A Lament for America in the Age of Trump – 9 June 2018

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of light, it was the season of darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair.” – Charles Dickens.

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Sentient in Seattle – 8 June 2018

Remembering a Writer on the Date of His Death: Died 8 June 1889 – Gerard Manley Hopkins, an English poet.

“Spring and Fall: To a Young Child”
by Gerard Manley Hopkins

Margaret, are you grieving
Over Goldengrove unleaving?
Leaves, like the things of man, you
With your fresh thoughts care for, can you?
Ah! as the heart grows older
It will come to such sights colder
By and by, nor spare a sigh
Though worlds of wanwood leafmeal lie;
And yet you will weep and know why.
Now no matter, child, the name:
Sorrow’s springs are the same.
Nor mouth had, no nor mind, expressed
What heart heard of, ghost guessed:
It is the blight man was born for,
It is Margaret you mourn for.

Art for Spring – Part I of II: Steve Hanks (American, contemporary)

Below – “Stepping Stones”; “Things Worth Keeping”; “Sunshine After the Rain”

Worth a Thousand Words: Denali, Alaska, the highest mountain peak in North America (6,190 meters; 20,310 feet).

Art for Spring – Part II of II: Scott Hanson (American, contemporary)

Below (all bronze) – “Wind and Sea”; “Free and Easy”; “Sails and Tails”

Remembering a Writer on the Date of His Death: Died 8 June 1929 – 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 8 June 1829 – John Everett Millais, an English painter, illustrator, and one of the founding members of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood: Part I of II.

Below – “Mariana”; “Ophelia”; “The Vale of Rest”; “The Eve of Saint Agnes”; “The Boyhood of Raleigh”; “Portrait of Effie Millais.”

Remember a Founding Father of the United States on the Date of His Death: Died 8 June 1809 – Thomas Paine, an English-born American political activist, philosopher, political theorist, and revolutionary.

Some quotes from the work of Thomas Paine:

“A body of men holding themselves accountable to nobody ought not to be trusted by anybody.”
“The greatest tyrannies are always perpetuated in the name of the noblest causes.”
“These are the times that try men’s souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of his country; but he that stands it NOW, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman.”
“Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it.”
“The World is my country, all mankind are my brethren, and to do good is my religion.”

Below – Laurent Dabos: “Portrait of Thomas Paine” (circa 1792)

This Date in Art History: Born 8 June 1829 – John Everett Millais, an English painter, illustrator, and one of the founding members of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood: Part II of II.

Below – “Bubbles”; “A Jersey Lily: Portrait of Lillie Langtry”; “The Farmer’s Daughter”; “John Ruskin”; “The North-West Passage”; “Self-Portrait.”

Remembering a Writer on the Date of Her Birth: Born 8 June 1920 – Gwen Harwood, an Australian poet and playwright.

by Gwen Harwood

So the light falls, and so it fell
on branches leaved with flocking birds.
Light stole a city’s weight to swell
the colored life of stone. Your words
hung weightless in my ear: Remember me.

All words except those words were drowned
in the fresh babbling rush of spring.
In summer’s dream-filled light one sound
echoed through all the whispering
galleries of green: Remember me.

Rods of light point home the flocking
starlings to wintry trees, and turn
stone into golden ochre, locking
the orbit of my pain. I learn
the weight of light and stone. Remember me.

Contemporary American Art – Marjorie Wood Hamlin

In the words of one writer, “Marjorie has studied fine art since she was 13 years old. She has a BA with a major in Applied Art and Art History from Willamette University. She also studied at San Francisco State University, Academy of Art San Francisco and with Stanford University in Venice Italy. After years of study, she now creates her own style, pushing the envelope of innovation to make new sensations for the eye of the beholder. Creating different series keeps her imagination constantly renewed.”

Below – “Mountain in Spring”; “Eldorado”; “Rain Forests Are Golden”; “Earthquake”; “Mustard Fields”; “Melting Glaciers.”

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A Lament for America in the Age of Trump – 8 June 2018

“To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead.” – Thomas Paine.

