Sentient in Seattle – 31 August 2018

Dear Readers: My last post for a time will be on 2 September. I am about to move from Seattle to San Francisco, and for a wonderful reason: My youngest son and his wife are expecting their first child – and my first grandchild – in October. However, the preparation for and execution of this relocation is going to be both time-consuming and exhausting. Homer wrote, “Hardest of all on mortal man is traveling,” but I think that frequently moving to new places is a close second. This will be my fifth residence in two years, and since you always leave behind something of yourself when you change homes, I am feeling more than a little diminished. I will certainly have internet service by the time Autumn arrives – and hopefully sooner. Until then, I wish everyone a happy end-of-Summer season.

Remembering a Writer on the Date of His Death: Died 31 August 1867 – Charles Baudelaire, a French poet, essayist, art critic, and translator.

“Invitation to the Voyage”
by Charles Baudelaire

Child, Sister, think how sweet to go out there and live together! To love at leisure, love and die in that land that resembles you! For me, damp suns in disturbed skies share mysterious charms with your treacherous eyes as they shine through tears.
There, there’s only order, beauty: abundant, calm, voluptuous.
Gleaming furniture, polished by years passing, would ornament our bedroom; rarest flowers, their odors vaguely mixed with amber; rich ceilings; deep mirrors; an Oriental splendor—everything there would address our souls, privately, in their sweet native tongue.
There, there’s only order, beauty: abundant, calm, voluptuous.
See on these canals those sleeping boats whose mood is vagabond; it’s to satisfy your least desire that they come from the world’s end. —Setting suns reclothe fields, the canals, the whole town, in hyacinth and gold; the world falling asleep in a warm light.

Below – Arthur Barnes: “Bridgewater Canal Boats”

Art for Summer – Part I of II: Rodney Lough, Jr. (American, contemporary)

Below (all panoramic photographs) – “Pale Moon Rising”; “Lines of Light”; “Kingdom of Mountains”

Worth a Thousand Words: Niagara Falls in winter.

Art for Summer – Part II of II: Jia Lu (Chinese, contemporary)

Below – “White Halo”; “Irises”; “Turning”

Remembering a Writer on the Date of Her Death: Died 31 August 1986 – Elizabeth Coatsworth, an American children’s author and recipient of the 1931 Newberry Medal for the wonderful “The Cat Who Went to Heaven.”

Some quotes from the work of Elizabeth Coatsworth:

“The magic of autumn has seized the countryside; now that the sun isn’t ripening anything it shines for the sake of the golden age; for the sake of Eden; to please the moon for all I know.”
“I say that almost everywhere there is beauty enough to fill a person’s life if one would only be sensitive to it. but Henry says No: that broken beauty is only a torment, that one must have a whole beauty with man living in relation to it to have a rich civilization and art. . . . Is it because I am a woman that I accept what crumbs I may have, accept the hot-dog stands and amusement parks if I must, if the blue is bright beyond them and the sunset flushes the breasts of sea birds?”
“We who dance hungry and wild…under a winter’s moon”
“When I dream, I am ageless.”

This Date in Art History: Born 31 August 1935 – Bryan Organ, an English painter.

Below – “The Open Window”; “Ram’s Head”; “Anemone”; “Cat in the Window”; “Magic Tree – Blue”; “Portrait of Majorie Reed.”

For Your Information: 31 August is National Trail Mix Day in the United States.

This Date in Art History: Born 31 August 1956 – Maria Balazova, a Slovak painter and illustrator.

Below – “Time Is Always Against”; “Dragon’s’ Country”; “Impact”; “Man, Dragon and His Country”; “Contact”; “Seven Years of Dreaming.”

Remembering a Writer on the Date of His Birth: Born 31 August 1908 – William Saroyan, an American novelist, playwright, short story writer, and recipient of the 1940 Pulitzer Prize for Drama.

Some quotes from the work of William Saroyan:

“In the time of your life, live – so that in that good time there shall be no ugliness or death for yourself or for any life your life touches. Seek goodness everywhere, and when it is found, bring it out of its hiding-place and let it be free and unashamed…In the time of your life, live – so that in that wondrous time you shall not add to the misery and sorrow of the world, but shall smile to the infinite delight and mystery of it.”
“Try as much as possible to be wholly alive, with all your might, and when you laugh, laugh like hell and when you get angry, get good and angry. Try to be alive. You will be dead soon enough.”
“I have always been a Laugher, disturbing people who are not laughers, upsetting whole audiences at theatres… I laugh, that’s all. I love to laugh. Laugher to me is being alive. I have had rotten times, and I have laughed through them. Even in the midst of the very worst times I have laughed.”
“Everybody has got to die, but I have always believed an exception would be made in my case.”
“My birthplace was California, but I couldn’t forget Armenia, so what is one’s country? Is it land of the earth, in a specific place? Rivers there? Lakes? The sky there? The way the moon comes up there? And the sun? Is one’s country the trees, the vineyards, the grass, the birds, the rocks, the hills and summer and winter? Is it the animal rhythm of the living there? The huts and houses, the streets of cities, the tables and chairs, and the drinking of tea and talking? Is it the peach ripening in summer heat on the bough? Is it the dead in the earth there?”
“The role of art is to make a world which can be inhabited.”
“Unless a man has pity he is not truly a man. If a man has not wept at the world’s pain he is only half a man, and there will always be pain in the world, knowing this does not mean that a man shall despair. A good man will seek to take pain out of things. A foolish man will not even notice it, except in himself, and the poor unfortunate evil man will drive pain deeper into things and spread it about wherever he goes.”

“When I began to wait to live I really began to wait to die.”

This Date in Art History: Born 31 August 1913 – Helen Levitt, an American photographer noted for her “street photography.” According to one writer, Levitt has been called “the most celebrated and least known photographer of her time.”

Below – Eight photographs from Helen Levitt’s extensive body of work.

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