Painting animals

After revealing my blindness to perspective, I felt to challenge myself and paint a four-legged animal.

The first animal that came to my mind was a hippopotamus! A weird choice for someone, who lives in Central Europe and loves walking in local forests, where are a lot of wild animals but certainly no hippo.

It took me time to realize that this choice was made by inner coward. He accepted the challenge, but cut most of its thorns. So I painted a four-legged animal, hidden deep in the water.

In fact, it is more like a sketchbook illustration, a hippo in two versions. Don’t ask how much graphite and eraser it cost before I could use the paint, although the legs and body are hidden 🙂

How I love the kingdom of plants!

But the challenge must go on. My next topic belongs also to the animals, and it is a bird!

Btw. Which of the two hippos do you prefer? Personally, I vote for the open mouth. I consider him safer even though I don’t know if he is screaming or yawning. What do you think?

Love and hugs,

Ivana

Candle light madness

First of all, happy new year to all of you! Like most I believe that 2021 will be better and safer, opportunities for prosperity and mobility will return, our joy and creativity will grow. Hopefully.

I need a bit more creativity at the moment. Since the end of the year, I have been stuck with candle light. Many attempts, not very visible progress. Believe or not, the candle lights above are the more successful ones. I decided to post them with a little hope to break the trap and start another project.

The funny thing is, that candle light should be a shortcut of an old lamp, shining in a snowy street. I changed the original plan, because perspective is my nightmare and both, the street and the lamp, include a big portion of it. I know, there are rules and tools how to handle perspective, but the basic problem is that my eyes just cannot see it.

You definitely know various magical pictures with visual illusion. I have never seen expected illusion in any of them. My eyes see what is painted and reject the illusion. It took me long to understand, that perspective belongs to such illusions. All those tricks on a flat surface are supposed to create the illusion of 3D.

I admire everyone who can do it! But my eyes or the brain are not equipped with this particular chip converting 2D to 3D.

Of course I could drill myself, but all the joy would disappear from my painting. It doesn’t make sense, I need joy more than perfect paintings. So, I could continue to avoid objects with high level of perspective. Perhaps, but how long?

Something in my gut tells me to make my own rules of perspective using the set of skills and disabilities I have been given. I hope to find enough courage for it soon. If you have advice or recommendation, I would appreciate it!

Otherwise I spend too much time and energy on so called shortcut like the candle light.

Thanks for being with me.

Love and hugs,

Ivana

From the moon to the galaxy

In recent days, my painting has been somehow attracted directly to the night sky. I was thrilled with the challenge, but worried about the result. So I needed more attempts.

In addition, I am not a landscape lover and I promised in summer that I wasn’t going to paint any. Half year later, I wished to combine the night sky with the silhouette of wooded landscape!

We have a proverb, which I cannot translate well, but which exactly corresponds to that situation. It’s something like “You always get the biggest slice of the rejected bread”.

It’s exactly me, and such situation is repeated again and again. Whenever in my life I said with full conviction “No, thanks, this is not my way”, sooner or later I just wanted to do it. Does it happen to you too? If yes, how often?

I think about the source of it, while the last layer of my watercolor galaxy is drying. Looking at the painting, I see the endless possibilities that are stupid to limit by frightened beliefs. And that leads me to realize that the problem is not that I don’t know myself enough and still don’t know what is and isn’t my path.

The whole galaxy says that we create boundaries in our lives and usually make them much tighter than they are given to us. Not only me, but many.

I wish for all of us that the catcher from the first painting would capture our fears and nightmares, and we could open the door to a wide galaxy of possibilities.

Feel free, stay safe and happy holidays!

Ivana

Left in silence

I needed some therapeutic painting yesterday. To bring peace to troubled heart, I tried to paint the silence in the middle of snowy forest. Scenery, which I have seen only on TV in last years, while as a child I remember the snow every winter. It sounds like from my grandma when she remembered her youth 🙂

Anyway, I spent several hours trying to create a snowy serenity that I finally had to break by a snowman in front. And then the sleigh, forgotten by the child builders, made the point behind the whole story. Still, it’s a landscape of silence, but the signs of playful creativity bring a kind of hope and hidden joy. At least for me.