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Sentient in Seattle – 7 June 2018

Remembering a Writer on the Date of Her Birth: Born 7 June 1917 – Gwendolyn Brooks, an American poet.

“Of Robert Frost”
by Gwendolyn Brooks

There is a little lightning in his eyes.
Iron at the mouth.
His brows ride neither too far up nor down.

He is splendid. With a place to stand.

Some glowing in the common blood.
Some specialness within.

Art for Spring – Part I of III: Yozo Hamaguchi (Japanese, 1909-2000)

Below – “Watermelon”; “Single Cherry”; “Black Cherry”

Worth a Thousand Words: Gold Rush Fever – Sutter’s Mill, California in 1850; the modern reconstruction of Sutter’s Mill.

Art for Spring – Part II of III: David Hamilton (British, contemporary)

Below (all photographs) – “Vineyards”; “Roses in Pitcher”; “Woman Going Up Stairs”

Remembering a Writer on the Date of Her Birth: Born 7 June 1954 – Louise Eldrich, an American poet and novelist.

“I Was Sleeping Where the Black Oaks Move”
by Louise Erdrich

We watched from the house
as the river grew, helpless
and terrible in its unfamiliar body.
Wrestling everything into it,
the water wrapped around trees
until their life-hold was broken.
They went down, one by one,
and the river dragged off their covering.

Nests of the herons, roots washed to bones,
snags of soaked bark on the shoreline:
a whole forest pulled through the teeth
of the spillway. Trees surfacing
singly, where the river poured off
into arteries for fields below the reservation.

When at last it was over, the long removal,
they had all become the same dry wood.
We walked among them, the branches
whitening in the raw sun.
Above us drifted herons,
alone, hoarse-voiced, broken,
settling their beaks among the hollows.
Grandpa said, These are the ghosts of the tree people
moving among us, unable to take their rest.

Sometimes now, we dream our way back to the heron dance.
Their long wings are bending the air
into circles through which they fall.
They rise again in shifting wheels.
How long must we live in the broken figures
their necks make, narrowing the sky.

Art for Spring – Part III of III: Albert Handell (American, contemporary)

Below – “Outdoor Salon”; “Upstate Barn”; “Quiet Moments – Santa Fe”

For Your Information: 7 June is National Chocolate Ice Cream Day in the United States.

This Date in Art History: Died 7 June 1859 – David Cox, an English painter.

Below – “Travelers on a Path”; “View of Harlech Castle”; “A Train on a Viaduct”; “Raglan Castle”; “Boys Fishing.”

Remembering a Writer on the Date of Her Death: Died 7 June 1967 – Dorothy Parker, an American poet, short story writer, critic, and satirist.

Some quotes from the work of Dorothy Parker:

“If you don’t have anything nice to say, come sit by me.”
“Of course I talk to myself. I like a good speaker, and I appreciate an intelligent audience.”
“The first thing I do in the morning is brush my teeth and sharpen my tongue.”
“The only dependable law of life – everything is always worse than you thought it was going to be.”
“Creativity is a wild mind and a disciplined eye.”
“I like to have a martini, Two at the very most. After three I’m under the table, after four I’m under my host.”
“If you looked for things to make you feel hurt and wretched and unnecessary, you were certain to find them.”
“Years are only garments, and you either wear them with style all your life, or else you go dowdy to the grave.”
“The cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity.
“I’m not a writer with a drinking problem, I’m a drinker with a writing problem.”
“Telegram to a friend who had just become a mother after a prolonged pregnancy: Good work, Mary. We all knew you had it in you.”
“Time may be a great healer, but it’s a lousy beautician.”
“If love is blind, why is lingerie so popular?You can’t teach an old dogma new tricks.”
“Take me or leave me; or, as is the usual order of things, both.”
“Q: What’s the difference between an enzyme and a hormone? A: You can’t hear an enzyme.”
“But I don’t give up; I forget why not.”
“That would be a good thing for them to cut on my tombstone: Wherever she went, including here, it was against her better judgment.”

