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

Seeking shadow

As soon as the tropical weather arrives, I deal with the same every year – where to hide from the sun and overheating.

In walking distance, nature is getting drier and drier, in summer it looks like a savannah. Trees are becoming rarer, the forest is slowly dying. My heart cries for each of them.

Although we had a beautifully cold and rainy spring this year, the heat and drought have already clenched their claws. The tropical season has definitely started.

Yesterday I had to travel a lot of hours in high temperatures, so today I ordered a rest in the old park nearby. In fact, this park was founded in the late 18th century, and some trees are really huge. Which I love more than romantic pavilions and bridges, or the chateau, around which this amazing park is located.

You can walk many hours in this park and find your own wild retreat. And that’s exactly what I needed today. I was resting in a beautiful place and having fun painting with watercolors.

Hope you enjoyed your day as well!

With love and hugs,

Ivana

In case you like to know or see more, I found some info in English, see below. No, it is not an advertisement!

https://www.zamek-veltrusy.cz/en

Painting landscape

I have never wished to paint landscapes and I probably can’t even appreciate a well-painted landscape. I love being in the landscape and perceiving it with all my senses. Smell its scent, feel the sun’s rays or raindrops on my skin, hear the birds singing, touch the bark of the trees, taste the herbs or berries along the way. Eyes are only a part of the whole experience.

But then there is my artistic challenge and one of its topics is painting landscape.

When I tried to paint what I know from my surroundings – like the surface of a pond with several trees in background, it became a disaster. Perhaps because I painted at night under artificial light, without any reference picture. And it was the first time I tried to paint water surface. You really don’t want to see it 🙂

I felt much better after painting the ocean on the shore, even though I live hundreds of miles from the sea. But youtube knows everything! One of my favorite artist teacher Jenna Rainey just posted appropriate tutorial there, so I did what I watched. And you know what? I spent about a quarter of the time with a better result. It is worth to learn from someone who knows what he or she is doing.

According to the tutorial of Jenna.

Yesterday’s attempt to paint the landscape was a compromise between the two approaches. I used a reference picture of the landscape and did it my way. I am quite satisfied, so I can jump to the next topic of my artistic challenge. Hope you like it too 🙂

Love and hugs,

Ivana

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

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 🙂

On his mission

If I were forced to make a difficult choice and select one of the million plants to heal the bleeding world, it would be yarrow. This common and widespread plant with small white flowers and easily recognizable feather-like leaves has been always powerful aid to those who suffered bleeding injuries.

Perhaps because of its botanical name Achillea millefolium I have yarrow permanently associated with the mythical warrior, the Greek hero Achilles. Born from an immortal goddess and a mortal king, Achilles had the best teachers for a wide range of disciplines, not just for warfare.

I have forgotten a lot, but I remember that one of his teachers was the wise centaur Chiron, who taught him even the basic of medicine. Prudent decision, which could save life or limbs, definitely increased the chance to survive frequent battles.

Achilles had a mythical power and only one small vulnerability, yarrow as well. Besides the huge ability to quickly stop bleeding, yarrow disinfects, improves digestion, helps with women’s difficulties, but must not be used for long periods. Yarrow is a first line warrior, having a range of after-care medical plants behind him.

My drawing should be a honor to the healing ability of yarrow, but finally I put more energy into the part representing the pain of bleeding world. Is there enough yarrow to heal it?

Love, 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 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.

Sleeping summer

There are people who come to life with the sun and have almost no limits. On the contrary, my body switches to hibernation as soon as it’s too hot or hot for too long. And it has been so over the past few weeks!

I was paralyzed by the weather and worked only on autopilot as if I was drugged. Feeling sleepy, but without possibility of true sleep at night. Who would call it cooling when the daytime temperature in the shade is the same as the temperature of human body, and at midnight it is only ten degrees less? For weeks! And they forecast the hot hell will continue…

Luckily, some rain came today and brought happiness to my soul. I walked (not danced) in the rain and absorbed the drops by the whole surface of my body. It was so different from common shower. Although the shower was more comfortable, the rain today was more cleansing because it touched not only the body but also the soul, perhaps because I was so thirsty for it.

Later I noticed that the portion of today’s rain was nothing for the nature around. The soil remained dry and cracked, the fallen water somehow disappeared. Berries stay dried on the bush, sadly announcing low to zero harvest. And the leaves on the trees become yellow and start to fall as if autumn was already there.

One must be happy for a little thing and I’m looking forward to a nice sleep today, if possible without thinking of tomorrow’s hell.

Wishing you a pleasant summer,

Ivana

Sleeping runners

While we anticipate movement of animals, we expect plants sit quietly in one place. But there is a group of plants that hide running shoes. They mostly grow in steppes, where the open space provides the right atmosphere to enjoy cross-country running.

As the average temperature rises and rainfall decreases, steppe plants appear in my area as well. One of them is field eryngo (Eryngium campestre), currently looking like a regular green plant, maybe like a kind of thistle. I have met many on my walk along the path and in the middle of it. At the moment, they looked satisfied and settled, full of fresh juice.

You wouldn’t guess that in a few months, the green splendor will develop a big thorny air ball, running for freedom with the support of wind.

I understand that growing and reproducing in steppe conditions is difficult, so the running capability is a gift to make it easier. On the other hand, I am a bit nervous how much field eryngo I have met. What if local plants don’t survive in the competition? Obviously, I will have an opportunity to watch evolution step by step.

Until then I can imagine the full shelf of running shoes that field eryngo hides in the roots 😊

With love,

Ivana