Tag Archives: december

My Inspiration for December 2020

31 Dec

This December my aesthetic was Greuze’s delicate and wistful girls, fairy tales, castles covered in snow, winter forests, skeletons and maidens, Polanski’s film Fearless Vampire Killers with the gorgeous Sharon Tate, 1990s fashion by Lolita Lempicka, white lace dresses and frosty red roses, troubadours and damsels, swans and sad brides, The Smiths, delicate watercolours by Susanna Duncombe (1725-1812), birches and wedding veils. I watched a wonderful and poignant Polish film “Brzezina” (The Birch Wood, 1970) which touched me deeply and I will surely watch it again. I also Anne Rice’s Interview with the Vampire (finally, because I love the film!) and Bret Easton Ellis’ wonderful book of essays called “White” (2019); it was refreshing to read some common sense.

“Love life more than the meaning of it.”

(Dostoevsky, The Brothers Karamazov)

“My manner of thinking, so you say, cannot be approved. Do you suppose I care? A poor fool indeed is he who adopts a manner of thinking to suit other people! My manner of thinking stems straight from my considered reflections; it holds with my existence, with the way I am made. It is not in my power to alter it; and if were, I’d not do so.”
(Marquis de Sade (in a letter to his wife; 1783)
“We are all engaged in the task of peeling off the false selves , the programmed selves, the selves created by our families, our culture, our religion.”
(Anais Nin, In Favour of the Sensitive Man and Other Essays)

“Silver Birch” (c.2005) photograph by Adam Brock, via flickr.com

Brzezina (1970)

Picture found here.

Found here.


Château de la Bretesche by Night by Loïc Lagarde

Instagram: opheliesz

My Inspiration for December 2018

31 Dec

This time I will let the pictures speak for themselves…

Picture by Natalia Drepina.

Photo found here.

pic found here.

pic found here.

pic found here.

photo by Natalia Drepina, found here.

Roses, found here.

Photo by Natalia Drepina

George Bellows – The Lone Tenement

22 Jan

The first thing I love about this painting is the title: The Lone Tenement. Doesn’t it sound so evocative of someone lonely, solitary, sad and abandoned? I say “someone” because both the title and the painting awake strong feelings in my heart; I almost want to hug the lonesome tenement and make its loneliness go away. I like to imagine that this is exactly what George Bellows did in his own way; by painting the tenement he preserved a memory of it for all times.

George Bellows, The Lone Tenement, December 1909

George Bellows’s painting shows a lonely building which stands as a relic surviving from an old neighbourhood block. The sight of the tall isolated building reminds me of a misunderstood, melancholy human figure from one of Caspar David Friedrich’s paintings. In a cold December twilight, the lonely building stands on the outskirts of New York City as the sad witness of the urban expansion and progress and the last relic of the old. Thickly, richly applied paint and those dazzling orange and lavender shades somewhat oppose the sombre subject. If there is an expression ‘Living in the moment’, than I’m calling this painting ‘Painting in the moment’ because this building stood there lonely and vulnerable in December 1909 when Bellows painted this, but perhaps if he’d waited a month longer it wouldn’t have been there at all. And a month earlier, two more buildings would have been there too. In this painting, Bellows turned an ugly sight that most people wouldn’t even notice into something beautiful, lyrical and able to awake strong emotions.

George Bellows (1882-1925) was an American painter connected with the group of painters called The Ashcan School who concentrated on portraying the everyday reality of the city that never sleeps: New York City. In his last years, Bellows focused on domestic scenes and portraits of his wife and two daughters, but early in his career he painted urban New York and some very well known boxing scenes. Bellows was the City’s greatest portraitist in the beginning of the twentieth century; he portrayed the disappearance of the old and intimate New York and scenes that interested him were the demolitions of old neighbourhoods, building of new bridges and train stations, construction sites, and places where the urban meets the wild nature surrounding the City. Each of his paintings has a distinct mood and if you concentrate you can almost hear the sounds in the distance and smell the air. Bellows observed and painted meticulously the City’s rapid change, its vivacious energy, its joys, sorrows and struggles for a sense of identity in a never ending flow of change. Here is a quote from the magazine Harper’s Weekly from 1869 in connection to Bellows’s portrayal of a culture that is always rushing and always changing: “In London or Paris you may see some relic of past centuries; these are reverenced and preserved as long as they endure, but New York is a series of experiments, and every thing which has lived its life and played its part is held to be dead, and is buried, and over it grows a new world.”