This Date in Art History: Born 7 June 1848 – Paul Gauguin, a French painter and sculptor.

Below – “Maurke”; “Be in Love and You Will Be Happy”; “Oviri”; “Two Tahitian Women”; “Peace”; “Valerie Roumi.”

Remembering a Native American Leader on the Date of His Death: Died 7 June 1866 – Chief Seattle, a chief of both the Suquamish and Duwamish tribes.

Some quotes from Chief Seattle:

“Only when the last tree has died and the last river has been poisoned and the last fish has been caught will we realize that we can not eat money.”
“The earth does not belong to man, man belongs to the earth. All things are connected like the blood that unites us all. Man did not weave the web of life, he is merely a strand in it. Whatever he does to the web, he does to himself.”
“We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors; we borrow it from our children.”
“How can you buy or sell the sky, the warmth of the land? The idea is strange to us. If we do not own the freshness of the air and the sparkle of the water, how can you buy them? Every part of the Earth is sacred to my people. Every shining pine needle, every sandy shore, every mist in the dark woods, every clear and humming insect is holy in the memory and experience of my people.The perfumed flowers are our sisters, the deer, the horse, the great eagle, these are our brothers. The rocky crests, the juices in the meadows, the body heat of the pony, and the man, all belong to the same family.”
“If all the beasts were gone, men would die from a great loneliness of spirit, for whatever happens to the beasts also happens to the man. All things are connected. Whatever befalls the Earth befalls the sons of the Earth.”
“We know that the white man does not understand our ways. One portion of land is the same to him as the next, for he is a stranger who comes in the night and takes from the land whatever he needs. The earth is not his brother, but his enemy, and when he has conquered it, he moves on.”
“The whites, too, shall pass – perhaps sooner than other tribes. Continue to contaminate your own bed, and you might suffocate in your own waste.”

Below – The only known photograph of Chief Seattle, taken in 1864.

This Date in Art History: Born 7 June 1910 – Marion Post Wolcott, an American photographer.

Below – “Coal miner’s children and wife, Pursglove, West Virginia, 1938”; “migratory packinghouse workers waiting around post office during slack season, Belle Grande, Florida, 1939”; Untitled (possible related to secondhand clothing store on Beale Street, Memphis, Tennessee, 1939”; “Natchitoches, Louisiana, 1940”; “Members of the Primitive Baptist Church in Morehead, Kentucky, attending a creek baptizing by submersion, 1940; “Mountain woman by her home up Stinking Creek, Pine Mountain, Kentucky, 1940.”

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A Lament for America in the Age of Trump – 7 June 2018

“The sad thing about true stupidity is that you can do absolutely nothing about it.” ― John Cleese, English actor, comedian, and writer.

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Sentient in Seattle – 6 June 2018

Remembering a Writer on the Date of His Death: Died 6 June 2013 – Tom Sharpe, an English satirical novelist best known for his “Wilt” series.

Some quotes from the work of Tom Sharp:

“The man who said the pen was mightier than the sword ought to have tried reading ‘The Mill on the Floss’ to Motor Mechanics.”
“‘Do go on,’ he said. ‘There’s nothing I enjoy more than listening to a highly trained intelligence leapfrogging common sense and coming to the wrong conclusions. It gives me renewed faith in parliamentary democracy.’”
“While he lived a violent life in his imagination, Eva, lacking any imagination at all, lived violently in fact.”
“If a little knowledge was a dangerous thing, a lot was lethal.”
“There’s nothing worse than an introspective drunk.”
“Fifty miles away, Lord Lynchknowle’s dinner had been interrupted by the arrival of a police car and the news of his daughter’s death. The fact that it had come between the mackerel pâté and the game pie, and on the wine side, an excellent Montrachet and a Château Lafite 1962, several bottles of which he’d opened to impress the Home Secretary and two old friends from the Foreign Office, particularly annoyed him. Not that he intended to let the news spoil his meal by announcing it before he’d finished, but he could foresee an ugly episode with his wife afterwards for no better reason than that he had come back to the table with the rather unfortunate remark that it was nothing important. Of course, he could always excuse himself on the grounds that hospitality came first, and old Freddie was the Home Secretary after all, and he wasn’t going to let that Lafite ’62 go to waste, but somehow he knew Hilary was going to kick up the devil of a fuss about it afterwards.”

