Saturday, October 10, 2015

Rubenstein and "Inktober"

Autumn is upon us. During this past week in Berlin we have experienced the full palette of late summer molting into fall. Today the sun shone in its full October beauty, making the colorful leaves - dancing in a light wind - a joy to watch. Somehow, I never tire of gazing out of my window on an autumn day. The neighborhood squirrel is busy gathering walnuts and building a warm nest; the chickadees and jays chase each other and seem to vie for the best places on a special treebranch.

Ah, yes, I have been tending to business, too. There is an upcoming Open House in my KlangArt studio in two weeks, so preparations are in full swing - including everything from painting, matting and organizing to doing some publicity and even a bit of housecleaning! As I tell my students, discipline is the key . . . not always easy. I do have my tricks, though, to make the work flow a bit easier; I could do as the seven dwarfs did for Snow White and "Whistle while you Work"  (no link here), but I've decided instead to listen to some other old favorites - Artur Rubenstein playing Chopin.  I've chosen the Ballade #4, but there are many recordings available, and they are all worthy of a listen. For me, this rendition is comparable to donning those old sneakers that are SO comfortable, even though they may not be the most stylish. Pure music.

I guess I have to relate my personal experience with the master Rubenstein . . . I was privileged to hear him once live in a concert in Rochester, NY. As a very tiny, elderly gentleman walked onto the stage, I was taken aback. Was this really the GREAT Rubenstein? From the moment he sat down at the piano, there was no doubt in my mind. Fantastic. It was a program of Chopin;  undoubtedly also for Rubentstein himself "old sneakers." I sat on the edge of my seat the whole time.  There were more than a few notes that Chopin himself didn't compose in this recital, but the rendition was magic; there was music in every phrase. I'll never forget it.

My painting this week has been concentrated on ink work. There is a friendly challenge for artists to observe "Inktober" by doing an ink drawing per day for the whole month of October. So. . . I have made my liberal interpretation of this project and am happily producing small ink sketches daily. Some of them will undoubtedly also be matted and will find their way to the upcoming Advent markets.


My thought for the week relates (amongst other things) to these small scale, quick sketches.

"There is nothing insignificant in the world. It all depends on the point of view."

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