Marja-Leena Rathje
Home ::: pensive



It's been quiet for a few days here as I recover from having a lot of visitors in the midst of a heat wave. Though it's a little cooler today, I'm still feeling tired and uninspired. Instead I've been doing some needed housekeeping on my computer, and then rewarded myself with another tour of our photos from the recent trip to Alberta. I'm thinking again about how I may use the Writing-on-Stone Park photos, like the one above, in my new work.

Suiting my pensive mood, I've also enjoyed a tour through Simon Marsden's moody and darkly romantic photos (introduced by wood s lot). Naturally I like his Standing Stones the most. The arches and the ruins appeal as well for they have been elements in my past work.

Then a little bit of opera music lifted my spirits some more, though the video itself is too cheesy for my taste. I know and love Dvorak's Song to the Moon, this time sung by Russian soprano Anna Netrebko. (Kiitos, thanks to tuumailu for the link!) Nothing like this kind of art to nurse a pensive mood and then inspire! Does it work that way for you too?

Marja-Leena | 06/07/2006 | 13 comments
themes: Being an Artist, Music, Other artists, Photoworks, Rocks


Ole hyvä vain! Meillä Netrebkon tulkinta Rusalkan aariasta on soinut tänäänkin monen monta kertaa, kun mieskin on siihen ihastunut. Jotkut aariat koskettavat syvältä ja puhuttelevat paljon. Usein niin, vaikkei edes tekstiä ymmärtäisi. Sävellys ja laulajan ääni soittelevat jotakin sielun säveltä. Niin Song to the Moonissakin.

marja-leena: thank you for sharing the link! I love Ann Netrebko's voice - though I too thought the video was supremely cheesy! I'll have to look for an album with her! My current favorite is Jessye Norman singing Strauss' Four Last Songs. I also love Cecilia Bartolli and the Australian soprano - Kiri Tekanawa.

Hei Tui! Onneksi mieheni rakastaa ooppera myöskin ja kuunnellaan paljon CDtä. Täytyy hankkia Netrobkon, ja Karita Mattilankin!

Jackie, glad you like it! I love all the singers you mention! Have you heard the Finnish Karita Mattila? We were fortunate to see her in concert here in Vancouver a few years ago, also Cecilia Bartoli. We really must get some more CDs for our collection - I don't think the sound is as good out of the computer!

Hei Marja-Leena...
Pensive indeed! After all your hard work entertaining guests, you certainly deserve some relaxation. I must admit I'm not a great fan of the opera but I too indulge occasionaly. Oya Como Va fits my days as a musician. I'd sure be interested in another name for this photo as I see more shapes after staring at it. Whatcha think? Everything you do is so meaningful and refreshing.

Hei Rog! I'm the pensive one, not the photo! :-)
I see a couple of faces next to each other, a woman on the left with a hat nuzzling up to the man with a big nose on the right. What do you see?

wow what a beautiful piece, and nice little video too. i didn't know they made videos for opera, hehehe. i wonder if i can download that one, just for sometimes...

love that photo mom, i can't wait to see it in your work!

i see a man on the right kissing a woman on the left who is possibly upside-down. wow

I love different music for different moods - e.g.: Arabic or Les Negresses Vertes for really hot days when I have the doors and windows open, Philip Glass or Arvo Part when I am concentrating hard, Pink Floyd when I am tidy up, or gathering materials,.... But when I am developing ideas I like the quiet of the countryside around us.

I'm not keen on Simon Marsden's photos, I'm afraid. I found that his Avebury greetings card's overlaid 'haunted' look actually removed all the beautiful mystery the stones have naturally. However - I very much like your photograph. Its immediate appeal is the way my eye flips between the linear aspects, the fragility, the solidity, the depth, and the flatness of it. Such possibilities! I wish you fun developing your thoughts.

I see a single face. The line down the center is the ridgeline of a leonine snout. The rock face is squinting into the sun.

Erika, glad you liked the song and the idea of opera on video! and the photo!

Omega, I enjoy different music for different moods as well, but I cannot stand it when I'm thinking, writing or doing my art. I need quiet then. In the studio, we sometimes have conflicts between those who want quiet and those who want music (often loud and pounding). About Marsden, I hesitated linking him at first for that very quality, yet there was something intriguing in some of his photos in the particular mood I was in yesterday.

Dave, I just don't quite see what you see. It's interesting how that works, isn't it? I can gaze at knots in pine boards, stains on walls, shadows like your latest self-portrait, etc and see different things from the next person.

I'm surprised how this photo has captured the imagination of so many of you. Now I wonder what would happen with this in my art work, if I used it, because I see it influenced by your views.

Hei again Marja-Leena...
The challenge is on and I'm amazed we see basically the same images. At first glance, Fred & Wilma Flintsone came to mind, then a more passive couple showing their love for each other. It also made me think of Eskimos kissing by rubbing their noses together - only the figure on the left doesn't appear to have a big proboscis. Perhaps the male is pressing too hard. It wouldn't be the first time to observe a man being a dominant person with 'rocks in his head.' I've always believed in gender equality! :-)

Hei again Rog! Great minds think alike :-)

The stones make for me two faces kissing and very beautiful they are.

Hope you are restored to full vigour by now, house-guests take it out of you anyway, but in a heat-wave they would be really too much. Are you working on anything at the moment?

I like the Dvorjak, very appropriate for tonight here, for there is a huge moon.

Jackie - much as I like Jessye Norman I don't think anyone can come close to the Schwarzkopf interpretation of the "Four Last Songs", she made them her own.