Sentient in San Francisco – 24 January 2019

This Date in Art History: Born 24 January 1872 – Konstantin Bogaevsky, a Russian painter.

Below – “Ships, Evening Sun”; “Tropical Landscape”; “Italian landscape”; “Sea Shore”; “Rainbow”; “Cloud.”

Musings in Winter: Helen Keller

“We could never learn to be brave and patient if there were only joy in the world.”

This Date in Art History: Born 24 January 1926 – Ruth Asawa, an American sculptor.

Below – Six of Ruth Asawa’s sculptures.

A Poem for Today

by Floyd Skloot

My wife sits in her swivel chair
ringed by skeins of multicolored yarn
that will become the summer sweater
she has imagined since September.
Her hand rests on the spinning wheel
and her foot pauses on the pedals
as she gazes out into the swollen river.
Light larking between wind and current
will be in this sweater. So will a shade
of red she saw when the sun went down.
When she is at her wheel, time moves
like the tune I almost recognize now
that she begins to hum it, a lulling
melody born from the draft of fiber,
clack of spindle and bobbin, soft
breath as the rhythm takes hold.

Below – Vincent van Gogh: “Woman at the Spinning Wheel”

Contemporary Canadian Art – Mahdi Almasi

Below – “Mountains”; “Lonely”; “Trees”; “Tree and soil”; “prac”; “my land 3.”

Remembering a Writer on the Date of Her Birth: Born 24 January 1862 – Edith Wharton, an American novelist, short story writer, and the first woman to win the Pulitzer Prize for Literature (1921).

Some quotes from the work of Edith Wharton:

“There are two ways of spreading light: to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it.”
“One can remain alive … if one is unafraid of change, insatiable in intellectual curiosity interested in big things and happy in small ways.”
“I believe I know the only cure, which is to make one’s center of life inside of one’s self, not selfishly or excludingly, but with a kind of unassailable serenity—to decorate one’s inner house so richly that one is content there, glad to welcome anyone who wants to come and stay, but happy all the same when one is inevitably alone.”
“But I have sometimes thought that a woman’s nature is like a great house full of rooms: there is the hall, through which everyone passes in going in and out; the drawing-room, where one receives formal visits; the sitting-room, where the members of the family come and go as they list; but beyond that, far beyond, are other rooms, the handles of whose doors perhaps are never turned; no one knows the way to them, no one knows whither they lead; and in the innermost room, the holy of holies, the soul sits alone and waits for a footstep that never comes.”
“The other producer of old age is habit: the deathly process of doing the same thing in the same way at the same hour day after day, first from carelessness, then from inclination, at last from cowardice or inertia. Luckily the inconsequent life is not the only alternative; for caprice is as ruinous as routine. Habit is necessary; it is the habit of having habits, of turning a trail into a rut, that must be incessantly fought against if one is to remain alive.”
“An education is like a crumbling building that needs constant upkeep with repairs and additions.”
“Life is always either; a tight -rope or a feather-bed . — Give me the tightrope.”
“One of the great things about travel is you find out how many good, kind people there are.”
“When a man says he doesn’t understand a woman it’s because he won’t take the trouble.”
“There’s no such thing as old age, there is only sorrow.”
“Our blindest impulses become evidence of perspicacity when they fall in with the course of events.”
“I don’t know that I should care for a man who made life easy; I should want some one who made it interesting.”
“The real marriage of true minds is for any two people to possess a sense of humor or irony pitched in exactly the same key, so that their joint glances on any subject cross like interarching searchlights.
How much longer are we going to think it necessary to be American before (or in contradistinction to) being cultivated, being enlightened, being humane, and having the same intellectual discipline as other civilized countries?”
“Set wide the window. Let me drink the day.”

Contemporary South Korean Art – Ko byung jun

Below – “Blue Spring vol. 125”; “Blue Spring vol. 110”; “Stranger Series vol. 23”; “Blue Spring vol. 122”; “Blue Spring vol. 124”; “Blue Spring vol. 126.”

A Poem for Today

“Deer Fording the Missouri in Early Afternoon”
by Kevin Cole

Perhaps to those familiar with their ways
The sight would not have been so startling:
A deer fording the Missouri in the early afternoon.

Perhaps they would not have worried as much
As I about the fragility of it all:
Her agonizingly slow pace, the tender ears
And beatific face just above the water.

At one point she hit upon a shoal
And appeared to walk upon a mantle,
The light glancing off her thin legs and black hooves.

I thought she might pause for a while to rest,
To gain some bearings, but instead she bound
Back in, mindful I suppose
Of the vulnerability of open water.

When she finally reached the island
And leapt into dark stands
Of cottonwoods and Russian olives,
I swear I almost fell down in prayer.

And now I long to bear witness of such things,
To tell someone in need the story
Of a deer fording the Missouri in the early afternoon.

Below – Pablo Romero: “Female Deer 01”

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