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Lonely Birthday Pictures – A Pretty Doll in a Victorian House

3 Mar

I recently discovered these fashion pictures taken by Louis Park for Vogue Korea, March 2006 called “Lonely Birthday”. The model is Sophie Buxton. The mood and the aesthetic of these photographs is fun, whimsical and dreamy and fills my mind with ideas and fragments of stories. I wonder who this doll-like girl is and what is she like? I imagine she lives all alone in that strange brick Victorian house with a grand entrance and decaying flaking walls. I imagine this girl lives in her own strange Alice in Wonderland kind of world with porcelain dolls, old floral wallpapers, fallen chairs, cake and tea, and no intruders. I imagine her as a childlike creature who feeds birds with cake-crumbs, listens to murmur of the trees and befriends mice from the attic of her lonely Victorian mansion, I imagine that she lives in a perpetual tea party to which none but her porcelain dolls are invited. I also imagine that I would like to be her.

“Lonely Birthday”, Vogue Girl Korea, Photographer: Louis Park, Model: Sophie Buxton

My Inspiration for February 2020

29 Feb

The most thrilling thing I saw and read this month was the film “The Lovely Bones” (2009) and the same-named book written by Alice Sebold, about a fourteen year old girl called Susie Salmon who was murdered in 1973 and the story is told from her point of view, her ghost is telling the story as she strives to accept the fact that she is dead… Very eerie and also dreamy in a way, especially Susie’s time in the Inbetween world. And also Patrick Suskind’s novel “Perfume” which has the most intricate descriptions of scents and flowers. Beautiful writing and a fascinating story! I can’t believe I waited so long to read the book. Maurice Prendergast’s wonderful watercolours captivated me for a while, and so did the show Disenchantment and 1970s fashion. I already saw the first snowdrops, primroses and cheery blossoms and I am very joyous to welcome the first month of spring. Adieu, winter….

“My name is Salmon, like the fish. First name: Susie. I was 14 years old, when I was murdered, on December 6, 1973. I was here for a moment. And then I was gone. I wish you all a long and happy life.”

(The Lovely Bones)

pic found here.

pic found here.

Picture found here.

My Inspiration for January 2020

31 Jan

This January exceeded my expectations by far, what lovely and inspirational weeks these have been. Because it’s cold and grey outside, I tried occupying myself with my hobbies and pursuits instead of wasting time pining for spring and flowers. I started the new year and the new decade with the biography of Dora Maar written by Alicia Dujovne Ortiz; it was a wonderful window into the glamorous and tortured life of this photographer and the muse of Picasso, then I read a romanticised biography of Michelangelo called “Agony and Ecstasy” written by Irving Stone. I am not even a fan of Michelangelo or Renaissance, but Stone beautifully brought the time period and the artist’s feelings to life. I read a few fantastic novels: Hunger by Knut Hamsun, The Hour of the Star by Clarice Lispector, and The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie by Muriel Spark which tells a story of a few schoolgirls in Edinburgh in the 1930s and their wildly romantical, stubborn, idealistic and kind of crazy teacher, Miss Jean Brodie. It made me daydream of the time period and reminisce of my grammar school days. Everything can serve as a springboard for nostalgia. And I am also more than halfway through reading the autobiography of my Hero; Morrissey and it is so wonderfully written, so witty and amusing, so vibrant and sincere… I truly cannot understand why people don’t like him, I never thought sincerity or vegetarianism which he promotes could be a crime?

“She was a romantic, sentimental child, with a preference for solitude, few friends, and a propensity to be moved to tears when the roses in the garden bloomed, when she smelled the rags and soap the nuns used as they bent over their tasks, and when she stayed behind to experience the melancholy stillness of the empty classrooms.”
(Isabel Allende, The House of The Spirits)

John Corbet, Anne writing a letter in winter, 2020, pastel and watercolour. Found here.

Pic found here.

Pic found here.

By: Andrea | dr_difilippo

Lough Key Ireland, by Max Malloy

My Inspiration for December 2019

31 Dec

Pierrots, carnivals, dreams, Chagall’s blue, his love and his lovers, Chet Baker’s melancholy jazz… I reread Patti Smith’s book “Just Kids” and watched the film about Morrissey “England is Mine” (2016) and both deal with the artist’s struggles on the way to fame and both of them comforted me and reminded me of what my values have been since the first time I felt like I want to create, and it made me inspired and that is all one needs from time to time, a dose of inspiration. I feel very optimistic about 2020 for some reason. We’ll see what I have to say at the end of it…. A new year, like a new white sheet of paper with no ink blots, no mistakes, no regrets, no what if-s… And an infinity of Beauty and ecstasy and joy to fill the page with. I hope to paint more, love more, discover more things, feel the nature more deeply, practice the art of indolence more persistently, steal more flowers from my neighbours’ gardens, read some fantastic books, defeat some of my fears and anxieties, and I wish the best 2020 to all of my readers too!

“The trees you planted in childhood have grown too heavy. You cannot bring them along. Give yourselves to the air, to what you cannot hold.”

(Rainer Maria Rilke, Part One IV, from “Sonnets to Orpheus”)

Picture found here.

