Painting forest

I love walking forest, I love watching little changes every day. Changes that are proof of life. Nobody says which ones are good or bad, everything is natural and alive. Walking forest means a kind of therapy for me, therapy of freedom or therapy by freedom.

What would a professional therapist say about the fact that I like to bring a trophy from a walk? I don’t care, but I do so. A small leaf of interesting shape or color is enough, I can use it later as a reference for painting. Actually I prefer trophies that I can use in some way. Trophies like leafs, bark, herbs, fruits, mushrooms, etc. Why to waste all the treasures?

Painting forest is a part of my personal art challenge for this year, see above. Probably not enough for me, so I joined another challenge in early March. It came to me in response how to improve my watercolor. Paint the same topic every day for a long period of time! Do not spend much time over it, do it as quickly as possible. You will gradually relax and your own style should appear. Yes. I want that!

After a month, I am still at the starting line. I painted without reference picture for the first 5 days and it was a disaster! I hope those scary pictures are not the only image of my mind. Having reference photo is much easier, I have something to lean back and focus on painting.

Do you have a favorite?

At the moment, I would like to apologize to all excellent authors, whose photos I devaluated with my quick painting. I promise not to exhibit them! They are quietly hidden in my sketchbook, thin sheets buckled because I didn’t use watercolor paper for this exercise. I hope to improve next month!

Hugs and love,

Ivana

Anniversary

Two years ago in March, covid-19 came to our country, the first restrictions appeared and then the total lockdown. No one had enough experience, but good enough information was rolling everywhere. At this point, I decided to start with watercolor.

As I have mentioned several times, I have held a mental block to wet techniques since childhood. But fighting this fear was easier than dealing with upcoming pandemic or better to say with scary scenario, served by TV 24/7. So I bought watercolor paints and paper and dived into tutorials. Which really helped, because I discovered a new world.

I didn’t stop living my life except the ongoing restrictions. But somewhere inside me a flame of passion began to burn, and it burns there up to this day.

My painting success is floating up and down, I am still trying to learn new skills and have more practice. Sometimes I push it too hard, but painting is still a great pleasure for me.

I would like to thank all of you, because your encouraging support helps me to overcome weak points. You deserve to know about that anniversary. Thanks for being with me on the watercolor road!

Hugs and love,

Ivana

My watercolor set of March, 2020.

I can hear you!

How many times have you heard that? Don’t yell at me, I can hear you! We have ears, so we can hear, that’s clear. But do we listen to everything and every time we hear? How many people catch the same message when hearing the same?

There are many factors that affect what we actually get. Most does not depend on the ability to hear, but more on the ability to listen. Which means the will to understand each other.

This leads me to wonder if the ear is a tool for hearing or even for listening. Mechanically, it is clear. But why is the shape of the ear so unique? Have you ever observed the ears of people around you? It’s a fascinating spectacle! So many mysterious shapes and turns falling into the depths of the head. You can only guess where and how it ends.

Perhaps the ear is not only used to capture tones, voices or noise. What if all those complex and unique shapes define our ability to listen? I would like to discover the little part responsible for the desire to listen, for the desire to understand each other. In my world of naïve imagination, it would be possible to stimulate this part of the ear and change where we are. What do you think?

Hugs, love and peace!

Ivana

Message bottle

I was in the mood of a castaway and had a painting on the same subject in process. After the situation in Ukraine became terrible, I had to change perspective and gain a little hope.

I felt anxious because of all the people who were in the middle of the shooting, which was destroying their peaceful life and future. At a distance of less than a thousand miles from my home. How is it possible?

I prayed for peace, and if possible together with a democracy option. Then I put my prayer into the bottle, asking the whole Universe for help.

Love and peace for all of you!

Ivana

Paint a monster

Many artists paint monsters – many kinds of them, so the monster became a part of my artistic challenge too. It should be easy – paint what you want, no stress with the right proportions, it is a monster!

I was looking forward to discipline with no limits, asking my inner child for help. But either I don’t have enough fantasies or the monsters belong to the list, which is better for me to avoid. My monsters are not scary at all. Maybe bored, maybe cute, maybe a little upset. But not scary.

In fact, I don’t like scary pictures, I don’t watch scary movies, I don’t read books with monsters and a lot of blood. I don’t like violence in any form. Until I tried to paint a monster, I didn’t realize how deeply pacifism is a part of my nature. From this point of view I am happy for my naive monsters and art in general.

