Sentient in Seattle – 16 May 2018

Remembering an Influential Artist on the Date of His Death: Died 16 May 1990 – Jim Henson, an American puppeteer, artist, cartoonist, inventor, screenwriter, filmmaker, and creator of the Muppets.

Some quotes from the work of Jim Henson:

“The most sophisticated people I know – inside they are all children. ”
“Life’s like a movie, write your own ending. Keep believing, keep pretending.”
“Watch out for each other. Love everyone and forgive everyone, including yourself. Forgive your anger. Forgive your guilt. Your shame. Your sadness. Embrace and open up your love, your joy, your truth, and most especially your heart.”
“I really do believe that all of you are at the beginning of a wonderful journey. As you start traveling down that road of life, remember this: There are never enough comfort stops. The places you’re going to are never on the map. And once you get that map out, you won’t be able to re-fold it no matter how smart you are.
So forget the map, roll down the windows, and whenever you can pull over and have picnic with a pig. And if you can help it never fly as cargo.”
“When I was young, my ambition was to be one of the people who made a difference in this world. My hope is to leave the world a little better for having been there.”

Art for Spring – Part I of II: Jerome Gastaldi (American, contemporary)

Below – “Red and Yellow”; “Blue Lake”; “Red Sand”

Worth a Thousand Words: An astronaut’s view of Earth from space.

Art for Spring – Part II of II: Jean Claude Gaugy (French, contemporary)

Below – “Six Chevaux”; “L’Abondence Parfaite”; “La Rivière”

Remembering a Writer on the Date of Her Birth: Born 16 May 1929 – Adrienne Rich, an American poet, essayist, feminist, and recipient of the National Book Award.

“In Those Years”
by Adrienne Rich

In those years, people will say, we lost track
of the meaning of we, of you
we found ourselves
reduced to I
and the whole thing became
silly, ironic, terrible:
we were trying to live a personal life
and yes, that was the only life
we could bear witness to

But the great dark birds of history screamed and plunged
into our personal weather
They were headed somewhere else but their beaks and pinions drove
along the shore, through the rags of fog
where we stood, saying I

This Date in Art History: Died 16 May 1910 – Henri-Edmond Cross, a French painter.

Below – “La Place de Saint-Clair”; “Cypresses at Cagnes”; “La Ferme, matin”; “La baie a Cavaliere”; “Landscape”; “La fuite des nymphes.”

Remembering an Important Researcher on the Date of His Birth: Born 16 May 1914 – Edward T. Hall, an American anthropologist and author.

Some quotes from the work of Edward T. Hall:

“Culture hides more than it reveals and strangely enough what it hides, it hides most effectively from it’s own participants. Years of study have convinced me that the real job is not to understand foreign culture but to understand our own.”
“One of the most effective ways to learn about oneself is by taking seriously the cultures of others. It forces you to pay attention to those details of life which differentiate them from you.”
“We should never denigrate any other culture but rather help people to understand the relationship between their own culture and the dominant culture. When you understand another culture or language, it does not mean that you have to lose your own culture.”
“The best reason for exposing oneself to foreign ways is to generate a sense of vitality and awareness – an interest in life which can come only when one lives through the shock of contrast and difference.”
“It is never possible to understand completely any other human being; and no individual will ever really understand himself – the complexity is too great and there is not the time to constantly take things apart and examine them.”
“When Western people train the mind, the focus is generally on the left hemisphere of the cortex, which is the portion of the brain that is concerned with words and numbers. We enhance the logical, bounded, linear functions of the mind. In the East, exercises of this sort are for the purpose of getting in tune with the unconscious–to get rid of boundaries, not to create them.”
“By their very nature bureaucracies have no conscience, no memory, and no mind.”
“Because we have put ourselves in our own zoo, we find it difficult to break out.”

This Date in Art History: Born 16 May 1906 – Alfred Pellan, a Canadian painter.

Below – “Blossoming”; “Desire in the Light of the Moon”; “Girl with Anemones”; “Atlantide”; “Nature morte au litre de vin”; Untitled.

Remembering a Writer on the Date of His Death: Died 16 May 1955 – James Agee, an American novelist, journalist, poet, screenwriter, film critic, and recipient of the Pulitzer Prize.

