Monday 1 July 2013

Creative Seasons, Loathly Ladies, and Jane Austen.

I don't know how deeply linked creativity is to the seasons, but I found that during the first few months of this year, with its Narnia-like ever-Winter, creating was difficult.  No Spring, coupled with some side-swiping health issues, as well as a general feeling of stagnation left me with little creative energy.

Now that the seasons have finally tipped, Persephone didn't abandon us for good, everything has been exploding from bud to leaf to flower in an almost time-lapse frenzy.  

That movement, the pulling of sap, drawing of creative forces has me stirring again.  

It's not that I haven't been creating during these past few months, I have been, but it's been laboured, a bit of a fight.  I haven't felt in a creative flow in spite of having found, once again, a lovely studio to work in - with a beautiful view to an overgrown garden.

Next Monday I hang for another show in Munich - my last one while still a resident of the city.  It's in Ruffini, a cafe-restaurant which showcases art from a different artist each month.  I'm very grateful for the opportunity to display my paintings there.  

Initially, I had thought I was going to carry on with abstract paintings based on Norse Myth which I mentioned in an earlier post, but my "House of Memory" series decided that it was 'not dead yet' so I have been working on completing a few more of them for the show.  I must go into the studio later today to put on the last touches and then over the next couple of days to paint the edges of the canvases.

(oil and cold wax on wood 40 cm. x 40 cm.)

For the past three weeks, I've also been busying myself with a German class.

When we first arrived here five years ago, I enrolled in a class.  Since then, I've had opportunities to practice and improve my German in the course of day to day activities.  But, given that my work is by nature largely solitary, and that I'm a very shy person, it's been perhaps been more difficult for me to pick up the language than for others who would either be forced to in their work place or through a gregarious personality.  So, I'm now past the half way mark in a five day a week, three hours a day class.

A bonus is the walk or cycle from my studio to class. 

My route takes me through the Alter Südfriedhof - the Old South Cemetery.  I've written bout it before when I first visited it a couple of years ago.

Here's the gateway.  The brickwork is amazing.  There isn't much red brick building in Munich, and I don't know why: perhaps there wasn't the right clay, or perhaps it was just preference and tradition.  I for one am a sucker for red brick.  I know it's an ages old building material, found all over, but for me there's still something quintessentially Victorian about it.  Perhaps it's that in Toronto, where I grew up, the city is full of red brick Victorian homes.  An architectural style I really miss here in Bavaria, so this is always a treat.

The cemetery itself is beautiful.  It's possibly the oldest in Munich and is now under protection against development.  One of the things which I love about it is that they let it run wild.  Here you have a sense of time, and of Nature eroding and reclaiming, roots slowly pushing over stones in a strange sinewy dance.  And ferns.  Lots and lots of ferns.  

Last week, as I was walking through, I found this stone.  Rather uncharacteristically, it has a woman's photo on it.  The writing is, unfortunately, long gone, but her photo remains.  She reminded me of the women in my collages.

In the garden over her grave was a wild strawberry plant with a few bright red berries.  Like drops of blood, or tiny hearts.  There was magic there.  And perhaps a story to be told.  

On the topic of stories, I wanted to share a collection of stories, poems, essays, and art which I've been thoroughly enjoying.  Donna Quattrone and Virginia M. Mohlere have edited this Scheherezade's Bequest publication: "As You Wish: the Loathly Lady Issue" (volume one, issue one).  
It's beautiful.  The picture on the cover is one of Rima Staines'  (I'm sorry about the poor quality of my photo, I wasn't able to take a better one, but those of you who know Rima's work can imagine how gorgeous it is in person.)  

I did mention that my show this month is to be my last as a resident of Munich.  In the middle of August, we're moving to the beautiful mediaeval city of Regensburg.  We'll be living on the forth (fifth) storey of a building which was begun in 1250 and is right in the middle of the Old Town at Haidplatz.  

The building complex, called the Goldenes Kreuz, is huge and includes, along with a few apartments, a cafe, a small hotel, and a nineteenth century ballroom.  And it's the ballroom along with Jane Austen that got this whole move happening in the first place. 

My husband has taken on the task, from his cousin in Regensburg, to help create a Jane Austen Regency Ball in the ballroom in November.  He's been busy organizing the music, trying to keep to pieces which were in Austen's own collection, as well as finding the dances to go with them.  There will be musicians and I am very happy to participate by singing a few songs. 

One thing led to another and we realized that there seemed to be more opportunities for us professionally in Regensburg.  When at the same time an apartment became available for this Summer, it was a sign.  And we've decided to follow it.  Thank you, Jane.   


Jane Austen
(wikipedia source for public domain image.)

So.  A long, rambling post about what's been going on and what will be going on now that Summer is in full swing.


