Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

As I was born and grown in the communist Czechoslovakia behind the “iron curtain”, I didn’t have a clue about Patrick’s Day for a long period of time. We’ve been taught and brainwashed about great soviet heroes and holidays instead.

Fortunately, we were allowed to keep some of the old myths, legends and fairy tales as well, especially if they didn’t sound too religious. And so we got the hidden wisdom through elves, fairies, witches and other fairy-tale beings.

One of those mythical characters is Vodyanoy – a completely green creature that rules over the waters. Because we don’t have a sea in my country, Vodyanoy usually lives in ponds, lakes or deep river bays. He looks elegant, prefers green or red top hat and has a tailcoat, from which the water is always dripping. We really have a lot of stories where Vodyanoy appears. Some Vodyanoys are good or cute, others are evil and scary, but you can easily recognize them because of green color and water, dripping from their clothing.

The reason, why the Vodyanoy myths came back to me in these days, was the last prompt on Deviant art. The challenge was to draw a green picture in honor of the St. Patrick’s Day. I tried to fulfill my intention, celebrating the Irish heritage. I drew for hours but the mind didn’t flow in the Irish mood at all. So much green has caused to me to see more Vodyanoy, sitting in a really green pond.

I would say that no matter how many things you learn in life, cultural roots remains with you for ever. What do you think?

Thanks for reading and extra warm greetings to all Irish people! 🍀

With love, Ivana

Mistletoe

When I was a small girl, we didn’t keep many traditions in our family. But having a Christmas tree and mistletoe was a must. I loved colorful lights and gifts, as well as the scent of fresh needles, but I didn’t care why people cut trees and moved them into their homes.

However I was curious about the mistletoe. Where does it grow and why does it look like a bird’s nest? What are the white mini-balls? And why people paint the mistletoe with gold or silver color? Isn’t green good enough for holiday’s decoration?

My mother patiently explained to me that the mistletoe grows high in the trees, so it’s not easy to get it. It symbolizes happiness, health and prosperity, which is also not easy to get. And some people are painting mistletoe silver or gold to increase the probability that it happens.

Much later I learned that mistletoe belongs to the medicinal plants and that people from ancient times attributed extraordinary and even magical qualities to it. I always felt great respect for the mistletoe, but my curiosity was always stopped by the knowledge that this plant is poisonous. Plus there were plenty of other plants I could play with.

Of course I noticed several nests of mistletoe in my neighborhood – high in the trees, difficult to access. Exactly how my mother said. But recently, I found mistletoe on the path, fell down in windy weather. It reminded me, that although happiness or prosperity seems to be far away, sometimes the opportunity falls down right under our feet. Then it depends if we catch it and make use of it.

I picked it from the path, brought it home and drew picture of mistletoe with the bird, responsible for spreading seeds of it. I hope you like it, and I double hope it brings you happiness, health and prosperity as my mother promised 🍀

Happy holidays!

Ivana

The Holiday Card Project

I decided to take a part in the Deviant Art Holiday Card Project because I think its simple idea is great. Who wouldn’t like to please those who have not enough luck, pleasure or even health? Additionally, you can do that, which also enjoys you and what you consider to be your hobby.

The word charity usually involves donating money or things needed for life, more precisely for the physical part of life. But doesn’t soul feel hungry?

At school, I learned that there is a pyramid of values, the basis of which is just physical needs – food, drink, clothing, shelter. And if these are not saturated, you probably do not care about what is on the higher floors of the pyramid – values like love, belonging or self-esteem.

Traveling and aging brought me a little different experience.  With my own eyes, I saw huge number of people who were really poor, yet they lived in love and with supporting community, and I don’t think they had the problem of respect or self-esteem.

And of course, I saw and see a lot of people, who have their basic needs more than saturated, yet they didn’t open their hearts either for love or for the support of others.

I believe that donating money helps to change the physical reality of many people, which is great. But I also believe that giving joy feeds their souls and helps them accept what cannot be changed or paid for money.

And so I put my love and positive energy into a simple drawing, hoping to send pleasure and joy even across the ocean.

Thanks to the creative people in Deviant Art for inspiration and their excellent work.

Ivana