Some quotes from the work of James Agee:

“How far we all come. How far we all come away from ourselves. So far, so much between, you can never go home again. You can go home, it’s good to go home, but you never really get all the way home again in your life. And what’s it all for? All I tried to be, all I ever wanted and went away for, what’s it all for?
Just one way, you do get back home. You have a boy or a girl of your own and now and then you remember, and you know how they feel, and it’s almost the same as if you were your own self again, as young as you could remember.”
“And somewhat as in blind night, on a mild sea, a sailor may be made aware of an iceberg, fanged and mortal, bearing invisibly near, by the unwarned charm of its breath, nothingness now revealed itself: that permanent night upon which the stars in their expiring generations are less than the glinting of gnats, and nebulae, more trivial than winter breath; that darkness in which eternity lies bent and pale, a dead snake in a jar, and infinity is the sparkling of a wren blown out to sea; that inconceivable chasm of invulnerable silence in which cataclysms of galaxies rave mute as amber.”
“You’ve got to bear it in mind that nobody that ever lived is specially privileged; the axe can fall at any moment, on any neck, without any warning or any regard for justice. You’ve got to keep your mind off pitying your own rotten luck and setting up any kind of a howl about it. You’ve got to remember that things as bad as this and a hell of a lot worse have happened to millions of people before and that they’ve come through it and that you will too.”
“You must be in tune with the times and prepared to break with tradition.”
“In every child who is born, under no matter what circumstances, and no matter what parents, the potentiality of the human race is born again.”

This Date in Art History: Born 16 May 1898 – Tamara de Lempicka, a Polish/American painter.

Below – “Printemps”; “Woman with Mandoline”; “Mujer y Nino”; “Lady in Lace”; “Femme a la Colombe”; “Self-Portrait, Tamara in a Green Bugati.”

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

“Some social ills are preserved by the common misbelief that things such as ignorance, greed, and stupidity do not have the stamina required to reach old age.” ― Mokokoma Mokhonoana, South African writer.

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Sentient in Seattle – 15 May 2018

Musings in Spring: J.M. Coetzee

“His own opinion, which he does not air, is that the origin of speech lie in song, and the origins of song in the need to fill out with sound the overlarge and rather empty human soul.”

Below – Gerard van Honthurst: “Cavalier and Woman Singing”

Art for Spring: Laurence Gartel (American, contemporary)

Below – “Amazing Trumpet”; “Blue Nude”; “Astrid”

Remembering a Writer on the Date of Her Birth: Born 15 May 1890 – Katherine Anne Porter, an American journalist, essayist, short story writer, novelist, and political activist.

Some quotes from the work of Katherine Anne Porter:

“The past is never where you think you left it.”
“There seems to be a kind of order in the universe…in the movement of the stars and the turning of the Earth and the changing of the seasons. But human life is almost pure chaos. Everyone takes his stance, asserts his own right and feelings, mistaking the motives of others, and his own.”
“All the old houses that I knew when I was a child were full of books, bought generation after generation by members of the family. Everyone was literate as a matter of course. Nobody told you to read this or not to read that. It was there to read, and we read.”
“The road to death is a long march beset with all evils, and the heart fails little by little at each new terror, the bones rebel at each step, the mind sets up its own bitter resistance and to what end? The barriers sink one by one, and no covering of the eyes shuts out the landscape of disaster, nor the sight of crimes committed there.”
“Trust your happiness and the richness of your life at this moment. It is as true and as much yours as anything else that ever happened to you.”

This Date in Art History: Died 15 May 1967 – Italo Mus, an Italian painter.

Below – “Rifugio alpino”; “Alba sul Ticino”; “Il ritorno a casa”; “Saint Vincent”; “Cardi di montagna”

Musings in Spring: Shaun David Hutchinson

“Dreams are hopeful because they exist as pure possibility. Unlike memories, which are fossils, long dead and buried deep.”

This Date in Art History: Died 15 May 1967 – Edward Hopper, an American painter – Part I of II.

Below – “Nighthawks”; “New York Movie”; “Automat”; “Gas”; “Early Sunday Morning”; “Chop Suey.”

Worth a Thousand Words: Mount Robson, British Columbia, Canada.

This Date in Art History: Died 15 May 1967 – Edward Hopper, an American painter – Part II of II.

