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My Inspiration for January 2018

31 Jan

If I cannot hold flowers in my hand, gaze at them rapturously in my vase, inhale their dazzling perfume carried by a soft breeze in dusky pink twilight, then I can at least fill my imagination with many and many pictures of them! This beautiful mellow January I was inspired by astrology, melancholy maidens and pine trees, tulips, birch trees, and lilac dresses, fawns and secret gardens, interviews by Camille Paglia (I love that woman!), Edvard Munch’s paintings with themes of love and alienation, The Wild Geese by Ogai Mori, Emily of New Moon by L.M. Montgomery, The La’s. I watched a new film “England is Mine” (2017) about Morrissey’s youth. I loved it but I think it’s a film that only the die-hard fans will understand because it portrays Morrissey’s introverted youth, his early scribblings and hardships, and it doesn’t really say much about The Smiths as one would expect. There is a song I can’t get out of my mind: Sorry to Embarrass you by Razorcuts! I’ve read Arthur Schopenhauer’s essay Metaphysics of Love, and I am almost finished with Erich Fromm’s The Art of Loving; I agree more with Fromm’s views of love. And the painting you see bellow, Melancholy in Pink by Pavel Petrovich Troubetzkoy is my favourite painting at the moment!

“Which is better cheap happiness or sublime suffering?” (Dostoyevsky, Notes from the Underground)

Photo of the birches found here.

Photo by By Thorsten Mathis.

Photo found here.Photo by Natalia Drepina

“La Llorona” by Daniel Vazquez

Photo by Eugene Telkanov.

Photo found here.

Helmsley Walled Garden, North Yorkshire, England, by Jane Sebire

Laura Makabresku

Cerney House Gardens, Gloucestershire, England

Photo by Natalia Drepina

Acadia National Park, Maine, found here.

Photo found here.

Tulip valley by Erik Sanders

Photo found here.

Photo found here.

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My Inspiration for December 2017

31 Dec

Between restlessness and rapture, I found quite a few artistic gems this month: Franz Kafka’s “Letters to Milena” and Tindersticks’s album “Curtains” (1997): melancholic violins and the singer’s baritone are so inspiring for daydreams and it awakens the sweet melancholy and longing that’s perfect for writing, Rococo’s delicious nudes and David Hamilton’s dreamy portraits, “The Look of Love” (2013) with Steve Coogan is a biopic of Paul Raymond who opened UK’s first strip club and published porn magazines “Men Only” and “Mayfair”. I loved it! It’s funny, slightly provocative, has a great soundtrack, has Steve Coogan in it, and groovy 1970s fashion, do you need more? At the moment I also love listening to Al Green, Marvin Gaye, Supremes and Curtis Mayfield’s album “Superfly”; that’s music for the soul! And a bit of Syd Barrett, always! The main source of joy these days was reading L.M. Montgomery’s “Anne of Avonlea”: one cannot be miserable while one is reading about Anne’s cheerful adventures and idyllic life on Prince Edward Island.

What I want in the next year, for myself and everyone who reads this: more flowers, more poetry, more writing, painting and daydreaming! Have a happy 2018!

photo found here.

photo found here.

photo found here.

photo by Laura Makabresku, Melancholy (2017)

photo by Nishe

photo found here.

photo found here.

photo by Natalia Drepina, The mask of faceless cold

 

David Hamilton’s Dreamy Eroticism of the 1970s

14 Dec

I have been in love with David Hamilton’s photography since June this year, and since it is December now I thought it was about time I dedicated a post to these visual treasures.

The Muse, 1971

David Hamilton’s photos have a distinct dreamy, grainy quality and feature almost exclusively young women and girls: girls lounging around in stockings and half-buttoned shirts that wonderfully reveal their budding breasts, girls with messy hair getting lost in reveries, girls braiding their hair or coyly glancing in the distance, girls dressed like ballerinas, girls in the idyll of the countryside, girls reading… Girls with sun kissed skin and freckles, possessing a natural, gentle, unassuming beauty – they are just like a dream. The young age of the girls and the erotic nature of the photos led to discussions about his art being art or pornography. Well, I love the pictures for their aesthetic value and I think there’s no need to be prissy. Gazing at Hamilton’s photos is like escaping into a dreamy fantasy world and what I like the most is their intimate mood, it feels as if the girls are unaware of the photographer’s presence, as if Hamilton stepped into their secret inner world and captured it. I feel as if I am flipping through their diary, invading their secret thoughts. The photo that I am particularly entranced with at the moment it the one above called “The Muse”. The girl is so beautiful and I can’t help but wonder about her life in 1971? What was her personality like, what music did she listen to, how did she dress?

