Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Inspirational Moments in Sweden

They say that life is not measured by the number of breaths you take, but by the moments that take your breath away! While Sweden was full of these moments for me, one of the most inspirational was a visit to the home and gardens of the famous Swedish artist, Carl Larsson. Born into a poverty-stricken family in 1853, he found a way to follow his dream and talent, to become a world-renowned artist - and to actually become wealthy from the sale of his art work.

Winding through tiny streets in his picturesque village of Sundborn, it felt almost surreal, as if I'd just stepped back into the last century. Carl lived with his wife, Karin, and his eight children in a red Swedish cottage on a private lake. His family, home, and gardens were frequently the subjects that he painted.

I was entranced - and greatly inspired by his quaint cottage. French windows overlooking the lake and gardens were lined with red geranium flowers in clay pots. There were nooks and crannies in which to write, paint, or do needlework. Carl had painted portraits of each of his children, and his wife, on the interior doors, sometimes extending his artistic endeavors up and across the ceilings.

Standing quietly in the midst of his gardens, I marveled at a 350 year old apple tree that is still producing apples! There is something magical about this place...

Breathing deeply,I could almost feel spirits of the past lingering on here. Inspiration flowed through me like a river, as if I'd been touched by the stroke of Carl's paint brush.

I'm back home, back to work on my computer. I've framed one of Carl's photos above my desk, a source of inspiration for me. When I look at it, I hope to tap into my experiences in his gardens. Thanks, Carl!

Stay tuned and please stay in touch.

Janet Kay