Tag Archives: november

My Inspiration for November 2018

30 Nov

Hard to believe December is here already! The November dragged slowly and then just vanished… This month I was inspired by Symbolist poetry by Albert Samain, a wonderful film “Young and beautiful” (2013) with the beautiful Marina Vacht, and “Say Anything” (1989) with John Cusack, Peter Gabriel’s song “In Your Eyes”, Bruce Springsteen, flower designs by Charles Rennie Mackintosh… November sunsets, pink and cold, are something wistful and exquisite, I dream of being someone else and being somewhere else.

“You called me, and I came home to your heart.”

(Robert Browning, from “Andrea del Sarto,” in The Love Poems of Elizabeth and Robert Browning)

Photo by Nishe (Magdalena Lutek), found here.

Picture found here.

Lake Bled, Slovenia, by Artem Sapegin.

“Nevermind the child, she’s away with the fairies again.”, pic found here.

Roses, found here.

Fairy tale about a girl whose body comes to life every night under his sensitive hands. by laura makabresku on Flickr.

Jeune et Jolie (2013)

Sappho’s verses, found here.

Autumn in Istria, Croatia, photo found here.

Eltz castle, Germany, photo by Todd G.

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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)

Romantic Melancholy

17 Nov

Sad; so sad, those smoky-rose, smoky-mauve evenings of late autumn, sad enough to pierce the heart…anguish of the turn of the year, the time of impotent yearning, the inconsolable season. (Angela Carter, Saints and Strangers)

Caspar David Friedrich, Wanderer Above the Sea of Fog, 1818

In these lonely autumn evenings, I yearn to escape the enveloping dreariness of November through poetry, pressed flowers and scented candles. Suffocated by thick fogs and the smell of rotting corpses of daydreams and high hopes that never come true, I hear Melancholy quietly knocking on my door and silently, without disturbing the yellow roses in my vase, it wrapped my tired shoulders with a fragrant lace cloth of spring naivety and summer innocence, of silver dandelions and spider webs, white roses and kindness of strangers. I try to smile at this stranger dressed in a purple gown and jangling earrings of silver and amethyst, but my lips of a doll have become rusty. I take the imaginary book of memories in my hand and blow away the dust. A few rose petals fall on the floor, and my crystal tears join them in their fall. Memories of summer’s gold and bloom dance in my head like skeletons, memories of things that were painfully beautiful but might never return. Memories of poppy meadows and river’s cheerful murmurs, of May’s pink roses, white butterflies and forest groves, of golden sunlight and juicy pears, of stars and perpetually dreamy days of July, and long warm enchantingly golden afternoons of August. I have a withered rose instead of a heart, and it pulsates melodiously in a rhythm of yearning and anguish. I am a forgotten abbey in the oakwood; all my hopes have fallen like leaves on the trees and my soul is but a skeleton covered in moss. I take a pen and command: Melancholy, oh speak to me!

Caspar David Friedrich, Moonrise Over the Sea, 1822

Melancholy is kind and generous, and since I begged her, she spoke to me in a mellifluous voice of all the places where she resides… First thou shall find me, said Melancholy, in ethereal sounds of Chopin’s Nocturnes, whose trembling ecstasies and passions lie hidden under flimsy veils of sadness. As Oscar Wilde said: “After playing Chopin, I feel as if I had been weeping over sins that I had never committed, and mourning over tragedies that were not my own. Music always seems to me to produce that effect. It creates for one a past of which one has been ignorant, and fills one with a sense of sorrows that have been hidden from one’s tears.” When Chopin’s Nocturne turns to mute silence of dreary chambers, I dance my way to beautiful objects and inhabit them; old ballet slippers, worn out lamé dresses of 1920s, a box of old letters and photographs, empty perfume bottles, dusty cradles of children who are now adults, summer dusks with fireflies and strong scent of roses and a pale moon appearing coyly on the horizon, worn out names on tombstones and graves that no one visits any more, flowers slowly withering in a vase, unfinished charcoal drawings, drafts of letters never finished, smell of old books… Every place of beauty is my abode, ye can find me in poetry and songs too; in vocals and wistful violins of the Tindersticks and their song Travelling Light:

“There are places I don’t remember
There are times and days, they mean nothing to me
I’ve been looking through some of them old pictures
They don’t serve to jog my memory

I’m not waking in the morning, staring at the walls these days
I’m not getting out the boxes, spread all over the floor
I’ve been looking through some of them old pictures
Those faces they mean nothing to me no more”

