Sensory Experience of Perception


These individuals influenced my artistic or intellectual growth.  This page is an ongoing project.

Walter Benjamin

Richard Diebenkorn

Clarence Glacken - geography professor at Berkeley, has his own section below. It may well evolve into an essay on the history of environmental thought.

Muriel Goodwin - friend, painter.

Ms Goodwin provided encouragement and insightful criticism of my paintings. When she worked in my studio it was like being in a master class.

Alfred Leslie - painter, instructor.

I met Alfred Leslie when I took his life drawing class at UCLA in the summer of 1964. He instructed the class on how to draw models from life, and he screened his films Pull My Daisy and Last Clean Shirt.

I bought a big roll of butcher paper (I think at Al’s suggestion) and made large drawings of the models. This was two years before the studio fire that destroyed the greater portion of his Grisaille paintings that were being prepared for an exhibition at the Whitney. 

Since that summer I have followed Leslie’s work and exchanged occasional notes and emails with him. 

I have been guided by the example of his approach to art, working in several mediums, and radically changing course several times.

I admire his sensibilities and am grateful for the connection he provides to the beat generation and the immediate post-war artistic community.  

<https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/01/arts/alfred-leslie-london-frieze.html>[add link to discussion of Cedar Bar]

Erle Loran - art professor at U. C. Berkeley.

Cezanne’s Composition: Analyses of His Form with Diagrams and Photographs of his Motifs, chronicles the time Professor Loran lived in Cezanne's studio in Aix en Provence, where he photographed motifs of Cezanne's paintings and analyzed the way Cezanne altered the paintings to produce an acceptable composition. In my freshman year I bought and read the first of many copies of his book. I am still giving copies to friends.

Add discussion of Pissaro and Cezanne paintings and add photos in box to the right

 I learned a great deal about art and painting in Mr. Loran's classes. He was a living connection to the beginnings of Abstract Expressionism and the Bay Area art and cultural scene that I experienced in the 1960's. (See Landauer, The San Francisco School of Abstract Expressionism.) 

In the third week of October 2018, I visited Cezanne's studio and  the quarry Bibimus. Both are places where he painted. Seeing the actual motifs helped me to better understand the nature and extent of  the painter's reorganization of the optical reality of the motifs than was possible from looking at prints and photographs. 

Cezanne  played a major role in the transition from representational art to non-objective art.

Gottardo Piazzoni - Swiss-born Bay Area painter.

Harold Webb - chemistry teacher El Monte High School, sponsor of the chemistry team and minerology club.

Mr. Webb provided a  rigorous grounding in science and mathematics that has been invaluable throughout my life. On minerology club field trips he encouraged me to paint landscapes and spoke well of my efforts.

Paul Wheatley - Geography professor at Berkeley, team-taught Geography 100A and 100B with Mr. Glacken. Wheatley wrote two remarkable books. Pivot of the Four Quarters is a history of the development of Chinese cities, and, incidentally, a history of the invention of cities throughout the world. Places Where Men Go to Pray is a history of the development of medieval Muslim cities.

Art is Really Important

Gurdon Miller

Add Pissaro and Cezanne paintings with captions.

Add photo(s) of visit to Cezanne studio.

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Clarence Glacken - geography professor at U. C. Berkeley.

Mr. Glacken introduced his students to the study of the history of ideas. He team-taught, with Paul Wheatley, Geography 100A and 100B, the two semester upper division class in geographic thought required of all Berkeley Geography majors and those graduate students who came to Berkeley from other colleges and universities.

Had I not encountered these two individuals, from whom I took as many courses as I could, it is unlikely that I would have remained in school. The content of their classes and the intellectual breadth of their lectures and publications kept me in Berkeley and continue to inspire me.

Glacken taught and wrote about the relationship between culture  and the environment. His book, Traces on the Rhodian Shore, is widely recognized as the most important environmental book written in the twentieth century.   Link to Book Page                       

I was aware for many years of the existence of a file box of Mr. Glacken's unpublished manuscripts and wished I could explore its contents. In 2017 the University of Virginia Press published Genealogies of Environmentalism: the Lost Works of Clarence Glacken, based, in part on the contents of this file box. I preordered several copies and have given the book to many friends.

As I read, and reread, The Lost Works I find myself imagining discussions with its author as I discover connections between what he was thinking more than 50 years ago and what I am thinking about and working on now. [follow up with examples from art and planning e.g..,  sensory experience of perception and environmental perception] 


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