For most women, of any age, the month of June brings to mind images of elegant wedding gowns, brilliant blooms of flowers, and all the delights of love and romance. When I think of love and romance, there is one painting that can ultimately transport me to thoughts of passion, desire and all aspects of love.
As a young woman in my 20’s, I spotted a painting on the set of a television show back in the 1970’s. I had no idea who the artist was, or the name of the painting. For a few months I researched art books looking for that image indelibly fixed in my mind, with no success. One day I was strolling the streets of New Hope, Pennsylvania, a town known for their art scene, and there it was. I spotted a print of the painting I had been obsessed with finding. I purchased it immediately, brought it home, and had it framed. It was Gustav’s Klimt’s, The Kiss.
I cannot express in words the depth of feelings this painting conjured in me, even at my young age back then. Once I had a name to connect to the image, over several years I started enthusiastically researching the Klimt painter, and discovered his vast collection of paintings. Klimt was born in 1862 in Vienna, but even today his works of art continue to receive considerable attention.
In 1986, I traveled to the Museum of Modern Art in New York City to view an exhibition of Klimt’s work. I was so excited to be making this trip from my home in New Jersey. When I entered the exhibit, there it was, The Kiss, in full view. It was larger than life to me, floor to ceiling, I was overwhelmed and a bit embarrassed as tears fell down my face. I had no idea how large a painting the original work was, and I was simply stunned. I felt such a connection to this Klimt painter.
Another of Klimt’s paintings which evokes in me such emotions of love, is pictured below. It is called Fulfillment.
In 2017 I was able to visit the Neue Gallerie in New York City. It is a museum for German and Austrian art in several mediums. There I was able to view the painting, Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer, which was depicted in the movie The Woman in Gold, along with other beautiful works of art by the painter Klimt.
Several years ago, I discovered some needlepoint canvases being sold by Ehrman Tapestry. There was a series of Klimt-inspired designs by Candace Bahouth that immediately intrigued me. It had been several years, decades since I had picked up a needle, but I knew I had to make one of these pillows. After one was completed, I had the inclination to do another one. Every few months, the next design beckoned me, and eventually, I had completed 5 pillows which were a dazzling addition to my home décor. Placed on my couch, these are admired by all who visit my home. The collection is below.
I thought I ended needlepointing all the Klimt series of pillows until Covid-19 appeared. Although I thought I’d start another novel with my quarantined time, like many others, focusing during a pandemic was difficult. I put that goal aside and turned my attention to possibly completing another Klimt-inspired pillow. I knew I could work on it in short intervals of time, and like all my past needlepoint projects, it would allow my mind to wonder while stitching. I ordered another needlepoint kit and once completed, it is now known as my Covid Pillow.
As the month of June lingers and my thoughts turn to love, my home is surrounded by the works of Gustav Klimt, who always reminds me of the sheer essence of love and romance and passion. For decades I have been stirred by the golden swirls and intricate designs embodied in the works of Gustav Klimt.
In this time of devastation wrought by a terrifying virus, and other tragic deaths plaguing the country at this moment, it is sometimes helpful to take a break from the realities of our time, and immerse oneself in the exquisite beauty of art. For me, I need only to view the works of Klimt to transform any mood, especially during the month of June.