Tag Archives: Spring

My Inspiration for April 2022

30 Apr

“I am still ashamed of myself, afraid to let myself go, to let things pour out of me; I am dreadfully inhibited, and that is because I have not yet learned to accept myself as I am.”

Etty Hillesum, from a diary entry featured in An Interrupted Life: the Diaries, 1941-1943 and Letters from Westerbork (translated from the Dutch by Arnold J. Pomerans)

Jamie Beck (@jamiebeck.co)

Instagram: elise.buch

Picture found here.

Reylia Slaby, Ophelia – Tales from Japan series – Nara, Japan – 2013

Picture found here.

Picture found here.

Kasamatsu Shiro – Tenjin Shrine in Spring Rain and The Ginza on a Spring Night

3 Apr

“That is one good thing about this world…there are always sure to be more springs.”

(L.M.Montgomery, Anne of Avonlea)

Kasamatsu Shiro, Yushima Tenjin Shrine in Spring Rain, 1935

These two woodblock prints by the Japanese print maker and engraver Kasatasu Shiro (1898-1991), “Yushima Tenjin Shrine in Spring Rain” and “The Ginza on a Spring Night” are very similar and contrasting at the same time. Both prints portray the scene of a spring rain and night; motives that seem to be recurring in the art of Kasamatsu Shiro, and both prints show a scene with architecture and people. Still, the moods of these prints are very different. In “Yushim Tenjin Shrine in Spring Rain” the scene of the Tenjin shrine in spring rain is seen through a greyish-blue mist. We, the viewers, are observing the scene from a porch, safely hidden under a roof while the rain is drizzling. The pigeons have also found their safe haven under that same roof. The figures in the distance are all holding umbrellas. The bare tree branches, a pigeon in its flight, the puddles of rain on the ground; little details such as these help to convey the mood of tranquility and perhaps even a touch of melancholy. Here and there we can see the warm yellow light of the lanterns. The horizontal shape of the print adds to the calm, serene mood of the scene and the visual space is nicely broken up into different parts with the wooden columns on the porch; this is a detail typical for Japanese art. In contrast, the print “The Ginza on a Spring Night” shows a scene from a bustling city of Tokyo. Shiro depicts a busy street scene and the vertical format of the print really fits the mood, in the same way the horizontal format fits the meditative mood of the previous print. Women wearing kimono and dresses, men in their suits, everyone is walking down the street on a spring night. Where are they all going, I can’t help but wonder? The blueness of the night is mingling with the yellow light of the streelamps. A thin tree with blossoming branches is stretching itself towards the sky, as if it is thirsty to soak in the silvery light of the moon. It is interesting how the passersby in the foreground are drawn more in detail while the ones in the background are drawn merely as dark shadows. These two prints both depict the motif of a spring night and rain but they are full of contrasts; spiritual versus secular (one print showing the shrine and the other a city scene), tranquility versus liveliness, nature versus city, meditation versus frivolity and fun.

Kasamatsu Shiro, The Ginza on a Spring Night (Haru no yo, Ginza), 1934

My Inspiration for March 2022

31 Mar
“I don’t do anything with my life except romanticize and decay with indecision.”

(Allen Ginsberg, from The Book of Martyrdom and Artifice: First Journals and Poems: 1937-1952)

Amorous Couple (Mithuna), ca. A.D. 500, Madhya Pradesh, India, Pink sandstone.

Picture found here: Etsy shop: ‘Blessed Damozel’ necklace, inspired by the poem and Pre-Raphaelite painting by Dante Gabriel Rossetti.

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Aerial sculpture of the Brihadisvara Temple, Gangaikonda Cholapuram, Tamil Nadu.

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Victorian Decorated chancel ceiling by Spencer Means.

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Patrick Bergsma’s unusual kintsugi sculptures combine the art of ceramics with bonsai.

By Glen Martin Taylor, @glenmartintaylor – “….if you die in one piece, perhaps you haven’t lived.” “Death’s Cabinet Door”, vintage plate and cabinet door, bones, silver solder.

By Glen Martin Taylor

Nijo Castle details. Japan. Photography by Matt Ritter on Flickr

photographed by Ben Toms for Vogue China, November 2017

Fashion Inspiration for Spring 2022

25 Mar

Lunetta Earrings by Jennifer Behr.

Instagram: devyncrimson.

Instagram: devyn crimson

Earrings, found here.

Instagram: devyn crimson.

Tilfi – Charbagh Collection, found here.

My Inspiration for May 2021

31 May

This May I was in the mood for the Pre-Raphaelite art (when am I not in the mood for that?…), but especially the drawings of Dante Gabriel Rossetti which I feel that I love even more than his paintings. I have also been enjoying the art of Foujita and Miroslav Kraljević, as you have seen from the posts I have written on the topic. I was also reading a book “The Game of Life and How to Play It” by Florence Shinn and here is a very wise quote from it:

“Nothing stands between man and his highest ideals and every desire of his heart, but doubt and fear. When man can “wish without worrying,” every desire will be instantly fulfilled. (…) fear must be erased from the consciousness. It is man’s only enemy – fear of lack, fear of failure, fear of sickness, fear of loss and a feeling of insecurity on some plane. Jesus Christ said: “Why are ye fearful, oh ye of little faith?” (Mat. 8:26) So we can see we must substitute faith for fear, for fear is only inverted faith; it is faith in evil instead of good.”

