Sentient in San Francisco – 22 July 2019

This Date in Art History: Born 22 July 1882 – Edward Hopper, an American painter.

Below – “Nighthawks”; “Automat”; “Chop Suey”; “New York Movie”; “Gas”; “Rooms for Tourists.”

This Date in Literary History: Born 22 July 1849 – Emma Lazarus, an American poet essayist, translator, activist, and author of “The New Colossus,” the lines of which are inscribed on a bronze plaque on the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty.

“The New Colossus”
by Emma Lazarus

Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.

“Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she
With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”


This Date in Art History: Born 22 July 1929 – Neil Welliver, an American painter: Part I of II.

Below – “Illusory Flowage”; “Birches”; “Synthetic Blue St. John”; “Pileated Woodpecker”; “Figures Under Tree”; “Amon’s Orchard.”


This Date in Literary History: Died 22 July 1967 – Carl Sandburg, an American poet, biographer, and three-time recipient of the Pulitzer Prize.

“Fog”
by Carl Sandburg

The fog comes
on little cat feet.

It sits looking
over harbor and city
on silent haunches
and then moves on.

This Date in Art History: Born 22 July 1929 – Neil Welliver, an American painter: Part II of II.

Below – “Red Slips”; “Maine Woodland”; “Cascade”; “Canadian Geese”; “Osprey’s Nest”; “Night Scene.”


A Poem for Today

“Grandpa Vogt’s – 1959”
by Ben Vogt

The food is on the table. Turkey tanned
to a cowboy boot luster, potatoes mashed
and mounded in a bowl whose lip is lined
with blue flowers linked by grey vines faded
from washing. Everyone’s heads have turned
to elongate the table’s view—a last supper twisted
toward a horizon where the Christmas tree, crowned
by a window, sets into itself half inclined.
Each belly cries. Each pair of eyes admonished
by Aunt Photographer. Look up. You’re wined
and dined for the older folks who’ve pined
to see your faces, your lives, lightly framed
in this moment’s flash. Parents are moved,
press their children’s heads up from the table,
hide their hunger by rubbing lightly wrinkled
hands atop their laps. They’ll hold the image
as long as need be, seconds away from grace.


Contemporary American Art – Brooke Sauer

Artist Statement: “Regardless of what medium I employ, my work celebrates my love and awe of nature. In my newest series of cyanotypes I combine my background in painting with my love of photography and botany as I explore a sense of place and observe how native and non native species of flora and fauna in various environments co-exist with one another. My unique hand painted cyanotypes are a blend of painting, collage, printmaking, and alternative photography. “

Below – “Trail Grazers”; “Camouflage”; “Yosemite Dusk”; “Little Bighorn”; “le petite bison”; “Pounce.”


This Date in Literary History: Born 22 July 1932 – Tom Robbins, an American novelist and author of “Another Roadside Attraction” and “Even Cowgirls Get the Blues.”

Some quotes from the work of Tom Robbins:

“When we’re incomplete, we’re always searching for somebody to complete us. When, after a few years or a few months of a relationship, we find that we’re still unfulfilled, we blame our partners and take up with somebody more promising. This can go on and on – series polygamy – until we admit that while a partner can add sweet dimension to our lives, we, each of us, are responsible for our own fulfillment. Nobody else can provide it for us, and to believe otherwise is to delude ourselves dangerously and to program for eventual failure every relationship we enter.”
“We waste time looking for the perfect lover, instead of creating the perfect love.”
“Our greatest human adventure is the evolution of consciousness. We are in this life to enlarge the soul, liberate the spirit, and light up the brain.”
“There are two kinds of people in this world : those who believe there are two kinds of people in this world and those who are smart enough to know better.”
“The only authority I respect is the one that causes butterflies to fly south in fall and north in springtime.”
“Our similarities bring us to a common ground;
Our differences allow us to be fascinated by each other.”
“Disbelief in magic can force a poor soul into believing in government and business.”
“There is no such thing as a weird human being, It’s just that some people require more understanding than others.”
“Humanity has advanced, when it has advanced, not because it has been sober, responsible, and cautious, but because it has been playful, rebellious, and immature.”
“Amnesia is not knowing who one is and wanting desperately to find out. Euphoria is not knowing who one is and not caring. Ecstasy is knowing exactly who one is – and still not caring.”
“The unhappy person resents it when you try to cheer him up, because that means he has to stop dwelling on himself and start paying attention to the universe. Unhappiness is the ultimate form of self-indulgence. When you’re unhappy, you get to pay a lot of attention to yourself. You get to take yourself oh so very seriously.”
“We’re our own dragons as well as our own heroes, and we have to rescue ourselves from ourselves.”
“Of the Seven Dwarfs, the only one who shaved was Dopey. That should tell us something about the wisdom of shaving.”
“When two people meet and fall in love, there’s a sudden rush of magic. Magic is just naturally present then. We tend to feed on that gratuitous magic without striving to make any more. One day we wake up and find that the magic is gone. We hustle to get it back, but by then it’s usually too late, we’ve used it up. What we have to do is work like hell at making additional magic right from the start. It’s hard work, but if we can remember to do it, we greatly improve our chances of making love stay.”
“The world is a wonderfully weird place, consensual reality is significantly flawed, no institution can be trusted, certainty is a mirage, security a delusion, and the tyranny of the dull mind forever threatens — but our lives are not as limited as we think they are, all things are possible, laughter is holier than piety, freedom is sweeter than fame, and in the end it’s love and love alone that really matters.”
“Throughout most of our history, nothing – not flood, famine, plague, or new weapons – has endangered humanity one-tenth as much as the narcissistic ego, with its self-aggrandizing presumptions and its hell-hound spawn of fear and greed.”

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