I’d like to share the feelings that yesterday’s painting gave to me.

With love and hugs,

Ivana

Wrapped well

Thank you for all the encouragement! It made me hungry to paint another topic from my 52 challenges earlier.

And because Christmas is just around the corner, I chose the topic “ribbon”. I got the result after about five hours, as I had never painted any ribbon before. That’s why it became part of my challenge 🙂

Hope you will like the gift, hidden inside. Let your imagination fly and leave me a comment on what you see under the ribbon.

With love and hugs,

Ivana

Greenery

I’m not a big fan of Christmas madness but I like greenery in all its forms. And today’s walk brought me the inspiration of a green wreath.

OK, I added little decorations when Christmas is around the corner 🙂

To be honest, this is only the second attempt to paint a wreath in my life. Maybe that’s why the wreath belongs to the items I included into my personal art challenge. Did I tell you about it?

Recently I had a birthday (happy Scorpio) and I gave myself the artistic challenge as a gift. Actually, I was inspired by the Inktober event, held annually on the DeviantArt platform.

In the original version, only ink is used, and one specific theme is announced for each day of October. My version has softer rules, but is designed for the whole year. Until next birthday.

I put down 52 creative challenges that can be processed by any technique in any order. But in the spirit of one topic per week in the hope that regular exercise will improve my so called artistic skills.

So far I have painted 3 topics on t-shirts, and I chose the wreath for this week. Simple watercolor, but I enjoyed the painting. I’m happy to see movement inside, or am I wrong?

And I’m double happy to share my little greenery with you. Hopefully it brings a smile to your face.

Love, Ivana

Still alive!

Although I’m still going through a lot of internal changes, I don’t stop creating. I have to create just as I have to breathe. I just forget to share the results.

First of all, I discovered a new brand of sock yarn, which fascinated me with quality and beautiful patterns. In combination with a single color yarn I improve the original patterns even more (hopefully). I have no evidence, as I hurried to give the finished socks to the right friends.

However, I keep knitting. Currently, I have a brutal color combination on the needles, but it will fit to my new shoes perfectly.

At the same time, I went through another wave of soap mania. Since September, I have been creating one soap after another. Tiny batches, different recipes. I discovered a passion for soaps with deep earthy energy. My top three include walnut soap, rosehip with cloves and cinnamon, and rosemary with cocoa. No essential oils, just careful work with basic herbs and plants.

For the first time, I also experimented with adding dairy products into soap. I was excited by the silky consistency when I used whey. Goat or cow, both are fine, but I prefer liquid not dried whey.

In my last recipe I used goat kefir, which fit perfectly with the chamomile inside. I can’t wait for the soap to ripen and I’ll wrap myself in the soft foam of it.

Last, but not least obsession is painting on t-shirts. I caught the second breath. Perhaps I will please some good souls with a nice gift.

By the way, taking picture of a white t-shirt is a worse nightmare than the whole painting!

Hoping you have beautiful autumn. Stay strong, creative and healthy!

With love, Ivana

The fence of mourning

At the moment, I feel to live behind the fence of mourning. My father passed a week ago and since then I’ve been moving in kind of parallel reality.  Even though I can’t cry yet, I would say it’s the beginning of a mourning phase.

There is no guaranteed recipe for mourning, because it’s an immersion into deep layers of heart and soul, which are highly individual. Of course, it will help if you are part of some religious family, that have funeral and mourning rituals rooted for millennia.

But this is not the case. I was born in the sixties in that part of the world, where believing in God automatically meant being against the ruling regime. My dad kept the unbelief until the day he passed. I found my own spiritual path, which I need to follow in my mourning, even though I feel that my father does not agree. So, I am trying to find “neutral” ways of mourning, which makes the situation worse.

Drawing and painting help me release trapped emotions. I grab the purple and green all the time, perhaps they mostly fit to my grieving mood. The mystery of purple accompanies my inner voyage to the realm of souls, the green somehow contains the earthy truth about the cycle of life. There are neither fans nor enemies, only pure truth that one has to deal with.

