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

Musical skill

I’ve never played a musical instrument as I don’t have musical talent. I can’t even recognize a song by music, my only guide are words – if I catch them.

Since childhood, my singing has been more chanting. So I was told to just pretend singing and not spoil the fun of others. I was successful in all so call important school subjects and I couldn’t do something as simple as singing!

I ran from music to the books and remained loyal to them. They have their own rhythm and can also evoke strong emotions and stimulate imagination. When I am inside a book, I often realize a lot of things that the author didn’t write, but it still pops up from the pages. As if it was meant right for me, right for the moment. That’s why I consider reading books more intimate than an intellectual matter.

And do I miss music in my life? I wouldn’t say so. From my point of view it’s impossible to miss what you are not capable appreciate. What do you think?

So far I’m happy with the substitution the little smart girl came with.

Love and hugs,

Ivana

Seasons

People complain how much rain we have this year, especially in summer. I feel rebellious because I love it! After two three hot and dry seasons I finally feel alive. And how much living and green is around! It’s a real pleasure to walk and watch.

Despite my body doesn’t work properly at outside temperatures close to 30°C (86 F), it emotionally crushes me when I see in my non-desert area cracked ground, brown grass and dried fruits before ripening. Every tree and shrub begs for a drop of water which I have in my backpack for refreshment even on short walks. This has been repeated for the past few years as the groundwater level has dropped to an all-time low. My heart was bleeding because of it, while most people enjoyed sunny holiday – or until pandemic they did.

That made me think about the weather and the climate. Earlier, I used to consider a weather conversation was a kind of small talk and a big climate declaration was a kind of political bullshit. But times change, people evolve. Now I feel much more connected to nature. Not because it is fashionable, but simply because that’s how my life journey developed.

I’m happy to live in a temperate climate zone, where the seasons still rotate and where, with some exceptions, summer temperatures are tolerable for my body setting. I love that diversity!

Which weather or climate zone do you prefer and why?

Love and hug,

Ivana

Being a winner

Most people like to feel like a winner, at least from time to time. For some, a small victory on a daily basic is sufficient, others need to accumulate wealth or climb the highest mountains in the world. The greater the risk, the greater victory and often also pride.

Folk psychology says “Feel like a winner and you will get it”.

But is it that easy for everyone? Being a winner means leaving a number of losers behind. And many people are not willing to give the loser’s label to the others, because they used to get them too often earlier. They may have a traumatic experience with a so-called winner, who climbed on the backs of others, often by humiliating them.

Being a winner in a healthy way means to remain humble and supportive to all who have allowed him to win. And always take into account feelings of the losers behind.

So I painted a fake winner, who is blinded by his own glow. One could see a winner whose glory extends to heaven or a gilded dummy in the backyard in front of a poorly painted wall. It’s up to you 🙂

I would like to meet just a few fake winners and a lot of sensitive ones. Then it would be nice to join them.

Love and hugs to both, winners and losers!

Ivana

Dreaming

We’ve been living with pandemic for a year and it doesn’t seem to be better. Hospitals are about to collapse, even young people are dying, only the virus happily survives in new mutations.

From many reasons our little country is having a hard time just now. We are probably facing a strict lockdown in a few days. Listening to the bad news made me dream about the coming spring and my walks among flowers.

Until politicians find agreement on the lockdown’s terms, I will keep my dreaming. I need walks outside, even if I have to wear a top-class respirator on my face. Which became a reality since today.

Anyway, I hope to use my boots for walking not for gardening.

Stay healthy!

Love and hugs,

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.