Warsaw, Poland (by Greg Weeks)

Harlem, New York City – May 17th, 2019, Instagram: @matthewgrantanson

 

By Stefany Alves

 

The Smiths – The Queen is Dead (1986)by Arthur Viera

Haunting Melancholy Dolls by Mari Shimizu

15 Dec

“She’s got the whole dark forest living inside of her.”

(Tom Waits)

Some time ago I discovered these gorgeous dolls made by a Japanese artist Mari Shimizu, and I was instantly drawn to their beautiful pale haunting faces, large eyes radiating melancholy and rosebud lips which hide secrets. Mari Shimizu has been creating these dolls for almost twenty years now, having started in 2000, and she is entirely self-taught. The detailing and the inspiration that went into creating each doll individually is baffling! They are all unique and yet they all seem to belong to this one world; half-fantasy and half-macabre. As I gaze at each doll, it seems to me that their eyes, shiny and large like gemstones, jade or sapphire, are gateways to this other world, that of the imagination.

Some of them are inspired by Alice in Wonderland, some are vampire-like, with delicious little fangs and faded lavender coloured Rococo-style gowns, others are skeletons with rich inner lives, and I mean literary so; their insides, instead of organs, have a whole other vivid crazy world inside them; nude maiden riding a horse of Fuseli-inspired fantasy, anything goes. Mari Shimizu wasn’t into the whole pink, sugary, kawaii aesthetic that Japan is famous for (that isn’t the only aspect of Japanese culture, I know, but it seems a lot of foreigners are drawn to the cuteness and childlike stuff that Japan offers, from mangas to Lolita clothes).

Her imagination wanted to go to greater depths and greater lengths, and looking at these dolls you can notice a whole scale of inspiration that went into it, from Western art and fairy tales and stories, and she said in an interview here that she especially likes Renaissance and Victorian eras which would explain some of the themes behind these dolls, Death and the Maiden, a popular motif in the Middle ages and the Renaissance, and Alice in Wonderland: “Alice in Wonderland is fascinated by being an absurd drama with a girl as the main character, depicted in an era when human activities are automated in the industrial revolution. I interpret that the innocent and pure existence of a girl is a story that fights adult absurdity over time. Human emotions and growth are inherently absurd.  It is animals and nature that tell us the truth, not formulas.  Alice in Wonderland is drawn through the eyes of a girl whose world is still undifferentiated, and she can listen to animal conversations and freely change the size and presence of objects.  It is a theme that always has new discoveries that break our fixed concept.” (in the artist’s own words)

Henri Fuseli, The Nightmare, 1791

My Inspiration for November 2019

30 Nov

Two things on my mind these days are for sure two wonderful but very different films; “What We Do in the Shadows” (2014) which was so hysterical and funny and also very educational because it offers a rare insight into the life of vampires, and “Desperately Seeking Susan” (1985) with Madonna and Rosanna Arquette which was so groovy and exciting and I loved looking at the fun fashions in vibrant colours. I also watched another vampire film, recommended to me by someone, “The Lost Boys” (1987) and really enjoyed it, the soundtrack as well, with INXS and Echo and the Bunnymen’s version of The Doors’s song “People are Strange”. I read the Gothic gem, Horace Walpole’s novel “Castle of Otranto” and I enjoyed it so much; the drama, the villains and innocent maidens, deaths, secrets passages, murders and love… all that one could want in a novel. And I started rereading Jane Eyre and once again I am swooning over their romance!

I was never young. This idea of fun: cars, girls, saturday night, bottle of wine… to me, these things are morbid. I was always attracted to people with the same problems as me. It doesn’t help when most of them are dead.” (Morrissey)

Art by Torii Tsubaki

Beautiful as you, by Milamai

Found here.

Tonight the sky is red ✨(by Milamai)

Nesting for Autumn by *Nishe on Flickr.

Victorian Dream Rose ~ vip_roses

My Inspiration for October 2019

31 Oct

I feel so inspired these last days of October! Such rapture and love and enthusiasm mounting in my soul! It must be the influence or Rilke whose letters and writing are guiding me through life with their wisdom, comforting me and teaching me patience, and also the music I am listening to these days is fueling me like a drug; Pearl Jam Nirvana and Alice in Chains unplugged on MTV, such rawness of emotions and beauty. Eddie Vedder’s voice truly makes the song sound passionate and sincere. I reread Mikhail Lermontov’s fantastic novel “A Hero of Our Time”; and that’s a hint for a future post 😉 . This October was all about Japanese and Korean fashion and some interesting make up styles, cute and eerie Japanese dolls, Camille Paglia’s writings and interviews, Lolita dresses, witch aesthetic, Lermontov’s early poetry full of teenage angst and a feeling of emptiness within, then the beautiful melancholy Marine Vacth in the film “Young and Beautiful” (2013), paintings by Anna Kowch, film “Love Witch” (2016) with its gorgeous aesthetic and costumes to die for, Joy Division’s song “Ceremony” – so sweetly melancholy, Franz Liszt’s music… And now, with lighted candles I inhale the scent of the last October’s roses – in dusty pink colour – and listen to their petals falling slowly in autumnal dusk.

“The same cycle–excitement and despair, excitement and despair.”

(Alice Munro, from “Cortes Island”, published in The New Yorker c. 1988)

Photo by Laura Makabresku

Legend…by Muharrem ünal

Picture found here.