When I painted the barbed wire fence above, knitting rows of memories back and forward, I realized, that what looks like painful thorns today may appear like a blooming shrub in a few years. And what looks like a heavy burden today may become the seed of a future treasure.

Mourning cannot be skipped or cheated, I’m sure of that. We can choose the way, including the hope and light in the end of the mourning tunnel.

Thanks for reading, I needed to share my heart with you.

Love, Ivana

P.S. The picture is watercolor based, with final touch of black liner and colored pencils.

A bit of flowers

I finished the floral skirt and T-shirt finally! And it seems that the young fairy is satisfied with the result, hooray! I was quite nervous before the package was delivered to her and before I received the feedback. So, here is the result!

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Unfortunately, combination of a bad light, old camera and shaking hands doesn’t give a very sharp picture. That’s why I put the T-shirt painting under scanner to get more details. Painting effort is visible, hopefully the improvement comes with practice 🙂

Actually I have a dilemma. My first two floral attempts on fabric were more realistic, then I gave my painting more freedom. So far, I can’t decide which way is more mine. I don’t have enough distance for such a decision yet.  Of course, I need more practice, but your opinion from outside could help.

IMG_20200718_022607_600x836My very first attempt was a birthday gift for my long-term friend. Tulips were a clear choice from the beginning. I made a ton of sketches in watercolor, but when I actually painted the T-shirt, I was so nervous, that the result is a bit cramped. Plus it was the first experience with the special fabric paints, which behaved absolutely differently from watercolor. Knowing all the obstacles, I wouldn’t call it bad, but what you say? My friend is not the type openly excited, her feedback didn’t say much.

_20200718_160406The second attempt brought me more joy – when painting and reading feedback from the recipient. I had a happy accident when the brush full of red paint fell on the white surface of the T-shirt on a completely inappropriate place. And that’s why I decided to paint the grass below poppies. Lucky decision, isn’t it? 🙂

_20200718_155625The third floral attempt needed to be more abstract, perhaps because of the cold spectrum called for use. I had a little doubt, but the young lady was satisfied. It fits to her, doesn’t it?

Last, but not least was the daisy set of skirt and T-shirt as above. After that, I got into lack of white paint, the canvas of the skirt was extremely thirsty. And before the new paint arrives, I could think of a new floral project. To be honest, I already have the background. I sewed two black T-shirts on top of each other and got a long summer dress, perfect for painting. I started thinking about tropical flowers, but I’m not sure yet. What do you think?

Beginner’s uncertainty can be annoying, I know and I’m sorry.  But I quickly jumped into unknown waters, so I appreciate navigation of experienced lifeguards. Thanks!

Love, Ivana

Leaves mania

Recently, I’ve been practicing how to paint leaves, spending many hours and several nights doing so. To catch the routine, I endlessly shifted from the light touch of the tip of brush to a wide stroke and smoothly back.

It took me a while to get beautiful delicate leaves of natural shapes and colors in transparent layers. Then I was so excited, that I would like to show the result on the street 🙂

A mixture of joy and pride make me think if it could be arranged somehow. YES! I could paint leaves on a T-shirt! Who cares that working with watercolor is not the same as working with paints for fabric! The idea was there and I wanted to make it happen immediately.

The colors arrived before T-shirts, so my impatience made me paint some panties first. Good practice that stimulated my eagerness 🙂

Finally I painted a few T-shirts with the same motif in different variations of colors. Fortunately I have friends to help me wearing them 🙂

Next time I will be challenged by flowers, because a young lady surprisingly asked me to paint a T-shirt plus a summer skirt for her as a set. She looks like a dancing fairy, so flowers are a must. Hopefully I won’t disappoint her confidence in my beginner skills, but I’m already looking forward to the painting that will be seen in the gallery of life.

So far, here is a picture of some T-shirts and panties with painted leaves, taken by my shaking hands.

Love, Ivana

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Painted by Pebeo Setacolor that are more challenging to mix than watercolor 🙂