Sentient in San Francisco – 18 February 2020

This Date in Art History: Born 18 February 1860 – Anders Zorn, a Swedish painter, sculptor, and etcher.

Below – “Sommarnoje; “Awakening”; “Mrs. Walter Rathbone Bacon”; “Emma Zorn, reading”; “Mme Ashley.”

This Date in Literary History: Born 18 February 1955 – Lisa See, an an award-winning American writer, novelist, and author of “On Gold Mountain: The One-Hundred Year Odyssey of My Chinese-American Family” and “Shanghai Girls.”

Some quotes from the work of Lisa See:

“Don’t ever feel that you have to hide who you are. Nothing good ever comes from keeping secrets like that.”
“People come in and out of our lives, and the true test of friendship is whether you can pick back up right where you left off the last time you saw each other.”
“I wonder if there was anything I would have done differently. I hope I would have done everything differently, except I know everything would have turned out the same. That’s the meaning of fate.”
“When you don’t have much, having less isn’t so bad.”
“I would rather be married to broken jade than flawless clay.”
“Maybe we’re all like that with our mothers. They seem ordinary until one day they’re extraordinary.”

Contemporary Spanish Art – Martta Garcia

Below – “Imaginación por aproximación”; “Nuestros límites”; “Personajes Secundarios”; “Invisible II”; “En dos dimensiones”; “Perspectiva.”

This Date in Literary History: Born 18 February 1883 – Nikos Kazantzakis, a Greek novelist, playwright, philosopher, author of “Zorba the Greek,” and nine-time nominee for the Nobel Prize in Literature.

Some quotes from the work of Nikos Kazantzakis:

“What is love? It is not simply compassion, not simply kindness. In compassion there are two: the one who suffers and the one who feels compassion. In kindness there are two: the one who gives and the one who receives. But in love there is only one; the two join, unite, become inseparable. The I and the you vanish. To love means to lose oneself in the beloved.”
“True teachers are those who use themselves as bridges over which they invite their students to cross; then, having facilitated their crossing, joyfully collapse, encouraging them to create their own.
“Since we cannot change reality, let us change the eyes which see reality.”
“The landscape affects the human psyche – the soul, the body and the innermost contemplations – like music. Every time you feel nature deeper you resonate better with her, finding new elements of balance and freedom.”
“All my life one of my greatest desires has been to travel – to see and touch unknown countries, to swim in unknown seas, to circle the globe, observing new lands, seas, people, and ideas with insatiable appetite, to see everything for the first time and for the last time, casting a slow, prolonged glance, then to close my eyes and feel the riches deposit themselves inside me calmly or stormily according to their pleasure, until time passes them at last through its fine sieve, straining the quintessence out of all the joys and sorrows.”
“I was happy, I knew that. While experiencing happiness, we have difficulty in being conscious of it. Only when the happiness is past and we look back on it do we suddenly realize – sometimes with astonishment – how happy we had been.”
“Happy is the man, I thought, who, before dying, has the good fortune to sail the Aegean sea.”
“I felt once more how simple and frugal a thing is happiness: a glass of wine, a roast chestnut, a wretched little brazier, the sound of the sea. Nothing else.”

Contemporary South Korean Art – Youngseon You

Below – “She’s getting ready to go out”; “Perfume”; “Monet – 153”; “company”; “Fighting – to her”; “Narcissism”: “Moon jar – Dream.”

This Date in Literary History: Born 18 February 1909 – Wallace Stegner, an American novelist, short story writer, historian, environmentalist, author of “The Angle of Repose” and “The Spectator Bird,” and recipient of both the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize.

Some quotes from the work of Wallace Stegner:

“Whatever landscape a child is exposed to early on, that will be the sort of gauze through which he or she will see all the world afterwards.”
“Something will have gone out of us as a people if we ever let the remaining wilderness be destroyed … We simply need that wild country available to us, even if we never do more than drive to its edge and look in.”
“One cannot be pessimistic about the West. This is the native home of hope. When it fully learns that cooperation, not rugged individualism, is the quality that most characterizes and preserves it, then it will have achieved itself and outlived its origins. Then it has a chance to create a society to match its scenery.”
“National parks are the best idea we ever had. Absolutely American, absolutely democratic, they reflect us at our best rather than our worst.”
“Something will have gone out of us as a people if we ever let the remaining wilderness be destroyed; if we permit the last virgin forests to be turned into comic books and plastic cigarette cases; if we drive the few remaining members of the wild species into zoos or to extinction; if we pollute the last clear air and dirty the last clean streams and push our paved roads through the last of the silence.”
“The brook would lose its song if we removed the rocks.”
“You have to get over the color green; you have to quit associating beauty with gardens and lawns; you have to get used to an inhuman scale; you have to understand geological time.”
“Be proud of every scar on your heart, each one holds a lifetime’s worth of lessons.”
“No place is a place until it has found its poet.”
“What is such a resource worth? Anything it costs. If we never hike it or step into its shade, if we only drive by occasionally and see the textures of green mountainside change under wind and sun, or the fog move soft feathers down the gulches, or the last sunset on the continent redden the sky beyond the ridge, we have our money’s worth. We have been too efficient at destruction; we have left our souls too little space to breathe in. Every green natural place we save saves a fragment of our sanity and gives us a little more hope that we have a future.”
“American individualism, much celebrated and cherished, has developed without its essential corrective, which is belonging.”
“I wonder if ever again Americans can have that experience of returning to a home place so intimately known, profoundly felt, deeply loved, and absolutely submitted to? It is not quite true that you can’t go home again. I have done it, coming back here. But it gets less likely. We have had too many divorces, we have consumed too much transportation, we have lived too shallowly in too many places.”
“I gave my heart to the mountains the minute I stood beside this river with its spray in my face and watched it thunder into foam, smooth to green glass over sunken rocks, shatter to foam again. I was fascinated by how it sped by and yet was always there; its roar shook both the earth and me.”

Contemporary American Art – Leslie Singer

Below – “Got A Secret”; “Valeria in Red”; “Katya”; “Dreaming”; “The Dealer”; “The Revelers.”

This Date in Literary History: Born 18 February 1926 – A. R. Ammons, an American poet, critic, and two-time recipient of the National Book Award.

by A. R. Ammons

I look for the way
things will turn
out spiralling from a center,
the shape
things will take to come forth in

so that the birch tree white
touched black at branches
will stand out
totally its apparent self:

I look for the forms
things want to come as

from what black wells of possibility,
how a thing will

not the shape on paper — though
that, too — but the
uninterfering means on paper:

not so much looking for the shape
as being available
to any shape that may be
summoning itself
through me
from the self not mine but ours.

Below – Jim Lagasse: “Silver Birch Trees”

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