When I daydream of New York, my visions are pink and soft-edged like clouds and shaped by Lou Reed’s songs and the street-wise groovy rock ‘n’ roll of Velvet Underground, Patti Smith and Robert Mapplethorpe’s romance as artists working side by side, Edie Sedgwick on one of the legendary parties wearing huge earrings and talking to Andy Warhol, Sid Vicious and Nancy kissing in an alleyway in the film “Sid and Nancy” (1986), Johnny Depp as Ichabod Crane walking hand in hand with Katrina in the last scene of “The Sleepy Hollow” (1999) as snow starts falling gently… so being introduced to Bellows’s art and gazing through New York City through his eyes is just adding to the richness of my daydreams!

Rembrandt, The Mill, 1645-48

In connection to the sentiment of seeing the building in the full scale of emotions that you would see a human being with, I will mention Rembrandt’s darkly romantic and hauntingly beautiful “The Mill” which shows a scenery and a mill bursting with emotions. It’s more than a landscape and the Mill appears more like a melancholy loner than just a mill.

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


My Inspiration for December III

31 Dec

This December I was inspired by Degas’ ballerinas, music by Syd Barrett, Rolling Stones (The Last Time), Velvet Underground, The Byrds (Eight Miles High), The Kinks, and some tunes by John Coltrane – Tunji and India. Painting, daydreaming, striped floors and tutus; that seems to be all there is to my December days. Oh, and I’ve watched Sing Street (2016) and I thought it was very good!

1877. Degas - The Green Dancerssyd-37

Redon, OdilonEdinburgh by Daniel Farò

syd barrett cover

syd 2

1967. New York's Young Design Scene 6syd 33


somber-circus-4 the-strand-arcade-autumn-winter-2011-campaign-features-tiah-eckhardt-6 where-the-party-lexi-boling-by-roe-ethridge-for-v-magazine-spring-2015 1966-esquire-magazine-may-1966 1966-jane-birkin-photographed-by-norman-parkinson-for-vogue 1967-art-scene 1967-dolly-clothes-for-dolly-birdes 1967-october-a-silvery-mary-jane-of-crushed-kid-is-strapped-and-thickly-soled-in-gold 1967-sharon-tate-in-fearless-vampier-killers 1967-sparkly-silver-space-fashion1960s-marianne-faithfull-24  syd-47 richey-1

My Inspiration for December

31 Dec

December’s magical last days were, for me, a time of ballerinas, psychedelia, fairy tales, Pink Floyd, Syd Barrett and reveries about Swinging London. One film that I have to recommend to you is Crimson Peaks (2015); the atmosphere, aesthetics and costumes are brilliant!

syd 113

syd barrett cover

Source: Miss Pandora

1897. Dancer and Tambourine - Edgar Degas

1877. Degas - The Green Dancers1905. Edgar Degas (1834-1917, France) - Two Dancers, Pastel1960s marianne faithful 2

ballet The Australian Ballet in The Dream, 19691960s marianne faithfull 51965. Veruschka and David Bailey by Bert Stern, Vogue March 1, 1965XXX CRIMSON PEAK MOV JY 1217 .JPG A ENTballerinaspete doherty and ballerinas1966. Blow Up 161965. Jean Shrimpton having breakfast in bed1960s anna karina 1561892. John William Waterhouse - Circe Invidiosafactory girl 22Vogue Italia December 2015, Rebel Riders by Tim Walker 4Vogue Italia December 2015, Erin O'Connor by Tim Walker 11918. Amedeo Modigliani - The Black Dress (1918) 
1820s nice dress, low cut back1960s jane birkin 2121960s jane birkin 224Somber Circus 41925. Federico Beltrán Massés ‘Carnaval’ ca.1925.1906-07. Ball Gown with Embellished Tulle Overlay 31920s El Circo by Federico Beltran Masses (1885–1949)