And lastly, my favourite:

 

My Inspiration for November 2017

30 Nov

In November I continued to be enamoured by Laura Makabresku’s wonderful photographs, but I also couldn’t resist David Hamilton. Well, I can’t resist anything that is dreamy and takes me to another world. Even though I wasn’t particularly interested in photography before, this month I discovered two photographers whose pictures perfectly capture my aesthetic at the moment: Nishe and Natalia Drepina. I finally watched the film Frida (2002) and I thought it was wonderful. I’ve been inspired by Paul Gauguin’s reveries of tropical paradise in vibrant colours and nude beauties, Katherine Mansfield’s letters and Anais Nin’s Journal or Love: Incest. At long last, I got my hands on Bret Easton Ellis’s Less Than Zero which reveals the shallowness of Los Angeles society in the 1980s: a bunch of rich kids doing nothing. Nihilism and narcissism in full swing. I also developed a fascination with white lace lingerie, I love looking at pictures of girls wearing it. So romantic and Edwardian! November is a sea of melancholy; visiting graveyards, walking in moonlight and tending to my herbarium whilst listening to Tindersticks and Nick Cave is pretty much the only thing I did to keep my head above the water. Seeing the old grey tombstones covered in amber coloured leaves, the church tower protruding through the pinkish mist that descends earlier and earlier; that is the most exquisite thing November has given me.

Can you hear December knocking quietly on the door? She is a maiden full of promises, dressed in red velvet, she walks gracefully and smells like pines, her breath is cold snow.

Photo by Laura Makabresku

Source: here.

Picture by Nishe

Sunset in Wales, Photo found here.

Nothing is pure anymore but solitude. by Jessie Martinin

The sight of Chopin’s grave today, 1st of November, All Saint’s Day.

Originally posted by the official account of Père-Lachaise on Instagram. (source)

Edwardian Beauties and Rose-Tinted Visions of the Past

14 Nov

What is more beautiful, ethereal and delicate than a photo of an Edwardian lady in her flimsy dress of lace and silk, with a large hat and roses in her hand, her smile captured for eternity?

Studio Portrait by Henri Manuel of Paris, 1900s

Lately, I’ve been admiring these hand-tinted photos from the early twentieth century and I spent many moments being lost in the all the dreamy details; their dresses, their faces, their flowers. Some feature a more daring, oriental-inspired fashions with long veils, jewellery and more skin exposed because in the early 1910s with Ballets Russes and the ballet “Scheherazade” there was a craze for all things exotic. I don’t have much to say today – I’ll let the beauty of the pictures speak for themselves.

Still, I would like to take a moment to say something I rarely do. My dear readers, old and new, I thank you from the bottom of my heart for reading my musings! I am amazed to see the growing number of people who read my blog, but at the same time, without superficial modesty, I am surprised that someone actually enjoys it. I never thought that my sharing of beauty and fragments of my inner world would attract so many readers. Here is a quote by Anais Nin which perfectly explains the point of writing:

Why one writes is a question I can answer easily, having so often asked it of myself. I believe one writes because one has to create a world in which one can live. I could not live in any of the worlds offered to me — the world of my parents, the world of war, the world of politics. I had to create a world of my own, like a climate, a country, an atmosphere in which I could breathe, reign, and recreate myself when destroyed by living. That, I believe, is the reason for every work of art.
I wholeheartedly agree with Anais Nin: I can’t live in the world offered to me, the 21st century world with its shallowness and stupidity, and I write; this blog, my poetry and my stories, my daydreams and my journal, to wrap myself in a cocoon of beauty and dreams; I hope writing protects me from the sharp arrows of reality. I strive to be perpetually dreamy even when everything around me is grey, to turn sadness to beauty, and then, share some of it with the world. I write, as Anais Nin continues in the same quote, to “lure and enchant and console others”, and I hope I’ve achieved that. I hope you are enchanted, lured and consoled!

In dreariness of November, one has to find a shelter in the world of beauty, and I can tell you that next post will be very special and dreamy.

