Anais Nin ~ Why Do We Write?
“We write to taste life twice, in the moment and in retrospect.”
― Anaïs Nin
Henri Matisse ~ music
Henri Matisse - Music, 1907
Emile Zola ~ My Being In This World
“If you ask me what I came to do in this world, I, an artist, will answer you: I am here to live out loud.”
― Émile Zola.
Edouard Vuillard ~ The Nabis
Three Women on a Sofa at Clos Cézanne, Vaucresseon
Edouard Vuillard - circa 1921
Anais Nin ~ On Relationships
“You know I have friends who used to laugh at me when I said we have to create a relationship. They thought relationship is a miracle, it just happens, it comes, we find it, and there it is. But it’s not true. I never found that to be true. One friend was amazed at things that happened in a relationship over the years. And I said: “Yes, we created that. This friendship was created with talking, with struggle, with crises.” So wait until you feel right within yourself, and then you’ll feel right towards others.”
— Anais Nin
Camille Claudel, A Female Genius ~ By Monique Lucy Weberink
A Female Genius…
“You're wrong to think it's about you. You're a sculptor, Rodin, not a sculpture. You ought to know. I am that old woman with nothing on her bones. And the aging young girl... that's also me. And the man is me too. Not you. I gave him my toughness. He gave me his emptiness in return. There you are... three times me. The Holy Trinity, trinity of emptiness.”
Among the female artists I admire is Camille Claudel a French sculptor and graphic artist who lived from 1864 till 1943. I truly admire her strong determination for being accepted as an artist, which was definitely not easy in her time at the end of the 19th century. Her life is a story about having to go through a live long struggle in both her private and in her professional life.
Since she was a child Camile was fascinated with earthly materials, in particular stone and soil. With the support of her father she was able to attend the Academie Colarossi where she eventually met Alfred Boucher who was already a established sculptor. He become her mentor for several years and also introduced her to August Rodin that later on took over the role as being her mentor and it became the beginning of their passionate and tumultuous relationship. She started to work in Rodin’s workshop and after some time Claudel became a great source of inspiration for Rodin, she was his model, confidante and lover. After an unhappy relationship that continued for over 15 years, Claudel finally left Rodin. Her private life was left to bits and pieces her professional success then started to take off. But it would be a mistake to assume that Claudel's reputation had been established and then survived the years simply because of her ‘notorious’ association with Rodin. To illustrate her reputation: the novelist and art critic Octave Mirbeau described her as "A revolt against nature: a woman genius". Her early work is similar to Rodin's in spirit, but shows an imagination and lyricism quite her own, particularly in the famous Bronze Waltz (1893).
In the period after 1905 Claudel appeared to be mentally ill. She not only disappeared for long periods of time but also destroyed many of her statues. She exhibited signs of paranoia and eventually was diagnosed as having schizophrenia. Her condition deteriorated up to a point where she started accusing Rodin of stealing ‘her’ ideas and of even leading a conspiracy to kill her.
Apart from her father her family did not support her decision to become a sculptor at all. But her father kept supporting her financially but after he died in 1913 her brother had Camille admitted to a psychiatric institution right away. The word went out she had volunteered to be committed. But it was her brother who had signed the admission forms. The hospital records that have been preserved clearly show that even though she did have many mental outbursts, she was very clear headed while working on her art. It was the will of her brother, and her mother as well, that she was not released from the institution.
It is really sad to see that a brilliant artist like Claudel literally got locked away simply because she did not conform to the norms of society of that time. Where there male artists were admired, the artistic behavior of Claudel was considered as strange and even schizophrenic. It is my opinion that her insanity might have been largely due to the social constraints and pressure forced on her up to a point that even her own family and Rodin who she so dearly loved and abandoned her had viciously betrayed her. She felt rejected and suffered a lonely and sad life. We are fortunate that a large part of her artworks have survived leaving us with her beautiful and inspirational legacy.
Monique Lucy Weberink
Irene Nemirovsky ~ A Feeling Of Solitude
“But she loved studying and books, the way other people love wine for its power to make you forget. What else did she have? She lived in a deserted, silent house. The sound of her own footsteps in the empty rooms, the silence of the cold streets beyond the closed windows, the rain and the snow, the early darkness, the green lamp beside her that burned throughout the long evenings and which she watched for hours on end until its light began to waver before her weary eyes: this was the setting for her life.”
― Irène Némirovsky, The Wine of Solitude
Charles Baudelaire ~ On Life And Poets
“The beautiful is always bizarre.”
― Charles Baudelaire
"An artist is a kaleidoscope endowed with consciousness...an ego athirst for the non-ego, and reflecting it at every moment in energies more vivid than life itself, always inconstant and fleeting. The poet is like those wandering souls who go looking for a body, he enters as he likes into each man's personality. For him alone everything is vacant...The man who loves to lose himself in a crowd enjoys feverish delights that the egoist locked up in himself as in a box, and the slothful man like a mollusk in his shell, will be eternally deprived of. He adopts to his own all the occupations, all the joys and all the sorrows that chance offers."
Jean Cocteau ~ A Surreal Thought
“Mirrors should think longer before they reflect.”
― Jean Cocteau
Jean Cocteau (1889-1963)
1955 in his apartment
Colette ~ On Memories
“It is the image in the mind that links us to our lost treasures; but it is the loss that shapes the image, gathers the flowers, weaves the garland.”
― Colette, My Mother's House & Sido