“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.
I like being in Zürich. It is visually and culturally engaging.
The Limmat where it flows into the Zürichsee
Paris is important and has its own place in the website. Please click the link below.
Aix en Provence is where Cézanne lived and worked.
In the third week of October 2018, I visited Cézanne’s studio, and the quarry Bibémus where he painted. Bibémus was compellingly, almost painfully, beautiful.
When I observed in person the subjects of various paintings from the locations where he made them, Cézanne’s reorganization of the optical reality of the motifs was more clearly evident than was apparent from looking at prints and photographs. It was obvious that Cézanne was indifferent to depicting beauty and was concerned, instead, with rearranging the compositional elements of what he was looking at, in order to create visually satisfactory paintings.
Mont Sainte Victoire from where Cézanne painted it
I took the above photograph in the Bibémus Quarry on the spot designated as the location where the artist made the painting. Standing where Professor Loran photographed the mountain, and where Cézanne painted it, enabled me to see how remarkable Cézanne's departure from depiction in favor of abstraction was.
I was fortunate to have studied with Loran, and, fifty years later, to have seen for myself the basis of his contribution to understanding the development of modern art.
Erle Loran took the photograph below, sometime before its publication in the April, 1930, edition of The Arts (p. 528). He included it in the 1959 second edition of his book “Cézanne's Composition” (p. 60).
The photograph also appears, on page 501, of the first volume of Rewald's catalogue resonné of Cézann's work, published in 1998. The caption reads, “Motif for No. 837. (Photograph John Rewald, circa 1935)”.
Our youngest son, Malcolm, in Paris.
Quarry at Bibémus
Going where Professor Loran had gone, and establishing a personal connection to the places he'd observed, was a moving experience for me.
Mt. Sainte Victoire Seen from the Bibémus Quarry.
Painted by Cézanne in 1897, it resides in the Baltimore Museum of Art. The image is in the Public Domaine.
“This view of the motif is a composite of two photographs. Small trees now obscure most of the mountain form this point, and it was necessary to cut them away (in the photograph) and insert a view of the mountain from a position slightly to the right the combination is presented in the interest of clarity only and is in no way intended to fortify the arguments of the analysis.”background image off
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.
Two Years Before the Mast, Richard Henry Dana; California Coast Trails, J. Smeaton Chase.
Belmont Shore in 1946 and 1947.
-- Toddler on the ranch,
Toddler on the Ranch