Tuesday, 5 February 2013

"Inspiration" - BIO - February 2013


is the theme for this month's post
which is supposed to be an 'easy' one,
'easy' ????  Oh my...I'm going in circles....

"Who was the most inspirational person in your life and why? 
And, what inspires you the most today?" 

Many persons inspired me throughout my life in different ways 
- and still do!
I could not say which one was the most inspirational,
and I don't know where to start....

But - I'm certainly inspired most by nature,
an endless source of inspiration, 
by music...!

So, again, were do I start...?

“Sing in me, Muse, and through me tell the story.....”

 Muse Polyhymnia
by Francesco del Cossa, c. c.
 Italian Renaissance painter, fresco painter, draughtsman and restorer

Ah......finally - I've been kissed by this muse!
 The muse of sacred hymn and eloquence
as well as agriculture and pantomime.

When I was 8 years old, living in South Germany, nearby the Black Forest,
 in a small farmhouse with a vegetable garden, a few chickens, 
a lovely pig, a goat and a few acres of land for potatoes etc...
...enough for providing daily life's food.

by Julien Dupré, French painter, 1851-1910

We lived next to a large farm
where I spend a lot of time and most of the school holidays,
helping with all kind of 'things'...., 
milking the cows, cleaning the barns...

'next door' to La Pouyette

...and "talking" to the animals...   
which I still do...  :-)

Black Forest valley

The farmer took me out for harvesting.
Early mornings with the waggon pulled by oxen,
spending the whole day in the fields,

La Recolte Des Foins (The Harvesting of the Hat), 1881
by Julien Dupré

...harvesting wheat, making hay,
having lunch in the shadow of trees, nearby a little stream,
and back in the evening, sitting right up on top of the waggon 
loaded with that day's wheat or hay.

Henry Hillier Parker. English, 1858-1930.

by Julien Dupré

Those happy days I still remember and can inhale the scent of freshly cut grass....

 ....here on our front field at La Pouyette

And since my early childhood 

by Wilelm Schütze, German Painter, 19th century

I'm simply attached to the country side....

Le Périgord

....throughout the year....

Le Périgord - field with wild poppies, near Lusignac

 .....on rainy or sunny days...

 ...there is always beauty...

Le Périgord - river Isle


Le Périgord - fishing lake nearby La Pouyette


Le Périgord

even on a misty morning 
when the countryside looks like a William Turner's painting


Black Forest 

  and wherever I go....

and wherever I am...

Le Périgord

I now realize 
I'm mostly  inspired  by the richness of  nature.....

at La Pouyette

by sunrises...

at La Pouyette
  ...and sunsets.


From the beginning of human history,
nature has played a vital role in our creative expression.
The lands and waters we rely on for daily survival shape
how we view and interpret the world around us.
And in turn, the art we create from  nature's  inspiration
becomes part of our personal and cultural identity.


 French painter Pierre Bonnard (1867-1947) said:
"Art will never be able to exist without nature"

The Open Window, Pierre Bonnard, 1921

Pierre Bonnard


Ludwig van Beethoven's letters
which are filled with declarations of the importance 
of nature in his life, such as one from 1810:

"How delighted I will be to ramble for awhile through the bushes, woods,
under trees, through grass, and around rocks.
No one can love the country as much as I do.
For surely woods, trees, and rocks produce the echo that man desires to hear."

Portrait of Beethoven in 1804,
when he had been working on the Sixth Symphony for two years.
by W.J. Mähler

     Beethoven’s great love of nature, 
the delight in strolling through the woods,
the fact that he always found his equilibrium in the heart of nature,
all these led to the creation of his sixth symphony.
also called " The Pastoral"

 This programmatic endeavor 
is clearly expressed through the suggestive title of the symphony,
as well as through the titles of each segment of it,
through this initiating the later direction of his programmatic symphonies
and even of his symphonic poems.

     When he found refuge in the midst of nature, 
he jotted down themes inspired by 
the trill of birds, the trickling of creeks or the rustle of leaves.

In a notebook from 1803 
was found an outline of a river’s trickling with the additional note:

" The greater the river, the more grave the tone."

“The Pastoral” 
represents the expression of the love the composer holds for nature.
Beethoven famously noted that the "Pastoral" contained  

"more an expression of feeling than painting."


II. Andante molto mosso

This movement, titled by Beethoven  
"Die Szene am Bach" - "By the brook"
is held to be one of Beethoven's most beautiful and serene compositions.