Below – “Summertime”; “Office at Night”; “Cape Cod Evening”; “Summer Evening”; “Rooms by the Sea”; “Summer Interior.”

Remembering a Writer on the Date of Her Death: Died 15 May 1886 – Emily Dickinson, an American poet.

“To make a prairie”
by Emily Dickinson

To make a prairie it takes a clover and one bee,
One clover, and a bee.
And revery.
The revery alone will do,
If bees are few.

“I heard a Fly buzz – when I died -“
by Emily Dickinson

I heard a Fly buzz – when I died –
The Stillness in the Room
Was like the Stillness in the Air –
Between the Heaves of Storm –

The Eyes around – had wrung them dry –
And Breaths were gathering firm
For that last Onset – when the King
Be witnessed – in the Room –

I willed my Keepsakes – Signed away
What portion of me be
Assignable – and then it was
There interposed a Fly –

With Blue – uncertain – stumbling Buzz –
Between the light – and me –
And then the Windows failed – and then
I could not see to see –

This Date in Art History: Born 15 May 1930 – Jasper Johns, an American painter and sculptor.

Below – “Three Flags”; “Target”; Untitled; “Periscope I”; “Red Cicada”; “Thermometer.”

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

“A fool can’t help but be a fool, but when others follow, he makes a fool of us all.” ― DaShanne Stokes.

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Sentient in Seattle – 14 May 2018

Musings in Spring: Alain de Botton

“Though it may feel otherwise, enjoying life is no more dangerous than apprehending it with continuous anxiety and gloom.”

Art for Spring – Part I of II: Reid Gardner (American, contemporary)

Below – “Wine Glass with Cut Green Apple”; Untitled Landscape; “Strawberries and Currants”

Remembering a Writer on the Date of His Death: Died 14 May 2006 – Stanley Kunitz, an American poet and translator.

“End of Summer”
by Stanley Kunitz

An agitation of the air,
A perturbation of the light
Admonished me the unloved year
Would turn on its hinge that night.

I stood in the disenchanted field
Amid the stubble and the stones,
Amazed, while a small worm lisped to me
The song of my marrow-bones.

Blue poured into summer blue,
A hawk broke from his cloudless tower,
The roof of the silo blazed, and I knew
That part of my life was over.

Already the iron door of the north
Clangs open: birds, leaves, snows
Order their populations forth,
And a cruel wind blows.

Art for Spring – Part II of II: Eugene Garin (Russian, 1922-1994)

Below – Untitled Winter Seascape; “Meadow”; “Cabin in the Snow”

Worth a Thousand Words: Mount Adams, Washington.

This Date in Art History: Born 14 May 1727 – Thomas Gainsborough, an English painter.

Below – “The Blue Boy”; “Girl with Pigs”; “Coastal Landscape with a Shepherd and His Flock”; “The Painter’s Daughters Chasing a Butterfly”; “Colonel John Bullock”; “The Linley Sisters.”

Remembering a Writer on the Date of His Birth: Born 14 May 1900 – Hal Borland, an American author, journalist, and naturalist.

Some quotes from the work of Hal Borland:

“No winter lasts forever; no spring skips its turn.”
“The longer I live and the more I read, the more certain I become that the real poems about spring aren’t written on paper. They are written in the back pasture and the near meadow, and they are issued in a new revised edition every April.”
“If you would know strength and patience, welcome the company of trees.”
“Each new season grows from the leftovers from the past. That is the essence of change, and change is the basic law.”
“To see a hillside white with dogwood bloom is to know a particular ecstasy of beauty, but to walk the gray Winter woods and find the buds which will resurrect that beauty in another May is to partake of continuity.”
“The earth’s distances invite the eye. And as the eye reaches, so must the mind stretch to meet these new horizons. I challenge anyone to stand with autumn on a hilltop and fail to see a new expanse not only around him, but in him, too.”
“April is a promise that May is bound to keep.”

This Date in Art History: Died 14 May 1953 – Yasuo Kuniyoshi, an American painter and photographer: Part I of II.

Below – “Little Joe With Cow”; “Strong Woman and Child”; “Boy Stealing Fruit”; “Somebody Tore My Poster”; “Dream”; “Self-Portrait.”

