Sentient in San Francisco – 19 February 2020

This Date in Art History: Born 19 February 1877 – Gabriele Munter, a German painter.

Below – “The Yellow House”; “Meditation”; “Breakfast of the Birds”; “Blauer Kegelberg”; “Morgenschatten”; “Staffelsee.”

This Date in Literary History: Born 19 February 1902 – Kay Boyle, an award-winning American novelist, short story writer, and poet.

Some quotes from the work of Kay Boyle:

“There is only one history of any importance, and it is the history of what you once believed in, and the history of what you came to believe in.”
“Ah, trouble, trouble, there are the two different kinds … there’s the one you give and the other you take.”
“Drink was the most fearsome of deceivers … for it promised one thing and came through with quite another.”
“It takes courage to say things differently: Caution and cowardice dictate the use of the cliché.”
“The puritanical conscience is the coldest and cruelest of all the self-flagellating consciences to bear, for it stamps the sweet abandon out of life entirely. …. The puritanical conscience, with its little grey bonnet tied under its chin….”
“That threshold lying at the entrance to each man’s and woman’s life, I knew without equivocation now, must be recognized and genuflected before.”
“Springtime is a season we tend to forget as we grow older, and yet far back in our memories, like the landscape of a country visited long ago, it’s always there.”


Contemporary British Art – Mike Skidmore

Below – “Identity Crisis”; “Cuckoo”; “Trill”; “Apples and pear on paper”; “Paianissimo”; “Cry me a river.”


This Date in Literary History: Born 19 February 1952 – Amy Tan, an award-winning American novelist, short story writer, essayist, and author of “The Joy Luck Club.”

Some quotes from the work of Amy Tan:

“We dream to give ourselves hope. To stop dreaming – well, that’s like saying you can never change your fate.”
“I was six when my mother taught me the art of invisible strength…’strongest wind cannot be seen.’”
“No two languages are ever sufficiently similar to be considered as representing the same social reality. The worlds in which different societies live are distinct worlds, not merely the same world with different labels attached.”
“And then it occurs to me. They are frightened. In me, they see their own daughters, just as ignorant, just as unmindful of all the truths and hopes they have brought to America. They see daughters who grow impatient when their mothers talk in Chinese, who think they are stupid when they explain things in fractured English. They see that joy and luck do not mean the same to their daughters, that to these closed American-born minds ‘joy luck’ is not a word, it does not exist. They see daughters who will bear grandchildren born without any connecting hope passed from generation to generation.”
“That is the nature of endings, it seems. They never end. When all the missing pieces of your life are found, put together with glue of memory and reason, there are more pieces to be found.”
“I hid my deepest feelings so well I forgot where I placed them.”

ContemporaryDutch Art – Bonnie Severien

Below – “Reflections”; “Anemone Waters”; “Over the Moon”; “Sun & Stars”; “Hidden Treasures”; “Urban Jungle.”

This Date in Literary History: Died 19 February 2016 – Harper Lee, an American novelist, author of “To Kill a Mockingbird,” and recipient of the Pulitzer Prize.

Some quotes from the work of Harper Lee:

“Mockingbirds don’t do one thing but make music for us to enjoy. They don’t eat up people’s gardens, don’t nest in corncribs, they don’t do one thing but sing their hearts out for us. That’s why it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird.”
“As you grow up, always tell the truth, do no harm to others, and don’t think you are the most important being on earth. Rich or poor, you then can look anyone in the eye and say, ‘I’m probably no better than you, but I’m certainly your equal.’”
“The one thing that doesn’t abide by majority rule is a person’s conscience.”
“Now, 75 years later in an abundant society where people have laptops, cell phones, iPods, and minds like empty rooms, I still plod along with books. Instant information is not for me. I prefer to search library stacks because when I work to learn something, I remember it.”
“There’s no substitute for the love of language, for the beauty of an English sentence. There’s no substitute for struggling, if a struggle is needed, to make an English sentence as beautiful as it should be.”

Contemporary British Art – Alan Fears

Below – “The Other Woman”; “American Dreamers”; “The Great Escape”; “The Wild Life”; “The Secret Garden”; “Sick Note.”

This Date in Literary History: Born 19 February 1917 – Carson McCullers, an American novelist, short story writer, playwright, essayist, and author of “The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter.”