River Dordogne in the Périgord

At the opening the strings play a motif 
that clearly imitates flowing water.

Le Périgord - River Isle

The cello section is divided, with just two players playing the flowing-water notes
on muted instruments, with the remaining cellos
playing mostly pizzicato notes together with the double basses.

Toward the end of the movement,
there is a cadenza for three woodwind instruments that imitates bird calls.
Beethoven helpfully identified the bird species in the score:
nightingale (flute), quail (oboe), and cuckoo (clarinet).

   Beethoven rose much higher than his predecessors who tried to capture the gist of nature,
because he places man with his feelings and sensitivity in the heart of nature....

Black Forest

....And this is confirmed by the very title he places on the cover of the
first edition (Breitkoph & Hartel) and that is:
"Pastoral-Sinfonie oder Erinnerung an das Landleben. 
(Mehr Ausdruck der Emphindung als Mahlerey.)" –
“Pastoral Symphony or Recollection of the Life in the Countryside”

George Vicat Cole , 17 April 1833 – 6 April 1893


Summer Dance by Pierre Bonnard, 1912


 Jean Baptiste Camille Corot  
 in a letter to  Camille Pissarro:

 Le Concert de Champêtre by Jean Baptiste-Camille Corot, 1796-1875

..."Go to the country - The muse is in the woods."


Black Forest in autumn




"Natural" Inspirations

 The Muse is here for all of us – 

and from time to time....

 ...I can feel her kiss of inspiration....


 ...bringing together Marsha's creations  with the 'wood'


Antique German farmer's linen with Peonies...

 see also my post


Old French linen with lavender...

see also my post


 Autumn leaves...

...and colors

 ...with old French textiles...

- all of it just for my own little pleasure -

This 'composition'...
...musical notes with Ivy...

 leads my back to Beethoven

 I like to complete this post with the 'shepherd's song' 
from the "Pastoral"

by Julien Dupré

V. Allegretto - "Shepherd's Song"
'cheerful and thankful feelings after the storm'

Black Forest in Spring


Black Forest

Nature’s beauty and power is ingrained in our lives, 
our history and our culture. 
By conserving nature, we are helping nurture our artistic spirit 
and ensuring that future generations will continue 
to find inspiration in the natural world around us.

please pop over to Marshas' blog 
for more inspiration thoughts and posts...

 what inspires you in your life?
How do you become innovative? 

May we all be kissed by the Muses - every so often...

The Muses Clio, Euterpe, and Thalia,
by Eustache Le Sueur  c. 1640-1645, Louvre Museum



Just don't give up trying to do what you really want to do.
Where there is love and inspiration
I don't think you can go wrong.
Ella Fitzgerald

A bientôt

info links:
Beethoven   here
Muse Polyhymnia  here
Francesco del Cossa  here
Julien Dupré   here
Pierre Bonnard    here   and   here 
Jean Baptiste-Camille Corohere


  1. I totally agree - Mother Nature inspires, gives me solace and feeds my spirit. Your childhood in the countryside on farms sounds idyllic. A beautiful, detailed post Karin. Bisous

  2. Beautiful inspiration Karin... and like you, I am in awe of Mother Nature... xv

  3. Beautiful Karin and very similar to my own interpretation of 'Inspiration' for our BIO post this month........although yours is a lot better than mine !!!! XXXX

  4. Beautiful! Nature inspires me, too. Beethoven's music is also an inspiration. Thank you for sharing.

  5. Hello Karin

    Absoulutely beautiful. I am on another planet as I listen to Beethoven's "by the brook".Your notes on the composition and instruments has educated me.
    I love how you interspersed Marsha's beautiful creations amidst nature. Nature and music and a love of the country and ocean truly inspires me.
    Thank you for this brilliant piece of writing.

    Helen xx

  6. With 'Inspiration" as the theme, and at the suggestion of Marsha from Splenderosa, I am stopping by to introduce myself as well as to say "Thank You" for inspiring me. You have Razzled and Dazzled and Wowed me with your creativity, talent, ideas and thoughts this past year, and now I would like to ask you to please stop by,say hello and leave a comment, they are always welcome. I hope not to disappoint, but rather to compliment your work as well as inspire you as you have inspired me.