Musings in Spring: Bryan Lee O’Malley

“Every time you look up at the stars, it’s like opening a door. You could be anyone, anywhere. You could be yourself at any moment in your life. You open that door and you realize you’re the same person under the same stars. Camping out in the backyard with your best friend, eleven years old. Sixteen, driving alone, stopping at the edge of the city, looking up at the same stars. Walking a wooded path, kissing in the moonlight, look up and you’re eleven again. Chasing cats in a tiny town, you’re eleven again, you’re sixteen again. You’re in a rowboat. You’re staring out the back of a car. Out here where the world begins and ends, it’s like nothing ever stops happening.”

This Date in Art History: Died 14 May 1953 – Yasuo Kuniyoshi, an American painter and photographer: Part II of II.

Below – “Circus Girl Resting”; “Waitresses from the Sparhawk”; ‘“Weathervane and Objects on a Sofa”; “Cock Calling the Dawn”; “Self-Portrait as a Photographer.”

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

“Shallow intellect is worse than ignorance. Ignorance can be treated with knowledge, but shallow intellect, that is illusion of knowledge, is untreatable and quite dangerous to the progress and wellbeing of humanity.” ― Abhijit Naskar, neuroscientist and author.

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13 May 2018 – Mother’s Day

Happy Mother’s Day

Below – James McNeill Whistler: “Arrangement in Grey and Black No. 1” (“Whistler’s Mother”)

A Poem for Mother’s Day

“To a Child”
by Sophie Jewett

The leaves talked in the twilight, dear;
Hearken the tale they told:
How in some far-off place and year,
Before the world grew old,

I was a dreaming forest tree,
You were a wild, sweet bird
Who sheltered at the heart of me
Because the north wind stirred;

How, when the chiding gale was still,
When peace fell soft on fear,
You stayed one golden hour to fill
My dream with singing, dear.

To-night the self-same songs are sung
The first green forest heard;
My heart and the gray world grow young—
To shelter you, my bird.

Art for Mother’s Day – Gustav Klimt: “Mother and Child”

Musings on Mother’s Day: Gail Tsukiyama

“Mothers and their children are in a category all their own. There’s no bond so strong in the entire world. No love so instantaneous and forgiving.”

Art for Mother’s Day – Mary Cassatt: “Mother and Child”

A Poem for Mother’s Day

“Rock Me to Sleep”
by Elizabeth Akers Allen

Backward, turn backward, O Time, in your flight,
Make me a child again just for tonight!
Mother, come back from the echoless shore,
Take me again to your heart as of yore;
Kiss from my forehead the furrows of care,
Smooth the few silver threads out of my hair;
Over my slumbers your loving watch keep;—
Rock me to sleep, mother, – rock me to sleep!

Backward, flow backward, O tide of the years!
I am so weary of toil and of tears,—
Toil without recompense, tears all in vain,—
Take them, and give me my childhood again!
I have grown weary of dust and decay,—
Weary of flinging my soul-wealth away;
Weary of sowing for others to reap;—
Rock me to sleep, mother – rock me to sleep!

Tired of the hollow, the base, the untrue,
Mother, O mother, my heart calls for you!
Many a summer the grass has grown green,
Blossomed and faded, our faces between:
Yet, with strong yearning and passionate pain,
Long I tonight for your presence again.
Come from the silence so long and so deep;—
Rock me to sleep, mother, – rock me to sleep!

Over my heart, in the days that are flown,
No love like mother-love ever has shone;
No other worship abides and endures,—
Faithful, unselfish, and patient like yours:
None like a mother can charm away pain
From the sick soul and the world-weary brain.
Slumber’s soft calms o’er my heavy lids creep;—
Rock me to sleep, mother, – rock me to sleep!

Come, let your brown hair, just lighted with gold,
Fall on your shoulders again as of old;
Let it drop over my forehead tonight,
Shading my faint eyes away from the light;
For with its sunny-edged shadows once more
Haply will throng the sweet visions of yore;
Lovingly, softly, its bright billows sweep;—
Rock me to sleep, mother, – rock me to sleep!

Mother, dear mother, the years have been long
Since I last listened your lullaby song:
Sing, then, and unto my soul it shall seem
Womanhood’s years have been only a dream.
Clasped to your heart in a loving embrace,
With your light lashes just sweeping my face,
Never hereafter to wake or to weep;—
Rock me to sleep, mother, – rock me to sleep!

