Lessons from Nature with Wassily, William, and Luda

This poem by William Wordsworth reminds us why we need to unplug, venture out, and notice the gifts of nature.

The Tables Turned

 

Up! up! my Friend, and quit your books;

Or surely you’ll grow double:

Up! up! my Friend, and clear your looks;

Why all this toil and trouble?

 

The sun above the mountain’s head,

A freshening lustre mellow

Through all the long green fields has spread,

His first sweet evening yellow.

 

Books! ’tis a dull and endless strife:

Come, hear the woodland linnet,

How sweet his music! on my life,

There’s more of wisdom in it.

 

And hark! how blithe the throstle sings!

He, too, is no mean preacher:

Come forth into the light of things,

Let Nature be your teacher.

 

She has a world of ready wealth,

Our minds and hearts to bless—

Spontaneous wisdom breathed by health,

Truth breathed by cheerfulness.

 

One impulse from a vernal wood

May teach you more of man,

Of moral evil and of good,

Than all the sages can.

 

Sweet is the lore which Nature brings;

Our meddling intellect

Mis-shapes the beauteous forms of things:—

We murder to dissect.

 

Enough of Science and of Art;

Close up those barren leaves;

Come forth, and bring with you a heart

That watches and receives.

 

wassily2bkandinsky2b1866-19442bpark2bvon2bst-2bcloud2b-2bherbst2bi252c2b1906
Wassily Kandinsky (1866-1944), Park von St. Cloud–Herbst I, (1906), signed ‘KANDINSKY’ (lower left) , oil on board laid down on canvas , 9 7/8 x 13 1/8 in. (25.3 x 33.4 cm). Source: Christie’s

Forest Bathing Transformation

Yesterday I read the most interesting article by Luda at Plants and Beyond. She explains with glorious photos what the term ‘forest bathing’ means in her post, Forest Bathing Transformation.

Just reading the many encouraging comments at her beautiful blog is uplifting, and I lament that I no longer do all the activities I used to enjoy so much, back when appreciating nature’s bounty was an integral part of each day.  Luda’s posts reminds me of that joy.

A bit later,  I found the painting by Wassily Kandinsky, Park von St. Cloud–Herbst I, (1906), which shows a person venturing into the golden autumn forest from that safe, uncomplicated doorstep. How grand to venture out!  Forest bathing happens in art often, though art remains a poor excuse for the real thing, as Mr. Wordsworth so eloquently explained in his poem above, saying:

 

Enough of Science and of Art;

Close up those barren leaves;

Come forth, and bring with you a heart

That watches and receives.

 

wassily2bkandinsky2b1866-19442bpark2bvon2bst-2bcloud2b-2bherbst2bi252c2b1906
Wassily Kandinsky (1866-1944), Park von St. Cloud–Herbst I, (1906), signed ‘KANDINSKY’ (lower left) , oil on board laid down on canvas , 9 7/8 x 13 1/8 in. (25.3 x 33.4 cm). Source: Christie’s

This is Kandinsky?? Tell Me More…

Russian artist Wassily Kandinsky and Gabriele Münter, his long-time companion, moved to Paris in 1906 where “he exhibited at the Salon d’Automne and the Indépendants in Paris.” Christie’s continues:

He had the opportunity to see a special Gauguin exhibition at the Salon d’Automne of 1906 as well as group exhibitions of works by Fauve painters such as Henri Matisse, Robert Delaunay, André Derain, and Maurice de Vlaminck. This exposure to the contemporary works of the Parisian artists marked the beginning of a transformation in Kandinsky’s art.