“Look in my face; my name is Might-have-been;

I am also call’d No-more, Too-late, Farewell”

(Dante Gabriel Rossetti, The House of Life)

Ca’ d’Oro, photographed by David Hamilton, Venice, 1989.

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Jane Asher in 1964

Brigitte Bardot, Le Stroboscope, Paris, 1956 – Ph. Willy Rizzo

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Sarajevo, picture found here.

My Inspiration for April 2021

30 Apr

The most important thing of Beauty that I have delighted in this April was Linda Lappin’s freshly published novel “Loving Modigliani: The Afterlife of Jeanne Hébuterne”, you can read more about it in my book review, but I will just say here that it really captivated my imagination and filled my mind with beautiful imagery. It’s really a haunting, beautiful and poignant book. Naturally, descriptions of Jeanne’s clothes made me take a look at the 1910s fashion, especially the Oriental inspired designs by Paul Poirot, then also Diego Rivera’s painting with flowers, Amy Winehouse and Paul Weller singing covers, Talk Talk and The Libertines. I reread Milan Kundera’s “The Unbearable Lightness of Being” and found something new and beautiful in it, which I hadn’t seen before. Another thing I must recommend is the video/article (or rather transcript) by the Academy of Ideas called “The Manufacturing of Mass Psychosis – Can sanity return to the insane world?“; very interesting and thought-provoking, it quotes Joost Meerloo’s book “The Rape of the Mind”:

Totalitarianism is man’s escape from the fearful realities of life into the virtual womb of the leaders. The individual’s actions are directed from this womb – from the inner sanctum…man need no longer assume responsibility for his own life. The order and logic of the prenatal world reign. There is peace and silence, the peace of utter submission.

“It is not death that a man should fear, but he should fear never beginning to live.”

(Marcus Aurelius, Meditations)

Open meadows, picture found here.

April 1968. ‘Flirtations come naturally in this romantic new-look that’s date-positive and party-bound.’ Picture found here.

 

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Glowing barrel cacti, Mojave National Preserve, California by Scott Gibson via Flickr https://flic.kr/p/beeUcH

Laura Julie by David Cohen de Lara for ELLE France June 2017, pic found here.

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Picture found here.

Picture by elise.buch on instagram.

Picture by elise.buch on instagram.

Two pics above found here.

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Angkor Wat temple, Angkor, Cambodia, picture found here.

Penelope Tree photographed by David Bailey for Vogue, 1969

Gunilla Lindbland for Vogue, April 1971

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Regitze Christensen by Boo George for Numéro August 2017. Picture found here.

Austin Lite, Watercolor and Ink on Cotton Paper, 2019, 9″x 12″

 

Frank Lepold, Impromptu, 2015

Two pictures above found here.

Picture found here.

1970s Muguet des Bois Perfume Ads: The Fragrance of Love, Romance and Springtime

20 Apr

I recently stumbled upon these perfume ads from the 1970s for the Muguet des bois by Coty perfume and I really like the illustrations! The spirit of romance and spring, the soft and dreamy colour palettes of green, blue and yellow all transport me into some fairy tale land where the sun always shines and flowers always bloom. I don’t even care for the perfume or the ad, these illustrations on their own are just beautiful. The butterflies, the meadows, the dresses, the girls’ soft curly hair, the way the lilies of the valley just flood the scene in the ad from 1979, the carriage and the romantic woods from the ad from 1978, all so enchanting.

The legend of Muguet des bois, April 1975

The romantic fragrance of the Lily of the Woods, 1978

The fragrance of love, romance, and springtime, 1977

Let yourself go. As far as your dreams take you, 1979

1973

 

My Inspiration for March 2021

31 Mar

My biggest inspiration this month (and discovery) was Santoka Taneda; a Japanese haiku writer who led a fascinating life and wrote Zen poetry, and also my old favourite Vincent van Gogh: his art, his letters, and Irving Stone’s novel “Lust for Life”. As I am writing this, bright yellow daffodils are smiling to me from their vase and from my window I see the clouds, the skies, the treetops, I hear the birdsong; they all call me to join them and I shall. Enjoy the beautiful pictures!

“There were so many things we feared. And we shouldn’t have. We should have lived.”

(Ivo Andrić)

“Today my path was wonderful. I wanted to shout out to the mountains, the sea, and the sky. The sound of the waves, the birds, the pure water–I’m grateful for everything. The sun shone brightly and the number of pilgrims increases daily. The memorials, the bridges, the shrines, and the cliffs were so beautiful. My rice was like food from heaven.”

(from Santoka Taneda’s diary)

Beautiful watercolour by  李淡淡 .

Picture by i.Anton ☂.

