Sensory Experience of Perception


“I remember only ideas and sensations.” (Ulysses, the Corrected Text, page 7.) 

I’m sure I read this passage the two or three times I set out to read Ulysses. I didn't notice it, however, until I heard it read aloud recently. I was struck by how it treats ideas and sensations as aspects of knowing, and how knowing is entangled with and informed by the sensory experience of perception.

Perceptions are the results of sensation. Ideas are the products of cognition

Experiencing place is a complex multilayered experience. My earliest memories of place help me recall what I was feeling at the time, sounds — what people were saying, music, birds, traffic, animals, also smells, taste, weather. 

Visual memories are my primary source of access to experiences of place. These are interwoven with knowledge acquired through study and travel.

My artistic  and intellectual work is refracted through an amalgam of fragments from the various categories of knowledge of place.














            The Limmat where it flows into  the Zürichsee

Paris is important and has its own place in the website. Please click the link below.

Paris link 

Aix en Provence

This is where Cézanne lived and worked. It is easy to imagine the painter as trying to capture and convey the compelling, almost painful, beauty of his surroundings. When I was there I thought it must have been hard for him to ignore the beauty, and choose, instead, to rearrange the compositional elements of what he was looking at in order to achieve visually satisfactory paintings.

In the third week of October 2018, I visited Cézanne’s studio, and  the quarry Bibémus where he also painted. When I observed the subjects  of various paintings from the locations where he had made the paintings, I could see Cézanne’s reorganization of the optical reality of the motifs much more clearly than was apparent from looking at prints and photographs. 


Mont Sainte Victoire

[photo of Mont Sainte Victoire  from the place where Cezanne painted it, and  the paintings at considerable variance from photographic reality]






Please put [IMG_0137JPG]here

For the last forty years I have spent part of every summer in Montana.

looking west across Flathead Lake



The Mountains of California

Angeles National Forest-Highway 39, Angeles Crest Highway, Highway 2, Cajon Pass, Mount Wilson Trail, Mount Baden Powell, Old Baldy, Mount San Antonio, Pine Beatles.

 The Sierra Nevada - Owens Valley, Yosemite, Mount Whitney.

 My First Summer in the Sierra, John Muir; Up and Down California: The Journal of William H. Brewer, The Thousand Mile Summer, Yosemite Trails, J. Smeaton Chase. 

Coastal California 

Two Years Before the Mast, Richard Henry Dana; California Coast Trails, J. Smeaton Chase.

 Belmont Shore in 1946 and 1947.

 New Mexico -- Toddler on the ranch, summers in Santa Fe, Uncle Howell's dude ranch, “The Lazy Ray”, near Jemez Springs, The Daybooks of Edward Weston, Taos Moderns, memories of what I have seen, read, and experienced.

Art is Really Important

Gurdon Miller




[photo of Mont Sainte Victoire  from the place where Cezanne painted it, and  the paintings at considerable variance from photographic reality]










[Please insert IMG_1868.JPG right about here]

Our youngest son, Malcolm in Paris. 


Quarry at Bibémus
background image on

Caspar Institute logo
updated: 18 May 2018 (m)
content copyright ©2018-2021 by Gurdon Miller
design copyright ©2018-2021 by the Caspar Institute