As Vivan Endicott Barnett states “New subjects entered his work, new light and colors changed his style, and new experiences inspired his imagination” (in Vasily Kandinsky: A Colorful Life, New York, 1996, p. 127). Source: Christie’s

 

“New subjects entered his work, new light

and colors changed his style,

and new experiences inspired his imagination”

(Vivan Endicott Barnett in Vasily Kandinsky: A Colorful Life, New York, 1996, p. 127). Source: Christie’s

 

wassily2bkandinsky2b1866-19442bpark2bvon2bst-2bcloud2b-2bherbst2bi252c2b1906
Wassily Kandinsky (1866-1944), Park von St. Cloud–Herbst I, (1906), signed ‘KANDINSKY’ (lower left) , oil on board laid down on canvas , 9 7/8 x 13 1/8 in. (25.3 x 33.4 cm). Source: Christie’s

 

Kandinsky Begins Transformation

Concerning Park von St. Cloud–Herbst I, Christie’s writes the following:

The present work was completed in the autumn of 1906 and is part of a group of small landscape studies of the park at St. Cloud which Kandinsky completed in the summer and fall of that year. In Park von St. Cloud–Herbst I the artist applies broad bands of color with a palette knife.

The painting is less naturalistic than his earlier works and his use of color is brighter and more dramatic. Kandinsky employs somber ocher and green hues but adds lighter supplementary tones to the primary colors making “a distinct progress in the direction of the pictorial form” (W. Grohmann, Kandinsky Life and Work, New York, 1958, p. 48).

The Big Picture

We can all be transformed by unplugging from our machines and getting outdoors this weekend to

“Let Nature be [our] teacher.”

 

Thanks for Reading! 🙂

The End

19 Comments Add yours

  1. Tanya says:

    I just love Wordsworth’s poems , taking refuge in nature away from the stress of urban life!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I would love to be in a mountain cabin surrounded by woods next to a rocky creek, fireplace roaring. I’ll go outside in the morning though. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Tanya says:

        That’s a good dream too have though I agree regarding setting out in morning! 😱

        Liked by 1 person

  2. englepip says:

    Lovely insight to Kandinsky but also to Wordsworth who painted with words. Anyone who has visited Hawkshead, where Wordsworth went to school and sat in the dismal classroom where he carved his name on the desk will have every sympathy with the poem above, when outside his window was a vista of hills and fells; of sheep and cows and birds in the sky and countryside with lakes and trees and fresh air. Thank you for reminding me of that poem.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. How beautiful it sounds, englepip! I would LOVE to see this someday. Thanks so much for commenting. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. englepip says:

        Thank you. I know you follow my Flickr account, which you can access through Flickr itself or through my home page on here, so if you look in my Album ‘The Lake District’, you will see some of the scenery from that part of the world; although I haven’t any there of Hawkshead itself.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. THANK YOU!! I will enjoy that also since your pictures are phenomenal! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      3. englepip says:

        That’s very kind, thank you.

        Liked by 2 people

  3. What a joy it was to find this amazing post this glorious morning. I am so surprised and so elated at the same time. Very grateful for you to include me in your thoughts. Do you know that you are my only window in the world of art? As much as I absolutely love paintings, museums, and art, no one else around me wants to share that passion. Wish you were closer so we could do it together and so very much looking forward to seeing more beautiful, colorful, deep and uplifting art posts by my dear Sunny 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. {{{{{{Luda}}}}}} Your kind and generous spirit is evident in your every word. Now my teenage son is looking at me, puzzled at the tears that keep falling. Thank you, dear Luda.🤗

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Awwwwwwwwwew- omg – you left me speechless . How old is your boy ? Mine is 16 and just started driving on his own. Now I will have more time to analyze art☀️ keep it coming pls !!!🙏🏼

        Liked by 1 person

      2. LOLOL…..two of six still at home: boy 14, girl 17 who just got her permit 2 DAYS AGO!! Absolutely the joys of my life just like their older siblings, who are already out conquering the world. 😎❤️👍

        Liked by 1 person

      3. 6?! How do you do that many? Wow. Barely managing just 2 🙂 Wow.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Parenting is a good teacher. I learned mostly from my many mistakes, unfortunately!! But….we can only try our best, and when that is not enough, let grace cover the rest. Let’s try to enjoy every moment we have left with these teenagers – they are a pretty amazing bunch~ 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Saania2806 says:

    Wow! The perfect post to read in the morning 😍

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hi Saania! So nice to see you here – thanks for commenting! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Saania2806 says:

        No problem! Love your blog 💖

        Liked by 1 person

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