Sentient in San Francisco – 27 June 2019

This Date in Art History: Died 27 June 2013 – Ian Scott, a New Zealand painter.

Below – “Fly Away Girl”; “Sky Dash”; “Raquel”; “Lattice No. 72”; “Lattice No. 185”; “Model with Cezanne.”


This Date in Literary History: Born 27 June 1953 – Alice McDermott, an American novelist and recipient of the National Book Award.

Some quotes from the work of Alice McDermott:

“We are surrounded by story.”
“The lesson, I suppose, is that none of us have much control over how we will be remembered. Every life is an amalgam, and it is impossible to know what moments, what foibles, what charms will come to define us once we’re gone. All we can do is live our lives fully, be authentically ourselves and trust that the right things about us, the best and most fitting things, will echo in the memories of us that endure.”
“What makes a sentence, a phrase, a moment, or a scene delightful?” “Something about recognizing the truth in it, hearing the music in it, understanding, intuitively perhaps, that the words are just right. It’s not a matter of even context – delight is not limited to scenes or descriptions of happiness or beauty – but of aesthetic appreciation of the thing itself. As a reader, I find it’s that moment when I want to stop reading, and also that moment when I know I can’t. Delight is that it’s what takes me by surprise and reminds me why I love the literary arts above all others.”
“It now appears that the world is filled with people who believe that everyone should be interested in everything they have to say about anything – people who tweet, you might call them. I find this so astonishing, my own hubris pales in comparison.”
“We are at the mercy of time, and for all the ways we are remembered, a sea of things will be lost. But how much is contained in what lingers!”


Contemporary American Art – Gregory Prescott

Below (photographs) – “Desert Ghost”; “Magnolia”; “White Feather”; “Sandy Back.”


Musings in Summer: Gene Hill

“No one can fully understand the meaning of love unless he’s owned a dog. A dog can show you more honest affection with a flick of his tail than a man can gather through a lifetime of handshakes.”


Contemporary Hungarian Art – Krisztian Tejfel

Below – “Spanish heroine”; “Zephyr; “Paing with blood”; “YP”; “F K A”; “I’m beautiful, just wearing a mask.”


This Date in Literary History: Died 27 June 2012 – Rosemary Dobson, an award-winning Australian poet.

“Young Girl at a Window”
by Rosemary Dobson

Lift your hand to the window latch:
Sighing, turn and move away.
More than mortal swords are crossed
On thresholds at the end of day;
The fading air is stained with red
Since Time was killed and now lies dead.

Or Time was lost. But somehow saw
Though nobody spoke and nobody will,
While in the clock against the wall
The guiltless minute hand is still:
The watchful room, the breathless light
Be hosts to you this final night.

Over the gently-turning hills
Travel a journey with your eyes
In forward footsteps, chance assault –
This way the map of living lies.
And this the journey you must go
Through grass and sheaves and, lastly, snow.

Below – Jozef Israels: “A young girl by a window”

Contemporary British Art – Michelle Eva May

Below – “The Waiting”; “Swift”; “Atonement”; “Noah I”; “Grace”; “Shade.”


A Poem for Today

“Once”
by Tara Bray

I climbed the roll of hay to watch the heron
in the pond. He waded a few steps out,
then back, thrusting his beak under water,
pulling it up empty, but only once.
Later I walked the roads for miles, certain
he’d be there when I returned. How is it for him,
day after day, his brittle legs rising
from warm green scum, his graceful neck curled,
damp in the bright heat? It’s a dull world.
Every day, the same roads, the sky,
the dust, the barn caving into itself,
the tin roof twisted and scattered in the yard.
Again, the bank covered with oxeye daisy
that turns to spiderwort, to chicory,
and at last to goldenrod. Each year, the birds—
thick in the air and darting in wild numbers—
grow quiet, the grasses thin, the light leaves
earlier each day. The heron stood
stone-still on my spot when I returned.
And then, his wings burst open, lifting the steel-
blue rhythm of his body into flight.
I touched the warm hay. Hoping for a trace
of his wild smell, I cupped my hands over
my face: nothing but the heat of fields
and skin. It wasn’t long before the world
began to breathe the beat of ordinary hours,
stretching out again beneath the sky.

Below – Ken Wallin: “Blue Heron”

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