The Woman with Red Hair

“It is your duty in life to save your dream.” Amedeo Modigliani

The Woman with Red Hair 1917

January 2008 marked the first year of my Art Page-a-Day calendar journey.

I came across the calendar quite by accident when meandering through the aisles of my favourite book store – the kind that has big comfy chairs that entice browsers to sit for a few minutes and savour the smell and sight of books.

That afternoon I left with a calendar under my arm, confident that I had fulfilled a personal promise to myself. For several weeks I had been considering ways in which to introduce art into my daily routine. What better way than to start the morning with a new art piece to reflect upon for the rest of the day.

The Woman with the Red Hair – that was my first introduction to the genius and tragedy of Amedeo Modigliani. The darkened eyes, the tilt of her head, the elongated head, the small red lips – spoke of a gentle, yet resilient voice. Who was the artist who captured this exquisite face?

My gratitude goes to Amedeo Modigliani and the Woman with the Red Hair. They were my first introduction to the many artistic adventures that were to follow. It has been 10 years of art calendars. Each calendar year has been kept safely behind glass doors waiting for me to reopen the stories held in each unfolding day.

When I know your soul, I will paint your eyes” Amedeo Modigliani

27 Replies to “The Woman with Red Hair”

      1. Yes!!! And I have my N, 2 cats, the Modigliani print and one of my father-in-law’s works to wake up to.
        BTW! I have had 10 of the Art Gowns pics printed on canvas. I have been painting on them with iridescent paint. I’m submitting them at the end of the month, and hoping to get into an art showing. I’ll be posting about this soon(ish) on my Art Gowns blog. ❤

      2. I wake up to a print of the green bridge of Giverny taken during the early spring. Please keep me updated on the your art showing – this is exciting news. Your post on your “business” cards was brilliant. Georgiann Carlson is truly an artist who brings your story to life. I’ll be following her blog! Thanks for the intro.

  1. Ein sehr schönes und liebenswürdiges Portrait über diesen genialen Maler. Ich bewundere, wie Sie ihr Zeitmanagment und Arbeitstechnik handhaben.
    Ich wünsche Ihnen liebe Freundin eine frohe Sommerzeit. Ernst

    1. Vielen Dank für Ihre aufschlussreichen Kommentare. Vor ein paar Tagen hatte ich so viele Aufgaben zu erledigen, dass ich zuerst nicht wusste, was ich tun sollte. Wir füllen unsere Tage mit zu vielen Dingen, die wir tun können, und wir vergessen, die Schönheit zu genießen, die uns umgibt. Ich hörte auf, was ich tat und ging spazieren. Es war die beste Entscheidung, die ich an diesem Tag getroffen habe.

  2. This picture took me back to my self of 22, when I bought a copy and paid a refugee Pole to frame it for me, and then I hung it in my room in the officers mess, to the mystification of anyone who entered…
    I Love your musings on art, Rebecca, it continually opens doors to other worlds and thoughts and glorious works of art …and yes, saving our dream is a journey with no end, thank you, thank you – wonderful to feel that its out duty as well as our indulgence !!!… XXXX

    1. Isn’t is a marvelous feeling when you become immersed within a painting, as if you are touching another time, place, emotion – stepping through a portal and finding yourself with the artist. Even more exciting – finding another person who has been influenced by the same painting. I can imagine the mystified looks of the officers as they filled into the mess. I love how you change the world for the better wherever you go. And yes – Modigliani’s use of the the word “duty” is unusual in its direct challenge. He has issued is an universal call to action. Hugs and love coming your way!

    1. I always knew that learning is incremental, but I didn’t realize how much only a few minutes a day could increase my understanding of the artistic experience. This simple action gave me ideas, as well as the courage, on how to explore my creativity.

  3. I am thankful for the gift of the Art calendar that comes my way from you so that I can enjoy the art piece in the morning. It is good to treasure the art that this world and artists bestow. I enjoyed looking at more art from this outstanding artist today over coffee. A really good experience sharing with you his genius.

      1. Thank you, thank you. I enjoy it soooo much! So much good art of various kinds from all over our very big world. Looking so forward!

  4. What a wonderful story! And a great start too, it’s a beautiful and thought provoking painting by Modigliani.

    1. My career was numbers, which have their own artistic voice, but I longed to understand the creative experience through the lens of an artist. Without question, we lead busy lives. It is so easy to let one day slip into the next, without taking a few minutes to consider our response to art. We need to engage at at deeper level than just reading a biography or attending an opening of an art show. It is meeting an artist through his or her work, to imagine that you are with artist as he or she paints, or takes a photo, or writes a line of poetry. In so doing, we give back to the artist. Art is a two-way conversation that defies time, and place. That is why I so enjoy your posts on Russian literature – you invite me to the dialogue.

      1. I agree with you, Rebecca, and you’ve put it into words very well. Art, including literature, is about dialogue. The artist is telling us something and how that message comes across depends on us, the recipients. Our perception is coloured by our own experiences and tastes. It’s an extremely interesting process.

      2. It is indeed. And the process is made even more interesting when you connect with others who encourage this vibrant dialogue. Thank you!!!

    1. I agree wholeheartedly, Carrie. My life was structured into time slots, beginning with a morning review of my “to do” list. All those seminars on time management were instructive, even inspiring, especially considering the increase in productivity that came with my early morning “personal briefing.” But as Mahatma Gandhi once wrote: “There is more to life than increasing its speed.” That first early morning action of moving the calendar from one day to the next, allows me to pause, to imagine, to breathe – ready to engage with a wider community. Thank you for your visit and comments – very much appreciated.

  5. How I love to enjoy your art calendar vicariously through this blog! It is always a joy to see your latest post. Hugs!

    1. Thank you, Liz. Your 100 days of creativity have given me much to think about. It is one thing to engage with an artist, but there is the next step, one that you have taken: that of becoming the artist. I am following your posts with eager anticipation. You latest on bikes should be used for Vancouver’s marketing for bike lanes! Brilliant.

      1. It is a fascinating project – some reflections to come in a post soon! And I am glad you liked the cycling one – I had great fun doing it! 🙂

  6. Amedeo Modigliani; one of my favourites. What a great journey you have been on and continue to enjoy.

    1. And more on the way about Modigliani! I thought about you when I found my calendars placed behind glass doors. I continue my de-cluttering project – the one that you prompted a few years back. Now, I have more room for the next 10 years of calendars. Blogging is a wonderful way in which to share creative experiences and encourage each other in our pursuit on joy and beauty. As Amedeo reminds us “It is your duty in life to save your dream.” Hugs coming your way.

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