  7. Dearest Karin, I am very tardy in visiting everyone today. However, I believe I have saved the very best for last. What a splendid accomplishment here. I am overwhelmed, firstly because it's so detailed and beautifully articulated, secondly as a student of Art History realize how much research has gone into the post, and thirdly because you have included my jewelry pieces in with Beethoven's music. This is like a thesis, my friend.
    It is indeed inspirational all on it's own. Bravo, bravissimo !!

  8. What an incredible post. Karin, you always go above and beyond and give so much of yourself--your knowledge, your world, your loves--in these posts and I am so grateful for it. I will listen to the 6th today with fresh ears! Merci.

  9. Karin..this is AMAZING! I wish it was a book,it would sit proudly on my coffee table. Your childhood sounds so idyllic. This was incredible to read and nature and the genius of Beethoven are indeed as inspirational as you can get. I am always floored by nature and appreciate it more every day as I get older (and wiser)!
    Bravo to you for such a beautiful post!

    PS sending this to my mother who I know will thoroughly enjoy it:)

  10. Such a beautiful post Karin, every photograph is breathtakingly beautiful,
    I too love the smell the freshly cut grass and I also talk to animals.
    Now our secret is out! May our world stay as beautiful as your photographs forever!
    xxx Coty

  11. I relieved my childhood through your words and images. Growing in the countryside, on a farm as you did, brings a very special connection with nature and the simple tasks of life. The beauty of music will always be with us.

  12. Un de vos posts les plus extraordinaires. J'ai vraiment colle sur mon ecran en regardant ces images qui evoquent a moi ausii tant de belles choses, en lisant ces commentaires qui cachent une realite qui parfois nous echappe. Merci aussi bien pour les morceaux de musique que j'apprecie toujours enormement.

  13. Beautiful, beautiful photos. Makes me take a sharp breath, in, sitting here in an urban environment. Brings back a summer in the French countryside, and the walks through hills. Also a childhood in California. Thank you.

  14. Tolle Aufnahmen!
    fotografisch und musikalisch

    ♥ Franka

  15. Beautiful and very special. Thanks for sharing.
    Love from Sunny South Africa

  16. Lovely inspiring post Karin, thank you for sharing in such a generous post. Colette x- Afrique du Sud

  17. I really have no words for the treasure trove that is this post.
    Music could express it better, but I have no talent for that, just a love of it.
    (Beethoven's Sixth and wild poppies are among my favorite things in the world.)
    Here is music, and glorious art, and even more glorious nature. Living in such beautiful places was not wasted on you, you loved it and now offer it with both hands as inspiration to the rest of us.
    I have to save these recent posts and return to them when I need "vitamins" and "medicine."
    Vielen danke, Karin.

  18. Just listened to the first musical excerpt (the second is blocked here) --- the rippling waters, the birds --- while scrolling back and forth along the riverbanks, by the flowing waters --- while a near-blizzard rages outside but within, radiating from the computer, is joy and longing and beauty!
    And, as a P.S. --- Frank's very favorite singer and maker of music in the world --- is Ella Fitzgerald. How synchronous is that.

  19. Exquisite post, Karin. Like you I am so very inspired by nature and music and art.
    I am very excited to see you have included paintings by Julian Dupre. He is the nephew of Jules Dupre who's art is included in the Louvre. My mother's side of the family is related to them. Jules Dupre would have been my great uncle. I will have to investigate the family tree more to include Julian Dupre. Thank you for this exquisite post and inspiration.

  20. Bonjour Karin ~
    Thank you for all the beautiful inspirations from nature! I never lived on a farm or grew up in the countryside, but I feel such familiarity whenever I visit. Perhaps one day we'll have a country cottage, and a little thriving country business. As nature also inspires me.
    Have a great weekend!

  21. Deeply persuasive and eloquent, genuinely original juxtapositions. I kept feeling Franz Schubert, even though I did not see him, and Berlioz also in the Shepherds' Farewell in L'Enfance du christ. The representations of the Périgord are especially wonderful, and sustain without having to say so, the early reference to dining. Most of all the explorations of textiles were very appealing, especially with the egalitarian reference to the muse's support of everyone.

  22. Hi Karin ! Lovely post as usual ! I too love the countryside and nature and of course speak to the animal but shhhh don't tell anyone hihihi ! lovely photos ...the black forest looks so nice ...I live in the North of England in the lake district and so am surrounded by beauty..mountains, lakes, the beach ...I never tire of it ...with the seasons it is always changing and so there is always a new vista to appreciate ! Happy Shrove Tuesday ! Gail x