The gorgeous Lillian Gish above!

 

Photos found here.

Laura Makabresku – A Macabre World of Dreams and Melancholy

10 Nov

Stillness, quiet melancholy and spider-web fragility of the world Laura Makabresku has created in her photographs keep haunting me for weeks now. I discovered her photographs slowly, one by one, and each intrigued me because it seemed to tell a story, without a clear beginning or ending, like a frozen moment in time that leaves your wondering and daydreaming.

Polish photographer Laura Makabresku is completely self-taught and she sees photography as a diary-medium to portray her feelings and her inner world; this makes me even more intrigued. Her photographs are easily recognisable by their dreamy beauty. Still, by gazing at them one after another, one can sense the changing moods: innocent sleepy chambers where long-hared maidens reside in their flimsy gowns of wistfulness and reverie, easily thorn by the sharp claws of reality. Ophelia-maidens trapped in cages of silk, birds and fawns are their only companions. Pale feminine ideal, porcelain muses easily shattered by rays of light. They seem lonely and mute, yet their hair whispers softly of darker secrets underneath their porcelain skin… From their muteness arises the melody of Chopin’s Nocturnes, at times deeply melancholic, at times shiveringly passionate. While some photos resemble David Hamilton’s dazzling mix of innocence and eroticism, the others portray the gruesome and bloody side of fairy tales and folklore; pale arms adorned with cuts, wrists with drops of blood, dead birds, dried flowers and lace doilies soaked in old perfume… If you’ve read real fairy tales, and not the naff Disney-versions, you’ll know how darkly imaginative and disturbing they can get, and I think Makabresku captures that mood well. The fairy tale fabric of her dreamy scenes is woven with a thick Slavic atmosphere of silence and mysteries. In some of her photos, I feel the dreariness and mystique of the Polish fields and meadows that Chopin wrote in one of his letters. At other times, I feel an oppressive and claustrophobic Kafkaesque mood. Her photos simply evoke so many ideas, dreams, memories… These are just my impressions, now I will leave you to enjoy the pictures!

 

Dark coat, a lock of hair with a ribbon, a bird peeking from the pocket: if this doesn’t intrigue you, I don’t know what does! Just looking at her photos gives me story ideas.

And here is a link to her website: http://lauramakabresku.com

My Inspiration for October 2017

29 Oct

October was a beautiful month of poetry and falling leaves. I’ve been inspired by poetry of Emily Dickinson, Emily Bronte, Keats, Slyvia Plath and Alejandra Pizarnik (whom I discovered thanks to a reader), songs by Tom Waits and Joan Baez, then Reinaldo Arenas’s beautiful memoir ‘Before Night Falls’ and Anais Nin’s ‘A Journal of Love: Henry and June’. Anais is a goddess! Leonard Cohen’s song Hey, That’s No Way To Say Goodbye is the most beautiful poignant tune I’ve heard in a while, his lyrics are pure poetry. Discovering new poets and poems makes my heart bloom with carnations and roses. I’ve also read My Cousin Rachel by Daphne du Maurier which was interesting, but I wouldn’t slit my wrists because of it.

I daydreamed of Edgar Allan Poe’s little wife and muse Virginia Poe and her innocent love and devotion to the poet tormented with alcohol and dark imagination, about crimson and amber coloured forests of New England, Victorian gowns in colours of wine, plum and honey, little girls with their dolls, dreamy and macabre photos by Laura Makabresku and paintings by Andrea Kowch… I watched and adored the film Love Witch (2016); its deliberate trashiness, the costumes which blend West Coast psychedelia with Victorian tea-party sugar coated elegance were just mind blowing! I highly recommend it. I also watched The Beguiled (2017): I liked the costumes and claustrophobic atmosphere of a decaying girl’s school in the Civil War, and Pedro Almodóvar’s Volver (2006) with Penélope Cruz. And, don’t you think the colour combination of pink and yellow is just dazzling? Candyfloss pink and yellow like honey, ahhh…

I usually publish ‘My Inspiration’ posts on the last day of the month, but not this time because I have a gorgeous post for Halloween due on Tuesday. Now it’s up to you to think of a poet who was born on that day!

Photo found here.

Photo by Laura Makabresku

Photo by Laura Makabresku

Photo found here.

Photo found here.

Photo found here.

Photo found here.

photo by Laura Makabresku