“I have to surrender myself to what encircles me, I have to merge with my clouds and rocks in order to be what I am.”
-Caspar David Friedrich
Sitting above the clouds on a craggy peak watching the sun slowly creep over the horizon was how I began 2017. The perfect way to begin anew. The clouds swirled and and crept through the valleys below us, enveloping small hilltops and creating a sea of fog that stretched to the horizon. I was reminded of one of my favourite painters Caspar David Friedrich, who created what many people term “moodscapes”, places that capture the an almost spiritual essence, the communion between humanity and nature.
“Friedrich was never concerned with naturalistic impressions, but rather with moodscapes, with pictorial spaces that resonate in the psyche. In Friedrich’s own words, a picture must be “Seelenvoll”, literally – “full of soul” – in its effect if it is to meet the requirement of a true work of art.” *
Experiencing moments like this, as I did this morning, led to a morning of introspection, thoughts on the year ahead – things that I wish to see and do.
Part of that is to commune more in nature, the spiritual element of life that I find to much easier to experience in the quiet majesty of the wilderness.
Friedrich’s paintings explored the idea of the sublime in nature, the awe and the feeling of insignificence in the face of grand environments. That feeling is surprisingly freeing, scary and truely beautiful.
- Pg 8, Sublime Stillness: King of the contemplative landscape, N. Wolf, 2003, Cologne