Tag Archives: may

My Inspiration for May 2018

31 May

This May was a month of pink sunsets, rose petals, white gowns, wheat and red poppies that sang dithyrambs in the wind, and delightful conversations with red carnations that grow joyously in a pot on my balcony, Spanish sounds of Francisco Táregga’s guitar, long walks and laughter by the river, Joan Baez and Omara Portuondo’s lovely voices, fragrant bouquets, poetry of Pablo Neruda and Federico Garcia Lorca, wild daydreams of the Caribbean, travelling through the pages of Gabriel Garcia Márquez’s novels. I’ve read his novella “The Incredible and Sad Tale of Innocent Eréndira and her Heartless Grandmother” and have been re-reading “Of Love and Other Demons”. I’ve kissed the velvety petals of pink, orange and ruby red roses, and felt the pebbles of the river’s misty depths underneath my feet. And made a friend with a lonely chestnut tree. I watched two great films: David Lynch’s “Wild at Heart” (1990) with Nicholas Cage and Laura Dern, and “Faustine and the Beautiful Summer” (1970), which I reviewed here. Oh my, there’s a scene I adored in “Wild at Heart” where Sailor and Lulu drive down the desolate road, sunset behind them, freedom in front of them, and the song “Wicked Game” by Chris Isaak plays in the background.  Such wildness and freedom and idealism and rebellion!

Life is boring, except for flowers, sunshine, your perfect legs. A glass of cold water when you are really thirsty. The way bodies fit together. Fresh and young and sweet. Coffee in the morning. These are just moments. I struggle with the in-betweens. I just want to never stop loving like there is nothing else to do, because what else is there to do?” (Pablo Neruda)

Source: here.

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Dante Gabriel Rossetti – The Kiss: I was a child beneath her touch

20 May

Karel Hynek Mácha, a Czech poet of Romanticism, wrote in his most famous work, a lyrical epic poem called “May” that the sweet and flowery month of May is a time of love. I couldn’t agree more, for the sweetness of the spring months awakens the heart. This is how his poem starts:

Late evening, on the first of May—
The twilit May—the time of love.
Meltingly called the turtle-dove,
Where rich and sweet pinewoods lay.
Whispered of love the mosses frail,
The flowering tree as sweetly lied,
The rose’s fragrant sigh replied
To love-songs of the nightingale.

Gustav Klimt, The Kiss, 1907-08

In the sweet, sensuous and indolent mood of May, my thoughts easily wander to Gothic romances, poetry, reverie and Pre-Raphaelites, and Dante Gabriel Rossetti’s poem “The Kiss” has been on my mind these days. Here it is, accompanied by beautiful examples of kisses in art:

What smouldering senses in death’s sick delay

Or seizure of malign vicissitude 

Can rob this body of honour, or denude

This soul of wedding-raiment worn to-day?

For lo! even now my lady’s lips did play

With these my lips such consonant interlude

As laurelled Orpheus longed for when he wooed

The half-drawn hungering face with that last lay. 

 

I was a child beneath her touch,–a man

When breast to breast we clung, even I and she,– 

A spirit when her spirit looked through me,– 

A god when all our life-breath met to fan 

Our life-blood, till love’s emulous ardours ran, 

Fire within fire, desire in deity.

Francesco Hayez, The Kiss (Il bacio), 1859

Egon Schiele, Liebende (Lovers), 1909

Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, In Bed (The Kiss), 1892

Note: you can read the whole English version of Mácha’s “May”, if you are interested, here.

My Inspiration for May 2017

30 May

Oh May, you have bestowed upon my life your utmost charms, you’ve showered me with rose petals, kindness, gemstones, moonshine and poetry. Thy flowery sweetness I shan’t forget!

