Collection: WHERE THE LEMON TREES BLOOM

Knowst thou the land where the lemon trees bloom,
Where the gold orange glows in the deep thicket's gloom,
Where a wind ever soft from the blue heaven blows,
And the groves are of laurel and myrtle and rose?
 
--Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832)
Wilhelm Meister’s Apprenticeship, Book III, Chapter I

 

“My interest in the life of the German writer began on holiday with my husband and our 3 children in Tübingen, Germany, where my daughter spent a year at the University.  There, hanging on the Cottahaus, the one-time home of Johann Friedrich Cotta, who first published the works of Goethe is a plaque, ‘Hier wohnte Goethe’ (Goethe lived here). Another sign, parodied on the building next door commemorates Goethe's stay of a few weeks in 1797. While this may seem an odd prelude to my collection, it is true that Goethe’s written words have inspired many an artist.

I learned that Goethe’s work is celebrated in a number of compositions by, among others, Mozart and Beethoven.  Franz Schubert wrote many songs based on Goethe’s writing including Mignon’s Gesang (Mignon’s Song), which derives its title from the gypsy girl, Mignon in Goethe's novel, Wilhelm Meister's AprrenticeshipIt opens with one of the most famous lines in German poetry, an allusion to Italy: "Kennst du das Land, wo die Zitronen blühn?" ("Do you know the land where the lemon trees bloom?"). Additionally, the lovely waltz, Where the Lemons Bloom ("Wo die Zitronen blüh'n"), Waltz, Op. 364, written in 1874 by Johann Strauss II acknowledges Goethe.  Colorful and lyrical, the line is a yearning, an evocation of the warm South.

Goethe’s words have struck a chord in me.  My collection, entitled, Where the Lemon Trees Bloom, is an orchestration of a painterly style, composed of gestural drawing and painting, with my ever-present desired push towards abstraction. The collection is comprised of primarily landscapes, in varying scale with an emphasis on the concept that the contour of the land is timeless, the vision eternal.  I am conducting a joyful and lyrical visual presentation, an expression of music and form. The mark-making means to mimic a waltz or the literal- sheet music- adagio to allegro, legato to staccato. I lead the eye, changing cadence, resting momentarily and urge discovery of new terrain.  The inclusion of musical inspiration is part of my process, and the process is the medley of an artist.  It is the constant, tightening of the process throughout a lifetime of creating that makes the artist’s work unique, closer to one’s own, more virtuous.  Inspired by Goethe, I am using my voice, striving for harmony of color and rhythm in each composition, developed from my mind’s eye.

 Each piece in this series of statement art is essentially an etude, created to improve my effectiveness in expression.  “- Kim McAninch

 

 

 

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  • WHERE THE LEMON TREES BLOOM 33
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