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.

Bubbles

Washing hands made me think about bubbles. Zero weight bubbles have the ability to bring us help in many forms.

I remember how we enjoyed creating bubbles through a straw from a cup of water with a drop of detergent that mom gave us to keep calm for washing dishes. It means she played with bubbles in her adult way, while we children admired the flying balls, reflecting all the colors of the rainbow. And of course, we tried to catch them. I can still hear our laugh in the garden.

Bubbles in the bath are also great. They create a light and even aromatic cushion into which you can bury your head and body, and there are still plenty of bubbles left to play if you want. You can enjoy it in various moods as a child, lonely or relaxing adult, or even in groups of two or more.

Remaining with literal meaning of bubbles, there is their enormous value in washing and cleaning disciplines of all kinds. Anyone who has ever tried to wash or clean anything with and without bubbles knows the truth about the difference.

But we also make no detergent bubbles. How often have you heard the sentence “Close yourself into a bubble to feel safe”? So we follow the trend. Keeping our inner self safe among billions people, we live in bubbles, losing real contact with real others.

Today’s paradox is that our mandatory isolation has helped a number of bubbles burst. As if the face mask replaced the bubble and people discovered what had not been seen before.

The Covid-19 virus is also kind of bubble inside a pandemic bubble, and works against us as well as for us.

It’s up to each of us which bubbles to choose and how to deal with them. Personally, I’m going to find a straw and return to the bubbles of childhood, to the bubbles full of rainbow.

Enjoy bubbles and share which bubbles you love or prefer, thanks!

Hug and love,  Ivana

Regarding watercolor painting, I was so focused on the bubbles that I thought about the rest only after I painted them. That’s why the dark background painted later made me crazy and additionally stole the original lightness and round shape of the bubbles. Now, they look more like snowballs than bubbles. But one learns through mistakes, right?

Being a stranger

Do you ever think you don’t understand anything as if you’re on the planet for the first day? People seem to speak a weird language and want bizarre things, even from you!

Then I’m back in the little girl’s shoes, clueless and naive, pure blond and pink.

Because of the virus, we don’t live in standard circumstances, it is clear enough. But what some can make up to take advantage at the expense of the others, it took my breath away. In various forms, they grow like mushrooms after rain, considering themselves clever and others as fools.

Remaining a fool, I seek my balance in nature, where wisdom is still stable, hopefully.

Warm greetings to all who are still human and do not become hyenas.

Hug and love,

Ivana

P.S. Regarding my beginner’s watercolor painting, I’ve got a good advice today – less effort could bring a better result. I’ll try to implement it next time 🙂

Coffee

I stopped drinking coffee more than 15 months ago, but I still dream about it. I still feel its tempting scent and still imagine its full and bitter taste. If you ask what is black hell and great heaven at the same time, my clear answer is coffee!

To feed my watercolor practice while satisfying the virtual coffee addiction, I tried to paint it. Staying home due to the virus becomes more bearable.

Hope you are doing well. Happy Holidays!
Love, Ivana

Miracles of the Light

Light was a first act of G*d creating the earth and living on it.

Light is an essential for most living creatures. It’s a part of nutrition without which we suffer and die. 

Light is a symbol of hope. It’s a lighthouse in the stormy waters of life, leading our steps to safety. 

Light attracts living beings and brings them to socialize and create community. 

Light helps to measure time and set milestones between seasons. 

Light phenomena in the sky were often a subject of various prophecies. 

Whether we call it Solstice, Hanukkah or Christmas, now it’s the right time to celebrate miracles of the light. 

Enjoy it!

Ivana

 

Rose of my heart

Many call it weed, complain about ugly smell of blossoms, but they run to it for help in case of heart weakness. Yes, I’m talking about hawthorn (Crataegus) from the Rosaceae family.

I love hawthorn since childhood, mom taught me to know its taste and healing value. To be honest, I prefer hawthorn to a thousand beautiful roses. All the fragrant roses fit into well kept gardens around noble houses, but it’s not me.

I have a thorny nature and hard stone inside. More likely you can meet me on a walk in the forest or wild nature than elegant in the city or artistic garden. I can do it as much as hawthorn. There are cultivars that grow in urban parks, but they almost lost their healing effects through breeding.

I spent a long period of my life in a busy city and I wasn’t unhappy. But I was slowly losing my basic essence, which was pointed out by my physical body. When I was finally willing to admit it and change my lifestyle, the body began slowly to recover.

My whole lifestyle has changed from busy to slow but I have time to see the beauty of life in great details and enjoy it better. From time to time I watch things that I already knew as a little girl. And that’s why I devoted my colorful drawing to all the hearts and healing power of weed roses like hawthorn.

Love, Ivana

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

Happy birthday, late Aquarius!

I love the light tone of their creative mind, strong intuition, sense for freedom and friendship at the same time, and of course their unique style of living, in any case original.

I admire many specific features of Aquarius, knowing that it’s not easy to live with all of them.

The natural tendency to independence might help in the career but it doesn’t help in keeping comfortable family life except the partner is mega-tolerant.

The same can be said about the playfulness that attracts a lot of people who want a good entertainment at any time.

To the group you can count the strong intellect and extensive imagination that create bold theories and visions and also attract enemies and opposition.

Having Sun in Aquarius doesn’t mean that your personality cannot be serious or partner-oriented. All of us are mosaic of planets and nobody is ruled by a single zodiac sign.

For example, I have Saturn in Aquarius in my native chart and works there in the area of my beliefs and philosophy. Considering that Saturn represents the inner order, we could say that my order of basic beliefs sounds pretty liberal because of Aquarius.

Love, Ivana

P.S. Sending special birthday greeting to Lydia from Canada.

Quo vadis?

The end of the calendar year is coming quickly. It’s time of balancing and planning. We look back to analyze mistakes, recall successes and compile list of resolutions to make following year even better.

How far does the influence of our will go? I have no doubt that will and determination are essential but not absolute. For example, I experienced how one infected tick bite ruined my plans for many months. I had to slow down my lifestyle, change priorities and focus my will in new directions.

And you know what? As soon as the body began to recover, the most difficult part was to stop fighting with destiny. I lost other months by trying to get myself back instead of going forward and accepting the change of course.

I wish to be more flexible and less proud, so I drew the picture to remind me, that limitations exist and some of them must be accepted.

And maybe in the future I will even understand that the small infected tick was an important tool of destiny, leading to happiness and prosperity. Who knows?

So I would like to wish all of us what somebody wise has already said before. Keep courage to change things that can be changed, keep humility to accept things that cannot be changed, and be wise enough to recognize the difference between.

Happy New Year!
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