My two favourite paintings of the month were John Singer Sargent’s beautiful and magical garden scene “Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose” and Berthe Morisot’s “Julie Daydreaming”. I’ve been inspired by The Smiths, poems by Percy Shelley, Elizabeth Siddal, Heinrich Heine and Emily Dickinson, Iggy Pop’s album “Raw Power”, Donovan, Jane Asher in her groovy bedroom, Jean Shrimpton, poppy fields and gloomy roofs of Edinburgh, Broken Blossom (1919) with Lillian Gish who has been my favourite style inspiration lately and her face is hauntingly beautiful, her portrayal of the beautiful, downtrodden waif virgin Lucy Burrows is brilliant and poignant, Debussy’s oriental melodies that seemed to go perfectly with the short stories from Thomas Burke’s collection Limehouse Nights which are all full of  lyrical beauty, set in the seedy district of London’s Limehouse with street lamps, roses and opium dens, and interesting female characters who are all quirky and unique, full of life, or fragile. I’ve read: Love Story by Erich Segal which I read because I wanted something light and swift, and I remembered that Johnny Depp or Barnabas Collins was reading the book in “Dark Shadows” (2012), La Morte Amoureuse by Theophile Gautier, Belle de Jour by Joseph Kessel which I thought was fantastic; it was fast-paced and gave a good insight into Severine’s thoughts and emotions. I was not too crazy about the film, admittedly, but I did have the image of Catherine Deneuve while I was reading the story because I think she is perfect in that “cold-blonde” roles.

Oh, and I just started watching “Anne with an E”; it is the new adaptation of the book Anne of Green Gables, and I absolutely adore it! It’s witty, fun, and quirky, and I like the costumes as well. My darling May, I shall weep many and many a tear for you, and then, I shall wipe my tears to see what pearls June has to offer. Enjoy the pictures!

 

Storm Fiddle · Portnockie © Ian Cameron

My Inspiration for May III

31 May

As you may have noticed, I deliberately chose a romantic theme for May, ‘romantic’ to me means Romanticism, Pre-Raphaelites, Shelley, Shakespeare, Oscar Wilde etc. Also, I’ve read some stories from Decameron by Boccaccio and Prozac Nation by Elizabeth Wurtzel, again, because I can relate to it in some aspects.

The best film I watched this month was Taxi Driver (1976) with Robert De Niro and Jodie Foster. Other films I loved were: Smashing Time (1967), Rumble Fish (1983), Desperate Romantics, To Sir, With Love (1967), Breakfast on Pluto (2005) with Cillian Murphy, All or Nothing (2002) and Life is Sweet (2002) – both by Mike Leigh, and surprisingly Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (2016) – it was quirky and Matt Smith was amusing as Mr Collins. As it so happens, I really love kitchen sink dramas, which I discovered a few months ago, and I watched Cathy Come Home (1966), Room at the Top (1959) and Look Back in Anger (1959); the latter is the best in my opinion.

1852. Ophelia by John Everett Millais1976. Jodie Foster as Iris in 'Taxi Driver' 51976. Jodie Foster as Iris in 'Taxi Driver' 6manic street preachers 123 manic street preachers 30

1857. The Sister’s Grave by Thomas Brooks

Cotehele, Cornwall, United Kingdom1967. Smashing Time with Rita Tushingham and Lynn Redgrave 41967. Smashing Time with Rita Tushingham and Lynn Redgrave 31854. Wedding dresses, Le Conseiller des Dames 1The Falling (2014) 31967. Judy Geeson in 'To Sir, with Love' (1967) 31967. Judy Geeson in 'To Sir, with Love' (1967) 7TO SIR WITH LOVE, Judy Geeson, Lulu, 1967

1850. Ecce Ancilla Domini (Latin 'Behold the handmaiden of the Lord'), or The Annunciation, by Dante Gabriel Rossetti,1966. Cathy Come Home - Ray Brooks as Reg, and Carol White as Cathy 1

Picture shows: (l-r) SAMUEL BARNETT as John Millais, AIDAN TURNER as Dante Gabriel Rossetti, RAFE SPALL as William Holman Hunt, SAM CRANE as Fred Walters. Generic.TX: BBC TWO Tuesday 21st July 2009

1850s Dante Gabriel Rossetti - Elizabeth Siddal, study for 'Delia' in the 'Return1874. Roman widow - Dante Gabriel Rossetti