Art for Mother’s Day – Edmund Charles Tarbell: “Mother and Child in a Boat”

Musings on Mother’s Day: Cammie McGovern

“This is what we do, my mother’s life said. We find ourselves in the sacrifices we make.”

Art for Mother’s Day – Georges Laugee: “A Mother Holding Her Child”

A Poem for Mother’s Day

“Not Here”
by Jane Kenyon

Searching for pillowcases trimmed
with lace that my mother-in-law
once made, I open the chest of drawers
upstairs to find that mice
have chewed the blue and white linen
dishtowels to make their nest,
and bedded themselves
among embroidered dresser scarves
and fingertip towels.

Tufts of fibers, droppings like black
caraway seeds, and the stains of birth
and afterbirth give off the strong
unforgettable attar of mouse
that permeates an old farmhouse
on humid summer days.

A couple of hickory nuts
roll around as I lift out
the linens, while a hail of black
sunflower shells
falls on the pillowcases,
yellow with age, but intact.
I’ll bleach them and hang them in the sun
to dry. There’s almost no one left
who knows how to crochet lace….

The bright-eyed squatters are not here.
They’ve scuttled out to the fields
for summer, as they scuttled in
for winter—along the wall, from chair
to skirted chair, making themselves
flat and scarce while the cat
dozed with her paws in the air,
and we read the mail
or evening paper, unaware.

Art for Mother’s Day – Berte Morisot: “The Cradle”

Musings on Mother’s Day: Donna Ball

“Motherhood is a choice you make everyday, to put someone else’s happiness and well-being ahead of your own, to teach the hard lessons, to do the right thing even when you’re not sure what the right thing is…and to forgive yourself, over and over again, for doing everything wrong.”

Art for Mother’s Day – Pablo Picasso: “Portrait of the Mother of the Artist”

A Poem for Mother’s Day

“Tintype on the Pond, 1925”
By J. Lorraine Brown

Believe it or not,
the old woman said,
and I tried to picture it:
a girl,
the polished white ribs of a roast
tied to her boots with twine,
the twine coated with candle wax
so she could glide
across the ice—
my mother,
skating on bones.

Art for Mother’s Day – Eastman Johnson: “Mother and Child”

Musings on Mother’s Day: Adriana Trigiani

“No one worries about you like your mother, and when she is gone, the world seems unsafe, things that happen unwieldy. You cannot turn to her anymore, and it changes your life forever. There is no one on earth who knew you from the day you were born; who knew why you cried, or when you’d had enough food; who knew exactly what to say when you were hurting; and who encouraged you to grow a good heart. When that layer goes, whatever is left of your childhood goes with her.”

Art for Mother’s Day – Adolphe Jourdan: “A Mother’s Embrace”

A Poem for Mother’s Day

“Your Clothes”
by Judith Kroll

Of course they are empty shells, without hope of animation.
Of course they are artifacts.

Even if my sister and I should wear some,
or if we give others away,

they will always be your clothes without you,
as we will always be your daughters without you.

Art for Mother’s Day – Hippolyte Camille Delpy: “Mother and Child in the Garden”

Musings on Mother’s Day: Theodore Hesburgh

“The most important thing a father can do for his children is to love their mother.”

Art for Mother’s Day – Edward Hopper: “Elizabeth Griffith Smith Hopper, The Artist’s Mother”

A Poem for Mother’s Day

‘“What I Learned From My Mother”
by Julia Kasdorf

I learned from my mother how to love
the living, to have plenty of vases on hand
in case you have to rush to the hospital
with peonies cut from the lawn, black ants
still stuck to the buds. I learned to save jars
large enough to hold fruit salad for a whole
grieving household, to cube home-canned pears
and peaches, to slice through maroon grape skins
and flick out the sexual seeds with a knife point.
I learned to attend viewings even if I didn’t know
the deceased, to press the moist hands
of the living, to look in their eyes and offer
sympathy, as though I understood loss even then.
I learned that whatever we say means nothing,
what anyone will remember is that we came.
I learned to believe I had the power to ease
awful pains materially like an angel.
Like a doctor, I learned to create
from another’s suffering my own usefulness, and once
you know how to do this, you can never refuse.
To every house you enter, you must offer
healing: a chocolate cake you baked yourself,
the blessing of your voice, your chaste touch.

