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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.

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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

Inspiration: Victorian Little Girls, Pressed Flowers and Dolls

27 Oct

A feast for your eyes: beautiful photographs of little girls in Victorian and Edwardian era holding their dolls, flowers – pressed and alive, paintings by Stephen Mackey, and pretty mid 19th century girl’s dresses.

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My Inspiration for August 2017

31 Aug

August brought reveries of Madame Bovary, soft Edwardian lace and warm rich Pre-Raphaelite colours. I was inspired by Rossetti’s redheads, white dresses, Lord Tennyson’s poem “Lady of Shalott”, Iggy Pop, Marvin Gaye and Falco, Frida Kahlo, poetry by Langston Hughes, circus in art and the loneliness of the trapeze artist in Wings of Desire (1987), dreaminess of the sea waves and pebbles and songs of seagulls, paintings by Stephen Mackey, shabby chic aesthetic, teddy bears. I watched a few great films: Stella Maris (1918) with Mary Pickford, Before Night Falls (2000) about the Cuban poet Reinaldo Arenas, “bad poet in love with the moon” as he wrote in his self-epitaph, played by Javier Bardem, Smoke (1995) which was so cool! I’ve read The Lady of the Camellias by Alexandre Dumas which I enjoyed very much, An Education by Lynn Berber (I still prefer the film with Carey Mulligan though), The Scarlett Letter by Hawthorne, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving, and the most fascinating discovery The House of the Spirits by Isabel Allende which has elements of magic realism and bears resemblance to Márquez’s One Hundred Years of Solitude. Oh, those gold afternoons of August, writing poetry and daydreaming, gentle breeze and birdsong coming through the open window, waking up from a reverie only to step outside and admire the sunset in blazing pinks, orange, yellow and lilacs.

“Things I hold most dear: music, nature, poetry, solitude.” (Marina Tsvetayeva)

Source: here.

 

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My Inspiration for July 2017

31 Jul

This month I was inspired by pot marigolds, Greuze’s paintings, film Tristan and Isolde (2006) and TV series Merlin; England in dark ages, knights, Camelot, long-haired maidens, Morgana’s gorgeous costumes, ballerinas, houses in Normandy, yellow butterflies, Reykjavik, Celtic tree symbolism, dreamy white Neuschwanstein Castle, anemones, Waterhouse’s Miranda, soundtrack of Corpse Bride (2009), Love Story (1970) with Ali MacGraw, wedding veils and Scottish highlands. I’ve read some really fantastic books: One Hundred Years of Solitude and Of Love and Other Demons by Gabriel Garcia Márquez; if you like psychedelia you’ll love magic realism as much as I do, Diary of a Seducer by Kierkegaard which was very amusing (I now know how to seduce a girl, make her brake off the engagement and make her feel guilty about it!), A Room with a View by E.M.Forster: it was a light, interesting read with great descriptions of Italy and nature, the heroine, Lucy Honeychurch is forced to chose between the conventions imposed by her society and desires of her heart for love and truth (in the film from 1985 Lucy is portrayed by Helena Bonham Carter), and Girl, Interrupted by Susanna Kaysen.

Something in me vibrates to a dusky, dreamy smell of dying moons and shadows.” (Zelda Fitzgerald)

Source: misspandora.fr

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Photo: source.

Story Inspiration – Melancholy, Sea, Nocturne

22 Jul

A while ago I started writing a short story. Since I am an expert in starting things without finishing them, I eagerly hope to finish this one. These pictures are the ‘aesthetic’ of the story; they are here to inspire me, and hopefully you’ll find it interesting too. Enjoy!

Photo found here.

Photo by Molly Dean.

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Photo found here.

Photo found here.

Photo found here.

Photo found here.