Art for Spring – Part I of III: Harry Guttman (Romanian, contemporary)

Below – “Hometown”; Untitled – Clowns; “Village Park”

For Your Information: 6 June is National Applesauce Cake Day in the United States.

Art for Spring – Part II of III: Kerry Hallam (American, contemporary)

Below – “New York Evening”; Untitled Harbor; “Golden Gate Sunset, San Francisco”

Remembering a Nobel Laureate on the Date of His Birth: Born 6 June 1875 – Thomas Mann, a German novelist, short story writer, social critic, essayist, and recipient of the 1929 Nobel Prize in Literature.

Some quotes from the work of Thomas Mann:

“Tolerance becomes a crime when applied to evil.”
“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.”
“War is only a cowardly escape from the problems of peace.”
“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.”

Art for Spring – Part III of III: Patrick Guyton (American, contemporary)

Below – “Paper Dreams”; “Golden Tree”; “Perfect Zen”; “Testing the Water”

Worth a Thousand Words: The Salton Sea, California.

This Date in Art History: Died 6 June 1963 – William Baziotes, an American painter.

Below – “Phantasm”; “The Room”; “Flame”; “Night”; “Autumn”; “Shadow.”

Remembering a Writer on the Date of His Death: Died 6 June 1982 – Kenneth Rexroth, an American poet.

“Delia Rexroth”
by Kenneth Rexroth

died June 1916

Under your illkempt yellow roses,
Delia, today you are younger
Than your son. Two and a half decades –
The family monument sagged askew,
And he overtook your half-a-life.
On the other side of the country,
Near the willows by the slow river,
Deep in the earth, the white ribs retain
The curve of your fervent, careful breast;
The fine skull, the ardor of your brain.
And in the fingers the memory
Of Chopin études, and in the feet
Slow waltzes and champagne twosteps sleep.
And the white full moon of midsummer,
That you watched awake all that last night,
Watches history fill the deserts
And oceans with corpses once again;
And looks in the east window at me,
As I move past you to middle age
And knowledge past your agony and waste.

This Date in Art History: Died 6 June 2006 – Arnold Newman, an American photographer.

Below – “Pablo Picasso”; “Marilyn Monroe and Carl Sandburg”;
“Marc Chagall”; “Georgia O’Keeffe”; “Ansel Adams”; “Frank Lloyd Wright”; “Salvadore Dali”; “Jackson Pollock.”

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A Lament for America in the Age of Trump – 6 June 2018

“I have defined the hundred per cent American as ninety-nine per cent an idiot.” – George Bernard Shaw, Nobel Laureate.

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Notes from Trumpistan – 6 June 2018

On apologies: ”I think apologizing’s a great thing, but you have to be wrong. I will absolutely apologize, sometime in the hopefully distant future, if I’m ever wrong.” – Donald Trump, “The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon,” September 2015.

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Sentient in Seattle – 5 June 2018

Remembering a Writer on the Date of His Death: Died 5 June 1910 – William Sydney Porter, known by his pen name O. Henry, an American short story writer.

Some quotes from the work of O. Henry:

“The true adventurer goes forth aimless and uncalculating to meet and greet unknown fate.”
“Fortune is a prize to be won. Adventure is the road to it. Chance is what may lurk in the shadows at the roadside.”
“All of us have to be prevaricators, hypocrites, and liars every day of our lives; otherwise the social structure would fall into pieces the first day. We must act in one another’s presence just as we must wear clothes. It is for the best.”
“Life is made up of sobs, sniffles, and smiles, with sniffles predominating.”
“The most notable thing about Time is that it is so purely relative. A large amount of reminiscence is, by common consent, conceded to the drowning man; and it is not past belief that one may review an entire courtship while removing one’s gloves.”
“Knowledge is a strong stream of water turned on us through a hose. It disturbs our roots”

Art for Spring – Part I of III: Frederick Franck (American, 1909-2006)

Below – “Lone Tree”; “Dove”; “Village Lane”

For Your Information: 5 June is National Gingerbread Day in the United States.

