
Of human misery; we
Find also in the sound a thought,
Hearing it by this distant northern sea.

The Sea of Faith
Was once, too, at the full, and round earth’s shore
Lay like the folds of a bright girdle furled.
But now I only hear
Its melancholy, long, withdrawing roar,
Retreating, to the breath
Of the night-wind, down the vast edges drear
And naked shingles of the world.

Ah, love, let us be true
To one another! for the world, which seems
To lie before us like a land of dreams,
So various, so beautiful, so new,
Hath really neither joy, nor love, nor light,
Nor certitude, nor peace, nor help for pain;
And we are here as on a darkling plain
Swept with confused alarms of struggle and flight,
Where ignorant armies clash by night.

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