Caspar David Friedrich, Abtei im Eichwald (Abbey in the Oakwood), 1808-1810

I closed my eyes and listened to Melancholy as it spoke to me, with a voice like flowing honey, and she said: I hide in canvases too; German Romantic painter Caspar David Friedrich adored me as his muse. Do not believe his landscapes, they are not at all what they seem; a tree is not a tree and fog is not simply fog as it is with John Constable. Led by his pantheistic vision of nature, he portrayed emotions and his states of mind. “Abbey in the Oakwood” is a melancholic masterpiece. An abandoned Gothic abbey is a corpse, a ruin, which speaks of happier times when it served its purpose. Tall oaks with crooked bare branches surround it. Sublime, eerie mood pervades the painting; crosses disappearing into the fog, a barely noticeable procession of monks, a freshly dug grave, and the endlessly lead coloured sky. In early 19th century Germany, Romanticism was closely associated with the National awakening, and Goethe considered Gothic architecture to be Germanic in origin. In contrast to the Classical architecture, the plans of Gothic cathedrals were done by “romantic intuition” rather than mathematical calculations. Gothic abbeys and oaks possess the same grandeur, the same melancholy when covered in deep snow or grey fogs.

I am not always obvious at first sight; do not let the screaming ecstatic yellow of Vincent van Gogh and Kirchner deceive you, for I was their friend too. I was the pencil that Egon Schiele used to sketch his nude beauties with worn out smiles and hollow cheeks, I kissed every yellow petal of the sunflowers he was obsessed with.

Egon Schiele, Sunflower, 1909

As I wipe my tears and feel my cheek’s returning rosy hue, I eagerly listen to Melancholy and her story. She says: I was the lover of John Keats, and the illness of young Werther. All artists find a muse in me, and Romanticists loved me deeply, but the idealist and dreamy escapist Keats adored me in particular, and dressed himself in my cloth of flowers, tears and beauty. In his rosy-coloured visions of the Middle Ages, he found beauty that the world of reality had denied him. Keats knew when he sang of me that Beauty is my other face, and he knew my strength well enough so he never tried to defeat me but rather embrace me and heal the sorrow I cause by contemplating things of Beauty:

“But when the melancholy fit shall fall

Sudden from heaven like a weeping cloud,

That fosters the droop-headed flowers all,

And hides the green hill in an April shroud;

Then glut thy sorrow on a morning rose,

Or on the rainbow of the salt sand-wave,

Or on the wealth of globed peonies;

Or if thy mistress some rich anger shows,

Emprison her soft hand, and let her rave,

And feed deep, deep upon her peerless eyes.

*

She dwells with Beauty—Beauty that must die;

And Joy, whose hand is ever at his lips

Bidding adieu; and aching Pleasure nigh,

Turning to poison while the bee-mouth sips:

Ay, in the very temple of Delight

Veil’d Melancholy has her sovran shrine…”

Percy Bysshe Shelley confided in me too, but found me too bitter at times, and yet he wrote these verses: “Our sweetest songs are those that tell of saddest thought.”

Photo by Laura Makabresku

John Singer Sargent, Polly Barnard (also known as study for Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose), 1885, Medium: pencil

Photo by Laura Makabresku

“There is a life and there is a death, and there are beauty and melancholy between.” (Albert Camus)

Caspar David Friedrich, Two Men Contemplating the Moon, 1825-30

Caspar David Friedrich, A Walk at Dusk (detail), ca.1830-35

In November dreariness, my only consolation lies in long evening walks by the river. The Moon is my lover; I year for his caresses and weep at sunset when we must part. He greets me, smiling through the bare branches of tall trees, and I turn my face to his glow and whisperingly ask to fulfil all my longings, to kiss my cheeks and hug me. I hear the river murmuring of happier times, but the Moon is wise and he offers me a “nepenthe”. ‘What is it?’, I ask the Moon and he replies: ‘It is an ancient Greek word, defined as a medicine for sorrow. It can be a place, person or thing, which can aid in forgetting your pain and suffering.’ I follow the Moon, yearning for a more precise answer, but it disappears behind the clouds and I am left alone … yet again.

Photo by Laura Makabresku

I gaze at the river for a long time, longing to see the Moon’s whimsical silvery reflection in the dark water. I cup the dark water in my hands and the dazzling rays of moon slip through my fingers… just as every happy moment does.

My Inspiration for November III

28 Nov

My aesthetic for this month includes Emmy Bovary’s provincial loneliness, 1830s fashion, grim cities of the North in artworks of Grimshaw and kitchen sink dramas, decadence of Weimar Berlin, fragile and beautiful literary heroines such as Blanche DuBois, Iggy Pop and David Bowie’s years in Berlin, Kirchner, Joy Division and the story around Tony Wilson’s Factory, and Biba fashion. Also, I’ve been very interested in 1970s take on the glamour of the 1930s in fashion. I’ve read only two books: Touching from a Distance by Deborah Curtis and Villette by Charlotte Bronte, the latter kind of annoyed me. A little hint: the next post will be about one painting from this post, any guesses?