Art for Spring – Part II of III: Victor Gutierrez (Mexican, contemporary)

Below (all bronze) – Untitled; “Gemelas”; “Carmensa”

Remembering a Writer on the Date of His Death: Died 5 June 1900 – Stephen Crane, an American poet, novelist, and short story writer.
(A personal note: I think that Crane’s short story “The Bride Comes to Yellow Sky” is a literary gem.)

“A Man Said to the Universe”
by Stephen Crane

A man said to the universe:
“Sir I exist!”
“However,” replied the universe,
“The fact has not created in me
A sense of obligation.”

Art for Spring – Part III of III: Ernesto Gutierrez (Peruvian, contemporary)

Below – “Market”; “The Cowboy”; “Musicos”

For Your Information: 5 June is World Environment Day.

This Date in Art History: Born 5 June 1895 – William Roberts, an English soldier and painter.

Below – “The Avant-Garde”; “May Berry”; “The Tea Garden”; “Bicycle Lesson”; “The Drinking Fountain”; “Primrose Hill, The Playground.”

Worth a Thousand Words: The Atacama Desert in Chile.

This Date in Art History: Born 5 June 1913 – Conrad Marca-Relli, an American-Italian painter.

Below – “The Pool Game”; Untitled; “Battle Detail”; “Villa Nueve”; “J-M-10”; Untitled.

Remembering a Writer on the Date of His Death: Died 5 June 2012 – Ray Bradbury, an award-winning American author and screenwriter.

Some quotes from the work of Ray Bradbury:

“You don’t have to burn books to destroy a culture. Just get people to stop reading them.”
“We are cups, constantly and quietly being filled. The trick is, knowing how to tip ourselves over and let the beautiful stuff out.”
“Everyone must leave something behind when he dies, my grandfather said. A child or a book or a painting or a house or a wall built or a pair of shoes made. Or a garden planted. Something your hand touched some way so your soul has somewhere to go when you die, and when people look at that tree or that flower you planted, you’re there.
It doesn’t matter what you do, he said, so long as you change something from the way it was before you touched it into something that’s like you after you take your hands away. The difference between the man who just cuts lawns and a real gardener is in the touching, he said. The lawn-cutter might just as well not have been there at all; the gardener will be there a lifetime.”
“If we listened to our intellect we’d never have a love affair. We’d never have a friendship. We’d never go in business because we’d be cynical: ‘It’s gonna go wrong.’ Or ‘She’s going to hurt me.’ Or,’I’ve had a couple of bad love affairs, so therefore . . .’ Well, that’s nonsense. You’re going to miss life. You’ve got to jump off the cliff all the time and build your wings on the way down.”
“Learning to let go should be learned before learning to get. Life should be touched, not strangled. You’ve got to relax, let it happen at times, and at others move forward with it.”
“We are an impossibility in an impossible universe.”

Contemporary American Art – James Gucwa

In the words of one writer, “James began his art education as a teen studying at home through an art correspondence course. He has attended art colleges in New Jersey, N.Y.C., Tennessee and Arizona, and studied in private apprenticeships in the lithography studios of Dan Weldon, and the late photoreal painter, Gregory Gillespie. He has had scores of one­ man exhibitions in the finest fine art galleries across the U.S., (including multiple shows in N.Y.C. San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Scottsdale), over the course of the past twenty-­eight years.”

Below – “Thunderbird Motel”; “Blue Fox at Night”; “Voodoo Doughnut”; “3 Pines Motel”; “Self as Fast Eddie”; “Lost at the Cadillac.”

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A Lament for America in the Age of Trump – 5 June 2018

“Ambition and stupidity are a dangerous combination.” ― Dean Koontz, American novelist.

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