Have you ever wondered how your nature shapes the choice of topics, techniques, styles? It is not only skills but also our inner essence which define the art. It sounds clear but I should repeat it often for myself to stay who I am. Your comments help me too.

Enjoy the so called monsters!

Hugs and love,

Ivana

Power of the heart

Many of us have experienced a broken heart, perhaps more than once. But how to heal it? Most common answer is that time heals. Agree, but on which basis?

According to my understanding, the heart is endless source of love that springs even from a broken or injured piece. I perceive love as the emotional equivalent of blood. That’s why everyone is capable to love, without exception, without excuses.

And it is love that nourishes and heals the emotional part of ourselves, just like the blood nourishes and heals our body. Time helps, but the most important is to let the heart work and love, even for the smallest things in the world. The more love you exhale, the healthier your heart is.

People often confuse broken hearts and injured ego, which is a completely different thing. Unfortunately the ego doesn’t have a self-healing capability. The ego is more self-pitying and self-destructive. It remembers old pains and wrongs well, as if patiently waiting for a cosmic apology or satisfaction.

I believe, that we don’t become bitter because of a broken heart, but because of an injured ego that refuses to let go and forgive.

I decided to send a bunch of love into my ego today, so it would not feel rejected or unwanted. Also, a big bunch of love to all of you, my readers!

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Ivana

Milestones and goals

Most people analyze the previous year and set up goals when the New Year is coming. I tried to illustrate both, remembering a game I played with myself years ago.

Like the medieval knights had a shield with the insignia of their family, I drew the shield that best characterized me at that moment. Great time to use secret symbols or color language, great time to simplify even deep thoughts, great time to combine art and fun. Have you ever tried to make up your personal shield?

I love when my right hemisphere activates while I draw, and then comes totally different kind of thoughts. That’s why I don’t have a plan in advance, I gradually draw what comes to mind and where there is still a space left on the paper. At least when I’m trying to draw messages from the inner self.

I used the same process for the Milestones 2021 and the Goals 2022 shields. Maybe they look ridiculous, but I precisely know what each part means. This time I don’t only share my art with you, but my heart.

With love, Ivana

One hand, different styles

When it comes to painting, I am still looking for myself. One and half years of experience ranks me as a pure beginner, so I need to work on basic techniques and test various supplies.

According to the comments on my personal art challenge I agree to see a tendency towards illustrations. I have a lot of ideas, most of which are stopped by lack of skills.

A great example from the past few days is a painting of lantern. Immediately, I imagined a scene from an old fairy tale, which I listened to as a child. The story tells about daily life of beetles that fly with lanterns to bring the light to people at night. Because of audio version I had no pictorial prejudices.

Full of joy, I sketched the basic idea on a scrap paper easily. Then I produced a problem in my head – mainly because of figural drawings. Although I reduced the number of beetles from five to three, the result lacks the poetics and simple lightness of the original sketch. Painted in watercolor with black liner and with the final touch by colored pencils.

Conclusion – I need more practice with figural drawings and courage to do it. My wise inner voice adds – maybe start with simple silhouettes like in the sketch, don’t push yourself into a real figural drawing. They won’t look real anyway.

In the shadow of Campanula

I made this drawing with silhouettes a few years ago by colored pencils only, maybe it looks better than actual beetles with lantern, what do you think?

There are also two of non-figural painting, covering topics of my personal challenge – document and butterfly. In these dark days I couldn’t paint a summer butterfly, so I decided for a night moth, specifically army green moth. I took a reference photo from wikipedia, hopefully it is free to use.

I would appreciate your comments, especially on the figural drawing. Some advice how to combine my lack of skills and experience with my desire to paint all the ideas and imaginations I have?

Thanks for reading and stopping by!

With love and hugs,

Ivana

What to expect from the 2022

I played with tarot today, asking about 2022. Take it easy please.


Overall energy – Harvest

It’s time to harvest what has been planted before. Patience, precision and humility will be required. Rather than fighting for new fields, it would be better to gain more from what we already have, using creativity and innovations. There is a question and a challenge at the same time – which skills or abilities do I underestimate or underuse?

Surprisingly, a big potential could be discovered. There is a treasure right under your feet.


January – Looking for a better tomorrow

There is a lot of dreams and desires. Instead of standing on solid ground, we fly in the heaven, drifting with ideas, plans and expectations. Even this could be important.