1850. Painting by John Ruskin (date unknown)desperate romantics 131963. Brigitte Bardot - “Le Mépris” (1963)

1916. The Enchanted Garden - J. W. Waterhouse1857. The Eve of Saint Agnes - William Holman Hunt Dante Gabriel Rossetti: Beata Beatrix, ca 1864-70.1959. Look Back in Anger with Richard Burton 1 1990. Life is Sweet (Mike Leigh) 21990. Life is Sweet (Mike Leigh) 3

all or nothing 2002

Breakfast on Pluto (2005) with Cillian Murphy 3   1833-the-execution-of-lady-jane-grey-by-paul-delaroche-a 1843-joan-of-arcs-death-at-the-stake-hermann-anton-stilkeian curtis 3

1963. Bitter Harvest 1976. Jodie Foster as Iris in 'Taxi Driver' 19 1990s kate moss 279 1878-girl-with-a-rose-by-gustave-leonard-de-jonghe1968. Petulia with Julie Christie 2Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (2016) 16

My Inspiration for May

31 May

Things that inspired me in May were Syd Barrett, Percy Bysshe Shelley, book Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen, Margaret Sarah Carpenter’s paintings, collages, Andy Warhol, Velvet Underground’s debut album, Brigitte Bardot, David Bowie’s song ‘Moonage Daydream’, films Cemetery Junction (2010), Ghost Town (2001) and Submarine (2010).

I’ve been a bit obsessed with The Libertines and Pulp. May I add that Pulp has amazing music videos, especially for the songs Common People, Disco 2000 and Do You Remember The First Time, though the latter can give you a headache, but it’s brilliant nevertheless.

It would be unfair not to mention a book that I’ve read for the second time – The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera. It’s a very philosophical book but engaging at the same time. I’ve read some of the chapters up to six times and I was left with different thoughts each time. Unbelievable, or rather unbearable. I’m in love with the character of Sabina, a passionate and free-spirited artist. I admire her choices in life, and I hope that someday I’ll be a woman like that; never attached to a place, a thing or a person. A quote from the book:

We can never know what to want, because, living only one life, we can neither compare it with our previous lives nor perfect it in our lives to come.

may calender

1956. Christa Päffgen (a.k.a. Nico) photographed by Herbert Tobias 1935. Vogue Cover, July, FLowers 1960s Brigitte Bardot 302 Lovely old fashioned garden jane austen northanger abbey 1 1840. Miss Theobald - Margaret Sarah Carpenter

Copyright Ferens Art Gallery / Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation

Copyright Ferens Art Gallery / Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation

Haddon Hall, Derbyshire - Jane Eyre 'Thornfield Hall' 1 Bluebells in Cornish Graveyard at St Wyllow Church, Lanteglos-by-Fowey, Cornwall, UK. pink floyd early posters 1 syd 109 syd 19 1894. John William Waterhouse's Ophelia 1960s Brigitte Bardot & boyfriend Sami Frey 1964. Terry O'Neill - Marianne Faithfull 1858. The signal - William Powell Frith 1843. Fashions for March 1941. Vivien Leigh and Old Portraits common people

1775-1800. A Welsh Sunset River Landscape by Paul Sandby, showing rather better weather than most 'sublime' landscapes

Lament for May……

William Shakespeare – Sonnet XVIII

23 May

1880s The Long Walk At Kelmscott Manor, Oxfordshire - Marie Spartali Stillman, Watercolour1880s The Long Walk At Kelmscott Manor, Oxfordshire – Marie Spartali Stillman, Watercolour

Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate:
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
And summer’s lease hath all too short a date:
Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,
And often is his gold complexion dimm’d;
And every fair from fair sometime declines,
By chance or nature’s changing course untrimm’d;
But thy eternal summer shall not fade
Nor lose possession of that fair thou owest;
Nor shall Death brag thou wander’st in his shade,
When in eternal lines to time thou growest:
So long as men can breathe or eyes can see,
So long lives this and this gives life to thee.

1870s The Sensitive Plant, study, Sir Frank Dicksee. English Pre-Raphaelite PainterThe Sensitive Plant, study, Sir Frank Dicksee, English Pre-Raphaelite Painter