  1. Oh! And Happy Canada Day!

  2. The painting is beautiful, I wish you success in your exhibition.

  3. Love this painting, Lynn, glad that theme continues for you. The cemetery is beautiful, amazing brickwork and I thought immediately of your collages when I saw that stone.
    Happy moving!

    1. Valerianna, thank you!
      It's great that the city of Munich has put the entire cemetery under protection so it's wonderful character will remain.

      We ordered our moving boxes today...

  4. Wow, wow, wow! What an amazing blog post Lynn. Funny, interesting, that the day you blogged I also had a glimpse of a cemetery...albeit we were driving past it twice. Still I consider us to be living parallel lives. Yes, I know how to s-t-r-e-t-c-h the truth.

    I absolutely love your photos, and the one of the woman who passed a long time ago. Yes again, there's definitely a story there, and you have already begun to tell it...keep goin' girlfriend!

    Love the brick archway entrance. Brilliant!

    Oh, and I am SO excited for you and your husband and the Regency Ball that will be held in November. Wish I could be there to see all the splendor! And so cool about your new place to live: seems also to have a lot of story potential. [Eeek, don't really like the word 'potential,' but it serves sometimes...]

    And last but definitely not least, I love the painting you featured. Your oil, wax and wood piece moves me, as water moves and shapes the world...may this be a complete sell-out! Your talents will be appreciated...and already are appreciated by me.

    Hey, do you do postcards for your shows? I would love to have a couple, if you do. And if you haven't done that, have you considered 'art' cards? Would buy a packet of 10, easily.

    Enough chatter from this sparrow: but you should know that yours is my favorite blog...Thanks for keeping with it: means a lot to me...and others. Namaste.

    1. Thank you, Jan!
      I've been neglecting my poor blog lately, but now that I've come out of my creative hibernation, I'll be giving it more attention.
      The word 'potential' is perfect. It's that potential in our new place that's made the move happen. Things were perfect in Munich for our boys, but for us professionally, they were a bit...difficult. Regensburg, and especially where we're moving to, has many more possibilities. (It's funny that a much smaller city has more in terms of work opportunities in the arts, but that seems to be the case. Also, Munich is a very conservative city and if you're in more of the fringe art and music scene, it's really hard to break in anywhere.)
      I do have postcards which I had made for the show. I had them made up as 'advertising' to let people know the details of my show. I'll happily send you a few! (I believe I still have your snail-mail address from the postcard exchange.)

  5. This comment has been removed by the author.

    1. In doing research for the ball, we've found that her biggest fan base, by far, is in the US where there are endless balls and Jane Austen events. I wonder what Jane herself would think about the way in which she's captured sentiments which are linked to a past time which so many look back on with nostalgia, and which are at the same time incredibly modern and timeless.

      What a lovely gift - a painting of Jane Austen!

      You really are too kind, Jan. I don't know 'Lady Susan'. This is a very thoughtful offer. Is this volume difficult to come by? Do you have an extra copy? Such a lovely offer, but I don't want to put you to any trouble. I would gladly accept, so long as it really isn't in any way an inconvenience, and as long as you really will part with it. (Sorry. I'm not very good at this, am I? : ) )

      Oh, and there I've gone and given my smiley a double chin...

    2. And in my fluster, I didn't say: Thank You!

    3. Even if you didn't say it, I heard it!!! :) ...yes, I can send you 'Lady Susan' without any inconvenience (It is a simple volume, easy to get additional copies.) Consider it long it'll take to get to you I don't know. Do I have time to send something to your current address, before you move? Let me know.

  6. So, it looks like I will need a new address for you? Send me the deets in an email? (The book is now in an envelope, ready to send to you.)

  7. I hope all has gone well with the move. I understand about creative blocks as it always happens to me when we are getting ready to move house, and we have moved a lot over the years! :-)
    I hope your new home brings you much joy and inspiration. It sounds like a wonderful place to live with plenty of history.
    The walk to your classes looks enchanting, lovely photos.
    The Jane Austen ball sounds great. Jane Austen used to live in my hometown of Bath, so she is very popular there as well.
    Best wishes,

    1. Thank you, Jo!
      Creative blocks and times of big change do seem to come together. I'm one of these people who has to feel settled to be fully creative, in times of flux, I find I'm too scattered to focus properly on either my art or my writing. But that will come soon! (I've also moved more times than I can count over the years. It's programmed me to the point that when I've been living in a place for about two years, I start to get antsy.)
      Bath is a lovely city. I'd love to visit there again one day.
      Best wishes to you! Lynn.

  8. Thank you for following my blog Lynn. Your work is beautiful xx

    1. Thank you, Nomi.
      Your work is just gorgeous.

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