Leaving bad memories and spleens behind, getting belief in good and love again, this could be an excellent start to the year 2022.


February – Awakening to reality

You cannot create happiness just by dreaming. You have to go and make mistakes. Only by trying things is possible to separate the real from the unreal. Having big eyes and setting goals high is natural and right, as long as we are capable correct the goals according to given circumstances.

Do not consider corrections as failures.


March – Sun shines again

It seems that the world is a nice place to live again. Dark places are brightened, except of duties there comes time for pleasure and joy. You have the choice – stay in the darkness or climb out into the light.

Opportunities do not come directly to us, yet they are all around. It’s up to you whether you take or let it be.


April – Riding a wave

Who took the opportunity, rides the wave and rides really fast. Maybe faster than keeping it under control. Full of enthusiasm we move forward. At this point, we need to feel the fire inside and to be alive. We could make mistakes because of the speed, but it’s better to move and make mistakes than to stand, catching dust in the garage.

Anyone who doesn’t leave his comfort zone voluntarily will be drawn there by other riders.


May – Doubts

After the wild water comes a calmer surface, time to think and exhale the fast driving experience. Guilty feelings could appear from the pond of emotions, do not be overwhelmed by them. Do not compare your life path with the others, do not be trapped by feeling of injustice or helplessness. These are just feelings and not the only ones available.

The challenge of May is to seek light in dark, hope in despair.


June – Reward

What May could owe, June richly rewards. Life is proven to be a sinusoid and this is the only way how to fully enjoy. Let’s learn to take what is available at the moment.

June offers a lot of experience, diversity is important. Try as much unknown as possible. You also don’t eat only potatoes, even if there is a cauldron of them available every day.


July – First harvest, next sowing plan

Looking back, we can recognize the basic from the empty activities, what exhausts us more than it bears fruits. There will be time and space for such contemplation in July. We may even tend to discuss it with others. Remember that the opponent is not the enemy, he brings the opportunity to clarify details and stay open.

July offers the key to the unanswered questions, do not forget to ask them.


August – Pampering

There is a huge need to pamper and be pampered. We can pamper family, friends or strangers on the street, always with full respect to them. The challenge is to open specific part of heart and forget about people’s credibility or how we consider it.

Do not claim any response and be surprise in the future.


September – Balance of power

There is a rebalancing of the tools of power. We have learned that goodness and empathy will move us to the goal as quickly as ambition and purposeful action. September pushes to use both hemispheres, crippling any one-sidedness.

Don’t hit your head on the wall, try to balance and compensate. Otherwise, frustration and disappointment will arise.


October – Family

Time to realize the importance of the family. What the family brings to us, what we owe to it, or maybe how much they take our breath away, despite the frame of time. October brings the opportunity to discover and release what sucks our strength and blocks some abilities.

Perhaps we do the same to anybody else. Let’s take control of what is ours and leave control what is not.


November – Rushing forward

Doing everything in double speed. The quality could cry, but there is a lesson to move and not to dig in bullshit. We are challenged to leave situations in which we’ve been trapped for a long time.

At this speed, pay attention to judgements, they need to be verified in time.


December – Blessing

There is a treasure behind the cobwebs, there is enough for everybody. It’s up to you whether you focus on cobwebs and complain about their dirt or treasure and enjoy its benefits. Both is true.

December brings a lot of gifts – take what you wish and do not feel guilty. Be grateful, not bound. Be yourself, don’t judge anyone.


Happy New Year to all of you! And thanks for understanding my not enough flexible English 🙂

Ivana

I’ve been used Crowley (Thoth) tarot cards for my reading.

Happy Holidays!

Time is running fast and holidays are just around the corner. Although I don’t have snow and the classic Christmas winter behind the windows, I hope many of you enjoy it.

I painted a waxwing with frozen hips to feel the winter atmosphere better. Thanks to an old gardening magazine for a reference photo!

I also participated in the Holiday card project again. I love this activity on the DeviantArt platform, because every artist has the opportunity to create an original Holiday card that will be distributed to a specific person in a hospital or nursing home. This year, it was only necessary to deliver cards in digital form due to covid-19. Let’s hope the cards find and please their recipients anyway.

Additionally, I created a small anti-stress coloring book as a monthly 2022 diary for my friends. If you are interested, it is free to download for you too! I’ll be happy if you enjoy it!

Happy Holidays to all of you!

Ivana