Art for Mother’s Day – Paul Gauguin: “Tahitian Woman and Two Children”

A Poem for Mother’s Day

“A Dandelion for My Mother”
by Jean Nordhaus

How I loved those spiky suns,
rooted stubborn as childhood
in the grass, tough as the farmer’s
big-headed children—the mats
of yellow hair, the bowl-cut fringe.
How sturdy they were and how
slowly they turned themselves
into galaxies, domes of ghost stars
barely visible by day, pale
cerebrums clinging to life
on tough green stems.   Like you.
Like you, in the end.   If you were here,
I’d pluck this trembling globe to show
how beautiful a thing can be
a breath will tear away.

Art for Mother’s Day – Frederick Lord Leighton: “Mother and Child”

A Poem for Mother’s Day

“To Any Reader”
by Robert Louis Stevenson

As from the house your mother sees
You playing round the garden trees,
So you may see, if you will look
Through the windows of this book,
Another child, far, far away,
And in another garden, play.
But do not think you can at all,
By knocking on the window, call
That child to hear you. He intent
Is all on his play-business bent.
He does not hear; he will not look,
Nor yet be lured out of this book.
For, long ago, the truth to say,
He has grown up and gone away,
And it is but a child of air
That lingers in the garden there.

Art for Mother’s Day – Claude Monet: “Camille Monet and a Child in the Artist’s Garden in Argenteuil”

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Sojourning in San Francisco – 12 May 2018

Musings in Spring: John O’Donohue

“All you can ever achieve is a sense of your soul. You gain little glimpses of its light, colors, and contours. You feel the inspiration of its possibilities and the wonder of its mysteries.”

Art for Spring – Part I of II: Wilfrido Garcia (Filipino, contemporary)

Below – “Shifting From Light to Dark”; “Dockside Dreams”; “Firewoman”

Remembering a Writer on the Date of Her Death: Died 12 May 1925 – Amy Lowell, an American poet, critic, and recipient of the Pulitzer Prize.

“Two Lacquer Prints”
by Amy Lowell

The Emperor’s Garden

Once, in the sultry heat of midsummer,
An Emperor caused the miniature mountains in his garden
To be covered with white silk,
That so crowned,
They might cool his eyes
With the sparkle of snow.


A wise man,
Watching the stars pass across the sky,
In the upper air the fireflies move more slowly.

Art for Spring – Part II of II: Rick Garcia (American, contemporary)

Below – “Body of Work”; “Summer”; “New Hope – Atlantis”

Remembering a Writer on the Date of His Birth: Born 12 May 1921 – Farley Mowat, a Canadian writer, environmentalist, and author of “Never Cry Wolf.”

Some quotes from the work of Farley Mowat:

“We have doomed the wolf not for what it is, but for what we deliberately and mistakenly perceive it to be –the mythologized epitome of a savage ruthless killer – which is, in reality, no more than a reflected image of ourself.”
“Somewhere to the eastward a wolf howled; lightly, questioningly. I knew the voice, for I had heard it many times before. It was George, sounding the wasteland for an echo from the missing members of his family. But for me it was a voice which spoke of the lost world which once was ours before we chose the alien role; a world which I had glimpsed and almost entered…only to be excluded, at the end, by my own self.”
“…the three cardinal tenets of rum drinking in Newfoundland. The first of these is that as soon as a bottle is placed on a table it must be opened. This is done to ‘let the air get at it and carry off the black vapors.’ The second tenet is that a bottle, once opened, must never be restoppered, because of the belief that it will then go bad. No bottle of rum has ever gone bad in Newfoundland, but none has ever been restoppered, so there is no way of knowing whether this belief is reasonable. The final tenet is that an open bottle must be drunk as rapidly as possible ‘before all to-good goes out of it.’”
“Whenever and wherever men have engaged in the mindless slaughter of animals (including other men), they have often attempted to justify their acts by attributing the most vicious or revolting qualities to those they would destroy; and the less reason there is for the slaughter, the greater the campaign for vilification.”
“It is to this new-found resolution to reassert our indivisibility with life, to recognize the obligations incumbent upon us as the most powerful and deadly species ever to exist, and to begin making amends for the havoc we have wrought, that my own hopes for a revival and continuance of life on earth now turn. If we persevere in this new way we may succeed in making man humane … at last.”

