Path to patterns

I’m still a newbie, but I can look back and make a few notes about the path. If you are familiar with digital graphics, don’t read any further or you will burst out laughing.

The first step was to understand how the seamless pattern works. Believe it or not, I did it completely non-digitally, using scissors and masking tape. It was a huge test of patience, but I succeeded! The only weakness was that the borders between the quarters of the paper, which I moved on the masking tape, were visible in the final image. Which led the non-digital method to digital retouching, unfortunately. And I had no idea how to do it in the beginning.

Being immersed in the basic tools of digital graphics, I discovered a simple possibility how to create seamless patterns from existing images. Yes, after such an effort, I needed something simple with a quick result. In principle, the program blurs the edges and blends with the duplicate.

Now, I’m at the stage where I’m learning to work with layers. Selecting segments and grouping them into patterns can be fun for people who know how to do it. I like getting results, but it’s still exhausting for me. Please give me feedback, I need a kick for more attempts.

Thanks all of you for reading and support!

Love and hugs,

Ivana

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Connection

Recently, I’ve been thinking about the meaning of connection now and many years ago. I got a lot of pictures from very personal to general ones.

Some of them have remained the same since the beginning of time like a man and woman kissing or a small baby at its mother’s breast. People were always connected at the family and tribal level to ensure security and food sources.

At a certain point, people wanted to expand, seek new territories, which usually did not happen without bleeding. The new type of connection between conqueror and native habitant was established, worldwide, through the whole history.

To reach new territories quickly meant the development of transportation. Millions of new roads and railways began to crisscross the globe to better connect places and people. Later, transport also spread above the earth’s surface by airplanes and space shuttles.

Industry and other technologies were developed hand in hand with transportation, reality has reached the fantasy of filmmakers. I wonder if it was the steam engine that established a new kind of connection between man and machine, the connection where the machine stands above everything else.

It made me think if the pride of connecting to machines is similar to the pride of the people who built the Tower of Babel. I am trying not to lose the truth of my heart, the most important connection.

Love and hugs,

Ivana

The illustration above is made from heart by colored pencils.

Lazy summer

Most people love summer and sunshine, so they migrate to the sea on vacation. Our little country doesn’t have its own sea, the population is heading especially to Croatia. I’ve never been there.

Although I’ve been to the sea several time (even to the shore of Pacific ocean), I prefer a more intimate contact with the power of such mysterious element than is allowed by crowded beach.

Moreover, I discovered that the sea is too exotic for my soul, I feel better and more alive in the middle of forest. I love the tall trees and all the greenery inside which also provides cool shade from the aggressive summer sun.

The older I get, the worse I can stand the power of sun. So when neighbors run to the pond to swim, I hide in the depths of the forest or come out after dark. I celebrate every cooldown and rain that breaks a range of tropical days. I believe greenery does the same.

Just today I celebrated the all-day rain. Not too strong, just pleasant enough for a walk. Thousands of snails crawled out and happily enjoyed the wet day with me. What they actually do during a drought? I doubt they have a shower in their handy home.

Because it’s easy to celebrate the rain, when you have a hot shower and a dry sofa waiting for you at home. The snails made me think about comfort, general proclamations and hidden truths.

With love and hugs,

Ivana

The snail illustration is my watercolor painting.

Me and books

I grew up in the world, where reading was a kind of standard and books a kind of treasure. We even had to take care of school books, teachers carefully checked their condition at the end of the school year. At that time there was a shortage of many goods, but every small town used to have a public library.

I loved books before I could read them and I remember the heavy bags I regularly carried home from the library. The books and the stories inside were the food I was starving for. I consumed almost everything without prejudice. I often read between the lines and put my own imagination into the written stories, so I used to have different feelings from my classmates who read the same book. And we talked about it! So I became an adult with the belief that reading books is like breathing, everyone does it.

Since then I’ve met a lot of people, even very intelligent ones, who just don’t like to read. It was before the digital boom and much more after. To be honest, it took me a while to accept it and stop judging people by whether they read books or not. And to be double honest, I had to go through the period of prioritizing my career over reading to come to such understanding.

Once I slowed down after 40, I went back to the books. I still read between the lines and often deal with the psychology of the characters more than the story. I love the visions that are born in my head while reading, they are a great source of further inspiration.

Obviously my confession is a little old school, but it fits. How about your attitude to books? There are tons of them and to my surprise even books with major grammatical errors are published! No wonder that books lose their cultural value and become consumer goods and then waste. I am so sorry for it.

With love and hugs,

Ivana

Back on board

It was quite a long break due to healthy and recovery issues, but I am back!

I was painting almost all the time, but my pictures reflect the lack of energy.

Some of my “painting forest” challenge:

Now, I am looking forward to paint and feel more happiness. I bring it soon to you, hopefully.

With love and hugs,

Ivana

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