Watercolours of Herman Hesse

We’ve already talked about artists, who were gifted in writing poems or novels. And now let’s talk about writers, who couldn’t imagine their lives without a paintbrush or a pencil!
Herman Hesse, a German-born Swiss poet and novelist, first tried his hand in painting during WW I. Being an amateur, he initially perceived it as the way of overcoming crisis, but gradually it turned into a true passion. He made over 3000 of watercolours – a solid art legacy, defined by the bright colours of Tecino, where he lived since 1919 till his death in 1962.

Hesse’s quotes on art:

“From all this desolation, which often became insufferable, I found my own form of escape through something I had never done before – by beginning to draw and paint. Whether this is of any objective value is immaterial; for me, it is a new way of immersing myself in the solace of art, one that writing was barely able to afford me any more. Devotion without desire, love without a wish.” From a letter to Felix Braun, 1917

“I know from personal experience only a single other activity [other than writing] that has a similar tension and concentration; that is, painting. There it is the same: to blend each individual colour with its neighbouring colour properly and carefully is pleasant and easy, one can learn to do it and then practice it at any time. Over and beyond that, however, to have really before one’s mind the as yet unpainted and invisible parts of the whole picture and to take them into account, to experience the whole fine network of intersecting vibrations, that is astonishingly difficult and seldom succeeds.” From Kurgast, 1925

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