Grieg's Death of Åse Begins... Phase 1
24" x 30" Acrylic on Gessobord with 2" Birch Sides.
Today I've opened a new blog featuring my work interpreting music with color, movement and texture. And paint, of course. Last year I was fortunate enough to receive an arts grant from the Southwest Minnesota Arts Council & the McKnight Foundation to go to Norway and study Edvard Grieg, his life, his music and the vistas that inspired his compositions. The experience surpassed my expectations. Since getting back to America, I have been immersing myself in his music. All of it. I confess, I am blown away by his creations. And, after seeing and breathing in Norway's beauty, I have a deeper sense of why his music is what it is. I learned other things about him by visiting his home and childhood summer home in Bergen, as well as his summer composer's cabin in Lofthus. A highlight was experiencing a virtuoso pianist play 30 minutes of his music while looking out a window to his composer's cabin on the fjord. He was a small man, bullied as a child. At age 16 his parents sent him to Leipzig to study with the Masters. He didn't like it much. The structure. The requirements to conform. Seems familiar somehow. There he also contracted pleurisy, a precursor to TB and lost the function of a lung. This caused skeletal deformity in his chest and upper spine and made him vulnerable to upper respiratory problems for the rest of his life. I feel a kinship to him for many reasons; I am of Norwegian descent and I, too, have an chronic illness that has caused some skeletal deformities, mine not as severe but did cause pain and suffering. Out of those circumstances and a love for his native land, he created. I am thankful for his creations and for the experience of interpreting them with paint. Today I begin with "The Death of Åse" from the musical Peer Gynt. Stay tuned for updates.