Sentient in Marin County – 25 November 2018

This Date in Art History: Born 25 November 1945 – Patrick Nagel, an American painter and illustrator.

Below – “Woman with Balance Scale in Background”; “Black and White Robe”; “Couple with Yellow Sportscar”; Untitled; “Susan”; Untitled.

Musings in Autumn: William Morris

“Yea, I have looked, and seen November there;
The changeless seal of change it seemed to be,
Fair death of things that, living once, were fair;
Bright sign of loneliness too great for me,
Strange image of the dread eternity,
In whose void patience how can these have part,
These outstretched feverish hands, this restless heart?”

Contemporary British Art – Melinda Matyas

Below – “I’ve been here before (dialogue with myself)”; “The stars are a free show”; “The diarist in 1943”; “The Henge Builders”; “Frida as a knight – Homage to Frida Kahlo”; “Nimbus.”

Remembering a Writer on the Date of His Birth: Born 25 November 1893 – Joseph Wood Krutch, an American writer, critic, naturalist, and author of “The Desert Year,” sometimes referred to as “The Cactus ‘Walden’.”

Some quotes from the work of Joseph Wood Krutch:

“If people destroy something replaceable made by mankind, they are called vandals; if they destroy something irreplaceable made by God, they are called developers.”
“Security depends not so much upon how much you have, as upon how much you can do without.”
“The world of poetry, mythology, and religion represents the world as a man would like to have it, while science represents the world as he gradually comes to discover it.”
“Technology made large populations possible; large populations now make technology indispensable.”
“As machines get to be more and more like men, men will come to be more like machines. ”
“Cats are rather delicate creatures and they are a subject to a good many different ailments, but I have never heard of one who has suffered from insomnia.”
“The wilderness and the idea of wilderness is one of the permanent homes of the human spirit.”
“I have drawn from books written by learned experts and also upon my observation of living creatures in whom I have long delighted and with whom I have perhaps more sympathy than some of those who remain austerely scientific. The intuitions of a lover are not always to be trusted; but neither are those of the loveless.”
“As for this present unhappy time, haunted by ghosts from a dead world and not yet at home in its own, its predicament is not unlike the predicament of the adolescent who has not yet learned to orient himself without reference to the mythology amid which his childhood was passed.”

Contemporary Polish Art – Robert Bubel

Below – “Water”; “Private space. Intimity”; “We are running out of time”; “July 19, Roches de Mariol, moonrise”; “October 25, Roches de Mariol, grey morning”; “Abasia II.”

A Poem for Today

“Solitude Late at Night in the Woods”
by Robert Bly

The body is like a November birch facing the full moon
And reaching into the cold heavens.
In these trees there is no ambition, no sodden body, no leaves,
Nothing but bare trunks climbing like cold fire!

My last walk in the trees has come.  At dawn
I must return to the trapped fields,
To the obedient earth.
The trees shall be reaching all the winter.

It is a joy to walk in the bare woods.
The moonlight is not broken by the heavy leaves.
The leaves are down, and touching the soaked earth,
Giving off the odor that partridges love.

Contemporary Colombian Art – Jesus Leguizamo

Below – “Angel”; “El Gesto”; “Assumption”; “Revert”;
Untitled; “Intrude.”

A Poem for Today

“November, Remembering Voltaire”
by Jane Hirshfield

In the evenings
I scrape my fingernails clean,
hunt through old catalogues for new seed,
oil work boots and shears.
This garden is no metaphor –
more a task that swallows you into itself,
earth using, as always, everything it can.
I lend myself to unpromising winter dirt
with leaf-mold and bulb,
plant into the oncoming cold.
Not that I ever thought the philosopher
meant to be taken literally,
but with no invented God overhead
I conjure a stubborn faith in rotting
that ripens into soil,
in an old corm that flowers steadily each spring –
not symbols but reassurances,
like a mother’s voice at bedtime
reading a long-familiar book, the known words
barely listened to, but bridging
for all the nights of a life
each world to the next.

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