Sentient in Seattle – 28 April 2018

Musings in Spring: Thomas Mann

“Laughter is a sunbeam of the soul.”

Art for Spring – Part I of II: Peter Ellenshaw (British, 1913-2007)

Below – “Vermont Winter”; “Spirit of the Circus”; “Golden Hour – (California Seascape)”

A Poem for Today

by Michael Donaghy

Dearest, note how these two are alike:
This harpsichord pavane by Purcell
And the racer’s twelve-speed bike.

The machinery of grace is always simple.
This chrome trapezoid, one wheel connected
To another of concentric gears,
Which Ptolemy dreamt of and Schwinn perfected,
Is gone. The cyclist, not the cycle, steers.
And in the playing, Purcell’s chords are played away.

So this talk, or touch if I were there,
Should work its effortless gadgetry of love,
Like Dante’s heaven, and melt into the air.

If it doesn’t, of course, I’ve fallen. So much is chance,
So much agility, desire, and feverish care,
As bicyclists and harpsichordists prove

Who only by moving can balance,
Only by balancing move.

Art for Spring – Part II of II: Ray Ellis (American, 1925-2013)

Below – “Study For Passaic at Chatham”; “Napping”; “Edge of the Dunes”

Worth a Thousand Words: Liard Hot Springs, British Columbia, Canada. (A note based on personal experience: Go there now. Now. Nothing you are doing at this moment can possibly be as wonderful as spending a day or two at this incredibly restorative place. Why are you still sitting there reading this? Get up, get in your vehicle, and drive to Liard Springs. If you will be passing through Seattle on your way, stop by my apartment, and I will accompany you. Another personal note: It is just an eight hour drive through incredibly beautiful landscapes from Liard Hot Springs to Whitehorse, Yukon Territory. At long last we could fulfill Huck Finn’s quintessentially American dream and light out for the Territory, my friends.)

This Date in Art History: Born 28 April 1855 – Jose Malhoa, a Portuguese painter.

Below – “Portrait of Laura Sauvinet”; “Clara”; “Corn in the Sun”; “A Siesta”; “Autumn”; “The Artist’s Studio.”

Musings in Spring: Ellen Glasgow

“The only difference between a rut and a grave is their dimensions.”

This Date in Art History: Died 28 April 1992 – Francis Bacon, an Irish-born British painter.

Below – “Portrait of George Dyer Staring at Blind Cord”; “Lying Figure”; “Three Studies of the Male Back”; “Seated figure”; “Triptych.”

A Second Poem for Today

“The First Dream”
by Billy Collins

The Wind is ghosting around the house tonight
and as I lean against the door of sleep
I begin to think about the first person to dream,
how quiet he must have seemed the next morning

as the others stood around the fire
draped in the skins of animals
talking to each other only in vowels,
for this was long before the invention of consonants.

He might have gone off by himself to sit
on a rock and look into the mist of a lake
as he tried to tell himself what had happened,
how he had gone somewhere without going,

how he had put his arms around the neck
of a beast that the others could touch
only after they had killed it with stones,
how he felt its breath on his bare neck.

Then again, the first dream could have come
to a woman, though she would behave,
I suppose, much the same way,
moving off by herself to be alone near water,

except that the curve of her young shoulders
and the tilt of her downcast head
would make her appear to be terribly alone,
and if you were there to notice this,

you might have gone down as the first person
to ever fall in love with the sadness of another.

American Art – Alfred Eisenstaedt (1898-1995)

In the words of one writer, “Alfred Eisenstaedt became known to millions worldwide through his work for LIFE Magazine, which he joined as one of the first four staff photographers in 1935 (when it was still Project X). His 86 covers and over 2500 assignments for LIFE have portrayed the earth-shaking events and influential people of the twentieth century, from the dignity of royalty to the elegance of movie stars, from the passion of scholars to the determination of diplomats.John F. Kennedy, Albert Einstein, Marilyn Monroe, and Winston Churchill are just a few of the luminaries captured forever through Eisenstaedt’s unfailing ability to seize the fleeting essence of the moment.”

Below – “VJ Day 1945”; “An American Block 1989”; “Melon Salesman and Fiddler at a Marketplace in Scott, Mississippi”; “Katherine Hepburn From the Philadelphia Story” (1939); “Farewell to Servicemen, Pennsylvania Station, NYC, 1943”; “Left Bank Street, Paris 1964.”

Musings in Spring: Anatole France

“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.”

Contemporary American Art – Russ Elliott

In the words of one writer, “Russ Elliott is a designer’s painter and likes the challenge of doing custom murals and paintings. His Hibiscus Restaurant project in North Palm Beach, Fl. for Carleton Varney was a testimony of transformation he created with a stroke of a brush. This Everglades mural was a 35-foot high wall and 45-feet in length.”

Below – “Evangeline Waiting”; “Backyard Dryer”; “Abundant Water Lilies”; “Jennifer’s Carousel Horse”; “Young Girl Cooling Off”; “Panthers Watching.”

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