Monday, October 29, 2012

Bread and Salt

I finally officially celebrated my new living quarters with a housewarming last week; it was truly heartwarming. It was wonderful to be able to spend an evening with friends in my new surroundings. As a freelance musician, there are so few opportunities to plan ahead for such an occasion. This time, I made it happen!

And I was introduced to the tradition of giving bread and salt for the new home. I don't remember ever hearing of this in the USA - according to Wikipedia the tradition may go as far back as the Romans. No matter, the wish of always having enough to eat and the necessary "spice of life" to accompany it, is a lovely thought. Thanks to all!

Ingredients - Time to Bake!

The rest of my week was spent on an orchestra tour. Good music, warm hospitality and full houses made the time on the road worthwhile. We experienced the first snow of the season in southern Germany - beautiful, clinging to the still-red-and-yellow leaves on trees, but still MUCH too early in the year. As we drove north, the snow disappeared and we were privileged to have a bit more of October's fantastic clear air, blue skies and impressive cloud formations that seemed to go on endlessly over the plains. . . puts the world and us humans in an interesting perspective.

It had to remind me of Barbra Streisand singing "On a clear day you can see forever and ever. . . "

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Allegany County Artisans Tour

This weekend is the annual Artisans Tour of studios and galleries in Allegany County, NY - where I grew up. Wish I were there! Just the thought of driving over the country roads, through the autumn woods with their sugar maple reds and yellows brings tinges of years past to my mind.  And the extraordinary variety of artists (over 40) and art to be seen on this route is really amazing. Pottery, wood carving, textile art and, of course, lots of painting - the spectrum is impressive. (Maybe the relaxed atmosphere and clear air are conducive to creativity?) Yes, I'm a bit prejudiced. Have a look here:                         

Meanwhile, here on the other side of the Atlantic, I will undoubtedly also be swinging my paint brushes.
 One of my autumn favorites is the hydrangea. The flowers turn such lovely shades of rose and warm brown. It is a challenge to try to capture their subtle beauty.

Autumn Beauty

. . . and my thought for the day:
      The pessimist complains about the wind. An optimist expects it to change. And
      the realist adjusts the sails.
                                                                         Willliam Arthur Ward

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Autumn Thoughts

Even though September was a fantastic month, I am really looking forward to October - a month full of opposites. There are the chilly, foggy mornings followed by warm and golden afternoons; one day can have a  crystal clear an cloudless sky while the next brings a powerful windstorm bending trees and sending colorful leaves on their way. It is time for me to bring some candles out of their summer storage and enjoy their warm light during the long evenings.

Brahms symphonies are on my record player (yes, I still have one!) and I'm painting lots of deep reds and golden oranges while I know that I can't really copy the autumn rainbow that presents itself at my window. But, we love to try!

Fall Fireworks on the Lietzen Lake

"We learn from nature, just how slowly things develop
and how late the noblest of them ripen."

                                                                                           August Hermann Niemeyer