This Date in Art History: Born 12 May 1828 – Dante Gabriel Rossetti, an English painter.

Below – ‘Proserpine”; “Beata Beatrix”; “The Beloved”; “The Day Dream”; “Sibylla Palmifera”; “Lady Lilith.”

Worth a Thousand Words: A pink sand beach in Bermuda.

This Date in Art History: Born 12 May 1873 – J. E. H. MacDonald, a Canadian painter.

Below – “Falls, Montreal River”; “Lake McArthur, Yoho Park”; “The Solemn Land”; “The Tangled Garden”; “Dark Autumn, Rocky Mountains”; “Mountain Solitude, Lake Oesa.”

Remembering a Writer on the Date of His Death: Died 12 May 1967 – John Masefield, and English poet, author, and Poet Laureate of the United Kingdom from 1930.

“Sea Fever”
by John Masefield

I must go down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky,
And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by;
And the wheel’s kick and the wind’s song and the white sail’s shaking,
And a grey mist on the sea’s face, and a grey dawn breaking.

I must go down to the seas again, for the call of the running tide
Is a wild call and a clear call that may not be denied;
And all I ask is a windy day with the white clouds flying,
And the flung spray and the blown spume, and the sea-gulls crying.

I must go down to the seas again, to the vagrant gypsy life,
To the gull’s way and the whale’s way where the wind’s like a whetted knife;
And all I ask is a merry yarn from a laughing fellow-rover,
And quiet sleep and a sweet dream when the long trick’s over.

This Date in Art History: Born 12 May 1949 – Ross Bleckner, an American painter.

Below – Untitled; Untitled; Untitled; Untitled; Untitled; Untitled.

Remembering a Great Performer and Critic on the Date of His Birth: Born 12 May 1937 – George Carlin, an American stand-up comedian, actor, author, and social critic.

Some quotes from the work of George Carlin:

“Have you ever noticed that anybody driving slower than you is an idiot, and anyone going faster than you is a maniac?”
“That’s why they call it the American Dream, because you have to be asleep to believe it.”
“If you try to fail, and succeed, which have you done?”
“The main reason Santa is so jolly is because he knows where all the bad girls live.”
“Religion has actually convinced people that there’s an invisible man living in the sky who watches everything you do, every minute of every day. And the invisible man has a special list of ten things he does not want you to do. And if you do any of these ten things, he has a special place, full of fire and smoke and burning and torture and anguish, where he will send you to live and suffer and burn and choke and scream and cry forever and ever ’til the end of time!
But He loves you. He loves you, and He needs money! He always needs money! He’s all-powerful, all-perfect, all-knowing, and all-wise, somehow just can’t handle money!”
“Think of how stupid the average person is, and realize half of them are stupider than that.”
“I went to a bookstore and asked the saleswoman, ‘Where’s the self-help section?’ She said if she told me, it would defeat the purpose.”
“I don’t like ass kissers, flag wavers or team players. I like people who buck the system. Individualists. I often warn people: “Somewhere along the way, someone is going to tell you, ‘There is no “I” in team.’ What you should tell them is, ‘Maybe not. But there is an “I” in independence, individuality and integrity.'” Avoid teams at all cost. Keep your circle small. Never join a group that has a name. If they say, “We’re the So-and-Sos,” take a walk. And if, somehow, you must join, if it’s unavoidable, such as a union or a trade association, go ahead and join. But don’t participate; it will be your death. And if they tell you you’re not a team player, congratulate them on being observant.”
“There are nights when the wolves are silent and only the moon howls.”

American Art – Danny Garcia (1929-2012)

In the words of one writer, “Mr. Garcia started his Garcia Gallery with his wife Carmen in the 1950s as a one-room operation in Carmel and later expanded to include full gallery locations on Dolores Street and a second location on Ocean Avenue. His 6,000 impressionist paintings have been acquired by collectors worldwide.Two years of combat service on a Navy destroyer during the Korean War left an imprint on his renderings of landscapes and urban scenes. He studied art and architecture at Monterey Peninsula College, and his work ranges in style from realism to abstraction.”

Below – “Spring Floral”; “Fish”; Untitled Cypress; “Still Life”; “Monterey Fishing Ships”; “Artist Wife Nude Abstract.”

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

“Never underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups.” – George Carlin.