Quote from “Sputnik Sweetheart”, by Haruki Murakami

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Lucia Heffernan – Field Wishes, 2020

Spring Fashion Inspiration: It’s a Romantic New World…

23 Mar

The idea for the title of this post came from a 1968 fashion picture which you’ll see bellow where two girls are seen wearing floral-print dresses and the words “It’s a romantic new world” are scrawled over it. World in this moment is more a 1984-Brave New World one, but I still like to daydream about more romantic imaginary Arcadian worlds… Enjoy the pictures! 🦋🌷🌻

Picture found here.

Picture found here.

Larme Kei fashion magazine scans found here.

March 1977. ‘A feminine bouquet of soft pastels to embroider on a lovely, long white dress.’ Found here.

Found on: louiseebelpandora Instagram

Picture found here.

Van Gogh and Hiroshige: Plum Blossoms and Pink Skies

12 Mar

“Just think of that; isn’t it almost a new religion that these Japanese teach us, who are so simple and live in nature as if they themselves were flowers? And we wouldn’t be able to study Japanese art, it seems to me, without becoming much happier and more cheerful, and it makes us return to nature, despite our education and our work in a world of convention.”

Hiroshige, Plum Park in Kameido, 1857

This beautiful scene of an orchard in bloom, “Plum Park in Kameido”, is probably the most famous print made by the Japanese Ukiyo-e artist Utagawa Hiroshige in 1857. It is the thirtieth print from the collection of 119 ukiyo-e prints “One Hundred Famous Views of Edo” which were mostly done by Hiroshige and, after Hiroshige’s death in 1858, the rest of the prints were done by his successor Hiroshige II. Around ten thousand copies were made of each of these prints and after Japan reopened to the West in 1853 these prints travelled even to France where painters such as Edouard Manet, Claude Monet, Vincent van Gogh and many, many other painters got their hands on them and used them as inspiration. Vincent van Gogh not only took inspiration from these prints, but also made copies. In many of his letters, Vincent mentions his love for Japan and ukiyo-e prints, here is an example, from a letter to his brother Theo, 23 or 24 September 1888:

If we study Japanese art, then we see a man, undoubtedly wise and a philosopher and intelligent, who spends his time — on what? — studying the distance from the earth to the moon? — no; studying Bismarck’s politics? — no, he studies a single blade of grass.

But this blade of grass leads him to draw all the plants — then the seasons, the broad features of landscapes, finally animals, and then the human figure. He spends his life like that, and life is too short to do everything.

Just think of that; isn’t it almost a new religion that these Japanese teach us, who are so simple and live in nature as if they themselves were flowers?

And we wouldn’t be able to study Japanese art, it seems to me, without becoming much happier and more cheerful, and it makes us return to nature, despite our education and our work in a world of convention. (…) I envy the Japanese the extreme clarity that everything in their work has. It’s never dull, and never appears to be done too hastily. Their work is as simple as breathing, and they do a figure with a few confident strokes with the same ease as if it was as simple as buttoning your waistcoat. Ah, I must manage to do a figure with a few strokes. That will keep me busy all winter. Once I have that, I’ll be able to do people strolling along the boulevards, the streets, a host of new subjects.

Vincent van Gogh, Flowering Plum Tree (after Hiroshige), 1887

Since we are now in the time of the year when the white and pink blossoms are starting to adorn the sad and bare three branches, these paintings have been on my mind. Van Gogh painted a copy of Hiroshige’s “Plum Park in Kameido” sometime in September or October 1887 whilst he was still in Paris. As you can see, Hiroshige used a very interesting perspective here and the entire plum orchard in bloom is seen through the tree branches of the plum tree in the foreground. The plum tree in the foreground is very cheekily obscuring our view, as if we are gazing at something forbidden, something mysterious on the other side of the fence. In the background, many plum trees in bloom are painted. In Van Gogh’s copy the tree tops of those plum trees in the background are especially dreamy, they look like soft, yellowish clouds, and the gradation of that yellowish-white colour to the red of the sky is quite exquisite. The grass of the orchard is a flat green surface with almost no visible brushstrokes. Van Gogh usually loved layers of colour and rough brushstrokes, but here he was inspired by the flatness of Hiroshige’s print and tried to mimic it.

Vincent van Gogh, View of Arles with Trees in Blossom (Orchard in Bloom with View of Arles), 1889

Vincent van Gogh, The Flowering Orchard, 1888

And to end, here are two more van Gogh’s paintings of orchards in a Japanese style and another excerpt from Vincent’s letter, this time to Emile Bernard, which mentions his love for Japanese art, written in Arles, on Sunday 18 March 1888:

My dear Bernard,

Having promised to write to you, I want to begin by telling you that this part of the world seems to me as beautiful as Japan for the clearness of the atmosphere and the gay colour effects. The stretches of water make patches of a beautiful emerald and a rich blue in the landscapes, as we see it in the Japanese prints. Pale orange sunsets making the fields look blue — glorious yellow suns. (…) Perhaps there’d be a real advantage in emigrating to the south for many artists in love with sunshine and colour. The Japanese may not be making progress in their country, but there’s no doubt that their art is being carried on in France.