Sentient in San Francisco – 20 February 2020

This Date in Art History – Paul Kane

In the words of one writer, Paul Kane (September 3, 1810 – February 20, 1871) was an Irish-born Canadian painter, famous for his paintings of First Nations peoples in the Canadian West and other Native Americans in the Columbia District.

Below – “Medicine Pipe Stem Dance”; “”Flat Head Woman and Child”; “Assiniboine Hunting Buffalo”; “Native American Encampment”; “Interior of a Ceremonial Lodge”; “Mount St. Helens erupting at night.”

This Date in Literary History: Born 20 February 1935 – Ellen Gilchrist, an American novelist, short story writer, poet, author of “Victory Over Japan,” and recipient of the National Book Award.

Some quotes from the work of Ellen Gilchrist:

“Don’t ruin the present with the ruined past.”
“All you have to do to educate a child is leave him alone and teach him to read. The rest is brainwashing.”
“We live at the level of our language. Whatever we can articulate we can imagine or understand or explore.”
“I don’t believe you ever stop loving anyone you ever really loved. You have them there like money in the bank just because you loved them and held them in your arms or dreamed you did. You can forget a lot of things in life, but not that honey to end all honeys.”
“We cannot get from anyone else the things we need to fill the endless terrible need, not to be dissolved, not to sink back into sand, heat, broom, air, thinnest air. And so we revolve around each other and our dreams collide. Look out the window in any weather. We are part of all that glamour, drama, change, and should not be ashamed.”
“At one level inspiration is the ability to see beauty and mystery in everything men and women do.”
“I have been moving around all my life. Going to different schools, living in different houses, shedding old roles, assuming new ones. This way of life is as natural to me as staying in one place is for other people. I do variations on the theme. I return to places where I used to be. I find my old personas. I try them on. If they still fit, I wear them out to a party or a show. If they begin to restrict my movements, I take them off. I am a human being, capable of mimicking anything I see or remember or can imagine.”

This Date in Art History: Born 20 February 1902 – Ansel Adams, an American photographer and environmentalist.

Below – “Monolith, the Face of Half Dome, Yosemite National Park, California”; “Close-up of leaves In Glacier National Park “; “The Tetons and the Snake River”; ““Evening, McDonald Lake, Glacier National Park”; “Long’s Peak, Rocky Mountain National Park”; “In Glacier National Park” (Montana).


A Poem for Today

“Neighbors”
By David Allan Evans

They live alone
together,

she with her wide hind
and bird face,
he with his hung belly
and crewcut.

They never talk
but keep busy.

Today they are
washing windows
(each window together)
she on the inside,
he on the outside.
He squirts Windex
at her face,
she squirts Windex
at his face.

Now they are waving
to each other
with rags,

not smiling.

This Date in Art History: Died 20 February 1992 – A. J. Casson, a Canadian painter.

Below – “White Pine”; “Barns, Parry Sound”; “Old Pines, Combermere”; “Bedard Pond”; “Storm Clouds Over Conroy Marsh”; “Ringwood.”


This Date in Literary History: Died 20 February 2005 – Hunter S. Thompson, an American writer, journalist, and author of “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.”

Some quotes from the work of Hunter S. Thompson:

“We are all alone, born alone, die alone, and — in spite of True Romance magazines — we shall all someday look back on our lives and see that, in spite of our company, we were alone the whole way. I do not say lonely — at least, not all the time — but essentially, and finally, alone. This is what makes your self-respect so important, and I don’t see how you can respect yourself if you must look in the hearts and minds of others for your happiness.”
“Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming ‘Wow! What a Ride!’”
“The main problem in any democracy is that crowd-pleasers are generally brainless swine who can go out on a stage & whup their supporters into an orgiastic frenzy – then go back to the office & sell every one of the poor bastards down the tube for a nickel apiece. Probably the rarest form of life in American politics is the man who can turn on a crowd & still keep his head straight – assuming it was straight in the first place.”
“On some nights, I still believe that a car with the gas needle on empty can run about fifty more miles if you have the right music very loud on the radio.”
“We are living in dangerously weird times now. Smart people just shrug and admit they’re dazed and confused. The only ones left with any confidence at all are the New Dumb. It is the beginning of the end of our world as we knew it. Doom is the operative ethic.”
“Coming of age in a fascist police state will not be a barrel of fun for anybody, much less for people like me, who are not inclined to suffer Nazis gladly and feel only contempt for the cowardly flag-suckers who would gladly give up their outdated freedom to live for the mess of pottage they have been conned into believing will be freedom from fear.”
“America… just a nation of two hundred million used car salesmen with all the money we need to buy guns and no qualms about killing anybody else in the world who tries to make us uncomfortable.”
“Every man is the sum total of his reactions to experience. As your experiences differ and multiply, you become a different man, and hence your perspective changes. This goes on and on. Every reaction is a learning process; every significant experience alters your perspective.”
“Insanity is a legal term. Crazy is an art form.”
“When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro.”
“Hope rises and dreams flicker and die. Love plans for tomorrow and loneliness thinks of yesterday. Life is beautiful and living is pain.”
“Life has become immeasurably better since I have been forced to stop taking it seriously.”
“I hate to advocate drugs, alcohol, violence, or insanity to anyone, but they’ve always worked for me.”


Contemporary Botswanan Art – Rebecca De Figueiredo

Below – “The Blush and Blaze of Roses”; No title provided; “Creeping Charlie”; “Zephyr”; “Evening tea”; “Harmony and Light.”


A Poem for Today

“At the Grave”
by Jonathan Greene

As Death often
sidelines us

it is good
to contribute

even if so little
as to shovel

some earth
into earth.

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