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Sojourning in San Francisco – 11 May 2018

Musings in Spring: Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

“For age is opportunity no less
Than youth itself, though in another dress,
And as the evening twilight fades away
The sky is filled with stars, invisible by day.”

Art for Spring – Part I of II: Byron Galvez (Mexican, 1941-2009)

Below – “Dialogue”; “Rosa”; “Woman Bathing”

For Your Information: 11 May is National Eat What You Want Day in the United States.

Art for Spring – Part II of II: Bernard Gantner (French, contemporary)

Below – Untitled Landscape; Untitled Landscape with Cottage; “Les Verts Pasturages”

Remembering a Writer on the Date of His Death: Died 11 May 1920 – William Dean Howells, an American novelist, literary critic, and playwright.

Some quotes from the work of William Dean Howells:

“Some people stay longer in an hour than others do in a month.”
“Each one of us must suffer long to himself before he can learn that he is but one in a great community of wretchedness which has been pitilessly repeating itself from the foundation of the world.”
“A friend knows how to allow for mere quantity in your talk, and only replies to the quality.”
“The secret of a man who is universally interesting is that he is universally interested.”
“It is the still, small voice that the soul heeds, not the deafening blasts of doom.”
“You’ll find as you grow older that you weren’t born such a great while ago after all. The time shortens up.”

This Date in Art History: Born 11 May 1827 – Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux, a French sculptor and painter.

Below – “Flora” (marble); “The Dance” (plaster); “Cupid Disarmed” (bronze); “Street Scene”; “Girl with a Shell” (marble); “Neapolitan Fisherboy” (bronze).

Worth a Thousand Words: Multnomah Falls, Oregon.

This Date in Art History: Born 11 May 1889 – Paul Nash, a British painter.

Below – “Spring in the Trenches, Ridge Wood”; “Landscape in a Dream”; “The Garden at Iver Heath”; “Battle of Britain”; “Dead Sea”; “The Cherry Orchard.”

Remembering a Writer on the Date of His Death: Died 11 May 2001 – Douglas Adams, an English writer, screenwriter, humorist, satirist, dramatist, and author of “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.”

Some quotes from the work of Douglas Adams:

“We are stuck with technology when what we really want is just stuff that works.”
“Anything that is in the world when you’re born is normal and ordinary and is just a natural part of the way the world works. Anything that’s invented between when you’re fifteen and thirty-five is new and exciting and revolutionary and you can probably get a career in it. Anything invented after you’re thirty-five is against the natural order of things.”
“We don’t have to save the world. The world is big enough to look after itself. What we have to be concerned about is whether or not the world we live in will be capable of sustaining us in it.”
“A common mistake that people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools.”
“There is an art, it says, or rather, a knack to flying. The knack lies in learning how to throw yourself at the ground and miss. … Clearly, it is this second part, the missing, which presents the difficulties.”
I”f we think that the world is here for us we will continue to destroy it the way we have been destroying it, because we think we can do no harm.”
“Let us think the unthinkable, let us do the undoable, let us prepare to grapple with the ineffable itself, and see if we may not eff it after all.”

This Date in Art History: Born 11 May 1902 – Karl Parsimagi, an Estonian painter.

Below – “Jeune fille a la fenêtre”; “Femme japonaise”; “Interieur”; “Portrait de femme”; “Une hache dans la lune”; “Nu.”

A Poem for Today

“Sleeping in the Forest”
by Mary Oliver

I thought the earth remembered me,
she took me back so tenderly,
arranging her dark skirts, her pockets
full of lichens and seeds.
I slept as never before, a stone on the river bed,
nothing between me and the white fire of the stars
but my thoughts, and they floated light as moths
among the branches of the perfect trees.
All night I heard the small kingdoms
breathing around me, the insects,
and the birds who do their work in the darkness.
All night I rose and fell, as if in water,
grappling with a luminous doom. By morning
I had vanished at least a dozen times
into something better.

Below – Kinuko Craft: “Lady in the Meadow”

This Date in Art History: Died 11 May 1967 – James E. Brewton, an American painter.

Below – “Portrait of Edgar Allan Poe”; “No Birds in the Sky”; “X”; “Portrait of Charles Baudelaire”; “Ubu Becomes King”; “Homage to Modigliani.”

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