‘The day is slipping away… I am sorrowful in November.’ (Anne Sexton)

1973-hanna-schygulla-munich-theatre-cloackroom-1973-michael-friedel

Source: misspandora.fr1925-26-farewell-by-ernst-ludwig-kirchner

1871-moonlight-1871-john-atkinson-grimshaw1881. Shipping on the Clyde, by John Atkinson Grimshaw,1960. Brigitte Bardot and Sami Frey in La vérité (1960) by Henri-Georges Clouzot 31837. Mourning Dresses, World of Fashion, July1841-louise-dorleans-queen-of-belgium-1812-1850-painted-by-franz-xaver-winterhalter

miss-pandora-1205-glam-rockSource: https://www.instagram.com/p/BMbjCmejPYH/?taken-by=thepigallesisterhood

View of Heath Street by Night 1882 Atkinson Grimshaw 1836-1893 Purchased 1963 http://www.tate.org.uk/art/work/T00626jane-eyre-1830s-fashion-plate-1

The Vale of Rest 1858-9 Sir John Everett Millais, Bt 1829-1896 Presented by Sir Henry Tate 1894 http://www.tate.org.uk/art/work/N01507

1977-david-bowie-heroes

1977-iggy-pop-the-idiot-released-on-18th-march-19771913. Five Women in the Street by Ernst Ludwig Kirchner

My Inspirations for November II

30 Nov

This month I’ve read a few good books in a row, which is such a delight. So, I’ve read an avant-garde book ‘Novel with Cocaine’ by M. Ageyev, then finally Madame Bovary by Flaubert, Cranford by Elizabeth Gaskell, novella Asya by Turgenev and Kafka’s The Metamorphosis. I’ve watched some good films too; La Verite (1960) and Love is my profession (1958); both with Brigitte Bardot, and The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus – really, really good, loved the costumes, the setting, wow! You’ve probably all seen it, but it was totally new and fresh and exciting for me. Well, I have to say that, as December arrives, my thoughts go to Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Pierrot and circus – that might be a hint for my following posts.

1960s Jean Shrimpton on the tower bridge by david bailey 1838. Fashion for April, Ladies Cabinet 1837. Mourning Dresses, World of Fashion, July 1839. Louise-Marie d'Orleans 1831. Karl Pawlowitsch Brjullow Portrait of Giovannina Pacini, the eldest daughter of the Italian composer Giovanni Pacini Pencil and watercolour on paper 1831 1968. Girls, Quartier Latin, Paris 1967. Hookah Love, C.Keelan, Let us then free from hate, live happily among men filled with hatred, let us dwell in love. 1967. Flower Love - C.Keelan 1965 C2 26A Iggy Pop at the Whisky à Gogo in Los Angeles. 1906. Eugène Galien-Laloue (1854-1941), Le Moulin Rouge au Soir, Paris

NPG x103060; Betty Lindley

NPG x103060; Betty Lindley

1946. Brigitte Bardot waiting 1950s Thurston Hopkins - Cats of London 1973. Carol Kane in The Last Detail 1970s Iggy Pop on stage 1850s Autumn Landscape-William Louis Sonntag 1858-59. John Everett Millais - The Vale of Rest 1869. A Walk in the Forest, Ivan Shishkin 1880s Witch costume 1903. Albert Lynch (1851 - 1912), Jeanne d'Arc 1960. Brigitte Bardot and Sami Frey in La vérité (1960) by Henri-Georges Clouzot 3 1960. Brigitte Bardot and Sami Frey in La vérité (1960) by Henri-Georges Clouzot 7 1877. Linnie Watt - A Woodland Walk 1961. Jean Luc Godard and Anna Karina, Une Femme Est Une Femme 1961. Brigitte Bardot, “On The Sunny Side of The Street”, 1961

English actress Jane Asher drinks from a cup whilst reading papers in her kitchen in London in 1966. (Photo by Popperfoto/Getty Images)

English actress Jane Asher drinks from a cup whilst reading papers in her kitchen in London in 1966. (Photo by Popperfoto/Getty Images)

1960s jane asher 44 1960s Francoise Hardy 39 1960s brigitte bardot 26 1956. Marina Vlady

1970s Barbara Streisand, vintage hair 1990s kate moss 1711913. Five Women in the Street by Ernst Ludwig Kirchner1993. Kate Moss, Photo - Terry O'Neill 2