Some quotes from the work of Carson McCullers:

“It is a curious emotion, this certain homesickness I have in mind. With Americans, it is a national trait, as native to us as the roller-coaster or the jukebox. It is no simple longing for the home town or country of our birth. The emotion is Janus-faced: we are torn between a nostalgia for the familiar and an urge for the foreign and strange. As often as not, we are homesick most for the places we have never known.”
“Falling in love is the easiest thing in the world. It’s standing in love that matters.”
“I must go home periodically to renew my sense of horror.”
“Love is the bridge that leads from the I sense to the We, and there is a paradox about personal love. Love of another individual opens a new relation between the personality and the world. The lover responds in a new way to nature and may even write poetry. Love is affirmation; it motivates the yes responses and the sense of wider communication. Love casts out fear, and in the security of this togetherness we find contentment, courage. We no longer fear the age-old haunting questions: ‘Who am I?’ ‘Why am I?’ ‘Where am I going?’ – and having cast out fear, we can be honest and charitable.”
“Nothing is so musical as the sound of pouring bourbon for the first drink on a Sunday morning. Not Bach or Schubert or any of those masters.”
“How can the dead be truly dead when they still live in the souls of those who are left behind?”
“To know who you are, you have to have a place to come from.”
“There is no stillness like the quiet of the first cold nights in the fall.”
“The Heart is a lonely hunter with only one desire! To find some lasting comfort in the arms of another’s fire…driven by a desperate hunger to the arms of a neon light, the heart is a lonely hunter when there’s no sign of love in sight!”

Contemporary American Art – BAHMAN: Part I of II.

Artist Statement: “Self-taught artist, my work is influenced by various Schools, from the encaustic paintings of the antiquity ( the Fayum portraits) to the more refined works of the Quattrocento. It combines disparate elements and artifacts from past civilisations. I find my inspiration in mysticism and esotericism with borrowed elements from various Schools of thought.”

Below – “Dancers”; “Woman”; “Memento more”; “Bliss”; “Woman and psychopomp”; “The tree of life.”

This Date in Literary History: Died 19 February 1952 – Knut Hamsun, a Norwegian novelist, poet, short story writer, dramatist, travel writer, essayist, and recipient of the 1920 Nobel Prize in Literature.

Some quotes from the work of Knut Hamsun:

“In old age we are like a batch of letters that someone has sent. We are no longer in the past, we have arrived.”
“An increasing number of people who lead mental lives of great intensity, people who are sensitive by nature, notice the steadily more frequent appearance in them of mental states of great strangeness … a wordless and irrational feeling of ecstasy; or a breath of psychic pain; a sense of being spoken to from afar, from the sky or the sea; an agonizingly developed sense of hearing which can cause one to wince at the murmuring of unseen atoms; an irrational staring into the heart of some closed kingdom suddenly and briefly revealed.”
“No worse fate can befall a young man or woman than becoming prematurely entrenched in prudence and negation.”
“And the great spirit of darkness spread a shroud over me…everything was silent-everything. But upon the heights soughed the everlasting song, the voice of the air, the distant, toneless humming which is never silent.”
“In my solitude, many miles from men and houses, I am in a childishly happy and carefree state of mind, which you are incapable of understanding unless someone explains it to you.”
“Earth and sea merged, the sea tossed itself in the air in a fantastic dance, into the shapes of men and horses and tattered banners. I stood in the lee of an overhanging rock and thought of many things.”
“There is nothing like being left alone again, to walk peacefully with oneself in the woods. To boil one’s coffee and fill one’s pipe, and to think idly and slowly as one does it.”
“‘I love three things,’ I then say. ‘I love a dream of love I once had, I love you, and I love this patch of earth.’
‘And which do you love best?’
‘The dream.’”

Contemporary American Art – BAHMAN: Part II of II.

Artist Statement: “Self-taught artist, my work is influenced by various Schools, from the encaustic paintings of the antiquity ( the Fayum portraits) to the more refined works of the Quattrocento. It combines disparate elements and artifacts from past civilisations. I find my inspiration in mysticism and esotericism with borrowed elements from various Schools of thought.”

Below – “The tree of life”; “The voyagers”; “The tree of life”; “Te great warrior”; “Psychopomp”; “The voyager.”

This Date in Literary History: Born 19 February 1936 – Frederick Seidel, an award-winning American poet.

“Snow”
by Frederick Seidel

Snow is what it does.
It falls and it stays and it goes.
It melts and it is here somewhere.
We all will get there.

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