Thursday, November 19, 2015

The Best Plans. . .

A week ago I was in the midst of rehearsing Dvorák's 7th  Symphony  - a truly  wonderful work full of exuberance and drama. It is my favorite of all the Dvorák symphonies,  unfortunately performed too seldom. So, I was very happy to have the chance after many years to reacquaint myself with this work. With all of Dvorák's beautiful melodies in my mind,  I had also developed a mental outline for a corresponding blogpost full of colors inspired by the rich harmonies and rhythms, especially in the symphony's  third movement. This recording my not be the best of them all, but I chose it because the conductor, Jose Serebrier is married to a distant cousin of mine - a shirttail relative!

And then came Friday evening and the events in Paris. . . . I won't dwell on this subject here; we have heard the news and listened to the editorials and politicians and read the many facebook comments. It is over, but the effects will be with us for a very long time.

My art selection this week isn't something new - I rather wanted to choose a painting that exudes calm peace. I hope the world can find it, too.

Winter Cranes

Monday, November 9, 2015

November in Liebenberg

Schloss Liebenberg
Indian Summer may be an American phenomenon, but we here in Germany are experiencing  a wonderfully mild and extended autumn that is every bit as beautiful as those in New England; it is pure luxury to be able to leave  winter coat and gloves in the closet in November. The geraniums and asters in my window boxes are still producing blossoms and defying the calendar. Until yesterday there were even several half ripe strawberries in my sunniest window garden; I was entertaining thoughts of  homegrown strawberries on Thanksgiving . . . until the local squirrel found them. I hope he enjoyed this unexpected delicacy.

On one of the sunny afternoons this past week I took a drive just north of Berlin to visit Schloss Liebenberg. In one month's time, the courtyard of this little castle will be transformed into a beautiful Advent market with stands offering all sorts traditional decorations, handicrafts, art (yes, KlangArt, too) culinary treats and music.
It was not the typical November afternoon!

The fresh air, mild temperatures and glorious colors have had their effect on my watercolor palette,  too. Where I ought to be concentrating on snowmen, angels and winter scenes for the upcoming Advent market season, I've instead spent my time painting the warm tones of autumn sunsets and foliage.
Autumn in the Air

As I was leafing through an old calendar today, I ran across something I had scribbled on the page - a thought from John Cleese that was important to me then - and no less pertinent today.

"Nothing will stop you from being creative so effectively as the fear of making a mistake."